THE CROAK is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial.

Health as the essence of Nature

If 2020 had one central lesson for all of us, it was that our health is closely linked to the health of our natural environment. As the entire human world focussed on understanding and caring for their physical bodies, it was also a time to realise how deeply we are connected to all things natural. 

As part of our Healing with Nature campaign, eCoexist plans to host one REVIVE session a month, inviting experts in natural medicine to speak about health as the essence of Nature. 

This Sunday, we will start by understanding essential oils and how we can use them to stay healthy. Asha McLaughlin, who is based in Virginia, USA will be leading us in this discussion. 

The power of plants

Several cultures through history, have explored ways of locating the essence of medicinal plants and bringing them into use to heal the human body. Essential oils are a powerful, concentrated form of plant essence. The volatile chemical compounds from the plants are extracted through a variety of processes and transferred to a carrier oil that captures the essence. For example 1 drop of peppermint is equivalent to 28 cups of herbal, peppermint tea. Highest grade of essential oils which a pure and therapeutic grade are between 50-70% stronger then their dried herb equivalent.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and have been found in 3,000-year-old tombs in the Pyramids. Early Greek physicians, including Hippocrates, mentioned aromatic plant essences and oil massages for their healing and mood-enhancing qualities.

Ancient Egyptians have used aromatic oils as early as 4500 BC in cosmetics and ointments. They used to make a mixture of different sources of herbal preparations such as aniseed, cedar, onion, myrrh, and grapes in perfume or medicine. On the other hand, the use of aromatic oils was first recorded in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine between 3000 and 2000 BC. In particular, the recorded history about China and India listed more than 700 substances including cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, and sandalwood as being effective for healing. In addition, Greek history documented the use of different oils for the first time between 500 and 400 BC, including thyme, saffron, marjoram, cumin, and peppermint. The earliest recorded mention of the techniques and methods used to produce essential oils is believed to be that of Ibn al-Baitar (1188–1248), an Al-Andalusian (Muslim Spain) physician, pharmacist and chemist. ( Source: Wikipedia)

The Holistic approach to healing

While 'modern medicine' treats a disturbance in the body by analysing symptoms, traditional medicinal approaches look at the human body in a more holistic way. Nutrition and emotional and mental health are considered crucial in treating physical illnesses in these approaches. As modern society struggles with the ills of an imbalanced lifestyle, this ancient wisdom becomes ever more relevant for study today. 

In an over stimulated world, aggravated by technology and speed, prevention of illness needs to become the focus of health care. Slowing down, paying attention and having patience are also key to natural healing. To access the healing powers of Nature, we have to live at a rhythm that Nature intended for us. 

How do we make a beginning ?

Often we tend to ignore the body as long as it is all working well and allowing us to fulfill our desires without any demands to our attention. It only becomes a focus for us when things start to go wrong. Illness demands more attention than health. 

However, most traditional and holistic approaches, invite us to become familiar with our bodies, even before they fall sick. To understand what health means and to maintain it consciously, to prevent imbalances and preempt disease. 

Nature is our greatest companion on this journey of self discovery, and as we open ourselves to the plant world, we open ourselves to healing. Health is the result of an exchange of energy between the human body and its natural environment. The more we align ourselves to Nature, the easier this flow of energy. 

Asha McLaughlin

Asha McLaughlin came to discover the power of natural healing because she herself was a sickly child. Growing up in a traditional American household that turned to doctors and pharmaceuticals for every small ailment, she was subject to several doses of antibiotics for diseases that kept recurring. This affected her digestive and immune systems negatively with consequences that she has had to address her entire life. She has gone from being frequently sick to having a steady health status through natural healing. 

Asha works as a natural health coach, yoga & meditation teacher and Reiki master. She specializes in stress management, hormone balancing and natural pain management. She has been studying natural health traditions for over 30 years including ayurveda, acupressure, essential plant medicine and targeted supplementation. Whilst she is not a medical doctor, her consistent self study and the mentorship of naturopaths and acupuncturists, has helped her develop insight. This community of healers informs her work and continues to train her. She believes that her practise of yoga and meditation have helped her strengthen her empathy for her clients. She lived in India twice for long periods and has been an active yoga practitioner and teacher for the past 28 years. She is certified in 5 different yogic traditions and has studied under B K Iyengar in Pune. She is currently based in Virginia, USA with her family.

Register for REVIVE : Sunday 7 Feb 2021

You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 

Topic: Essential Wellness with Asha McLaughlin   

When: Feb 7, 2021 06:00 PM India

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Join the REVIVE series every month

In 2020, during the COVID 19 lockdown, eCoexist began a series of web talks called REVIVE - as a way to reconnect with self, with community and with Nature. These talks started as chats between friends to see how we were going to work towards a new normal and to find a way to envision a different future. Slowly, our audience grew to include more people and the discussions to cover various aspects of Sustainability and Self. 

Every month, we welcome you to connect with us through the REVIVE talks, that is bringing together a fantastic community of sensitive and brilliant people, with whom we can co create a new future. 

The talks are free for registration and have ample time and space for a deep and authentic conversation with the speaker. Some of our guests are otherwise difficult to reach as they live and work in remote locations and so these are precious opportunities to hear from them in person. 

Visit the REVIVE webpage
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The Croak is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial. Satirical, urgent and wise the newsletter brings to your attention, topics of global environmental relevance as well as emerging encouraging alternatives. Put together by a team of passionate Nature lovers, The Croak hopes to look at the environmental crisis in its face. It is a tool to reconnect readers to Nature, through questioning and self reflection. To understand the outer environment as a reflection of our own inner state, individually and as a species. And to take responsibility for enabling change.
If you would like to contribute articles on ecology consciousness and sustainability please get in touch with us.

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