You might have pulled this scrappy plant out of a prized garden bed or your lush green lawn this summer. Its scientific name is Prunella Vulgaris, but this creeping, purple-flowered, low-lying plant is more commonly known as “Self-Heal.”
Highly regarded in Chinese medicine for healing a vast array of health problems and widely used by our colonial ancestors, these days many of us view it more as a bothersome weed. And yet scientific studies have shown that this seemingly simple, very common plant can help shrink tumors, lower blood pressure, and stop virus from spreading.
Here is a poem from herb faery artist and poet, Cicely Mary Barker, that lauds this little plant of such inconspicuous appearance:
The Song of the Self Heal Faery
When little Elves have cut themselves,
Or Mouse has hurt her tail,
Or Froggie’s arm has come to harm,
This herb will never fail.
The Faeries’ skill can cure each ill
And soothe the sorest pain.
I like to think about this self-heal “fairy.” What would she look like? What would be his demeanor? What attitude would this little being have about healing and soothing pain?
In a manner of speaking, we can all be our own “self-heal fairy.” In fact, I know several such people. Three of them come to my mind, individuals I interact with on a daily basis. They are some of the most courageous people I know. Each has been diagnosed with diseases that are so-called incurable and may be progressive in nature – rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy and schizophrenia. They have chosen to take healing into their own hands and made it a lifetime priority.
Now here I am going to venture into controversial territory. All three have made the conscious choice of limiting or, in one case, not taking the “prescribed medications” to manage their chronic condition. Although they have been firmly told by the “medical authorities” that they have to take their medications consistently and at high dosages, they have refused after experiencing serious side effects from the medications themselves. They have decided instead to create their own unique pathway to self-healing.
It has been and continues to be a struggle for each one of them, and they have good days and more challenging ones. What I love most about them is that they are just about the most positive and kindest folks I know. The kind of people who truly have a heart of gold. They are all beautiful women. None have a partner at present. They each realize that they will have to devote much of their energies (and finances) to maintaining their health.
They do share certain common health choices. For instance, they all have a gluten-free, mostly sugar-free and very healthy diet. They also work with a variety of health care providers and healing modalities, including acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and more. And they carefully choose vitamins and minerals that lab tests show would be beneficial for their overall health.
In a very different way, I have been trying to do some self-healing myself lately (which of course is a never ending process, spiritually speaking). In preparation for a workshop with Sergio Magana next month on Toltec energy systems, I avidly read his book about how he teaches people using the Ancient Toltec’s methods for self-healing. I experimented with one of the suggested exercises one recent Sunday morning and found it so powerful that I am following his suggestion of doing it every morning for 52 days.
This exercise, deceptively simple, has truly been transformational so far, and I am only on day 30. It involves breathing in the sun’s energy while visualizing a snake entering you head and moving through your body clearing out old ancestral memories and experiences that no longer serve your highest good.
The self-heal plant, the three self-healing women, and the self-healing exercise I am now doing all are about our own capacity to heal ourselves. This is also the reason why I study and work with stones and crystals, because at the deepest level this work is truly about healing ourselves along with our connections with the natural world and cosmos. This is why I like to call it: LECORA Soul Work, because it is a lot more about soul than it is about stones and rocks, geologically speaking. Whether with plant or with stone, through visualizing a snake entering the crown of your head or focusing on keeping a loving heart when feeling physical pain, our capacity to self-heal is innate and deep-rooted in all of us. In fact, it may just be one of the greatest lessons and gifts of our life journey