Herbal Wisdom in a Chaotic World
Feather Jones, Clinical Herbalist
There is an old Zen proverb “Before enlightenment, chop wood, haul water; after enlightenment; chop wood, haul water.”
Life’s demands in an energy-draining world of chemtrails, auto exhaust and tap water can make one bone tired. The immune system works hard to neutralize air borne toxins like viruses, molds, bacterias and harmful chemicals. A person can be left feeling spent when they haven’t done anything yet. How does a person keep their body healthy, display an inner calm and have energy reserves for the next mini crisis that is just around the corner?
Thirty years ago, the term instant karma was always used jokingly but now it’s more of a reality than ever before. One used to have time to process an experience, look at the choices they made and think about it. Now days there is no processing time, a person needs to get the life lessons of any situation quickly before the next challenge/opportunity is presented. The speed of it all, thanks to technology, is stressful. No matter what field of awareness one operates in, life still wants to fulfill itself. No matter what, you still have to chop wood and haul water.
The earth is traveling towards a higher frequency, moving into alignment with our galactic sun’s light streams, and demands a clear level of attention from us to keep pace. We falter, we pick our selves up and get the same opportunity again to try it a different way. Fortunately the body is self-healing and during sleep will attempt to right the wrongs of a day’s worth of stressful onslaught. We are graced with another blessing; everything we need to know is already within us awaiting acknowledgement. Yet another blessing, if there is anything we have forgotten, it is surrounding us in nature.
Looking to herbal remedies, we find many allies. Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to stresses. Plants like Eleuthro (Siberian Ginseng), Reishi mushroom and Shiitake mushroom are considered deep immune tonics and endocrine system replenishers, resetting the metabolic thermostat and balancing and rejuvenating body functions. While Reishi and Eleuthro are best taken as extracts or capsules, Shiitake mushrooms are delicious with stir-fry vegies or in soups and whole grain dishes.
Milky Oat Seed extract is another deep nervine trophorestorative known for its ability to protect the myalin sheath that wraps and insulates all the nerves in the body. It helps one recover from fatigue, insomnia, cardiac neurosis and nervous exhaustion, where the brain is overworked from anxiety and worry. It can help one in an emotionally fragile state, calming, grounding and strengthening.
Gotu Kola, another adaptogen and nervine tonic is high in magnesium and carries nutrients to the brain increasing longevity, mental alertness and vitality. It rejuvenates brain cells by thinning capillaries and increasing circulation. It gives new ways to think about old things. It is considered the elephant’s favorite food. It grows in the tropics as a weed where it is eaten as a wild food salad herb. It makes a pleasant cup of tea along with other deep supportive and good tasting herbs like Alfalfa and Nettles.
Many find problems with digestion. Feeling tired after eating, painful indigestion or just not absorbing their food well. Try a bitter tonic like Oregon Grape root extract 20 minutes before meals to enhance absorption and assimilation of nutrients. One needs to put the bitter tasting drops on the tip of the tongue without diluting it. There is a reflex point there that stimulates the body’s own digestive enzymes. This helps with carbohydrate, fat and protein digestion as well as cut down on food sensitivities and allergies. Bitters are not to be used with stomach ulcers or gastritis. It is now scientifically proven there are more neurotransmitters going from the gut to the brain than there are from the brain to the gut. Gut instincts can be an important part of making good choices in life.
It is vital to get outside in nature as often as possible. It changes your perspective and reconnects you to a greater energy field. The plants are extensions of nature, the voice of the Earth Mother, the keepers of wisdom. Accept her guidance and relax in your body. The trees themselves are like beacons for cosmic messages hitting the planet and grounding the energy for the rest of us. Create time for yourself and envision yourself with unlimited energy to accomplish anything you can imagine. The fact is energy follows thought.
On the Journey
I was traveling through the four-corners area on the reservation and I picked up an elderly couple hitchhiking on the side of the road next to their hogan. I was in my Volkswagon van and the old man had to help his short wife step up into the front seat and he slid in the back. The first thing that came into my mind was ŒWhere were their relatives? What about their kids? Why are they reduced to hitchhiking to town? Why isn’t anyone taking care of them? They were both quite old and their faces looked a lot like the land they lived on.
We got to their destination in Kayenta about a half hour later and the old woman finally looked at me before she opened her door and took my hands in hers and said something in her native language, Dine’. She had tears welling up in her eyes and was starting to cry. I asked her husband what she said as he spoke broken English. He said she wanted me to know her son died in the war.
I had been so irritated, angry and made such assumptions up to that point and my whole foundation crumbled. I too started to cry with her and she sang me a song. I felt her pain and her comfort. And I knew I was being blessed. Her next words, again translated by her husband who really just wanted to get out of the van but was unable to open the sliding door, were a question. “Where are you going?” I took a moment to think about this wondering if she meant in life or just that day. I said I was going up to Colorado to visit my kids. Her final parting words were “You don’t always get to choose the road you are on, but you can choose how to walk it”.
I took her words to heart, so for all the bumps in the road, I still chop wood and haul water;..and then make tea.