Sacred Herbs Offer Holistic Healing

flowering rosemary herbs by ken cook flickr

Successful solutions that have been used throughout human history often make a comeback for solving modern problems. In recent years, holistic forms of medicine have entered the mainstream of modern life. One such holistic method making a comeback is herbal medicines. With roots in ecology and spirituality, herbal therapies have historically been used for both improving health, and ridding negative energy.

Ancient herbal remedies combined with modern medical knowledge can be very helpful for improving daily health. They can be steeped in tea, or made into a poultice to treat skin problems or aching joints. Because of their effectiveness and simplicity of use, many people prefer herbs as alternatives to prescription drugs.

For example, garlic, sage, and thyme have all been studied by scientists and determined to have healing properties. Hawthorn can be helpful for treating asthma, and sage and cedar are often used to purify the home. Many herbs have also been found useful in natural beauty and health care products. For all of these reasons, modern therapies using ingredients found in nature are gaining wider popularity.

The Global and Historic Use of Nature’s Medicine

Cultures all over the world have used herbs for many purposes. Many herbs are considered sacred, and they have historically been used in ceremonies and traditions.

In ancient Egypt, myrrh and the blue lotus were used in rituals. In many modern Catholic churches around the world, herb-based incense is still used during Mass. In the West, herbs were and still are a part of Native American culture. Famous in food and folklore, the traditions of herbal usage have been passed down through the ages. When today’s native healers create a therapy, traditional herbs are primary ingredients.

Growing Herbs Restores Vitality to Sacred Land

Cultivating herbs not only enriches people’s health, they also restore health to the land. These beneficial plants are easy to grow, whether you live in the country or in the city. My mom, who is a personal chef, grows her own herbs in her backyard.

Rosemary Gladstar, a renowned herbalist, agrees about backyard herb gardens. In an interview with Mother Earth News about her passion for herbs, Gladstar discussed how people can become more involved with herbs and plants.

“The word sanctuary means sacred land,” Gladstar pointed out. “And we often think of sanctuaries as something that organizations do. But we need everybody to look at their backyard, whether it’s a city backyard, a town yard, or whether you have a big farm, to really look at that land as sacred, and to really restore vitality to that land.”

As Rosemary Gladstar explains, growing your own herbs is a good step. “It creates healing on very deep levels,” Gladstar says. “It not only makes medicine in your kitchen, but you’re starting to wake up your land. In much the way the Native peoples of this land did. They viewed this land as sacred and holy, and because of that, they were very good stewards.”

Shifting from treating symptoms to aligning ourselves back in harmony with the natural rhythms of life, there is much to learn from our ancestors. They understood and utilized the knowledge of herbs’ sacred healing powers. They understood that the Earth is full of interconnections between creatures and plants, and that herbs are an important part of this system. Taking proper care of our land will help these plants flourish, and will help bring nature’s medicine back into our lives.

image (Image note and source: Start small – grow a window planter with young herbs, by Sean Freese, flickr)

(Top image note and source: Sacred Herbs – Blossoming Rosemary, by Ken Cook, flickr)
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About the Author

Gina Merlino is a freelance writer who cares about environmental issues. She has a Bachelor's in Philosophy, a Master's in Engaged Humanities, and is an avid reader of the news. You can find me on Twitter.