Wildcrafted herbs and foods are those that are found in nature untouched by human hands in their growth process. For instance, wild dandelion greens, nettles, grasses, mushrooms, berries, nuts, and non-domesticated animals such as fish, bison, and other wild game.
Teaching your clients about the benefits of wild herbs and foods (and encouraging them to purchase and forage/hunt their own) is an essential component of a natural health consultation because it helps them to deeply connect with an ecocentric perspective (ecological based as opposed to merely human based) and garner the unique properties not found in domesticated foods.
Wild Health Benefits
Modern research has shown that wildcrafted herbs and foods have more minerals and vitamins than even organically grown food and much more than conventionally grown food (1)(2)(3)(4).
Gabriel Cousens, M.D. states that they have much higher bio-photon emissions as well, which has been shown by bio-photon readers (5). Bio-photons are ultra weak photons that are emitted out of living organisms and play a key factor in the foundational level of our health (see nutrition essentials series part 1).
These bio-photons speak to us by coordinating and informing our cells to do certain tasks. When contemplated on, they can also awaken a profound understanding that this Earth and our bodies are part of an interconnected field of energy. On this level it is virtually impossible to draw lines of boundary.
Before the adoption of agriculture humans were eating a 100% organic, wild diet. Our ancestors wandered through the forests hunting and gathering their wild meals which were hanging on the trees as nuts, seeds and fruits, on the ground as vegetables and herbs, throughout the lands as animals and insects, and throughout the rivers and seas as fish and crustaceans.
Pre-agricultural wild humans, through tremendous courage and resourcefulness, were able to populate nearly ever habitable region of this amazing Earth. For those living in Northern or Southern regions, edible plants may have been more scarce than wild game. For these humans, hunting and consuming meat may have been the staple and principle method of nourishment, while gathering and consuming plants may have been a secondary, yet still important part of the diet. For those in tropical and sub tropical regions where wild edible plants grow in abundance, perhaps that may have been the staple and wild game secondary.
Any way you slice it, humans are omnivores and we are especially good at being opportunivores! This means we will basically eat anything! Hunting and gathering of wild herbs and foods must have provided our ancestors a deep and meaningful connection to the living Earth. Is it any wonder why the spiritual traditions and teachings of past and current indigenous cultures all revolve around the notion of life on Earth being interwoven in a mystical web?
Awakening an Ecocentric Perspective
Going out and getting our nutritional and medicinal needs from the wild gives an immediate sense of our dependence and interconnection with the life giving forces of the Earth and Sun. It also creates a tremendous sense of gratitude for the emergent properties inherent in our universe that manifested the abundant variety of beautiful colors, sizes, textures, and tastes of the food that we get to enjoy.
A wise person once said, “In order to experience something different you need to do something different.” Eating wild is doing something different. For most people, their whole life has been filled with store bought food, fast food, restaurant food, and home prepared food.
If you were to ask a client where their food comes from I can almost guarantee that they would say the grocery store. While this is indeed true on one level, it also shows their mental separation from realizing that our food first comes from the Earth. As your clients begin to incorporate wild herbs and foods into their diet, a new perception will awaken that aligns them with the ultimate truth that plants, animals, as well as our bodies are of the Earth and Cosmos. This is a powerful means of reviving an ecocentric perspective.
Many modern life ways have displaced us out of an ecocentric perspective and instead has led us into an anthropocentric and egocentric perspective. We are seen as the pinnacle of creation and the center of reality. Rather than a vision of life as an interwoven web, like many ancient cultures had, it is as if the ego is the center and everything else in reality is surrounding it in varying levels of decreasing importance.
This way of relating to the Earth and Cosmos may be the fundamental underlying reason why humans are experiencing tremendous suffering and creating such devastating environmental destruction. Another way of living is possible.
Heeding the Call
I believe that all of us have an inherent drive to live in accord with the natural world. By encouraging the eating and harvesting of wildcrafted herbs and foods with your clients, you are doing something different than the mainstream paradigm and helping people access what I believe to be the healthiest foods on the Planet. Through this act consciousness is altered out of isolation into interrelation, which awakens the desire to serve the whole. Our interconnected mind/body system as well as the entire Earth system benefit from this way of living.
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3. Wolfe, David. The Sunfood Diet Success System. pgs. 295-298
4. Cousens, Gabriel. Spiritual Nutrition. pg. 498
5. Ibid pg. 164