By Paula Hamilton
From Your Garden
Next to Yoga, Herbalism is a subject near and dear to my heart. One of my personal beliefs, and mini crusades, is to champion for the use and proper understanding of herbs for medicinal use.
Nothing has made me see the abysmal shortcomings of traditional Western medicine's reliance on chemical compounds as the primary basis of treatment as much as being a Registered Nurse. My own personal experience with Hepatitis many years ago, led me to the wonderful herb, Milk Thistle, and into a whole new area of healing. Once that door (and my eyes) were open, I could never view Western medicine as being the whole pie. A slice, yes. Albeit, an important slice, but never the whole pie.
What seemed like an endless array of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, tincture, compounds, salves and a literal pharmacopoeia of different items, has over the years become more manageable and understandable. Far from benign, herbs are powerful invasive medicines that can heal almost magically under proper circumstances. A near lost art in our corrupted money-choked medical system; enemy of the much too powerful FDA; the poor herbal society has battled ignorance, scorn, misunderstanding and opposition. Thankfully, the truth does win out in the end. People cannot ignore the benefits of plants given to us for our use in healing and promotion of well being.
If you have ever wanted a good solid introduction to a very wide variety of herbs and plants, then please do look into this very well-made and information-packed 60-minute video. Generously covering 36 basic, helpful and safe herbs and plants ranging from the awesome artichoke to the wonderful wintergreen. Herbs for insomnia, arthritis, immunity, colic, wounds, stomach ailments, heart function, liver function, respiratory system, reproductive system and on! Tap into nature bounty and see what has been given to us for our use.
The first part of the video reviews plants and their useful properties, artfully and clearly presented by Herbalist, Amanda McQuade Craw-ford and Herbalist and Author, James Green. Part two reviews the process of extracting the properties from the plant. I would insert a note of caution here; unless you are an expert gardener, or have logged many hours in botany, you are safer to purchase your herbs or compounds from a reputable dealer than to forage for them in the wild. Many a fatal mistake has been made in the procurement of plants that were thought to be something else.
It takes a lot of time and study to know what you are doing with natural herbs. If you wish to pursue that area of study, I would encourage enrolling in a course or class specializing in Herbology. What you will be introduced to in this video is too short for more than a basic introduction, or a broadening for those with a basic understanding. Herbalism deserves the time and effort to obtain a solid understanding of its benefits. Step into this amazing world of natural healing, and participate in Nature's Pharmacy. Highly recommended.
Available from VisionQuest Video, 2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, Ca 90291 or call (310) 577-8581.
Carolyn Myss, PhD
Sounds True Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice consists of a two-cassette and 27-page booklet set designed to assist in cultivating a spiritual life. Tape one is a roadmap' of the human body's energy systems or 'chakras'. Also discussed are the "Seven Spiritual Truths" sort of a Golden Rules for living. Tape two is devoted to daily disciplines, two 40-minute meditations; one for day and one for even-ing. These disciplines are designed to "clear and strengthen the listener's energy body . . . for greater health and vitality."
What I like most is the opening line of the accompanying booklet, "Most people want the rewards of consciousness without the hard work of consciousness. The hard work of consciousness requires that we develop a daily spiritual practice that allows us to review where we are investing our energy each day." Bravo.
The pressures, stresses and extremes of everyday living are breaking us down. Cancers, immune disorders, auto-immune disorders, and heart disease are all symptoms of the stress and strain our bodies and souls are under. Life is a constant attack on our senses and spirits. Renewal is a must if we are to continue on track and in good health. Often disease is the only socially acceptable way we get to slow down! The body will do what it needs to do to get your attention. When the subtle, soft voice of fatigue is consistently ignored, a louder one of disease will replace it.
Let's get to the basics of why disease happens. More often than we care to admit it's linked to lifestyle. The mind-body connection is a reality. So is the soul-body connection. This new year coming up, make a resolution to honor your body's voice. There's an old (Zen?) story that was once told to me about three teachers who were each discussing their miracles, each trying to outdo the other. The last one to speak said "My miracle is I eat when I am hungry and sleep when I am tired." Good advice.
This new year coming up, why don't we try to make eating when hungry and sleeping when tired part of our miracle of life? Balance necessitates that attention be paid to all aspects of our human nature. The physical, psychological and spiritual all make up this entity we call the human being. While hardship motivates many to seek God, how much better to seek Him when we are well. Don't let the only time you think about your spiritual life be when you are facing disease or death. Caroline Myss has one more tool in assisting us in promoting the best of what we can be, the development of a higher self.
Even if she hadn't been seen on Oprah, she would be recognized for the honesty and sincerity of her helpful work. With all the nonsense out there competing for our time, attention and money, something that really works toward the betterment of ourselves in a healthy and wholistic way deserves honorable mention.
Available from Sounds True Catalog, 413 S. Arthur Ave., Louisville, CO 80027 or phone (303) 665-3151.
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