Why are plants so important? Plants connect everything around us and within us. Without plants, we would not exist. Plants are used to feed and nourish us, make our clothing, to build our homes, provide us with oxygen, and they clean the air around us. Plants are connected to everything in our lives. Even those of us who eat meat – those animals are nourished with vibrant, highly nutritious plants. We have to ask ourselves, why are we blessed with so many varieties of plants and why are we not connecting, honoring and learning about them everyday?
Herbs work, in so many ways, outside of just their scientific constituents. There is a spiritual element to plants. One in which science cannot yet explain. When we look at the positive effects gardening has on anxiety, grief or depression, we are not looking at the healing effects when we ingest the plants. The healing we are really experiencing is a spiritual one. We are tapping into the energetics of the plants, the act of connecting and caring for them. We are working with the nutritious soil of the earth to ground and center us. When our energy connects with individual plants we create a personal bond. This is why we see higher healing effects from plants we have personally tended to and cared for. We have created a higher energetic field, one that is mixed with our own personal energy, creating the perfect personal environment for the plant to flourish.
Plants can sense what our bodies need and they can adapt to heal us. When we slow down our busy lives and spend time connecting with nature, open ourselves up to their beauty and energy we can begin to see that what we need to nourish and heal us will always be right in front of us. This is also why it is so powerful for us to learn about them and use them to make our own medicine. Once we can listen to our bodies and we can connect with the plants, we will intuitively know what we need to heal ourselves.
This does not mean it is not important to learn about their medicinal qualities. We must study them! There are so many varieties of plants that can heal the same illness, however, what may work for one person may not heal the next. Plants work with us individually and we must become attuned to them and our own bodies in order to make powerful plant medicine.
One important way to do this is to be mindful of how certain plants make us feel when we ingest them. Do we notice a difference in how we feel if we eat homegrown, organic or conventional? How do we feel energetically? This is why I believe simples, or using one herb at a time is so important when learning. If you want to start experimenting, keep a journal with notes on how you feel. This is one of the best ways to figure out which plants you connect with. This can be with food, spices or herbs that you know are safe. If you are not growing your own, make sure you know where they are coming from and how they are grown.