5 Herbs to Help You Harness Your Intuition
Access your inner power on the path towards internal development.
It is thought that intuitive development and interconnection are a reflection of our relationships to ourselves. Luckily, most of us are capable of being highly intuitive, also known as our "gut feeling" in popular vernacular. There’s a widespread tendency to be dismissive of this feeling, especially if we're highly rational by nature, interested in scientific education, or grew up influenced fundamentalist religions. I now understand our gut feeling as intuition, and have come to embrace it and its benefits through herbal medicine.
Factors such as anxiety, stress, depression, grief, and trauma can act as energy blockers. They hinder our path towards a higher vibration of self. Like a coach who never gives up, intuition will do whatever it takes to get your attention and help guide you towards your personal power. Much like a muscle that builds with practice, your intuition will only get stronger with commitment.
The following herbs both heal and strengthen the emotive self. Some listed are classified as entheogens – chemical substances typically made of plant matter that, when ingested, produce a non-ordinary state of consciousness. They can induce alterations in mood, perception, and cognition, and help you realize a more spiritually developed potential.
Also known as the blue Egyptian water lily, blue lotus is rich in nutritional value, in addition to its metaphysical properties. The “Holy Flower” contains apomorphine; a psychoactive alkaloid that stimulates dopamine receptors and promotes a sense of euphoria. Associated with the Egyptian god Nefertem – who represented the first sunlight and smell of the blue water lily – it’s affiliated with clearing energy blockages and allows us to expand our stream of consciousness, reaching higher states of self. It’s typically taken as tea.
A visionary, psychic herb, mugwort has been used since the 10th century to promote lucid dreaming and visualization. Containing the chemical compound thjone, it acts on GABA neurotransmitters (gamma-aminobutyric acid, an inhibitory neurotransmitter), which can convey mood-elevating effects. Mugwort can be absorbed transdermally (through the skin) before sleep, meditation, or in preparation for one’s own psychic practice. It can also be mixed with herbal smoking blends, which promote a sense of calm.
Also called dong quai in Chinese medicine, angelica is known to relax intestinal muscles and relieve menstrual cramping (it’s no wonder it’s thought to provide strength to the feminine divine). Associated with personal courage, it strengthens one’s connection with the physical world by bringing balance to the spirit. In Hoodoo (a traditional African American spirituality), it’s known as the fiery wall of protection. Burning it as an incense banishes negative energy, while attracting positive energy to one’s life.
Used in medieval times to cure nocturnal visions and lunacy, wood betony is now revered as a great nervine (nerve-calming medicine). Betonic, the plant’s Celtic name, means “good head” due to its hypotensive functions, which relax nerve tension and open up constricted blood vessels (the basis for headaches). A protective and purifying herb, it allows us to connect to our bodies and deflect unwanted energy when used for smudging. When ingested (typically in tea form), wood betony can improve memory and concentration by calming internal fatigue and paving the way for bright, prophetic dreams.
Dating back to the conquest of Troy, Yarrow has been used to treat both physical and spiritual wounds. Containing sudorific properties, yarrow facilitates the removal of toxins, excess salt, and water from the body when you sweat. This process cleanses the aura while providing protection to one’s energy shield during divination. Providing energetic stamina via steady intention while honouring the process of healing, yarrow reminds us to give energy to this process without letting it overwhelm us. Typically ingested via powder, ointment or tincture, yarrow is integral to the steady release of energy, which lets us grow while nourishing our emotional body.
Though there are many herbs that nurture our expansion of personal power through knowledge of self, these are just a few to have as companions on your herbal journey. Through interconnection, we can enhance a stronger, more authentic relationship with our inner self, while allowing us to be present in our relationships with others and the world around us. When we advocate for our inner beings, we learn how to support and advocate for others.
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