Dieting With Plants For Planetary Healing
Updated: Jan 6
Mention the word ‘fasting’ and it can put the fear of god into people. After the body, our biggest attachment is to food and therefore polarised views and opinions about what, when and how to eat abound. Not to be confused with starving, which is obviously a destructive process, fasting is constructive and has been practiced by religious groups and many cultures around the world for millennia for health and spiritual purposes. Promoted by naturopaths as part of their curative process for various acute and chronic illnesses and the subject of many recent scientific studies, fasting is shown to improve the body’s resistance to different types of stress, allows the organs to rest and detoxify, improves gut health, reduces inflammation and allows the body’s natural energy reserves that are usually used up by the digestive process to be redirected to parts of the body that need more support and healing.
A 2.5 day fast, which is what I often practice, is considered a short fast but these can still have very beneficial effects on the body, provided that you are not diabetic, that you do not suffer from inadequate nutrient reserves, have severe kidney disease or other illnesses that need constant nutritional input such as muscle wasting diseases. If in doubt, consult your preferred healthcare professional for advice. But for most of us fasting can give us a health boost and when done in combination with one plant or tree, the effects on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels can be considerable.
The concept of dieting with plants (either fasting or only consuming plain, light foods while ingesting a plant or tree) comes mainly but not exclusively from the shamanic cultures of South America. While we were in the Amazon for five months undertaking various plant diets we too practiced this method of ‘getting to know’ a plant. These plant diets were often part of plant initiations, where we would endure the lack of food and other comforts as well as undertake tasks set by either our teacher or the plant itself.
These ‘tasks’ were often to become stronger in both mind, body and healing abilities or to clear out karmic debris / baggage preventing us from our spiritual development. Our personal outcome of dieting with plants is dependent upon our intention. As I was building my retinue of plant allies for my healing work my intention was to be taught by the plant spirit how they heal, how they wish to work with me and what they need from me in return. It is always a co-creative process and just as our allies look after us, so we must be conscious of their wellbeing also.
Dieting with plants can also be undertaken solely for psycho-spiritual healing benefits and this is certainly not the exclusive realm of teacher plants. In my experience, all plants are teacher plants, it’s just that they all work in different ways to teach us. When we work in sacred space with our native plants and trees and when we approach any plant with respect and in a sacred manner the spirit of the plant is invariably willing to work with us. Plant gathering protocols used by many indigenous cultures show the importance of respect for the plant and indeed the Lakota of North America refer to the plants as their relatives.
When we ingest anything it produces a vibratory resonance within us as it’s vibration integrates with ours. So when we ingest a plant or tree it produces a particular resonance within us. By stopping the intake of other plants (food) it makes it a lot easier to decipher the effects of the dieting plant in us, creates a clearer channel for the plant to communicate with us and therefore allows us to receive more of the healing gifts of the plant or tree.
The plants allow us the space to integrate spiritual awareness with psychological understanding. By bringing conscious awareness to the root cause of unhelpful thought and behavioural patterns and conditionings reduces their power over us and we can start to re-train the mind out of toxic habitual patterns. This in turn filters down from various levels of our energy body into our physical body, creating conditions for physical healing also.
On a planetary level, dieting with plants addresses one of humanity's core wounds, the perceived disconnect from the natural world. This mind-set has led us to the catastrophic decimation of our lands and oceans and into the 6th great mass extinction of the planet while at the same time places of natural beauty are at the top of everyone’s bucket lists to visit! By working deeply with plants and experiencing the inner realms of nature our senses are opened up to a new way of perceiving, we expand our consciousness to a much more multidimensional perspective rather than just the surface world and this in turn contributes to our healing and the healing of humanity’s collective noosphere.
- Emma Farrell