Weeds, flowers, grasses, ferns; our summer fields and forests are alive with an intense variety of plants. The potent medicinal or poisonous potential laying within each herb is on a spectrum from deadly, to benign to nutritive. Galenical form matters; whether tinctured, infused or decocted the gathering and usage of wild herbs is an incredible art, spanning the evolution of humans and conducting life as we know it today.
Today, the unique composition of plants is known, from their genetic designs to their chemical combinations, and it is a meritable maze of information that caters to chemistry, medicine, agriculture, commerce, and mathematics. The art of knowing a plant beyond its science requires time, silence, meditation, open-mindedness, adventure, and attention. The need for respect ensures the sustainability of herbs being collected and utilized with little to no waste and without compromising the land from which it grew. Plants also hold immense power in illustrative romance, from the giving of flowers to a beloved and, of course, the beauty of the imagination and legends:
There, Isolde and his mother took off his armor and found in his shoe the tongue of the dragon. The queen prepared remedies to ward off the venom: she placed a powerful plaster on the body of the wounded man to draw the poison out and made him drink an infusion of effective herbs from which he received great relief. He had no other doctor than the queen, assisted by the young Isolde who looked after him and served him.
-Tristan and Isolde
Lifestyle Naturopathy honours and makes use of herbal remedies, whilst ensuring compatibility and safety, first and foremost.
Whether it be the plants popping up in your backyard, standardized commercial preparations, dried herbs at a herbalist store, or a tisane purchased at a chain supermarket, it is important to recognize the influence of herbs on our physiology. Every pathology can be aided with the knowledgeable use of herbs and, perhaps more importantly, the power of prevention also lies within.
And, let’s not overlook the aromas of herbs and the flavour they impart. We can partake in the wealth of the earth and rejoice in being alive with the fragrance and delight we gain from the phyto-chemical blend that our bodies respond to at so many levels.
We can benefit from the hard earned wisdom in traditional uses of plants and tap into the immense power of herbs safely and confidently with the right guidance.
Take some time to learn about a single local plant, how to identify it and what it offers. This practical task can open the door to a new found interest and bring about a greater joy to the everyday minute life around us.
Try smelling a new essential oil and with your eyes closed, sense what feelings you feel invoked by the scent and where you feel that in your body. Enjoy being part of a continuum of history and the ongoing shifts and changes in all phases of life.