Sunday, 25 November 2012

Animal Spirit T Shirts

Brand new for Yule 2012.

Animal Spirit and Mandala T Shirts, available in a range of colours and sizes for men and women.

£2 from every animal spirit design will go to a respective charity.

'Azkonar' Badger Spirit Mandala (donations to Badger Trust)

 'Melissa' Bee Goddess Spirit Mandala (British Beekeepers Association) and Wolf Woman Spirit Mandala (Wolf Watch UK).

FREE SHIPPING (in EU) when you buy 2 or more products.
ONLY UNTIL 27th November 2012. 
Voucher Code: XMAS2U


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Valerian magic

I am on day 18.  Since day 14 I have had pain in my womb.  It starts with small twingy cramps, then slowly gets to what it is today, which is a constant dull pain in my womb, made worse by moving, walking, sitting...

I've always had pain at ovulation, the worse times being when I had the Mirena coil.  I remember a lovely trip to Oxford being hindered by ovulation pain.  I could barely walk at all, and every step I did manage was more painful.  Since removing all birth control, ovulation has continued to let me know physically it is happening, and days like this are not uncommon.  It's painful to walk and move, although not impossible, and I feel any sudden moves will cause the pain to increase for a few minutes.

I've been drawn back to my valerian tea.  I use it occasionally to aid sleep.  It works quite well, but I find that unless you are preparing for sleep alongside drinking it, it's not a guaranteed sleep aid.

I'm basing this on the Dr Stuarts blend of Valerian PLUS tea.  It contains 20% Valerian, and other calming herbs such as passionflower and hops.  It's not like popping a sleeping pill and knowing you will be asleep within the hour, it's a much more subtle remedy.

 With this in mind, I thought I would try it during the day.  With ovulation comes the creeping negative thoughts.  I have managed to keep a lid on them and try and distract myself with other things, but it's not easy.  Not when your body is making you feel anxious, like there is something to be worrying about but you don't know what.  The 'Did I Leave the Kettle on at Home?' feeling.

Remember, I am currently not taking any prescription medication, so I do not have to worry about contra-indications, so please, if you ARE taking any medications, always research before you try adding something else.  Drinking valerian may not be a good idea if you are already on meds, so be sure to ask, or research before trying anything out for yourself.

I doesn't smell great.  It is strong and pungent, even in a 20% mix with other herbs, but it doesn't offend me too much, and it tastes nice, so I'm happy to drink it!

I got to thinking about it's magical properties, or other reasons why it may be a good treatment for ovulation.  Valerian root has been used for centuries for a variety of things.  Insomnia, anxiety, stress, aching muscles/muscle pain, stomach problems, menstrual problems, epilepsy and ADHD.  It has no known side effects through single or long term use, but should be avoided in pregnancy and if trying to conceive.  If you want to know more about possible side effects go here

Folk lore says that sprinkling valerian over the front door step can deter unwanted visitors, or hanging sprigs around a room can create better relationships within the family.  It brings protection and helps ward off nightmares.  The word valerian comes from the latin word 'valere' which means 'to be strong and healthy'. It's other names are Vandal root, All-heal, St Georges Herb, Amantilla, and Setwall.

A recipe from the 1500’s containing Valerian stated, “Men who begin to fight and when you wish to stop them, give to them the juice of Amantilla and peace will be made immediately.” (A Modern Herbal by M Grieve)

Magically, it resonates with the feminine, it's element is water, and it's planetary correspondences are Venus, Mercury and Jupiter.  It is used in spells for ending guilt, stopping negative self talk and promoting self acceptance.  Valerian is said to help turn bad situations round to your advantage and finding a positive in a negative situation. It's astrological association is Aquarius.  It is associated with the festivals of Samhain and Yule, which is right where we are in the calendar year!

Valerian is warming and so too much can cause headaches and giddyness, or produce more of the symptoms you are trying to avoid, but essentially, I like this warming quality as it feels more active than passive.  You should obviously never take something over and over, there is a risk of de-sensitisation and many herbs can have negative affects if you take too much, so just be aware.  I'm happy to use this tea only when I feel I really need it, and tea is quite weak in strength (even in the plus blend) compared to popping capsules full of the herb.  It is STILL safer in my opinion than valium or any other prescribed insomnia/anxiety meds, and I would rather a couple of cups of tea during my challenging times, then to be whacked out on chemicals.

Researchers feel that valerian has some effect on the GABA receptors in the brain and that it has the ability to keep GABA from being broken down by the body. Valerian root has a high amount of GABA in its chemical make up. GABA is one of the main neurotransmitters that is responsible for inhibiting excitability in the brain and central nervous system. It regulates the amount of excitability or irritability that the central nervous system is exposed to.

Thoughts that come to mind is we have something here that is associated with the feminine.  Water is a feminine, along with Venus and relates to feelings.  Mercury and Aquarius are of the realm of the air, and so relate to thinking.  During ovulation, my thoughts, at first come with a rush and excitement, then that tips into anxiety and the self doubt kicks in.  Anger and frustration come with the muddled thinking, and I find myself snapping and getting irritated with family.  I don't know why this is such a problem for me, but trying to stay level through a whole month is the goal.
Valerian appears to tick the boxes so far as energy and properties go, and it appears to work pretty well for calming my thoughts and it helps the pain too.  I had a cup today as I felt like I was gonna go under, and so far, results are good... I even managed to write this!  I do feel sleepy, but in a calm way,  If I wanted to sleep, I probably could, but equally, I could go eat, shower and decide what else to do today...

Fingers crossed I've found something to help with this time of the month!  Ovulation energy is really difficult for me to deal with, and I'm still trying to figure out why!