In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that nearly all imbalances and serious health concerns are rooted in the emotions. Anger, for example, can aggravate and cause imbalances in the Liver, while Liver issues can in turn increase our chances of being in chronic states of anger. Emotions are some of the strongest patterns of energy that move through our being, so learning to identify them, understand how they influence us, and help keep them healthy and balanced is essential for overall wellness.
Anger The Teacher
Anger has purpose and roots. In the form of being mad, resentful, bitter, irritated, and frustrated it comes like a wildfire force into our lives to let us know that something simple isn’t right. While many paths teach that we should extinguish the fire of anger altogether, I believe that we should be open to what it’s saying and why.
For me, feelings of anger are a little alert letting me know that something in my life isn’t balanced. Anger tends to come up for me when I’ve set expectations that aren’t being met, when I’m trying to control someone or something and it isn’t going my way, or when I feel less important or valued than others. For you, anger might come up in different ways – and it’s important to explore your own triggers to understand what messages anger might be bringing to you.
For me, anger usually reminds me that I am trying to force, control, or define a situation in ways that simply are not balanced. I may be angry that I wanted something to go a certain way and it didn’t, or that I wanted someone to respond in a certain way and they didn’t. Anger, for me, is often about adaptability and learning to allow people and events to unfold in ways beyond how I might be able to imagine.
Anger teaches us if we listen.
As mentioned above, anger is an essential teacher that lets us know when our expectations aren’t being met – for good or bad. It usually shows us how we’re being stubborn or limited in our way of thinking, and if we listen and take its advice, we end up finding much bigger and broader ways to let things happen in our lives.
Anger, in small doses that alert us to issues and inspire us to take action is a wonderful thing. Anger that’s chronic, cyclical, unending, or that gets in the way of us living a healthy, happy life is a problem.
If you feel that your anger has taken on a life of its own, is poisoning relationships, is fueling violence, or simply makes you less happy than you know you can be, it’s time for you to love yourself enough to make some changes. The first step to balancing anger is to connect with a professional who can help you work through it. There’s great valor and courage in seeking out a counselor or other type of therapist, and the benefits are simply amazing.
While you’re getting that kind of help, you can also rely on plant medicine to help you feel calmer and to open you up to new ways of being.
Herbal Teas For Anger
If you’re feeling angry, or if you’re on a path of working our chronic patterns of anger, these gentle herbal teas can make great healing allies for you. Research the herbs individually below, and try the recipe that follows!
This is one of my favorite herbs to help deal with anger. It’s cooling, helps clear and tonify the Liver, and it grounds us out as all root herbs do. For me, dandelion root has a nurturing, protective, hopeful, and sunny disposition that makes a wonderful friend during times of anger and other ‘hot’ emotions. You can also use Dandelion Root to make a nourishing and grounding ‘coffee’. See the recipe here.
I generally use Skullcap to help with anxious people who find that they spend too much time in their heads worrying, ruminating, and thinking ‘what if’, but it also makes a wonderful herbal ally for those who are working through anger. Skullcap helps calm the angry thought patterns that often start and won’t stop in our minds, and it provides gentle, lasting relaxation that can help us move into a more positive head space.
St. John’s Wort
This champion of mood lifting is a wonderful ally for angry people who also find that they deal with depression. Anger and sadness go hand-in-hand more often than we realize, and St. John’s Wort can be a great friend to those who want to relieve hot emotions while also feeling the joy and hope flood back in.
I love Lemon Balm! This is a wonderful herb to enjoy as a tea all by itself since it tastes wonderful, is super gentle, and has nearly immediate benefits. Lemon Balm is my go-to herb for joy, calm, relaxation, and feeling hopeful. It brings a smile to the faces of the people who drink it, and it can be made into a delicious iced herbal tea to help cool the heat of anger anytime.
Rose Petals & Hips
Love is considered to be the antidote to fear, and I believe that there’s a great deal of fear in anger. Rose petals and hips are a wonderful nourishing addition to any tea blend to help open up our hearts and replace heavier emotions like anger, resentment, and judgment with lighter feelings of love, appreciation, and acceptance.
Anger Balancing Herbal Tea Recipe
Sip this herbal tea during a therapy session, while you take an anger-releasing walk, or anytime you need to turn down the heat of angry feelings. You might be surprised at how fast it works!
5 parts Lemon Balm
3 parts Skullcap
1 part Dandelion Root
1 part Rose Petals
1 part St. John’s Wort
1 part Plantain
1 part Orange Peel
Combine all herbs. Steep 1 heaping Tablespoon in 8-10 ounces boiled water for 6 minutes. Strain, cool to a safe temperature, and enjoy! You can also make this into an iced herbal tea by pouring it over ice or steeping the herbs overnight in the fridge, then straining the next day.
Other Ways To Help Balance Anger
Here are some effective and simple things you can do to help calm anger whenever you need to…
- Go for a walk outside. Walking soothes the Liver energy and can help shake off anger. It can also give you time to calm down and think of new ways to respond to a triggering situation.
- Talk it out with a friend, a counselor, in meditation, or in prayer. Hanging on to angry energy just makes it worse.
- Learn to identify the patterns that lead to you feeling angry. Find out what makes your anger tick, and explore new ways of working with that energy.
- Check out books and videos that give new perspectives on anger.
- Gift yourself bodywork – massage is a wonderful way to passively work out excess angry energy.
- Choose to take time for gratitude each day. Count your blessings and be happy about the things you have.
- Go for a swim, take a cool shower, or drink a cool smoothie. Bring in the cooling energy and give yourself some alone time to think, process, and problem-solve.
To our health…
References & Resources
Tierra, Dr. Michael, and Leslie Tierra. Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicina Vol. I & II. Lotus Press. 1998. Print.
Tierra, Michael. Planetary Herbology. Lotus Press. 1988. Print.
“Controlling Anger Before It Controls You”. American Psychological Association.
“Dealing With Anger”. Psychology Today.
Suttie, Emma. “The Liver and Anger”. Chinese Medicine Living.