Permaculture .. II
Permaculture was slowly integrated in humans lives around 10K years ago. Ancient ancestors around the Fertile Crescent started for the first time in the planet’s history, manipulating the environment in a new way its never experienced before. Humans in this new creative lifestyle stopped having to migrate and were able settle into a more permanent location. This came with profound changes in many aspects. There became more people, more mouths to feed and more than anything, more people to treat medically.
We have discovered Human remains in caves in Iraq, dating back 60,000 years ago, that were using plant medicine. These ancient peoples had some sense of healing from their natural surroundings. Even Chimpanzee’s have been found that in the wild they will seek out noxious plants that they usually avoid, to cure themselves of parasites. Its no big secret that plants help us animal life heal, in todays world, still about 75% of all drugs derive from plants. The integration between plants and animals has been ever evolving for hundreds of millions of years.
Thousands of tablets have been documented from ancient Sumarian times, around 3000bc, about the uses of plant medicine. We could imagine that the first agriculturists were very excited to have medicinal plants at their command through plant propagation. They would have instead had to depend on natures offerings while they were nomadic. Settling down and cultivating food and medicinal plants seemed like the logical thing to do to insure the viability of future generations. They had the foresight of taking wild herbs, trees, and even honey, and cultivating them in abundance to help nourish and care for their sick. All parts of the plants anatomy were used; roots, bark, seeds, leaves, and flowers. Some of these plants included were willow, thyme, mint and even cannabis.
This meant that people started to live healthier longer lives. Life was able to become a bit more comfortable knowing that if you were to get an illness a plethora of dried and live plants were at your disposal. People even started to specialize in plant medicine, studying their effects on people and how they interacted with other plants. The knowledge was gathered and stored in many cultures. The Egyptians created one of the oldest scrolls containing over 800 herbs, Ebers Papyrus; the Greeks were blessed to have the father of western medicine: Hippocrates, and eventually every tribe around the world would have their own shaman or healer. Accompanying these new found healers of the world were the farmers. The farmers were the ones whom had to learn the herbs, trees, and bushes and how they grew, slowly helping them adapt to the new soils.
Permaculture became a way of necessity for our relatives thousands of years ago. It helped them accomplish a myriad of triumphs: the pyramids, Rome, and the Great Wall of China, just to name a few. These humans figured out how to manipulate their own environment to have a working relationship with their surroundings; a collage between the wild, integrated with your very own garden of eden. This trend continued for thousands of years and still does in many parts of the world (70% of the world in 2018 still relies on plant medicine as their primary source of healthcare). However, in the Western, so called, civilized world this inherited small scale farming tradition is waning fast to the point of extinction. Fewer and fewer people are taking part in this ritual, losing valuable information, and the outcome is having devastating long lasting effects on our species. Permaculture as a way of life for both food consumption and growing our own medicine is a perfect solution to the crisis that has arisen today. We can learn much from our ancient traditions as an Earthly race and the time has come to tap into such a wealth of knowledge.