How to use herbs to relieve stress and anxiety
I interviewed Sachiko Asano, a clinical herbalist, to learn more about her art in herbs.
Sachiko Asano's background and why she chose to become a herbalist
Sachiko's journey to herbalism started in her early thirties.
Sachiko started experiencing a sudden shift in her menstrual cycle. And this prompted her to make significant changes driven by the fear of getting complications later on when it came time to bear a child.
With no idea of a starting point, she started with conventional hormonal treatment. But even after six months of treatment, she felt it was not the answer.
From there, she took the natural route using herbs, and that was the beginning of her herbalism career.
"...after I started studying holistic medicine. I learned about skin as an indicator of what is going on internally…"
Alternative medicine has considerable benefits to the body, and it works from the inside out. But it is expensive. These treatments are not covered with most medical insurance and with such realities, she opted to study herbalism.
"... the goal for holistic approach is to find out the root cause of the discomfort or imbalance…"
Jasmine: "How do people choose which kind of herbal tradition to follow?"
The answer was extensive, but the bottom line was that all traditional medicine's motto is to harmonize the body. That said, one should use what they have closest to them. Most of these herbs overlap in each discipline but have similar effects.
Next, Sachiko spoke about how herbs are used.
Sachiko: "There are a few preparations; one- infusion. Infusion is like making tea. You boil the hot water and steam it.." "Second- decoction. You basically cook it.." "Third one is the tincture. A tincture is usually an alcohol plant extract."
A tincture is the best for people living a fast-paced life since you can use it on the go.
"Adaptogen are herbs that enhance our body's ability to cope with physical and emotional stress."
Adaptogen herbs are very safe and they help the body long-term. Some herbs react instantaneously, while some take time. Hormonal herbal treatments take longer.
Examples of adaptogenic herbs:
- Astragalus root. This herb can be cooked as a soup or added to a stew. It has a sweet taste, and it is a potent immune stimulator herb that promotes white blood cell production. It is also beneficial to respiratory health.
- The Tulsi/Holy Basil is a famous sacred herb in India with a bold feminine scent. The taste is sweet, and it gets more intense with a more prolonged infusion. Tulsi is a chakra balancing herb, a stress reliever, and an immune booster.
- Mushroom is a top immune booster that you can eat, make broth or decoct. Reishi is a Chinese mushroom, also known as the mushroom of immortality. It has been used in cancer treatment, sorting out insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Other mushrooms mentioned were Shiitake and Enoki.
Lastly, we touched on a podcast called Herbal Highway, recommending everyone to have a listen. Newbies interested in herbalism can learn a lot here.
"Resilience is an energy or force within us to overcome a difficult time, challenging situation and come back to where we are supposed to be originally."
Resilience has a deep-seated root to connect to ancestors. And we connect with our ancestors through nature and our DNA. Ingesting certain Japanese resilient plants and herbs has been one way Sachiko connects with her ancestors to gain resilience in her daily life.
If you would love to know more, you can learn more about Sachiko on www.herbarhythm.com