Herbs: Nature's Apothecary

Herbs: Nature's Apothecary

“What is paradise, but, a garden, an orchard of trees and herbs, full of pleasure and nothing there but delights.” - Wlliam Lawson

Ancient Wisdom Never Fails 

Herbs have been revered sacred by many civilizations. Archeological studies have shown that the practice of herbal medicine dates as far back as 60,000 years ago in Iraq. Found in the Valley of the Tombs near Luxor, in 1874, the Ebers Papyrus (dating from 1500BC) lists 876 remedies derived from over 500 plants, including garlic, juniper, cannabis, castor bean, aloe and mandrake.

We are provided with plants as gifts from nature. The uses are endless; it can be used to flavour food, applied topically to heal skin ailments, ingested as medicine. Some herbs such as frankincense and myrhh were as valuable as gold, 2000 years ago!

My Herbal Rituals

I grew up in a household that valued herbal medicine: I would have garlic and ginger when I was sick. Or a blend of turmeric milk and black pepper to aid in digestion. Although I had the knowledge of which herbs healed which ailments, I was not familiar with preventative health care. After learning about Ayurveda, I realized that health is holistic. Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system from India that focuses on promoting wellness of body, mind, and spirit. The key to understanding Ayurveda is through subtle energies. It's not only about what you eat, but also how your body digests. My body can’t digest milk properly, so every time I have it, I am bloated and feel nauseous. That was my body warning me. Society tells us we need to consume dairy for our health, but my body disagreed. I began looking for calcium through other foods and  slowly reduced dairy out of my routine. The changes were great! I feel much lighter on my feet and not weighed down from bloating. Try keeping a food journal to document the food you eat and the impact it has on your body and energy levels. By embarking on a journey to discover yourself, you will regain control of your life. Your organs, your brain and ALL your cells are all here to serve You! Take that in for a minute..


I like to see my body as a temple for my Soul, rather than a vehicle to take me from point A to point B. The journey to self-love is more spiral than linear. I've written an article on self-care that shows acts of love we can do for ourselves. I began my herbal journey in the kitchen: I bought an herbalism book that contained recipes for soul food. Spices add colour, flavour and aroma to any dish. Finding the right spice can be tricky at first, so find a cookbook that you can reference. The first dish I made was Saag aloo (spinach + potato). This dish contained, cumin seeds, coriander  (cilantro) seeds, ginger, fenugreek leaves and much more essential vitamins. When I had this dish, it was cold outside, so the warm curry instantly revived me. I practiced mindfullness as I was eating the curry and was able to notice the subtle flavour each herb had. The kitchen is the heart of your home: you can create loving meals that bring you and your loved ones together, so familiarize yourself with the common herbs like parsley and cilantro, and expand from there. Note: Always do research on herbs and consult your physician (especially if pregnant or breastfeeding) Some herbs contain psychoactive properties, while some are toxic to consume. Medicinal teas can also be added to your daily routine to restore your overall health and wellbeing. There are plants to: elevate your mood, help you sleep, relieve you of anxiety and stress, support your liver and cleanse your blood, detoxify your system, aid digestion, soothe respiratory conditions, empower libido, clear skin conditions, improve your brainpower and enhance memory.. We are provided with more plant medicine than we are aware of. To de-stress, I like to make tea using lavender flowers, chamomile and tulsi to relax my central nervous system and bring my body back into balance. 

Beginning your journey with plant medicine can be intimidating at first, but ease into it at a comfortable pace. I will be updating this article as I discover new wisdom on plants. Thanks for reading!

Amera Athena
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