Published January 23, 2022 I’ve had a lot of “clinical pearls” stick with me from my years studying at herbalism school. Perhaps the most potent was the time a teacher hammered home the importance of helping a client to clear their mind before giving them a hefty and overwhelming to-do list of lifestyle changes and formulas. She said two things in particular: When the body or mind is “stuffy” (when one feels metaphorically stuck or congested), we do what we’d do with a stuffy room and get some “air freshener.” This is a combination of opening a window (bringing movement and circulation into the room) and cleaning with potent aromatics (think pine-sol) that sanitize the environment with a punch of plant medicine. To do this, we’d bring in moving and circulating, aromatic herbs.When talking about a client case study, she also addressed a client’s action-knowing gap around eating healthier by simply saying, “She would eat better if her mind was better. So instead of telling her more of what she already knows, I’m going to support her mind’s natural ability to understand the value of action and then take it – with bitter, aromatic herbs that bring clarity.” True clarity of mind, heart, and our vision for the life ahead of us comes from breaking up and moving through what keeps us clouded. Only then are we able to experience true self-awareness (i.e. being honest about what we’re currently doing and what’s hurting vs. helping us) and deep perspective (i.e. the ability to see how far we’ve come, and how rewarding it will be for us to keep pushing forward). And of course, in true ‘there’s an herb for that’ fashion, there’s plants that can help. Meet: the aromatics that transform ‘dampness’ and clear metaphoric congestion to keep us clear. WHAT ARE AROMATICS & WHAT ARE THEY USED FOR? Aromatic plants by and large help to keep our minds sharp and clear, while at the same time addressing the possible root causes of these very issues (whether that’s poor circulation, microbiome imbalances, and more). Aromatics are often rich in those refreshing, sort of ‘deodorizing’ essential oils that have the power to come in and clean up the ‘gunk’ in our minds and thought patterns. They help to support cognition, aid in strengthening memory, and can help with mental and physical exhaustion. In addition to their direct effects on brain activity, many aromatics also positively affect the nervous system, which is what brings about that level of deeper change and realization my herb teacher spoke about above in terms of helping someone to see their own behavior and patterns more clearly. They do this by helping to reduce stress so that we may think more rationally and honestly from a grounded place, and can help to calm looping thoughts in order to create more compassionate mental patterns – which is where radical self-honesty can happen safely and gently in order to bring about a true transformation of our actions. OUR 4 FAVORITE AROMATICS & FINDING THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU 1. Bacopa – Bacopa is actually the herb my teacher used in her lesson above, indicated for someone with a lot of ‘heat’ and stagnation in their mind which is impeding them from looking at one behavior or pattern long enough to truly see it. Bacopa is an excellent herb to help clear the mind of someone who feels scattered and all over the place, and could use some help bringing order to their internal environment. 2. Cinnamon – Ah, lovely nurturing Cinnamon… another herb beloved by my teacher. She often uses it for its aphrodisiac properties in people experiencing a low mood, believe it or not; because part of working with someone who has lost that zest for life is warming them up to bring blood flow, movement, momentum and excitement. Cinnamon is an excellent herb to help clear the mind of someone who is cold and has thought patterns that feel stagnant and stuck. 3. Holy Basil aka Tulsi – This is an herb I love using to clear the mind of someone who is experiencing a lack of motivation, specifically, and needs to clear their mind in order to see the importance of kicking their dreams and goals into gear. I often recommend Holy Basil to those who are lowering or discontinuing cannabis usage, and would like some support with any lingering fogginess and motivation/drive gaps. While cannabis can serve us in many ways, there often comes a time where this plant asks us to part ways when it begins hindering us more than it helps us. I find that Holy Basil helps ease the transition. You can find this herb in our Mood Juice formula, if this is something that speaks to you! 4. Rosemary – This delicious plant is one of the best botanicals we have to help support memory and cognition. Rosemary is a (cerebral, not CNS) stimulant and a nervine at the same time. It enhances concentration while supporting healthy cortisol levels in order to aid with stress. It calms the heart-mind while bringing a sharpness to your thought process that only Rosemary can offer. While I always recommend adding this herb to your food as much as possible, we also utilize this plant in Focus Juice if you’re looking for an extra focus/cognition kick.