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Beneficial herbs that pop up specificly for sick humans and other animals?

Berry Buiten


Joined: May 30, 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Worldcitizen
Hi there,

I have heard herbalists claim on several podcasts now that they find certain herbs that will help certain diseases around people's houses with those exact diseases. So lets say someone is having lots of problems with their liver, you might find herbs that will help cleanse the liver. I could see many reasons for this to be true, mutual benefits for both the plant and the user. I mean, the plants gets noticed and will be propagated. This will most likely mean it gets to pass on its genes more effectively. The user of the plant gets to live a healthier life and also spreading its genes better. Sounds reasonable to me. But how would this work?
I know plants can suss out intelligently where and in which direction to grow roots so they don't compete too much with other plants. Or in which direction to grow for optimal light, or even to release pheromones that will attract the animal that predates on a organism that will eat them. But this 'associative herbal behavior' is a new one to me
As a beginning 'believer' in the Gaia theory, I can imagine this to be true... The problem I have is that my right brain is going 'uhuh, uhuh' and nodding. My left brain isn't buying it though, and it wants some proof for this.

Do people here know about these kinds of occurrences and do you have some studies or websites on this?

With love for the Earth,
Berry


The Felt Presence of Direct Experience
ellen rosner


Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 119
hello,
I don't have any studies on this, but another example -
it is said that Jewelweed - which is a natural remdy for poison ivy - grows near poison ivy.
Jonathan Byron


Joined: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 225
There are a multitude of plants to treat most medical problems, and they are growing all across the landscape. We don't recognize this until we start looking.
Thelma McGowan


Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
    
    2
I think most folks have witnessed the human side of your question...in anecdotes of people craving something because their body needs it. Pregnant women craving things from salty potatoe chips to handfuls of dirt because they need that mineral or food for something.
When i am stuffed up and can't breath well all I want is eucalyptus since it will be the only thing i can smell at the same time and we might want a salty chicken broth since salty is all we can taste.

as for the plant side of the question I only know anecdote......I do feel like plants have been stalking me!

I have been stressed out this last year since a surgery that I had in 2010. maybe depressed at the same time. This spring I kept walking past this giant comfrey bush and FEELING like it must be special because it looks so different than the rest of the woods on the edge of my yard. I had to figure out what it was.
Then later I found a small cluster of cammomile growing next to my patio in the rocks. I thought "I am going to save this and transplant it to my herb garden". My Husband notices and tells me that we have a bunch in the drive way. I then realize that I have a 50 yard landing strip of solid cammomile. Our driveway had been redone and this was the first thing to grow in this year!

What would a herbalist recomend to a stressed out and sad Lady? Maybe Comfrey and cammomile tea! I honestly felt like the plants were trying to physically reach out and grab me "Hello...we are right here! you need us"
the comfrey and cammomile tea tastes so sweet to me, it totaly hits the spot! Just what I needed.

I now ask myself often. "o I love gardening because of all that I can grow -OR- Do these plants want to grow because they love me"? I too have a hard time getting both right and left brain wrapped around that :0)


There are no experts, Just people with more experience.
Jonathan Byron


Joined: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 225
Chamomile thrives on disturbed ground. In one place where I lived in the late 1980s, it was easy to spot the buried pipelines that ran across fallow fields - they were topped with dense beds of wild chamomile.
ellen rosner


Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 119
Auntythelma,
I love the questions you ask.

If you haven't read Stephen Buhner's, The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for Life on Earth, I recommend it.

Among the many things he says which I find so compelling:

He asks how did the indigenous ancient people know that a certain herb, eg feverfew, was good for a certain condition, headache?
He says imagine someone has a headache - do they try 100 herbs until they find one that works? Or do they have a way of "knowing" which we have lost?

many thought-provoking ideas...
Berry Buiten


Joined: May 30, 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Worldcitizen


Thats the kind of information I was looking for!

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Language-Plants-Ecological-Importance/dp/1890132888

Yay! I will have to buy that book now. Dang, another book to absorb. So many good books!
ellen rosner


Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 119
yes, and now I discovered that Stephen has written many books since then, one of which I really MUST have-

Ensouling Language:
On the Art of Nonfiction and the Writer’s Life

oh, no, another one I must have: Sacred Plant Medicine:
Explorations in Indigenous Herbalism
and
One Spirit Many Peoples:
A Manifesto for Earth Spirituality

sigh

Also,
all his books can be bought here:
http://www.gaianstudies.org/Bookstore.html

thus not using the amazon behemoth. 
Kirk Hutchison


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Remember not to neglect the simplest explanation: people are more likely to notice something if they are looking for it. If an herbalist knew someone needed certain herbs, they would be guaranteed to notice those herbs growing nearby.


Paleo Gardener Blog
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Paleo Gardener wrote:
Remember not to neglect the simplest explanation: people are more likely to notice something if they are looking for it. If an herbalist knew someone needed certain herbs, they would be guaranteed to notice those herbs growing nearby.


Yes, confirmation bias may at work, but I don't believe that is all...

auntythelma wrote:
I honestly felt like the plants were trying to physically reach out and grab me "Hello...we are right here! you need us"


I was taught an Anishinabeg (aka - Chippewa/Ojibway) creation story believed to be thousands of years old.  To sum it up, at one time humans, plants and animals lived in harmony and all spoke the same language.  When the people were hungry, the animals would offer their body and say, "use my flesh to nourish yours" When the people were sick, the plants would call out, "Take my body and use it for medicine.  I'm good for that condition..." 

Later on, of course, people got greedy.  They started taking more than what they needed, they took without asking and they forgot to give thanks for what they received.  Eventually the plants and animals each held their own councils and chose to withdraw from the humans.  The animals chose to run and hide.  The plants grew thorns, developed toxins or bitter tastes, became fibrous, or grew only far from the villages.  Most of all, they stopped calling out and offering themselves to the humans, so the humans became weak and sick. 

Of course, all is not lost and those willing to be respectful, listen, pay attention and express gratitude may still be able to understand the language of the plant people.
 
ellen rosner


Joined: Aug 14, 2011
Posts: 119
Yukkuri,
Have you read Stephen Buhner's "The Lost Language of Plants:The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for life on Earth"?

I recommend it to you.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
ellenrr wrote:
Yukkuri,
Have you read Stephen Buhner's "The Lost Language of Plants:The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for life on Earth"?

I recommend it to you.


Have not, will add to the wish list. Thanks.

YK
 
 
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