Kris August

Celebrating the Interconnectedness of Life

Finding Nature in Medicine

As an herbalist who focuses on learning individual plants from a Western traditional and scientific perspective, the wholistic connection can sometimes be lost. Modern “Western” medicine uses science to sift out minute details of chemical composition, pharmacology, and physiology, which are fascinating and important, but it often loses the bigger picture of the body functioning together as a whole, let alone functioning within the greater world and the outside influences that affect us physically, mentally and perhaps also spiritually.

Chinese, Ayurvedic, and other cultural traditions of medicine have built-in nature connection in the metaphors and descriptions they use through describing the elements and seasonal differences in plant and animal characteristics that inform treatment choices. Historically, the often mocked humoral theory of Western tradition is also based on the elements and nature. Our society, in its rush to innovate and discover new ideas, has left behind many of the vital lessons that nature shares with us daily.

What can modern medical practitioners do to discover those relationships to seasonal changes and the differences throughout the year? How can Western practitioners find that Zen, that peace, that flow? The cycles of nature, right outside our door, welcome us into this living metaphor. I have used this model in teaching self-care, wellness, and herbalism. It reminds us that nature is a part of everything we do, a part of who we are, and a partner on our healing journey.

Click here to explore more about Self-Care Through the Cycles of Nature