Sometimes, the journey to well-being can seem like a long and arduous one. But each and every step on the path matters. Certain things knock us off the path, while others keep us grounded and steady. Meditation is an excellent tool to stay centered through it all. This simple practice can bring a sense of presence into your day-to-day life, help bring clarity and ease to the mind, and provide a greater sense of acceptance for whatever life throws your way.
Meditation and Herbs
Together, meditation and herbs work to soothe the nervous system and promote an overall sense of well-being. Regardless of which herbs and meditations you choose, simply taking the time to slow down, breathe, and be mindful can make a world of a difference.
Gotu Kola, a member of the parsley family, is highly regarded in India, perhaps as one of the most spiritual herbs. It grows in some areas of the Himalayas where yogis use it to improve meditation. Some believe that Gotu Kola develops the crown chakra (the energy center at the top of the head) and that it balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which the leaf is said to resemble.
Gotu Kola has mild stimulating properties, which helps to nourish and bring balance to the nervous system.* Gotu Kola leaf & root contain key constituents that help the body maintain healthy neurotransmitter function, while also promoting normal levels of mental alertness and a sound memory. Gotu Kola also supports the body’s inherent ability to acclimate to temporary stress.* To incorporate Gotu Kola into your routine, take two capsules of our Mental Alertness twice daily.
Mindful Moment: Because Gotu Kola helps activate mental alertness, pair it with a focused meditation such as mantra repetition. Do this by simply repeating something meaningful to you such as, “I welcome all forms of positivity in my life.” Repeating a sound, word, or positive affirmation can be calming and transformative and help bring your awareness to the present. Holding a special object in your hands can also be an effective tool for helping you stay in the present moment.
With a long history of bringing comfort to a grieving heart, Hawthorn can help you connect to the energy of your heart.* Many cultures that traditionally used Hawthorn leaves and berries—including Native American, Chinese and European—employed it as a heart tonic.* Modern research also shows that Hawthorn strengthens the heart muscle.*
When you’ve had a rough day, meditation may seem like the last thing on your mind. But when combined with Hawthorn, meditation may help lighten your load. Before meditating, take a few dropperfuls of our Hawthorn Berry, Flower & Leaf, Vegetable Glycerin Extract to help open and relax your heart. Hawthorn can help ease you into the moment and accept whatever emotion or thought comes up with compassion.
Mindful Moment: Loving-kindness (Metta) Meditation is the simple practice of directing well-wishes towards yourself and others and can help create and nurture self-love and compassion in your life. Pressed for time? No worries. This meditation can be done in just a few minutes.
To begin, come to a comfortable seated position or lie down. Close your eyes, deepen your breath, and gently repeat the following out loud or in your mind: “May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” You can repeat these phrases and replace the “I’s” with “you’s” as you think of a specific person, group of people, or the whole planet. Finish this meditation with a few deep breaths. Feel the compassion, love, and kindness move through your body.
Have you ever walked through a meadow or trail in the woods and ended up with a bristly rash on exposed parts of your limbs? That’s most likely from Stinging Nettle. This plant has many hollow stinging hairs on its leaves and stems, which act like needles that inject histamine, formic acid and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation. But after Nettle has been processed, the sting-factor dissipates and you can safely consume it. Despite its sting, Nettle has a very high nutritional content. Nettle is a great source of vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, and B5, and minerals, including iron and calcium. It has a long history of supporting upper respiratory health, healthy prostate function, and a healthy immune response to allergens.
Nettle helps bring our awareness to the things in life that are uncomfortable. Invite this herb into your meditation to bring awareness to the difficult moments and to be present with whatever is ailing you. Sometimes the most uncomfortable experiences can lead to the greatest growth.
Mindful moment: Take 30-40 drops of Nettle Leaf, Certified Organic extract in a small amount of warm water. Come to a comfortable seated position. Place your hands face down on the tops of your thighs. Keep your eyes slightly open and focus on a point on the ground in front of you. Bring your awareness to your breath, to your jaw, and the space between your eyebrows. See where else in your body you can release tension. Focus on your inhales and exhales. Keeping your eyes slightly open helps to stay in the present moment. Your frustration, anger, or sadness may still be there, and that’s okay. Simply notice the thoughts that arise without judging them or needing to change them.
A gentle yet effective herb, Chamomile provides a sense of calm and can help soothe the nervous system.* If you’d like to incorporate meditation into your life but are feeling restless or irritable, Chamomile can be especially beneficial. After a long day, drink Sleep & Relax Tea to help ease you into a calm, meditative state.
Mindful Moment: Yoga nidra, which means yogic sleep, is a systematic method of deep relaxation. This prompts the body to deeply relax while the mind remains gently alert. Yoga nidra works by guiding you through four main stages of brain wave activity. Meditation and yoga experts believe that one 30-minute practice of yoga nidra equals approximately two hours of deep sleep. There are multiple guided yoga nidra videos online and within meditation apps to help you get started.
Holy Basil (Tulsi)
We couldn’t write about meditation and herbs without mentioning Holy Basil (Tulsi). With more than 3,000 years of medicinal use, Holy Basil helps maintain the balance of the body’s energy systems and can provide a sense of ease.* It’s one of the most highly regarded herbs in India. Our Tulsi Tea helps support a sense of calm and tranquility. Earthy and calming, this herbal tea can help you feel centered through the chaos of life.
Mindful Moment: Third Eye Meditation. Sit in a comfortable position, either cross-legged on the floor or in a chair. Sit up tall and relax your shoulders. Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing up. Gently close your eyes. Breath slowly through the nose. Keep your eyes closed and gaze towards the space between your eyebrows, the third eye. Concentrate intently on this area for 5-20 minutes. Finish this meditation by saying, “May I see the truth, speak the truth, and know the truth.” Gently open your eyes and take a few moments to notice how you feel before getting up.
Take Your Time
As you incorporate these meditations and herbs into your life, be patient and go slowly. Practice acceptance as you notice what thoughts and emotions arise. Whether these herbs and meditations are new or familiar to you, be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that every moment is another opportunity to learn and grow. Simply carving out time to observe and notice your thoughts can change your attitude and help you cultivate a deeper sense of presence and well-being. To further explore mindful moments to enhance your well-being, try these self-care routines. And keep exploring our site to learn more about these five herbs, as well as other herbs that can help promote calm and balance in your life.