Tuesday, September 15, 2020 12:34 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

by Brigitte Mars

It is rare that we live  life without the pangs of grief! When we are grieved, our heart rate increases, adrenaline secretions and hydrochloric acid production are increased. It is not unusual to experience a sensation of numbness, pain along the breast bone and sinus congestion when grieving. In Oriental Medicine, it is the lungs  and large intestines that are associated with the emotion of grief. Excessive sadness can be injurious both of these. If grief is severe and continues, it can be a contributing factor in  heart disease and arteriosclerosis. Sudden grief causes stagnation, where the circulation will lose energy. Being grief stricken for extended periods can lead to a weakened immunity.

It is healthiest to express our grief rather than suppress it. The force of grief is contractive and expressing it helps to clear repression.

To better cope with grief, eat foods such as brown rice, lentils, miso soup, onions,  scallions, tempeh and winter squashes. Use pungent condiments such as clove, coriander and ginger. Celery helps to comfort one from the pangs of a broken heart.

Vitamin B Complex is always a great ally during times of emotional distress.

Herbs can be a great comforter during times of grief. Consider the benefits of hops, lemon balm and passion flower. Susun Weed says that motherwort helps to "mellow the sharpness of grief." Mullein is good to protect the lungs from harm during periods of sadness.

A formula for heartbreak type sorrow is made with 2 parts hawthorn, 1 part motherwort, 2 parts lemon balm and 1 part violet. Gardenia is known in Chinese medicine as "the happiness herb."

St. Johnswort is good to use when you are worn out from sobbing.

Homeopathic remedies that can be used for grief are:

Ignatia:  For grief, loss and hysteria. For the  person that sighs and can't sleep. Use disappointment in love or death.

Natrum muriaticum:   When one dwells on the past, holds grudges and rejects sympathy.

Pulsatilla:  For one who is sad, yielding, indesisive and weepy. Needs to be with other people. Anxiety following bad news. For women that can't leave a bad relationship.

Some flower essences that are helpful include:

Bleeding Heart: For grief related to the loss of a love, separation. Helps to foster peace and detachment.

Borage: Use when one is discouraged during times of grief. Helps to lift one's spirits.

Hawthorn: Gives protection during periods of intense grief and stress.

Honeysuckle: Use when after the loss of a loved one there is no adjustment months later. Lives in the past.

Mustard: For deep gloom that comes on strong then suddenly leaves. Person may cry without knowing why.

Pear: For extreme grief, emergency situations that throw us off balance.

Star of Bethlehem: For great physical shock and trauma such as rape, injury, robbery and accidents.  It can also be used when one is having a difficult time coping with death of a pet or loved one. Dr. Edward Bach called this one "The comforter and soother of pains and sorrows."

Soaking in the bath tub can be a good place to let the tears flow. Add some essential oils such as cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, geranium, grapefruit, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, jasmine,  marjoram, neroli, orange, rose, rosemary, rosewood,  sage,  sandalwood, tangerine or ylang-ylang. Though expensive, if you can find essential oil of hyacinth to use as an inhalant, it helps soothe grief. Melissa oil is good for hearbreak over a love relationship. Let the water out and visualize your sadness going down the drain.

Crying helps to provide emotional release that lowers blood pressure and muscular tension. Tears of emotional release are found to be higher in protein than tears caused by cutting onions.  Some of the chemicals released in emotional tears include endorphin which helps to relieve pain and norepinephrine. Suppressing tears can make us more vulnerable to disease. Crying can help relieve the stress on the central nervous system. Hold on to something like a big teddy bear.  If the tears won't come and you feel they might help heal your grief there is a technique that can help. 

First you must create a safe space where you will not be disturbed. If others might hear you, give them advance notice to allow you your process without intervention. Place one hand on your upper chest on the collarbone. Start breathing only as deep as your hand. Then breathe more rapidly and make a sound. Hear the feelings in your voice  and go ahead and sound like a crying baby. Feel the sadness. Give yourself the space to feel the sadness. Think about what is causing it and let the tears flow. Remember to express yourself.

Groaning also is a sound one can use to help dissipate sadness as well as pain. While groaning, think of the reasons for your suffering. When you exhale, visualize the sorrow being exhaled from your system. Stand facing the rising sun and let its rays beam on your heart. Visualize the sun healing your grief. Breathe!

A person suffering from grief needs order and discipline. It is best to be in control of your environment. The loving support of friends can be a great blessing. Rest is always an important healer of grief. As we heal from the trials of grief, travel can also help  the heart and give us new perspectives. The color violet, is a good color to wear, visualize and surround yourself in when needing to heal feelings of grief. Practice deep slow breathing to cleanse the emotions of grief.

"What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul." Anonymous

Brigitte Mars
Herbalist, Author and University Professor


Learn more with Brigitte Mars Teleseminar with Susun Weed:
Dying a Good Death.

This is a replay of a live event.

Please join Susun Weed and Brigitte Mars for this online teleseminar. Learn what an end-of-life doula is, how to help one transitioning, natural remedies for pain, grief and anxiety, and how to face the natural process of death with more

grace and ease.  

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