The Wild Ingredients
The ingredients that we use in our herbal products and skincare recipes are so much than just products themselves. They were at one time individual living plants lives in a field or forest. Breathing, eating, reproducing. Amazing plants that have the superpower of turning sunshine into sugar. Pretty sweet.
I call them wild ingredients because they had lives rich with existence spending their days with the wind and the rain. They grew for the sake of growing, of breathing and stretching for the sky. They grew in their own way, bound to none, they were wild and free. Even the plants on a farm. Most of them spent their days under the sun, their nights under the stars, and their lives full of a freedom that many of us long for.
Take Jojoba oil for example.
The jojoba shrub is native the southwest deserts of the United States. It grows under the searing sun with a heat that drives most other life away. In the quiet of the desert it thrives soaking in the heat, witness to few other lifeforms while it silently produces one of the most healing oils (a wax really) available. I like to remember this when I am soothing my child’s chapped cheeks, that this stoic shrub survived in the burning desert under a scorching sun while making an oil that is now soothing the burn on his cheeks. Amazing.
The plants and oils that we use are more than just isolated ingredients on a list.
The herbs and plants we use were once living and breathing. The rain fell on their leaves and their flowers blossomed in the sun. They were home to small little lady bugs and great big soaring eagles. They had lives out in the forest and field, and some of that life was stored in the very molecules and cells that made up the plant, that you are now absorbing into your skin when you use them in your recipes.
They were living breathing entities that made oxygen for you to breathe and now once again they offer up their medicine to you as they are absorbed into your skin ultimately becoming a part of your own being.
It keeps you grateful to remember where your ingredients came from to be sure. It also deepens your connection with them, remembering that they were living, breathing plants, that gave life for your benefit. It opens the door to understanding their properties on an intuitive level.
Know your plants like you know friends.