- February 18, 2019 - Space for Life
A cold got you down? Try a decoction of echinacea, thyme or Labrador tea. Lacking energy? Take some American ginseng or rhodiola. Your liver is troubling you? Some milk thistle seeds might be just the answer.
Down through the ages, people have always turned to plants for food, clothing and also medicine. Alain Cuerrier, a researcher and botanist at the Botanical Garden, works with Indigenous people to preserve First Nations knowledge of medicinal plants.
This legacy has been disappearing with each successive generation. “Since this know-how was part of a broader spiritual system, early missionaries brushed it aside. And ever since, science, which has so often presented itself as the only gateway to knowledge, hasn’t given it the credit it deserves.”
Yet, as Cuerrier says, there is no doubt that plants have a place in our healing arsenal. “The Cree discovered plants that help relieve diabetes symptoms,” he explains. “And recent studies have shown that sweet wormwood, used by the Chinese to treat fever, is effective against malaria.”
While plants can be healing, you should’t expect miracles. “It takes a few days, or even a few weeks, to start feeling the effects.” Rather than replacing medicine, they complement it.