May 2, 2009

Tulsi, the Taj Mahal, and the Medicine Buddha

Posted in Healing, Health, Oils, Spirit, Travel tagged at 9:00 PM by moxiemuse


David Crow of Floracopeia, one of the essential oil suppliers I work with, was in southern India (Kanyakumari, to be precise) for a month leading an Ayurvedic Aromtherapy retreat. While there, he received a fascinating newspaper article in his hotel room. The newspaper, Press Trust of Inida, reported on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009, that the wonder herb (one of my favorites), ‘Tulsi’, which is known for its medicinal qualities, will now help protect the Taj Mahal against the ill effects of environmental pollution. Over one million saplings will be planted in the vicinity of the Monument of Love.


On being asked why Tulsi was chosen, one of the CEOs involved in the project, Krishan Gupta said, “It is one of the best plants which purifies the environment. Its cleansing action is due to its property to release high amounts of oxygen, which minimizes the adverse impact of industrial and refinery emissions. Tulsi will help reduce the air pollution at the periphery of the monument.”

The area where David taught, Kanyakumari, is named after the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess). It is the only place in the whole world where one can witness the ‘confluence’ of three great seas: the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari is one of the few places in the world where one can witness both the sunset and sunrise at the same beach due to the geography. No wonder this little gem attracted Mahatma Gandhi.

David Crow is a leader in the growing aromatherapy movement in the United States. His best-selling book, In Search of the Medicine Buddha, tells the tale of how David, an acupuncturist and herbalist, journeyed to Nepal in search of medical teachings from Tibetan and Ayurvedic doctors. Over the next ten years, he studied the art and science of traditional Asian medicine. His book is a colorful and captivating story of adventure, exploration, and self-discovery into the wonders of Himalyan herbology and spirituality.

In September, I will be attending In The Garden of the Medicine Buddha: An Immersion Retreat, with David in California.


April 6, 2009

The why of a few of my favorite herbs, oils, and elixirs: An ever-expanding list

Posted in Healing, Health, Oils tagged , , , , , at 2:50 AM by moxiemuse


Watercolor painting of the spikenard plant

Watercolor painting of the spikenard plant

For the cover of my aromatic medicine thesis, I commissioned botanical artist Alana Lea to paint a watercolor of the ancient Himalayan wonder plant, Spikenard. She did a fabulous job and I received a 97% on my thesis 🙂

Herbs, elixirs, and therapeutic-grade essential oils have infiltrated my psyche in the last 12 years or so and I thought I would share just a few of my faves here. 

  • Holy Basil—Revered as tulsi in Ayurvedic medicine. Tulsi means The Incomparable One or the Mother Medicine of Nature in the Ayurvedic tradition, delivering nutrients to the mind necessary for the experience of enlightment.
  • Turmeric—“The Golden Goddess”, a key balancing and detoxifying herb.
  • Ashwagandha—A rasayana herb or adaptogen that works to normalize physiological function.
  • Ginger—Rejuvenates the real seat of all emotions: the heart space that is our tummies.
  • Spearmint—A cleanser of a clogged palate and when diffused, a cleanser of a foggy noggin.
  • Frankincense—The aroma infiltrates the cells and membranes of our heart, mind, and soul. Reconnects one with the One.
  • Lavender—The factotum of the essential oil family. Its uses are myriad.
  • Sage—Ancient Romans labelled it a sacred herb. A stimulating oil that aids one with mental fatigue.
  • Spikenard—The anointing oil of the ancients and a deeply sacred oil for healing.
  • Iolite Crystal Essence Aura Mist with AquaSensoria — This essence was created for me by Sherri Lynn Nelson, proprietess of Rocky Hill Crystal Essences. I prominently display it on the desk in my home office and generously spray it whenever I’m moved to do so. An instant elevator of the spirit.
  • Young Living‘s Valor Essential Oil Blend—Applied nightly onto the bottoms of feet and to the throat, wrists, chest and the base of the neck, this blend enhances an individual’s internal resources.