Now, I have no problem sharing information with large groups of people. I love my teaching job, giving workshops and leading plant walks. I’m happy to speak at length about my favourite plants and their uses to anyone willing to listen. But the thought of standing in front of a room full of people presenting something that resembles a prepared, practiced and coherent talk, filled me with panic and fear. This was definitely venturing way out of my comfort zone and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through it without some help. So I turned to my friends. My plant friends.
In herbalism, relaxing nervines refer to a category of herbs that have a nourishing, calming and soothing effect on the nervous system, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, supporting our resilience to the negative effects of stress, promoting healthy sleep and easing anxiety and worry. Relaxing nervines range from mildy calming to sedative and hypnotic. Some herbs in this category include: Milky oats (Avena sativa), Skullcap (Skutellaria laterifolia), Vervain & Blue Vervain (Verbena officinalis, V. hastata), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Valerian (Valerian officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), Hops (Humulus lupulus) and Catnip (Nepeta cataria) among others.
As the date of my talk grew near I went to my apothecary and mixed a tincture blend of relaxing nervines that included chamomile, blue vervain and skullcap. Leading up to the talk on the day, I started taking the tincture by the dropperful about every hour increasing the dose to a dropperful every few minutes in the last 10 before my talk. That was probably overdoing it a bit at the end and if I hadn’t been so keyed up those doses would have laid me out on the floor, but hey, I was able to take a deep breath, walk onto the stage and not fall apart into an anxiety-ridden mess. Success!
So um yeah, here’s a video of the presentation if you want to check it out.