Which Prescription Will Win the Game of Thrones?

Which Prescription Will Win the Game of Thrones?

Photo credit for Game of Thrones: HBO

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may have noticed the Seven Kingdoms lacks an apothecary…


Four years ago (when we were only in season 3 of Game of Thrones), my husband and I scoured the internet, sure there was some mistake: Asheville, North Carolina must have an herbal apothecary, right?

Four years later, Herbiary has become an Asheville institution and we’re setting our sights on what’s next. Maybe the Seven Kingdoms? We’ve been scouring Game of Thrones episodes and, as of yet, haven’t seen a single herb shop in all of Westeros.

The country’s obviously in need…so we had a bit of fun doing exactly what we can’t do here in the U.S.: diagnosing and treating the despotic, eerily psychic, and seriously sociopathic crew from Game of Thrones.

(Spoiler Alert: if you’re not up to date on the episodes, you may read something here you don’t want to know!)

Tyrion Lannister

Herbalist Seven Song (out of Ithaca, New York) came into our shop last year and asked if we had a cure for chronic sarcasm. Perhaps a healthy dose of love my (sarcastic) husband suggested. Love obviously didn’t cure Tyrion, who snarked through his love affair with Shae and remained rightfully cynical after she tried to murder him. While we don’t have a remedy for his sharp tongue, we’re voting for milk thistle seed, burdock and dandelion roots for his pickled liver.

Jon Snow

Resurrection’s hard on a body, not to mention a soul. Tincture of reishi, 3 times a day, to ease the soul back into the skin. Mimosa for the broody and dour. Milky oat because his job’s not getting any less stressful any time soon.

Bran Stark (aka the Three Eyed Raven)

While Jon got his soul stuffed back into his body, we’re wondering did Bran get his soul sucked out? Has he become the Three Eyed Raven or has Bran disappeared entirely, ceding his body to the ancient Raven’s soul? Whatever it is, winter’s got into his bones: the boy has a serious case of Seasonal Affective Disorder and his depressiac tendencies are straining the family reunion. Vitamin D, fish oil, St. John’s wort (a plant that flowers at Summer Solstice and is so needed by Winter Solstice) and eyebright drops to keep that three-eyed vision clear.

Cersei Lannister

If Cersei wasn’t scary as all get out, I’d pull her aside and pass her a packet of shatavari. “Shatavari” translates to “woman with a thousand husbands.” It helped me through the worst of peri-menopause. I doubt it has any effect on sociopaths, but it might take the edge off the mood swings…and perhaps sex with 999 other men (men who don’t come from the same womb) would satisfy her need for conquest.

G of T Prescriptions: Shatavari—woman with 1,000 husbands—to channel Cersei's need for conquest. Click To Tweet

Arya Stark

Can anyone say OCD with a side of multiple personality disorder?

  • obsessive thinking, repetitive thought patterns and urges that are difficult to ignore: CHECK
  • feelings of aggression and vengeance: CHECK
  • excessive adoption of other people’s faces and personalities: CHECK

This is a tough one given the deep-seated childhood trauma (although in the Seven Kingdoms that seems de rigueur) and the intentional dissembling of her own identity. Still a bit of Holly Flower Essence might ease the intense need for revenge, Passion Flower for the repetitive thoughts, and Rhodiola to get those cortisol levels in check.

As if this isn’t enough for A Girl to deal with, Arya’s recent rejection by Nymeria, her dire wolf, has left her heart-achy and clearly in need of rose petal elixir. In fact, Arya should make Rose her new BFF: Rose Hip Seed Oil would work wonders for her face—pulling off all those gooey second-skins can cause early age lines.

G of T Prescriptions: After rejection by Nymeria, 'A Girl' needs rose petal elixir. Click To Tweet


In every episode Daenrys adds a title, and Missandei’s privilege is to remember them all:

Daenrys Targaryen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Protector of the Realm, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, Princess of Dragonstone…

Whatever will she add this week? Empress of The North? Conqueror of the White Walkers? Stunned-Second-Seat to Jon Snow?

Whatever the effluvience, Missandei will have to add it to her next recitation of Daenrys’s dragon-sized name. Sniffing rosemary essential oil has been shown in studies to increase retention and, at the rate this list is growing, I’m thinking rosemary and gotu kola tincture, internally, as well.

Finally, Samwell Tarly…

…who isn’t gonna survive ’til Maesterdom if he doesn’t stop exposing himself to gray scale. Astragalus for his immune system and Good Samaritan oil as a disinfectant. Plus that puking montage screams for ginger chews and chamomile tea.

Oh, and The Hound?

Helichrysum essential oil will work wonders for that scarring.


Your turn: step behind the apothecary counter and tell me what you’d dose your favorite characters with?

(And next week we’ll be back to our regularly-scheduled programming!)


New Here?

Welcome! My name’s Maia Toll, registered herbalist with The American Herbalists Guild. I own two herb stores—one in Philadelphia, one in Asheville—and an online shop at www.herbiary.com. I spent a year in Ireland studying with a traditional medicine woman and have taught everywhere from the jungles of Peru to the University of Pennsylvania.

My first book is due out July 2018 (Storey Press). In the meantime, I love helping my author friends pick just the right herbal medicines for their characters to use. People are always asking what they should take for themselves:

When it come to botanical medicines and essential oils: knowledge is power, people… And that means taking the time to study and experiment, not simply latching onto the latest internet fad. Read more here.


Want more? Get it every Sunday by clicking here.

Essential Oil Empowerment: What You Need to Know

Essential Oil Empowerment: What You Need to Know

Ring. Ring.

“Hello—Herbiary. How can I help you?”

“Hi. I bought Citronella essential oil from you the other day. How many drops should I be taking?”

(Ummmm… none??!!)

“Why are you using Citronella essential oil internally?”

“I read on the internet that it’s good for detoxing.”

Oh, of course! Insert sarcasm: If you read it on the internet, it must be true!

People! Please, I beg you:

Do not confuse “I read it on the internet” with empowering yourself to take care of your own health.

Is internal use of Citronella good for detoxing? It depends what you mean by the word “detoxing.” If you mean expelling worms or other parasites, then yes, Citronella can get that done for you and it may be more gentle than pharmaceuticals.

'More gentle than pharmaceuticals' is a far cry from 'gentle enough for daily use.' Click To Tweet

This stuff is as strong as many antibiotics (would you take antibiotics ’cause you want to detox?) and just like when you take antibiotics, you’ll need to rebuild your gut flora when you’re through.

So if what you mean by detox is “I’ve been eating too many sweets and processed foods and I want to give my body a rest and reset,” then no, Citronella is not good for detox.

Although Citronella oil is Generally Regarded As Safe by the FDA the amounts their talking about is minuscule—parts per million—not an entire drop. It takes a ridiculous amount of plant material to make that one drop of oil, more than you’d consume in a month if you were just munching on Citronella… which is a grass, by the way.

Plus whenever you’re putting a strong compound into your body, your liver needs to jump into action, figure out what is it you ingested, and then break it down into usable parts.

Usually when you detox you want to rest your liver. Does this sound restful to you?

If you want to detox, the very best you can do is eat simple, fresh whole foods, and drink lots of water for a week. Cut out all sugars. Lay off the caffeine. Lots of veggies, lots of juice, lots of bone broth. Add some supportive herbal teas like dandelion or burdock root or alteratives like red clover or cleavers (don’t know what an alterative is? Then you really shouldn’t be using essential oils internally. This is basic botanical knowledge and if you’re not willing to do a little learning than you shouldn’t be using the hard-core stuff).

Is some whiny part of you thinking this sounds kinda hard…. I’d rather just take a drop of citronella… ?

I hear you. And I’ve got news for you: being self-empowered isn’t always easy. It takes a bit of discipline to take responsibility for yourself…

… And in that discipline lies freedom.

I want you to be empowered to own your own wellness, to make wise decisions about your well-being. If this is what you want for yourself, you need to be digging deep and cross-referencing what you read. One internet article that randomly came up when you researched “detox” does not make for a wellness plan.

Maybe you’re gonna get into essential oils and do a bit of studying. Maybe you’re gonna realize there’s more to it than you thought and consult with a professional.

Either way, you’re stepping up and taking responsibility for yourself and your healing.

‘Cause your health shouldn’t be dictated by the latest internet fad.

Big Hugs

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Ready to create your essential oil library?

I’ve made you a list of must-have books here!

How to Practice Happiness

How to Practice Happiness


Do you know how smart, beautiful, and fearless you are?

Have you given yourself a cheeky wink and a thumbs up in the mirror lately?

If you haven’t, make kissy faces at your beautiful-being the next time you pass the looking glass.


Because being grateful actually has a neuro-chemical effect on the brain. Which is why I have my clients start every session by telling me what’s new and good… especially when things are horrible and crappy.

Gratitude increases activity in the hypothalamus, which controls things like metabolism and sleep and stress. Which means that your decision to notice the good in your life affects your weight, your rest, and your relaxation.

Studies are showing that gratitude actually affects dopamine levels in the brain (read more here), which means being grateful makes your brain a happier place to live… and puts you in a positive feedback loop that makes it easier to be happy.

We tend to think of happiness as a fleeting feeling over which we have little control. But what happens if you think of happiness as a practice?

I suspect, if you are like many of my clients, it’s a practice that might be particularly relevant right now; at this time of year, when winter is beginning to soften but spring has not yet pushed through, aggravation can quickly become a dominant emotion.

The best antidote for aggravation is a little gratitude.

There are many ways to have a gratitude practice and you might have to experiment to find the one that flows for you:

* Keep a gratitude journal.

* Share something you are grateful for with your partner before bed.

* Use the camera on your phone to record moments of gratitude during the day (this is especially useful if you, like me, find gratitude in things you can see).

* Use essential oils to remind you of things you are grateful for (pine to remind you of Christmas with your family or clove to reminisce about Thanksgivings past).

What difference would it make in your life if gratitude became a practice and happiness a habit?

How do you practice gratitude and happiness? Share with us below!

Big Hugs-