You can see many titles by Stephen Buhner in my Carousel of books on sale at Amazon. If you have never read him, I highly suggest you do. Since I have been focused on herbal medicine in the past 15 years or so, my ideas and attitudes have been radically affected by Buhner. Now, when people ask me if I am a healer, I have to say "No". My role is more like a witness, a conduit, the mediator between the 'patient' and the plant kingdom.
It was at a Bioneers conference several years ago that someone said that plants have an intelligence far greater than we can imagine. This idea blew my mind. Then at a basic plant science class in Santa Rosa Junior College a few years ago, the teacher explained photosynthesis and I got it on a whole different level. I realized I had 'learned' this in the second grade, but somehow the magic of it had evaded me. Imagine, these 'little green men' chloroplasts, in the plant cell, can take sunlight and turn it into food! Talk about advanced spiritual adepts. This food, made from sunlight, makes all other forms of life on this planet possible.
Now I am learning that plants can manipulate their chemistry as needed to create their own anti-biotics and pain killers. Traditional healers have been saying this for years. You ask the plant to heal a particular illness and it modifies itself for the patient. Huh? Now science is proving this to be possible. I got an email from a friend today related to this. Check it out at Livescience.com Plants Make Own Painkillers
My role in this process became clearer to me when I started the flower essence training with Jane Bell last January. More and more I realized that 'I' did not choose flower essences for my clients. The plants chose. I merely went through the motions - the ritual, if you will, of asking for the connection to be made. I had already had this experience when working with essential oils. I would sometimes smell the essential oil that was appropriate for a condition. Then, not trusting my intuition, I would look in the book. Perfect choice!
I find it awkward to say this when I am at a fair selling my products. Most of my formulas come to me by inspiration. I feel something, smell something, get words. I have to hurry and write it down. Sometimes I actually hear a voice telling me to make such and such an item. I ask what it is for and may or may not get an answer. Two of the items for sale in my Etsy store were 'downloaded' in this way. The Solar Salve and the 7 Rose Heart Chakra Rub. Sometimes I get part of the formula and when I ask if it is finished, they say "not yet. Wait for further instructions." When a customer asks what the products are for, I sometimes find it hard to communicate an answer. I know that the 'heart chakra rubs' are to increase 'rose resonance' which is the expression given to me - that means increasing our coherence with the heartbeat of creation. Changing our frequency so that it is more in sync with Nature. Read Buhner to get a handle on what this means. The Solar Salve, first in a trilogy which will include a Lunar Salve and a Stellar Salve, have not been fully communicated yet. They have to do with the three mystery schools of ancient Egypt.
Some people refer to this type of herbalism as plant spirit healing. It is a form of communication I guess. I have a master's degree in Linguistics. I have studied many languages. I had no idea that I would be learning the language of plants, or that there was a language. Interestingly, as I learn more about communication with plants, I find simultaneously that my ability to communicate with animals is increasing too.
So does that mean you can use any herb, flower essence or essential oil? Well...... sort of, but not exactly. A very important part of the process is intention. The intention must be clear. What are you trying to accomplish. Also, there must be an attitude of humility - surrender - acceptance, all words that most of us in the west do not like. What I mean is that to some extent, we must accept both the wisdom of the 'illness' and that we may not know what healing looks like. That there is a power greater than us at work in all this. Amen