Hi, I’m Leilani.
My journey down the plant path began completely by surprise.
Many days alone in nature opened me up to a whole new world of observation and communication. Never in my life had I been so quiet. I think that being so available and so free of distraction and stimulation finally allowed me to receive. I believe that plants are working through and with humans to show us the way to creating a more loving paradigm and a better experience on Earth for all beings. It is my belief that the human experience is not only better when we walk hand in hand with the natural world, but that it can also be much more meaningful. Though many of our rich ancestral traditions and much knowledge of the plants has been lost, I believe that if we are willing to soften and open we can regain it and live in harmony with the natural world once more.
I refuse to trade-in my natural and instinctual ability to look directly to the plants for healing. I refuse to because I have seen the healing power of plants firsthand and there is no going back. I refuse to instill my trust, power (money), and ultimately my life into the hands of a system which has proven to not have my best interests at heart. I am a person with feelings, habits, behaviors, preferences, and a story to tell. I am not a number, not a case. Many of us have traded in our sovereignty when it comes to our health. In some instances we are trusting the wrong people when we should be able to trust ourselves. To me, this is a very disconcerting notion.
That is not to say that there have not been life-saving advancements in the field of modern medicine that we as humans shouldn’t absolutely be proud of and grateful for. Modern medicine certainly has its role in modern society, and drugs (isolated plant constituents, often synthetic) have their place as well.
My argument is that in a world where a large majority of our “healing” is achieved by putting trust into others and their knowledge instead of in ourselves and our own knowledge we hand over our choices, our personal power. Many times we are so far removed from the decision making processes that we have none of the necessary information to deal with our own health care until we are already sick, or it’s too late. We allow others who we deem to be more knowledgable to make decisions for us. We blame them for doing the wrong thing to us. The problem is that we are still in the driver’s seat, and we are allowing this to happen.
Making medicine with plants is empowering, and is a lesson in self-reliance. Learning about herbal medicine in this modern society is a rebellious act. It is a form of activism. Taking ownership over one’s health is vitally important to changing the way we approach health care in our modern society. Becoming knowledgable about plant medicine is just one way that we can reclaim some of our personal power and simultaneously help our communities to heal themselves from the inside out.
We live in a time where addiction runs rampant. Antibiotics and pharmaceuticals are over-prescribed and are many times unnecessarily prescribed to fill the pockets of medical practitioners, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies. Street drugs are destroying lives, and the opioid crisis is worse than ever. Health care costs are staggering. We as citizens are viewed as patients instead of people. This feels so wrong to me.
I feel that it is vitally important that we do not lose our ancestral knowledge of the plants, and that we remain capable of working with them to solve our basic health needs. So many ailments, both minor and more severe, can be effectively improved by working directly with plant medicine. Drugs have their place, but I have discovered a happier and healthier life when they are used only when absolutely necessary. There is no magic pill. Drugs come with a cost that we not only pay out of our pockets, but sometimes with our quality of life. Plants offer a different experience.
In my mind it is imperative that we do not lose our connection to nature and to the natural world. To do so means that we miss out on a piece of the puzzle of what it is to be human. This means that we must return to nature. We must go back to the soil, the air, the water. We must break this cycle of convenience. We need nature for so many reasons. If we do not protect the natural world, we will see the end of our species.
Wild food and medicine are literally everywhere around us if only we educate ourselves and make the time to look! The plants want our attention, and they’ve got mine. My wish is that humanity can revive, remember, and spread the knowledge of the plants. That is my work and my passion. It is up to each of us to learn and grow as quickly as possible so that the plant path is not lost forever. I hope that you will join me.