Herbalism & The Old Ways
Posted on October 05, 2011 | 0 comments
What interests me about herbalism ties into a much larger picture. I believe the earth provides us with everything that we need in order to live as healthy, balanced, whole beings. Nourishing food, community, and an intimate relationship with with our surroundings. We've been separated from everything of importance – our land, our food, each other, ourselves. Our physical bodies and minds haven't changed much in thousands of years, yet everything around us is different, chaotic. It's no surprise that we're so confused. Synthetic pharmaceutical drugs may serve as band-aids for illnesses brought on by these synthetic lives we live, but they often cause more problems than they cure. Instead of these temporary solutions, let's solve the real problem: A disconnectedness from the natural world.
One of the easiest, yet most important ways for us to get back to true health is to recognize the importance of what we put in our bodies. Some of the most beneficial herbs are found in the average person's kitchen. Garlic, onion, ginger, cinnamon, and most spices. How did they get there? I don't believe they ended up in our meals simply because they taste good. Our ancestors knew through their relationship with the land that those herbs (vegetables being herbs as well), were nourishment, natural medicine. Recognizing this relationship is of utmost importance.
As more and more people become disillusioned with modern medicine, herbalism and other alternative medicines gain popularity. This leads to a questioning of validity and motives of large regulatory organizations like the FDA, which most Americans assume to be working in their best interests. Herbs are not out to make a profit. Many are readily available, growing wild, and definitely not funded by exploitative companies. They provide for us in exchange for our respect and care for their communities. I believe that once these wonderful gifts are are recognized by the masses, it will encourage a deeper appreciation of the natural world, and recognition of the importance of getting back in touch with it. I view herbalism as that link.