I just discovered that an herb I’d bought a while back was a totally different variant than I had researched, with different properties. It’s called skullcap, there is an american skullcap and a chinese skullcap. I realize now that I had been reading about the chinese version, which is used as a sort of mild anti-psychotic with some overlapping qualities of calming effects. I wanted to try it out of curiosity as such an herb could be useful to have around if you’re as neurotic as I am, so when not long after I visited a favorite herb shop that has a small garden where they grow and dry their own herbs to sell, I bought some.
I had been wanting to find non-deleterious herb for smoking, but I found it was meant to be used in tea and smoking had proved pretty unsuccessful. So, I decided it was time to try it out, I made myself a cup of hot tea and took it with me to a bath. This seemed a perfect opportunity since I often get very odd silly impressions when I find myself alone and vulnerable in a small out of the way room, indisposed to investigate any small noises. When I started feeling that tension of ‘oh god what if-‘ I drank some of the tea and suddenly it seemed perfectly clear to me that no such thing was likely to happen, and that was good enough for me. Extremely simple.
I found that favorable, but my impression being colored by my researched, it seemed to be more of a strong-handed influence than I really want regularly in my life. I noted how it affected me and put the bag labeled ‘skullcap’ at the bottom of my jar of herbs.
A little while ago a friend was over and while I was making some tea in the kitchen they curiously looked through my collection of herbs and asked about the skullcap. I gave them a vague description of its proposed anti-psychotic properties, saying something about it implying sanity. He seemed to think it sounded like a good herb to ingest and though at the time my prejudice from my experience maintained the surface impression, somewhere in my consciousness a little tick mark on a list told me that maybe this was something I should re-examine at some point.
Tonight, I found myself in a place of extreme unease. I’ve had a very exciting day, and indeed an exciting week as well. Hope, for the first time in what seems a dismally long time, has been released into my system, causing a ricocheting effect of positive actions and consequences. I come home from a day of enjoyment, looking forward to the next day which will be a day of news of my fate. I have almost everything I need to be content, but I fall short just about the point I should be going to bed. There are other recreational activities that fill my leisure time when I have the finances to provide myself with the luxuries I find essential, but tonight I was left to my own devices. I’d gotten into a bit of a manic fit, and then ran out of creative energy. I start to get the point of intense questioning of my past actions, ranging from months to minutes prior, and I’m able to realize the futility of it, but that doesn’t change the neurosis building in head. Once it starts, trying to stop it with logical reasoning is like trying to stop a freight train without using its brakes. I needed to put the brakes on.
This is where that little tick mark comes in handy. I remember the skullcap, and with little else at my disposal I decide it’s time for another experience with this herb. I hadn’t intended to look up its effects since I presumed to have already gathered information on that subject, but I didn’t remember how long I should steep it for. So, I look for that information, and in the process I encounter the fact that there are two different types. I can tell right away that mine is american because what I have is obviously from dried leaves, and the chinese type is made of a root. So, I read about the american type and lo, its most credited use is to treat the nervous system! It is a relaxant. It has other possible medicinal uses, such as to alleviate menstrual cramps! It also has anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
I made the tea. I drank it. I felt relaxed, very pleasantly relaxed. No squashed faeries, no loss of emotion.
I am inclined to call myself an idiot, but the mental hilarity that ensues (“don’t call yourself an idiot!– hey, don’t be so harsh, you can call yourself an idiot if you want to!”) is too far beyond my relaxed state of mood, so instead I’m just glad I’ve got a whole bag of this stuff, and I know exactly where to get more.