I never considered myself to be an anxious person until I went to herbalism school. Learning about the nervous system and experiencing new herbs for the first time, I was able to feel relief from things that I had never realized were manifestations of anxiety. As I grew into a more experienced herbalist, one of the things I began to pride myself on was preventing anxiety from creeping up on me. By regularly working with herbs, taking part in psychedelic retreats, and prioritizing my physical health, I was doing a pretty good job for a while.
Then I started a business, the pandemic hit, and all of a sudden it didn’t come as easy to me anymore. Strategies for keeping myself grounded didn’t feel as effective, and with how busy my work life had become, I had fallen prey to thinking I didn’t have enough time to properly take care of myself. This is where working with herbs through smoke really helped.
No matter how busy I felt, I always felt that I had time for a smoke. Blending herbs with cannabis, in particular, became such a cherished ritual for me to take part in when I needed to clear my head. Even when other self-care strategies had fallen by the wayside, smoking an herbal blend that I had crafted for that particular moment was something I could feel the influence of almost immediately. Once I was feeling better, it didn’t feel as hard to take care of myself in other ways.
The idea to write the zine came to me during the first wave of the pandemic when the collective levels of anxiety were palpable. I put out a request via our Instagram stories asking people to share how anxiety tends to manifest for them. After going through everyone's submissions and reflecting on my own, I was able to narrow them down to 8 mental manifestations and 7 physical ones. I address these in the zine and offer smokable herb recommendations for easing each symptom.
I wrote the zine as a way to help people, but in a way I also wrote it for myself. It’s meant to act as a guidebook, something you can flip through for support when you’re not feeling well. I like to re-read it every so often to remind myself that feeling anxious sometimes is normal, and that I can always call upon our herbal allies for help.
Even though the zine focuses on smokable herbs, it contains some great information about anxiety in general, plus all of the herbs mentioned can be worked with in tea or tincture as well if smoking isn’t your thing.
You can purchase the zine on our website here or through our publisher, Flower Press, here. Flower Press is an equitable publishing practice centering womxn, femme, queer, & trans artists and practitioners.
For educational purposes only. The information discussed in this book is not to be construed as medical advice.