An Herbalist Guide to Hurricane Prep
Hurricanes are bound to cause anxiety. You’re left waiting and wondering when the severe weather will strike, and what will be left of your homes, neighborhoods and cities. Will you be without power? What will you eat? Will your roofs be okay? What will it sound like? Will your pets be okay? Will your kids be okay? The media often sensationalizes the whole story, so you don’t know what to believe.
Do you ever wonder what is worse, the anticipation of the arrival, or the actual arrival of the hurricane? You’ve probably already noticed that the stores are out of water, gas stations have lines around the block, and the ones that don’t are empty. Grocery store shelves are empty. The energy of where you are is already palpable. You can already feel the fear and anxiety of everyone around you. You notice that the day before the hurricane the most beautiful weather you’ve seen in a long time. How could there be impending doom about to burst through the sky at any moment?
Our intuition is blocked because of the negative feedback loop that fear tends to feed. So what can we do?
Thankfully with ancestral wisdom that has been passed down for centuries, there is a lot we can do to support ourselves during this time of high stress and possible PTSD triggers. This guide can be useful for every day living, in situations of crisis, natural disasters or other experiences that create high stress and anxiety.
Magnesium. The first thing I would do is get yourself a good magnesium supplement. The body uses large amounts of magnesium when we are under stress. It is used for enzymatic purposes in digestion, and it is used to support the nervous system, heart, muscles, and even the liver. When our bodies are under stress, we use up so much of our reserves that it makes it nearly impossible to manage stress and keep the body in homeostasis. I recommend a few different forms of magnesium: malate, taurate, glycinate, bicarbonate, and chloride. Take a few different forms to ensure your body is absorbing and assimilating, in addition to doing soaks in magnesium chloride. I like this brand for soaks.
Bach flowers. These are some of my favorite remedies to use. They are never contraindicated, and they are safe for everyone, even our pets! The trick with these is consistency and frequency. I will add them to water and sip through out the day. Or add them to the water bowls of our pets. Some of my favorites are:
Rock Rose: This one is useful for extreme panic, fear, hysteria, nightmares or fright. It is used most often in times of crisis, accidents, natural disasters, etc. Taking rock rose moves the feelings of fear and gives one the ability to rise to the occasion.
Mimulus: This one is used for fears of every day life, for someone who tends to be an anxious person regardless of crisis status. For someone who has (one or more of these) fear of animals, fear of crowds, fear of responsibility, fear of commitment, fear of being alone, fear of being with others. It also covers shyness, timidity, fear of public speaking, fear of failure. It is also good for people who have sensitivities such as to light, noise, cold, and conflict. Taking this tincture can transform the feelings of fear to courage and cheerfulness, and sympathy with others with the same fears.
Cherry Plum: This flower essence is useful for those who fear losing control, fear of having a breakdown, desperation. This could be a nervous breakdown, breaking down and crying, letting go of one’s emotions. This type of situation could also be a fear of what may happen if they truly let themselves feel their feelings, or fear of what they might do to themselves or others. This flower essence enables one to become more grounded and connected to their center. It helps them gain inner courage and strength. It gives the person insight into their subconscious and helps them integrate that information into their life.
Red Chestnut: This tincture is useful for fear and over concern of safety for others, particularly loved ones. It is useful for a person who is overprotective of their child, not wanting their child to get hurt, thereby limiting the child’s ability to explore their world. This type of person can be overprotective, self sacrificing, and often worry about others to the extreme. Taking this remedy can help give the person the ability to think clear, positive thoughts, instead of always worrying and projecting negativity toward others. Their positive thoughts can help provide guidance instead of warnings, and security instead of fear.
Rescue Remedy: This one is a blend of 5 flowers and is useful in times of crisis, natural disasters, trauma, and terror. It instills a more peaceful clear mind.
Lemon Balm. This herb is traditionally called the “gladdening herb.” It is very effective in helping the body to dispel and eliminate stress. It promotes a sense of peace and calm, by soothing the nervous system. It has a sedative effect on the brain, so it may actually slow down the brain’s processing speed, which could be an issue in times where you may need to process, act and respond more quickly. I prefer taking this as a tincture mixed in water.
Lavender: This herb is very well known for it’s calming effects, but just how powerful is it? It is extremely effective for both acute and chronic anxiety situations. It has demonstrated capabilities to that similar of benzodiazepines (which is pretty incredible!). You can use this as a tincture (1-2 mL in 1/4 cup of water), essential oil, or as a tea (steeping for 20 minutes).
Bee Pollen, Beef Liver and Royal Jelly: The main component that these three have in common are their high concentration of B vitamins. No where in nature are vitamins found in isolation, and synthetic vitamins may have long term effects that we are not aware of yet. B vitamins tend to be used a lot during times of high stress, and are very needed by the nervous system to keep the body in balance and the brain functioning at a health, normal and clear level. I take 4 capsules of beef liver daily, and 1tsp of bee pollen daily to maintain the upkeep of my B vitamin intake.
CBD: This one is touted most commonly for its ability to help ease anxiety and stress. This one calms the nervous system and slows the processing speed in the brain. It is particularly useful for those of us who have rapid brain processes speeds (this can be determined by Neurofeedback). In addition it helps promote more restful sleep, and less agitation in the brain, especially during times of stress.
In addition to these herbs, there are a few other tips and tricks that can be useful for emergency preparedness. Having a “bug out bag” stocked with a first aid kid, food, some clothing, a life straw and herbal first aid kid. Having an action plan, water, or water filter, plenty of gas, and some canned goods, or other non-perishables. Practicing self care in the form of meditation, self soothing, visualization, daily devotions, and journaling can be very useful while preparing for a storm as well. Getting your body moving with yoga or brisk walks can help the body process high levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine to help the body remember how to calm down.
I hope this guide is useful for you in the event of an impending hurricane. Please comment any feedback, share your experiences below! Also, feel free to share with anyone you know who might be near a hurricane, natural disaster or some other crisis that requires extra support.
Herbs For Anxiety, Stress, and Panic Attacks (Adaptogens & Beyond)