The Lost Language of Plants is the way in which Stephen Buhner shares his respect for plant life on earth and reveals the amazing chemistry, the language, that all plants speak to each other and to Homo Sapiens. When the plants regulating our environment are sensitive to the part per trillion level, a small change can have catastrophic consequences. Humanity has developed internal and external wounds because we've lost our emotional engagement with nature. For the entire history of man's development, we've lived in small groups eating hundreds of plant species, constantly exposed to the wild nature around us. In the past, getting advice from ancestors in a dream, hearing plants or developing a relationship with them was considered a blessing. In the world of plants that means: find every chemical in a plant, take it out, place them in unhealthy foods and sell them back to people. We've lost the love of nature, the biophilia and replace it with television to substitutions for dreaming, with public schooling to substitute for the knowledge of the elders and the world around us, with machines for the living world around us and with simplistic chemistries for the plant medicines ubiquitous around us. With 1900 Americans killed by pharmaceuticals each week, its time to ask if chemical remedies are a practical solution to our health problems. Our waste streams get processed but no amount of cleaning can remove the vast quantities of chemicals we release each year. We don't need chemical medicines when we have plants. Plant chemistries are chemical messages, man-made drugs are noise. Yes, western medicine is highly effective at quick cures, as Doctor House was asked why people take drugs he responded, "...because they work." That is no understatement. Our medicines work, but primarily to maintain the lifestyle we lead in defiance of our true nature. As long as we live in our current world, we will have need for modern medicine. Now when I hear the stories of co-workers on 10+ prescription medicines I'll cringe and hope for a better understanding of the miraculous nature of plant medicines. Read Buhner's Lost Language of Plants and your world will change dramatically.
A well-formed conscience can easily see where Buhner's error lies, and give him grace enough there to keep reading, in order to learn the amazing things he has to share with us regarding the place of plants in the ever-astonishing creation we inhabit.
Review: The Lost Language o Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth by Stephen Harrod Buhner. The effect of these pollutants on the Earth and its life is not know but is considered one cause of the extinction of so many species. In addition the medical establishment has a history of violently suppressing the use of the natural medicinal herbs that had so effectively kept life on Earth healthy for hundreds of thousands of years. Plants have many thousands of chemicals in their environment that they have learned to effectively use, some to support and protect their propagation for seed germination and through their roots, some for maintaining their health by fighting disease and some for their growth. Some of these natural chemicals are pathogenic and harmful, but the plant produce antifungal, antibiotic and antimicrobial compounds when needed without creating resistant pathogens. What is most impressive is a plants ability to communicate in this world of interdependency and the rapidity with which it can respond with specific chemicals when needed for growth, health and sustainability. Joining in this communication by learning to listen to the plants can be effectively facilitated by using ecstatic and/or hypnotic trance as I have used and describe in my previous writings. Buhner then continues with many fascinating examples of how animals use medicinal herbs. Buhners numerous examples reveal the high intelligence of the animals and show in an amazing way how the animals have learned to use specific plants effectively for specific problems. The biofeedback loops of communication within a plant species, between different species of plants, and between plants and other life send messages for when to use specific chemicals produced by the plants and other soil organisms to maintain plant health, growth and fertility. The Lost Language of Plants is a most important book to read to help in guiding use to finding those ways to sustain the health of the Earth for our children, grandchildren and all future generations.
Several of the 'transition' books I've been reading mention that natural medicine will be just as important a skill when we can no longer rely on our global networks as growing or finding food, fixing machines and building shelter, and they are absolutely right.
The chapter, "Two Wounds", describing how we came to view the universe as a machine, instead of sacred, and the results, was chilling.
For starters, it felt like there was rambling at the beginning of each chapter and only after continuing to read did the chapter become informative.
Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of ten books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine.