~ Herbs that open the cosmic heart and lift the veil of stress and survival ~
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the thousands of plants out there that have been used by the ancients for spiritual properties. Below are just 8 of the many that I personally keep in my apothecary to assist in many levels for energetic healing. The plants mentioned below are not psychoactive or the classic ‘ceremonial’ plant medicines that can be found in many corners of the world these days. These are medicinal tonics that are excellent agents in toning and ‘widening’ the organs of perception, the parts within ourselves that are said to contain and influence our consciousness and our perception.
What’s fascinating is that one of the many elements that these plants share in common is that they tone the limbic system. The limbic system is said to be the control center where our feelings and emotions originate, along with our ‘spiritual states.’ Many conscious and unconscious actions biochemically originate within the limbic brain and, many of these herbs share the commonality of affecting one or several of the organs within it.
First, let’s review the system that we’re primarily focusing on.
THE LIMBIC SYSTEM + THE SOUL
‘The Inner Brain’
The limbic system has been theorized as being the seat of the soul, the center where we regulate our feelings and emotions. “The limbic brain is the seat of the autonomic nervous system (the brain’s automatic self-regulatory system) and the part of the brain where the pineal gland is located. This is the region of the brain that receives information not through the senses, but like a radio receiver, in the form of frequency. “ (Dr. Joe Dispenza)
There are several master glands and connections that are part of the limbic system- many of which play distinct and key roles in metabolizing many aspects to our consciousness. The key ones that are more well known and studied in association to these higher states of consciousness are the Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Pineal, and Hippocampus (forming new memories).
These glands use hormones (rather than the electrical impulses used by the nervous system) to effect changes in our body, emotions, cognition, and energy. Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through the body via the bloodstream and coordinate critical body functions. They increase or reduce nerve impulses and can also act as neurotransmitters. The hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands play particularly important roles in the spiritual experience and although there can be whole books written on this subject, we’re tackling the basics for now.
THE HYPOTHALAMUS &
PITUITARY GLAND in SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
THE HYPOTHALAMUS is a tiny organ about the size of an almond, known for being the control center. The hypothalamus (H) is the master regulator to the autonomic nervous system (fight or flight /rest and digest response), and directly triggers the pituitary gland, also known as the personal assistant to H. It secretes neurohormones that communicate directly with the pituitary gland, signaling the release or inhibition of key pituitary hormones, which in turn activate pineal gland function (the third eye).
With access to both the nervous and endocrine systems, the hypothalamus plays a key role in linking these two systems, along with the pineal gland. It is also connected with the limbic system, our emotional body. When in cohesion with the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus has the ability to affect most of the major systems and organ functions including our emotions. Together, the hypothalamus along with the pituitary gland, regulate all of our basic survival processes including body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, growth, sleep, weight, sexual function, pain relief, blood pressure, circadian rhythms, and stress responses such as fight or flight.
THE PINEAL GLAND is located in the center of the brain, behind the pituitary. Because the pineal is bathed in highly charged cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and has more blood flow per cubic volume than any other organ, it may well be the gland with the highest concentration of energy in the body. In addition to its high concentrations of CSF and blood, the pineal gland is also the dominant source of the body’s melatonin. 1
MELATONIN + THE PINEAL GLAND | Melatonin is significant for its effects on our mood, immune function, circadian rhythms, and the quality and quantity of our sleep. Melatonin is known as an anti-aging and anti-stress agent because it both suppresses cortisol and is a powerful antioxidant.
The production of melatonin by the pineal gland is activated by darkness and inhibited by light. Once released, melatonin circulates through the brain via the CSF and enters nearby blood vessels for distribution to the rest of the body. When melatonin levels are disrupted, people can experience mood swings, depression, and seasonal disorders. 2
PLANTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
These are just some of many plants that assist us in setting deep into our soul, assisting us in moving forward from survival, into higher states of reality. Within neurobiology, many studies have found that when we shift out of survival mode, into these spiritual states, or states of joy, we active essential and ‘mystical’ glands within the limbic brain (the inner brain), the seat of the soul.
1. REISHI: Spirit-Enhancing Mushroom
Daoists have praised this mushroom for millenia for enhancing and harmonizing this all three energies in the human body—Jing, Shen and Qi. Jing is the life force/vitality, Shen the spirit/spiritual energy, and Qi the daily energy that keeps us going.
Reishi is known for its powerful longevity chemistry, as its known for its highly rejuvenate effects. Considered not only an immune super-protector, it has been used as a masterful lung tonic, which is also esteemed to be one of the primary centers where we hold spirit. The adaptogenic effects of Reishi have been revered for its ability to regulate the stress response, regulate the limbic system and decompress the nervous system. Monks, and yogi’s have utilized this mushroom for millennia for their meditation. Which has been suspected for its regulating and relaxing properties. Yet, as information gets uncovered over the years, this adaptogenic mushrooms enables the body to adapt and resist the stress response within the mind and body, creating a perfected state of homeostasis. Enabeling a restorative and relaxing effect on the autonomic nervous system (the brain's automatic self-regulatory system), which according to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s brilliant discoveries, ‘is the seat of the limbic brain’, the control center of our consciousness.
Find our Reishi here.
“Spirit ‘Qi’, known as ‘Shen Qi’, is transcendental, non-local, and boundless. It is the most incomprehensible form of your own Qi. Spirit Qi holds the pattern of your eternal being, it is the immortal aspect of what appears to be the mortal self.”
-Roger Jahnke, The Healing Promise of Qi
2. BLUE LOTUS: Pineal Gland Master Tonic.
Blue Lotus is actually a blue water lily flower that was sacred and used as a spiritual tool in ancient Egypt. In Egyptian traditions it was associated to the Sun God Ra and extractions of the flower were ingested to stimulate spiritual experiences. This herb does have gentle euphoric effects that calms the nervous system and allows the person to experience life in a more spiritual, ethereal state. It can be beneficial for meditation, ceremonial use, and lucid dreaming. There were many forms of ingestion, like the flowers macerated in wine, as a tea or as a potent aromatherapeutic medicine. There are many depictions where the blue lotus was used ceremonially to exalt the user into higher states of awareness, and given awareness to the deeper constructs of reality. The Mayans also used the blue lotus to access deep states of meditations, along for its rejuvenate and euphoric effects. Both Egyptians and Mayans, combined the blue lotus with other herbs ceremonially to potentiate its spiritual effects, and induce spiritual awakenings.
“Blue Lotus extracts also contain a variety of epigenetic factors that can activate longevity genes and assist the user in achieving a more pronounced lifespan. So, it may be a reality after all that Blue Lotus could awaken the one who communed with it and assist them in deeper expressions of consciousness, potential, and longevity.” – Avery Hopkins of Kymia Arts
Find our Blue Lotus here.
3. He Shou Wu: Spiritual Potency
Long revered as one of the most important and powerful herbs in the Chinese Medicine pharmacopeia, He Shou Wu, like Reishi, have been esteemed longevity medicines rich in mystical history. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine system, He Shou Wu is classified as a ‘Shen’ and ‘Yin’ tonic. Shen translates to “spirit” and anything with Yin properties, which relates to the feminine element, promoting receptivity. Therefore, we have an herb that makes us “receptive to spirit,” which those that are naturally more sensitive will certainly feel the difference after consuming for any length of time. In addition to its powerful rejuvenate effects, He Shou Wu benefits and stimulates our intuitive abilities as well, opening us to our deeper spiritual nature and awareness. Users of He Shou Wu often notice a distinct increase in creativity, inspiration, receptivity, and intuitive guidance, making it an important herb for artists, meditators, or anyone seeking to expand their experience of reality in profound ways.
Find our He Shou Wu here.
4. HOLY BASIL, Tulsi: Spiritual Health
In yogic philosophy, Holy Basil is considered a masterful heal-all used as a divine plant for its powerful balancing effect within the major energy center within the body, also known as the Chakras. It’s calming adaptogenic effects on the autonomic nervous system, and endocrine system, makes it an excellent tool in assisting the body in entering higher levels of awareness. Tulsi is also used to ease overly anxious or compulsive thinking, confusion, and erratic moods.
5. MIMOSA or ‘Eternal Happiness Tree’
Albizia is another marvelous ‘shen’ tonic. Its flowers and bark are used in Chinese medicine to relieve anxiety, depression, spiritual crisis and emotional trauma. Albizia, along with ‘Shen’ tonics are said to directly affect our spiritual heart and nervous system. This is a masterful remedy known to assist depressive states and low emotional
As you can see by now, many of these Spirit plants, are often adaptogenic and/or nervines (herbs that ease the nervous system).
You can find Albizzia within our Happiness tonic.
6. MUCUNA: Pineal Gland Booster
Mucuna beans are one of nature’s most unique treasures. In part because its one of the few plants loaded with a high amount of psycho and hormonally active compounds, particularly L-Dopa (dopamine), which also doubles for its famed euphoric and aphrodisiac properties. High concentrations of L-Dopa causes the brain to release dopamine in turn stimulating the pituitary gland, and limbic brain overall (the diamond palance – see above to refreshen the importance of this center). This in turn stimulates essential neuro-hormones.
Mucuna is classified as a jing-enhancing herb with sex drive boosting properties in the Chinese herbal tradition, which means that it is nourishing at the most fundamental levels to the body. Jing loosely translates to “vital essence” or “life force” and in the case of mucuna, can clearly be understood in terms of its restorative effects on the brain, nervous, and hormonal systems. Jing is believed to be depleted as we age and through sexual activity, so plants like mucuna that act to replenish it and enhance performance and function are prized in many herbal traditions.
You can find our Mucuna here.
7. SHISANDRA: Spiritual Sight
Schisandra berries are called the “quintessence of tonic herbs” by Taoist masters. It is the only herb known to be perfectly Yin-Yang balanced, to contain all three Treasures (Jing, Qi and Shen), to nurture all five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) and to enter all twelve energy channels (meridians) of the human body. Beyond that, Schizandra also circulates in the “extraordinary channels” and facilitates the three main “dan tian” (energy centers of the body). Schizandra promotes the beauty and functionality of the skin, benefits the mind (especially memory), benefits sexual functions in men and women, and detoxifies the liver without causing re-toxification when the toxins are eliminated from the body. It is a profound adaptogen and Shen tonic.
*You can find Schisandra in our Schisandra Rose Elixir
8. MITRAGYNIA: Beyond the Pain-Body
Mitragynia, often termed “kratom”, is a very precious plant that has been esteemed and used traditionally for thousands by indigenous people in Thailand, Indonesia, Borneo, Papua New Guinea, and many other areas of Southeast Asia. Mitragynia sp. became quite famous in the west for to its strong pain relieving properties, mood boosting, stimulating and sedating properties, including being used as an antidote for opioid withdrawal. Unfortunately, the bad press and the miss marketed herb has generated a lot of confusion around its use and dosage. Please use at your own discretion and study well before.
Kratom isn’t an opiate, but it activates the opiate receptors in the brain. It bonds with those receptors before an opioid would, easing the effects of addiction in some ways. This helps curb recovering addicts cravings for the drug they’re giving up without the risk of long-term dependency. The abuse of kratom has shown to be addictive, so please use mindfully, and inform yourself first before attempting to self mediate.
Spiritual Healing Properties
Using this plant gently and very mindfully can be provide great relief for those looking for an alternative to pain management. In my experience this plant facilitates disconnection from the lower centers that binds the mind to mundane functionality, granting a deeply calming heart opening experience. Mitragynia sp. provides a joyful and euphoric feel, lifting the downward energy of depressive, or deeply anxious states. The relaxing strains are excellent aids to use mindfully in meditation, or during silent walks of contemplation, or before sleep to relax the body before practicing lucid dreaming.
Find our Kratom here.
Please do share with us on any questions, comments, and experiences!