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Mindful Living
The Farm at Terrace

Reconnecting with Nature's Pharmacy: The Healing Power of Plants

Dontae Mears
September 7, 2023
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Today, our routines are punctuated by the chime of a new Netflix episode starting, the ping of a DoorDash delivery at our doorstep, and the familiar tone of yet another Zoom call. Our screens dominate our attention, and social media seems endless. Amidst this whirlwind of pixels and notifications, the grounding essence of nature can seem distant, almost like a luxury.

Yet, before the convenience of modern medicine and one-click shopping, our ancestors turned to the earth for remedies. Plants like Lavender, Witch Hazel, and Eucalyptus weren't just garden staples; they were trusted allies in health and wellness. As we navigate our urban, modern lives, these plants & their gifts serve as a bridge, connecting us to a time when life's rhythms were in tune with nature and its timeless benefits

Lavender actually outperformed both a placebo and a standard tranquilizer in easing generalized anxiety.
Lavender: The Calming Bloom

Lavandula angustifolia syn. L. officinalis (Lamiaceae)

Lavender, with its iconic purple hue and soothing scent, has been cherished for centuries. Ancient Romans used lavender in their baths for its relaxing properties, and its name is derived from the Latin 'lavare', meaning 'to wash'.

A 2013 study revealed that this fragrant herb wasn't just for lovely garden bouquets. Lavender actually outperformed both a placebo and a standard tranquilizer in easing generalized anxiety. And that's not all – it even showed its prowess as an antidepressant. Other research has echoed these findings, highlighting lavender's calming, mood-lifting, and gentle sedative qualities. Plus, this little purple wonder isn't just about mental well-being; it's packed with antibacterial and antifungal powers. Who knew? Well, our ancestors probably did!

Key Constituents:

Therapeutic Benefits:

a close-up photo of a witch hazel branch
Witch Hazel: Nature's Astringent

Hamamelis virginiana (Hamamelidaceae)

Native to North America, Witch Hazel is a small woodland tree and has been a staple in indigenous medicine for its remarkable healing properties. The plant gets its name from the Old English word 'wice', meaning 'pliant' or 'bendable'2. European settlers in the 18th century came to value witch hazel for its astringency, and its use spread to Europe and beyond. 

Key Constituents:

Therapeutic Benefits:

Eucalyptus: The Breath of Fresh Air
close-up sprigs of eucalyptus on a table

Eucalyptus globulus (Myrtaceae)

Originating from Australia, the indigenous people have used Eucalyptus for its antiseptic properties for millennia for relieving coughs and colds, sore throats, and other infections. Today, its invigorating scent can be found in everything from chest rubs to spa treatments.

Key Constituents:

Therapeutic Benefits:

As we face challenges in modern medicine, there's a renewed interest in these natural remedies.
Rekindling Our Bond with Medicinal Plants
close-up sprigs of eucalyptus on a table

The history of medicinal plants is as old as humanity itself. Our ancestors recognized the profound benefits these plants offered and integrated them into daily life. In our quest for advancement, we've sometimes overlooked the wisdom of the past. But as we face challenges in modern medicine, there's a renewed interest in these natural remedies.

Reconnecting with the therapeutic power of plants isn't just about finding alternatives to modern medicine. It's about understanding our place in the ecosystem, respecting the knowledge of our ancestors, and realizing that sometimes, the best solutions are rooted in nature.

Incorporating plants like Lavender, Witch Hazel, and Eucalyptus into our daily routines can be a step towards a holistic approach to health. As we rediscover the medicinal wonders of the plant kingdom, we're reminded that nature, in its infinite wisdom, often holds the answers we seek. If you're interested in reading more, I strongly recommend adding the Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine New Edition by Andrew Chevallier. to your collection. So much of his insight has proved invaluable to me as we develop our products.

*Disclaimer: Always consult with a healthcare professional before using or ingesting any herbal remedies, essential oils or supplements. Do not give to small children or infants.

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