When Did You Last Embrace Some Plant Healing?
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Justine, I am a mother of two, a healer and holistic therapist. I am a mother of two teenage boys, living in London, a lover of nature, trying to give up coffee and addicted to chocolate. My main domain of healing is usually crystal healing and sound. Please feel to pop by my Treatments Page as I am offering Distant Healing sessions during this lockdown period and yes it works just as well as in-person 🙂 I also make Bespoke Crystal Malas, tuning in to your own energy and needs as to what you need to aid you on your spiritual journey of wellness, you can find some of my pieces on Etsy, here. Finishing with that little plug I would love to share with you what I have been getting up to recently.
During this period of isolation, I’ve been experimenting and being drawn to finding different ways to improve one’s health, cleanse & connect. This involves looking at the old ways and or seeing what is out there to embrace through nature other than shop-bought items.
Going back to nature one might say and though I’ve always been this way inclined, now more than ever it seems to be more prevalent and more intensely on my radar.
I will say here and now that I am not a qualified Naturopath, I am just sharing my experience, which you might enjoy and it might, in turn, spur you on to do your own research and embrace Mother Nature and all the amazing healing and or wellness flora and fauna that she so readily provides.
So what did I make?
I Made A Foot Soak/Bath
My footbath consisted of the following plants, nettles, dandelions and blackberry leaves.
Reported benefits of the following (this is just a limited report):
- Nettles – Nourishes blood and cleanses the body through increased urination. Rich source of minerals, making it an ideal tonic remedy. (as taken from my Neals Yard Remedy Book)
- Dandelions – depending on which part you use, it can be diuretic, liver & digestive tonic, stimulates pancreas and bile duct, contains vitamins A, B, C, D and potassium. (as taken from my Neals Yard Remedy Book)
- Blackberry leaves – Blackberry and raspberry leaves contain a notable amount of flavonoid compounds. According to a 2004 study from the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland, these leaves contain derivatives of kaempferol and quercetin, phenolic acids, triterpenes, mineral salts and vitamin C.Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.The best-known flavonoids are quercetin and kaempferol which blackberry leaves contain. Due to their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits, blackberry leaves are used to aid in healing sore throats, mouth sores, anti-ageing, diarrhoea, wounds and haemorrhoids. (as taken from Green Talk)
It is important to note that when you go foraging that you take only that which you believe you need, nothing more if possible, cut rather than rip from the root unless you are using the root, this way the plant will still grow and if you believe the same way as me, then I ask permission to gather and I give thanks for what I receive.
You can see them below, fresh to then being washed in a mix of bicarbonate soda and water, hopefully ridding them of any dog pee and anything else and then drying for nearly a week bundled up in the kitchen with the sunshine on them.
Apart from anything else, the pure ritual of going outside, picking and then mindfully working in this way for your own benefit is such a beautiful thing to do, I promise.
Once they were dry I then set to work grinding up the herbs with a pestle and mortar. Note to myself, next time take the bulky stalks off, or if you want an extra arm workout keep them on. It was hard work!!! But satisfying. I competed with the builders next door whilst working my mortar and pestle on the plants, great stuff! They were probably thinking “what is that batty woman up to now!”
This in itself was an incredibly mindful experience and making something for yourself you can’t really beat, not in my books anyway. Connecting with the plants is an essential thing to do to help you connect with the amazing lands that we live on. I always think so many people look elsewhere to other cultures for plant medicine, rituals, ceremonies which in themselves can be amazing but often we forget what we have right here on the land that we live on which if we could connect with first and foremost would be a wonderful thing. In my humble opinion!
All ground up, reminded me of matcha, but not quite so fine and really had a wonderful smell.
Next stage was to mix the herbs with water in a container, I used a copper container rather than plastic as plastic releases bisphenol A (BPA) up to 55 times more rapidly than exposure to cool or temperate water. Research has linked exposure of bisphenol to fertility problems, male impotence, heart disease and other conditions. You could use glass if you don’t have copper, a bowl will do, I just happened to have a copper water bottle. The reason I mention bisphenol is because it then had a sun bath.
I like to use a copper bottle for myself because copper is an essential trace mineral that is vital to human health. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps neutralize toxins. Our bodies cannot synthesize copper, so you need to get it from dietary sources. Though I am not drinking the foot soak, that I wouldn’t relish, there is going to be a benefit from the plant having ‘marinated’ in it for around 24 hours.
After the days sunbath I then left it on my altar, my sacred space. This is just an additional step I took, you can work it whatever way you wish of course.
So why a footbath and not a cup of tea?
A cup of tea would be brilliant and believe you me there is an abundant array of herbs and flowers out there to pick for this, but below you will see why soaking your feet is so potent.
Our feet are the foundation of the body’s energy system, yet they are an often overlooked part of the body. One-quarter of the body’s bones are in the feet, and over 72,000 nerve endings. Six meridians (liver, gallbladder, kidney, bladder, spleen, and stomach) run through the feet, containing over 70 acupuncture points. Feet are also more subject to injury than any other part of the body. The ancient Chinese compared the human body to a tree. Your arms are the branches, your torso is the trunk, and your feet are the roots. When people age, one of the first things that weakens is their root, resulting in mobility issues.
Remember, our skin is the largest organ of our body. The heat, minerals and herbs that we absorb through the skin of our feet have a local and global effect on our body and emotions. Our bodies heal and rest best when we are relaxed so take a load off, and plunge in.
I took a chunk of quiet time out just for myself. Prepared my foot soak in a very attractive green tub as you can see and hid away in my den, or treatment room at home. I topped this up with hot water, dimmed the lights and relaxed, breathing deeply, setting my intentions, connecting with the plants and giving thanks.
I half imagined a lot of green goo at the end, but it was a pretty clean experience and the smell was lovely. You can add essential oils, salts etc, but I just wanted to connect with the plants.
Afterwards I dedicated the plants back to the earth with my thanks, the water going into my flowerbed and my feet dried pretty quickly naturally which is the best way.
How Did I Feel?
I confess I was a bit nervous at first, irrationally so, when putting my feet in to the water, having this idea that I could still get stung. Which was of course nonsense, there was no stinging, so for any of you thinking this, please relax!
I went to bed not long after having done this and my feet were wonderfully tingly, in a really connected/grounded way. Any of you reading this that know me, know that I have struggled with grounding in the past and yes sometimes in the present, but the key is I recognise it now, usually, so I can do something about it. I felt very grounded! This tingling, which was divine, subtle, giving such an ‘alive’ feeling in my feet lasted a good couple of days. It was like all my nerve endings were buzzing, connecting and doing what they are supposed to do. I had a good bout of energy, I didn’t spend the night on the loo or anything and I’ve been generally feeling pretty good. I will definitely do it again, as I loved the lasting sensations which for me was very appreciated.
So I hope at least this was an enjoyable read and maybe you are inspired to go out there and get picking and creating. There is a wealth of online ideas on what one can make and use plants for and now seasonally and with being on lockdown it is something possible to embrace, if you can get outside, and if you can’t get outside the next best thing is that you can ‘order’ herbs and flowers, Neals Yard provide a huge variety here.
With this in mind, I am going to be having a giveaway of the Neal’s Yard Remedy book, which guides you on cooking, brewing and blending your own herbs. I chose to be a distributor and practitioner for this amazing company that are pioneers in Natural & Organic Skincare & Wellbeing Since 1981, there knowledge is second to none in the plant/herb/organic world.
How Do I Win This Book?
Please pop over to my Instagram account, Aurora Facets and follow me, I shall be doing a little live session on there, tomorrow, Monday, 20/4/2020 at 3 pm GMT giving a brief overview of the book and instructions on how to win it.
There is just one!
Postage included, just happy to share the love!
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Many blessings, Justine xxx