Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about zero-waste living, DIY, crystals, herbs, teas, and many other things, and it can be hard to make sense of it all. I am hoping to shine some light on this delicate maze and its navigational system. This post along with Wellness of the Earth and Sea: A beginner’s guide to zero-waste living will be to talk about how we can live a more mindful lifestyle, that every bit counts, and that the blessing is in the effort.
I get many questions about herbal blends, stones, crystals, seashells, and all this stuff. People don’t know where to begin and there is so much information out there and so many sets of beliefs. “What are herbs for?” ” What do they do?” “What are crystals for and what do they do? ” “What’s that about seashells?” “Do you believe in magic?”
So many questions, so many interesting things to discuss, so little time… Let me give it a go! Let’S talk about all these darlings and honey. (My way of saying “this, that, and the other”. “All that jazz”. etc)
- Herbs and Teas
Herbs are great. I love herbs. You can use them for just about everything. From cuts and burns, to teas and decoction, to household cleaning and beauty products. Before you get intimidated but all the choices and recipes, rest assured that the most important thing here is choosing what works for you and what means something to you. Don’t just collect herbs with no intentions just to have them lying about. Be mindful when buying, growing, and harvesting herbs. They are gifts from the earth and your connection with them is essential! So start with a few or the lot that makes you happy. 🙂 These are mine:
- Basil: contains essential oils that can kill intestinal parasites and soothe the stomach and intestines. Basil is also an anti-bacterial and works as a good insect repellent and suitable for acne-prone skin.
- Calendula (Marigold): soothing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and astrigent making it the perfect treatment for cuts, scrapes, bruises, insect bites and minor wounds, burns and sunburn. Calendula is antifungal and so can help to cure thrush. Taken internally, Calendula has been shown to help treat ulcers, sore throats, indigestion, colitis and symptoms of the menopause. I also use it in my beauty products to sooth and protect sensitive skin, especially baby skin.
- Chamomile: a digestive aid, prevention and healing of stomach ulcers. Chamomile oil can relax not only the muscles in the stomach but also the uterus, relieving pain and promoting menstruation. Calming the nervous system, for anxiety or stress. Also an anti-inflammatory for relief of arthritic joint pain. Chamomile can kill candida yeast and some bacteria such as Staphylococcus to prevent infections. Chamomile stimulates the immune systems production of white blood cells to fight infection. I use this in my lotions as well, along with the Calendula.
- Cloves: helps with digestion, bowels, and bloating. Cloves are anti-septic, anti-microbial, very helpful for chest coughs, and of course a vital part of my Chai tea.
- Elderflower: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial making it powerful in combatting colds and flus. Can be used on the skin for swelling and bruises. You can also use it as mouthwash to reduce gum swelling.
- Fennel: used as a digestive aid, to relieve gas and bloating, and the symptoms of IBS, as well as abdominal cramps, water retention, heartburn and to boost the libido! Fennel is a mild appetite suppressant, especially when taken just before eating when it will also helps with digestion and to avoid indigestion.
- Lavender: a major relaxant. Just inhaling the strong scent of Lavender can make you feel more relaxed and is considered a great help to battle insomnia. Plenty of research has backed up its common use as a relaxant and a natural treatment for mild depression. Deep inhaling of Lavender Oil has been known to relieve headaches Lavender Oil is soothing when applied to burns and dried skin. While we humans love the smell of Lavender, insects dont and it therefore acts as a great insect repellent. Mix it with Peppermint oil and Eucalyptus oil for a lovely essential oil diffusion.
- Vervain: this “herbal asprin” is a gentle pain reliever and has anti-inflammatory properties. I always enjoy it when the air pressure gets to be a bit much, or if I have a slight tummy ache after eating. I also love it in the afternoon as I wind down on weekends.
- Witch Hazel: antiseptic, anaesthetic, and anti-inflammatory making it a popular choice to use on minor wounds, burns, bruises and swelling. I also use it in face creams for oily and combination skin.
Other brilliant herbs, spices and so on include, but are not limited to: Aloe Vera, Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Dandelion Root, Hibiscus, Patchouli, Parsley, Passionflower, Rosemary, Thyme, Turmeric, Sage.
2. Crystals and Stones
The first little ones I ever bought! You can see them in the main photo. Perfect for my travel lifestyle 😉
This one is tricky and very personal as well. I find it to be one of the most personal because it is something far more difficult to point out. Unlike herbs, you cannot smell them to feel a connection or not. Sometimes the sight of them may help but really you have to identify with it. You either feel it or you don’t. Though this does apply to herbs, I just find it more subtle with stones and crystals.
These are not my main source of connection to the earth but I do like them and I have my favourite few that I cherish and enjoy having around. Here they are:
- Moonstone: Chakras – 6th (Third Eye), 7th (Crown)
Encourages Psychic awareness and intuition, helping one to connect to one’s Guides and Angels and follow their guidance in order to take appropriate action. Moonstone helps one connect with the energy and power of the moon, revealing to women their feminine power and allowing men to express their feminine side – an important step on the path to wholeness.
- Clear Quartz: Chakras – All
Amplifies the energies of all stones. It gives clarity of mind and helps overcome confusion. It assists in creating a strong connection to one’s guides, enabling clear communication.
- Tiger’s Eye: 1st (Root), 2nd (Sexual/Creative), 3rd (Solar Plexus)
This is a stone of action. It also helps one stay grounded, centered and calm, regardless of the situation. It encourages mental clarity, activates intellect and sharpens the logical mind. It activates one’s will and is a great stone to call upon when one needs to persevere through hard effort and difficulties, lending strength to the carrier.
- Fluorite: Chakras – All Fluorite gives mental clarity and clears the energy fields. It improves decision making and helps one choose a direction and take action.
- Rose Quartz: Lowering stress and tension in the heart. It clears out anger and resentment, and allows healing of heart issues and disease associated with holding on to such negative emotions. Known as a romance stone.
- Blue Lace Agate: will boost your ability to communicate, especially the thoughts and feelings that you receive from your higher self. It is an excellent emotional healing stone.
3. Seashells and more
Pacific Ocean Treasures from that day in Waiheke Island in New Zealand.
Seashells are my favourite! They have much history and wisdom as do herbs, stones, and crystals, except they are part of the sea: my favourite place on earth. I am so in love with being surrounded by seashells, collecting them, feeling them, looking at them, and just THEM. You can find hermit crabs in seashells when you pick them up in the sea. They always take me by surprise because you don’t always see them straight away. Then you are examining the shell and BAM! A little hermit crab pops is little head out. They are salty, unique, beautiful, and just lovely. I cannot get enough. I don’t really know what the meaning is behind seashells and frankly, I am not sure I want to know. They have always been something special to me and little beauties with which I had created my own meaning and world. My treasures from down where life is “Ze Bubbles”!
For the sake of this post however, I have found out that they do symbolise strength and fortitude, as well as signs of the divine in many cultures. I have no doubt that these lovelies have infinite meaning, whether one believes or not.
I have actually never researched seashells, yet have found profound and pure connection and peace with them. I think that is the magic.
So this is a good one. Do I believe in magic. Does magic exist. I mean yes and no.
It would be important, first and foremost, to identify what magic is in this context. It is different for everyone. Without getting into all that, my answer is yes. I believe in magic. If magic is the spiritual and natural power of life working to create beauty, love, harmony, centre, grounding, balance, and peace; then yes I believe. If I believe that the four elements, the cardinal points, the feelings that connect us, along with the energies and spirits with which we connect and the symbols we cherish with which we aim to identify with high power and greater meaning; then yes, I believe. Do I believe in science? YES. But I believe that there is more, because I have felt such energy, love, and peace. It does not matter what you believe in. So far as this argument is concerned, and so far as this premise is in question, we are all linked by beliefs. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Hindu, etc. We have felt safety, proection, and connection, to the earth and sea.
If you have been guided by the wholesome earth, protected by the glorious mountains, enveloped by sweet winds, warmed by humble fires, listened to by wise trees, and been graces by the touch and welcome of the ocean’s waves, you have experienced magic. I know I have. I have experienced magic and I believe in magic.