There are two schools of thought when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. There are those who balk at the idea—shouldn’t we have been acting/thinking that way for the last twelve months?—and there are those who consider the start of a new calendar year prime opportunity for a total lifestyle reorganization. The latter, of course, tends to be the more popular choice, especially after the holiday excess that leaves most of us ready for a healthy rebound.
Part of the problem with resolutions is that they are so often unsustainable. Is anyone going to eat fully raw 24-7, make full use of that unlimited spinning membership or wake up daily at 5 AM for twenty minutes of free-form journaling all year long? Where is the wiggle room for reality to take shape when we remember we’re mere mortals? For January 2020, we suggest starting the year with more mindful, holistic intentions.
We recently spoke with Adriana Ayales, the Brooklyn-based herbalist and founder of Anima Mundi, about a few alternative resolutions and botanical blends that’ll have a positive impact on both your mind and body in the coming year. “The benefits of herbal medicine are exponential,” Ayales says. “It’s a whole system that connects all of your different body parts—you’re working on a multi-organ level, tapping into your inner light, and creating rituals that allow you to connect to yourself and create a moment of peaceful, unwinding, wonderful healthy goodness.” Here are three alternate resolutions for New Year’s 2020…
“To be more grounded—and set clear intentions
for your heart and mind.”
Your Herbal Tool Kit: Anima Mundi Cerebrum Brain Tonic
This blend has a mixture of herbs that have been “revered since ancient times for spiritual ascension and enlightenment,” Ayales explains. “They bring so much clarity and peace.” What’s in it: Gotu Kola, an ingredient that’s “been studied extensively for its regenerative qualities in the brain and has been used in India for many years to assist in meditation” and Lion’s Mane mushroom, which helps inhibit “brain dysfunction that’s associated with neurological diseases.” Additionally, Brahmi boosts with focus and fresh rosemary aids memory function.
How to Use: Mix a teaspoon (two droppers full) into your morning beet or pomegranate juice and reap the benefits all day long.
“To boost immunity, and protect and energize your mind and body.”
Your Herbal Tool Kit: Anima Mundi Adaptogenic Tonic
You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about mushrooms and adaptogens lately, and for good reason: “Mushrooms, in general, are extremely powerful sources for immunity, and each one targets a different organ system,” Ayales explains. “They help us to de-stress our entire organ system from environmental, emotional, and mental effects.” In this tonic you’ll get maiitake and shiitake—the former helps with immune support and the latter is a blood purifier—Lion’s Mane to help with brain function, wildcrafted chaga (it’s been used to halt tumor growth), agaricus, “another immune powerhouse,” and reishi “a master lung tonic,” Ayales says. The blend also contains vitamin C to boost the effects of the ‘shrooms.
How to Use: Add a teaspoon to hot, vitamin C-rich tea (like berry or hibiscus) with a bit of maple syrup twice a day.
“To dream your heart’s purpose and visualize new steps in life.”
Your Herbal Tool Kit: Anima Mundi Lucid Dreaming Elixir
This elixir’s ingredients are all designed to work synergistically to promote deep sleep and make you dream. “It’s basically a toolkit to help pineal function,” Ayales explains. “The dream herbs have been used for a very long time for meditation, focus, and orienting the higher senses. For example, Kalea Sacetechichi, a bitter tea from Mexico, has been used for centuries in the middle of the night to help your mind enter an awakened sleep cycle.” It also contains kava kava, a popular herb for its relaxing, sedative effect. “The kava kava puts you to sleep while the others, like ashwagandha and Kalea Sacetechichi, are more awakening once you’ve already begun to dream.”
How to Use: Brew your favorite relaxing herbal tea, add a teaspoon of the elixir, and enjoy before bed (may we also suggest smudging your room with Palo Santo beforehand for good measure?). “You want to start 45 minutes to an hour before bed, then no phone, computer, or distractions,” Ayales says. “It’s not about crashing—you literally stay awake in bed and put yourself to sleep.” Give it three nights for the full results to kick in, and then dream on—and big.