Hopefully you have discovered our quiz and decided to figure out your own personal energetic constitution.
It can be helpful to know this about yourself because you can choose some herbal solutions that could possibly work with your body instead of against it.
Before I started studying herbalism, and Western Herbalism in particular, I had never thought about herbs having “energy”. While it might sound a bit hippy dippy, it’s more about the chemical properties of the plant and its various extracts.
Plants can have various different effects on your body, and I’m sure as you can guess the main ones are hot/cool, dry/moist.
You are on the warmer and dryer side of life. I want to discuss what that means for you, overall and what happens when you experience an imbalance. I also want to discuss if you used the quiz to tell you what your current imbalances are and ended up here.
Diseases (conditions) also fall into line here, as well as branching out into tension and laxity, which is covered by the categories of herbs that have specific actions to address this and may have an affinity for different organ systems of the body.
Being warm doesn’t only mean literal temperature, you need to think of it also as having excess activity (jim mcdonald, Michael Moore, Matthew Wood). These various ‘states’ are on a continuum together and interact with each other to create quite a complex situation of your personal constitution, but I will keep it simple for you here and move on.
Hot – excess, hyper type conditions, rapid/heavy pulse, red tongue/complexion, yellow/green mucous, stimulation, sharp pain
If you are constitutionally hot, hopefully you’re balancing this with colder foods or drinks in your overall lifestyle. You may not even realize that you’re doing this as your body will likely push you to finding balance.
If you have a heat imbalance, it could mean that some organ system is working overtime and producing some symptoms, i.e. Allergies. Your immune system is over reacting to something that is not really much of an irritant. In this case, you don’t necessarily want to “suppress” the immune system, you want to bolster it, and help it not be over taxed in a more general way.
A tenet of herbalism is to treat the cause, and not the symptoms. Symptoms are your body’s way of alerting you that something just isn’t working the way it’s supposed to be.
Let’s move on to dry.
Many herbs cause dryness and there are two ways then can accomplish this. They can make the body release fluids (sweating, urine, mucous) and this can cause something to see “moistening” but it’s a transient affect that ultimately ends in the associated system drying out as fluids are lost. Sometimes, during this “purging” process, regular function is restored to the area and this can indeed also restore moisture. The second way that herbs can cause dryness is via tightening and toning an area, leaving it feeling a bit dry. Ironically, they are overall moistening as they can cause the body to retain fluid in an area.
Dry – atrophy, sticky mucous, stagnation, inflammation, tightness due to feeling dry
While the ideas are a bit simplistic, when you put it all together, it becomes rather complicated. Nothing is as cut and dry as taking a drying herb when you’re “leaking” or a cooling herb when you’re too warm.
What I want to help you with, in this article, is a tea that can be used to just boost you in an overall kind of way. It will not address any specific symptoms or concerns, but it’s an extremely important starting point for any kind of healing. Also remember, herbalism doesn’t mean that you exclusively go the alternative medicine route, you should always make sure to listen to a doctor if you’re under someone’s care and go to them with any herbs or supplements you take.
Of course, something I’m always pushing, but really can’t be said enough…you need a healthy lifestyle, whatever that means for you. I’m not saying you should convert to vegetarian, live off the grid, and only wear clothes that you weave and sew yourself. I’m saying, to the best of your ability, eat a few more veggies with your food, drink a little more water, and add a little more physical activity into your life. Even small simple steps can make a big impact over the long term of your life. Also…SLEEP…so important to get enough sleep.
DIY Hot/Dry Balancing Tea
4 parts Milky Oat Tops (Avena Sativa)
2 parts Tulsi, Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
3 parts Plantain (Plantago major)
1 part Orange Peel
Mix the above herbs together.
Add 1 Tablespoon to 8-10 oz boiled water
Steep, covered for at least 10 minutes.
I would take 1-2 cups per day at most.
This recipe is relatively safe for everyone to use. Of course, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please use caution and ask your doctor or mid-wife.
If you can’t be bothered to buy the herbs and mix up your own tea, we offer this blend in our store. Check it out here.
If you start taking this tea and feel that it’s drying, heating, too cooling, or too moistening, let me know. We can work together to make up a blend just for you that may work better.