Introduction to Plant Medicine
War has been declared on the opioid epidemic, and, at long last, Americans are realizing that they’ve been overmedicated for too long. There are alternative healing options available, and the awakening is happening across the country.
Plant medicine is emerging as a powerful ally in the war on drugs. It’s strange how using herbs, plants, roots, flowers and bark as medicine is considered alternative, or off the beaten path, when in reality, it’s the oldest and most natural way to treat and cure countless maladies that plague the human race. For many millennia, research has been taking place regarding the medicinal value and properties of plants.
One of the oldest written resources for plant medicine can be found in an ancient Egyptian papyri, Ebers Papyrus, which dates back to 1550 B.C. and is believed to have been rewritten from an even older record. Through countless trial and error experiments, our ancestors have been discovering the many benefits that Mother Earth has to offer through her foliage. They’ve passed this information on to us through writings, teachings and oral histories. Many countries and cultures throughout the world still rely heavily on Earth’s bounty for healing.
It’s difficult to identify exactly how, when and why some cultures continued to follow nature’s trail while others decided to follow a concrete runway, which led to manmade pharmaceuticals. Perhaps it’s how East and West differ on their view of total health. Most Eastern philosophies view medicine as treating the whole person, which includes the body, mind and spirit. It is all connected through one energy, and when one element is treated, they are each treated in turn. In the West, however, there is an obvious distinction between the body, mind and spirit. It is that scientific divide that drove the evolution of how ailments are diagnosed and treated.
As more and more Americans are being called to fight in their own health-management battle, it is vital that they have all the available information, so a well-developed plan of attack can occur. Education is key. The more people know about their medicinal options, the stronger their arsenal will be when they take a stand and command control of their whole health—mind, body and spirit.
Natural Awakenings of Phoenix and Northern Arizona is proud to introduce the newest section of the magazine, Plant Medicine. Each month, this section will highlight natural medicines, their history, their uses and their benefits.
Jeffrey Green, M.A., is an educator and freelance writer. Green’s studies have led him to the world of plant medicine and its many benefits. His work is centered on educating the public on alternative medicine. Green can be reached at 520-437-8855 or JGreenphduoa@gmail.com.