My Plant Medicine Journey
I was afraid of working with herbs. It was early 2017, and I was deep in health crisis after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (multiple sclerosis). I ultimately decided to follow what my gut was telling me, which was to decline pharmaceutical medication. I healed myself with organic foods as medicine, spiritual / emotional / mental healing, + lifestyle changes. But herbs, I had read online, could potentially make this diagnosis worse. For example, I was afraid of Echinacea or other immune-boosting herbs because some of what I read said that boosting my immune system could boost the autoimmune (self-attacking) effects. I wasn’t sure what to make of it so I focused on food instead for the time being-- organic eating and finding a protocol that worked with my body.
Much later that year, I found this incredible article that ended up hanging on our fridge for some time. It was an in-depth article about herbs for autoimmune disease. God bless the people who wrote it. I don’t know where it is now, but I sure am grateful for it. It calibrated me back to what I knew deep, deep down in my gut. I started working with the plants on the list that lit up to me first. Hawthorn. Motherwort. Tulsi (holy basil).
I quickly found that they weren’t just working with my body on a physical level. There was/is an emotional / spiritual / mental healing that happens with plants. I love that about them. They are not just bandaids, covering up symptoms. Plants actually help us transform deeply. For example, Hawthorn and Motherwort are heart medicines. In order for me to actually heal a chronic illness, my 'heart walls' would have to come down. Heart walls coming down facilitates healing in other aspects of my life... heart walls come down... my ability to truly love myself activates... I feel more open to relationships / intimacy... creating further healing... Ripple and ripple and ripple, and so on. When I start to truly integrate love for myself, I then make healthier choices for my body, mind, and spirit. It’s very organic how this path of healing goes. From my own experience, it has been a lot about trusting myself and my own body's communication // my own intuition. At the end of the day, when I’m tapped in, grounded, & centered, *I* know my body best.
Plants have further helped me connect deeper with my intuition, heal my heart, heal my brain / mind / nervous system, heal sexuality, connect deeper with my dreams, address womb healing... I mean, so much you all.
My herb cabinet.
I started by experimenting with making herbal infusions and yoni steams (<- life changing! I imagine I’ll make a whole post about steaming). Then tinctures-- making them intuitively, based on what Plants were calling me, as well as researching what threads I was pulling. I began working with flower essences.
We can also SIT WITH the Plants themselves, in person or through meditation. Please do not forget the power of sitting with the Plants, especially when they call us. They want to help us and talk to us. We don’t have to *get* or *acquire* these medicines. We can, and they are very helpful and beautiful to have, but/and there is so much healing that can happen from sitting with a Plant, Flower, or Tree... Listening, being open, being present with them. We can even ask to dream with certain plant spirits, and may even notice different plants have already been coming into our dream space!
Working with Plants or herbs might feel overwhelming. There is always so much to learn. Is there a certain plant you feel drawn to? Or a feeling you want to feel? If you want to feel calm and peaceful for example, maybe try working with Lavender or Passionflower for a little while. See how you feel. Afraid of working with herbs in a physical way like teas or tinctures? Try essences.
Ask the plant spirits themselves to start to call you. The plants are living, conscious, loving spirits-- just like relatives or friends. Notice what Plants stand out to you. You might find yourself in a 'random' conversation with a friend who mentions a specific herb, or happen to see a video online of someone talking about an herb that helps with exactly that thing you are wanting help with.
Motherwort in the garden.