Last week, a severely overweight gentleman came to the Tea Lanai and inquired about remedies for bad knees, an inflamed lower back, and potentially a slipped disc. He continued in more detail of how his x-rays clearly show degraded cartilage, making the bones rub together and causing agony as he moves through his daily life. I asked the 6 foot man, who was in his 40s, how much he weighed. He told me that he weighed 240 pounds. I then immediately ran over to the nearby garden and grabbed a big garden pot and handed it to him. I asked him to hold it and not put it down, ever. I then asked him how much he thought it weighed, and he answered around 10 pounds. I then asked him about how much weight he thinks he needs to lose to get back into balance. He told me 40 to 50 pounds.
I asked him if we was getting tired holding the pot. He answered yes. I told him to imagine holding 4 large garden pots, weighing 40 pounds in total, and never putting them down, ever. Bringing the pots with him everywhere he went; holding the pots as he woke up and got out of bed; carrying them up flights of stairs, sleeping with them on top of him; sitting down while holding them; carrying this weight around and compounding his ever-deteriorating back and knee joints.
I explained to the man as he held the pot, of course the cartilage in his knees and spine are severely worn down. Of course his spine will start to curve and discs will be “slipped”. It seems to be a popular story of overweight “victims” blaming their knees, heart, hormones and/or back (to name a few). There is a sense of feeling let down by our own body. But the truth is, there is nothing in this world that is originally designed to carry a specific amount of weight, that does not eventually break when required to carry excess weight. It is that simple. So many of today’s health issues center around the "failing" of a structure that was pushed past its capacity, around obesity and excess weight. There is no way around it. No surgeries, no radiation, and no drugs that can fix excess weight and obesity in a truly sustainable, transformative, and positive way, without suppressing the real issue of excess stagnant, toxic weight.
So what to do? This brings me to plant medicine and its powerful and unique ability to cleanse, detoxify, and alkalize the body. The herbs enter the body and immediately work to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. It is these harmful toxins that comprise the excess 40 pounds of weight. The herbs, however, literally scratch and claw at the toxic soup that we refer to as excess weight. This gnarly soup is typically and predominantly comprised of any dietary combination of thick mucus from dairy, toxic carcinogens from meat, synthetic chemicals from sugars, and sticky “glu”-ten from wheat that binds it all together so very effectively.
As the herbs scratch and claw at the cancerous, toxic soup, the body is able to release the acids through bathroom visits, as well as skin pores and potentially other valuable cleansing lessons. As the herbs alkalize the blood and remove the acidic toxins, the body, mind and spirit begin to consciously, as well as chemically, seek more and more healing foods that are alkaline in nature, promoting a more balanced lifestyle. The all-powerful herbs also call in the high quality spring water for hydration, as well as more and more restoration during the cleansing process.
I later explained to the man, as he continued to hold the garden pot, how he had to trust the process. As the diet shifts, he would eventually be able to put the 4 garden pots down on the ground, one by one. And, once the weight falls away, he could allow the Comfrey plant to do its work to revitalize and regenerate the bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons in the knee and spine.
The human body is so precious. Let’s do everything in our power to take care of it in every moment of every day; and trust that there are such simple answers to even our deepest pains. These herbs act as interceptors in our healing journey. They have the ability to literally intercept a fast moving train headed for surgery. Again, we must trust the process, trust the plants, and trust ourselves.