In our world, maybe there is a tendency to feel we need something or someone special to help us truly heal. In herbalism, I have seen many people start to take rare plants on a daily basis and much of that thought is being encouraged and promoted online. But what if the plants a society needs grows around them? What if the plants already have infused the healing energy intended for the local community in their leaves, roots and flowers? What if the weeds we so fear are here to help? What if they already know the answer and they are pleading for us to use them? What if we don’t have to order special concoctions from overseas or climb to obscure mountain tops at a certain time during the year to get the plant medicine we need?
I’ve always loved the concept of using what is already around us and loving who is already around us. What if we don’t have to search or feel like we need something outside of what is already here to help us be whole? Why are we wired to feel there is a special group, person, procedure or politician that we need to find and hold on to in order to feel complete, justified or whole? The longer I’m here, the more the plants call to me. I see dandelion, so bravely growing out of cement begging for me to use it. What if this plant that can find life in cement is giving us that same message? What if by consuming that plant medicinally, we can also learn to grow and soften where we feel we are boxed in, stuck or against a wall?
The end of spring signifies the last part of the season of the liver meridian. The final chance to release and let go of our built up liver qi stagnation is now. Audible heavy sighs, judgement of ourselves and others, resentment, irritability, stress and skin and eye issues are all a call out from our body that we need to take care of our liver energy. Often, the invasive plants that grow all around us are here to break up and nourish depleted soil. We are hard on Mother Earth and on ourselves, and so in return, she gives us dandelion. Mother nature knows that our “soil” or micro biome (gut) is also depleted, thus those are the plants growing around us to help us break down our barriers and nourish our depleted bodies. “Special” fussy plants aren’t where we are at yet and that’s ok. We are at the phase of the mineral rich dandelion leaf and root before we can truly receive and benefit from messages of the more prestigious plants. It’s ok that we don’t need something mystical or complicated to help us heal. Why would we not be able to use or survive on what is already around us? Hasn’t nature already sorted that out for us? Is that part of the reason we have flourished on this planet and made it so long? But who remembers the stories of the plants? Maybe an herbalist does, maybe a forager, or a grandmother or your quiet neighbor tirelessly maintaining and caring for their plants.
And what do we do when we see the beautiful dandelion reaching toward us to help us? We kill it, spray it, tell it to go away and tell it it’s in the wrong space. Unwelcoming to our plant allies, aren’t we? What do we do to the symptoms our body is telling us? I believe many of us tell those symptoms to go away, stop and disappear. What if we started to listen to our body’s signals? What if we started to listen to the message of the dandelion?
The plants have been here longer than us, have seen it all, and have been our helping allies and friends throughout. We ignore them, but they still appear. Without judgement, with no concerns or resentment for us not choosing them, they gently continue to pop up around us, whispering to us to give them a chance, slowly coaxing us back to the truth. They are telling us a story and they are showing us what we need if we seek their advice and sage wisdom. They are part of the ancient history that we so quickly forget or were never told of. Instead, we look outward and forward for answers and to more exciting and shiny things to make us “more.” But what if we were already enough, and already had everything and everyone we needed here and now, to be whole? Then what?