How are you feeling today?... Calm? Grounded? Strong? Well rested? Creative? Hopeful? Happy to be you? All of the above? Good for you!
And even better if you get there au naturel, without taking happy pills, painkillers, sleeping pills, energy drinks, anxiety meds, and the whole host of prescription or OTC drugs that help us mask any physical or emotional discomfort…
Why? Because, while drugs may act quickly and bring us an instantaneous relief in a true emergency situation, they often come with a really hefty cost when used as a long-term therapy. Way too often they simply mask physical symptoms without addressing the root causes of the problem, while at the same time taking a heavy toll on our vitality, life force and energy levels. Not to mention the numerous side effects that come with use of pharmaceuticals, which often hurt the body’s vital systems, and at times threaten life itself.
By medicating our slightest discomforts we often avoid hearing what our body and psyche are trying to tell us. What needs to change in our lives? What unexpressed emotions, needs, desires are asking to be released or expressed? Which old patterns or fears do we no longer need to carry? What are the new qualities or experiences that we are longing to acquire on our quest for our true loving, kind, fearless and radiant selves?
The world of plant remedies offers a healthy and intelligent alternative to standard medication. So, how are the medicinal plants different from the meds? And how can they be used as potent healing agents?
The answer is simple. Plants have populated the planet since time immemorial, and carry in their DNA the wisdom and healing powers of the Earth. Their energy matrix has been integrated and interwoven with ours for millennia, in the form of food and medicine. Plants, when used wisely and with discretion, have safely taught our bodies and psyches how to adjust to our ever changing human condition in order to persevere, thrive and evolve.
How do we use plants? One way is to lean on them in order to overcome a specific condition - for example, have a cup of a ginger decoction to break up a cold, take bitters to help digest a heavy meal, or apply an arnica ointment to a bruise or a sprain to help it heal.
Unlike the allopathic meds, plants will not just mask or eliminate the symptoms but rather help the body to heal itself and, magically, teach it to function at a more optimal level when faced with a similar situation in the future.
Going back to our examples: ginger will work with the respiratory, immune, digestive and circulatory systems of the body, while bitters will tone the liver and gallbladder, help drain any digestive excess, and reduce inflammation. If you use these plants daily for a few weeks, they will bring a lasting and a well-integrated positive change to your health and well-being.
Another striking difference between plants and medications is that, as you can see in the example of ginger, every plant remedy carries multiple wellness benefits and nourishes many energy systems in the body at the same time.
But do we have to be sick to use medicinal plants?
Not at all! Plants nourish our energy and vital health systems, gently detoxify the body, and bring our health to its best expression.
In addition, plants work with human beings on many levels - not only physical but also emotional and energetic.
Does your mind often feel scattered? Do you feel too agitated to focus on the task at hand? Are you easily stressed? Do you often get upset or angry? Do you fear speaking in public, taking an airplane or staying in the dark? Do you feel sluggish or stagnant? Do you get tired easily? You get the idea: plants can work with us on many different planes to address a really broad spectrum of issues!
Plants are living beings full of energy, have different personalities and distinct strengths… just like us! Some are heating, drying and quick to act, like cayenne pepper, and others are slow, moist, cold and nourishing like marshmallow root, just to give you some familiar examples. Some are grounding and calming, and others are energy-moving and uplifting… Your choices are really wide, and depend on your personal needs and your physical and mental/emotional makeup!
So, how do we take plants? As hot-water infusions, decoctions, capsules or liquid extracts/tinctures, depending on the nature of the plants and parts used, as well as personal preferences. We can also use essential oils by smelling them, diffusing them around the house, applying them topically (diluted in carrier oils like jojoba or olive oil), or taking them internally as capsules (for example oregano oil diluted in olive oil).
Another interesting way to work with energetics of plants is by using flower essences. The most well known flower essence set was formulated at the beginning of the 20th century by Dr. Edward Bach, and consists of 38 vibrational essences. Flower essences help to move through certain emotional states (for example, fear, terror or shock), or work with out-of-balance personality traits like impatience or inability to say no, among others.
There are many wondrous ways to heal, learn, and re-discover our true essence with the beautiful green spirits of the Earth!! Which one is calling your name?