My grandmother pantry and refrigerator were full of natural jams, home-made pickles, freshly prepared yogurt, green leaves, rose water, and orange blossoms hydrosols. I loved the fragrance of her spice rack and enjoyed the trips with my aunts to the old souks to stock on our precious herbs and spices.
As I grew up, my book shelves became filled with recipe books and old wisdom series. I saw the kitchen as my lab and the food as my sacred medical cure.
When I joined pharmacy, I waited impatiently to learn more about these natural cures, to know scientific basics behind their miraculous efficiency and deepen my skills in preparing formulas and dosage forms. Unfortunately, after years of overwhelming herbal studies, I felt totally incompetent. Among the hundreds of plant families, thousands of species, millions of preparations and options… I was totally lost. What I didn’t recognize at the time is that the way we studied and approached these remedies stripped them away from the true essence that I was drawn to in the first place; it took away their ‘soul’. Plants, herbs, remedies and medicines for me were miracles of creation that should be approached in awe and gratitude, not reduced down to molecular structures and barren list of Latin names. Each natural substance has much deeper wisdom to offer. When we gently touch it, smell it, admire it and feel it, when we soulfully turn it into syrup, tea, capsule or ointment, it willingly reveals its hidden secrets.
My experience with nature is a relationship between a student and its teacher, a wise teacher who reveals its secret teachings only to its sincere allies.
Why do our education system rob us away from this sacred connection, from this true essence, from this relationship of love, awe and gratitude? Scientific studies shouldn’t be so crude and soulless.
It took me years to embrace back my passion, to learn how to combine science with love and wonder and this, I think, is the missing ingredient in our formula, not only in our education and health care systems, but in our everyday lives as well.
Have a great Day!