What is Backyard Medicine?
Renowned herbalist and wise woman Susun Weed always says : "Herbal medicine is people's medicine". Unfortunately, nowadays most people are more familiar with the complicated names on the pharmacy shelves than what's in their own back yard. Think about this, we've been here for thousands of years living off the Earth and then , about a hundred and fifty years ago, somehow vanity took over and we decided that we have to be separate from Nature in order to prove ourselves. Today, we are dependent on the word "artificial" - pills, food dyes, sweeteners, oils, genetically modified this and that. But our bodies still keep the sweet memories of fresh mornings with cold dew in the grass and the smell of pine trees. they remember the bright colors of summer when the grasses are waist high and the shade of the oak trees is cool and inviting. It's like a story book childhood that we are meant to have but instead we grew up with the smell of asphalt and the sense of always being late for the most important moments of our life.
It is time to start a Health Revolution. It is time to reclaim our patch of green. It is time to go back to the roots , sometimes literally. Find a place around you and explore - your own back yard, the park, an empty lot in the suburbs, the mountains, a friend's farm.Use all of your five senses to invoke those memories that are deep in our cells and our heart.
Medicine is all around us. Nature always give us a solution to our problems. My little boy and I were playing by the river the other day, early evening actually, and there was a lot of mosquitoes out. Poor thing got bit on his ear and was scratching like crazy. I looked around for something that can help and sure enough there was a big patch of plantain growing steps away from the river. Plantain is the most wonderful plant to have around when you have a bug bite. You just pick a leaf, chew on it to release the juices ( or you can rub it in your hands to bruise the leaf) , and put it on the bite. There was barely any trace of the bite left by the time we got home. Isn't it amazing? That is "backyard medicine" in action.
I started exploring my neighborhood just to see how many healing plants I can find without going out in nature. I have to say , I was more than amazed. Dandelion, Mullein, Alfalfa, Yarrow, Plantain, Red Clover, Nettles, Shepherd's Purse, Willow. I am sure there are many more I haven't found yet.
I will try and show you all my finds in the next few posts, so we can reclaim our neighborhoods and the connection with the earth, even if it's just a dandelion plant growing by the sidewalk. So think again before you maw the lawn and don't be afraid to go on a treasure hunt in the empty lot in your neighborhood. Wonders await!
Be healthy and happy! See you soon!
Posted by Milena Yankova