Plant medicine is a doorway to the earthly plains
by Erin Lovell Verinder
In my first book, Plants for the People, I offer an insight into the ancient wisdom of herbalism for the modern day. Inviting you to return to the roots, whether you are a plant loving novice or you are seeking to deepen your relationship to the bounty of medicinal plant healing. Plants for the People is a guide to learning 40 common plants, their stories and therapeutic benefits alongside a guide to medicine making, with recipes for tinctures, teas, infusions, flower essences, balms and much more. A plentiful roadmap to activate your inner alchemist in your very own kitchen!
Herbalism truly is a love letter to nature. Plant medicine is all leaves, roots, barks, berries and flowers- there is no way to not connect to the natural world when you are working within the realms of herbalism. In every preparation, you are working with whole plants. It is essentially nature in your tea cup. The purest form of grown earth energy. So many of the most potent plant medicines are the most simple plants to grow and growing a garden is a perfect way to commune with nature. To sow seed, to tend and to harvest. It is an act of stewardship to the earth to give back, to give back to the land, to the soil, to the bees and so forth, and then to receive.
The modern danger posed for us all is the potential loss of connection to the great green natural world, where all of the wild things grow. The true byproduct of shifting your attention and energy towards working with plant medicine is the perfect antidote to the frenetic pace we may be keeping in our everyday lives. Connecting to nature is of utmost importance at this point of our evolution, we need to combat screen time and all of the doing time, to refuel and recalibrate our health and wellbeing. Stepping into the embrace of nature is the medicine, and the plants are truly eager to assist us all.
As a clinical practitioner, I am well versed in the pharmacology of the plants and fluent in the language of plant constituents. I treasure and value this knowledge however this way of approaching plant medicine can be incredibly one dimensional, a plant is in no way the same as a pharmaceutical. We simply cannot reduce a plant's efficacy or impact with the same systems as we do a drug.
Plant medicines do not only heal the physical body, they also impact the mind, the heart, the soul alongside the subtle anatomies of the body (the chakras and the meridians). This is due to their innate healing essence, their spiritual essence which can simply not be measured or pulled apart. Every piece of nature holds a story, a message, a vibrancy, a purpose, an offering.
Many of us have simply forgotten the riches of herbalism, over time there has been so much loss in our lineages, the folk traditions have fallen by the wayside and blurred with the rise of the modern fix it with a pill culture! But truly Plant medicine is your birthright.
I always suggest to start with what you are drawn to the most; the plants that stand out to you are usually what you may need! Drinking your herbs is a wonderful way to weave plant medicines into your daily rhythms, teas are a simple ritual that can offer so many positive effects. A delightfully calming cup of Chamomile tea before bed to usher in a sound night sleep, or a soothing cup of ginger tea when your belly is upset. The true foundations of herbalism are full of no frills remedies to support, which flows into the radical idea that wellness can be simple!
Ultimately herbalism offers us a doorway to listen within, to empower to listen to your body and offer up assistance with the symbiotic forces of medicinal plants to shift and heal.
Green blessings to you all x
For more from Erin you can follow her work at @erinlovellverinder
photos by @georgia.blackie
Her book Plants for the People is available on BaYou with Love here.