In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Melanie St. Ours discusses herbal medicine and how herbs can help mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
Melanie is a clinical herbalist. She describes herself as an ‘herbal matchmaker’ and explains how herbs have different qualities and the importance of matching the right herbs to the individual person (instead of matching the herbs to the illness or disease).
She provides some great tips on building emotional resilience, and talks about her own struggles with depression and ulcerative colitis.
Melanie draws from diverse healing traditions to help women recover from depression, anxiety and chronic illnesses in a truly holistic way. She’s the founder of Psyche & Soma, host of The Creative Wellness Podcast, and her private clients come to her from all over the world.
Main Questions Asked:
- Why did you become an herbalist? What does an herbalist do, exactly?
- What is it about mental health that made you decide to specialize in it? What can herbal medicine offer people with mental health issues?
- How does natural medicine and true wellness relate to mental health? Are there natural ways to actually prevent depression, anxiety, or stress?
- What are the top 3 things that we can do right now to build more emotional resilience?
Key Points made by Melanie:
- Herbalists are like matchmakers – matching the properties of different herbs/plants to the individual person needing help.
- There’s more to mental illness than only brain chemical imbalances.
- Herbs have many different benefits without the addictive potentials like most medications do.
- Where medications do not correct a problem, the ingredients in herbs help symptoms AND correct the underlying imbalance. Medication is like a “monologue” shouting at your body to go in one direction, whereas herbs are like a “dialogue” with your body to help it come back into balance.
- Emotional resilience means you have the ability to be like a tree and bend in the wind instead of breaking when there’s stress.
- Eating healthy, getting proper sleep and exercising all help prevent depression and anxiety and helps your emotional resilience.
- The three things you can do today to help build your emotional resilience:
- 1. Take time to focus on your breath and add breathing breaks through your day. Melanie takes us through a breathing exercise
- 2. Make a ‘Heck Yeah’ list and a ‘Heck No’ list and start implementing them.
- 3. Make friends with some plants, even edible weeds, and learn more about herbs for your health.
Thank you for listening!
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