What is Plant Culture?
At Happy High Herbs Nimbin we believe that there are three primary aspects to plant culture. These can be simply understood as listening, learning and lifestyle. If we are able to pay attention to the subtle messages of disharmony and then learn to respond appropriately using herbs we then begin to experience real and lasting human health and happiness that’s in harmony with Earth.
“Plant Culture is a way of life ~ using plants and herbs for optimum function. It is a culture of health which incorporates not only our individual selves, but also extends into our communities and our planetary ecosystems, creating endless bio-feedback systems of happiness.”
At Happy High Herbs Nimbin we aim to inspire people to take a deeper look at understanding their own bodies subtle signals. There’s a constant stream of signals that indicate wellbeing or imbalance, if we learn to listen. Aching knees, dry flaky skin, white coating on the tongue are all signals of imbalance that we can learn to understand. By remedying imbalance early, we can help to prevent chronic disease later in life.
The Five Element Theory
To understand the body’s subtle signals it’s useful to have a map. Many people find that the Five Element Theory is particularly helpful and easy to comprehend. It is one of the major systems of thought within Traditional Chinese Medicine, integrating the body’s major organs (liver, kidney, lung, heart, spleen) within a cosmic order that includes colours, sounds and tastes (sour, salty, bitter, pungent and sweet), the time of day and the seasons.
Our ability to recognise the subtle messages that our physical bodies produce naturally leads to a curiosity about which foods, teas and plant extracts will effectively bring balance. Listening, in the context of plant culture, also applies to our intuition about which herbs we need. In order to do this effectively we need to understand something about the chemistry and energetics of the plant world.
Learning: Plant Science
Which herbs can be used for relaxation? Which herbs for cleansing? Which herbs will dry damp? What’s a healthy alternative to drinking too much coffee? Which herbs can help me in seeing things more clearly?
Learning the facts about plant phytochemistry is fun but in fact our bodies have an innate ‘appetite’ for certain compounds from which we can also learn so much about what specifically relates to us. No two humans are the same, and when you awaken to plant culture you often will be intuitively and instinctually drawn to what you need.
“By recognising patterns of disharmony we can become masters of our own physiology”.
Last time you really wanted a cup of chamomile tea, was it because your body actually needed the photochemical and energetic properties of that herb? The more herbs that we are familiar with, the more likely it is that you’ll be naturally drawn towards what you need. This is the intuitive aspect of learning plant science.
“let your food be your medicine”
We hear so much about living a healthy lifestyle. In places like Nimbin an alternative culture is thriving that takes an integrated approach to this. Many people here grow and use herbs in daily life. However, in mainstream culture little is commonly understood about using herbs for optimum health. Why is this? In part, since modern medicine emerged a few hundred years ago, there has been a systematic marginalisation of the use of herbs for personal wellbeing. But things are changing. Now more and more people are choosing to take their health into their own hands, by growing their own herbal teas and smokes. In fact, at Happy High Herbs Nimbin we believe that a plant medicine revolution may be just around the corner.
“A lifestyle that incorporates medicinal plant use is a fundamental element in the paradigm shift of our times”.