If you’re in the USA I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before. (Not sure if there is an equivalent in other languages.)
“Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”
This speaks to the idea that you can’t drink salt water. While water is hydrating, that level of salt will dehydrate you faster than if you had no water at all.
Well, today I want to share with you another playful phrase and the serious idea around it.
“Herbs, Herbs, Everywhere but Not a Thought to Think”
Let me explain what I mean by this…
When I was first getting into herbs it was through a philosophy of Chinese Tonic Herbalism.
One of the things that occurred to me as I studied these seemingly arcane herbs from halfway across the world was “Don’t we have anything like this here?”
The answer is, of course, yes.
But it took several years before I became acquainted with the traditions and ideas of Western herbalism. And that’s still an ongoing process.
Sure, there are some differences in focus, in philosophy, in processing and more.
But we do have some powerful herbs over here.
As I learn more and more, I realize just how widespread…and common…they are.
I do a half mile walk to the local State Park often, and what do I see along the way?
As soon as I step out of my front door in my yard I notice Dandelions growing. While most thinks it’s a weed, it is a powerful herb. The leaves are mineral rich and a useful diuretic. The root is used more as a general alternative, liver cleanser and a rich source of the prebiotic inulin.
A couple more steps and there is Wild Lettuce. A very different plant from the lettuce we commonly eat in our salads, although it is the wild progenitor of them all. And it can be used as an alternative to opium! Yes, the bitter latex it oozes is a powerful analgesic.
In my front yard is a large oak tree. Oak bark is one of the strongest astringents available.
A few doors down is a large Blackberry bush. Of course, the berries taste good and are rich sources of antioxidants like anthocyanins. But lesser well known is that the root is a strong diarrhea medicine.
Across the street from here is an Elder tree. This tree got that name for a reason! And the berries and flowers have many effects, but most well-known for its anti-viral and diaphoretic effects, helping with colds and fevers.
In someone’s garden there’s Rose. A mild astringent but also probably the best heart-opening plant out there on an emotional/spiritual level. (I had some crazy experiences working with wild rose one time, but that’s another story…)
Right next to it is Chamomile, another multifaceted plant. A good bitter carminative to help with digestion, also a relaxant nervine and more. It also happens to have chrysin an aromatase inhibiting enzyme.
And then some more berries, this time Raspberries. Once again people eat the berries, but here they don’t know about the leaf, which is regarded as one of the best gentle women’s tonics there is.
And that’s all before I get to the actual forest!
Plus I’m sure I’m skipping over a few that I’m not aware of. Add to that the fact that I only touched upon the myriad of benefits each of these plants brings.
That brings me to my quote:
“Herbs, Herbs, Everywhere but Not a Thought to Think”
Because herbalism is not taught…in fact it is denigrated because it is not Western medicine and thus couldn’t possibly be useful (that was sarcastic if you didn’t know)…how are we to know about these amazing things that surround us?
It’s certainly not taught at all in our 12 years of perfunctory schooling.
We literally don’t have a thought to think about any of these things.
Yes, I live a bit closer to nature than many of you reading this, the city-dwellers.
But the more I learn, the more I notice.
Like the fields of Yarrow (what an amazing polycrest herb!) that seem to be everywhere. In fact, I was just in New York and noticed yarrow growing in the small bits of nature available right there in Queens.
Human civilization’s goal is seemingly to move us away from nature…seeming to forget that we are natural beings.
Unless Ray Kurzweil achieves his dream this is a FACT.
And moving away from nature causes health problems.
Whether that is the lack of movement, lack on sunlight, lack of fresh air, lack of quality water, lack of natural food, or lack of herbs, that is also a fact.
Herbs are a natural part of our diet.
Always have been. Always will be.
So it’s time to starting thinking.
I’m going to tell you to do something that runs contrary to the goal of any company, which is to make a profit. (That is just one of the goals of Lost Empire Herbs.)
Wherever you are, learn your local plants and herbs.
Use those, perhaps in addition, or perhaps completely in the place of what we sell.
I say this because this knowledge, nay, WISDOM, must become a regular part of human civilization if we are to reverse some of the bad directions we are moving in, health-wise.
Learn yourself, and then you can influence your friends and family around you.
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