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Enchanted by the Green

When I left the corporate world and entered the alternative world of Boulder, Colorado to study herbal medicine, I plunged headlong into learning everything I could about herbal medicine that would enable me to heal the world. Energized by my egoic fantasy, I gathered all the facts my head could contain and all the herbs my car trunk would hold. After school I descended from the mountain to save the world around me.

Comfrey flowerMy lofty plans went south when I arrived in the South to hang out my herbalist shingle. I was dismayed to discover that most of the world seemed to be going along contentedly without my help. But the Plants began to work their magic in my life as my own healing progressed. They have provided nurturing support for my changing body, support for the struggles of my heart and foundational shifts in my mind, showing me how to reconnect to the true Self. I am humbled and priviledged to walk among these Plants daily.

As an herbalist, I have learned that the healing power of herbs has little to do with the particular constituents of each plant, preparations or dosages. Plants are living entities of intelligent patterns, physical manifestations of various aspects of the Whole. By growing them, gathering them, inhaling their fragrances, rubbing them on our bodies or, at the greatest level of intimacy, ingesting them, we bring their healing wisdom into our own bodies and souls. As we partake of an herb, its life force mingles with our own. Like a mother nudging a pup with her nose, the Plant guides us to return to our natural wholeness and thereby to the Wholeness.

In exploring the mind-body connection of human health, I have discovered how much the metaphysical aspects of herbs are but an extension of their medicinal benefits to the physical body. I have experienced a paradigm shift from believing the herbs to be a “more natural” choice for treating diseases of the body to experiencing the herbs as complex, intelligent living entities whose wisdom we can tap to guide us to deeper understanding of the sources of our dis-eases. They do not cure anything. Rather, they teach us, coach us and remind us of our own true Nature and how to reconnect to our own inner wisdom.

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