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Nature and healing.

Amedean Messan

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 925
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
Please post in meaningless drivel admin.

I would like to know if there are any former 11B infantryman here who may have a similar situation as me.  I am curious how many people here are war veterans.  Its funny reflecting on this, but even in history as far as in the ancient Roman empire, soldiers often retired from war to farm the land.  I wonder if this is instinctive for peace of mind after years in war.  You see, I was almost 6 years in the U.S. Army 82d Airborne with approaching 3 of those years in combat in either Iraq or Afghanistan. 

After my service my body and mind took a toll, my blood pressure of 157/92 on average, sleep took me forever with around 4-5 hours per night, my short term memory was shot among other things related to PTSD.  Well, to the point my first experience with gardening led me to where I am now and it has helped me.  It was my third deployment and I decided to plant a German Johnson tomato.  I did not have a bite until I had come back to the states but when I did I fell in LOVE BOY!  It was the best tomato I had ever had!  That bite led me to growing a few more tomatoes. 

Eventually I evolved to square foot gardens, then organic gardens, now permaculture.  In the process, I have noticed when I worked the field I had a sense of peace which I rarely felt since before the Army.  I had a blood pressure monitor and I checked frequently noticing that it was approaching normal levels again.  My headaches lessened and my stresses unloaded from me and I felt more energetic then I normally would.  I guess what I am saying is that my increasing relationship with nature was healing me and I felt closer to God.  To be honest, farming made me feel better than any psychologist could.  At 27, I have had a hell of an experience but I am looking forward to the future after I finish my mechanical engineering degree and expand my plot of land to a farm in parallel with nature.

[center]Some of my pictures because they are worth a thousand words...[/center]

[center]<img src=>[/center]
[center](My platoon before my first deployment in Iraq, I am in the bottom left.)[/center]

[center]<img src=>[/center]
[center](After a hard day of training in the field - love the sunset!)[/center]

[center]<img src=><img src=><img src=>[/center]
[center](Left: Me inspecting enemy weapons we took after a raid in Fallujah.)
(Middle: Time described Fallujah as the worlds most dangerous city - I saw this and thought "uh"!)
(Right: About to leave Baghdad - very tired.)[/center]

[center]<img src=><img src=><img src=>[/center]
[center](Left: Buddy Danzyck was lucky, took it to the head but his helmet saved him.)
(Middle: The million dollar shot, atleast he still has his pair!)
(Right: Memorial for SSG Johnson.)[/center]

[center]<img src=><img src=><img src=>[/center]
[center](Left: More training before my next deployment.)
(Middle: A picture in a border region to Pakistan with some kids way up in the mountains)
(Right: Me getting schooled in some horseplay.)[/center]

[center]<img src=><img src=><img src=>[/center]
[center](Left: This mission was gonna be a tough one!)
(Middle: A stop at a local FOB before we get to our AO.)
(Right: The last I saw of Afghanistan.)[/center]

Those who hammer their swords into plows will plow for those who don't!
Nacho Collado

Joined: Apr 12, 2011
Posts: 42
Location: Granada City (that's in the south of Spain)
Greetings from Spain, Amedean, good you made it back sound and safe
I'm son and father of soldiers, my respect for you and your service.
I think we were made to enjoy and work in and with nature, so there's a lot of healing and peace doing that even if sometimes  it's a hard physical work, feel happy despite of tireness,sore muscles and blisters (i'm a newbie and not used to farming hand tools but i love it)

see our piece of land in our blog
Amedean Messan

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 925
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
Thanks, it has helped me a lot but I still need to improve.  I think when I increase my time in the field that this may do the trick.

Joined: Oct 25, 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Austin,TX
Was 11B once upon a time, but the only war I was in was the cold variety. Would like to say that the USSR fell due to my efforts, but modesty prevails.

Thanks for putting your ass on the line (even if I don't agree with the wars)...good on 'ya.

Yeah Permaculutre has saved my ass, was very ill due to sleep apnea for years. Was so tired I couldn't even change a lightbulb without taking a break (really). Have made so much positive progress, physical and mental, after taking my PDC.
And up until late last year it's been pretty much part time, but now I'm onsite (living in a converted school bus) and tending to my food forest and guinea fowls.

It's seems like my health and the progress of my site are tightly linked...funny that.

Sorry to hear about the PTSD and high blood pressure.

Glad to hear digging in the dirt has been a great help to you. Have you looked at herbal remedies yet? Plus look at avoiding herbs that raise BP.

Check out hawthorn, good for lowering BP (diastolic most of all)

Anti-inflamatories might help as well. Cats claw (uni de gato) is a great one.

As to the PTSD you might look towards the psychedelic plant kingdom.
Speaking from personal experience they can really help, helped me get over a bunch of issues (like breaking my neck and almost being decapitated as a child...freight elevator fun!).
Can't recommend them more highly. But read up and make sure you're in a supportive environment (set and setting) with a trip sitter.

Here's some links

Do know of a marine who took a bullet to the head (in Afghanistan)...messed him up bad, told he'd never do a bunch of stuff again...etc.
Treated himself with mushrooms and is now 100%.

As to the military men of the past turning to farming once got out (think they had stop loss back then?):
I'm thinking it has more to do with societal structure of the time...we had lots and lots of pre-industral farmers with much less in the way of specialization. Some weren't too good at farming, just look at US Grant...horrible failure. Guess he shouldn't have named his farm 'Hard Scrabble' or picked better land.

For me it's a bunch of things but food security is high on the list. Not going to get far if you don't have food. But I'm loving most all aspects of the journey and learning much along the way.

Well cheers and I hope you keep getting/feeling better...and get that BP down ASAP.
Amedean Messan

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 925
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
Wow, thanks ape99 for the awesome links.  This is very beneficial for me indeed!
Steven Baxter

Joined: Mar 22, 2011
Posts: 254
Im just going to be starting my life as an airman, in 1 month I ship out. It will be a challenge and I am excited. I hope to use the money I save to buy some land and build a home. I will be doing construction in the Air Force, so I can make use of the skills I learn while AD.

Getting to nature definitely will heal you in ways nothing else can. Check out the ayahuasca thread. That would probably be some good cleansing, but not for everyone.

Thanks for you service!

Joined: Oct 25, 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Austin,TX
No problem Amedean...

Would be very careful about taking ayahuasca if you have high blood pressure.
It's a brew of a few plants, one of which is a MOAI that allows the DMT to be taken orally.
MOAI have strict dietary guides that if not followed can cause your blood pressure to spike, even to the point of stroking out.
BUT, if you follow the diet prior/post for a few days you'll be good as the natural MOAI is short lived.

Not mentioned yet but Mescaline is a super medicine. Helped a buddy get off both alcohol and heroin.
Also iboga is great for kicking the horse and other additive behaviors. Rewires the brain and lets them kick withdrawal free in about 48 hours.
All of these plants/fungi are schedule I drugs that have NO MEDICINAL BENEFITS. Heroin, Coke, crack are schedule II as they have, in the infinite wisdom of the gov, medical benefits...huh, wot?

Be careful and know what you're ingesting...more on MOAI

Hey oracle, take care out there...boy it's going to be hella hot in San Antonio during your boot camp.
Also some states have great extra vet benefits. Texas has the texas vet land board to fund loans for home and raw land purchases.


Steven Baxter

Joined: Mar 22, 2011
Posts: 254
Thanks ape! Ya August in Texas=Hoooooot. Thanks for the VA tip, I didn't know that about Texas. I thought loans were strictly for homes.

Joined: Oct 25, 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Austin,TX
Hey Amedean,

Just ran across this article about Chayote and thought you might like to read. Plan on adding this one to my garden...nothing like rampant food and medicine in one plant.

The Many Culinary Uses of Chayote

There are a number of more exotic uses for chayote, as well. In the West Indies, for example, the vine's fibers are twined into strong ropes, and — in old-time Creole medicine — christophine herb tea was used as a curative for vascular diseases. (According to one botanist, "An infusion of leaves lowers blood pressure and is said to counteract arteriosclerosis with surprising results."


Joined: Mar 28, 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
To help fight stress in your body and restore it to non stress functions--panax ginseng .

For an all purpose detox everyone benefits from milk thistle.  It helps boost your liver so it can do its job better.  One capsule, once a day for 7 days.  Repeat once a month.

A good vitamin regimen and turmeric and garlic for everyday.

Meditation and a good sun bath, usually working in the garden.  Mother Nature knows what she's doing.


....sorry, not an Army girl or anything, but many many years ago I was an Air Force brat.

many many years ago.

Always put your eggs in one basket.........why would you carry two?
Joshua Myrvaagnes

Joined: Mar 20, 2014
Posts: 373
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
This is really inspiring and great to hear your health and heart are improving and feeling better.

Connected or reconnected. Fit with the right cycles and in the right season. Nourished and nurtured with natural energy. Aware of place and part.
John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6877
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
Years ago, when the VA's were full of Viet Nam vets, my sister got a job there tending their flower gardens.
These vets (many in wheel chairs) would come out and chat with her.
They got very interested in what she was doing. She would hand one a trowel or shovel and ask if he could help her.
She had a dozen or so that visited each day. She snuck in some cherry tomatoes.
Many had found a new direction in life.

The Drs and nurses began commenting that some who they had given up on were now beginning to come out of their depressions, and becoming more sociable. These guys were anxiously waiting for Monday morning when Carol would return. They spoke to the staff as if she was kin of theirs.

The VA actually flew her from Los Angeles to Bathesda, MD to discuss her 'program'. "Program? No, I just get them to help me dig in the dirt and plant flowers."

There is true value in getting your hands dirty, and helping something grow.
The VA recognized the healing that she was inflicting on them.
A very real way to let the inner hurt escape from the body.

Bill Bradbury

Joined: Apr 18, 2014
Posts: 631
Location: Richmond, Utah
Hello Amadean,
I hope the sweet Earth has brought your face back. We go off to do what was taught to us as right and good, only to find that we are pawns in a global dominance scheme! Yes, I was in the USN back in '90 when we went to war with a peaceful people ruled by a CIA installed tyrant. I was lucky in that I taught nuclear physics at the Nuclear Prototype Training Unit in Windsor, Connecticut. When we invaded yet another peaceful country, I had to get out, so I told them I was gay. It was not easy to endure the ire of my colleagues, but I have never regretted that decision.
We are all complicit in the wars waged by the Euro-American Empire, but we can offset some of the damage by re-establishing our connection with the Earth. Permaculture is a wonderful way to accomplish this, where traditional ways of life have been extinguished.
subject: Nature and healing.