As long as humans have existed, we’ve always needed medical experts. Whether that is the village healer, the town doctor, the hospital, or the naturopath, there are always health concerns that ordinary people seek help with. Expert medicine is a GODSEND when we need it, but there is another thread, too. The stuff that ordinary people use daily to care for each other - the people’s medicine.
So for our final medicine chest discussion, we’ll talk about a plant that has been called “the people’s medicine chest” for centuries: Elder, or as it is commonly known now, Elderberry. Most people have heard of the scientific and traditional backing for Elder as an antiviral that is highly effective against colds, flus, and other similar illnesses. Many people know it works in part as an immunomodulant, helping quicken or soothe the response of our immune system.
What most people don’t know is that the Elder plant has medicine beyond the berries, and uses beyond viruses. It is a powerful wound healer, and can support the recovery of bruises, sprains, and breaks, it soothes many skin conditions, and works as a powerful anti-inflammatory that can sooth joints aching from various reasons. The berries can also help modulate blood sugar levels!
There is good reason this plant has been called the people’s medicine chest since ancient times!
We’ll talk about lessons the Elder plant can teach us about building community, and how to actually use the literal plant as a community building tool. We’ll look at our role as healers in family and in community, and how our need for belonging and meaning ties us together in our healing journey as we find A Way Home.