I started regularly gardening towards the end of my undergrad days. It didn’t take long before I also became interested in herbal medicine. My sister was working in the health section of a local co-op those days, and often brought home samples of different herbal remedies for us to try out. I began researching the plants, and the whole thing quickly snowballed into a healthy obsession.
After several months of experimenting with commercially packaged herbal tinctures, capsules, and the like, I started to long for a deeper connection with the plants themselves. Sure, the elderberry tincture I took got rid of a cold I had, and the chamomile tea soothed my nerves, but I felt disconnected. As if the healing process itself wasn’t finished.
Meanwhile, another growing season came upon us, and I started to learn that many of the common weeds gardeners, farmers, and lawn enthusiasts tend to despise are, in fact, medicines. Dandelion, plantain, goldenrod, milk thistle, nettle. Behind the invasive species labels often slapped on them are a storehouse of health benefits. From the liver detoxifying power of Dandelion to the anti-inflammatory nature of Nettle, these weeds seemed to have it all.
And yet there was more to it than just the medicinal benefits. Like the way they taught me about my mind. How the nettle patch, for example, mirrored the way my critical thinking sometimes turned into heavy negativity and pessimism. Once I slip past the border, the negativity literally takes over, stinging parts of my body and leaving it tense and pained.
Over the years, my love of herbals has grown far beyond the common weeds found in our yards. But I always go back to those tough, sturdy plants for guidance. In my garden, I leave wild patches grow, which brings in more bees and butterflies. And the weeds that I remove which I don’t use for medicine or food I compost in order to maintain the cycle and keep the soil rich.
The love and gratitude I have for all my plant teachers is what brought me to start NGTHerbals. I hope you will join me in discovering the many gifts they have to offer, as we reconnect with the planet and ourselves in the process.