Citation: Stark. "Breakthrough in Equilibrium: An Experience with Mugwort, Sage & Damiana (exp102694)". Erowid.org. Mar 2, 2017. erowid.org/exp/102694
I'm writing this because I feel I've made a breakthrough for myself with where I want to be in my lifestyle.
A bit of background: I was a frequent drinker and mj user in college, and was curious about psychedelics and greatly revered an LSD trip I had, but since college have found myself in a rut as I go through the stages of adjusting to normal working life. I found myself increasingly becoming detached, cynical, bored and resentful. I would think to myself, well I'm not suicidal (I have a history in much younger days due to abusive parenting) but I don't care much for life. I've become unmotivated and lazy and hating a job that objectively is quite reasonable and desirous to many people in my generation. I do remember in high school and college having mental breakthroughs, either from the mentioned LSD trip, or from adopting a satisfying lifestyle through positive social groups, learning and activities. I knew that potential existed within me, and in the end I came to the conclusion: I'm doing life wrong. It's not them, it's me.
Although going for years without it, I'd fall back into patterns of mj binging, and occasionally alcohol binging. Nothing that would send me to an ambulance and fairly common vices, but certainly not conducive to a lifestyle of true well-being. With all of this, I started seriously looking for a way out, or way in, depending on perspective.
I had always been vastly curious of psychoactives or any substances that have an intentional effect on the human body. I started to return to this as a result of my condition and researching legal plants that might help. I tried a number of popular choices like scullcap, wormwood and kava, but in the end became very confident in settling with these three herbs.
It should be noted that this was happening concurrently with checking out methods to change my diet, which resulted in a 5 day juice fast that really did do the trick and help me to adjust to healthy alternatives and reasonable portions subsequently. I have a low calorie sustainable diet now, lost considerable stomach fat and don't get hungry often. I do splurge with a bag of chips, some chinese food, a slice of pizza. But the difference is I'm very conscious about everything that goes into my body. This resulted in feeling more physically healthy, but the mental health issues I wanted to address persisted. However this makes me much less numb in general, and more open to the effects of relatively weak herbs.
So this is essentially about a more natural contentedness, or being able to control or eliminate doses of vices like indulgent food and drugs - Essentially clearing the mind.
As for this one particular occasion that gave me this feeling of a breakthrough, I had already become fond of damiana, and was looking for a suitable relaxant. I recently realized there was an amazing 'health food store' (but so much more, I love you guys!) literally down the street from me, with a copious selection of fresh dried herbs and all of the fixings you could need. After multiple experiments, I went with this mugwort/sage/damiana tea combination. While I usually try to be specific about my ingestion methods, I had such copious and cheap quantities suddenly available that I just started tossing it by the handful into a boiling pot of water. I let it boil for 10 minutes. I had about 8 cups of wet plant matter when it was over, so I'm estimating this was somewhere in the range of 10 grams total, but hard to tell as these are awfully light herbs.
My plan was to ingest the tea, then immediately smoke the bowl of half damiana and half mugwort, which I did. I put on some meditation music, burned a stick of incense and dimmed the light.
The effect was very evident. I'm convinced it was not placebo as I've really been studying the heck out of this herbal project and paying attention to the slight or non-existent changes in me. However it's important to remember that this came about in tandem with changing my diet. I also made a recent breakthrough with my girlfriend, who speaks English at an intermediate level. With a partial language barrier and vastly different and sometimes opposing cultural backgrounds, we were hitting the rock bottom in our communication. However this weekend and tonight, for some reason, through my changing lifestyle and/or our conscious efforts, we got to a point of extreme comfort and had the best most fulfilling date (dinner and a movie - classic) since we met.
So this was a perfect night. I'm feeling good about that, but still feeling insular. What the tea and smoke did was help to reduce my anxiety and see things clearly - that breakthough I seeked. Where I felt ok with how things are going and even a bit excited about life. Nothing bothered me. I wouldn't say I was high but I was very calm, minor euphoria and stimulated.
I wouldn't say I was high but I was very calm, minor euphoria and stimulated.
In fact I stayed up the entire night reading various articles. I just felt great. Like the smoke is clearing. I think that can be attributed to the thujone content, but I have no way to verify that my processing method actually put an active amount into my system as the science is disputed. Later on I saw light creeping in my window and realized I was up way too late. I felt quite tired but even after laying in bed I could not fall asleep. This type of thing would normally stress me out, but it didn't bother me too much. I just laid there, thinking about how I want to live my life, how I remembered how much I like my girlfriend tonight and how isolated and numb my mind was. Why was I so stressed and discontent all of the time?
At this point I would need to do more experimentation to distinguish the effect of mugwort vs sage, but my gut is pushing me towards mugwort. Mugwort is also a much better taste than its bitter cousin wormwood. All contain thujone at some level I believe. However I am not knowledgeable enough to confidently reduce the plants to that, and don't really need to. Both are the relaxants I desired. I'd say these are good mj and alcohol alternatives. I had pulled out a bottle of 151 if I wished for a small extra kick, but after the tea I had no desire whatsoever to break the state I was already in. I also been awaiting a resupply of buds before I ingested the tea, but it wouldn't be available until the next day. Normally I'm excited to get it but like the alcohol, after ingesting the tea I simply didn't care. In fact the next day when my friend got back to me, I still had no desire, but since I already asked..oh and it's my birthday so why not. I've been doing good. Now it is sitting there and I'm in no rush. Going to get a few more things done and then sit in front of my ps3 with it and enjoy this picture.
With the damiana, I've been using this for some time and find it a great tobacco and even mj alternative. Again, there isn't so much of a high, however this is definitely a stimulant compared to the mugwort. This may be responsible for keeping me up all night, and I've known it to also give me a very clearheaded feeling. I think I need to play with the dosage or eliminate using the two or three at the same time and so what result that brings.
So the bottom line, with the combination of earnest lifestyle changes and experimenting with widely available legal herbs, I reached a state of mental clarity and reduced anxiety that I've been craving. I've always considered I may be mildly bi-polar due to my childhood, hence the anxiety, but it could just be a standard depression too. These herbs may be effective in assisting that, in combination with considering professional help and adjusting lifestyle.
I know this feeling is transient, and I can easily slip right back into where I was, but the difference is now I feel confident I can return or stay in the mental state I want to be in, in a way that is sustainable and economical. I can indulge from time to time without falling off track. So I like these three herbs. Sage and/or mugwort for problems like anxiety, anger, and damiana for its stimulant effect when that is what is in order. The rest, well that's just living and learning life. I always remember the timeless phrase: The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.
*Just a small note, study up on thujone toxicity and make your own informed judgement before getting too involved with these kinds of herbs. It's a mixed bag and there is definitely potential for liver poisoning, and shouldn't be considered if you have liver problems or hepatitis related issues. As with everything, moderation is key.
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