My primary relationships right now are with the plants that are healing me. It’s an all encompassing love affair. What humans have never been able to give me, these plants are offering. Plant spirit medicine is for real. we are all one. nature is inherent to how we evolved. Whether we use the language of […]
Update Sept. 2016: I had reason to remember this post today since I’m off to a local’s house to pick up some branches so that I can harvest the bark. I’m very excited to have some local bark. This is a lovely herbal medicine that I am now using in a formula from Chinese Medicine that helps soothe the soul. A shen tonic which includes polygala, poria, astragulus, licorice, and reishi. Yes, I’m now learning a bit about chinese herbalism and I can finally do formulas because I continue to heal and am no longer so hypersensitive.
Our modern forms of helping people in emotional distress (talk therapy and medications) have largely supplanted more traditional forms of healing. In some cases this is a continuation of oppression and colonization that has gone on for hundreds of years. — Indigenous healing practices are denigrated and seen as unscientific, based on superstitions, or as an adjunct to the proper, modern way of helping people in distress. In this way, we have ignored and suppressed folk methods of healing that are often highly effective. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
For now our society remains seriously disconnected. Trauma is a symptom of disconnection. Psychiatry too often ignores trauma because, it, too, is disconnected. We don’t know how to take care of one another and therefore we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. We get this from our parents and we pass it on if we don’t become conscious. Healing requires learning how to do these things as a species not just as individuals. In the end healing is radical community building. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Seeing our mental health as part of a more global ecological picture where how we eat and the food we grow and buy has a direct effect not only on our mental health, but on how we can heal some of the wounds we have inflicted on our relationship with the planet. The global ecological and environmental trauma that is occurring is mirrored in the trauma that we experience in our own lives- the disconnection, the isolation, the lack of the sacred. We can help to heal ourselves in part by re-envisioning how we work with the plant kingdom, feed ourselves and live with the land. … [click on title to read the rest]
By Jon Keyes
Mental health herbalism is the practice of working with herbs and other plants to improve well being, develop keener insight into patterns of imbalance and to reduce emotional distress. As a licensed professional counselor and herbalist, I often incorporate the use of herbs for helping people to get stronger and feel better. I have seen herbs improve mental health and I have also seen herbs bring profound insights that help a person work through emotional knots. Plants not only work on a physical level, they are able to transform people emotionally and spiritually as well. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
I am using a lot of herbs that are categorized as “nervine” herbs. They support the nervous system. I find that they are truly profoundly healing. Psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, is among other things, an autonomic nervous system injury. The herbs are healing in a very literal sense in that they don’t just soothe the nervous system — I can feel them building it. I don’t have to use the herbs in an ongoing way the way pharmaceuticals are used and what’s more I find that if I meditate after taking them I can process old traumas and shadow content from my psyche in such a way that old traumatic stuff moves through and is healed. Truly astonishing and wonderful. I don’t expect everyone would find this to be true for them, but I’m very grateful that if works this way for me. As I suggested earlier, there was time when taking the herbs would have been too much for my nervous system and it taking them would have been detrimental. Again, timing is everything. … [click on title for the rest of the post]