The forgotten healer: teasel

In the past, teasel (Dipsacus fullonum L.) was a greatly esteemed plant, while nowadays it is quite completely forgotten. Since the Ancient Egyptians times, its infructescences were used in wool carding. Unlike plastic and steel tools, the teasel allows a “finer” processing of the wool and prevents its fibers being broken. Human selection over the centuries, aimed at obtaining more uniform and compact heads (so more suited to wool carding), has brought to the 
appearance of Dipsacus sativus (L.) Honck., once cultivated and now practically almost disappeared (except in Northern Italy). [Acta]

Different species of Dipsacus exist, of which D. fullonum L. is probably the most known. D. asperoides C. Y. Cheng et T. M. Ai and D. japonicus Miq. are present in Eastern Asia; their roots are used in Chinese Medicine, collectively called Xu Duan (that means something like “restore what is broken”).

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The Art of Healing

Healing is a subtle Art, since it must be effective upon all the human levels: surely the physycal one, but also those mental, emotional and deep psychological (our “core“, the level we often call “spiritual”). Within these levels, the memories of all our personal experiences and of all our metabolic, functional, experiential and relational history are kept. Our thoughts and emotions, all of our personal traumas and also the traumas we inherited from our ancestors (as epigenetics teach us) are indelibly recorded as tracks on the “tissue” our being is made of.

When the body gets ill, in order to achieve true healing, we have to remove all the blockages, to fill in all the voids and to resolve all the excesses, so that the vital energy (or, if we prefer, the dynamic functional intelligence of our body) can return to move freely, without obstacles, deviations or compensations. This way, all that was broken slowly starts to repair itself, thanks to the innate self-healing powers that inhabit our body (the Ippocratic Vis medicatrix naturae) and the whole our being becomes fully functional again, in perfect integrity and “self-governance”.

Wild carrot: the flower of “clear vision”

Wild carrot (Daucus carota L.) is native to temperate climate zones of Europe and South-West Asia, but now present also in North America and Australia. Its flower can be seen almost everywhere during the summer (it’s in flower from April to October), especially in the meadows, along the roadsides, in the uncultivated fields and more generally in arid environments, from the sea level up to abt. 1400 meters above sea level [Acta].

The flower (or, more correctly, the inflorescence), seen from afar, seems almost an insignificant one but, on a closer look, it reveals a quite astonishing complexity, looking like a lace (from which its other common name “Queen Anne’s Lace”). When the plant sets seeds, the umbrel closes upon itself assuming the form of a nest, in which a lot of insects and bugs find shelter.

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Vervain: a plant for the Spirit Warriors

The Spirit Warriors are fiery men and women that fought a thousand battles and were wounded a thousand times. Even though they operate on the plane of the physycal reality, their hearts and minds dwell in the Light, and from the Light they draw their Force and their Vision.

Sometimes, the connection with the Light becomes faint, and then the Spirit Warrior needs to find again his center and his Way. So he starts having fixed ideas and convinces himself that he is absolutely right, becoming, this way, unable to accept the defeat or his brothers’ and his systers’ Visions. Those are the people, according to Edward Bach, “that have immutable principles and ideas, that are convinced that they are right and that seldom change. They have a great desire to convert all the people around them to their own way of conceiving life.” [Bach]. They tend to make excessive efforts both physically and mentally. They can be easily  led astray by their own enthusiasm, and for this reason ending exhausted. In all things, they tend to be too serious and tense. They have often great ideals and ambitions for the good of humanity.

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Persian Silktree

The Persian silk tree or Silktree (Albizia julibrissin Durazz.), mostly used as an ornamental tree for its elegant and beautiful flowers, is also used as a medicinal plant both in Traditional Chinese medicine and in western herbalism for its healing properties. It calms the spirit, uplifts the mood, and treats depression and grief (for eample, due to the loss of a beloved one). Both the bark, more bitter, and the flowers (that are also edible when cooked) are used. Also the young leaves can be cooked and eaten.

Its Chinese name is He Huan Pi, that means “collective happiness bark”.

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Prickly lettuce

Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola L. or Lactuca sativa L. subsp. serriola (L.) Galasso, Banfi, Bartolucci & Ardenghi) is edible in small quantities: few leaves (when young) are usually mixed with other wild or cultivated leaves, making a tasteful and mellow salad. The slightly bitter taste is quite pleasant.

When the stalks and leaves are cut, the plants secretes a white latex that thickens and turns slightly brown upon drying. The fresh latex seems to be sligthly toxic, but the dried one (called lactucarium) has medicinal and slightly psichoactive properties. During the XIX century, lactucarium was used as an opium substitute (called lactuca opium in Latin).

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Red Beetroot

Red beet seed (var. ‘Crapaudine’, known from at least 1600) ready to be sown.

Red beetroot is an extremely interesting vegetable, since, besides being tasteful, has several important effects on our body.

Simply eating it, we increase the in vivo nitric oxide (NO) availability and this has emerged as a potential strategy to prevent and manage pathologies associated with diminished NO bioavailability, notably hypertension and reduced endothelial function.

Beetroot is also being considered as a promising therapeutic treatment in a range of clinical pathologies associated with inflammation, also due to the betalain pigments it contains.


Nettle seeds

Stinging Nettle’s has a remarkable ability to rebuild and restore. Dried immature seed, when taken (chewed well, or ground) orally, promotes a sense of clarity, wellness, heightened energy levels, reduced stress and seemingly increased lung capacity. They are especially effective for those suffering from severe burnout, resulting in profound fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain and alternating feelings of depression and intense anxiety. Nettle seed can lessen all of these symptoms, and sometimes eliminate them completely.

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In tasting fresh herbs

In tasting fresh herbs, you can get a better understanding of quality: not just the flavor, but the inherent quality. “When you taste you assimilate it, and you can start to get knowledge of the herb. And you just don’t get that as much from dried herbs. You have to really chew on them!”. The more you understand the herb, the easier it is to know how to apply them.
(from “The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm“, by Peg Schafer)

Green Alliance

Today, March 21st, 2019, is the first day of Spring in the Realm of Nature. The Sun has just entered the sign of Aries and the Moon, full at 2:45 AM and at perigee (reason why it’s called a Supermoon), is in the sign of Virgo.

It’s a day of rebirth in which all Nature celebrates the reawakening to life after the Winter period spent in the dark and in the concealment. It’s the time of impetus, of the push to movement; it’s the moment when the life cycle starts again.

The plant sprouts, waking up, pierce the surface of the Earth as if they were little swords. This, so to say, green allusion to the metallic swords is bivalent. On one side, the swords are mythologically related to Mars, god of war, but also of youthness and impetus, from which the month of March gets its name (Martius mensis, in Latin, Mars’ month). On the other side, swords are made of Iron, a metal that is martial (again) in nature and that we can find, organicated, in our blood, as the metallic core of hemoglobin, a protein that has the task of transporting oxygen, a substance that “pushes” us to both external and internal (metabolism) movement and that allows us more generally to move toward a place or with a purpose. We can say that are able to move in the direction of our Divine Purpose of our life only thanks to Iron.

The planet Mars is the Lord of the sign of Aries that starts this month, and the first ten days of the sign belong to the Red Planet.

On this day, so replete of signs and significance, Alleanza Verde (Green Alliance) is born: it is a portal dedicated to the Alliance between the Race of Man and the Green People, made up of the countless vegetal beings, an alliance stipulated millions of years ago, when our very first human ancestors appeared on the Earth.

Plants are our travel companions. They prepared a house for us well before we began dwelling this world. We can say without a doubt that mankind co-evolved with them and so our bodies profoundly “know” what plants are, and profoundly know their being food and medicine since time immemorial.