Thank You, Lobelia

This one really knocked the wind out of me. Literally.

My roommate got the seasonal cold going around, and I thought “aha! You eat only pasta, cereal, and bread. I’m sorry that you got sick, but I have been eating my organic foods, berry smoothies, and taking my winter tonic. I will not!!”

Then a co-worker spent the entire day accompanied by a roll of toilet paper. I offered her a New Chapter multivitamin and thought “Aha! I take my whole-food vitamins every day and my immune system is strong!” She warned me not to touch anything that she touched, but I blew it off with a “pshaw. I never get sick!”

So, last night, I was coughing as I dropped off a urinary blend for a dog in Cambridge, and was offered berries, a dose of Echinacea, and a hit off of a nebulizer. “No, no. I don’t have asthma. Haven’t had an asthmatic episode in yeeears.”

And so it hit. OK, so maybe I haven’t been so good about taking my winter tonic. I haven’t been this sick since I blasted my way through Ireland after a wedding there, and one of the family friends finally made Timmy take me to a doctor. Dr. Costello asked me to blow into a machine as hard as I could. OK. Done. He noted the results and turned back to me, “no, blow as hard as you can.” I stared at him blankly, wheezed, and said “…I did.” He sent me off with an inhaler.

When I was a child, the family doctor explained to my mother that I had asthma as an allergic response to the cold virus. I’m allergic to colds! What, the sneezing and sniffling isn’t enough; the airways to my lungs have to be obstructed, too?? And this on the eve of my 3-day weekend at the Eastern Regional Swissy show. Why don’t these things hit before a workday? For the same reason snowstorms hit during school vacation, I suppose. 😉

Sickness is always a wake-up call, and I needed to pay attention to some things. It’s funny, too, how sickness has memory. When I started getting a twinge of this, my subconscious kept sending up memories of childhood. They were vague and I passed them off. But when the full illness hit, it took me back to those days when I would sit up awake in my bed at night, because it was the only way that I could breathe.

Lobelia inflata is, to me, the perfect plant. When I was first studying herbalism, I theorized that each of the forms of the plant should correlate perfectly; i.e., the flower essence should address the emotional component that causes the illness that the medicinal preparation of the plant treats. With no other plant is it more clear than with Lobelia.

Lobelia opens up the lungs and bronchial airways, allowing one to take in breath. It is the premier herb in treating asthma. What is the emotional root of asthma? Stifling your ability to breathe in life; feeling suffocated and not speaking up. What is the flower essence that treats this? Lobelia! See, that’s what I mean.

I have no idea why I’m babbling about this – except that I can’t sleep and my Lobelia-soaked brain is leaning toward a state of delirium.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bed with my roll of toilet paper and a newfound conviction to take my winter tonic every day.


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