Spagyrics

MaryRowe
MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

Do any of our herbalists here practice spagyrics? Is it worth the considerable investment of labor and resources? Does it really make the medicine more effective?

A couple of training videos from Sajah Popham showed up in my email the past few days--don't know if it's something I signed up for and then forgot, or if they came because I signed up for whatever perks he's offering for buying his book. The first video is pretty much his usual general introduction to the basic principles of herbal alchemy. But the second I hadn't seen before--he takes you through the spagyric process of reducing an herb down to its mineral salts. If I understand him, after you tincture the herb and strain the plant material out, instead of composting the plant material you dry it, then grind it up and cook it down to ash in a crucible. You repeat that process several times over a period of days till you have fine white ash. Then you mix the ash with water and let the insolubles sink to the bottom, Strain those out and spend another week or two slowly evaporating the water till you are left with the mineral salts from the plant, which you can then add back into your tincture. A gallon bucket of plant material yielded what looked to be about one-quarter cup of salts.

The close-up photos of the mineral salts were really cool, showing their different crystalline structure, and he is certainly passionate about the value of the process. But that's a good month's work, plus the resources needed for a heat source to cook the herbs repeatedly for days. So I was wondering if it all really adds that much more to the medicine?

He said to share the videos, so I hope this link works.


Comments

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    Well, this is interesting. I will be following this thread to learn more.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,622 admin

    The theory is sound however, I have never tried any of the spagyric preparations to know if they are any better than a tincture or any other standard herbal preparation. They aren't sold in any health food store close to me.

    It doesn't seem that the process is standardized across the industry as to exactly what is in a spagyric. I found one website that said it was adding homeopathic remedies to the tincture. That kind of defeats the practice of homeopathy (like cures like and one remedy at a time). I found another that suggested that some companies don't burn the marc and just add minerals to the tincture (cheating). So finding a reputable source to purchase trial samples to test is a bit of an issue.

    If part of the intent is to bring the remedy to a higher "energetic" level, then I prefer to use homeopathic remedies which are already potentized to an energetic level.

    For me, the whole process is just too much work to do at home.

    Another aspect of Sajah's programs (from what I have seen in previous e-mails) seem to involve astrology and making the remedies at a certain time or in a specific sign. Astrology is something I have never studied so I can't comment on that aspect. Again, a bit much for me at this point.

    All that being said, I am sure that Sajah is making remedies in a very holistic way and, with the intent on healing that he seems to have, his processes are probably making very good medicines. His courses seem to be well done if this is an aspect of making herbal medicines that anyone wants to try out.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    One of my thoughts was also that it seemed to be a lot of extra work, and so not a process that I would pursue.

    I am not a proponent of astrology, being a religion I can't support nor wish to practice. But, is that part of making these spagyric preparations or is that just part of his other medicine making?

    I had been curious about what these preparations were (it is a new term to me) & that it was used to add minerals. So these are essentially natural mineral salts?

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've listened to some of his videos, and I find him a little too woo-woo for my tastes. He and Susun Weed and a few others really push my buttons.

    I think a certain type of herbalist does OK with the more esoteric practices, but I MUCH prefer down to earth herbalism as practiced by our own Judson Carroll, Rosalee de la Foret, and just about any herbalist found on Learning Herbs or HerbMentor.com.

    Just my opinion, but it seems like a lot of extra work for questionable benefit.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey Thanks for that explanation and a broader perspective.

    In the video, Sajah claims that throwing away the plant material when you strain the tincture is basically throwing away one-third of the medicinal value, and that by reducing the plant material down to its mineral salts and adding those back in, you are restoring that third. And yes, he does talk about raising the energetic level of the medicine with the mineral salts.

    I am really curious about this process, and all through the video was thinking about how I might try it myself. The biggest drawback I see, apart from the sheer amount of time and labor involved, is the steady, high heat source you need to cook the herbs down 3 or 4 times over, for hours at a time.

    In the video Sajah keeps talking about how wasteful it is to just toss the herbs from the tinctures onto the compost pile (What true gardener would ever consider compost wasteful!!!) --and every time he said that it set me to wondering about the cost of keeping that heat going if we're talking wasteful. He has a big kiln, but suggested a barbecue or fire pit for those doing small batches at home. That still means one heck of a lot of wood or charcoal, and someone continually minding the fire for days.

    @LaurieLovesLearning Sajah is trying to reconstruct the authentic practice of alchemy as the Western equivalent of Ayurveda and TCM, and astrology is a part of that--as it is a part of those Eastern healing traditions too. He doesn't consider it a religion, and emphasizes that his theories and methods can be compatible with any religion.......But I too find it very hard to buy into astrology--hard to believe that what looks like patterns of movement in planets and stars as seen from Earth can really affect something like the preparation of an herbal remedy.

    The spagyric process doesn't have to involve astrology, but he is convinced it will be even more potent if it does. The process itself is just about reducing the plant material down to extract the natural mineral salts out of it, so that you can add those back into your herbal preparation.

    (And speaking to you with your Mod hat on....I just noticed I forgot to add tags to this post😔I'm sorry...I really do try to remember to do that.....)

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @MaryRowe I didn't even notice the missing tags! I go through periods where I notice them missing, but I don't always catch it. I just know it can keep things easier to find in a search and it is just a good practice. 😉

    As to adding the goodness back in, I get that, and as you stated, it doesn't have to go back in to not be wasted. As you said, a compost heap isn't a waste, and if you talked to Doc Jones, he would tell you to throw it to your chickens as well. Haha...I had asked him about certain herbs not being wasted but given to chickens at one point. Now, throwing anything in the garbage, now that is wasteful!

    I do understand the intertwining of many beliefs into various herbal practices. It certainly can be separated, however, and be just as potent. K.P. Khalsa can separate these beliefs in his classes so that all can learn even if they don't follow the rest of the teachings, and I respect that. But if you want to add those, you can choose to do so.

    If a belief couldn't be separated and would make the medicines less powerful, Indigenous beliefs would negate those done by Eastern & vice-versa for example. However, there are some basic things that cross over as well in the herbal world that are universal, such as that the spiritual is important (humans do have a spiritual component) and respect of the plant and respect of use & habitat is important. Care should always be taken to not abuse what you are given, etc.

    There is also some truth in how certain things (say the moon) will affect certain things here on earth. I don't think that that can be fully attributed to astrology unless you add other things into it, but everyone understands the effect on the moon & gravitational pull & behavior of people...basics like that. It is separating the belief from the practical.

    Anyway, it is still an interesting concept, this burning to put something back, and probably in a more concentrated form, but just thinking about it a bit more, I wonder what might be lost in what you still discard? Is anything lost in the chemical process of burning? Does the interaction/synergy (is that the correct word?) of the components of the plant still exist as if it were still whole, or is this getting to closer to the manufactured drug world? These are things that I would be curious about. Maybe I am overthinking it, but I still wonder.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    He is very popular, but his school and style of herbal medicine... are not mine. He is actually one of the main people who motivate me to start my podcast, basically because I realized that the way he presents would be such a turn off to much of the population who would otherwise benefit from herbal medicine. That is not intended as a criticism, just an acknowledgement that people are different. Not everyone interested in herbs is a new age, green witch, hippie type. If I had an incurable disease, and I couldn't figure out an effective treatment, I would not hesitate to go to him for a consultation. He seems very knowledgeable. Some of this concept reminds me of the alchemy that influences Paracelsus' medicine and the traditions that shaped Rudolph Steiner's thinking. There could be something to it, but I am not really inclined. Different strokes for different folks. I am mostly drawn to Appalachian folk medicine, German folk medicine, monastic medicine and the European tradition, with a significant eastern tribes Native American influence. I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine for a decade or so, but ended up getting back to my roots. I think the herbal tradition that one's ancestors developed often works better with our individual genetics. I also think the herbs that grow with us, in our own little corners of the world work best because we share the same environment. Of course, the question becomes when does a plant or a person become native to a specific region? So anyway... I believe some things I can't prove either.... just have to trust my gut.. or as Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe would say, "Wisdom guided by experience." To each his or her own.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning After I wrote my comment on astrology in the post above, I got to thinking about the moon too--my garden always does better and I feel more connected with it when I buy my almanac and garden by the moon. On one hand, you could see that as just a simplified astrology, but then again, many of the moon's effects can be objectively demonstrated and measured by scientific method. So far as I know there's no way to objectively demonstrate any effects of planets and stars on the Earth, other than the sun of course. So I decided that was the difference for me.

    And I wondered too about the stuff that is burned off in the spagyric process. It reminds me of making charcloth to use as tinder for starting a fire with flint and steel--back when I was able to do living history events and primitive camping, I made lots of charcloth. The cloth smokes like the devil as it's cooking down, and apparently the herbs do too--Sajah cautioned not to do this in the kitchen oven. He says you are burning off the impurities, and maybe so. But I still wonder what exactly is burning off, and how much of the plant you are really putting back together, and to what extent the process changes the nature of the mineral salts from what was in the living plant. Guess I'll have to join in one of his online Q&A's and see if he knows.

    @judsoncarroll4 I don't have much patience with New Age woo-woo either, but there's a lot more than that to this guy. If he reminds you of Paracelsus, it's because he is very deliberately trying to reconstruct and revive the practice of Renaissance alchemy, and Paracelsus is one of his major go-to's. He hooked me--retired history professor--by his scholarship and by his historical argument that alchemy is fully the Western equivalent of Ayurveda and TCM, with roots going back just as far into Western healing traditions--the monastic and classical medicine and folk traditions.

    Now for practical, useful herbal medicine, I'd take your books over his any day, and I think your work is going to help a whole lot more people get into herbal medicine than his will. But I agree with you that our own ancestral healing traditions are probably best attuned with our individual genetics--and that's what got me interested in Sajah. In trying to reconstruct alchemy as it was actually practiced, he is trying to give us back our own European healing tradition as rich and complex as Ayurveda and TCM.

    But do we need that? Folk medicine has mostly worked for ordinary folk as far back as people go. For me the jury is still out on Sajah, but he surely does make some interesting arguments.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    Peter McCoy is working on some similar things - quoted from his book Radical Mycology int he intro chapter to mine. Have you checked him out?

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was remembering that many of my old Wilderness Awareness School gang practice a very woo-woo type of herbalism. I imagine that several of them follow Sajah, and respond to that sort of thing. I was always uncomfortable when one of my herbal mentors would suggest that we sit with a plant and ask permission to take it for our use and listen for a response before doing so.

    From my decidedly Christian perspective, that was endowing plants with something akin to a soul. One of my classmates is an avowed animist, and he has a pretty large following among my wider circle.

    Oddly, John Gallager of Learning Herbs and HerbMentor was on staff when I first arrived there. His teachings are down to earth, science based, and tested. He introduced me to Rosalee de la Foret, and I've come to appreciate the ability to "walk in two worlds", as we would say. Take what works and leave the rest to others.

    I fully appreciate that what works for me isn't right for everyone, and I can allow that there may be some validity to even the craziest ideas.

    I mean, realistically, just being a kitchen table herbalist with no woo-woo at all makes a lot of people question my sanity.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,622 admin

    I am in the middle of an Herbal Pharmacy course. In the last video, he said he would be discussing spagyrics in the next lesson. So I look forward to this teacher's take on it. I will report back and let you know if he thinks it makes much of a difference. This lesson won't be released for another 3 weeks, though.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey Thanks--it will be really interesting to have another perspective on this. I'll be looking forward to your report!

  • Diane Schips
    Diane Schips Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    The minerals obtained through this process are readily extracted with both water and vinegar. It's much easier to just make tea. If you want to get everything possible from your merc, you could use it to make a strong tea, simmer the tea down till it starts to thicken, then dehydrate it, and powder the result. You can use the powder to make pastilles, to make instant, mineral rich tea, add it to smoothies, etc.

    If you want the minerals in the tincture, squeeze the alcohol out of the merc as much as possible, then extract (tincture) it again in vinegar. Add the vinegar extract back in to the original tincture.

    Does spagyrics get more out of the herb? I don't know. But if it does, I don't think the difference would be enough to justify the time, expense and effort. But I'll add that I have not done a lot of research on the process, or seen any studies on it. So take my opinion as just that. I reserve the right to be wrong.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
    edited November 2021

    @Diane Schips There is something to be said about simplicity and efficiency. Personally, I prefer simplicity to anything complicated & time consuming as there are only so many hours in the day and somehow those go faster as time moves on.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    I would like to welcome you to the TGN forum. If you haven't already, please visit our Rules & FAQ section. It will help you navigate the forum more easily.

    If you don't mind leaving a short introduction in the Introductions section, that would be wonderful too. We put this in place to help others network with others more locally, which is becoming increasingly more important.

    Here are a couple easy to use links for you to use:

    https://community.thegrownetwork.com/categories/our-front-porch-welcome%21-%28please-read-before-posting%29

    https://community.thegrownetwork.com/categories/introductions

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,622 admin

    Welcome to TGN @Diane Schips.

    I'd like to hear more about your experiences as an herbalist. Please make sure you add that to your introduction. :)

  • kareninmo
    kareninmo Posts: 1

    I've followed Sajah's videos since I found him online a couple of years ago.

    This specific class does deal with Alchemy. But it's not his main or only teaching. There are plenty of other classes, videos, etc. that deal strictly with herbs and herbal preps. I've found few mentors who were as well-rounded in their education as Sajah. I admit, his background and degrees are impressive, especially for someone so young. Another thing that always impresses me about his teachings is that he rarely states "You must" do this or that or you've 'failed' - he always has a "use what you can and discard the rest" approach. He spills out information, and from that, I feel confident in my education and abilities.


    As for the mineral salts in spagyrics, you've extracted everything you can from that herb before getting to the mineral salts. There's little that can be done with the material after that other than toss it in the compost. And no, nothing composted is ever 'wasted'. There''ve been comments on what else is being lost or changed in the process of obtaining the salts. The way I see it, by the time you've infused, decocted and mashed all the goodness you can get out of a plant, there's certainly nothing wrong with one last process to get the remaining essence out of it. If all that's left are the salts, why not? (Other than time and expense as mentioned in the original post)

    And to be honest, if you were to look up the term "Spagyrics" you'll find this explanation:

    WHAT IS SPAGYRICS?

    ORIGIN: GREEK: FROM SPAO = I COLLECT AND AGEIRO = I EXTRACT.

    SPAGYRIC PRODUCTS ARE ALCHEMICAL PREPARATIONS OF HERBS INTO A MORE POTENT FORM. IN OLDEN DAYS; ADDING THE PURIFIED SALT, OIL AND ALCOHOL OF A PLANT TOGETHER WAS THOUGHT AS A MORE SPIRITUAL PREPARATION. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, FULL EXTRACTS OF PLANTS ALSO TEND TO HAVE MORE POWERFUL EFFECTS. 

    IN ALCHEMY THERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT MAKE UP EVERYTHING. SULPHUR (SOUL), MERCURY (SPIRIT) AND SALT (BODY).

    FOR PLANTS THIS TRANSLATES TO THE ESSENTIAL OILS/ORGANIC ACIDS (SOUL), ALCOHOL (SPIRIT) AND THE MINERAL SALTS (BODY) CONTAINED IN THE PLANT. THESE ARE THE PHYSICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF THE THREE PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS IN HERBAL ALCHEMY.

    (emphasis mine)

    If that's true, then can we honestly say we practice spagyrics if we aren't including those salts???


    Will I be practicing that technique in the near future? Probably not. I also won't be combining mixtures under the cover of night or preparing them at specific times determined by the phase of the moon. (Although I have followed the Farmer's Almanac to know there's validity to that as well) But I can certainly add them to my bag of tricks for the future.

    I'm huge on 'don't knock it till you've tried it' and since I've never tried it to find out for myself if it makes the medicine that much stronger, I have to assume that those with more knowledge may know what they're talking about.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    I have also followed some of Sajah's articles and videos because he does add insight. I am more like @judsoncarroll4 in my thinking though. I want to find the plants and medicine that are right where I am. Not only from a "supply-chain" perspective, but also from the perspective that what I need is right here. It grows in the same soil I live on, is exposed the same rain, sun, snow, etc. that I am. I do have tinctures and oils but I like how Doc Jones says; "just poke it in your mouth and you'll get the whole plant benefit." I have started to add herbal medicine in ways I would never have thought possible, just by eating it.

  • Aylee
    Aylee Posts: 5 ✭✭✭

    The obvious to way to figure out the value/ difference is to try Sajah's medicines. They are very potent. I have had more than one client who, for example, started out using Sajah's St. John's Wort spagryic tincture (this is different than the full spagyric essence which is used differently at very low doses) at my recommendation, and later when they switched to regular tinctures they noticed an intolerable difference and felt the extra work of ordering on-line was well worth it. I also could notice the difference in their symptoms. I really recommend doing a trial for yourself and see what happens.

  • davidlcgamble
    davidlcgamble Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    Hi everyone, this is my first post so I hope I get the rules for posting right. Enjoyed reading the comments and it's beautiful to see people coming together on this.

    What I don't know: I've never used Sajah's remedies or taken any courses with him. I have his book (given to me as a gift from another herbalist) and have leafed through it but haven't read it. I'm entirely unqualified to speak to the person, school, or work.

    What I do know:

    I grew up with herbalism and we used a lot of things most people would call alchemy. I've used spagyrics off and on. I've been working with the public in some form since 1995, but didn't start seriously growing my business until 2015 when I quit working in medicine completely to focus on holism and herbalism. Now I run a holistic health care and ethnomedicine company that works out of 9 countries. I'm only putting that here because I can't seem to post on any of the intro threads and want you to understand where my perspective is coming from (sorry!). Literally the only thread I can get to work right is this one- maybe because I came over from the email link? I'll try again tomorrow, I swear.

    I thought I'd offer some things to consider:

    Spagyrics: I see a difference sometimes, especially with nettle. Generally speaking most of my people aren't sick enough for it to matter. I don't know why it works so different with nettle, but I will point out that there was always a relationship between the 'salts' and the 'sulfur,' and the sulfur works in the liver and the salts work in the kidneys primarily in my culture (and you brilliant people probably already understand the relationship between the two). As in, yes I notice a difference FOR SOME, but it's not enough to be worth the work in my opinion (but then again, I am LAZY). When I was growing up, the point was about adding salt back in, and it's true that the body can't process many of our remedies without enough minerals and salts (it should be noted that in the original context salt can refer to any minerals, especially those that don't burn and are therefore seen as more pure because they survive the fire which burns away more "base" things). I'm more likely to combine an herb with a mineral supplement, seaweed, or simply add salt back in. Plain old salt does the same thing assuming it's balanced in the body with other minerals, though not as perfectly proportionately and not as holistically. The plants develop exactly the right compounds to absorb them, so if there are salts in the ash, it's the right balance of minerals for that specific plant. The idea is you're creating a perfect balance for better absorption and usability. It's also important to note that the point of doing all the work isn't actually about the remedy itself but about working with all parts of the human and plant organism and the relationship between the two. We were taught that different ways of extracting the plant material affected different parts of the energy structure which I find holds true. Generally I only reach for the spagyric if there's a problem with absorption or the body putting the plant to work, which you'll note with them trying different things and nothing seems to work in any dose. With nettle, reference that I am crazy lazy, and I'm more likely to send people to Lost Empire to get that rather than make it myself. In the old traditions, part of the reason of doing so much purification of plant matter was also about checking the quality of the practitioner, and remedies should be made away from other influences (i.e. other people). I doubt that's how any of these are made, which makes me question if the subtle sciences are really relevant. I can speak from experience that doing distillation and other alchemical processes where it's a test of one's own energy body is absolutely effective if done right, but I have never seen someone actually doing it in true isolation of other influences, and I've never heard of anyone outside myself doing it with consideration of EMF involved.

    Astrology: We "didn't believe in astrology," and to be honest I don't know that I do. However, there was a researcher back in the early 1900s in Russia who demonstrated that the movement of star light reflected in growth patterns in plants. It had to do with the angle of how the light hit the planet and interacted with the atmosphere. Admittedly, I never got much into this. I'd have to look up his name (I know I have it in this house somewhere but would REALLY have to think about where). I remember that he disappeared without finishing his research, I think around 1913? I could be way off, but I remember that the point was about the impact of the light on the structure (and therefore chemistry) of the plant. This was believed to change the nature of the plant and how it would interact. In my opinion, living where there was no light pollution and now in a city, and in places in between, this is a real thing. Whether that's the reason or not I don't know, but I definitely think the stars imbue something in the plants. Also, I've found that some of my more sensitive students can tell the difference without being told which ones were harvested when if I hand them dried plant material or tincture (I am, oddly, not one of these people). One "test" of true alchemy is making angel water, that is dividing out the soul structures in the nature of water and being able to use that for healing. If you have a real practitioner, they should be able to do that, and you can always tell which client it will matter for because if you apply angel water right they'll almost always have a major response similar to an intense energy session. If you ever try this make sure the person's sitting down. I know that sounds extreme but I mean it. I've had people burst into tears, have flashbacks and sudden purge of trauma, have dizzy spells- but it's healing if done right.

    My thing with astrology is that I see a gap in the "difference" when I harvest where there's city light versus where there's no light pollution. In my mind the proof is in the pudding, you know? I find that it makes a difference in how much a client needs without their knowledge of the difference in prep. Still, most people live where there's artificial light and I find this almost irrelevant when there's enough light pollution. I also find that the more unnatural EMF a person gets the less this seems to matter. In the olden days (whatever that means) it was believed that the planets and stars restricted what kinds of consciousness(es) could manifest in plants at the time. I find the astrology mostly irrelevant for the general public in the city. That said, when it's relevant for a client it seems to be hugely relevant. I usually muscle test or dowse to see what the person needs. I ask the body. I had a friend who recently passed away who practiced an African tradition and he found there was a difference in the structure of a person with whether the astrology "bound" them or not (and that he could change that with certain meditations), so it may also be that there's a constitutional difference as far as does it work in the human themself.

    There's some really interesting stuff on medical astrology out there. I think Judith Hill would be a good resource for those who don't know her. She started out as a skeptic, not believing in astrology, and now does astrology for medical issues. I think she does some classes with Matthew Wood? That lady is a BANK of knowledge, and she's approachable and speaks understandable English for the commoners like me (you know? lol).

    I actually wonder, if you're looking for more info on the "salt" being added back, if you might find more accessible material looking at anthroposophic medicine. I feel like you've got to spend a LOT of time with old books (and a lot of them) to really get it approaching from the alchemical perspective. I don't know much about that form of medicine, but I know MDs who integrate it with their practices who really believe in it. (I also know MDs who think you should get better results from anthroposophic medicine than most do and leave the practices- I'm thinking of Tom Cowan in particular, who's a cardiologist)

    I read the rules and it said no religion, but I also think you can't exactly avoid soul philosophy with this topic because that's a big part of why the salts are added back after being purified and I see people talking about it, so I hope that I'm not about to sound preachy. I just wanted to point out that when we talk about the "soul" embodied by the salt in alchemy, we're talking about something specific- the soul of the body which contains instructions on how to act in and as a body. In Christian alchemy, the beliefs about the "soul" are really about the commands on how to perform, the same way "soul" is discussed in the bible. The old testament actually uses several different kinds of "soul" that, when put together, leads to a functional being (for instance, ruach is the "soul" of the breath, nephesh is the "soul" that is the living, physical flesh body [and the one related to the salt], etc). If we're talking the bible, there's not really anything not scriptural about this idea. It's just that later in history this idea of the soul being separate from the body was developed, and then the idea of dominating nature rather than holding in submission the garden was introduced and written over the bible's teachings (which were more about tending relationships through tending the garden as man's original purpose) for political reasons.Whether plants have spirit and soul (which are two different things) has as much to do with how one reads their religion as how they translate those concepts, which vary over time through history. The idea of Adam becoming a soul by being related to the dirt is part of the belief about the salt; it's the salt of the earth that carries physical body knowledge (if you can't tell I'm also a pastor and currently working on a PhD in the field and have spent entirely too many hours researching the topic of the soul). I'm including that for context, and also because, well, I think a lot of people get conflict in their hearts they don't need to have that drive them away from herbalism. I hope the info helps people make good conscience based decisions and doesn't come off as condemning or judgemental.

    There are LOTS of people today that when you give them a plant their body doesn't know what to do with it, and I find working with the "soul parts" of the plant particularly useful. This was really clear to me when I moved to a highly polluted city and no one was absorbing my remedies. I added essential oils and salts in correct doses and bingo, it worked. Later I found research showing that the oils helped clean receptor cells that the specific pollution in that city blocks. Perhaps that's the reason- but describing that in terms of chemistry or in terms of soul is really about language and culture, not function. Same with minerals. We all know that without proper minerals, you can't absorb the plant benefits (or water for that matter). That's the "salts" aspect from a more flesh-based perspective.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
    edited November 2021

    @davidlcgamble Welcome to the forum!

    I will try to address your posting troubles, or at least give you a hand up. 😄

    You can give a short intro here:

    https://community.thegrownetwork.com/categories/introductions

    Here is the section that contains the FAQ& Rules. They will help give you a little guidance.

    https://community.thegrownetwork.com/categories/our-front-porch-welcome%21-%28please-read-before-posting%29

    I do think that the whole plant was designed to work perfectly in sync when it is taken as its whole. Sometimes herbalists pull out specifics only to add some or all back in (obviously!). There are so many minute parts & interactions that even the most studied among us still will not understand, even how the plant relates to its environment...and that will include the immediate & the larger environment that it is a part of.

    Your observations are interesting. Thanks for adding them here. I am fascinated with the city experience with the herbs & the oils in particular...an intriguing thing to notice.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    I found your insight on this topic very helpful. You have put a lot of this topic in perspective for me. It is not likely something I will practice, but I think I have a better handle on it now.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
    edited November 2021

    @davidlcgamble (I'm just tagging you since you brought this up...the post is not fully directed at you, but it is intended for new members and a reminder for our seasoned ones...although I do quote you once (in a good way)...no need to be concerned 😉).


    MOD HAT ON:

    Once in a while on the forum, the topic of the relationship of herbalism & spiritual beliefs comes up. I figure that this is a perfect place and time to address why the rule of no religion (even relating to herbalism) is in place. This is intended as a reminder to our seasoned members (oh, I love that term!) and new members alike who may not understand why it is in place.

    We do have a rule about politics, religion, & covid on here to enable everyone to explore the world of grow your own without conflict and to have a safe space to do so. This is TGN's mission. It's not politics, religion nor covid. Those can be addressed elsewhere, or if invited and respectfully agreed upon, through pm. It is just not to be on the public area of the forum.

    Obviously, not all beliefs can be right as at some point, most/all have glaring differences, often at their core...all have a choice what we believe and a person should be wary of what they absorb and wise about what they adopt and choose to practice. It is well known that people hold their beliefs sincerely & get passionate about defending and forget to respect others (even if one does not agree)...again...the reason for the rule.

    There are many members from all belief systems, walks of life, experiences, and worldwide locations on the forum, and considering the purpose of this site, we try our best to keep our focus on the non-spiritual aspects of herbalism when it is discussed, not because it isn't an important part of healing the whole, but because it causes way too much conflict and as @davidlcgamble said above, "a lot of people get conflict in their hearts they don't need to have that drive them away from herbalism." (What a long sentence that was!) We should be sensitive to that, as herbalism is something everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from without feeling threatened and without having others' beliefs forced on them, which is never acceptable. There are many places to discuss the spiritual aspect, but this sort of subject (and some similar subjects relating to herbalism) does/do walk the fence, so to speak, which makes it very difficult to moderate.

    In some cases, discussions that veer off into specific spiritual practices...even if related to herbalism, have & will get shut down because of our rule here and this one is teetering, I must say. It has been left only because it discusses the working together of the full parts of the plant material and how they may/do work together. I would appreciate that it stay this way.

    When studying herbalism, one needs to pick what you need and discard the rest. There is often a lot of spiritualism, animism, new age, astrology (& more that I can't think of right now) taught in/from many herbal sources. I am careful from whom I learn from and personally do certainly respect those who are able to separate their specific spiritual leanings from the rest in order to accommodate those who believe differently. It can be separated without ill effects or even lessening of effect. It has been done in the past & present, regardless of what some sources emphatically claim.

    Anyway, that was a mouthful and something that I haven't addressed on the forum for quite some, so I figured it was time to do a refresh/reminder.

    Thank you all for trying your best to respect this rule.

    MOD HAT OFF.