A Case Study: Herbs and Nightmares
Dreaming matters: it’s a critical part of our identity-building and experience-processing work, and vital to our ability to regulate our emotions. But not all dreams are good. When nightmares happen, especially if they happen chronically, they can make dreaming itself feel unsafe. But never fear: when we need help we can always turn to herbs, and nightmares are no exception.
In this episode we present a very personal case study about working with herbs and nightmares to improve one’s relationship with dreaming.
This is katja’s story, and it’s a story involving trauma from assault, which led to nightmares for more than a decade. It was exacerbated by an abusive living situation – as Katja puts it, “like microdosing the original traumatic experience”. The work she engaged in, with the help of plants, was about building agency in dreams. This effort paralleled work she did in waking life, building healthier boundaries and developing her own empowerment. These efforts supported each other – each one helped the other proceed.
Of course, nightmares and poor sleep are connected – nightmares lead to dread of sleep, poor sleep worsens nightmares. So the approach is to combine herbs for dream work – cultivating feelings of safety, lessening fear of dreaming & dread of sleep – together with a comprehensive sleep protocol, plus herbs that helping her build agency in her waking life.
Herbs discussed include: mugwort, motherwort, ghost pipe, yarrow, blue vervain, ginger, chamomile, skullcap, passionflower, linden, hawthorn, tulsi, wood betony, rose, nettle, elecampane, st john’s wort, sage, elderflower, calamus.
Interested in deepening your dreaming? Want to explore herbs who can help you dream more vividly, or achieve lucidity in your dreams? Our mini-course on Herbs and Dreaming is for you! Learn key herbs from across the world (and probably in your backyard!) with oneirogenic activity.
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