Since ancient times, plants and herbs have been imbued with magical and healing powers. While flora are an essential dimension of the world of living things along with fauna, they are more than the glory of nature in our surroundings.
Given that half of us live in an urban context, it is vital to understand how to regain some of the missing wonders of plants. We are used to the concrete jungle and settle for a pot or two on the windowsill. It does little to relieve the stress of the rat race.
Modern city life embraces density in housing, not to mention the chaos and traffic all around. We are busier than ever achieving our goals. We try yoga and meditation, or just go to the gym to chill out a bit and savor a few spiritual moments. The mind-body connection is severed when we lose touch with Mother Earth.
So where does herbalism come in? If you live in a city and need to feel more grounded, it can be an effective remedy. We all are subject to stressors that are aggravated by too much commotion. Depression and anxiety are rampant as we desperately seek a work/life balance.
It is time to clear your mind with a grounding ritual. All you need is the fragrant herb, rosemary. It is a staple of Italian cooking. But on the medicinal side, it can boost your circulatory system and get you going when you start to slow down. When it reaches the brain, the results are astounding. The best way to get results is to add a few drops of rosemary tincture to a glass of water and drink it down. It is also said to relieve headaches. You can take advantage of the herb as a pick-me-up any time of the day.
Another tried and true method to get grounded is meditation and employing a mantra. Twice a day, the practice is guaranteed to set you straight. You will soon feel more a part of the earth upon which you stand. Think of growing roots from your feet into the soil. Fragrant herbs can be used to assist the process. Use your breathing to take in their aroma. They will help you relax. Rosemary and lavender are wonderful scents.
As flesh and bone, we are subject to decay. Living in an urban center doesn’t help us regenerate. Yes, most cities have ample parks and green spaces, but do we take the time to enjoy them? We don’t notice when we are short of breath and fatigued. If you take a moment to focus on your breathing, you can pump up your energy level in no time at all.
Breathing is rote and mechanical, but we can enhance its benefits. Doing it in nature is ideal, but it is fine to use herbs at home as well. Yarrow is the one to choose, also known as Achillea (named for Achilles, the Spartan warrior of note in the Iliad). If you are low on inner strength, find some fast. It can also be a digestive aid, helping your body break down fats and oils.
Practitioners advise using yarrow twice a day: when you rise and at night before going to bed. It will boost your energy and personal power. What could be better? Take one to five drops for a few weeks or several months until you notice a change. All the while, focus on your breathing from the moment oxygen is inhaled through the process of entering the lungs and finally the cells and tissue of the body. Notice how you feel relaxed inside and out. You can do this most anywhere, even at work or on the commuter train.
Is your spirit flagging? Are you overwhelmed by life in the city? The question is how to find a bit of tranquility amid all the buzz. There is a practice called “shielding” that creates a protective boundary around our body. It is an imaginary space that helps distance us from the hustle and bustle.
This time hawthorne comes to the rescue. It is a member of the rose family (from a thorny tree), long known as a heart remedy to address physical and emotional ailments. The cardiovascular system is the main target, but it also cures heartbreak and grief. You simply ingest a few drops of hawthorne tincture after you rise. Mysteriously, you will feel the thorns of the tree wrapping around you like a protective armor.
There is more to shielding. It comes into play after you are grounded and have focused on your breathing process. It is the final step in balancing your mind and body. You have created a shield with hawthorne, or whatever works for you, and are now at the crossroads of a new dimension. This time color is the key element of the experience. The plant has created an aura around you and it is about to take on a color. In fact, the sphere can also grow in size or change shape. The effect on your personal energy is amazing. If only you could achieve this every day! But you can.
All of the spiritual rituals in this article can be done on a regular basis as part of self-care. We are not too busy to address our connection to nature. Using herbalism can make an enormous difference in your well-being. Use the ancient lore and tap into a primeval kind of healing energy. If you are receptive and open, you will nourish your entire being and protect your mind from the alien elements of the city.
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