Herbs A-Z: Ocimum & Oenothera


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Today’s herbs are two excellent friends to the human nervous & emotional systems. Tulsi and evening primrose are both nervines, and although they are rather different from one another, they fit together nicely.

Tulsi or ‘holy basil’, Ocimum sanctum aka O. tenuiflorum, has featured on our podcast many times previously: as a supportive herb for psychological first aid, sugar cravings, trauma recovery, and cognitive maintenance, among other things! It’s truly a multifaceted herb who can help many of us.

Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis, is an herb we find very helpful for ‘frazzled’ anxious feelings, whether those have arisen in response to stressors, in the process of quitting smoking, or simply as an extension of a dry, tense constitution. It’s not so easy to find for sale, but it’s very easy to grow your own!

We also have a few comments in this episode about a relative of evening primrose called Circaea lutetiana, the “enchanter’s nightshade”. This plant isn’t actually a nightshade, and its primary enchantments have to do with its leaf shapes and seed dispersal strategies, more than its actions or chemistry. If you want to learn a fun new word today, let us propose “zoochory” as a candidate!
Tulsi & evening primrose both make appearances in our Neurological & Emotional Health course. This course is a user’s guide to your nerves & your emotions – including the difficult and dark ones. We discuss holistic herbalism strategies for addressing both neurological & psychological health issues. It includes a lengthy discussion of herbal pain management strategies, too! In addition, you receive everything that comes with enrollment in our courses, including: lifetime access to current & future course material, twice-weekly live Q&A sessions with us, open discussion threads integrated in each lesson, an active student community, study guides, quizzes & capstone assignments, and more!

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You can find all of our online herbalism courses at online.commonwealthherbs.com!

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