It has been said that for every illness on the earth, nature provides a cure.
The difficulty often lies in recognizing what will help us when we see it. Some of the most potent and helpful resources in nature are the most humble and easily overlooked. It is important to remember that nature, left to it’s own devices, initially gives every species the means to help ensure it’s well being and survival. Humanity is not exempt, we are a part of, not apart from our planet and everything on it.
Believing ourselves apart from one another and our environment is leading to a great deal of trouble in our society. It is telling that a majority of emotional and psychological illnesses begin with a deepening sense of isolation and alienation.
While it is considered reasonable to assume that if a person has a cold, their mood, mental reactions and thought process will be effected, the idea that there is an integral link between the state of the mind and the health of the body continues to be met with a puzzling degree of opposition.
Clinical studies have been performed which confirm the link between the olfactory and topical exposure to various essential oils and plant materials and the resulting psychological and physiological responses in their test subjects. The use of scent to stimulate memories and positive emotional responses in patients is being introduced into mainstream therapy.
Herbology and Aromatherapy are still far from being embraced by the medical community as valid practices, however doctors, scientist and psychologists are gradually, albeit in many cases very reluctantly, beginning to investigate these areas as an alternative form of treatment for their patients.
Much of what is being studied by doctors and scientists, are things most of us seem to know instinctively. Unfortunately, most of us are taught by our society and immediate social environment to dismiss our instinctual knowing as irrational or childish.
A number of years ago, a little boy whose family had recently moved next door, developed a sudden fascination with my garden. I had seen him playing in his own yard before, but he would always dash off somewhere if I spoke to him. I began to notice that every chance he got, he would come into my yard and pluck bunches of lavender from my garden. He never seemed interested in any other plant or flower there, only the lavender caught his attention. As usual, if I acknowledge him in any way, he would become shy and run off.
While I admittedly thought poking around in my flower beds to be an unusual preoccupation for a little boy, I didn’t mind him being there. The lavender was prolific, and seeing his small form sniffing at the tall purple stalks never failed to amused me.
Over the course of the summer we developed an sort of quiet understanding. When he saw me come outside to work in the garden, he would come over and play in the lavender beds as I worked. And I would occasionally “mislay” a muffin or cookie and became very adept at pretending not to see him as he gigglingly confiscated it.
One day, the boy’s mother saw him coming from my yard with his little bunch of lavender and began chastising him for picking my flowers. She was extremely apologetic and concerned that the boy had been bothering me. I reassured her, that he was quite welcome to visit me and my flowers and that I wasn’t at all bothered.
Out of curiosity, I asked her if her son had always been so taken with flowers. She said that he had never seen lavender before they moved next door to me, but she had never seen him interested in any type of flower or plant before. We spoke for quite a while and as we grew more relaxed, our conversation became more personal. She began to express her concerns about her little boy. She mentioned that he was given certain to behavioral problems. She also mentioned that he was prone to bad dreams, waking up at odd hours and fighting with her when she tried to put him to bed.
Acting on a hunch, the next day I made up a light chamomile and lavender massage lotion and a bottle of lavender essential oil and gave them to the boys mother. I suggested she add a few drops of the essential to a diffuser which could be placed in her son’s bedroom and I showed her a touch therapy massaging technique that she could use while applying the massage lotion to the child before bed time. I then gave her my number and asked her to stop by or call if she noticed any reactions or changes in her son’s behavior.
A few days later, while looking out of my window, I saw the little fellow in the lavender beds again. Much to my surprise, when he saw me, he grinned and waved, then he grabbed his lavender and scampered off.
A couple of weeks went by before I heard from his mother. She told me that he had been much calmer and agreeable since she had been using the lavender oil around her home (she fell in love with the oil herself and had taken to daubing it almost everywhere). She was thrilled that she hadn’t needed to struggle with him nearly as much in order to get him to go to bed lately and that he had been sleeping soundly with no nightmares.
When I observe someone who seems to be drawn towards a particular oil or herb, I am always reminded that little boy. Once the lavender plants began to bloom and release their fragrance, he was instinctively drawn to them. I believe that we all have this instinct for knowing what will help or soothe us when we are feeling unbalanced, distressed or sick.We just need to take some time, trust our selves, and listen.
Remember, Take Time to Breathe…