Winter here is a time of setting intentions. Starting the year with a period of restful preparation while the world sleeps and does the same. It feels harmonious. As I've heard it put, "the best day starts with a good night's rest," and I think that can easily apply to a year, or any cycle you choose.
My biggest intention this year is to learn and manifest as much as I can about healing. The title of this post is a mantra or theme that I'm keeping in mind and meditating on daily. Learning to manifest physical health through the gift of creation.
In our pastor's first sermon of 2020, he mentioned that he wants our church to focus on deep healing, specifically calling out cancers and chronic pain. This has been heavy on my heart since then, as those two things have consistently come up in all my learnings of farming, food, nature, permaculture, and natural medicines. Of course, y'all know my take; I believe a natural life can rid us of many modern chronic illnesses.
I like this church a lot. The focus on community there is like no other church I've been to, and I think it's a perfect place to propose my church garden idea from a while back. I think this is a place for it to shine.
I came across a Bible verse this week that was a bit alarming. 2 Timothy 3 speaks of people in the "last days," and in verse seven says this:
[They are] always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7
That rang a bell for me, because I've been spending a lot of time reading, learning, and not doing a lot about what I've learned. I feel the things I've learned starting to compel me to do something, thus the manifestation. The call out in church earlier this month was the last little push I needed to recognize that that's what's going on.
This time last year I started learning about three weeds that chickens like to eat: chickweed, cleavers, and dandelion. Through the podcasts I heard that summer, after all those plants had died back for the year, I learned that they are all medicinal. Knowledge without action, I guess. This time of year is when those plants start appearing, and I'm learning to work with them now as it's seasonally appropriate.
In the past, I've only made a few tinctures and a salve. This winter I'm working in more ways with these plant allies, learning to enjoy them more fully. Tinctures are a great way of preserving medicines, but some folks believe that plants appear when they're needed; meaning that waiting a month or two for the preparation isn't always appropriate. So I've begun exploring uses for fresh and dried herbs in food and teas.
Bacon, chickweed, and tomato sammich. A nutritious, delicious, and medicinal twist on the old BLT.
I'm still working on gathering a whole dry ounce of chickweed to make what Susun Weed calls a nourishing herbal infusion. It dries much lighter in weight than the fresh harvest, and three or four salad bowls so far has yielded about ¾oz (~20g). I do have some tincturing of course, and it'll be ready in about four short weeks.
Chickweed isn't the only medicine I've been working with this winter though, just my most recent. My medicine cabinet is very full of things steeping. Mullein, elecampane, lion's mane, and poke root tinctures are all new to the cabinet, greatly increasing the range of healthy natural function I can support through the gift of creation.
Lion's mane is ready for water decoction this weekend, poke root will be ready around Valentine's, and elecampane and mullein are already complete and part of my herbal medicine arsenal. I was even able to gift some mullein tincture to a friend when she said she'd been having trouble with her back. Spinal alignment is one of the many things mullein root can help with (as I've experienced myself as well).
This tall stalked plant,with its roots so firmly planted in the earth and leaves that radiate out all along the stalk mimic the processes of the spinal column. It speaks to me, telling me that it can help me stand tall!
There's more out there to be enjoyed too, and I'm learning and using more as I go. Our family has finally found a doctor that Melissa and I both like (we've almost never found anything we both agree on 100%), and he has given his endorsement of my garden and livestock plans. He said in my introductory appointment the other day that he believes a natural, properly raised diet is the key to relieving all chronic modern illness. We talked a bit about our garden plans, where to buy good local meats, and we shared some written resources too!
While he's a pretty enthusiastic guy, he did also like my interest in Natural medicine and was supportive of my choice to not get prescriptions for an emergency inhaler, allergy drugs, or anything else other than on an emergency basis. His words were "I'm here if you ever need emergency pharmaceutical support." A quick listen to my lungs made him want to do a pulmonary function test for what he said would be considered asthma, but only because asthma itself is poorly defined in modern medicine. He recommended a three month retest after I did a self guided natural lung support regimen, which sounds awesome to me. The prospect of having some physical science to help test natural remedies is encouraging. I'm excited at the level of support this doctor has for something more decentralized than the modern pharmaceutical industry.
So while I learned a lot in the past year, 2020 is a year of action and regeneration. The manifestation of physical health through the gift of creation is a deep seed that's germinating in the rich soil of knowledge and resources that are made abundantly available in today's world. It's a journey that's lit a fire in my life that continues to burn, fueled by abundance and simmering a cauldron of encouragement and optimism. Decentralized medicine is my goal; healing and nourishment as a function of place and community, and the time is coming for the seed to finally grow and set fruit.
Here's hoping your 2020 is as fruitful as mine will be.
All action for the good of all