Plant Medicine: Aloe
It is truly amazing how some things can be directly in front of us, however, until we are ready, remain blind to its existence. There is a BEAST of an aloe plant on my grandfather's property on Maui that I am only now seeing for the first time. While I've grown up around this plant (since I was 4) I have never truly seen it. Now living here in Kuka, I've discovered a powerful ally in the wisdom and presence of the aloe arboreacens plant. In this article, I will share the wisdom and medicine of this plant.
History: Growing where most things dare not grow, aloe thrives in the the harshest, arid climates. Found throughout history, this plant has been utilized as medicine, food, and magic from times of antiquity until present day. In fact, so pervasive is this plant, that its usage has been found in ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, Hindi, and Chinese literature.
The ancients knew that every plant has its medicine. Whike there is an obvious physical component, when we dig deeper into the plant itself, we see there is a spiritual piece as well. As there is an abundance of literature on the value that aloe has for the physical body, I would like to focus my efforts upon discussing that of its metaphysical benefits.
What does it take to thrive in a region where everything else dies? If aloe is 99.5% water, how can such a minuscule aspect (.5% of its physical matter) contain so much power? How can something so menacing be such a potent healer? These are questions that aloe brings to mind, and allows us to search within ourselves. Everything is a mirror so when we view these qualities of the plant as attributes within ourselves, we discover the wisdom that this ally has in our lives.
1) Resiliency. When I first committed to walk the path of consciousness, I found that 'alone' (a matter of perception and topic for another day). As such I was not in the most hospital environment for my growth. I soon discovered that I wanted to have the perfect conditions, with lots of social support, and endless opportunities to advance myself in my life. Tough shit, doesn't always work out that way. Yet what I felt I needed was externalizing my circumstance and became a matter of blame. My life would be different if... I could do more for myself if... What aloe teaches us is that irrespective of circumstance, if there is a will to grow, then you will grow. This takes ownership. This takes commitment. This takes knowing and trusting myself, without concern if whatever I may encounter. That is power.
2) Potency. Aloe is amazing because, although it is mostly water, it's healing properties are contained within its physical matter. Comprising .5% of the actual plant, this material contains 70+ vital nutrients - vitamins, minerals, etc. how often do we underestimate that aspect of ourselves minimal in our mind. Imagine, if you will, if you applied all of yourself to anything that you did. What would you find existed in the aspect of yourself that you keep hidden? What talents would you find within yourself if you allowed all of you to surface?
3) Perception. When I first laid eyes upon the plant, I was intimidated. The aloe plant at my grandfathers home is massive - 15 feet high and 25 wide. As such, I had always kept my distance because I did care for the plant. Little did I know that within this plant was the healing capabilities for my physical, mental, and spiritual self. I let my personal view of this plant determine my actions in relationship to it. How often does that happen in your life? And how many opportunites are missed because of it?
You see, when we shift our perspective to view the outside world within our selves, we are able to delve into a new depth of learning. Only when we see past the thorns can we truly see the healing and wisdom that awaits us.