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Starting my healing journey with plant medicine.

Some of my readers may already be aware of my health history, either through personal conversations or from simply reading blogs and posts that I have shared about it, but to fill you all in a little more, let us recap.

Almost 15 years ago, my body experienced a physical trauma from a reaction to a medication.

At the time of the event, anything that might have caused the reaction within my body and to the stress my immune system experienced was glimpsed over and I was treated symptomatically.

Even after experiencing over 48-hours of my body trying to purge everything it had consumed and a case of acute gut inflammation, and many hours attached to a drip to re-hydrate my system, I was sent away with some strong pain medication and recommendation for bed rest. As far as they could see, the symptoms I had presented with commonly pointed to food poisoning or viral load, but I knew in my gut that it was more than that. At the time, the science, knowledge, and professional confidence was not there to investigate the issue any further. So, I trusted in the people who I would assume know best and carried on about my way.

Before my reactive experience, I had been made aware that I may eventuate allergies or autoimmune diseases due to family history but there was nothing in play at the time for any cause of concern. So, I went on to try and maintain a healthy balanced diet, with low allergy foods. But I had never thought to consider what life would be like when these health concerns did surface.

I did not have to give it long.

I ended up seeing many GP’s, who could not find answers and when I ventured into the alternative medicine/holistic health space I found more questions than what I could find answers to. It was clear that my systems were experiencing overall inflammation, however the common question I was asked though, was why I might have high mercury levels. I did not consume fish on a regular basis or any other food-based products that may contain higher levels of

consumable mercury, so for a long time it was left unanswered.

It has taken almost 10 years since that event to be given some plausible answers as to what has caused my health grievances and even though I now have a good support network of health professionals, extensive knowledge in the space is still unknown. It’s suggested and assumed that I had an allergic reaction to an ingredient that was in a “safe” and routinely issued product (which I might also add, as of a couple of years ago this ingredient is now banned for use in Australia).

After developing varying forms of fatigue, it was clear there was something deeper going on with my system, my body was not processing and breaking down this “consumable” element, and as such my body has been in constant distress.

It is hard when you start experiencing things like this and from this experience, it is where most of my frustrations with the medical system have stemmed. I was conditioned by medical professionals that I was stressed. (Well DUH, my body was stressed out from experiencing an unresolved physical trauma that happened to compound on top of emotional trauma I was also experiencing at the time). And that was where the diagnoses stopped.

I started reaching out to medical professionals that were versed in the benefits of traditional eastern medicine practices and the aspect of complimentary therapies. Once I started combining them all, I stated to see improvements as well as answers to the questions that had arisen many times before.

My GP, who is a left of field and can see things beyond the symptomatic, started investigating some of the breakdowns in my body and how we could begin to treat them.

The first treatment offered was diet – because a serious doctor truly knows that food is your medicine. With restrictions and a plan, it was then acupuncture therapy to calm down the nervous system to allow the body to do its thing.

This process was never a quick fix approach, it has been almost 5 years into it and as the body does, when one function begins to heal, it begins apparent the next connective function needs healing too. It’s never a oh here, try this it should fix all your problems. It has been, we will try this and see what else show is up.

There are a lot of skeptics out there, who would be saying, well if they did not fix it in one go, then they do not know what they are doing. That’s a pessimistic way of looking at it, it is denying the fact that human physiology is a complex system and that our western medicine ideas do not even know a quarter of the bodies capabilities.

This journey though has been a lot of trial and error of therapies. Partially due to when one body function starts healing, the others that were helping that part stay together are now experiencing fatigue. But as much as I am in constant discomfort and distress, I know that my body is on the path to recovery.

I cannot imagine the ill health I would be experiencing now if I continued to ignore my bodies messages. And I suppose the reality for some, is they do not know they are living in such ill health because a lot of the body's stressors are now labelled as being acceptable by our western medicine! (WHAT!)

I have quite a few illness I’ve been labelled with over the years, (chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue (still up for debate if this is a real illness or not), multiple autoimmune dysfunctions, TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Nerve, Vein, Artery) microscopic blood clots due to vascular compressions at various sites, POTS, gut inflammation, hormonal dysfunction, and the list does go on) which I’m working towards healing. And if you have done you research about some of these, it all starts with the gut microbiome and the body’s response to stress. Which is my main trigger. What might not appear as a stressful environment, things like not eating regularly can set off a stress response. Even awakening during the night can offset an adrenal episode which can then take days for my body to process.

I have found through the support and guidance of some complimentary health professionals, that I can manage these reactions and their severity through alterations to my food consumption. Depending on the reaction on my body, it can be removing meat, introducing omegas or higher fibre foods. Including the addition of nutrient dense super foods and tinctures. To some, these super foods can be known as plant medicine.

I have recently introduced a regular ritual of ceremonial cacao, which is so nutrient dense and has great effects on increasing blood flow through the body as well as many other antioxidants and minerals. As well as the cacao, I have added functional mushroom extracts into my daily consumptions. The effects of these, even after a few days I cannot praise it enough.

With fatigue and particularly POTS, which can induce long moments of brain fog, I have noticed a significant increase in focus and clarity of mind with the use of these extracts.

The science with plant medicine is still small and not widely recognised in western medicine, however if you have ever investigated eastern medicine practices, the use of plant medicine in all its glory has been in use for thousands of years. It’s been a bit of a spell since I was attending acupuncture sessions regularly, but when I was, I offered Chinese herbals to assist in the effects of the acupuncture, and I will praise their use too (obviously with the guidance from a well-qualified practitioner).

When it comes to health, it is hard to feel confident in walking the path of alternative and complimentary medicines. Our modern day upbringing and conditioning has convinced us that if it isn’t synthetic in design and nature, it is no good to us. Knowing what I know now, this ideology seems wild! Why wouldn’t what the earth nurtured, without minimal intervention be good for is?!

Dietary evolution and over processing our foods is what I believe has led to the increasing sickness we experience in our bodies. We need to nurture ourselves with wholesome plant foods, with minimal processing and to assist in our spiritual evolvement. Most people who know me personally would probably say I do so much already when it comes to good nutrition, yet I know that what I practice is only a portion of what I know I’m capable of. I would love to hear more about your own journeys with nutrition and plant medicine, including what brought about beginning your own healing journey. lots of love, Sharai

Cover Photo by NoonBrew on Unsplash


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