Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Befriending Our Plant Allies
Category:
Body

During challenging times, we can turn to the plant world to discover some of our greatest allies. Esalen faculty, herbalist and acupuncturist Darren Huckle knows this all too well and relishes the fact that herbal allies powerfully promote the health of our body, mind and physical energy.

“What I really love about teaching herbal medicine is that I think there is an intrinsic connection between plants and people,” says Darren, who leads Herbs for Stress, Stamina and Sleep June 26–28 at Esalen.

“All people, no matter where our ancestors are from, knew about local plants around them and how to use those plants for shelter and food but also for medicine. I love re-introducing people to our plant friends and having them feel inspired, knowing that there is a great abundance of resources available to us.”

Keeping our immune systems healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital. Darren points out several plant and herbal allies that can enhance wellness, assist us when anxiety may be on the rise and establish a greater sense of vitality.

Chamomile Soothing and calming, chamomile helps decrease tightness and bonding of the digestive system, which can be helpful during stressful times.

Peppermint A favorite for many people, peppermint has a brightening, expansiveness and opening quality to it, allowing us to feel refreshed. “It’s a little bit of cheeriness in a cup,” Darren says.

Fresh Ginger “In some ways, this may be a hard time to digest for a lot of us,” Darren says. “Oftentimes when we’re stressed or have anxiousness, our digestive system doesn’t hold a lot of energy and this plant ally, with its antiviral and antimicrobial quality, aids with that and is ideal for enhancing digestion.”

Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary Each of these have anti-viral and anti-microbial properties and aid in digestion as well. They are “the spice of life,” metaphorically, Darren says, and offer an aromatic opening when used in foods. When using these spices, it increases the aromatic nature and the digestibility of the food we consume.

Poppy and Skullcap These plant allies help with anxiety, tension or worry. “Sometimes we get so triggered that we’re no longer coherent and we’re just reactive,” Darren says.” The amygdala is active and we are in flight or fight mode.” Poppy, either the capsule or the root, is very settling and calming. Skullcap, a perennial herb of the mint family, is a common herb that helps soothe and settle the nervous system and also gives it a little buffering.

As we continue to create ideal ways to manage how the COVID-19 crisis affects us, Darren suggests that for individuals having troubling sleeping, there are several things to consider: Dried lavender, often a common household product, is aromatic and can aid the sleep/wake cycles.

Lavender drops are also effective and can be placed on the wrists or third eye area. Melatonin supplements can aid with sleep as well, particularly in instances where the melatonin cycle is disrupted due to stress.

With plenty of plant-based alternatives to choose from, Darren believes that by turning to any one of these plant allies, we can find support and welcome a greater sense of harmony.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Befriending Our Plant Allies

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Body

During challenging times, we can turn to the plant world to discover some of our greatest allies. Esalen faculty, herbalist and acupuncturist Darren Huckle knows this all too well and relishes the fact that herbal allies powerfully promote the health of our body, mind and physical energy.

“What I really love about teaching herbal medicine is that I think there is an intrinsic connection between plants and people,” says Darren, who leads Herbs for Stress, Stamina and Sleep June 26–28 at Esalen.

“All people, no matter where our ancestors are from, knew about local plants around them and how to use those plants for shelter and food but also for medicine. I love re-introducing people to our plant friends and having them feel inspired, knowing that there is a great abundance of resources available to us.”

Keeping our immune systems healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital. Darren points out several plant and herbal allies that can enhance wellness, assist us when anxiety may be on the rise and establish a greater sense of vitality.

Chamomile Soothing and calming, chamomile helps decrease tightness and bonding of the digestive system, which can be helpful during stressful times.

Peppermint A favorite for many people, peppermint has a brightening, expansiveness and opening quality to it, allowing us to feel refreshed. “It’s a little bit of cheeriness in a cup,” Darren says.

Fresh Ginger “In some ways, this may be a hard time to digest for a lot of us,” Darren says. “Oftentimes when we’re stressed or have anxiousness, our digestive system doesn’t hold a lot of energy and this plant ally, with its antiviral and antimicrobial quality, aids with that and is ideal for enhancing digestion.”

Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary Each of these have anti-viral and anti-microbial properties and aid in digestion as well. They are “the spice of life,” metaphorically, Darren says, and offer an aromatic opening when used in foods. When using these spices, it increases the aromatic nature and the digestibility of the food we consume.

Poppy and Skullcap These plant allies help with anxiety, tension or worry. “Sometimes we get so triggered that we’re no longer coherent and we’re just reactive,” Darren says.” The amygdala is active and we are in flight or fight mode.” Poppy, either the capsule or the root, is very settling and calming. Skullcap, a perennial herb of the mint family, is a common herb that helps soothe and settle the nervous system and also gives it a little buffering.

As we continue to create ideal ways to manage how the COVID-19 crisis affects us, Darren suggests that for individuals having troubling sleeping, there are several things to consider: Dried lavender, often a common household product, is aromatic and can aid the sleep/wake cycles.

Lavender drops are also effective and can be placed on the wrists or third eye area. Melatonin supplements can aid with sleep as well, particularly in instances where the melatonin cycle is disrupted due to stress.

With plenty of plant-based alternatives to choose from, Darren believes that by turning to any one of these plant allies, we can find support and welcome a greater sense of harmony.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Befriending Our Plant Allies
Category:
Body

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About

Esalen Team

Befriending Our Plant Allies

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Esalen Team

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