It is my strong belief that herbs are an unparalleled way to get our bodies and spirits into better balance. That being said, I think that how we take our herbs – our relationship with the herbal tea itself – can help this transformation happen faster (or not).
I will explain by using an analogy.
Imagine a big bowl of nutritious, hearty, vegetable soup. Only you don’t like veggies. You eat the soup because you know it’s good for you. You don’t savor the different textures and flavors of the vegetables. You choke it down as quickly as you can so you can get its nutrients.
Now imagine that same bowl of soup. Only this time you love vegetables – all vegetables – but this soup is specifically made from the veggies that are your absolute favorites. You bring your nose close to the soup and take a deep inhale, savoring its aroma. You look at the soup, enjoying its variety of colors. You are so excited to eat this soup, not only because it has your favorite vegetables, but also because you know it is so good for you. You put your spoon in and take your first bite of soup. It is even more delicious than you anticipated! You take your next bite, and really savor and enjoy that bite as well. You take your time with the soup, appreciating each bite. You also reflect on the nutrition this soup is bringing to your body.
So I pose this question: which way do you think you will absorb the most nutrients from the soup? Which way of eating will benefit you the most? I would bet that the second way of eating would yield more nutrients for your body, not to mention a more enjoyable eating experience.
Are you the person that holds their nose closed and dutifully chugs down her herbs every morning and night? Or are you the one who looks forward to her daily herbs? The one who spends 10 minutes sipping the herbs and reflecting on the herbs’ healing powers? Do you thank the herbs for their gift? Do you thank yourself for taking your herbs? I strongly believe that gratitude and presence greatly increase our enjoyment of the world.
If you are the person who chokes down her herbs, are you interested in trying to form a better relationship with your herbs? Maybe even growing to enjoy this integral part of your day? Perhaps you could look up the names of the herbs in your formulas. Read about what they are doing for you, and meditate on this as you drink them. Maybe you’re a visual person, and would resonate with looking up pictures of the herbs. Try to find whatever it is (for you) that brings consciousness to taking your herbs.
And don’t worry – if you still can’t form a relationship with your herbs, if you still chug them with your nose held closed – you will still get benefits from them. They are just that powerful.
Liz Roseman, L.Ac.