As a general rule, I think it is a good thing when people are introduced to plant medicine and natural remedies. Their capacity for true healing is far greater than what drugs can offer. Using herbs to address common ailments like colds, stomach bugs and rashes on yourself or family members is incredibly empowering and rewarding. We don’t need to rush to the doctor or pharmacy when we have knowledge about the medicinal benefits of plants and how to best apply them to our conditions.
As a professional herbalist, however, I also often feel so disheartened when people say that they’ve tried plant medicine, but “it didn’t work.” There are usually a number of reasons why this could be the case, from improper dosage or preparation to constitutional misalignment and flat out wrong herb choice.
There is a lot of fad herbalism going on where you read blog posts or watch video clips that tell you general information about plant remedies, but they don’t go into the details of the specific indications for a plant, its organ and system affinities, herb-drug interactions and best methods of preparation. These gateway posts are valuable entry-points for most people, so I’m not diminishing them, but I do want to stress that the information conveyed is often incomplete. I get it, though, this advanced stuff about the physiological effects of herbs on the body, is unlikely to be explained or comprehended in 500 words, 2 minutes or an infograph.
Be that as it may, not knowing detailed information about how and why plants work the way they do on the body, often leads to disappointment or failure when choosing the natural route to address your ailments. For example, yes, ginger is good for digestion, but it is also hot and drying and shouldn’t be used for prolonged periods in people who have pitta or vata constitutions because it could be more aggravating than healing. Get what I’m saying?
Because I don’t want to be sad anymore when people tell me that they are dissatisfied with plant medicine, I’m going to share what I’ve learned on my plant-path to make your experiences with herbs more successful. It’s my intention to help you choose your plant allies with more discernment, understanding and wisdom.
Below is a short video, the first in my Planting Success series, in which I talk about how long you should work with a plant in order to see if your energies are aligned. It’s my 3 Month Rule; I used it when dating Tami and I use it with herbs too. Enjoy!
My 3 Month Rule When Working with Plants Video Highlights
• Discover if there is spiritual, energetic and constitutional alignment.
• Practice patience; many (not all) plants work subtly, thus slowly in repairing and rebalancing the body.
• Build a reciprocal relationship with this plant.
• Experiment by trying the herb in different (plant appropriate) forms like teas, infusions, baths, syrups, dream pillows, smoking blends, tinctures and in food.