Worn Down, Sick and Tired

Published: Wed, 07/29/20


Herbal Legacy

Sponsored by The School of Natural Healing & Christopher Publications
July 29, 2020

Worn Down, Sick and Tired Kelly Pomeroy, M.H.

Often, we minimize or underestimate the effects of emotional and physical stress and trauma. We justify reasons we shouldn’t be sick, tired, or sad and feel there is not time or money to focus on ourselves. We may not want to accept responsibility for the emotions inside of us. We put off self-care until our body is screaming at us in the form of depression, anxiety, hormone imbalances, chronic fatigue, cancer and many other illnesses. 

I am not going to propose that by taking an herb we will instantly feel better. Taking a pill, whether it be pharmaceutical or herbal to deal with emotional upset, never completely resolves a problem. To truly heal from emotional upset, we must dig a little deeper, quiet ourselves down and listen to what our mind, body and spirit are trying to communicate to us. There is great value in acknowledging and allowing ourselves to feel all we are experiencing within. 
Dr. Christopher once said that unhappy, negative thoughts or behaviors kept inside of us can be just as toxic as an unhealthy diet. Dr. Christopher became sick with cancer in his later years. He thought, how can I get this? I am an Herbalist, I eat well, and I love everyone. But he knew that cancer stemmed from anger, hurt, or hate so he dug deeper within himself. He discovered he had hated his birth parents when he was a child for having left his sister and him at an orphanage. To heal this wound, Dr. Christopher imagined himself with his birth parents, conversing with them as if they were living, expressing his hurt and pain. He forgave his parents and expressed gratitude for the wonderful family he was adopted into. The cancer began to leave as he did the emotional work along with natural healing protocols for supporting the physical body.1 He dug deep to find the root of the problem and found resolution. 
Some problems may take time and may be very painful to process, but there are natural healing tools and protocols to help us heal and keep the eliminating channels open. 

  • Allow yourself to feel emotions as they come. A book called The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren talks about allowing emotion to be felt. By feeling the anger or emotion, we are more capable of allowing forgiveness to happen.2 We may tell a child to forgive another of an offense, when we didn’t even allow their own pain and hurt to be acknowledged. We inadvertently teach them their feelings are not valid. As we strive to show respect to others and ourselves, we allow a space for our feelings as well as honor other’s feelings. I heard someone say, “Whatever the question is, love is the answer.” 
  • Herbs for the Nervous system. Our autonomic nervous system has two branches: the parasympathetic for rest and digest, and our sympathetic nervous system that responds to stress and trauma, also called our fight or flight. Too much stress wears out our nerves. Nervine herbs soothe and repair them. Herbs: Skullcap, Valerian, Wood betony, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Kava Kava, Black Cohosh, Blue Vervain, St. John’s Wort. 
  • Herbs to support the Liver. Emotions are chemicals made in the brain and processed through the liver. The liver makes enzymes, breaks down hormones and old cells, and safely packages waste. The extra workload from a poor diet, environmental pollution, trauma and stress, creates a lag in liver production. This can cause us to feel tired, emotional, and sluggish. Herbs: Dandelion, Oregon Grape Root, Barberry, Milk Thistle.
  • Deep Breathing. Taking deep breaths from the bottom of your lungs, then filling the upper chest cavity with air will stimulate the vagus nerve to calm the body.  Try a series of 8-30 breaths, then exhale and hold your breath for a moment. As you hold your breath, tell your heart to calm down, imagine light and health moving down your arms and legs, up your spine, to your brain stem, and top of the head.  Deep breathing activates our parasympathetic nervous system which calms the nerves, improves digestion, immune function, and relaxation. For further information see, Wim Hof, Deep Breathing Tutorial.3
  • Barefoot walking on the grass or earth for 5 to 10 minutes can help to ground out excessive electricity that can accumulate in the body, causing edginess or unrest. 4 
All of us will experience hurt, grief, and pain in our lives. They can serve as great teachers to us. As you take the time to acknowledge and listen to your feelings, may you feel increased rest, peace and healing. 

  1. Christopher, Dr. John R. 1979. Dr. Christopher's Herbal Lectures. [CD] Springville, Utah: Christopher Publications.
  2. McLaren, K., 2010. The Language Of Emotions.[Audiobook] Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc..
  3. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzCaZQqAs9I> [Accessed 28 July 2020].
  4. Christopher, J., 2004. Herbal Home Health Care. Springville: Christopher Publications, p.166.

Kelly Pomeroy is a Master Herbalist graduate and Student Adviser for The School of Natural Healing. She has a great love for health and for plants. Kelly is also a certified Foot Zoner and Foot Zone instructor. She lives in Utah with her four children. 

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Minty Pesto (Dairy Free)

½ C. walnuts, hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds 
1T. fresh lemon juice 
2 cloves of garlic
¼ tsp. Sea salt
1 C. basil leaves
1 C. mint leaves
Pinch of black pepper or cayenne pepper
¼ -½ C. olive oil (depending on how thick or thin you like it)

Finely dice garlic and set aside. Finely chop, or in a food processor or blender, process nuts or seeds until they are in smaller pieces. Add the garlic and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. I recommend you double or triple this recipe and set aside the excess portion for another day or freeze it for up to a couple months. Nuts and seeds and mint provide great nutrition to your nerves and brain. Basil is great for tissue repair and rich in nutrients. Garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil support the liver. This pesto goes great over zucchini noodles or as a salad dressing or spread for a wrap or sandwich. 

Recipe by Kelly Pomeroy
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