Column: Nature’s Presence
By Marcie Martinez, Founder of NaturesPresence.Net
Nature’s Presence is a column that shares its name with my web site and gives a nod first to nature’s presence all around us and, second, to the gifts (presents) that nature has given us for optimal health. Expect to read about various concepts relating to natural healing and tips for looking to nature to enjoy whole health and well being. For a more detailed look into natural healing concepts you may find my blog at http://naturespresence.net. I created this column in the hopes of “getting back to our roots” as well as helping others find ultimate health in this crazy world of pharmaceuticals and fast food. Here’s to your health!
Disclaimer: The information in this column is intended for informational and educational purposes only. If you require medical attention it is imperative that you seek medical advice from a competent practitioner.
When I was a little girl growing up in Chimayó my cousins and I had a club called “The Crusaders.” Our officers were appointed, rather than elected, because there was one particular cousin who generally ran the show. We had regular meetings and even paid dues all for the ultimate purpose of going camping. Once we collected enough money to buy the food and supplies necessary we would ask Grandpa to take us all out for a weekend. Being from Arroyo de Agua, Grandpa’s favorite camping areas were around Youngsville and Resumidero.
One of the most distinct memories I have of camping was one trip when we finally found the perfect spot to camp and rushed out of Grandpa’s old, green 1967 Dodge pickup that we were piled in to get started having fun only to be told that our trip might be cut short. It might be cut so short that we would have to leave early that same afternoon. As you could imagine all six of us kids were very disappointed.
It turned out that Grandpa was suffering from a severe case of stomach problems – the kind you wouldn’t want while out in the woods. He informed us that we would be packing up and leaving in a couple of hours unless we were able to find enough of a certain plant, which he showed us. The plant had a distinct scent and look to it. The remedio was called poleo. We were so excited we might not have to leave we all spread out looking for this plant. We returned with various plants but managed to collect enough of the poleo for Grandpa to make a tea to take care of his stomach issue. The remedio worked, Grandpa started feeling better and our trip was not cancelled. We got to hike, tell ghost stories, pray the rosary after telling the ghost stories, enjoying a whole weekend out in the woods of northern New Mexico!
This was perhaps my most memorable experience with the remedios of old and natural healing in general. It wasn’t until many years later that I would come to realize my true passion was in natural health. Due to some health issues that my precious mother was facing, my focus had been mainly in researching the negative effects of pharmaceuticals on overall health, the detriment caused by a lack of various vitamins and minerals, and how the two concepts go hand in hand; however, as time goes on I have come to appreciate the power in herbal healing, as well as essential oils, homeopathic remedies, and even energetic healing.
One popular healing plant in this area is Osha. Many people boil the root and make a tea with lemon and honey to treat viruses as well as bacterial infections. Anyone who regularly takes this tea swears by its efficacy. What was unbeknownst to me until fairly recently is that there are various types of Osha, which grow at different elevations. Also unbeknownst to me was that Osha is often confused with the poisonous hemlock root. A difficulty with natural herbal remedies is that poisonous plants often resemble helpful plants and, in fact, grow near one another likely as a defense mechanism. For example, where poisonous mushrooms grow, healthy and tasty mushrooms can be found nearby. Thanks to Alicia Archuleta, a good friend and fellow natural health enthusiast, I got a quick lesson on the different types of plants and their uses. For more information on distinguishing between the beneficial Osha root and the poisonous hemlock root read Alicia’s blog post at:
I look forward to sharing with you tidbits of useful information relating to natural healing methods including essential oils, homeopathy, and utilization of vitamins and minerals, and any other “natural” methods to address various issues. I hope to hear from readers and take suggestions of topics to research and discuss to help others on their quest for optimum health!