Friday, November 21, 2008

Plant Teachers


Jars of an herbal remedy I recently prepared.

Our indigenous ancestors developed a deep knowledge of the relationship between plants and humans. They understood the physical interaction between a wide range of plant substances and the human body, and also recognized a spiritual aspect of plants capable of interacting with people on a psychological level. What is more, many plant medicines recognized anciently are now supported by modern scientific research.

Much of the traditional plant knowledge from the Spokane area has been lost, but I've had the good fortune to inherit a few fragments of information from my family and community. And as I deepen my understanding, the plants show their wisdom in greater detail. I've already witnessed several impressive cures from minor family illnesses, including fevers and various stomach ailments.

If nothing else, the plants change the way I experience the world. They cause me to stop and notice the small details of nature, like the snowberries or the rose hips that recently caught my attention during a morning walk near my house. Where I once saw a mass of undergrowth and nameless weeds, I'm beginning to see communities of plant teachers like yarrow, Oregon grape, kinnick kinnick, and others. And as I begin to name the plants, they become more "real" and meaningful to my life.

It's the beginning of a relationship, to be sure.

3 comments:

Chelle said...

I really would like to learn more about the healing power of plants. I think sometime we should go out and you can teach me what you know.

I was having a really bad day yesterday. When I woke I was still felling bad. I went to the coffee shop to get a coffee and I found a dime on the ground. It made me think of your Dad. It made me think that things would be ok and this made me feel better. I then told a friend at school about your Dad and gave her the dime. I think she thought I was a little strange but I was happy to share the dime with her. It made me feel good to share that story with her.

I am sorry I have not been leaving you comments lately I have just been real busy with school lately. But I thought the pictures you put up last week are some of your best.

sulustu said...

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad day, but sounds like things turned out okay.

I would be happy to teach you anything I know about the plants. When it gets warm again, I'll take you to gather local plants.

JenX67 said...

When I worked for the Oklahoma Arts Council we funded projects like medicinal herb research in the realm of Native Art and Culture. I miss those days.

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