Posted by Steps to Recovery on February 7, 2013

During the first couple of years of my recovery journey, I experienced a lot of difficult things. Sleeping problems, anxiety, depression, headaches and body pain to name a few of the troubles I dealt with frequently. To help ease some of my discomfort, I turned to herbs. There are many herbs to help aid in the recovery process, here are a few that worked really well for me.

Moxibustion. This is a very ancient and trusted process of healing. Moxibustion is the use of the herb mugwort to encourage a smoother blood flow and flow of qi. Qi is the Chinese word for “life energy” or “energy flow.” The method of moxibustion I used was applied by my acupuncturist, who burned a moxi stick over the points on my body where she had inserted needles. It was a wonderful and activating experience, and I always felt much better when my session was complete. I also burned moxi when I wanted to call in intense dreams. Mugwort is known to bring about prophetic night visions. I found through my recovery that I had some really healing dreams and was able to do a lot of processing in my sleep.

Valerian root. Valerian root is another amazing herb that aids in the recovery process and can be taken in pill form, as a tincture or drank as a tea. It is considered the herbal form of Valium and is very helpful with sleep issues. It is a good sedative and calms the nerves while having a detoxifying effect. I preferred Valerian root in tincture form.

Skullcap. This herb was a lifesaver for me when I was suffering from intense headaches during early recovery. It can be taken in tincture form or drank as a tea. I preferred to make a skullcap and oat straw tea and drink every night, especially right before bedtime as it is very effective in calming the nerves.

Oat Straw. Oat straw is great for treating sleep disorders and even insomnia. Wonderful to drink as a tea or take in tincture form right before bed, this mixed with Skullcap helped me overcome really difficult sleep problems, especially in early recovery.

Lemon Balm. This herb is a mild sedative and has been show to be effective in treating anxiety and to have mood enhancing properties. I really found lemon balm helpful in the tincture form, when I was feeling particularly anxious or depressed I would simply take a dose and meditate to allow myself to relax and find my way into a different state of mind.

With the help of these 5 herbs, my recovery journey was a lot less stressful and difficult. What herbs did you use to help ease the difficulties of recovery?