Saturday Morning with Rue

Journey with the Spirit of Rue

The healing & magical benefits of Rue were on full display this morning.  Just as I was finishing my morning brew, I knew that I was being called.  I put my garden shoes on and started up the path knowing I’d step into the magic of the Plant Spirits.  Excited that some new revelation would be downloaded to me, I ignored the lone Hawkweed waving at me.  Hawkweed is cheeky.  I have declared a very small portion of garden as hawkweed-free but know that this Hawkweedplant has visions of overtaking all.  The battle (I have no illusions about Hawkweeds ferocity to get what it wants) for property rights appears to be continuing.

Revelations are not the norm when I sit down with plants.  Sometimes, it’s just a silent togetherness.  The plants know me very well in that I don’t like to hang around too long and can be impatient for the answers.  Mint, for instance, can be very standoff-ish with me and so I’m willing, every now and then, to take more time than usual to hear stories of their medicine.  Today was such a day, but as I approached Rue, Herb of Grace, the beauty of her medicine was shown to me immediately.

Rue presented like a DNA spiral expanding and contracting; as she protects and shields so can she strangle and choke.  In the past, as today, Rue is placed beside entryways or in a pouch to be worn for heightened protection and strangles and chases away negative and harmful energy.  In that same vein, Rue is a reliable antidote to poison, ridding the body of harmful substances.  She can protect and attack with the same fierceness.  Internally, Rue should be used with care.  For example, just a little and she can be soothing; too much and she can aggravate.  Rue Dreamsafeis excellent for mild indigestion but too much and she can produce severe vomiting.  Stick to 10 drops of tincture 2X’s day to start and ½ cup Rue tea (using dried leaves).  I use it sparingly in salads and have not found any other kitchen uses for it although the internet has many different cultural uses.

The healing energy of Rue is overcast by her ability to do harm and so Rue, Herb of Grace, is very much considered a magic herb and seldom used in herbal medicine today.  “Its main modern application is to regulate the menstrual cycle and bring on the suppressed menses” David Hoffman – Medical Herbalism.

The essential oil of Rue is a powerful abortifacient and accordingly, should be avoided during pregnancy.  Rue can leave a rash or irritations on the skin when picking her, so wear gloves and long sleeves.  A fierce clue to her protective abilities.

According to Matthew Wood, Rue is hot and dry in the third degree (Galen’s extended medical system) meaning that (hot in 3rd) it promotes perspiration, cuts through blockages (phlegm, depression) and clears away stagnant situations, such as suppressed menses and (dry in 3rd) cautions on its ability to take over and exacerbate the problem.

Properties of Rue:-

Rue HerbRue  (Ruta graveolens)
Family: Rutaceae
Taste: bitter & pungent
Parts used: Whole herb with the top young shoots (before flowering) being the most potent
Actions: Antispasmodic, bitter, abortifacient, bitter, antimicrobial, emmenagogue
Preparations: Tincture, Tea, Salve, Cream, Oil

And so, coming back from my journey – I give thanks and honour the angel that is Rue.  I ground myself and step gently down, one by one until I land at the bottom; my two feet firmly on the ground.  I don’t know why I don’t sit with the plants every day.  The feeling of breathing and being as one with Mother Earth is always so awesome.

You can find Rue in Aura & Dreamsafe

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How the plants have given us their medicine

How Plants give us their MedicineThroughout time the plants have given us their medicine.  Every culture has used, in some form or another, the healing power of plants.  Sometimes, a plant used for an ailment in one era was used in an entirely different way in another. Greater Celandine was and still is, used as a remedy for wart removal but during the middle ages was used as a digestive and for irritations of the eye.  Chamomile was used by Egyptian women as a cosmetic and throughout time as a digestive and reliever of menstrual cramping.  Lavender was used as a laundry soap in the 12th century because of its pleasing scent and today that scent is used as a relaxant and anti-depressant.

Ancient written texts tell us of cedar and juniper essential oils used for the mummification process, sage, cedar & sweetgrass used in smudging or cleansing rituals and chamomile used as a scented walkway for pleasure.

“O most honored Greening Force,

You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.

You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.

You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
–  Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae

HildegardThe great visionary, Hildegard of Bingen knew of the plants contribution to our health and wellness.  Not only was she concerned with our physical health but knew that the plants assisted in emotional and spiritual health as well.  “Confront anger and other negative thought patterns. Release your negative energy and develop a spiritual attitude.”  Translation from Hildegard’s Physica

She knew the power of the plant world to heal via food, atmosphere and medicine.  She understood that the same balance found in nature, exists in humans and that the humors (essence, liquids/juice(blood, phlegm, bile)) of our physical bodies are always looking for harmony.  Her remedies always included notes on the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of living in order to stay in touch with universal forces through the balancing of the humors. In that way, we stay in communion with the essence of the universe, the Spirit of Life/God.

Hildegard felt that in order to live in harmony, one needs to:-

  • Connect to the Spirit of life knowing that the pathway to health is through communion with all things
  • Take care of the physical body knowing that it is an extension of your soul-self.
  • Balance in all things knowing that to live healthily, we are more connected to universal energies of healing/manifestation
  • Live life with passion knowing that an attitude of positivity creates a healthy spirit-mind-body connection

If we took a plant that Hildegard & the Plant Medicine Shop held/hold in high regard, let’s say Rose (Rosa), and journeyed with it through the ages, below is what we’d find:-

Rose

Sumerian Era (4000-2400 BC), clay tablets have been found depicting Rose as a use of medicine

Hippocrates (460-377 BC) advised wearing a garland of Rose for headaches

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt (69-30 BC) believed in the aromatic healing properties of Rose and used in bathing

Roman, Pliny, the Elder (23-79AD), thought of Rose as an astringent and used the whole flower.  The seed was used as a diuretic.

Dioscorides (40-90 AD), prescribed rose petals for headaches, eye problems and hemorrhoids.

Hildegard (1098-1179) – believed Rose helped with moderation, exterior ulcers and with relieving anger.  “If even a little rose is added, they are so much better, because of the good virtues of the rose.” Translation from Hildegard’s Physica

Culpepper (1616-1654 AD), declared that the Oil of Rose be used for hot swelling or inflammation

Linus Pauling (1901-1944), discovered the high content of Vitamin C, in Rose Hips

Kiva Rose (21st Century, present time) says that Rose is healing “for hot, damp, congested headaches that are often accompanied by feverishness, hot flashes, gas and bloating.” Kiva Rose

Rose is sent to earth by the gardeners of paradise for empowering the mind and the eye of the spirit.” Rumi

Forgiveness Energy MedicinePlant Medicine Shop (that would be us)(21st Century, present time), uses the power and energetic of Rose for finding love, beauty, ruthless compassion, protection and strength.  We use the mighty Rose in Aura, Authenticity, Lost Love, Esteem, Forgiveness, Cell Rejuvenation, Warrior and our Goddess Cream.

 

The Plant Medicine Shop creates healing herbal remedies for all the ways in which we express ourselves.   Our products are all natural, organic and made with a deep sense of communion with Mother Earth.  We are in partnership with the Plants and honour their wisdom and knowledge.   Their energy is of a giving nature and by accepting this gift of healing, we allow it to flow through to others.  That’s how we, as humans, heal.

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Medicine Wheel Garden

Dreaming of a Medicine Wheel Garden

 

I’m sitting on the log steps in our garden.  I’m sitting here because it’s still nice and cool and I have about half an hour before the sun hits.  There is no grass in our mountain garden and so my feet are resting on earth on top of a wooden log.  I feel very spiritual sitting here with Mother Earth underfoot, trees very close and a view of the very still waters (today, at any rate) of Kootenay Lake.  It is not hard to be relaxed and quiet in this place, both in mind and the breath.  So easy to be inspired by the Plant World sitting amongst this much green.  I’m dreaming of a medicine wheel garden and wondering if it’s possible on this hillside garden.  ‘Anything is possible’ I hear.  Um, yes but it might take some woman power to move the big rocks.

DreamcatcherOver the last few days, I’ve walked up and down, and from one end to the other to search for the best place.  This project will take a while as it is now late Spring in my neck of the woods, and some herbs will need to be planted this Fall.  I do not have the garden to myself.  My husband, the other gardener, has taken over and built up quite a bit of the land and since our needs are different, we work with and around one another.

I have a Medicine Wheel protecting my house which could also be a place for the plants but since 3 directional rocks are on a steep rocky area, I think that’s a miss.   I thank the Plant World for their beauty knowing that they will continue to inspire me and step down one by one around the corner, down the path onto the patio.

There in the middle of our patio is my Owl, made of rocks; the protector and guardian of our space.   As I look around I see areas still awaiting plants and of course, here it is, my Medicine Wheel garden, right in front of my eyes.   Below is the planning stage of the garden using some of the plants I use in my healing potions.

 

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The Plant World on the hill

Springtime garden — Plant World wonders!

The sun is bursting through the back door promising me that Spring is here.  I open the door, Ms. Diva quick behind me, and turn right to see what’s going on in the Plant World.  On the path is the Hydrangea, still hanging onto flowers from last year.  How can this be, after such a hard winter?  Snow drifts and harsh cold winds could not deter the hydrangea from hanging on to its flowers it seems.  The root and the rhizome of this plant are used primarily in urinary disorders but energetically I use the flower to represent gratitude and it leads the way in our newest energetic ‘Forgiveness’.  Forgiveness remedy will make you feel ‘like I was cradling my inner child. Hope, Love, forgiveness and acceptance”, says M. Darago, Shamanic Practitioner.

Taking in the strength of Hydrangea, I continue on past the still-frozen compost and turn left.  There sits the remnants of last year’s Lemon Balm nestled in beside the SW rock – the place of dreaming.  Lemon Balm is used traditionally as a calming herb for body, heart and mind.  Serenity Tonic and Serenity Salve Serenityare two powerful remedies that take full use of Lemon Balm’s calming properties when restlessness insomnia or anxiety are present.  I use Lemon Balm energetically in a ceremonial remedy to quiet the mind, calm the breath and soften the heart.  After smudging, I reach for ‘Silence’ to help find that meditative state needed for the ceremonial process.  Lemon Balm works well with Rosemary & Yarrow in this remedy to maintain a strong focus and connection to Spirit.

A few steps further and Wood Betony comes into view, already peaking out from the detritus of last year.  Its leaves are arrow-like and already vibrant green.  Wood Betony gives me the energetic of protection and I use it whenever an element of shielding is needed, such us Dreamsafe & Protection.  Traditionally, Wood Betony is a well-known addition to headache remedies.

Soon, Red Clover will appear on the left as I head up the path and hopefully a beautiful basal rosette of mullein from last year’s growth – nothing yet.  Straight ahead on the path, sits our kitchen herb garden:- mint, sage, rue, thyme – I can see them all except Rue – a late starter.

I step carefully up the next few steps because here is where I found Pearly Everlasting last year.  I don’t know a lot about his plant except that I have great plans for its use in ‘Walking Between the Worlds’ a remedy to help journeyers to access other realms.

St. John's WortSt. John’s Wort is sitting small & pretty beside an old tree stump, looking healthy and ready to roll for another year of medicine giving.  This is a sunny plant; great for depression in a tincture or as a wound healer as a salve.  Energetically, I rely on St. John’s Wort a lot – Mind Power, Joy, Authenticity all use the power of this plant to bring a sense of joy, passion and an energy of courage and protection.

Walking in the garden in Springtime brings a feeling of anticipation and adventure.  Knowing that things will happen; plants will grow where they are supposed to and a lot of times in areas where you don’t expect them to.  Every year, it’s the same thing – a sense of awe and wonderment at the Spirit and life of the Plant World.

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Open-hearted Communication

Open-hearted Communication

Background photograph designed by Asierromero - Freepik.com

happy old woman

Of all the healing modalities on the planet, I was struck today how open-hearted communication is the key to well-being and a sense of purpose.  I was walking with intention, on a mission while training my dog.  She got completely distracted by a lady striding down the street towards us.  It was difficult to keep her from jumping forward but as this woman approached she told me not to worry because all the dogs loved her and that she, in turn, loved dogs.  20 minutes later, after telling her how she had made my day, I was in awe how such a chance encounter could lay out, so understandably, the meaning of life to the fullest.  This woman was 85 yrs old, lived in an independent seniors residence, walked 4 times a day and was so thrilled that her lunch was included in her rent which was geared to income and so was stress-free.  We talked of many things in that 20 minutes – she had a lot to say.  When she said good-bye and continued on, I knew then that engagement with other people, to the fullest and with an open heart, could cure all the slight depression and stress-caused maladies.  She left having no clue how she showed me the ways in which I still keep to myself.  My ‘playing my cards too close to my chest’ routine.

In my healing practice, I have spoken to people about Nutrition, Reconnective Healing, Shamanism and Ceremonial pathways but it is the spontaneous heart-felt human interactions that can change your day and, in so doing, your life and state of health.  If we could clone that beautiful old lady, the doctors and health care professionals would be looking at much different pathways towards health and well-being.

So……, even though I love Plant Medicine and its capacity to heal; without engagement with other humans, the show won’t go on as brightly.  Is there a remedy for that?  Well, yes there are!  Esteem and Joy help to break down the barriers that keep us from engaging fully with all the world has to offer.

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Longevity (and other stuff) from a mountain garden

Longevity found in mountain garden treasures

 

It is only when I saunter up our mountain garden that I find the treasures I’ve missed.  Usually, I’m on a mission and so pass quickly to my intent without pausing to check my surroundings.  A few weeks ago, I came upon a plant growing right in the path, took a quick look and realized it was new, but continued on and it was forgotten.  Only when I had nothing to do and nothing to occupy my thoughts did I come upon it again and then noticed two such plants growing not too far apart.  Taking a snippet, I asked my good friend and Plant Medicine woman Dianne Luchtan, what it was.  Dianne has wondered over mountain and meadow in this neck of the woods and only makes herbal medicine from those plants she’s picked herself.  “Pearly (life) Everlasting”, she said without hesitation — the secret to longevity!  Ah, welcome to our blessed garden.

LongevityPearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)  is a member of the Daisy (Asteraceae) family and although it is used extensively in flower arrangements (some species have a strong sweet scent that gets stronger as the plant dries), this sweet plant has many clinical and magical attributes.

Make the flowers and leaves into a Natural Herbal Remedy tea for coughs, colds, flu symptoms or any respiratory ailments, as well as gastro-intestinal problems.  The leaves, in a tea, are reported to suppress the appetite and so have been used as a weight loss tool.  Sarah Anne Lawless states — “coughs, colds and diarrhea as a tea, added to a bath for rheumatism, and” “also smoked for lung problems and used for poultices to treat various ailments.”

Some Indian tribes gave it the name Rabbit Tobacco because it was said this was the method that Rabbit used to talk to the Creator.  It was used in the past, and still sometimes today, in smoking mixtures for ceremonies/rituals.  And…….Pearly Everlasting is reported to promote a long and healthy life!!

Matthew Wood has a very detailed account of this plant.  In his usual fashion, he outlines all you possibly need to know about a plant, both clinically and as a vibrational medicine.

His conclusions as to the personality of this sweet plant (Pearly Everlasting/Rabbit Tobacco) are below:

“1. Physical health: Rabbit tobacco is used for congenital defect or weakness, i.e., incomplete inheritance.
2. Psychological health: It is used when a legacy from a mentor or ancestor is not passed on and there is a break in the psychological inheritance.
3. Signature: Something like ‘life’ continues in rabbit tobacco, after the death of the plant, so that it carries on a communication between the living and dead.”

 

Keep an eye on my New Product page.     Maybe Longevity and Spirit Communication!?

 

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California Poppy – Pleasure & Pain

Pleasure and Pain with California Poppy

 

I dare anyone to walk past the golden yellow flower of a California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and not feel some sort of joy settling in. It stands tall, reaching for, and shining in the sun. It is the State CaliforniaPoppyflower of….. yes you guessed it, California. It has such diverse medicinal properties, that finding out about its ability to reduce pain, other than neuralgic, didn’t take me much by surprise. It’s a member of the Opium Poppy family (Papaveraceae) after all. I am inclined to file herbs into different categories for both traditional herbal and vibrational remedies but every now and then I read something that reminds me of other healing possibilities. It adds another layer to the medicinal benefits of this sunny looking and sunny feeling member of the Plant World.

For any issues with depression, be it mild or more severe, California Poppy has been called upon to uplift the spirits and calm the mind. It is equally good for the nervous system allowing the antispasmodic, anxiolytic and sedative properties to take effect. The chemical components are the same as the Opium Poppy although much less potent; so it lends itself well to a variety of painful conditions. According to Anne McIntyre (1): “It began to be used as a medicine in the last century, when it rapidly gained a reputation as a non-addictive alternative to the opium poppy.” It is so mild that it is quite safe in remedies for children. This herb may have a sunny disposition but is severely lacking in the taste department. Add peppermint and chamomile to tea for anxious children. This combination works well when traveling (2).

As my focus is primarily vibrational medicine, I use this plant whenever I need a joyful or uplifting energy to be present. Here are some of the ways California Poppy works in vibrational remedies:

JoyCalifornia Poppy brings light, playfulness and a calm sense of well-being to our Joy remedy.

 

 

EsteemCalifornia Poppy brings a heightened sense of self-worth and sunshine to our Esteem remedy. Yes, there are herbs for low self-esteem. (2)

 

 

4th Chakra BalanceCalifornia Poppy brings calmness and an uplifting spirit to our 4th Chakra remedy, Harmony.  Helps to release anger and pain.

 

 

After reading Anne McIntyre’s article I was glad to be reminded that California Poppy works well for pain in lotions, creams and salves (1)(Anne McIntyre). I’ll put it on the drawing board for future remedy making.

References:
(1) Anne McIntyre, writing in Positive Health Online: http://www.positivehealth.com/article/herbal-medicine/the-benefits-of-california-poppy-eschscholzia-californica
(2) Thomas Avery Garran, Western Herbs according to Traditional Chinese Medicine
(3) Anne McIntyre, writing in Positive Health Online: http://www.positivehealth.com/article/ayurveda/are-there-herbs-for-low-self-esteem

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Energy Medicine for the 3rd Chakra

Energy Medicine for the 3rd Chakra

The 3rd (Solar Plexus) Chakra represents how we show up in the world.  It is about our Personal Power and how we interact 3rd Chakrawith others on all levels.  This Power, coming from our sense of self-worth and identity, dictates this interaction so profoundly that it brings with it a greater feeling of authority and self-governance over one’s life.  Do we care and love ourselves enough to feel confident and set our own paths?  When we do, we allow the authority we have as humans to be in charge.  Love, compassion, honesty & integrity – for ourselves, others, and all things living on Mother Earth – all stem from a highly balanced sense of self and healthy ego.

The 3rd Chakra plays a big role in our ability to create our own lives– this is what I know, personally.  We manifest from a position of strength.  When we associate with our ‘I’, we say I am, I need, I will.  Actually knowing and liking who we are opens up new ways of communication and allows us to be clear about what we want.  Our authority over our own life then becomes accepted and mindful.

Specifics of the 3rd Chakra:

Location: Solar Plexus (although I find it closer to the navel)
Colour: Yellow
Spiritual Aspect: Self Worth
Issues: Lack of self and identity, no boundaries, passive, anger
Endocrine Gland: Pancreas
Needs: Safety, security, strong relationships/partnerships (1st & 2nd Chakra balanced), healthy ego, feeling in control of life
Associated Organs: Liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine
Associated Disease: Poor digestion, digestive ulcers, liver disease, diabetes, addiction
Enemy: Shame, feelings of disconnection—alone

Healing remedies for the 3rd Chakra:

Connection‘Connection’, a vibrational remedy from the plant medicine shop, awakens the dream of a powerful life, allows connection to oneself and others to be felt.  Heals and balances.

Digestive herbs: (yellow dock, burdock, dandelion, chamomile), St. John’s Wort, California Poppy

Other Healing for the 3rd Chakra: daily affirmations, breathe in sun energy, learn how to receive.

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Using Vibrational Medicine for the 2nd Chakra

Using Vibrational Medicine for the 2nd Chakra

The art of Chakra Balancing is not just about changing/adjusting the vibratory rate and altering the path of disease, it’s about bringing into focus a new level of awareness.

2nd ChakraChakra Balancing or healing for the 2nd Chakra has been found to be the most relevant in the quest for health and wellness.  Relationships are important and consume are thoughts, mostly because we all want to belong somewhere, somehow.  It’s what makes us Human.

The 2nd (Sacral) Chakra represents family, community and our relationship to the outside world.  Without this connection we feel powerless to go outside of ourselves and live life.  We have to be willing to engage with all aspects of our being for this chakra to be open and balanced making sure to leave fear behind.  These outward relationships include all the universal energies that we will likely interact with.  When you bend down to notice the beauty of a plant or flower, or are training a dog, a relationship has presented itself.  With 2nd Chakra Balancing, there is a capacity to hold the energies of giving and receiving in equal measure.   Sexuality and intimacy sit here; how we view ourselves in sexual connection with another dictates the health and balance of the emotional body.

Specifics of the 2nd Chakra:

Location: Lower abdomen (below the navel)
Spiritual Aspect: Self Respect
Issues: lack of emotional support (up to age 2), sexual abuse, strict manipulative younger years, no opportunity to trust
Endocrine Gland: Ovaries/Testes (sex hormones)
IntentionNeeds: Strong relationships/partnerships, belonging, allowing pleasure
Associated Organs: Womb, testes, reproductive system
Associated Disease: Infertility/Impotence, lower back pain, menstrual disorders, prostate disorders
Enemy: Guilt
Natural Herbal Remedies for the 2nd Chakra: Vibrational Remedy, ‘Intention’ from the plant medicine shop,  mugwort, yarrow, raspberry leaf, motherwort, cinnamon, sweet flag.  Pumpkin, carrots, peppers, oranges

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Using Vibrational Medicine for the 1st Chakra

Using Vibrational Medicine for the 1st Chakra

 

The art of Chakra Balancing is not just about changing/adjusting the vibratory rate and altering the path of disease; it’s about bringing into focus a new level of awareness.

1st ChakraFor over a hundred years, information about our Chakra System and Chakra Balancing has flooded into the mainstream.  Today, there are yoga studios on every corner in every city with each teaching the countless methods of the Masters.  With each movement and breathe, a chakra is affected – a slight awakening and balancing.

Since the function of the physical body is dependent upon the activity of our chakras, awakening and balancing of these energy centres are a major healing modality today.  Each chakra is linked to a specific endocrine gland, and so disease or ill health can, in a sense, be tracked through the subtle bodies & auric field until it reaches the physical.

Starting at the base, the 1st (root) chakra, addresses the need to live in the moment in a relaxed way without fear.  Safety, security and physical groundedness are all concepts that we have a right to feel, acknowledge and trust in.   Our self-awareness as a human being lights up in the 1st Chakra.  Unique experiences dictate the openness and vibrancy, or lack thereof that we project out into the world.  The basic enemy of this Chakra is fear.  If family or community ties have not been strong in our first few years, then this emotion sits heavily in the 1st Chakra.

Specifics of the 1st Chakra:

Location: Base of spine
Spiritual Aspect: Self Awareness or what it is to be human
Issues: Abandonment, physical & mental abuse, poor nourishment, taking on fears of parents, difficult birth.
Endocrine Gland: Adrenals (cortisone, adrenaline)
Needs: Safety, security, comfort, community, nourishment
Associated Organs: kidneys, adrenals, bladder, rectum, colon
Living FullyAssociated Disease: bones or solid parts of the body (arthritis, weak joints), bowel or colon disorders (chronic constipation, crohns, chronic diarrhea, IBS)
Enemy: Fear of all kinds (failure, success, losing control, own power, security,etc.)
Natural Herbal Remedies for the 1st Chakra: Vibrational Remedy, ‘Living Fully’ from the plant medicine shop, dandelion root, burdock root , cayenne, thyme, lavender.  Any root vegetable as in carrots, parsnips, horseradish
Other Healing for 1st Chakra: Enjoy Mother Earth and the way you walk upon Her, stay grounded and bring vital earth energy into the 1st Chakra, take care of your physical body, dance, garden.
Colour: Red

 

 

 

 

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