Welcome to our new series The Herbs of the Enneagram! The Enneagram is a fascinating and insightful way of describing personality patterns. In this blog series Enneagram expert Herb Pearce will explain each of the 9 personality types and a plant that corresponds with each. (And yes, his name is really Herb!)
We are delighted to welcome Herb, a faithful Herbstalk participant, to share his wisdom and insight of the Enneagram and connect it back to some of the beloved plants that we talk about at Herbstalk.
Read on to learn how the patterns of the Enneagram match up with the patterns of various herbs. You will also learn how the plant itself can help to bring balance and harmony within each personality type. Enjoy and stay tuned for more Herbs of the Enneagram each month!
Have you eaten your oatmeal today? If not, you can drink your oats and lessen your anxiety at the same time. I’ve chosen oatstraw as the remedy for Enneagram Type 6 — the Questioner — who tends to ask a lot of questions in order to relieve their anxiety of worst case scenario thinking. 6s tend to react to their fears and concerns and forget about what is secure or positive. Many of us have fear and anxiety in today’s world and we can turn to oats to feel more even tempered, secure and calm.
Oats, both a nervine and nutritive, have been eaten for thousands of years and have been used for many generations to promote healthy growth of skin, hair & nails, strengthen the blood, and support nervous system balance. Oatstraw helps with headaches, migraines, fatigue, MS, shingles, rheumatism, epilepsy, depression, anxiety and moods. Drug or alcohol withdrawal accompanied by oatstraw is a documented wonder. Other people claim it helps with heart health, sexual performance and increased energy. It other words, oats are a cure-all herb.
The tea is as soothing and wholesome as our breakfast food. The leaves and stalk (called oatstraw) are used for tea but even more flavorful and nutritious are the seed tops (milky oats). It can be a stabilizing nutritious daily drink. There are no known side effects or cautions.
Oatstraw combines well with motherwort, valerian, skullcap and chamomile, each of which is calming separately. Experiment and see what works best for you. Anxious, nervous personality types can turn to these herbs to calm down. Especially for 6s, some fears actually are worse than the reality they are worrying about!
Type 6, also called the Worry Wort or the Security Seeker, is looking for stability, security, and something they can rely on and trust. Oats can help with focusing on what’s relatively secure and safe. 6s have issues with trust and need to test people to make sure they are reliable. If you’re relating to a 6 what you say and do need to match up. Don’t say you’re going to do something unless you plan to act on it, or if plans change, let them know immediately and explain your change.
Oats are believed to have been domesticated between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers 3000 years ago. Ancient Romans fed it to their horses. Scotland is believed to be the place where the porridge of oatmeal began. Hildegard of Bingen, a nun and herbalist around 1100 AD considered oats to be an herb of happiness and good health.
Oats are a cereal crop but can be found today in garden beds and the stalks and cereal are usually gathered in August. It’s best to gather the seeds in its immature stage (milky oats) and tincture it the same day but gather the stalks while still green, then dry them. The oat seeds carry antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant properties. The straw (dried stems) and the grain have also been prescribed for the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions.
If you’re looking for balance, calmness, evenness and relaxation, be sure to drink or eat your oats.