Sir Isaac Newton, the famous physicist that discovered and quantified the law of gravity, codified the laws of thermodynamics, motion, mechanics and astronomy and (when he got bored with all of that) invented the reflective telescope and created the mathematical system of calculus, described himself as follows:
“I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
I feel the same way about my journey as an herbalist. In spite of the decades I’ve spent studying these amazing plants, I am constantly made aware of new powers and properties they possess. I feel like we aren’t even scratching the surface of their potential.
When the Covid-19 virus started being an issue, I immediately wondered what herbs would be helpful in supporting the body’s immune system in countering this infection. As I dug deeply into the research, I learned of more and more new (to me) wonderful properties that plants I’d used for years possessed that would be wonderful support for those cases. I’d been wondering if I needed to create new formulas but the more I studied, the more I realized I didn’t need any new herbs or new formulas for this new bug. My old friends, herbs I’d used for years, were perfectly capable of doing the things I wanted them to do. As it happened, I’d launched a Respiratory Preparedness Kit the year prior to the corona excitement and the formulas it contains seemed to be just what I’d want them to be for this situation. Since then I’ve received a number of emails, texts and phone calls from folks that were very happy that they had the kits on hand. Some of the stories have been very dramatic and moving. We’ve been very grateful to God and all of His little green creations for the amazing blessings we’ve seen.
As I’ve continued my research, I’ve discovered and rediscovered still more herbs that have excellent potential to be of help in current, global pandemic adventures. One I’m quite excited about is Sweet Wormwood, Artemisia annua. Artemisia is a well known genus of plants most of which have been used medicinally for millennia. Sagebrush, wormwood, silver sage and others all have good properties for a number of issues but Artemisa annua has some particularly wonderful properties. It contains a substance called Artemisinin which has a very unique chemical composition (at least compared to other boring susqueterpine lactones that don’t have cool peroxide bridges). The compound was discovered in 1972 by a nice Chinese lady,Tú Yōuyōu who received the Nobel Prize in medicine for it. Research has shown artemisinin to have benefits in cases of malaria, worms, cancer, autoimmune inflammatory diseases and…wait for it…serious coronavirus infections. In fact, Artemisia annua was used extensively (and successfully according to the research) against the SARS coronavirus in Asia which is a near cousin to our current Covid friend.
So, the journey of herbal discovery continues here at HomeGrown Herbalist. We continue to learn wonderful things about our botanical allies while they wait patiently in our fields and forests and vacant lots and gardens. They have been there all along like the great “ocean of truth” Newton described, ready and able to nourish us, strengthen us, protect us and heal us if only we are willing to discover their beautiful secrets.
If you are reading this little article, you likely have some interest in herbs. I hope you’ll expand that interest and enlarge your thinking. I hope that you’ll increase your efforts to bring to light the power of these beautiful plants to bless your family and friends. Let us not be the generation that drops the ball and loses this information forever. Let us be the generation that scours the beach for overlooked treasures and ventures into that great ocean of knowledge to discover the wonders that await.
I’d be honored to join you in that journey.