This is a guest blog by Hari Simran Khalsa, the daughter of my dearest friend. I have watched her grow and transform into an amazing person, Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist. She practices in Nevada City, CA. www.healingrootsayurveda.com
A Heart Connection
I can still remember the first time I felt the power of pure happiness. It was 1991 and I was 6 years old. After being away at boarding school for 9 months I was so happy to be home. Being the last person off the plane with my little backpack and my 6-year-old outfit, which I of course put together, I was so excited. I came out riding on my big sister’s shoulders so that I could see over the crowd of parents who were all jumping up and down with excitement as they spotted their kids walking off the plane.
As my mother re-tells the story, she started to get worried that they left me in LA, since I made it out last and was most likely the smallest one in the group. To her relief we finally saw each other! My mother and father were waving at me with the brightest smiles on their faces. We made our way through the crowd. My big sister knelt down as I hopped off her shoulders and ran into both of their arms. I started crying out of pure joy. I remember feeling shocked that there were tears running down my face because I was happy. This was a whole new feeling and the confusion only made me cry more. I thought that we humans only cried out of sadness or frustration. I looked down feeling a little embarrassed and right then the beautiful voice of my mother spoke in my ear, “why are you crying sweetie?” Still looking down I replied, “I don’t know!” “Is it because you are happy?” she said, and I nodded my head “yes”, as I looked up at her comforting face and smiled.
I will never forget that day as it always brings a smile to my face and lightness to my heart. There is no drug, tincture, herb, tea, salve, or pill that could make me feel that way. It was the true love within my being that made me experience Joy. That is the power of the human heart.
As an herbalist, plant medicine continues to surprise me with its ability to work in the most magical ways. In Ayurvedic medicine, herbs and herbal formulas are often used as supportive tools to help heal ailments that we may be experiencing. The role that these herbs play in the healing process are without a doubt, significant but can only play the role of the “supporter” not “the doer”. Perhaps that is why it all seems so magical. In the end, the secret ingredient is the mind allowing the body to heal. When we are able to let go of the things that do not support a healthy body, we truly experience the healing powers of plant medicine.
Herbs can give us the key to open the door to health. It may feel at times more complicated as we battle our minds for a way out while we strive to find the perfect fix. At the same time, the plants are simply trying to tell us “hey! it has been in YOU all along. I am just supporting that which already exists.”
When we hear that voice and find the herb or herbs that sync so perfectly with our unique constitution, it plays out in the most amazing ways.
I, of course, have my favorites in the herbal kingdom. The one that wins “herb of the year!” is called Shatavari, which translates to “She who possesses 100 Husbands”. Shatavari is one of the many herbs used in Ayurvedic healing as a tonic for female and male reproductive health, intestinal problems and the overall nourishment of the body. It is most commonly used for PMS symptoms and enhancing fertility as it possesses beautiful, cooling qualities.
As I become more familiar with plants and their healing properties I can’t help but give them all personalities. It is the best way for me to express how I feel when I truly witness an herb working in my body. Some have stronger and more detailed characteristics then others but I have noticed a change in the way I can appreciate the plant. I find myself being able to care and love the plant as it has made a deep and personal impression in my mind. I could describe many herbs this way but I will stick to my “herb of the Year”.
Shatavari, to me, is like a tall, radiant, strong woman with long flowing dark black hair. She walks with confidence under the light of a full moon wearing the longest silk dress that falls just right, all around her. She carries the glow of the moon on her face and when she awakens your body to its healing powers she greets you with a subtle warm smile on her face. When you ingest Shatavari, her watery nature fills you with love and the most radiate light. Her stunning beauty is only expressed through the intelligence of the human being who has lovingly and openly taken her medicine.
I encourage everyone to take a step back and witness which herbs work for you and why. How have you let go and allowed these beautiful plants to merge with the intelligence of your body? For me it has been a profound discovery to experience that true happiness comes from within. It is not the herb that is making me happy – it is the brilliance of my human organism using the herb to bring joy to the forefront of my mind. The feeling of pure happiness as a young girl just by the profound connection of parent and child brought tears of joy to my eyes. In the same way you can allow your deep connection to the power of plant medicine to heal and enliven your undiscovered tears of joy for a healthy and happy life.