Bringing Health To You, Naturally!
|Posted on 9 May, 2015 at 3:50||comments (378)|
In my earlier blog series Weeds of Wonder I wrote about the concept of plants growing together, and in degrees of abundance, relative to our need. This repeated pattern of plant interrelationships suggests a divine intelligence that is whispering its wisdom to us through the natural world, if only we should stop to listen. In the earlier series I illustrated this idea using the connection between Nettles and Clivers. These two plants are found growing together early in spring. Their influence on the blood and lymphatic system work to remedy the toxic accumulations of winter.
In some archaic belief systems, Nettles are believed to embody the masculine, while Clivers embody the feminine. At a physical level this is reflected in the plant structures. Nettles are physically coarser and stronger in their leaf and stem,while the Clivers are more delicate. Each plant has its own unique function, but they are most effective when they are applied together.
In the picture above we see the common sight of Nettles and Clivers growing together at a location near me. However, we see a third plant that is also dominant at this site and growing among the other two. If you look closely you will recognise it as Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria). Ground Elder, like Nettles, is a remedy for removing acid from the body and is a specific, in folk medicine, for gout.
At a simpler biochemical level, it is not at all significant where each of these plants grow or with whom....as long as they contain the relevant combination of constituents. Yet, these vital substances, if we can ignore for now other forces at work within our realm of existence, do not come into being of their own volition. These biochemicals evolved in quality and quantity under the influence of the environment the plants thrived in. When these herbs choose to thrive on a specific site we must ask ourselves, what do they gain individually? But when specific herbs regularly thrive together on a defined site we must also ask ourselves, what do they gain collectively....and logically, what do they offer collectively? If we develop this idea on, such considerations would support localised harvesting from specific sites, especially when matching our remedies to individual patient needs. Such an approach is the strength of the truly holistic herbalist....creating hand-picked medicines, from specific, well known local micro environments, to heal our community. To truly understand the influences and workings of our medicines we need to get out into our local areas and map out the locations where the various herbs known to us survive, but better still....those special places where they thrive. We need to understand that natural environment and what it brings to the plants we use with respect to their constituents, their energetics, and the elements that govern all things. We need to understand these herbs, not just in isolation but within their collective community. This is not a new concept, but is well established in many native and ancient cultures. As an example, the whirling... swirlings...and the webs woven by ancient Celtic art is a testament to their understanding of the interconnected nature of both physical and spiritual existence.
The medicines we need to regain a healthy balance grow around us naturally in the gardens, fields, woods, seashores and wetlands where we live. They have a story to tell that is still unfolding....
Health and Happiness
The Green Man
|Posted on 18 April, 2015 at 3:46||comments (1328)|
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The vibrant powdered herbs, seen in the picture on the left, are being blended specifically for one patient. No other patient is receiving the same formula. Essentially, unlike conventional medicine, holistic medicines specifically fit the individual patient needs rather than the patient having to fit the patent formula of the medicine. This may explain one of the reasons why our patients are not haunted by a list of side-effects.
another consideration is, I am using whole powdered herbs. The use of the whole plant part ensures that all the plant constituents are present to play an active role in the healing process, as nature conceived it. This is in contrast to the pharmaceutical industry and some manufacturers of patent herbal products who are obsessed with the "active" ingredients (usually alkaloids) and "standardisation.
Alkaloids, on their own. are like the element of fire unchecked. Fire, when tempered, can be a creative and healing force. But when fire is unleashed on its own it can leave a path of destruction. In contrast, whole plant material is in harmony with our natural pattern of absorption as well as our energetic resonance.
The pursuit of standardisation within manufactured herbal products reflects an attitude,among certain circles within the medical world, that see the natural world as evolving out of a meaningless series of random events. By extracting alkaloids (and other deemed active substances) and standardising them, they are doing a "proper job" with the "primitive" material at hand. However, the isolation and standardisation of individual constituents has been seen to create the same problem in herbal products, in terms of side-effects as those experienced in the manufacturing of conventional drugs when applying this philosophy.
My experience is the constituent combinations found in the herbs are anything but random. When we observe this more closely natural patterns become evident that suggest a hidden intelligence of intent. Even seemingly worthless plant fiber has a role to play in slowing down absorption of other more aggressive substances, subsequently softening the nature of their effect. The short term gains of extracted alkaloids and standardised herbal products may initially seem impressive when employed symptomatically, but in the long term there is a price to pay. Herbs work best when they are used holistically and when they are used whole.
It is true that some plants are found to vary in the concentration of their contents from one site to another. For this reason it is good for the home gatherer to map his/her areas of harvesting for more consistent results. Likewise, attention to concentrations in blending or a variable scale in dosage can compensate for any variations.
The vibrant herbs above were formulated for one patient alone. They were converted into the capsules seen.....and in keeping with the application of holistic philosophy the patient is responding well.
Health and Happiness
The Green Man
|Posted on 8 November, 2014 at 9:44||comments (520)|
The Green Man's Herbal Basket
Home Herbal Tuition
Here is an example of the first month's send out for the quarterly home herbal course starting in December. Each month you will receive four sample remedies with your tuition, including instruction on how to make them as well as information about the plants involved and other interesting facts about herbalism. The tuition is designed to empower you with the knowledge to make your own herbal remedies. In time you will be able to build up your own home herbal remedy cabinet made from plants you have grown or foraged. The tuition is limited to 10 spaces....so if you are interested please contact me. More information is available on The Green Man's Herbal Basket page of my website. www.tgm-mobileherbalist.com
|Posted on 2 October, 2014 at 16:13||comments (152)|
|Posted on 24 September, 2014 at 8:16||comments (267)|
I have been out collecting the abundant supply of damsons. These are scheduled to sit in my freezer until I have sufficient time to begin the process of making wine from them.
On a medical note Mrs. Grieve, in her famous book A Modern Herbal, tells us that the bark is styptic and the fruit is used for its astringency in cases of diarrhoea. This reference made me start thinking about the diverse ways holistic practitioners understand and prescribe for a case being treated.
Very often a case presents itself with a very clear physiological profile. However, some cases, when analysed holistically, will be understood by the influence or imbalance of an element . A case presenting excess heat (this may result from emotional friction caused by anger or frustration, from toxic states, insufficient fluid intake etc...or a combination of these factors) is influenced by the fire element and will need cooling and moistening herbs (water element) to restore balance. If the source of the heat is emotional, then Bach remedies and other methods may be applied to resolve the cause of friction.
Physically, such cases of dryness and heat may present themselves as agitated behaviour, inflammation, dry skin, red rash with itching, painful joints (drying of fluids and acid deposits), constipation etc. Some of these cases will also benefit from alterative and hepatic action (the liver is potentially a source of both toxic and emotional heat). However, the complex functioning of herbs makes it possible to make choices that combine all these properties
For me, cases presenting with heat and dryness often require a combination of two types of herbs within the formula; those that are astringent and those that are moistening. This may sound like a contradiction. Astringent herbs are thought of as drying. This is so initially, but I understand their long term action to be moistening by their influence of closing the tissue and thus preserving fluid loss (as in their application in wounds, diarrhoea, or excessive sweating). These would also be indicated where there are relaxed tissue states.
Moistening herbs are those that actually bring moisture to the system...or attract moisture to a specific site (depending in what format they are given). Usually these herbs contain high levels of mucilage. Such examples include Marshmallow, Couch Grass, Comfrey etc.
In the healing art it is important to recognise that the elements are the natural source of creation and we should not fear to turn to them in our understanding of how to restore balance and create health.
|Posted on 29 August, 2014 at 4:06||comments (157)|
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