Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

Good Grief tea

Grieving the loss of a loved one, or even the loss of an expectation or the end of a chapter in life, is important emotional work. It is a major life stressor and can be very taxing and demanding. Like any of life's challenges, the way through the valley is so much easier with good company, counsel & support, and with good nutrition and sleep.

Herbs can play their part in supporting a healthy grieving process. They can nourish the nervous system, increase the body's capacity to cope with stress, soothe anxiety and support deep, healing sleep.

The Good Grief tea can be tailored to suit your needs and your taste buds. The usual ingredients are:

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) - considered to have anti-depressant properties, a soothing, comforting herb, a balm for the soul.

Withania (Withania somnifera) - an adaptogen which boosts the immune system, supports the body's ability to withstand stress, fatigue and anxiety, tonic for the nervous system.

Motherwort - this herb is especially good for grief that is part of the journey of mothering and being mothered. It has long been used as a tonic for the female reproductive system, and also has sedative, and comforting effects, to soothe anxiety. It strengthens the heart, both the physical and emotional "heart", hence its Latin name, Leonurus cardiaca. Its anti-spasmodic effects help to relax tense muscles.

Borage (Borago officinalis) - a cleansing, de-toxifying herbs, traditionally used to increase the ability to withstand stress, lift the spirits, imbue courage and ease melancholy. The name is said to be derived from the meaning, "I bring courage". Borage is one herb that must NOT be taken during pregnancy.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) - a beautiful nervine tonic and restorative , with gentle tranquilising effects to support you through mental and physical stress. Its anti-spasmodic effects reduce muscle tension and reduce anxiety and insomnia

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate) - a nervine and anxiolytic with calming, sedative effects. Like Skullcap, it also relaxes muscle spasm, soothes anxiety and stress and supports sleep.

Oatstraw (Avena sativa, Oats green) - a nervine tonic and restorative, rich in B Vitamins to replenish stores depleted by stress; nourished and soothes the nervous system. This is an excellent herb to support you through any stressful time.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - this is an anxiolytic with gentle pain relieving properties that I believe act on emotional as well as physical pain. Its anti-spasmodic effects help to relax mind and muscle tension.

St John's Wort (or St. Joan's Wort), Damiana and Valerian can also be added by request.

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) - calms nervous tension and insomnia, is considered to have anti-depressant effects

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis ) - a sedative, calming herb that supports sleep. It is a gentle tranquiliser with muscle-relaxing effects. It is especially helpful to bring down high blood pressure caused by stress. Some practitioners believe Valerian is not suitable for people experiencing clinical or severe depression.

Damiana (Turnera diffusa) - a nervine tonic and restorative, helpful for nervous exhaustion, anxiety and stress.

My suggestion is, choose two herbs that speak to you, then add three more supportive herbs for added benefit, then 2 more for taste.

Beautiful herbs for taste, (as well as extra anti-oxidants and nutrients such as Vitamin C) are: Spearmint, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Ginger, Nutmeg, Lemon Verbena, Rosehip, Stevia leaf (sweet) and the delicious Hibiscus which gives the tea a pretty pink hue and a sweet, tangy, fruity flavour.

A possibility might be:

Oatstraw and Lemon Balm, as the primary soothing herbs. Withania, Lavender and Borage for secondary effects. Cinnamon and Ginger for taste.

I suggest a cup of tea, using about 3g or 1 tsp of herbs, 3 times daily. If you wish to drink more than that, do so. A 100g packet is enough for about 30 cups of tea, so will last roughly 10 days.


Some Mellow Mood relaxation bath herbs may make a lovely accompaniment to the Good Grief tea. An ideal gift package if someone you care about is going through a challenging time.

Disclaimer: This information is based on the empirical knowledge of traditional herbal medicine, is of a general informational nature and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Any health condition should be referred to your chosen health care practitioner. Check with your health care practitioner before commencing to use any herbal tea, and be aware of any personal and family allergies.

Some links that may be helpful:

Grief, from Herbs2000

Understanding Grief and Loss

The Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement

The 4 Tasks of Mourning

Getting Grief Right - an article from the New York Times. (the point being there is no "right" way)

Healing after Pregnancy Loss 

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