Start: Just back from a workshop that I ran at Sundara yoga camp. Amazing festie with amazing like minded people. So thanks to those that came to my Herbs & The Chakra’s workshop! Here, as promised, is a summery of what we talked about: Most of us think of herbs as only having physical effects on the body, like diuretic, emetic, laxative and so on. But herbs also work on an energetic & spiritual level. After all, just like us, plants are vibrational energy too. These vibrational energies or frequencies correspond to 1 of the 7 chakra’s. So in this way herbs can have an effect on the chakra’s by; helping in healing, balancing, energising, opening, activating, & stimulating them. As well as helping to cleanse, release negative energies or to unblock & clear stuck energy so that our life force can flow through the chakra’s. Remedies can be Rising or Condensing in their nature. Rising remedies include emetics, expectorants, circulatory stimulants, & those that are warming with a sweet or pungent taste. Helpful when we want to lift the energies upwards. Condensing remedies tend to sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic, purgative with a cooling, nourishing action & salty, sour or bitter taste. Helpful when one is feeling like they need grounding. Root Chakra / Muladhara is the chakra of survival, our right to exist. It connects us to the Earth, where we receive our nutrients and release our toxins. Herbs that have an earthy taste and that are grounding benefit this chakra. We focused on Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale). It helps to reduce physical or emotional blockages, releasing anger & depression. It helps one to see a wholesome path beyond reactive fear or anger. Eases frustrations. Enables us to become more consciously connected to our bodies. It is a condensing remedy. Sacral Chakra / Swadhisthana is our feelings, our right to feel. Herbs that have a high water content or benefit the reproductive system benefit this chakra. Here we focused on (marigold) Calendula officinalis. We can use this herb to stimulate this chakra, giving us the ability to listen to others & enchances our creativity in all aspects of our life. It encourages compassion and is a good remedy for fearful, nervous people. It too is a condensing remedy. Solar Plexus / Manipura chakra is our right to think, ego, self confidence. Herbs that benefit the liver, digestion or boost energy are of benefit here. Here we looked at Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), which can give us a calm centre in the eye of a storm. Encourages self love, sharpens the mind & concentration. Drives away all troubles of the mind. It is also useful to balance those that give out too much of them selves or those unable to receive love. It is a condensing remedy. Heart Chakra / Anahata is our right to love, accept oneself, have compassion & forgiveness. Any herb that benefits the heart and blood and that is warming benefits this chakra. Here we worked with Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycanthiodes) It works on hardened hearts & for people who need courage. It unblocks closed heart energy. You can burn the berries as incense when you need more dynamism or courage. A rising remedy. Throat Chakra / Visuddha is our right to speak. Self expression, trust, loyalty. Any herbs that benefit the lungs or throat benefits this chakra. We worked with Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) which allows a free flow of communication and aids self expression. It has an affinity for the throat and is sweet, stimulating and relaxing, so it can be rising or condensing depending what is needed. Brow Chakra / Anja is our right to see, our intuition. Any herbs that benefit the mind, nervous system or eyes or those that awaken the senses benefits this chakra. We looked at Eyebright (Euphrasia offincinalis) which opens this chakra, giving us clarity. It increases our connectedness with the mind & body. For psychic dreams or clairvoyant visions, anoint the eyelids with the cooled, infusion of eyebright. It helps to move a dark, cloudy & negative disposition to a sunny, positive one. Helps to see the dark and light as a whole. A rising remedy. Crown Chakra / Sahasrara is our right to aspire. Any herbs that are sacred or spiritual cleansing or energising benefit this chakra. Knowingness, wisdom, enlightenment. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) was our herb of choice here, It has a condensing energy. It opens this chakra, bringing us into alignment with the divine wisdom. It enhances meditation, peace, harmony & protection. Here, use the essential oil to aid meditation.