Plants That Were Used In Ancient Cultures
Nature is referred to as Mother Nature, symbolizing her power to create, nourish and maintain creation. Man is aware of nature’s powers of creation, balance as well as destruction, but is not aware of the vastness and her sway over the entire universe. Unable to comprehend nature in her entirety, man holds her in veneration.
Man has over the ages learnt to explore the potential of the abundant plant life existing on earth and use it for his benefit. He derives food from the plant life and also depends upon the medicinal plants for cure simple aches, pains to major illnesses and diseases. Plants nourish man and provide him with food, clothing, shelter and complete protection.
Man has always recognized the medicinal and curative properties available in plants in forests. Since he has understood the significance and the importance of the plants for his well being, he has always been worshiping the plants and paying obeisance to nature through plant worship. This has been in practice since ages. Recent excavation of 60,000-year-old site in Iraq has provided the evidence to this fact.
Many people who practice meditation and spiritual practices coupled with ritualistic worship, use certain types of hallucinogenic plants that when consumed enable them to transcend the consciousness and explore the higher realms and the higher spirits to seek guidance. Shamnistic practices are alive in oriental and traditional cultures even today.
Since time immemorial people have believed that plants and trees are also living spirits with a soul except that they are at a lower mode of expression of life. Accordingly they believed trees to be some guardian angels or spirits. Hindu philosophy has ascribed various holy trees to different deities and considers them auspicious residence where deities reside.
Man uses the plants in nature for his food and other uses to make his life comfortable . Since it is Mother Nature that nourishes him, he refers to the principle and most important gifts of nature that he uses as ‘Mother’. Coconuts give us food, oil, fiber, shell , rope and many more things. Its each and every part is useful for us. Therefore in many cultures coconut is worshipped and also called Mother coconut. Similarly cocoa plant is called mother cocoa.
Just like how trees are homes to good spirits and angels, there are trees that are homes to evil spirits and ghosts too. People do pray and worship the evil entities requesting and appeasing to them to protect mankind from harm and evil influence. Many plants are used by magicians and sorcerers to prepare brews and concoctions. Witches are known to use plants like belladonna in their witchcraft to prepare poisons and other magic portions.
Nature is abundant with both good and bad. Similarly there are good plants and there are plants that are poisonous or bad for man’s use. It is for man to learn to use good things and avoid using bad things and respect nature and be thankful.
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