a leaf that loves to be stroked
did you know that dock (rumex, that is) loves to be stroked? neither did I, until I followed the impulse of my hand, reached out, and gently stretched her leafy spine out between my fingers. I all but heard the little plant sigh with relief. So I did it again, and again; gently curving up and then down. I felt a noticeable calm in my heart, a softening in my belly - a connection to the bigger landscape that wasn't present before I made conscious contact. the leaf responded dramatically, in shape and sheen it looked healthier and happier than all the others. I was yet again hit with this phrase that keeps coming back to me:
If you love the Earth, She will love you back.
It's not a metaphor, it's an invitation to feel what is true. Touch is the essence of self realization, and connected-ness. As a dancer I've felt the depth of this truth person to person, as an herbalist I'm learning it's not species specific. And yet, we are too often taught not to touch, not to walk through, not to engage. If we don't touch, how can we be 'touched' by our exquisite earth? In an article in the local paper here I found wisdom in the words of Native community members who are working to restore the sacred healing grounds of Tolay Lake, a place long destroyed by settlers. Council members voted to take out loans against their casino to restore, preserve, and re-engage with this land. "If you don't have a connection with the land, you're lost," says Ross, who has been a tribal council member since 1996." What potent council for our wandering, fragmented, often disconnected society.
To go out and let the earth be effected by our touch, our witness, the ripples our bodies make in the water..who knows what healing is possible in this exchange of goodness? I vow to listen to the leaf asking me to reach out and connect...
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So what is so stabilizing about Stabilizing Syrup?
I often get asked, "what's it good for?" about this particular syrup, and I'd like to share why it's one of three (only three) formulas I make to share widely. Stabilizing syrup came about out of a response to seeing more and more people dealing with fatigue, exhaustion, stress, immune overload, allergies, and insomnia. So, in comes ashwagandha, one of the best adaptogens for sleep issues, also deeply nourishing to the nervous system and balancing for the endocrine system. Eleuthero, dear lovely "poor man's ginseng", slightly energizing to the nervous system and supportive of the adrenals this plant tonifies the chi, or vital life force. Schizandra is astringing, tonifying, cleansing, and calming all at once, with deep effects on an over-burdened liver and digestive system. Milky oats equals nervous system lube...think about all those little nerve endings exposed to the sound of BART screeching through the tunnel and depositing you into a cold blustery day at the market - ouch! Nettles...don't we all know what she does at this point? Rosehip is a carrier herb, goji berries nourish the yin, reishi calms the spirit and drains excess damp conditions, i could go on and on. But to summarize: this formula is good for helping the body respond to stress (good or bad) with a moderated endocrine response, keeping the hormones in check and the organs able to do their jobs well. i use it every. single. day as supportive, preventative medicine...usually as a spark in my chai tea, sometimes added to sparkling water for an afternoon treat. may it serve you well.