Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! The Medicinal Teachings of Easter Lily

Happy Easter! In honor of this spring holiday I thought I would write about one of my all time favorite plants, Easter Lily, or Lilium longiflorum. While many of us know this plant from its debut in grocery stores and florist shops in April, many of us might not know that it is also a highly prized medicinal plant.

I was first introduced to Easter Lily through Matthew Wood's, “Seven Herbs: Plants as Teachers.” This book takes the reader through a journey of seven plant teachers as they relate to symbols and myths contained within the bible. I was so impressed and captured by this book that I immediate told two of my closest girlfriends. Together we embarked on a journey and set out to take each of the herbs in order as we studied their teachings.

Of all of the seven plants, Easter Lily seemed to have the greatest impact on each of us. Many of our “female” symptoms seemed to clear and we noticed a distinct difference in our psyches after working with the plant.

Easter Lily is a low dose plant used to help cleanse the female reproductive organs. It cleanses the uterus after the menstrual cycle, miscarriage, or stillbirth. The spirit teaching relates to the bible story of Adam and Eve. Often we see Eve depicted as fallen. She was once pure, and is now sullied. It was her flawed nature that led to her eating the forbidden fruit. In this story there is also the opportunity to see Eve’s act separate from the judgment of it. That is, Eve simply acted and that act had consequences, but it does not made her dirty, bad, or broken.

Easter Lily shows us that we can detach from these polarizations of good and evil, clean and dirty, wrong and right.

The plant itself contains pure white petals surrounding a messy phallic stamen covered in pollen. These two exist together within one plant. Matthew writes about the teaching of Easter Lily to help us break down these polarities within our psyches and within our physiology, which are interconnected. That is, if we mentally separate things into good and bad and have feelings of shame or righteousness attached to them, then physiologically, we may have a tendency to compartmentalize “bad” things into cysts or tidy containers hidden beneath the surface of otherwise “good health.”

Easter Lily, or Madonna Lily is also associated with the archetype of Virgo, the virgin. A Virgoan tendency is to see oneself as the virgin, proper, and in complete control. When we fall short then we are instantly the whore, the misfit, or a total disaster. For many Virgo’s, life is a constant dance from one extreme to another. Easter Lily helps us find the soft center the place where the virgin and whore can hold hands, laugh, and sip hot tea.

Physiologically Easter Lily breaks things down. It softens cysts and fibroids in the uterus or breasts. It breaks down old congested menses and can promote fertility due to this deep cleansing. It essentially helps us to break down the boundaries that we create to wall out the things we perceive as wrong or impure. Yet, the point is to recognize that we are both dirty and clean at the same time. That we cannot separate the two.

I’ve seen Easter Lily work wonders. As a low dose plant you only need to take 1 – 3 drops daily. The medicine is made from the root and has a sweet and slightly warming taste. I searched far and wide for a tincture of this plant and was so happy to find it atBear Wallow Herbs.

So, in the spirit of Easter we may want to take a look at gray areas between life, death, and resurrection. Perhaps we can summon the spirit of Easter Lily to help us soften our own hard lines and judgments. A good practice for this weekend would be to re-look at the things that we perceive as dirty or impure and explore why we have this perception. Through this initiation into the world of Easter Lily we see that chaos lives inside everyone who seems to ‘have it together,’ and that the dirt we wash from our foods contains vital minerals we need to be healthy. And if you are feeling really bold, try dropping your food on the ground and override your '5-second' rule. Who knows, you may find peace and serenity in the form of a dust fairy. There is so much more magic alive in these gray spaces than we realize. Thank you, Easter Lily for helping us to embrace life in its pure raw form.

Thank you: Matthew WoodSEVEN HERBS Plants as Teachers & Bear Wallow Herbs for introducing me to this fine plant :)

1 comment:

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