Herbal energetics tells you about the energy of the herb. It can be complicated, but one basic concept that has helped me is learning the thermal energy of the herbs. Herbs have a temperature! And so do you. Your body constitution may be leaning toward heat or cold.
Does your body run warm or cool?
If you get hot easily, if you tend to get angry or aggressive when you are out of balance, if you feel inflamed, restless, aggravated, then you have heat. You may do well with cooling herbs, which cause the body metabolism to slow down. If you dislike cold weather, tend to feel cool or sluggish, if you get withdrawn and fearful when out of balance, go for warming herbs. Warming herbs cause the body metabolism to speed up. Your diet can support the herbs. If you desire to warm up, eat more cooked foods. If you desire to cool down, try some raw salads and cooling teas. Experiment and see how you feel. This is an exercise in body intuition.
Cooling herbs are generally used for slowing down or relaxing processes in the body. They are used when there are inflammations with feelings of heat, burning etc. Cooling herbs are used to treat hot conditions such as fever, a sensation of being hot/flushed, swelling and redness. Hot conditions are often conditions of ‘excess’ which can be dealt with by herbs which are of a cold or cooling nature.
- Alfalfa, Chamomile, Chickweed
- Dandelion Leaf, Hibiscus flowers, Japanese Honeysuckle Flower
- Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Passion Flower
- Peppermint , Pine needle tea, Plantain leaf
- Raspberry leaf, Red Clover, Spearmint leaf
- Sorrel herb, Vervain herb, Yellow Dock
Cooling herbs are generally useful for the following conditions:
- Digestive disorders (inflammation, acidity etc.)
- Urinary disorders (inflammation, pain etc.)
- Spasm problems (acute spasm, cramps, IBS )
- Overactivity problems (nervous activity, anxiety, tension headaches, insomnia)
When cold weather strikes a chilling blow, it makes sense to consume healthy, warming, concentrated foods. Dark orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, winter squash, and carrots provide immune nourishing beta-carotene and the warmth of the orange ray. The heating energy of an herb warms the body, stimulates circulation and metabolism and gives energy. Herbs with a heating, or warming energy are used when there are symptoms of Coldness and lowered metabolism.
- Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Pepper
- Cayenne, Garlic, Ginger root
- Cardamon, horseradish