3 Herbs to Help You Survive Mercury Retrograde

Apr 13, 2023

By Casie Giroux

Have you ever wondered: what is mercury retrograde and why does it seem to always be happening? You’re not alone! It does seem like Mercury is always in retrograde, but in actuality, the phenomenon only occurs three times a year for up to three weeks.

Simply put, Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion that makes Mercury appear to move backwards in the sky. Although it’s not actually moving backwards in comparison with the Earth, it appears that way. 

In fact, Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the solar system and is said to be the ruler of communication, travel, and technology. When mercury is in retrograde, the natural flow of energy is reversed or stuck, communication breakdowns occur, servers go down, and website bugs pop up. 

But it’s not just technology that can be wonky. Stress levels rise during this time leading to a scattered wandering mind. Some people can also experience sleep disturbances and restlessness all of which can impact digestion and skin health.   

During this time of communication disruption it’s important to take time to collect your thoughts and pause before speaking. It’s not the time to make big decisions but instead to listen intently, double check everything, confirm plans, and to avoid frustration with minor mishaps. 

Herbs can support us during this time. They can help keep us grounded by clearing out the cobwebs, and encouraging us to move more slowly and with intention.They can also curb the effects on our health and bring us back into balance. Fortunately, we have some awesome herb recommendations to take you into this Mercury retrograde feeling grounded and prepared for whatever life throws your way.

3 Herbs To Help You Survive Mercury retrograde

Tulsi/Holy Basil

Tulsi a.k.a. holy basil is an Ayurvedic adaptogen that benefits nearly every system in the body. It can support a calm and clear mind while also helping us to adapt to the stressors that can show up during this period. Holy basil has been used traditionally as a meditation herb because it can help to create additional headspace to think deeper and more mindfully. It can also support increased focus without being overly energizing or stimulating. Some people like tulsi first thing in the morning to sharpen their focus and start the flow of energy while others prefer tulsi in the evening to reflect and clear out the thoughts from the day. Either way, taking tulsi in preparation for and during this time of disruption can provide clarity of thought and mindfulness. 

Lion’s Mane 
Lion’s mane is an adaptogenic mushroom well-known for its brain and cognitive health properties. Mercury retrograde can cause some of us to have scattered thoughts and become forgetful. Taking an herb like lion’s mane can help sharpen the mind and keep life's endless to do list in check. While caffeine can provide us with clarity and energy in the moment–it also can lead to a dreaded energy crash and nervous agitation. Adding lion’s mane to your routine this retrograde can help you maintain mental alertness and grounding without the crash or jitters. 

Skullcap is a calming nervine herb in the mint family known for its cooling effects on the nervous system. Retrograde can leave some people feeling edgier than usual as plans begin to unravel and not proceed as expected. Nervine herbs can help calm frazzled nerves–especially during retrograde. Skullcap is particularly useful when it comes to overall stress, tension headaches, sleeplessness, and irritability. Our Take the Edge Off tincture is full of this calming nervine herb and is a great option for those looking to combat stress and keep the nervous system at peace.

Final thoughts

Herbs are an easy and gentle way to give our bodies some extra love during what can feel like a turbulent time. Depending on how Mercury retrograde manifests in your life will dictate the best herbs for you. Fortunately, herbs have a compounding effect and often work best in synergy. So taking several herbs to support multiple body systems at a time is usually the best and most holistic approach. No matter which herbs you take, we hope you have a happy Mercury retrograde! 


About Casie Giroux

Casie Giroux is a Clinical Herbalist with a background in communication sciences, herbal product formulation and creation, sustainable wildcrafting, teaching, and organic farming.  She earned her certification through the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville, CA.  On the weekends  you can find her playing in the garden, foraging for abundant plants, and camping by the water.