The cultivation, preparation, and diagnostic application of herbs is based on a fascinating philosophy: that our planet provides loving care for its residents. If this isn't enough reason to be pro-Nature, an environmental protectionist, I don't know what to say. Raping and abusing and polluting our own biosphere is the very definition of evil and insane.
The eco-system. Earth. Where we live. The spot itself cares about our happiness, survival, and health. There are things built into nature that we are only now just discovering. Our biosphere contains everything we need, so we need to return that compassion, by being kind and healing toward our air, water, land, creatures, plants, and realm of mind.
According to some practitioners, nature has provided the cure for any diseases humans can possibly fall victim to or invent. Many of these remedies are in the herb kingdom. Do you know what's out there? How valuable herbs are? How powerful, and relatively free from side effects?
It's an exciting adventure, learning about herbs. You'll probably find quite a few growing wild in your yard or a nearby wooded spot in your neighborhood. All that green -- it's not just for purifying the air or providing food for rabbits and leaf worms. It's your pharmacy in the field, your drugstore in the dirt.
You can prevent and cure many ailments with what most people consider "weeds". A weed is just a plant you haven't met yet. If it grows like crazy, sprawling all over the place in an unsightly mess, there's a reason for it. It's got a job to do, just like all of us.
Do you know why the dandelion is so pervasive and hard to eradicate? It's on a mission. Dandelion tea is a powerful tonic, purifier, and anti-cancer agent. This herb has been used for centuries, for many different purposes. Learn about the so-called "weeds" all around you. Start to respect the amazing powers they possess.
They may look pretty, or ugly, or boring. But that is no indication of what their secret properties are, and how they may save your life someday, in a raw herbal or a pharmaceutically derived analog preparation.
Have you thought about the miracles and remedies, tonics and stews, teas and poultices that are available in your backyard, the creek, your neck of the woods? Not to mention the astonishing plants and medicinal substances still being found in exotic regions of the world -- the Amazon, Africa, and elsewhere.
I've seen several references to how where a poisonous plant grows, nearby is growing a plant that is the antidote. What is labeled "poison" in the plant world is again just a plant that must be used extremely carefully, in extreme cases (like digitalis from deadly nightshade for heart patients). Some herbs are safe to use freely, others are to be reserved for special, rare usage.
"Wilderness" is an eco-system that's largely marginalized or even villainized. "The Wild" is where spooky things lurk. Tangled briars, stinging nettles, unmanaged weeds, dangerous creatures, toxic flowers, risky mushrooms, biting bugs -- all this is alien to humankind in their malls, cars, and websites.
Yet it's the wilderness, the land unspoiled by exploitive human motivations (not much more than the basic animal instinct of domination and propagation), balanced by its own laws and needs, that provides solitude for mystics, escape for neurotics, medicine for the sick.
Herbs are medicinal plants that grow wild. You may also use herbs for ornamentation, air freshener, cooking spices, poultices, potpourris, sachets, and pillows.
No matter to what you attributes such designs, whether God, Nature, the Universe, Life, Mind, the All -- the way all things are taken care of, with each entity endowed with a purpose, instinct, beauty, tragedy, triumph, and intelligence -- it's nice to be a part of this metaphysical system.
This abundance of benevolence, it truly is worthy of the word "awe".
I think an herb pillow, stuffed with hops, valerian, lavender, and rosemary, plus other herbs designed to soothe and stupify, to encourage deep restful sleep, would be a huge sales opportunity.
You could have a whole line of Medicinal Herbal Pillows: sleep pillow, dream pillow, pregnancy pillow, baby pillow, elderly pillow, feminine pillow, masculine pillow, pain pillow, sinus pillow, arthritis pillow, anxiety pillow, confidence pillow, memory pillow, flu pillow, each one with herb combinations dedicated to human problems, illnesses, and needs.
As you slept, you'd be breathing the fragrances flowing from the essential oils of the dried herbs. Powerful vapors and air-borne substances going into your lungs, to the bloodstream and brain, soothing you, curing you, empowering you.
Just think of all the things you could use medicinal and aromatic herbs for in helping with the stresses, atmospheres, and problems of high tech modern living. Maybe you'll come up with a terrific application, a superior and innovative product, that uses organic herbs and natural ingredients.
What a wonderful way to survive and succeed -- by helping others be healthy, happy, and fulfilled.
Let's hope the Gulf oil spill is resolved soon. But let's also enjoy and share what we do have. There's so much all around us. Learn about herbs. Experiment with them. Share them with neighbors and friends.
Read books, magazines, blogs, and websites devoted to herbs and natural remedies.
Grow your own herbs from seeds, or purchase potted plants you can transplant into your gardens. What doesn't grow well in your area? Buy that from a health food, herb, or grocery store.
May the Herbal Forces Be With You!
Buddy rummages through the yarrow.
Big fat bumblebees
on the echinacea cone flowers.
Perrenial daisy flowers
grown from seeds.
Another perfect day
to be a dog.
The mighty jalapeno pepper!
Sage, thyme, French tarragon,
cilantro, parsley, jalapeno.