In my garden: Blue Vervain

Aside from the aesthetics of having beautiful plants growing in my front yard, one of the main reasons I chose to grow specific plants was to learn more about their therapeutic uses by getting to know them.  Verbena hastata, or Blue Vervain, has been capturing my attention lately, its blue flowering spikes extending higher and higher, continuing to bloom for what seems like an eternity for a perennial plant.  Having rarely used it in my clinical practice, I know Vervain primarily as a Bach Flower remedy. One of the twelve original remedies used by Dr. Bach, it is helpful in mental/emotional states where there is an anxious tension and physical exhaustion related to straining oneself in support of a good cause.  It is for people with fixed principles and ideas, over-achievers who put everything into their undertakings, pushing themselves to take on too much, their minds consistently running, unable to slow down or stop.  […]

By | July 27th, 2011|Herbal Medicine, In My Garden|0 Comments

Self-care

A couple of weeks ago, I was catching up with a friend, sitting on the lawn of Osgoode Hall, enjoying the shade of a maple tree and good conversation. We were talking about the practical philosophy course I teach at the college and a concept that often comes up in class – balance – balance between professional and personal, but also balance within one’s self. As a healthcare practitioner, striving for balance proves ever more salient when thinking about the proverb “physician, heal thyself.” So when she asked me, “What do you do for self-care?,” I could have cheekily answered that I plan lunch dates with friends that include some amount of time connecting with nature, even in downtown Toronto. The truth is I haven’t always been as good as I’d like to be at taking care of myself. […]

By | July 13th, 2011|Philosophy|1 Comment