Nourishing Nervines, part 3
Marshmallow, Althea, is another mucilaginous, demulcent plant, the root is what’s use. Marshmallow is the one that grows about 5-6 feet tall and it has very softy velvety leaves and powder blue flowers that go from pink to blue and it’s just stunningly gorgeous. I wish I could make clothing out of the leaves–they’re so soft and delicious! If I’m mixing the Milky Oats with marshmallow and making it a decoction, then I want to use the root instead of the leaves. If I’m just making an infusion, I would just use the leaves and flowers. Althea basically has all similar properties, without the reproductive properties, of Milky Oats. Marshmallow root is the most effective combination with the Oat straw or the Milky Oats. Both fill that extracellular matrix. They’re both demulcent and nutritive. You can interchange those three herbs in the nourishing nervines series so far: Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm, and Oats. You can change it up so as not to get sick of it. Some people create an aversion to marshmallow root after a couple of weeks, so I try to switch it out for slippery elm.
I wanted to say a word about Borage [Also called starflower]. Borage is one of my favorite herbs, I actually use it a little bit for its magical component. My very first teacher was Rosemary Gladstar and she said, “Borage is for courage,” and whenever I’m working with somebody who is having an addiction, they need to have the courage to drop the past and enter the future. So I will always put a little bit of Borage into their formula for its magical component. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit salty and it’s a little moist and cooling. It’s full of essential fatty acids. It will nutritionally fill a void that needs to be filled for this transformational time. It works directly with the mind and I think that’s why that thought of having courage is so important. It connects you to you to your senses. It affects your nerves in a positive way. When you look at Borage, that beautiful blue flower with the mandala image is so powerful, it comes into your body in a powerful way and brings you to a higher place. It helps with dizziness and fainting and people will often, as they’re re-entering being on earth in a good way, not be steady, so Borage can help bring them back into the physical world. It’s a great plant.