With the discovery of fire, early humans began to notice that aromatic smoke was produced by burning dried plants. As herbs, roots, resins and barks are changed from their physical form (of this world), they are changed by the element of fire into smoke (spirit world form). This transformation is evidence of the spirit within substances. Throughout human history aromatic plants have been used in the daily activities of people from every culture. In Catholicism the use of incense is likened to one’s prayer being kindled by fire in the heart, spoken by the lips resulting in the odor of Christ on the breath.
As time has passed, this connection between people and plants is being forgotten. We are drifting further and further away from the ways that connect us to the plant and animal spirits we share the earth with. We are losing our understanding of the physical things around us connect us to the spirit of life. People native to Turtle Island (The Americas) understand that the influence of plant medicine is very real in their daily lives.
The act of smudging is done with a smudge bowl or Abalone Shell with the appropriate herbs directly lit or burned on a coal or Charcoal Tablet. When using charcoal tablets, the bowl or shell should be filled with sand or a flat stone to prevent overheating the container. Smudging is also done with herbs tied in bundles called Smudge Sticks. In either case the smoke is ‘washed’ over the person or object with a Feather or by fanning the smoke with one’s hand.
To do a blessing of a person, begin by looking into the eyes of the person for a moment to ‘greet’ them, fan the smoke first at their heart and then up to the right side (your left) of the person’s head, moving around clockwise (sun-wise), gently washing them with the smoke. Continue brushing smoke down over their left shoulder and the length of their arm and back up again to the shoulder. Wash the smoke down the left side of the torso, left leg and foot. Now smudge the right foot, up the left leg, torso and down the length of the right arm and back up to the shoulder. Now turn the person around, turning to their right (sun-wise again) and repeat these movements as you smudge and bless the person’s back. For objects, bless them moving sun-wise around them also.
Echinopsis pachanoi, San Pedro cactus, Huachuma, Chuma, and Wachuma.
Cactus of the 4 winds
Buy San Pedro now
This plant is native to areas of the Andean Mountains where extremes in temperature and altitude are experienced, affecting and influencing the growth of this green columnar cacti, which can stretch out half a meter per year to it’s common length of 3 to 6 meters, but growth will continue until finally succumbing to it’s own weight eventually.
Did You Know? Refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th centuries was against the law; it was mandatory for farmers to grow..
The most obvious health benefit from gardening is the hard labour. One hour of hard gardening can burn up to 300 calories, and can help reduce heart disease and strengthen muscles. The fresh air is great for you, and you can also get some sunlight, which will boost your vitamin D levels.
But it’s not all about the physical benefits. Gardening has been proven to help mental health too, as the work can reduce stress. You can also get social benefits, if you can talk to your neighbours while you garden, or if other members of your family work with you.
Teaching a child to garden can teach them alot of responsibility, not to forget the reward of seeing something grow.
If you grow your own vegetables, then this will encourage you to eat healthier, and you can save lots of money from not having to buy groceries. It’s also great to grow herbs, as these can be used to flavour meals, meaning less need for salt.
Ask at your local garden centre for help starting your garden growing process, and you’ll soon be feeling fitter and healthier.
Mugwort, western – Artemisia ludoviciana
Artemisia ludoviciana is a species of sagebrush known by several common names, including silver wormwood, Louisiana wormwood, white sagebrush, and grey sagewort.
Showy for its silver-grey foliage more than for its large panicles of tiny flowers, the plant has aromatic, lance-like leaves sometimes lobed or with ragged edges. A well-grown plant makes a sizeable, feathery accent with good cutting qualities for drying as indoor decoration. Any light, well-drained, somewhat dry soil in sun or light shading is acceptable.
Used by the Native Americans and much valued by local herbalists in the form of tea, spice, poultice, or snuff. The plant is astringent, deodorant, and very friendly to the touch, used in treating eczema, spider bite, stomach ache, and menstrual woes.
Leaves and flower heads are used for tea and flavouring, especially in sauces, game, and pork.