Updated: Nov 30, 2021
The natural world is there to remind you, to live in the moment. To appreciate the beauty, the friendship and emotional support that simply sitting with plants for a moment can give you.
Unconditional self love and self acceptance can be learnt. Sometimes the ability to sit with an uncomfortable thought or a feeling, is a great start, to begin the journey towards self acceptance. To hear the derogatory words and trace them back without blame. To work backwards to the source of a certain pattern. This journey can go back some distance. But hey! don't sit alone...sit with the plants. If you don't have a garden find your closest park or wild space and sit there. Be conscious of self-beratement and use the support and unconditional love for yourself from the plants to send 'that voice' some love with further acceptance and deeper understanding. This can be a wonderful challenge and beautiful gift of adulthood. Literally changing neurological pathways and lighting up new thought patterns, revealing new patterns of behaviour. Science has shown us that the brain has neuroplasticity. To honestly and compassionately study and explore our inner terrain is a 'Lord of the Rings' type quest. To forge forward, until both the inner and the outer terrain truly resemble each other.
"You will never be alone as long as you keep nature with you. Mother nature herself, will catch everyone of your tears".
This leads me to a concept which has relevance to many people as they travel the plant path.
Adverse Childhood Events or ACE's are a real phenomenon, they have a dramatic impact on human health. At Heartwood I was introduced to the work of Dr Nadine Burke Harris, a courageous Canadian pediatrician and author of two books on the long-term effects of childhood trauma. It is important to consider ACE's in childhood development and understand the huge impact on our susceptibility to disease in adulthood. This phenomenon should be understood, appreciated and prevented particularly in Herbal PracticePlease visit Dr Burke-Harris' website for more information: burkefoundation.org
There are simple ways that herbs can help us to move towards; self-care, self-management and self love.
1). Make the first trip before your daily schedule begins a 5 or 10 minute breather with your chosen plant. It may be in the garden or in a plant pot. Touch it, smell it, spend a moment, commune, and breath. Try to keep to the same plant, to build a relationship over a season or a year. A week is still beneficial. Does it need anything that you could help with?
Self massage with warm infused herbal oils is an ancient ayurvedic practice called Abhyanga introduced to me by NIMH herbalist Anne McIntyre. I find it wonderfully supportive and comforting, particularly when I am feeling 'mmner'.
Infused tea blends are a reliable anchor for me, my favourite's when I get the wobbles are Leonurus cardiaca, motherwort, Ocimum sanctum, holy basil, Alchemilla vulgaris, lady's mantle, Melissa officinalis, lemon balm and Matricaria recutita, chamomile. I personally love the bitter taste of motherwort, do you? All of these teas are taken as simples (meaning on their own) and sipped hot. I love the alchemy of blends, but when I wobble I tend to stick to one plant, at most two (e.g I add Urtica dioica, nettle), rose petals or grated ginger, Zingiber officinale.
Herbal baths are a great way to immerse yourself in some herbal support. I like all plants in my bath but my go to's for self love are Lavandula officinalis, lavender, Tilia spp. limeflower and Rosa spp. rose. A handful of Bellis perennis daisy, or rose petals or Calendula officinalis, marigold flowers in the bath make it look so pleasing to me. I like to add Epsom salts, Barley and Oats in a muslin and light candles. Check with your herbal practitioner before adding any these herbs and salts to your bath especially if you are on any prescription medication or if you have a specific health condition or are pregnant, hoping to conceive or breast feeding.
We can't change the journey that as children we had to work through. It is important that we as a community support one another. If you have concern that a child, an elderly couple or a family in your community seem to be struggling, act on that feeling; do what you feel is the best thing to see if they need support. A good place to start if possible is to share your concern, sensitively in an honest open the question to the person involved, without judgement. Or speak to your primary health care practitioner. Through keeping our own self care routines and commitment to self love, we become stronger and more capable of truly helping others.
"Amor vincit omnia" - love conquers all.
Building a herbal community that is based on mutual support. Revealing an understanding and recognition of 'symbiosis' and the essential 'Oneness'.
For the strength of the individual is key to the health of the community. Together with the natural world that we all inhabit".
TRIBE HERBS = TRIBE HEALTH.