Upon arriving at the grandparents the other day, I discovered Sevi had had a little accident. Nothing major, just a couple of really good skinned knees.
"Do you do the Neosporin and band-aids? I've got some right here." Came the kind offer.
"No that's okay, I make my own" I said, as I pull out the old mini jelly jar swiped from a hotel room, now full of earthly scented green goo.
The Neo and Band-Aids would have been just fine, so why did I insist on using my own? There's a whole host of reasons we use plant medicine. Knowing what's in it is important. Taking back our own power to heal ourselves, also a big one. Then there's the simple fun of making stuff, ya know feeding the DIY urge. But honestly, it's something even bigger than that. It's connection.
When we use the medicine, we experiencing healing in a scientific way, yes. We can say creosote bush has anti-bacterial properties, protects skin, and reduces inflammation. We could even, if we wanted to, locate and name the specific constituents (plant chemicals) that can be linked to how it does this precisely. We can even point to traditional cultures that have been using it as proof of its validity. But here's the thing, you don't need anyone else's authority to know it works. It's important to know what it is and that it's safe. But the best medicine from the plants comes from the connections we make in our own direct experience with working them. The pride that comes from discovering a plant, what it is, and that it has medicine for you. It's a chance to get off the screen and outside to meet old friends. I know it sounds a little hippie dippie, but Nature Deficit Disorder is real. And as Laura, author of Free Range Learning points out in this post, lack of time spent gazing at the big wide world outside may even be leading to measurable physical changes in how we are able to see the world.
So really, it's more than just nature pharmacy and herbcrafting fun. It's how alive we feel when we go on an expedition to find the best bush. How keen our senses becomes as we begin to notice the subtle details as the plant shifts over a season, knowing the perfect time for harvest. Then, when we pull out our little green bottles of goop, we remember that connection. We remember the bees that grazed our fingers as we stuffed the flowers into the jar. We remember the smell of the red dirt on that hot summer morning. We are reminded that this is a gift from the earth that offered us so many ways to expand our vision. And as we apply our warm hands over the wound, the energetic imprint of that positive memory imparts itself in the healing we make with the flesh. A connection between human and earth is restored and true planetary healing begins from the ground up.
Go outside today, meet an old friend, and make a connection.
Love and besos, Latisha