(Article by Brandon Scott)
“Meanwhile, spring came, and with it the outpourings of Nature. The hills were soon splashed with wild flowers; the grass became an altogether new and richer shade of green; and the air became scented with fresh and surprising smells -- of jasmine, honeysuckle, and lavender.”
– Dalai Lama XIV, Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
A staple of the herbal cabinet is lavender, for it is a powerful plant that offers a myriad of medicinal effects, from soothing to sedating to purifying, to only name a few. Among the world’s most intoxicating scents, ranging from sweet to floral with a hint of herbaceous intensity, lavender is a memorable and unique aroma that can soothe with the briefest inhalation. While it’s unfortunate that it’s not springtime as the Dalai Lama described above, and only the start to winter among us Ohioans, stores of dried lavender and the essential oil can come in handy all year long.
(Article & Photo by Brandon Scott)
Herbalism is the study of botany and the use of plants intended for medicinal purposes. Plants have been the basis of medical treatments throughout human history, and such traditional medicines are still widely practiced today. Herbalists are practitioners of herbal medicine that have been around since the dawn of time, yet the art has faded out of the mainstream, replaced by fancy white jackets and titles and pharmaceutical drugs, many of which cause more harm and side effects than the intended benefit. These changes have ushered in a disconnect between people and the natural world around us. We’ve become strangers, aliens, to the world that we came from, which has caused a ripple of cause and effect throughout our culture. Without the herbalist, humans would not have survived to evolve as they have. And without the herbalist, the knowledge of the natural world may be forever lost.