When I was a little girl playing in the backyard, one of my favorite things to do was collect leaves, twigs, and whatever other plant or form of one I could find and grind them up (or try to, I don’t think my little hands could do it then) in a mortar and pestle to make “pretend concoctions.” Low and behold, fast forward years later and here I am undergoing a degree in Chinese Medicine in which I will be doing the very things I considered play time as a child.
I have always been a firm believer in herbal medicine and the power of plants to heal. This doesn’t mean I necessarily turn my nose up at modern medicine. I happen to think that modern medicine has proved to be extremely effective in treating acute conditions. Our society is very scientifically and technologically advanced in that aspect. What I mean is, under emergent conditions such as getting burned or having a heart attack – lavender or garlic isn’t going to cut it (at least initially). However, herbal medicine has been shown to significantly help in healing or preventing disease. Maybe that burn could heal faster with the aid of some lavender, and maybe heart conditions can be prevented by increasing your garlic intake.
Herbal medicine is also a great way to stave off other infections that are not so serious. Your body was meant to heal when needed. If you catch a cold, or have a sore throat you do not necessarily have to reach directly for the pill bottle to treat it. Of course, there are certain instances where it is vital for your health to follow a course of medication, and I do not recommend going against your professional doctor’s advice. However, taking herbal supplements or including certain foods/herbs/spices into your diet can benefit your ailment or depending on what you are treating – heal it (if you ARE on medication, consult with your physician first to make sure it’s safe to take other supplements).
Any part of a plant (root, fruit, leaves, seeds, etc.), a mineral or in Chinese medicine, even some animal parts are considered herbal medicine. It is no coincidence that all of these things were put here on our planet. Mother Earth provides us with all of the medicine we need for different reasons. It is up to us to be open to utilizing this medicine to better our health and our lives.
Every other month I will be featuring a new herb and hope that you will find it beneficial in some way, whether it pertains to your own health, or someone else that you can offer help. You won’t be able to deny how good it feels to be able to treat yourself naturally and feel like you are doing something beneficial for your body (and your soul!).