Whenever I have a dream about medicine, I pay attention. Last night, after doing a full moon sage ceremony, the medicine that I was shown in my dream last night was Ericaceae. I found this interesting because this full Worm Moon is in Virgo, which rules digestion. While Western medicine likes to think of digestion as physical, Native American and Eastern medicine have long taught that it’s also emotional, mental and spiritual — because the nutrients you take into your body determine the way your body, mind and spirit are aligned. In other words, good fuel in equals a good mind, a healthier body, an aligned spirit. So digestion is really about how we take in, assimilate, and eliminate all things.
This is what the full moon in Virgo is all about. Where can we let go of the stuff that keeps getting stuck inside and stopping the flow? How can we create more ease in our lives by honoring the human need for the slow, restorative power of self-care? How can our minds discern what aligns with who we are vs. the stuff that gets in the way of our higher self?
As I woke up, I had to find out what this Ericaceae is all about. As I studied my Hausenosaunee (Iroquois) medical botany, I found that it’s a member of the Heath and Heather family of plants. The leaves were often cut and boiled to make a digestive aid. I looked around to find out where and how one would find these plants and I’ve created a tea recipe of the more common types you can find at your health food store or online: bilberry and heather. However, some of you won’t have this in your cupboard right now…so I have a third option — fennel seeds (you can also use ground fennel), because many of you will already have this on hand. And don’t we all want to ease our bodies and minds during the strong energy of the full moon?
Bilberry, heather, and fennel have all been used for their ability to ease your digestion. They also have extra benefits:
- Bilberry – aids circulation, vein health and supports those who bruise easily; digestive aid (especially eases diarrhea), liver support, eye health, cancer preventative and helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.
- Heather – supports mineral balance, skin health; relieves arthritis, rheumatic issues, and gout (supports uric acid metabolism); aids sleep, relieves symptoms from colds and coughing, supports liver health, provides anxiety relief, and is a digestive aid.
- Fennel – supports digestion: calms colic, and relieves trapped gas, colitis, and IBD; cancer preventative, arthritis relief, relieves glaucoma, supports memory and may prevent Alzheimer’s.
Add some lemon and sip slowly, reminding yourself that you are safe being who you are and that you trust your body, mind, and spirit to digest life.
Kunolùkwa. May we share our good medicine with one another.
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