The Medicinal Ways of Plants

Each medicinal plant has its own personality, and discovering its personality leads us to understand how it is used in healing.  Similarly each illness or problem has its personality, and discovering the personality of the problem leads us to understand which plant is needed for healing.  Rather than the reductionistic nature of our medical establishment that breaks disease down into isolated bits, the holistic approach is to examining the personality of the disease that unites its diverse expressions, progressions and changes.

     The personality of the medicinal plant that has developed through evolution is defined by its niche in the natural environment.  The stressors and strains that have created the particular plant through evolutions include the wind, water, drought, sunlight in excess or deficiency and many other factors.  These features of the plant that have directed its evolution and define its personality are then called upon to treat the same features of the personality of the disease.

     The defining personality features of the plant become clear in listening to the plant through trance as was used by our hunting-gathering ancestors.  Asking which plant should be used to treat a specific arbitrarily named illness misses this understanding of the relationship between the plant and the illness.  First, the illness exhibits itself in many different ways that need to be considered in selecting the plant.  Second, such a question falls back to the reductionistic ways of our medical establishment and the pharmaceutical drug industry.  Each plant has its own intelligence, and when asking it for help while in trance the plant hears at a deep level our need and is able to select from its many available chemicals those which meet our need.  In some cases, if it is not the appropriate plant to serve our need it can refer us to the appropriate plant.  In a recent trance experience, yarrow led the person to the olive leaf, a more appropriate plant for a particular heart issue.

     Ecstatic trance as I use and teach is a great traditional avenue for opening a person to the plant spirit or its personality to give us direction in healing.

Nicholas E. Brink, PhD Author of 

  • Ecstatic Soul Retrieval (publisher – Inner Traditions / Bear & Co.)
  • Power of Ecstatic Trance
  • Baldr’s Magic
  • Beowulf’s Ecstatic Trance Magic
  • Trance Journeys of the Hunter-Gatherers
  • Grendel and His Mother (publisher – Routledge)
  • Applying the Constructivist Approach to Cognitive Therapy: Resolving the Unconscious Past (Routledge)

Available from Postmark Books in Rosendale, NY or your local bookseller –