Plant Power: Are plants the real medicine we need?

Our knowledge of the world progresses like never before, with new inventions everyday. We human beings have mastered chemistry and biology, excelling in our knowledge and understanding of the body. It’s phenomenal to see what humans have discovered, understood, and advanced in time. But has this technological advancement put us out of touch with nature and natural healing? As we know, the world of plant-power and plant-medicine is often seen as cuckoo. When you strongly believe in working with nature and healing the earth, people may look at you as if you have two heads, or call you a hippie.


Through the centuries, plant-based medicine was all we knew. People experimented, created recipes and tested them, and practised healing as best they could. 



There are so many plant-based foods and supplements that are tremendous for our health. It’s fascinating to think that the Earth has provided us with such an abundance of plants that each has its own properties and advantages for the body. I once heard the words, “We are the universe experiencing itself in human form”. This stuck in my mind, followed by thoughts of how our lungs are identical to the branches of a tree; how the pattern of our brain cells resemble the image of the universe; how the capillaries of leaves mirror our own veins. 


Here are some plants to consider:


Ashwagandha: A herb that has been used since ancient time. The plant has proven to have fantastic benefits that aid not only your body but your brain’s health.


How does this help our brains? Ashwagandha has been used for over three thousand years and has been scientifically proven to help with mental focus, stress, and anxiety. The ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that’s native to India and North Africa. Extracts or powder from the plant’s roots or leaves are used to treat a variety of conditions. Isn’t it amazing how the Earth has supplied us with all of these natural remedies that benefit us body and mind? 


Ashwagandha has also been linked to reducing cancerous cells in the body. Healthline provides information  that is backed by science and close study: “Withaferin [a compound found in ashwagandha] is believed to promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells, disrupting their function.” 


“In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group.” These figures are amazing. The properties of ashwagandha remind me of CBD oil. Another natural supplement we can find in our health food stores.


CBD Oil: A by-product of the cannabis plant, CBD is a regulated supplement that is THC free and is used for its health benefits. CBD is famous for helping with bodily pain, insomnia, and anxiety. CBD is available in health food stores across Ireland and is also used to treat seizures and epilepsy. It’s important to make sure that the CBD oil you purchase is pure and proper: researching the brand or seeking guidance and advice in your local health store can help when seeking to buy CBD oil.



Tumeric: A must-have for your day to day, Turmeric is a well-known flowering plant of the ginger family.


Turmeric is popular as an anti-inflammatory, but that’s not all that it’s good for. It has the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Tumeric has also been discovered to help with arthritis, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. 


Açaí: Açaí is a berry, similar to a blueberry that is rich in vitamins. Açaí bowls are smoothie bowls that are made with an Açaí base, this is a common way it is consumed. The berry is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and has little to no cholesterol. Similar to our other plant products, the açaí berry contributes to brain health and function, cancer cell prevention, and lower cholesterol. 


Ayahuasca retreats: A genuinely fascinating natural remedy that shamans have practised with for centuries, Ayahuasca has positive reports from many people from across the world who have gone on a retreat to take the plant itself and practice the associated rituals with a shaman’s guidance. Many have described this as a life-changing experience. 


The plant is consumed as a tea, which Shamans prepare. The plant is popular in South America and numerous people have travelled for this natural healer’s spiritual experience. Ayahuasca has psychedelic properties which lead to an intense retreat experience. I watched ‘Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul’ on Gaia and was intrigued. It’s emotional, extraordinary, and truly captivating to witness people’s experiences as the psychedelic, spiritual, and pharmacological effects heal their minds and allow them to change their lives.


Plant Surroundings

Something significant to us is surrounding ourselves with nature, not only consuming the food it provides for us. Spending time in nature reduces stress and eases the mind, solidifying harmony within ourselves, and with the outdoor world. Nature can be something we take for granted sometimes, not realising its importance.


I think that surrounding ourselves with nature allows us to reconcile with our minds and enhance our ability to concentrate on the power of now. Being outdoors and partaking in activities such as walking is beneficial for our mental and our physical health, while being in natural lighting can improve our moods and clear our minds.


Has the world become too reliant on pharmaceuticals to the neglect of the power of plants? What I mention above are only a handful of examples of their power. There are thousands of varieties of plants in this world. We can go on and on. This shows us the abundance that nature has provided us with. The lesson is that the world is supplied with healthy foods that are perfectly made by nature for our benefit.

Alison Law
Alison Law

Alison is a college student and writer passionate about the environment, fashion, animals and coffee.

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