In many cultures, the herbalist is a combination of religious leader, spiritual teacher, and medicine man. Such a person is known as a shaman. Many classic western images of the shaman are highly distorted. Shamans are often presented as a mixture of medicine man, gypsy tea-leaf reader, crystal ball–gazer, Oriental wise man, or mystic visionary. The hocus-pocus image of a seer who channels voices of the gods is a romantic notion that misses the point. Fundamentally, it is not what the shaman does that is so important, but rather the depth of his understanding of plants and people. Through a shaman’s eyes, the individual is seen as having
a spiritual destiny. On a physical level, the shaman sees the person as a complex organism containing the ability for self-healing, rather than a collection of symptoms. The shaman recognizes that illness is often an imbalance of spiritual, emotional, biochemical, and structural factors. He is able to accelerate healing by tapping into the special powers inherent in plants in order to heal what is out of balance.
Shamans believe that there is one radiant energy that pervades and gives rise to all of life that helps us to heal when we are ill.Healing herbs are especially rich in this energy. In India, this same energy is called Prana, and in Chinese medicine it is called Qi. It is believed that shamans can even communicate with some plants through an inner sixth sense. It has been said that they use their intuition to choose the right plants for use as food and medicine.
When a shaman speaks with the radiant healing energy in Peppermint (Mentha piperita): is one of the most popular
herbs in the world and one of the most important oils. It is popular for headaches, nausea, coughs, fatigue, muscular pains, sinus congestion, apathy, digestive problems, mental tiredness, and poor circulation. Peppermint is highly effective in reducing digestive upset and has a calming effect on the emotions without the sedating quality associated with other herbs.
It refreshes, restores, cools, and uplifts both body and mind. It is often added to massage blends for healing the digestive system. plants, the line between myth and reality blurs. This radiant energy mirrors aspects of our own selves, guiding us toward our true identities, the divine reality within. The shaman does not lead a person to a spiritual dimension, but is able to give him or her the key information, herbal teas, and other plant substances to
support the process.
The development of shamanic skills through the use of herbs in cooking is a celebration of the divine spark in each of us. This experience will bring joy and a sense that you are participating in the great celebration we call life while strengthening and balancing your own health. The end result is a deepened commitment to revealing the total beauty of ourselves and all of life around us. Experiencing the subtle flavors and aromas of herbs and spices is part of this process.