Have you ever been afraid of helping your family with herbal preparations out of fear of making a mistake? I know without a doubt that those of you reading this blog are kind and empathetic people. You care about others and those you strive to help with herbal and other natural modalities. So naturally, one of your greatest fears is..."What if it does't work and what if they get worse?" What if the herbal preparation we give them causes an adverse reaction, increases symptoms or just plain doesn't help them feel better or get back to wellness? What do we do then?
I remember a time years ago when as a budding herbalist I jumped on every band-wagon. Listening to Dr. Oz's recommendations (Yes, I am a recovering Oz-Hole.) I would try every new super-food and would apply those to my practice. Well, Turmeric was supposed to be the newest cure-all. Never mind that it had been used for thousand of years by Southeast Asian people as a staple spice in their diet as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. So everyone who came to me with an ache or pain got a bottle of 95% Curcuminoids Turmeric Capsules...with Bioperine of course! Those same clients began presenting with relieved aches and pains but as a trade off they now had severe digestive distress; Indigestion, gas, bloating etc. I got to see first-hand how an herb/spice can aggravate tissues in a person when the energetics of the herb as well as the person are not taken into account when making a recommendation. See Turmeric is a cooling herb and can decrease digestive fire when consumed regularly as a supplement. Traditional wisdom mixes warming herbs in with the cooling to balance out the energetics. Example: Ginger with the Turmeric. Also a person in an energetic state of "Cold," shouldn't take cooling herbs if they are not balanced with a warming herb.
In our lives as parents, healers and herbalists we will all make mistakes. What matters most is if we get up and keep going and if we learn from those mistakes. I believe that the Herbal Ally approach gave me the greatest opportunity to enter into a deeper relationship with the herbs and truly listen, to really "get it," and to understand deeply how the plant world can be aligned to support our overall wellness-Body, Mind and Spirit. It is in this place of partnership with the spirits of the plants themselves that we can truly learn from them and from life. Receiving their blessings and wisdom so that we may be better servants of others in a more effective way.
Do you have a story to share about something you learned about a plant from making a mistake?? Share it with us in the comments below!!