The Power of Wild
This beautiful article entitled The Power of Wild, written by author and artist Aoife Fia, reminds us that Nature lovingly and unconditionally gives us everything we need in abundance, carrying survival information to help us to heal.
"Here's one secret: eat wild foods. These humble edibles are packed with adaptogens; that is, they're crucial to helping our bodies adapt to what life throws at us. Wild foods not only retain the vitamin and mineral levels that nature intended, they also carry critical survival information in their cells. When we ingest them, the wisdom that's allowed them to thrive out in the elements becomes a part of us." Anthony William, Medical Medium
Morning birdsong and dandelions are my first signs of spring, and I appreciate them more each year. As the weeks roll by and the first hardy little tufts of nettle and shy buds of red clover emerge it's like old friends have returned from their winter holidays. My year is framed by the wild foods that I love.
I had been eating nettles, wild berries, dandelions and other leaves for years before I started following Medical Medium. When I read his information on the power of wild foods I realised they were probably the reason I was still alive.
Bonny&Juicy Wild Blueberry Powder
All the foods we know today were once wild. For hundreds of years human beings have selected specific characteristics to cultivate in fruits and vegetables, focusing on taste, shape, size and colour. If you try wild carrot or wild celery you'll understand just how far that species has come from their present-day cultivated cousins – the wild ones are scrappy and strong!
In recent years there has been an awakening of interest in eating wild. Medical Medium says that many of these humble plants are vital in protecting us from modern toxins like radiation, toxic heavy metals, the viral explosion and man-made chemicals. They remind our cells how to be resilient.
I studied organic horticulture in my early thirties, and when I created my first garden it brought me into new relationship with the wild plants we modern humans call 'weeds'. Witnessing how resilient they were I was eager to learn more and so collected a little library of herbalism books, which now includes Medical Medium's Life Changing Foods.
The queen of the weeds is definitely the dandelion. As any gardener knows, they are relentless, popping up everywhere in early spring. The early blooms go to seed quite quickly creating whole new plants with new flowers and seeds, while the parent plant goes on to flower and seed a second time, and sometimes a third a few months later.
That's a lot of dandelions! Spring to autumn there will always be a dandelion flower shining at your feet or fluffy dandelion parachute floating by your face, no matter where you are, countryside or city.
When I was little I heard stories about how dandelions would make you wet the bed, but also about how their milky juice cured warts. They fascinated me. I respected their bitterness and soft-sweet smell. I learned that they were the bane of people who wanted perfect lawns, and that chemicals were created to kill them, but this only made me like them more. Because they always bounced back.
As chronic illnesses intensified in my thirties I was in constant pain. I was working for an environmental group writing in local newspapers and speaking on radio, drawing attention to the hazards of modern living with an emphasis on everyday pesticides used around homes and public spaces. The more I learned about the effects of man-made chemicals on our bodies and environment the more depressed I became, the less conventional fruits and vegetables I ate, and the sicker I got.
It seemed like the world was so full of toxins it was impossible to be healthy. But I didn't know that I was part of the problem. I thought I was, but I really wasn't, properly looking after the piece of Mother Earth I had complete responsibility for: my body.
I didn't eat for nourishment and detoxification; I ate by ideology, by intellect. I thought that by being part of the 'natural health' world, by eating organic and 'clean', I was on the right side. But the evidence was there for me to see each day: I wasn't getting any better; in fact I was going downhill fast.
Like so many do when they get really sick, I tried all the trends the natural health world has to offer. I really believed that if a remedy was old it was safe, and that modern industrial living was to blame for everything. Some solutions I tried offered temporary relief, but my overall trajectory was always downward.
Yet all around me the dandelions continued to sing their song of resilience and hope - no matter what chemicals were thrown at them, they just kept on adapting, shifting and moving forward without complaint. Why couldn't I be like that?
I was eating wild food most days, but the truth is I was also drowning myself in coconut oil, cacao, nut milks and butters, all of which I later learned from Medical Medium hinder the healing process.
''Dandelions shake you out of hibernation, getting your blood pumping and your organs cleaning house... Each bit has a different degree of bitterness, and this corresponds with different areas of the body that need different sorts of cleansing.
To start with, the flowers (which have some bitterness but are edging of slightly sweet) cleanse the hollow organs such as the stomach and intensional tract, gallbladder, bladder, lungs, uterus and heart.
Then there are the leaves. Phytochemicals in dandelion leaves purify the blood and also help bring it to hard-to-reach places, so the leaves are a must for circulatory issues... The leaves' bitterness is also geared to squeeze toxins out of the lymphatic system...
When you get to the stem of the dandelion, which is even more bitter than the flower and leaves, now you're in the world of cleansing the dense organs such as the spleen, liver, and brain - for example, by pushing out bile that's no longer useful...
And when you get to the dandelion root, you're detoxifying even deeper into those dense organs. This is the bitterest part of the plant, and it forces the organs to purge on the deepest level for an intensified purification. When it comes to detoxing, dandelion root is not for the faint of heart.'* (Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods)
The wild foods were helping me, but I wasn't helping them. I was swimming against their healing tide. One of the core principles of Medical Medium science is the understanding that fat/protein thickens the blood, thereby slowing down our bodys' ability to cleanse toxins and absorb nutrients.
" In actuality, it’s not the protein in foods that your liver requires in order to create the healthy proteins it uses. That’s right, it’s the liver that is responsible for producing the types of proteins your body can recognize. This is one of the liver’s undiscovered chemical functions... Most of the proteins the liver produces are created from fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables—not from eating the foods most people see as high in protein like eggs, bacon, yogurt, beef, chicken, tofu, fish, milk, nuts and seeds ."* (Medical Medium - Life-Changing Foods)
When we block ourselves up with plant or animal based proteins, the body doesn't have a chance to do what it needs to do in order to be healthy.
All a body really needs is a steady stream of good stuff going in and bad stuff going out. Nothing bad should voluntarily enter our bodies, no matter how appealing its origin story. There are certain wild foods we have always known are good for us, and there are wild foods that are harmful. It's important to know the difference.
Medical Medium recommends many wild foods to help us navigate these times of toxicity: rose hips, local edible berries including wild blueberries, nettle, raw honey, aloe vera, Atlantic seaweeds, burdock root, chaga, and red clover, to name a few.
When we pick any of these wild foods ourselves, or buy them fresh from a market, we get the added bonus of what he calls 'elevated biotics'.
"These microorganisms are different than the weaker soil-borne microorganisms which hide in the soil and support the plants below ground. Elevated biotics are able to handle a multitude of pressures from wind, rain, and environmental pollution. When consumed, these elevated biotics nestle deep in the ileum and create an essential bioidentical B-12. Even if you’re only able to once or twice a year, munch on some organic kale from the farmers’ market, pick an organic apple from an orchard, or snack on some tasty organic berries from a neighbor’s garden. In doing so, an amazing amount of elevated biotics floods your body. Elevated biotics from produce eaten 20 years ago are still providing support to your system and keeping you alive." (Medical Medium Life Changing Foods)
Wild plants like dandelions exist in conventional thinking as annoying pests. In the natural health world they are recognised as medicine, but lost in a vast sea of fads, exotic fixes and wishful thinking. In my current life they central to healing.
All the wild foods Medical Medium recommends are available to buy in dried or alcohol-free tincture form. I like to gather them myself in the growing season on my morning dog walks, spring to autumn, always following the universal rules of foraging:
#1 Don't take the first
#2 Don't take the last
#3 Leave plenty for other creatures
When I see that first rosette of light green leaves against the still sleeping dark earth it cheers me up. Then, as the first flowers arrive, more birds are singing, and the dark earth turns green, I remember that this is what life is all about: we are meant to grow and thrive. This is natural health. By eating wild I am remembering how to be like a dandelion – happily wild and free.
“O most honoured Greening Force,
You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.
You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries.
You redden like the dawn and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen who suffered chronic illness and encouraged eating bitters like dandelion for health.
*All quotes in italics are from Medical Medium, Life-Changing Foods, Cleanse to Heal and MedicalMedium.com
Written by Aoife Fia Aoife is an artist and writer from Ireland www.AoifeFia.com
SANTE SAUVAGE'S TOP TIPS ON WILD FOODS
- Eat at least one wild food a day
- Forage in clean areas where you know there has been no use of pesticides
- Harvest dandelion greens in the Spring and Summer (younger leaves are tender, older leaves are more bitter and tougher. Both are powerful allies for your health)
- Harvest roots as from Autumn after frost and early Spring before the early leaves come out
- Learn to forage ! Know your wild foods and be sure you are picking edibles
- Start with what's growing in your own backyard
Try the Medical Medium Brain Detox Bitters Juice from page 304 of the Brain Saver Protocols and Recipes
2 cups loosely packed dandelion greens
2 cups loosely packed kale
2 cups loosely packed spinach
Wild foods include fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, plants and sea vegetables
Some of the wild foods and wild medicinals recommended by Anthony William on sante-sauvage.com are: