The community of herbs

Mother Nature has sat quietly by and waited for us to return to her ancient healing plants, and today thousands of people are seeking her wisdom once again.

by Kathleen Gould — 

Even before Mary got to the classroom door, she could hear the laughter and felt a lightness of spirit. As the door opened, she was embraced by an array of wonderful smells — strong earthy aromas, sweet florals, exotic spices and others she had never experienced. Once inside, she found the room filled with an electric excitement as people moved about, talking and laughing.

Her eyes fell on the source of these smells: long tables filled with a plethora of medicinal herbs of every color and texture, giving off their amazing aromas like little gifts sent especially for her. Another excited participant walked over, introduced herself and handed Mary a cup of delicious herbal tea. Both knew a special friendship had begun.

This scenario is being played out in communities all around the country. More and more people are frustrated and seeking simpler lives. We feel disconnected from our neighbors, families and the earth. Living in a world of technology, we often forget how important it is to our well-being to nurture healthy, happy friendships. Without friends to love and laugh with, we often become depressed and lonely, and our physical health begins to fade.

Many of us are saddened by the destruction of our environment, which affects, not only our physical bodies, but also our spiritual and emotional bodies. Today, people are losing their jobs and their medical insurance, and are looking for inexpensive health care alternatives. Herbal healing answers many of these needs.

As she always does, Mother Nature has sat quietly by and waited for us to return to her ancient healing plants, and today thousands of people are seeking her wisdom once again. Learning to use herbs for healing not only brings us together in the classroom, but also brings us together as a community. The knowledge that comes from understanding how to use whole herbs is so empowering that you never have to feel like a victim again.

Herbs give us the tools we need to care for any illness that may present itself. These powerful medicines have been used since the beginning of time. It is only in the past 40 to 50 years that we have forgotten these amazing gifts. When we use whole plants for our healing, we stay in the knowing that Mother Earth provides our medicines and foods. We then walk more lightly on her soil.

Herbs are living beings, and it is important to know that they are here to heal us on all levels — physical, emotional and spiritual. We may have seen and may be vaguely aware of many of these simple, wild plants. Simple but very powerful little weeds like dandelion, echinacea, chamomile and thousands more are waiting patiently for us to rediscover their healing wisdom.

When you have a shelf full of these simple herbs and are able to brew safe, healing teas, make soothing herbal syrups or create liquid extracts in your own kitchen, you will feel their empowerment.

Finding a qualified herbalist who teaches this ancient art is easier than ever. Teachers are popping up all over the country. Once their classes had only a handful of students. Now, they are filled with people of all ages and religions coming together to create a growing community of empowered healers. It has been said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. In these troubled times, the teachers may be as close as the earth and her healing plants — right outside your door.

 

Kathleen Gould is a registered herbalist and a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. Proprietor of SW Herb Co. in Gilbert, Ariz., she conducts private consultations, herbal healing classes and an herbal certification course. www.swherbco.com  or 480-694-9931.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 2, Apr/May 2009.

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