The Depths Of Herbalism | Our Oldest Earth System
In a world where we have seemingly lost touch with earth and all of her creations we are stuck feeling depleted, perhaps a bit lost and overall in a rush for optimal relief. How did we get to a point in our modern world where we lost all sense of ownership and accountability to our own way of living, learning and taking care? The debate can be an endless whirlwind because many factors take place. Science progressed in a way that was almost too ahead for its time. Technology has taken over and made our lives incredibly simple. With those extreme umbrella factors you have a deeper web within all of those that make up an abundant world filled with fast movements and quick reliefs. Because of how rapid our world changed, for who many will say it happened overnight, we are left with more questions than we have answers in regards to our body, our health, our earth, our space, our carbon footprint, our environment, our habitats and everything in between.
What is herbalism?
Herbalism is an ancient practice that uses leaves, barks, oils, seeds and roots to increase the vitality of a person based on their unique constitution by nourishing, promoting, expeling and supporting different ailments that happen within or on the surface of one's body. Furthermore, this earth practice considers all aspects of a person and introduces other wellness tools into one's daily ritual to stimulate the mind and soul for optimal balance. The key to experiencing success through Herbalism is by having interconnectedness amongst ourselves and the universe. This trickles deeper into emotion, elements and energy.
The practice of herbalism is multifaceted. It’s commonly practiced using a traditional form of healing such as Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Western, Folk, Wise Woman or others. However, herbalism should never be an extension of these traditional practices because Herbalism is THE practice. Herbalism has been the root of healing for millions of years. It’s the mother gaia.
Herbs Support People
A famous phrase in the herbal community is “Herbs support people, pharmaceuticals treat disease”. We once lived in a world where the only source of relief was from the world that was outside of our homes. It was the fungi, the flowers, the sun, the water, the trees. Of course we are hyper aware that along the way we lost touch. The most beautiful part of this whole scenario though is that plants are still here. What a great friend. Did you know that over 20% of today’s pharmaceuticals are derived from plants?
Here’s what we know about plants to be true: they are the divine source of healing for all. The practice of plant medicine has been around for centuries. Plants didn’t magically stop working for us one day, we stopped working for them. We stopped listening, smelling, loving, touching, watering, feeling and connecting. We started to move too fast and while we moved quickly, so did our need for faster relief from ailments. Plants are still here for us. We have to go back to slow movements and the loving sound of pausing. I owe plants an apology. I owe my body an apology. What about you?
Why herbs Work
The term “herb” is most commonly thought of in a culinary sense, but from a wellness perspective and overall scientific studies done on plant healing, herbs provide balance for different ailments because they have a constitution all on their own. Just as us humans have a bodily constitution, plants have the same. Different herbs have different energetic qualities and actions that play a key part in supporting someone with a condition. Herbs have many chemical constituents, vitamins and minerals. All plants synthesize and use chemicals to promote growth, protect themselves from insects, attract pollinators, heal themselves, communicate, and for many other reasons still being discovered. Plants are not passive beings, existing merely to color the landscape. They constantly manufacture and emit chemicals that interact with their plant communities and with those that consume them. Constituents synthesized by the plant can be classified into two categories: primary metabolites and secondary metabolites.
Primary metabolites are chemicals that the plant uses to maintain its growth and include starches, proteins, and lipids, among others. Primary metabolites also serve as precursors to secondary metabolites.
Secondary metabolites are chemicals used by the plant to intervene with outside forces, including pollinators, bacteria, viruses, and herbivores and are sometimes quite toxic. It is believed that it is through these secondary metabolites that herbs work to affect human health.
What Herbalism Isn’t
The term herbalism is act of using plants for our overall health and wellbeing, and it’s used in a spiritual, connected and slow moving state of living. Herbalism is more than plants, it’s complete lifestyle. Herbalism takes into consideration who you are as a person, what state of being you are in whether it be mentally, physically or spiritually. Herbalism follows through with practices such as meditation, tongue scraping, dry brushing, mindful eating, environmental awareness and more. Herbalism is accountability.
So what isn’t it?
Herbalism is not a quick fix. Herbalism is not a diet, or a pill, or a hippy concept. Herbalism is so much more than taking herbs to address symptoms. Herbalism is not going to give us what we are looking for if we are not actively looking for it ourselves. It’s not a magical potion, it’s not a cure and it’s not the end all be all. Herbalism is a system of healing that has been used for centuries, we just lost the sense of her embrace. Putting blind faith in our green allies is as unrealistic as accepting anything without question. Herbs excel at nourishing; rebuilding; at bringing the body back into balance with itself over time; but their influence as sole agents ends when they meet the place that they must go forward as an adjunct to skilled medical care.
Beginning Your Journey
So, you want to know where to get started? The great thing here is that your options are limitless! If you are just looking for a way to use herbs and practice herbalism as an individual going through this thing called life, and you are ready to live holistically and mindfully you can:
Educate Yourself Through Blog Posts (oh hey, you’re doing that now!)
Meet With An Herbalist For A Session (coming soon, find someone in your area)
Be Social! Follow Me On Instagram (@kaylakatieann) So Much Herbal & Mindful Knowledge
Find Facebook Support Groups
Start With Books (visit my cupboard for recommendations)
Sign Up For My Newsletter
Drink A Cup Of Tea! (so undervalued)