I think one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as herbalists and healers is “why do we get sick?”
This is the big question pondered by healers, physicians, medicine people, and philosophers all across the world for millennia, and their answers range everyone from genetics and pathogenic microorganisms, to karma, ancestral trauma, and our constitutional predispositions.
While some of the reasons we get sick are completely out of our direct control— such as being born with some form of genetic condition— there are many things that are. And one of the most important ones here, especially in our modern, busy, high-stress paced world, is simply put as a lack of self-care. What’s the mean? It’s as simple as setting up daily routines and healthy habits to take care of your health physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And there is no better way to show that we care for ourselves than by anointing ourselves in oil, a tradition that spans cultures across the world.
Oils provide several benefits: there’s the healing from the medicinal constituents of the herb, the affirmation that we’re taking care of ourselves, and the self-healing power of physical touch. This is reaching far beyond just using them for skincare, for aesthetics, or to take away our wrinkles (although those things are quite real too). Consider that the skin is itself one of the largest organs of absorption and elimination in the body. Thus, topical application of herbal infused oils in fact can correct things internally as well.
This week’s podcast guest is an expert in herbal oils. Kami McBride is the author of The Herbal Kitchen, and she’s taught herbal medicine at several colleges. Over more than 30 years, Kami has helped thousands of families make the highest-quality herbal remedies to prevent illness, take care of common ailments, and protect their health naturally.
One thing I love about herbalists, is that everyone has their own unique approach and specialty within the art and practice of plant medicine. Kami just happens to be a specialist in herbal self-care, particularly in the form of working with infused oils. One of the things that I found really powerful in our conversation was how she talked about creating a culture of healing within your family by having these periods of self-care, positive healthy healing touch, and herbal infused oils. We discuss a variety of topics, including:
- How a small side hobby making oils turned into a 30-year career
- The difference between an infused oil and an essential oil
- Kami’s favorite herbs to put into infused oils
- An extended discussion of the power of St. John’s wort
- Why herbal oils have not yet gone mainstream … and one way they might
- The reason oils are such a powerful healing modality
- Why human touch — whether of ourselves or of others — is so vital
- The importance of a household culture of healing