Friday, December 8, 2017

DOWN TO EARTH

Posted by Lena Green
As the year goes by, I want to share the experience I had this past  summer, when I attended the International Herb Symposium-a Conference on Medicinal Herbs held in the beautiful Wheaton College, MA. I followed my family' traditional interest in the Botany, Herbalism and Medicine, including my own 'yogic' set of values.   

As it was said on the IHS website: “The International Herb Symposium represents a wide range of traditions, ideas, beliefs, and the various methods we have on working with healing plants from folkloric to ethnobotanical, clinical and scientific.The teachers and classes we’ve chosen for this year’s IHS represent some of the great diversity found amongst herbalists and herbalism in the world today” . 

It was exactly what I experienced in addition to meeting with many fantastic people, enthusiasts,  scientists and amateur learners of the “Dawn to Earth “ wisdom and spending a couple of days away from the busy and hassled NYC.  The amount of information I received was overwhelming and I will jump into the description of some resources I read,  in hope to engage more readers and book-clubbers into this discussion. 

One of the books that catches my attention was called "The Yoga Of Herbs - An Ayurvedic Guide To Herbal Medicine". By Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant  Lad.
In the Preface of this book the authors stated that in Ayurveda, the medical science of India, yoga refers to the “right usage” and right combination of the herbs. After the above combination brings the body and the mind in balance then they call it yoga. 
Ayurveda believed in herbal energetics and the potencies of herbs,  and now many orthodox medical practitioners began to see that the regularly prescribed drugs and their side effects can be suppressed, interact, or even exchanged with the medical herbs of similar origin.  

The purpose of this book  is to introduce the Ayurveda and some Chinese herbs to the Western world, and make it practically applied system of Herbalism. The book is very difficult to read because it contains a different set of ideas, conclusions and observations as comparing to western mentality. But it has a "revolutionary spirit" and it aims to combat the rapid modernization, globalization, robotization, the tech domination and the devaluation of human values. It teaches  people  how to preserve a sense of unity, a spirit of integration and collaboration by approaching our own bodies and minds as a harmonic system of different (eight) limbs and it urges to find a way to think " Globally" in the Holistic way.  
The other resource I found attractive was a webiste called "The Herbarium" , check it out you will love it. 

On a practical note I want to share about the herb called  the "Valerian "  If using in moderation it has no side effects but many practical benefits-from suppressing some sleep disorders , insomnia and anxiety to treating asthma and all sorts of headaches. 
From the yogic point of view it is great to practice a couple of poses and then have a glass of warm Valerian tea before going to bed. Here is a sample of few beneficial yoga poses for better sleep. 


Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee Pose)
1 minute [10–15 breaths], each side
Sit with extended legs. Place the sole of your left foot against your right inner thigh, right hand by your hip. Lift your left arm, exhale, and fold over the right leg, reaching for your foot or shin. Rest your head on a block. Switch sides.




Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)

3 minutes,  [30–45 breaths]

Fold a blanket into a narrow stack that’s the length of your spine. Sit close to a wall and place the blanket behind you, perpendicular to the wall. Lie back onto the blanket, then scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up. Rest with your arms by your sides.



What are you thinking about this stuff, people? Can herbs help to heal anyone in the future ? 
Is it only for aromatic qualities that we love using some herbs in our kitchens?






Share your thougts..

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