Selected medicines of the jungle for common ailments
It is not an easy task to pick only a few medicinal plants between the many here in the biosphere of Costa Rica. The knowledge of jungle remedies is very strong in rural areas, and even botanists are puzzled by new species discovered every year. There are some versatile ethnobotanicals I love, I use and I am more familiar with in my practice. These plants are very versatile, as they don’t serve only one purpose; they may be food, and medicine too. Some of my favourite species are also used as a sacrament or connected to rituals. When planning a new medicinal garden I always want to include them. You’ll see why.
Mycoforestry is a branch of science concerned with the wonderful symbiosis of the fungal and vegetal world, the underground Hyndra’s net called mycorrhizal association. Whereas plants are strongly connected through a mycelium net we observe fluid communication, equal dispersion of nutrients and augmented forest health.
A good portion of people are quite familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda, but only a few number is aware of the precepts of the Medicine of the ancient Mayans. Why is it so?
Mayan Medicine is a millenia-old tradition, transmitted orally for so many generations despite colonization, civil wars and post-colonial evangelism brainwash. It still has a strong core, tough, resilient and palpable.
Yet, it is on the verge of extinction even within the rural areas of Guatemala where it was constantly practiced before.
Mayan elders found difficult nowadays to teach their medicine to young people who feel a generic pulse to move from the countryside or from the forest with the ambition to have a city life, different opportunities or a fresh escape. Moreover, books and documents reporting this ancient knowledge are very scanty. The lack of information itself is impacting the vitality of these powerful traditions and elders are struggling to keep them pure and not contaminated by modern revisitations.
The two most known Mayan therapies are very ancient reflexology techniques called the Neurosacral and Abdominal Massage. Beyond the physical manipulation, there is a substancial engagement of the emotional sphere and a regeneration of the Ch’ulel or vital universal force. It is absolutely necessary to learn and integrate the teachings of Mayan nahuales and Mayan cosmology before applying them, for this reason the cosmovision can’t be detached from the practice.
Even if most of the information is not structured, Mayan Medicine is an incredibly valuable and effective holistic practice, especially focused on the comprehension of the self and one’s role in the Cosmo. The wide variety of plants, rituals, minerals and shamanic elements in use makes it a remarkable and tailored experience, far beyond the sterile biomedical approach.
The realm of dreams, the subsconscious mind, the elements in nature and the inner journey are all essential blocks of a fascinating system where the apprentice is forced to perpetual investigation and to dynamic social sharing.
To mantain these traditions alive it is important to pass the knowledge. Having personally studied with a few elders of the Alta Verapaz and Costal regions of Guatemala and Belize, I may reflect today about the continuity of this heritage. All of my teachers died recently and with them a vast amount of wisdom, kindness and sarcasm.
How precious was their contribution to render an oral tradition into a more shapeable form..
Andrija Puharich, who died in 1995, was a pioneer in medical research to electrobiology and extrasensory abilities of the brain.
In the 60s Dr. Puharich and Dr. John Taylor discovered that the eight cycles per second were also the frequency band where the brain activated extrasensory abilities such as remote viewing, telepathy, telekinesis, etc., latent capabilities present in all of us.
In 1956 he was able to study an Indian mystic and observe how could freely change the frequency of your brain waves passing from one state of consciousness to another.
Kambo is a traditional medicine used by a few indigenous groups living in the Amazon basin. Considered as a jungle vaccine, Kambo is collected from the Phyllomedusa Bicolor frog and revered by tribes as a powerful medium of cleansing.
Kambo is becoming more and more popular outside of the jungle, but lots of questions remain so we asked Andrea Ferrara- an experienced Kambo facilitator- to talk in depth about his journey with the medicine.
“Is it too much to hope that a system of education may someday be devised, which shall give results, in terms of human development, commensurate with the time, money, energy and devotion expended? In such a system of education it may be that mescaline or some other chemical substance may play a part by making it possible for young people to “taste and see” what they have learned about at second hand…in the writings of the religious, or the works of poets, painters and musicians.”
The British visionary novelist Aldous Huxley had a clear mind about how to introduce psychedelics in formal education and foster the expanded consciousness in a guided school environment.
The human brain is a complex entity constantly at work, sending electrical signals, communicating, building new neural connections and so on. This electrical activity generated by the brain, also known as brainwaves, reflect our state of mind. Reality is not based on outside influences but is an internal process based on our thoughts, perception and emotions. If we deepen our understanding of these brainwave frequencies, we can control our reality. There are five different kinds of brainwaves – Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta and Gamma.