Your children are probably feeling just as much, if not more stress than you are right now. Fall means back to school, and that means a lot of extra stress from changing schedules, diets and weather.
Prashanti De Jager, our Emissary of Education, tells us how to offset that stress with herbs for all ages.
By Prashanti De Jager, Emissary of Education
Twenty six consecutive autumns found me going back to school, from ABCs to PhDs, and even now, as a perennial student, I am constantly “going back to school.” As a life-long learner I have an ongoing wish-list of what I feel should be instilled in children for their benefit and to simply make the planet a better place for all beings.
Amongst the top items in this wish-list is a nutritious diet, and high within this category is the wise use of all of our plant allies, especially herbs.
For thousands of years the wisest people on Earth have used the power of herbs to optimize their body/mind’s ability to create the very scientific knowledge and literature that children are in school to learn.
It is great to see parents in America introducing the benefits of herbs to their children, thereby ending the handicap they suffer from a diet dominated by white sugar and other empty carbo-calories. Herbs are superfoods, and can help our superkids attain their full potential.
School bound children (and adults) typically require extra support in these three facets of true wellness:
For memory we need stored energy. Anabolic herbs participate in the storage of energy, and are so effective because memory is something to be stored.
Ashwagandha increases the structured aspect of intelligence, like memory and the frameworks of belief systems. This is especially true when Ashwagandha is used in conjunction with Omega oils like Flax, Hemp, Borage and Evening Primrose whose fatty acids are the precursors to the nervous system.
Clearing often includes the high-frequency mind herbs Bacopa and Gotu Kola, both contained in our Memory Formula. These herbs can clear emotional stagnation, intellectual intra belief system conflicts, and actual physical matter build-up. Bacopa and Gotu Kola are more catabolic, which means that they help release energy. This is why Bacopa and Gotu Kola are often mistakenly thought to contain caffeine. Actually, Bacopa and Gotu Kola help to increase the flow of energy by releasing congestion.
Focus and mental acuity are about concentration, discernment, discrimination, digestion and transformation. Like the Light it is, when you concentrate awareness it gets hotter. One fascinating aspect of Ayurveda is that digestion is considered a single phenomenon occurring at a variety of levels, from understanding calculus theorems to digesting cheeseburgers.
A good thing about this is that you can work on all levels of digestion at once. Tulsi (Holy Basil) is so revered by doctors and yogis in India because it supports all levels of digestion and transformation, from physical to emotional and beyond.
Sharp, bright, mildly fiery, metabolic herbs are used for increasing one’s brilliance. As I mentioned, Tulsi (Holy Basil) is perhaps the best all-around herb for increasing the quantity and quality of digestion/focus/acuity at all levels, from lunchtime digestion of proteins to processing of turbulent adolescent emotions. For this, Tulsi tea and/or capsules can be quite useful.
Another way to increase digestive ability on the level of the mind, emotions and intellect is to simply reduce the amount of “stuff” that needs to be digested. Once you realize that stress is one of the main items on the menu to be digested you quickly come to the conclusion that anti-stress adaptogens actually make us smarter.
There is not much difference between toxic junk food and stress on both the molecular and emotional levels. Tulsi (Holy Basil), as a premier anti-stress adaptogen, here again appears as a poster herb for intelligence and true wellness.
Discipline is certainly one of the main, if not the premier, facet of a successful education. Harry Truman said “In looking at the lives of the great ones who attained great victories I see that their first victory was always over themselves, self-discipline always came first.”
First we need to judge the situation and discern what to focus on. Next we establish rhythm and routine, the timing of when to focus on what, and also the container which holds space for the situation to cook, transform and blossom. Finally we let go of those things that would otherwise compete for attention and focus.
Discipline is the culmination of memory, clarity and action. The anabolic herbs (Ashwagandha) provide support for holding our attention and focus. The catabolic herbs (Bacopa and Gotu Kola) help us maintain a vision of our goal, and assist us in letting go of distractions. Finally, the metabolic herbs (Tulsi) help us take the actions required to attain these goals.
The best way to begin using herbs is to start with one and see what the effects are. Then add another and notice the changes. This method is also the best to cultivate overall True Wellness, and that is what it is all about!
ORGANIC INDIA insists that parents speak with their child’s pediatrician or licensed healthcare practitioner before including herbs in their children’s diets. The information in this article is not intended to be medical advice. Our intention is to educate parents about the health benefits of herbs so they can discuss those options with their child’s pediatrician or licensed healthcare practitioner to determine suitability and dosage.
Here are some tips for helping build up your child’s system for going back to school.
Nature provides us with the foods we need to keep our bodies in balance throughout the year, so by eating locally grown foods that are in season you facilitate this process!