Even though modern medicine definitely has its important place in the medical “tool-kit,”, it definitely lacks the dimensions of herbal medicine. Herbal medicine not only works on the physical level, it also works on the spiritual. And, I don’t mean that lightly and surely not in any New Agey way (gasp).
I teach that herbs should be considered to have three main functions: nutritional, medicinal, and spiritual. And, these three have boundaries between each other that truly do blur.
To me, it is amazing that a plant can both nourish the body, work on a particular organ system or tissue state, AND shift one’s relationship with the world (that’s the spiritual and also emotional part).
For example, hawthorn berries and flowers are a great tonic for the heart. It’s balancing to blood pressure, increases the electric charge across the heart, and tonifies the heart muscle for proper pumping. Hawthorn also provides the body with bioflavinoids, Vit C, pectin, and other nutrients. Further, hawthorn’s energetics protects and nourishes the heart and is good for times of loss/grief or heart-break.
To me, this is just amazing. A plant, that we’ve evolved with for thousands upon thousands of years…is so fine-tuned to us and we are so fine-tuned to it. Our body’s own tissues find perfect mirrors and familiars with plant energetics (warming/cooling, moistening/drying, lax/tense).
I still remember when I began studying plants about a decade ago. I thought to myself, “where have you been all my life!?” But then, I realized the right question was, “where have I been all this time?”
Plants are patient with us… They call us to them to remember their uses, energetics, and pure nature. All we have to do is begin to relate to them and involve them in our lives once again.