Plants as Allies
by Terrie-ann Easley

Plants are our allies in many ways. They enrich our soil, bring beauty to our landscapes, provide healing to our bodies, and produce the very oxygen we need to breathe. Plants are to animals, as breath is to life. To understand life, we must approach our relationship with the earth and its plant life, with reverence, openness, and care.

Every breath we take, we are performing mouth to mouth resuscitation with Mother Nature

–Sam Coffman11tulsi

Many cultures throughout history have recognized our connection with the plant kingdom. Some have built relationships with plants in their surrounding ecosystem, deeming certain plants as being holy. In India, Holy Basil, known as Tulsi, is believed to be the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Tulsi, who provides divine protection to all beings. People, who believe in her power often have a Tulsi plant in their homes. Prayer beads are made out of her wood. She is tended to with much care and respect for her protective powers and her ability to bring health and healing to those around her.

 

trueeeIn indigenous North American Tribes, tobacco is held as a sacred plant and is the main plant used in their sharing of the ceremonial peace pipe. The alkaloid nicotine is a powerful medicine. In small, less frequent use, it causes the body to relax and releases dopamine, one of the bodies feel good hormones. In frequent use, nicotine becomes toxic and can cause many health problems. The North American Tribes knew how powerful tobacco was and gave it the utmost respect, only using it for important events. Tobacco was used before all religious ceremonies, being offered to the spirits for peace, and with reverence; as well as to seal treaties between tribes and to settle arguments between individuals. In offering a pipe to an individual or tribe, you were putting an end to hostilities, and were asking for peace between your peoples, according to Alanson Skinner in, The Mascoutens or Prairie Potawatomi Indians, Part III, Mythology and Folklore.

Plants are sacred and hold ancient wisdom that can be valuable to the human family. Here in the 21st century, most of us have lost our connection with plants, and with that our ability to listen to what they have to share. Without plants as allies, we could not survive. My hope in writing about plants is to help people across the globe awaken to the connection we have with nature and the ability plants have to bring health and happiness to us all. If we tune in and listen, we can learn their way to true peace and harmony, which transcends borders, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and monetary status, bringing us to a place of oneness and balance.