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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


The Hardest-Working Beings on Earth

Plants are critical to our well-being—a fact first demonstrated in creation. On day one, God created light, a necessity for plants to grow. On day two, He divided the sky from the waters. On day three, He created the seas and the earth and placed vegetation on upon the earth—and thus was the beginning of plants. They were here before we were, created in anticipation of our arrival. They supplied most of our needs then, and I imagine they will forever, unless we somehow manage to destroy them all.

We are dependent upon plants because of the many ways they support life on Earth. They release oxygen into the atmosphere as they use sunlight to make food for themselves. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and keep it in balance—unless manmade things overwhelm their capacity to do so. They provide habitat and food for wildlife and humans. They regulate the water cycle via transpiration, where water evaporates from the surface of their leaves, and by absorbing groundwater (pooling below ground level due to percolation of rainwater) through their roots.

And that’s just the life-supporting environmental stuff. There are also the practical applications in our daily lives. Plants provide all our medicines that weren’t developed synthetically. They provide approximately 52 percent of the average American’s calories, and they are increasingly being proven to facilitate better health outcomes, thus decreasing healthcare costs and helping mitigate global warming.

When I switched to a mostly plant-based diet a few years ago, the results were quick and dramatic, beginning with easy weight loss and continuing with healthier blood pressure and  cholesterol levels, and clearer, more radiant skin. In fact, when I do eat meat, I can just about depend on a face breakout, in addition to bloating and sluggishness, all of which keep me on the plant-based path.

In other words, plants are powerful preventive medicine. But just as important is their power to heal—whether it’s human illnesses or an ailing Earth. Just another testament to the omniscience of our creator.

In addition to our plant-based home remedies, approximately 40 percent of the pharmaceuticals in the Western world are derived from plants that have been used for centuries. These include some of the top 20 best-selling prescription drugs in the United States today. About a quarter of these drugs are derived from plants; the active ingredient is extracted and replicated in a lab for mass production. While this percentage varies, it highlights the significant role that plants play in modern medicine. Even our houseplants are healers. Spider plants, peace lilies and snake plants purify the air by absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen in our homes.

Whether you love herbs for eating or for healing, don’t miss Joyce Connelly’s Top North Texas- Friendly Herbs for ideas on adding to your stable of hardworking plants. We also bear homage to one of the Lone Star State’s most beloved and prolific herbs, in partnership with Lavender Ridge Farms, in Gainesville.

Be sure to check out all that Natural Awakenings has to offer this month, from 2024 fitness trends to colon heath to hormone regulation—for men and women—as explained by Paget Rhees, owner of the North Texas BeBalanced franchises.

As always, we hope you will find much in this  month’s issue that will inspire and help you along your journey to live a healthier life on a healthy planet.

Blessings until next month,