LGBTQ, Uncategorized

LGBTQ Community


The LGBTQ community in Mississippi (and anywhere that my internet connection can reach) has allies at the Holistic Center in Tupelo, MS.

I have worked closely with this community for many years, and I feel that it’s past time to make my position as an ally very clear to the community that’s so close to my heart.

I am aware that making this statement may cause me to lose some clients, and I am at peace with that; but I know that I will be supported and loved, just as I support and love others, and I know that I have some amazing clients who will be very happy to read this post. I am grateful for my life; I am a married, white female, who is privileged in many ways. Last year, when I expressed a deep sadness for being so privileged when others were so not, one of my teachers said, “Dana, use that privilege. Use your privilege as a financially stable, white female to bring relief to those who are struggling. Look at your world. To whom are you in service?” I have always been an advocate for this population, as well as for women who are unsupported emotionally because of diverse spiritual practices.


A beloved family member reached out publicly recently, sharing that she felt she no longer had a family because of the way her immediate family treated her and her partner. I won’t go into details, but know that my heart was moved. Jack’s heart was moved as well, and we realized that we had not made our love for her and her partner clear. We immediately reached out to her, and we let her know that we not only accept her and her love, but we celebrate her and her love; there is no “tolerance” in this home.

There is also no “tolerance” in my practice. To me, the word tolerance has the connotation, “I don’t approve of what you’re doing, but I will be accepting of you to a point.” It also reminds me of the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” <– I have very strong opinions about that phrase as well, and I will not be using it on you or anyone else.

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual, and you feel that you are not accepted by others, I am in service to you. If you suffer from stress, anxiety, grief, etc., consider working with me to get relief so that you can feel more whole and supported as you do your great, important work in this world.

If you are an LGBTQIA ally, truly an ally, you know what that means and what it can do to your stress levels and nervous system. Please reach out to me to get information on how you can be supported as you hold space and offer your voice on behalf of our amazing community.

If you are not familiar with my work, here are some ways that I can help support you:

In Person:

  • CranioSacral Therapy (very healing to the central nervous system)
  • Integrative SomatoEmotional Release
  • Earth Medicine Healing Sessions (a style of shamanic healing)
  • Hypnotherapy, Guided Imagery and Titration
  • Compassionate Listening (donation based service)
  • Breema (coming this summer)
  • Reiki

Remote Sessions (online via Zoom platform):

  • Earth Medicine Healing Sessions
  • Guided Imagery and Titration
  • Energy work (including Reiki sessions and Reiki training)
  • Compassionate Listening (donation based service)

If you have never worked with me before and you are dealing with stress, I suggest you begin with a Compassionate Listening session (linked above). There I provide a gentle, non judgmental space for you to begin to unpack the chaos in your life. Click the link to read more about it.

If any of these offerings interest you, or if you know of someone who needs support, send me a message below. ♡

Resources for LGBTQIA and Allies:

The Icarus Project: Radical Mental Health in a Crazy World
From the website: “The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness.”

Trauma-informed herbalist, Kirsten Hale, has an amazing website and blog where she works with survivors of trauma. The Crazy Herbalist

Herbalist Kelli Hughart uses Sycamore tree essence for people who “feel like the outside and the inside of them doesn’t match.” Personally, I wonder if Sycamore essence could also assist with conflict between “how you feel internally (emotionally) vs what you present to the world.”

Queering Herbalism has a great list of herbal recipes:

Jon Keyes has a great closed Facebook group called Herbs for Mental Health. He’s an herbalist and counselor based in Oregon and he shares some amazing wisdom over there. Jon’s website is Hearthside Healing.

More resources coming as I find them for you.


***Personal Disclaimer***

At the time of this post, I am not a licensed counselor. I am working toward that goal, but I want you to be very aware that I am not in any way using counseling skills or any kind of mental therapy in my practice at this time. I have amazing colleagues to whom I can refer you if that’s what you need.

Plant Medicine

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm 5

Melissa officinalis, Family: Lamiaceae

Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis, is a member of the mint family. This lemon scented, square-stemmed plant is one of my very favorite herbal allies

  • for nervous stomach and gut lining repair,
  • as a gentle nervine (relaxes the nerves and helps with anxiety),
  • for lowering blood pressure,
  • to relieve digestive complaints (gas, bloating, etc),
  • to help heal herpes simplex outbreaks (fever blisters),
  • for hyperthyroidism, esp. Graves’ Disease (contra-indicated for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s),
  • for focus and mental clarity,
  • as well as blended with motherwort for heart palpitations.

Lemon Balm 1

When I approach working with Lemon balm, I think “nervous system” and “digestion”.

Lemon balm’s actions on the nervous system are very interesting, in that it offers clarity of mind, calming of frayed nerves, and it can even assist with insomnia. I originally thought that clarity and insomnia were poles apart on some kind of nervine spectrum, but the more I work with this plant, the more I begin understand its function (even though I may have a difficult time describing it).

In cases of insomnia when the mind is “ON” with no off switch in sight, I have experienced the function of lemon balm as calming and soothing to the sympathetic nervous system so that I can see that “lights out” switch more clearly. It’s not a heavily sedating nervine that will knock you out; it’s more like being rocked and soothed so that sleep can come more gently. I like to blend it with skullcap and catnip for this, and I am considering pairing it with mimosa bark tincture to assist in restoring sleep rhythms.

I have had amazing results with lemon balm speeding the healing of fever blister outbreaks. When I first feel that itchy-tingly-burning sensation of a fever blister on my lip, I immediately put ice on it. I mean STAT. I will keep ice on it until I’m sick of the cold (I usually run through 1 or 2 ice cubes) and then I dose liberally with lemon balm tincture (and by liberally I mean a teaspoon at least several times a day during the outbreak). I was told that only lemon balm essential oil can heal a fever blister, but that’s not true. The tincture is much more sustainable, not nearly as expensive, and it works great. When I take the tincture internally, I like to hold it between my lower lip and gums for a while. I will also dab some tincture onto the lesion site to help dry it. The healing time using this method of treatment is very fast and the lesion stays tiny until it’s healed.

Lemon Balm 3

Several years ago I played around with bitters blends. One of the blends I made was Lemon Balm Bitters, and I had great feedback; one person reported that he felt like it pulled him out of a depressed state and he absolutely loved it. That blend consisted of lemon balm, cardamom, a tiny bit of gentian root (trust me on this), honey and vodka.

Clarity Elixir

My clarity elixir consists of lemon balm, cardamom, calamus root and mountain mint. I absolutely love it, and I find it helpful at clearing out mental cobwebs. I’m having to read a lot more now for graduate school (with much more reading to look forward to) and I’m adjusting to reading glasses (dammit), so this blend is very helpful to me right now.

I have only scratched the surface of the many benefits of lemon balm, but an herb that relieves anxiety, calms nervous tension and digestion issues, offers clarity AND gets rid of my stress-induced fever blisters?

I’ll take it. ♡

Awesome Resources if you want to learn more:

Lemon balm: A promising herbal therapy for patients with borderline hyperlipidemia-A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Herb Rally Lemon Balm Monograph

Back Water Botanics Lemon Balm Monograph

Lemon Balm 9

Practical Herbalist: Lemon Balm: Herb of Good Cheer

Herbal Academy: A Family Herb: Lemon Balm Benefits

P.S. Please be careful using lemon balm if you are pregnant, if your blood pressure already runs really low, or if you have hypothyroidism / Hashimoto’s. In these cases, avoiding lemon balm entirely or using it under the supervision of a medical or herbal professional is a good plan.

Tree Medicine

Mimosa, “Silk Tree”, Albizia julibrissin


Albizia julibrissin is one of my favorite tree medicines. I most often make a tincture of the blooms, leaves/stems and inner bark of limbs. I have also infused the blooms in honey. Many people dry the blooms and the inner bark for infusions. According to the American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products, “the presence of linalool, trans-linalool oxide, methyl salicylate, and eugenol are likely responsible for the fragrant odor of silktree blossoms.”

Mimosa is in the legume family (Fabaceae), and is a nitrogen fixer. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress, and is often called “the Tree of Happiness”. While I love this tree, I do not encourage people to plant it because of its invasive nature; IPAMS says, “Mimosa is listed as a significant or severe threat in several southeastern US states, including Tennessee in the MidSouth region.” I do, however, feel that we can develop right relationship with this tree and learn to utilize its medicine.

Mimosa is often used for grief after any kind of loss. I blend mimosa with hawthorn leaves, flowers and blooms, motherwort, and wild roses to help move through deep sadness.

East West School of Planetary Herbology has some wonderful information on Mimosa.  Albizzia: The Tree of Happiness.

According to Planetary Herbals:  “Albizia was traditionally used to ‘calm the spirit’ and relieve emotional constraint when associated with bad temper, bad mood, sadness, occasional sleeplessness, irritability and poor memory. It was believed to be especially useful for anyone experiencing profound heart-breaking loss.”

Another source that I can no longer remember mentioned that Mimosa could be used for “breathlessness.”  I love how one source called Mimosa tincture a “Spirit tonic”… but I’m not so keen on seeing it called “Chinese Herbal Prozac.”

I use Mimosa in my Anxiety Ease blend (which includes a few other nervines along with milky oats to help nourish and support the nervous system). Mimosa is also used for pain and inflammation.  I have not seen much information on the whys and hows of this, but here is some TCM info on Mimosa that I found from the Herbal Shop.

I would really love to see more people take advantage of Albizia’s healing properties; especially since it’s so abundant (read: invasive) in this area.  I have read that people who are already taking medication for depression or anxiety should talk to their doctors before taking any herbal preparation that would alter any results, so please take responsibility for your personal health if you are considering using this tree medicinally.  Also, if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant, check with your doctor before using this tincture; it is said to have strong blood moving properties.

Update: 3/30/2013

Mimosa blossom, bark and leaf tincture has been an amazing ally for me. When I first tasted it, I was slightly overwhelmed with the “Ohmygawd-I-Just-Sprayed-Perfume-in-my-mouth” taste, but then I got used to it. Originally I made a tincture of just the blossoms… so when I mixed the bark/leaf tincture with the blossom tincture, it tasted much better. Both tinctures *and the blend of the two* worked very well to treat grief, mild depression and lingering sadness over loss.

Mimosa tincture is very helpful for me when I feel tightness in my stomach/solar plexus due to stress or anxiety. It has a calming effect on my respiratory diaphragm and I am able to take deeper breaths during stressful situations.

Mimosa blooms infused in almond oil makes an uplifting and soothing massage oil.

Update: 4/15/2016

I’m finding that Mimosa is especially indicated for people who are stuck in a process; whether it’s a grief process that’s going nowhere or a biological process that has not been properly completed; Mimosa helps lift one’s spirit and perspective so that movement can begin again.

Jon Keyes has a great writeup on Albizia at Hearthside Healing

I have also noticed that when only the blooms are used, people who can become spaced out easily (as well as people who are super comfortable with being in the sky with diamonds), tend to report a feeling of “floating away” when using the tincture of the blossoms. Based on that feedback, I chose to blend the blooms with inner bark, stems and leaves and have used that tincture with very good results. It’s grounding and uplifting at the same time.

Another point I would like to make here (which may end up being a blog post all its own) is that when someone is experiencing the grief process or if someone is dealing with loss, I believe it’s very important to fully have those experiences. I don’t suggest we use an herbal or other medicine to keep us from feeling our feelings. There are many great herbal allies who support us while we have our times of grief and loss.  However, when a person feels the need to move through the grief or move on from loss and is unable to do so, Albizia blended with other supportive herbs can help to raise one’s perspective and spirit in order to begin moving through his/her process.

Enjoy working with Mimosa. My next adventures with this tree will be making a flower essence and experimenting with it in an insomnia blend.

Update 5/12/2017:

I have been working with Mimosa in situations of insomnia, irritability due to overwork, mental strain, or other stressors. If I find myself running on fumes or feeling like I have overtaxed my mind and can’t turn it off and rest, I turn to mimosa along with a few other allies like skullcap and passionflower. For the record, I also take much needed time to relax, get extra rest, drink lots of water, and sit quietly in my yard to restore my nervous system. I have to be careful not to overtax my system and then use mimosa as a band aid so I can keep going. #graduateschool

Update 7/28/2017:

Last year a Mimosa came to live with us (Surprise!), and this year she grew large enough to bloom. Earlier this spring, I heard Jack tell the kids to cut the Mimosa down. Jon and Joylynn, because they are brilliant, listened to me when I pulled rank on Mr. Bailey.

Jack: Why won’t you let the kids cut that tree down?

Me: Because this is an important tree. I will be able to help lots of people with this tree.

Jack: You don’t need this particular tree; they’re everywhere.

Me: At least tell me before you cut it down so my friends and I can make medicine with it, okay?

Later in the year, our Mimosa began to make flowers. I would go out every morning and sing to the tree and harvest blooms and a few leaves.

Jack: Why do you keep taking the blooms away? I’d like to enjoy a few of them if you don’t mind.

I think we’ll be keeping the Mimosa tree, and I am sure we’ll have plenty of babies next year.