Grief is unique to each individual, therefore so is the path to healing.
Whether it is the holiday season or any other time of year, grief is an emotion that will be experienced by us all. The causes for grief are many but this emotion is centered on any type of loss. It can be due to the loss of a loved one through death.
It can be from the loss of a partner due to divorce or the ending of a romantic or friend relationship. It can be a by-product of losing a job or a home. Moving to a new area is also a cause of grief, even if the move is a choice willingly made. And believe it or not, the loss of self-esteem from an illness, surgery, or disfigurement can provoke feelings of grief, although not recognized as such.
Loss is loss. The reasons vary, the level and depth of that loss varies, but the universal emotion experienced is grief. There are 2 main categories to consider when dealing with grief. One category or aspect of grief is the physiological response that occurs when our emotions trigger a cavalcade of chemicals in our body and their consequences. The other category is the non-physiological aspect that will require attention in order to move along in the process of maximum healing.
In Part 1 of this topic, I will discuss physiological support. In Part 2 of this topic, I will discuss non-physiological support strategies.
All nutritional supplements discussed may not be appropriate for you, your health status, medications, or genetics. Therefore, please work with your knowledgeable healthcare team when considering adding any supplements.
Ignatia Amara 6X– Ignatia Amara 6X is a homeopathic product utilized for grief and emotional support, especially if “shock” is part of the circumstances. Even if shock is not involved, this product works well for many. Brands that are reputable to buy are: Boericke & Tafel, or Hyland. Strength: 6X Follow the label and assess your response
Bach Flower Essence: Rescue Remedy – this is a combination flower essence remedy which combines Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem. Each component in this combination may help with types of anguish, bereavement and any type of stress.
Bach Flower Essence– Individual essences
- Agrimony- for feelings of inner torment but you try to keep a cheery disposition Elm- for those who feel overwhelmed with responsibilities although normally capable
- Gentian- if you feel despondent, easily discouraged or dejected
- Gorse- for extreme hopelessness
- Honeysuckle- for those with nostalgia or who constantly dwell in the past, or if homesick
- Larch- for despondency, feeling inferior, or feeling like a failure
- Mustard- for deep gloom and melancholy
- Oak- if struggling with illness, adversity, setbacks
- Olive-for those struggling with exhaustion, drained of energy and everything is an effort
- Pine- for feelings of guilt, blame themselves for mistakes, and feel unworthy
- Red Chestnut- for excessive fear or over caring for others held dear
(There are 38 Bach Flower Essences in all, but only a few are mentioned here)
Herbal Teas: Soothing, warm teas can also aid in comfort during times of grief. 3 that I suggest are Rose Hips, Chamomile, and Lemon Balm
Herbs: Some herbs are known to assist with feelings of low mood and they are St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Passion Flower, and Scullcap
Amino Acids: 5-HTP and GABA
Again, I stress the importance of checking with your healthcare team for use of any of the support products listed. Some are contraindicated, especially if you are utilizing certain medications for anxiety and depression, or if you have cardiovascular / hypertension type illness. Ignatia Amara 6x, Bach Flower Essences, and the Herbal Teas are more benign for most other health conditions, but it is up to you to make sure it is safe for you to try.
You may find, due to your cause and level of grief that combinations may be most beneficial. Such as Ignatia Amara 6x and Pine if you are experiencing grief due to the death of a loved one for whom you were a caregiver. Caregivers usually always feel guilty that they did not do enough for a loved one, in addition to dealing with the overall shock and sadness of their loss.
Whether you try things singly or in combination, the goal is to assist your physiology during your times of grief and all that comes with loss. Feel free to switch to something else if one thing does not seem to help you. I used Ignatia Amara 6x, St. John’s Wort, and Lemon Balm tea as support during the immediate acute phases of grief when I lost loved ones due to death.
Now, this does not mean to imply that the grief goes away when using support. Some types of grief remain with us for a lifetime. The support is to help with easier management of emotions in both the acute or long time standing phases of grief from any cause, and whether it be during holiday time, anniversaries, birthdays, or until you feel you can function the same without any support from supplements.
Wishing you health, living your best life, and my empathy to all who may be experiencing grief from any cause.