The Role of Herbs in Human Life
So many of the most nourishing plants on the planet are ones that we
think of as weeds. They might not be anything special to look at so we
don't plant them in our ornamental gardens. The ones that are native to
our climate may grow and spread with the greatest of ease and
abundance. It is these most nourishing, cleansing, and healing of
plants that we put enormous energy into eradicating. We pull them up by
their roots, but they still grow back. We might get serious and dig
them up with a shovel to be careful to get every piece of root, but
they still manage to survive. We curse at them, we call them names, we
resort to poisons, and yet they insist on being in our presence. Could
it be that nature has a larger perspective in mind than our perfect
lawns or garden beds?
We have plants to thank for the fact that the air we breathe is well supplied with the oxygen that we depend on to sustain human life. Then there are subcategories of plants that nourish us further; we depend on fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes for the calories and specific nutrients that fuel our cells and allow them to function optimally. Nature seems to provide all that is needed to sustain life on Earth.
Nature performs an amazing balancing act, providing tools and methods to compensate for every potential imbalance that is created in sustaining the whole.
Medicinal herbs seem to fill a very special role in maintaining this
balance. They provide more than just nourishment to the body, they
cleanse the body of poisons and toxicity, they support immunity, and
when needed they act as medicines, but in a way that is balanced and
generally supportive of life. Some plants, of course, are poisonous to
humans and can be lethal when ingested, even in small amounts. Here I
present herbs that are considered safe for internal use. There are,
however, some cautions with regard to specific herbs; these are
mentioned in the recipes as appropriate.