Work hard, do good in school, get good grades, go to college, get good grades, work hard.....you know the drill. We heard it a million times growing up, and we still hear it. Get a job, work hard and you’ll have a happy life. When we finally grow up, and get that job, then what? Retire and move to Florida? I sometimes feel that life has no purpose, and when I look into my children’s eyes, I do not want to repeat those words I so often heard growing up. I want their lives to be different. I want them to have ALL the opportunities they deserve.....all those opportunities that I didn’t even exist to me.
I am a homeschooling mom with two daughters, 12 and 9. We are unconventional. I am getting use do saying this word.....it’s true! I am unconventional, but why? Why is it we have to ‘do what was done’ that the status quo is upheld? Do people hate change that much? I love homeschooling because it gives my children the opportunities that are, well, unconventional. I love leaving at a moments notice, like today, going on a field trip into Concord to see the transit of Mercury through several telescopes.....it was great! I love that I can teach them one thing then do something else. We can be flexible, creative at a whim and not tied to a grind.....to a schedule that looms overhead day in and day out. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do keep a schedule....for the most part, and we do have lists of things we need to accomplish during the day, but homeschooling has been a wonderful experience for all of us. It has brought me closer to my kids than I ever thought possible. We laugh, we joke, we go for hikes.....like today. We went on a hike to look for medicinals. Which brings me to my point.
I became an herbalist, well, I guess because I am unconventional, but also because the plants; they call to me. I rejoice in their presence and we give each other strength. I help them to live and they help me to live. It’s a win-win. I take herbs inside of me every day. I can open up my cabinets and pantry, look around, “hmmm, I need something for my liver today, or well, maybe something for my adrenals too.” It’s amazing! There are really plants that can help with all those things and more! I consider all the plants and mushrooms I use for medicine tools. They are tools in my great big toolbox. We all would live healthier happier lives if we had more tools, just ask my carpenter husband. He has more tools than...well, you get the gist. Many, when faced with dire health issues, only have what the doctors have for tools....which is the basic chemical stew to suppress this symptom, or kill that cancer. Just recently, there was a nasty cold going around....I mean nasty. I lingers for weeks and caused lots of catarrh - a thick phlegm. I won’t describe anymore, I promise, but, seriously, it was bad. So many people had it and I heard too often, that this doc ‘put me on antibiotics’....”umm, k...why?” ‘No idea’....b/c of phlegm maybe?. Hmmm. And this other doc put this other person on prednisone.....’ummm, ok, why?’ ‘No idea...didn’t do anything for me’. So we have antibiotics, prednisone....anything else? Oh, yes, cough suppressants with codeine. Omg. It’s frustrating and mind-boggling to me that these medications are being parsed out so often for the common cold......(and antibiotics do not work for viral infections, just in case you were wondering). Do they know if its bacterial or viral? Nope, but let’s throw some antibiotics at it just in case. It’s no wonder we have resistant bacteria everywhere. I mentioned to one woman, ‘there are so many herbs that can help! You can get a good nights sleep and support your lungs and immune system at the same time and NO side effects.” “Yes, but I am on heart medicine and the doctors tell me I can’t take herbs” Omg, omg. On one hand the docs don’t acknowledge the work of the plant and fungi kingdoms, on the other, they don’t want you to take them because they may interfere with their chemicals. So which is it?? Hmmm? I personally think they need to leave the unconventional treatments to the professionals. How often have I heard “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep doing it”. Or, I am not sure why the cancer is gone, but it is about a 5% chance of that, so you must be in the 5% category....way to go Chemo!”. Erg.
Anyway, so back to tools......when faced with any myriad of health problems, wouldn’t it be great if people had more tools? YES!! More tools!! I have been a clinical herbalist for about seven years, and in that time, I have seen some pretty amazing things. It’s one thing to read about someone’s path to healing, it’s quite another to witness it first hand....and even for myself, I have seen a transformation I never thought possible. Whether facing cancer or a canker, medicinal plants and mushrooms can be an invaluable service to you....really. It’s true. Many of the issues in America in general, stem from a ‘for-profit’ stance, this capitalistic approach to everything and healthcare is no exception puts huge barriers up for health. I mean, seriously, people do that enough themselves, why add more barriers? These conflicts of interest inherent in the system make our healthcare system a sick-care system. The revolving door of sickness, suppression, sickness, suppression.... Imagine what we could do if greed was out of the way? Imagine if people used herbs WITH conventional medicine! (e-hem, they do in other countries...just sayin’) Imagine if we were motivated not on how much money we could make, but how many people we could help? Imagine being motivated for the common good....not for personal gain or notoriety. Unfortunately, the for-profit model does not want you to know this stuff about the plants, so will down-play it or smear it, reduce it to little flakes of nothing floating on the breeze. It is relegated to quackery, or voodoo. It’s crazy!
My main motivation is to help. Help people find their way to health, whatever that path may be. To help people get what they need and want and use the plants to get there.....use unconventional options like eating well and exercise and get to the source of the issue (and just between you and me, sometimes the ‘issue’ is conventional medications). The idea of health may be erroneous to some, but it is palatable to me. I have seen some ask “What IS good health?” Well, I say good health IS NOT subjective! Health is ~ not feeling like crap~ it’s that easy. Sometimes we need intervention, sometimes we don’t, and the plants can offer so much to each and every one of us. So go out and buy a big tool box, because it’s time to fill that sucker up!