The last time you were in the herb aisle at the health food store you probably noticed a variety of herbal formulas that were for specific wellness imbalances. For example, you may have seen a capsule or tincture for ‘Digestive Health’ – and maybe several iterations of digestive formulas on that same shelf. This is an example of allopathic medicine spilled over into herbalism. Allopathy is the practice of medicine that focuses on the suppression of symptoms of imbalance in a broad, all-purpose type of way. No matter who you are or why your digestive system is off track, this formula is for you! We see this in practice in the form of over the counter antacids for example- regardless of the why and root of your imbalance, just take this for your acidity.
In stark contrast to this is the more ancient, deep, and effective energetic herbalism. In this method, we look not at the name given to an imbalance or dis-ease such as ‘heartburn’, but instead look deeply at the individual person who is experiencing the acidity. We explore their normal state of unique balance, the elements that work in ebb and flow to empower them, and how the symptoms they are expressing define a deeper root issue that can be addressed through herbal support.
Energetic herbalism is all about meeting the person where they are- and treating each person as unique and fully sovereign over their own narrative. It allows us to ask what your normal level of fire is, how it’s become turned too high, and how we can nurture your body so that it can once again tame and channel that fire in healthy ways so that your acidity can subside. It’s about supporting the whole system- body, mind, emotions, and spirit- in regaining core balance; never about forcing a reaction or repressing a symptom with aggression.
Examples of ancient traditions of energetic herbalism, also known as constitutional herbalism, include: Ayurveda, Unani, Traditional Chinese Herbalism, Native American Plant Medicine, Ancient Celtic Herbalism, and more.
Energetic herbalism asks: How can I help connect you to your healing plant allies?
SPIRITUAL PLANT MEDICINE
Since before tinctures, capsules, extracts, and laboratories to explore the active compounds that make a plant medicine so effective we’ve known what makes a plant medicine effective. This knowing comes from the varied traditions of spiritual herbalism. In this practice, we connect to the personhood of each plant. We come to know them through the language of spirit – the inner vision which is more subtle than what the eyes can see. Spiritual herbalism is about connecting to plants on a person-to-person level and creating relationship with them for healing, wisdom, magic, and transformation. Since time immemorial visionary people across the world from Shamans to Witches have connected to the plant kingdom to draw upon their deep-earth and sky-reaching powers for great personal development. In spiritual plant medicine we continue and embody this tradition. We communicate with the plants. We ask their help and give them our love and gratitude. We see them as expressions of the Divine Body. We work with them for healing on the levels of body, mind, and emotions- but also on the level of spirit. We work with them to make changes in our lives, to remove blockages, to call forth visions, to learn from our Ancestors, and to connect more deeply to Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Spiritual plant medicine focuses on touching the spirit of the person being supported. We go to the root of roots, the heart of hearts. We wave plants to clear energy fields. We spray flower-infused waters to call forth energetic shifts and bring on love, we burn and bathe in sacred smoke to purify and shapeshift. Spiritual herbalism is magical herbalism.