Natures Creation

NATURE’S CREATION – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants – Book & Cards

A wonderful book and card set for those who are passionate about medicinal plants. Use the book and cards to learn about over 40 medicinal plants, their history, myths and, most importantly, their healing properties. Discover how to utilise the plants’ medicinal qualities through a variety of herbal preparations. Tinctures, decoctions, flower essences, essential oils and herbal teas can be powerful tools in healing on all levels…physical, mental and emotional.

Each card has also been designed to provide insight and to aid in recognising an issue and facilitating its release or simply in using a particular plant for personal support. Choose a card daily or whenever you need guidance and support. Browse the corresponding chapter to get a feeling for the plant and what it’s offering you and to reflect on the gentle lesson it teaches.

Many of the insights in the book embrace spiritual practices for personal growth and balance. Yoga, meditation, fire ceremony and other modalities can be used to strengthen the plants’ healing abilities and assist in transforming, aligning and bringing balance.

Check out the book/cards set. The perfect Christmas gift!

Buy the book/cards on the website:


Deep Ecology

The scientific definition of the term “ecology” relates to the study of the interrelationships and interactions between living things and their environments.  In Deep Ecology the central idea is that people are an essential part of the planet and not just separate and detached observers.  Deep Ecology emphasizes the interdependent nature of human and non-human life as well as the importance of the ecosystem and natural processes.

Definition of Yoga

The root of the word Yoga is yuj, meaning “to join, to yoke, to concentrate one’s attention”.  Yoga is a method of practice leading to a conscious union of the human being with universal existence, internally and externally. This includes practices, philosophy, and lifestyle to achieve peace, power, spiritual wisdom along with perfect health, a sound mind, and a balanced personality.

Practicing Yoga with awareness of Deep Ecology is working with the forces of nature, which are not just material energies but powers of consciousness.  Working with the forces of nature occurs at both internal and external levels.  Internally, we need to balance the forces of our own nature as body, mind, breath, and spirit.  Externally, we need to harmonize ourselves with the world of nature and with the Cosmic Spirit behind it.  Each one of us is a manifestation of the entire universe and only when we discover the universe within ourselves can we really understand our purpose in life.

Yoga is a way of harnessing the secret powers of nature within us to manifest our own higher natural potentials for a greater awareness. This requires a very deep connection with the world of nature in body, mind, and heart. It cannot be done mechanically or en masse, nor made into a franchise. It requires an individual orientation to the living world, which is not just human society but all that is.  We cannot truly think or live yogically without doing so in an ecological way as well.

Check out Anahata Yoga Retreat NZ for their October 2018 Permaculture & Yoga course. Combine Yoga, Permaculture and Deep Ecology for an unparalleled experience.



Yoga (inner ecology) & Permaculture (outer ecology) – A Foundation for a Healthy & Sustainable Life

The outer environment is in danger from global warming, pollution, and myriad chemicals. As our toxic outer world spins out of control we become aware of the environmental dangers of disturbed emotions, disease, negative and aggressive thinking.

The external environment is a reflection of the environment within our bodies. When the external environment and ecology is out of synch, our inner ecology is also affected. The mental and emotional pollution within us needs to be restored and harmonised just as the outer pollution does. Yoga practices can restore the inner ecology and Permaculture practices can restore the outer environment and ecology…bringing back harmony and balance internally and externally. The two are intricately connected.

For inner and outer ecology we have to consider the food we are consuming…the soil and how the food is grown. If the food we eat is impure then our mind and thinking will be impure also. Food has a tremendous influence on our mind. It forms the mind as well as the body. If our environment is sick and depleted, we will become sick and depleted also. Through yoga we realize that it is our duty and responsibility to look after the two gifts we have been given, namely, the environmental complex upon which we depend for our survival, and the body-mind complex in which we live.

Combining Yoga & Permaculture is a foundation for a complete approach to living a sustainable and healthy life. Anahata Retreat in NZ invites you to join us in November for a unique Yoga & Permaculture Design Certificate course to learn how to balance these two important aspects of a sustainable, healthy life.

The last Permaculture & Yoga Course held at Anahata Yoga Retreat, New Zealand was such a huge success that we are offering the same course again this October.

Anahata Yoga Retreat
Yoga & Permaculture Design Certificate Course
4-22 October 2018 (18-day course)
+64 3 525 9887


We can all help the earth and make changes to live a sustainable lifestyle.

The outer environment is in danger from global warming, pollution, and myriad chemicals. As our toxic outer world spins out of control we become aware of the environmental dangers of disturbed emotions, disease, negative and aggressive thinking.

Permaculture (the word, coined by Bill Mollison…meaning permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.





Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including organics, agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy (solar, wind and hydropower), natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.


The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolution.

We can all do our part in helping the earth and becoming self-sufficient…one step at a time. Looking at installing solar, wind or hydropower, growing our own veggies, building earth-friendly houses, putting in water tanks to catch rainwater are just a few ways we can become sustainable.

Below is useful information put together by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage. Becoming sustainable begins with the home.

What impact does your home have on our environment?

If each of us aims to run a sustainable household, which means thinking about the type and amount of resources we use, how we recycle and dispose of materials, the steps we take to manage and conserve the natural environment we all depend on, we are not only conserving energy, we are saving money too.

Little things like changing to a water-efficient showerhead can save hundreds of litres of water a year, and stop your dollars going down the drain.

If we build houses that are well insulated and designed, then it will cost less to heat and cool them. If we consider our purchases carefully, a lot less waste will end up as landfill and pollution. Every year, each Australian generates, on average, more than 2000kg of rubbish; in NSW alone, we throw away $2.5 billion worth of edible food a year.

Water usage remains a key environmental concern and there are many ways to use it sparingly, without compromising on comfort. Whether it’s fixing a leaking tap or installing a household greywater system, every little bit helps.

Lots of little actions by lots of people can help turn things around. We have compiled some simple steps and actions you can take:

Save energy

Tips to improve your  with better heatingcoolinghot waterinsulation and lighting.

Be water-wise

Save water in the home and garden.

Smarter choices

Choose more water/ energy efficient appliances and compare the running costs of different models.

Recycling and waste 

Avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle waste by living sustainably.


Anahata Yoga Retreat holds Permaculture Design Courses yearly.

Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants book and cards.

From: Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants – Book and Cards

All the plants mentioned below are available in good health food stores.

Antibiotics have become one of the most over-prescribed “medicines” today. As a result, people have damaged their digestive systems and ironically, have lowered their natural immunity to all types of infections in the future. Attack infections with powerful natural antibiotics such as Echinacea and Golden Seal. These two can be taken together.


1. Echinacea

Purple coneflower or Echinacea is indigenous to North America.  Well known and extensively used by the Native Americans of the Great Plains, Echinacea became one of the most important medicinal healing plants for all tribes in the areas where various species flourished.  A debt of gratitude is felt towards the Native American healers who introduced the settlers to the healing wonders of this incredible herb.  Word of Echinacea’s healing properties soon reached Europe and the rest of the world, and it has since been widely researched and utilised.

Today Echinacea is best known for its positive effect on the immune system.  It is a mucilaginous herb with cool energy, which means it removes heat from the body, such as the heat of infection. 

Echinacea is considered beneficial for almost all infectious conditions, including upper respiratory infections, common cold, flu, and staph and strep infections.  Herbalists regard Echinacea as one of the best antibiotics and blood purifiers.  It assists in resistance to disease by activating the immune system.  Research shows Echinacea to be successful in inhibiting tumour growth in rats and confirms it aids in the production of interferon, which increases antiviral activity.  As a homeopathic remedy Echinacea is used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), indigestion, gastroenteritis and weight loss.  Echinacea has also been successful in treating arthritis.

Parts Used Medicinally

The root, fresh or dried, of either Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpurea is mainly used.  A tingling sensation is experienced when the root is chewed indicating the strength of Echinacea’s healing abilities. 

·       The root can be dried and taken by capsule as an immune stimulant. 

·       It can be made into a tincture to treat infections

·       A decoction can be used as a gargle for throat infections.


2.  Golden Seal

“I remember a young woman near Pineville, Missouri, who was very ill indeed.  The local M.D. said that she had Bright’s disease and held little hope for her recovery.  One of this woman’s male relatives searched the hills for days and finally dug up a root which seemed to do her more good than any of the doctor’s prescriptions.  She was still alive several years later, apparently much improved in health.  I interviewed the man who found the magic root.  He boasted that he had cured the woman ‘after all the doctors done given her up’ but refused to tell me the name of the root that did the business.  A doctor who saw the stuff, however, told me that it looked to him like yellow-root, by which he meant goldenseal (Hydrastis).”              

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-Ozark Magic and Folklore, by Vance Randolph-

Goldenseal is a folk medicine staple.  Mainly valued for its root, Goldenseal was used and recognised by physicians from the time of the American pioneer settlers until 1955, when synthetic drugs appeared on the market and began to replace herbal medications.The early settlers learnt the virtues of Goldenseal from the Native Americans, who used the herb medicinally as an antibiotic and antiseptic and prized the roots as a stain and dye.

Commonly known as orangeroot, Goldenseal is characterised by its yellow rootstock.  It is a striking perennial woodland herb in the buttercup or crowfoot family, indigenous to the moist mountainous woodland areas of the North American continent.The Goldenseal plant is native only to the eastern-central United States and southeastern Canada and requires a specific growing environment.  Because it is very difficult to grow if conditions are not suitable and exact, it is generally not a traditional medicine elsewhere in the world.

Powerful bactericidal and antiviral activity has been discovered in Goldenseal during clinical research.  These properties make the herbal remedy useful for a wide range of infections.  Goldenseal ‘s natural antibiotic properties have been utilised by Native Americans for centuries – internally for respiratory infections, liver problems, and digestive complaints, and externally for wounds, skin disorders and eyewash.  Goldenseal is recognised today as a potent herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer.  It stimulates the immune system to quickly identify and destroy pathogens, and if used early enough it is effective for nearly all kinds of bacterial infection.

Important to note:  Goldenseal is such a strong antibacterial that it kills almost all bacteria it contacts, including beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract (a similar action to antibiotics). Therefore, after a therapy of Goldenseal (or antibiotics), it is wise to take an L. acidophilus treatment in order to recolonise the gastrointestinal tract and replenish the beneficial flora.   Be aware that Goldenseal is also believed to interfere with vitamin B absorption if taken long term.  It is best if Goldenseal is used for short periods of time.  A continuous dosage exceeding three weeks is not advisable, and a break of at least two weeks is a must during the dosage regimen.

Parts Used Medicinally

·       Primarily the rhizome (root)

·       4-6 grams of powdered goldenseal root in pill or capsule form is the normal daily dose for most patients.

·       For infections and ulcers of the mouth, apply a poultice or tincture made from the root.

·       For sore throats, prepare a decoction and gargle 50 ml 3-4 times a day.

·       As an eyewash, use the contents of one capsule with three ounces of purified water.

Note:  Taken together Goldenseal and Echinacea are highly beneficial.  They become a dynamic wide-spectrum antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal, and strengthen the entire immune system.  Consult a herbalist or naturopath for advice before using.

 3.  Feverfew

This underrated herb is native to northern Europe, Feverfew is now common in many countries throughout the world.  The English common name, Feverfew, is derived from the Latin febrifuga, meaning ‘febrifuge’ – a medicine or treatment capable of reducing fever.

According to well-respected English herbalist and physician John Gerard (1545-1612), Feverfew is “very good for them that are giddy in the head.”  In the time of Gerard, Feverfew was most renowned as a successful cure for headache.  As the name suggests it is also an excellent treatment for fevers and can be used to lower the temperature and cool the body.  However, as other herbal medicines were developed, Feverfew lost some of its popularity over the years

All but forgotten, Feverfew regained popularity in 1978 when a British newspaper printed an article about a woman who claimed it had cured her migraines. This claim created interest in doing research on the herb.  In 1985 the well-respected British Medical Journal reported on studies showing that extracts of parthenolide (sesquiterpene lactone) in Feverfew inhibited the release of prostaglandins, inflammatory substances thought to play a role in the onset of migraines and also connected to rheumatoid arthritis.  The research indicated that Feverfew is an effective remedy in preventing migraines or lessening their severity.  Since then, other studies have shown Feverfew to be effective as a preventative for migraines in 80 percent of cases.  In his book The Family Herbal, published a century after Gerard’s time, author Sir John Hill wrote, “In the worst headache this herb exceeds whatever else is known.” 

Feverfew has been found to be more successful if taken over a period of time.  Statistics show that in the United States alone approximately ten million people suffer from migraines and thirty million from arthritis.

Parts Used Medicinally


·       Harvest in summer and dry.

·       For nervousness or pain, prepare an infusion of the flowers and allow to cool.


Contain parthenolide, the key constituent used in the treatment of headaches and migraines.

·       For migraine prevention, two or three leaves can be eaten or made into a tea.  Best with other food.  Adults can take this dosage up to three to four times a day.

Tincture – five drops of prepared tincture in water three times a day for prevention of migraines and chronic headaches.

Caution:  Fresh leaves have been known to cause mouth ulcers.  Always check with a naturopath or herbalist for contraindications and directions before taking any medication.  


4.  Nettle

Tender-handed stroke a nettle

And it stings you for your pains;

Grasp it like a man of mettle,

And it soft as silk remains.              

— Aaron Hill (1685-1750)

Nettle is as well known for its sting as for its medicinal benefits.  Commonly nicknamed stinging Nettle, this hardy perennial is one of the most undervalued plants despite its long history as a home herbal remedy and nutritious green.

Nettle grows in most temperate regions of the world. It is said that first-century Greek physician Dioscorides had several uses for Nettle:  the chopped fresh leaves to cover septic wounds, the cooked leaves mixed with myrrh to stimulate menstruation and the juice to stop nosebleeds.  Today Nettle is used for both its medicinal and nutritional value.

Medicinally, the constituents of the whole plant can be utilised to treat asthma and dandruff, as a diuretic and as a stimulating tonic.  Nettle is also excellent in the treatment of anemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin conditions, especially eczema and burns.  Being stung by Nettle regularly while gardening is believed to give protection in later life against arthritis and rheumatism.  Native Americans used Nettle tea as an aid in pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. Research in the United States, Germany, and Japan shows the root of Nettle to be beneficial in the treatment of enlarged prostate.

An infusion of Nettle is used as a cleansing tonic and blood purifier for hay fever, arthritis and anaemia.  Nettle tea also cures diseases and inflammations of the urinary system.  It has a slightly laxative effect and is recommended in remedies for eliminating toxins and purifying the system.  Treatment with Nettle teafor diseases of the liver and spleen will last for a number of weeks.  The tea can also be of great help to those who suffer from diabetes because it acts specifically to lower glycaemic response and decrease blood sugar levels.

Nutritionally, Nettle is high in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A and C, iron, silica and potassium.  Throughout history, it has been used as a nourishing tonic and a valuable addition to the diet.  Good gloves must be used for harvesting in summer.  Thoroughly drying or cooking the leaves neutralises the sting and makes them safe to eat.  Young leaves can be added to soups or stews.  Nettles have been used in making beer and cheese while the flax-like fibre in the stems makes excellent string and cloth and good quality paper. Nettle is an excellent companion plant in orchards and improves the health of fruit trees.

Parts Used Medicinally

Aerial parts – leaves

·       Steam as a nutritious vegetable.

·       Infusion (tea):  Use as a general tonic.  To retain the active substances, steep fresh or dried leaves in boiled water.

·       Ointment:  for skin problems such as eczema


·       Tincture:  for allergies and skin conditions

·       Capsules:  for heavy menstruation

Infusion: similar properties to saw palmetto for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate in men)


5.  Tulsi

Native to India, Tulsi has been praised in Indian scriptures and lore since the time of the early Vedas in the second millennium BC.

In the wild, Tulsi is an annual plant, but it can be kept as a short-lived perennial by trimming before it forms seeds.  It is closely related to the annual culinary herb sweet basil.  With its remarkable heritage, restorative powers and stress relieving properties, Tulsi has been revered in India for over five thousand years as a healing herb for body, mind, and spirit.  This most sacred of all plants, worshipped in Hindu temples as a living goddess, has earned the title Queen of Herbs.  A Hindu household is considered incomplete without a Tulsi plant in the courtyard, as it is believed to have a sacred aura and provide divine protection.  According to scientists, the place where Tulsi is planted becomes pollution free.

It might be easier to list what Tulsi cannot do.  This miraculous plant has so many medicinal virtues that a whole book could be written about its healing power.  Tulsi is one of the most important plants in Ayurvedic medicine, a five-thousand-year-old healing science that goes hand in hand with yogic philosophy.  It has the ability to regulate and balance all three doshas (body and mind types), creating purity and lightness in the entire body.  Traditionally Tulsi was used to stimulate and boost the immune system.  Its purifying action, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins and congestion, has a significant effect in the treatment of colds and flu.  Its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are valuable in the management of arthritis pain.

Western medicine uses the term adaptogen for herbs like Tulsi that help to balance, normalise, strengthen and protect functions in the body.  Results of modern studies of Tulsi show that it …

·       is effective in treating a range of medical conditions from diabetes to cancer; 

·       neutralises free radicals and inhibits the production of inflammatory prostaglandins;

·       is similar to antidepressant medication in its effect on the neurochemistry of the brain;

·       protects against damage caused by toxic chemicals in the blood;

·       limits damage from cancer radiation therapy and protects the heart from damage caused by the chemotherapy drug adriamycin; and

·       substantially lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics who are non-insulin dependent.

The nutritional and pharmacological properties of whole herbs in their natural form, as they have been traditionally used, result from synergistic interactions of many different active phytochemicals.  Consequently the overall effects of Tulsi, like those of other herbs, cannot be fully duplicated with isolated compounds or extracts.  Because of Tulsi’s inherent botanical and biochemical complexity, its standardisation has so far eluded modern science.  Perhaps best known of the many active compounds that have been identified and extracted are eugenol (an essential oil) and ursolic acid.  Although Tulsi is recognised as a general vitaliser that increases physical endurance, it contains no caffeine or other stimulants. 

Parts Used Medicinally

Leaves and aerial parts

·       Juice:  for skin infections and eczema

·       Decoction (tea):  immune system boost, tonic for fevers and colds

·       Capsules:  300-600 mg dried leaves as preventative therapy, 600-1800 mg as curative therapy

6. Turmeric

Turmeric has been used and studied in Indian Ayurvedic medicine since about 1900 BC.  Native to India and southern Asia, it is one of the most important herbs ever discovered for preventing disease and treating a wide variety of ailments.  Few plants possess such a wide spectrum of qualities and medicinal uses as Turmeric.  It is most renowned as an effective and powerful anti-inflammatory that compares to many popular pharmaceutical medicines.  Turmeric also finds its place in almost all Ayurvedic preparations related to liver and skin disorders.  It has proven successful in the treatment of some of the most debilitating ailments today, including arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, kidney and urinary tract infections … to name but a few of its healing abilities.

In India Turmeric is considered the standard anti-inflammatory.  The principal organs it deals with are the skin, heart, liver and lungs.  It also nurtures the entire gastrointestinal system and generates healthy digestion by increasing the intestinal flora, the bio-availability of nutrients and the stomach’s ability to withstand digestive acids. It is added to food not just for flavour but also for medicinal purposes.

Modern science is beginning to recognise and understand the amazing healing qualities of Turmeric and much research is currently being conducted.

Research in the latter half of the 20th century identified the compound curcumin as responsible for most of the biological activity of Turmeric.  Curcumin is one of three curcuminoids in Turmeric that produce its bright yellow colour. While curcumin alone has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal actions, Turmeric has hundreds of other molecular constituents, each with a variety of beneficial effects.  One database noted that Turmeric initiates over 326 known biological activities.  At least 20 of its molecules have antibiotic properties, 14 are known cancer preventatives, 12 are anti-tumour, 12 are anti-inflammatory and at least 10 are antioxidants. Turmeric also protects the liver from toxins and pathogens.  It is known to both destroy toxins in the liver and rebuild the liver after a toxic attack.

Rudolf Steiner once identified Turmeric as having a “magnetic nature,” meaning that it literally attracts illness out of the body and comprehensively eliminates toxins.

Parts Used Medicinally

Dried rhizome

·       Take as a tincture or in pill form to treat specific issues.

·       As a preventative, add the powdered rhizome to food.

Note:  No major side effects have been reported in the medical literature, however as with all medicines, Turmeric should not be taken long term unless directed by health professional. 


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I’m sharing Nature’s Creation Arnica as came sharply and painfully to my attention last night when I spilled some water on my kitchen floor. I neglected to dry the floor completely and I found myself skating ungracefully across the floor and falling heavily on my terracotta tiles with my coccyx bone taking the brunt of the fall. I immediately applied arnica cream and ice and sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself and in a lot of pain.

Today, with the help of Arnica, I’m able to walk but still in pain. I will continue to use it until the deep bruising has diminished and I’m pain-free.

Reading the INSIGHT at the bottom reminded me that my focus and mind was on making my dinner and getting out of the kitchen as quickly as possible and not on AWARENESS. The accident would not have happened if I had been aware of my body and movements. A good lesson!

Natures Creation ARNICA


Family: Asteraceae (or Compositae) – Aster family

Botanical Names: Arnica montana, Arnica angustifolia

Flower of Reconnection

Planets: Saturn, Moon

Element: water

Arnica species, known as Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco or Wolf’s Bane, are native to Europe and Siberia, northern and southwestern United States and parts of Canada.  Arnica montana and Arnica angustifolia grow wild in the temperate mountain forests and grassy areas of the central part of the European continent and in the mountains of Siberia.  The circumboreal and montane genus of Arnica montana is present mostly in the temperate regions of western North America and southern Canada.  In countries where Arnica is indigenous, it has a long history as a potent herbal remedy.

A member of the aster (sunflower) group, Arnica is a genus of about 30 species in the Asteraceae (Compositae) family.  The genus name Arnica is said to be derived from the Greek word arna meaning “lamb” … in reference to the soft leaves that resemble lambs’ ears. Greek , an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, is the language of the Greeks. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. In its ancient form, it is the language of classical…

According to a European folk tale, the medicinal value of Arnica was first recognised by shepherds who observed that their injured animals were attracted to the Arnica plant.  During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, countless physicians utilised Arnica preparations for contusions, bruises, sore muscles, and pain from arthritis and rheumatism.

Arnica montana is probably best known as an ointment for bruises and sprains.  Its anti-inflammatory properties improve local blood supply and accelerate healing.  Europeans first discovered the healing properties of Arnica in the sixteenth century.  However, use of Arnica is thought to have prevailed for centuries before that.  Native Americans were familiar with Arnica by the time the early settlers arrived in the “New World.”   They were already applying poultices of Arnica to soothe and heal strained muscles and bruises.  The settlers recognised the North American Arnica species (A. fulgens, A. sororia and A. cordifolia) and found their medicinal qualities to be closely related to those of the familiar European plant, Arnica montana.

Italian physician and naturalist Matthiolus (1501-1577) documented conclusive beneficial results from the use of Arnica as a tincture for bruises, rheumatic pains, heart weakness and asthma.   German scientist and writer Goethe (1749-1832) claimed Arnica saved his life when he was overcome by a life-threatening illness and high fever.  Arnica also has a long history of medicinal use in Russian and Swiss folk medicine.

In herbal form, Arnica is primarily restricted to external use.  Arnica extracts, ointments and compresses are used to reduce inflammation and pain from bruises, sprains, tendons, dislocations and swelling.  Plastic surgeons now recommend Arnica creams to their patients to reduce post-surgical bruising, and many athletes carry a tube in their gym bags. 

Arnica must be consumed orally only under strict guidance from a health professional.  The internal use of Arnica is limited to homoeopathic dosages due to its potential toxicity.  Homoeopathic doses are extremely diluted with no detectable amount of the plant.  Arnica in this form is considered safe for internal use when taken according to the directions of a homoeopath.  It is most often the first homoeopathic remedy used for injuries such as sprains and bruises.

Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., (1755-1843) pioneered today’s system of homoeopathic medicine.  Dr Hahnemann researched Arnica and experimented with it on hundreds of subjects.  The subjects, who were unaware of what they were taking, were asked to document the effects of Arnica over a long period of time.  The results were significant and he found that Arnica healed everything from physical injury trauma, gout and rheumatism to sleeping problems and emotional problems.  Today, Arnica montana is one of the most effective sports medicines, referred to as “the aspirin of homoeopathy.”

Plant-based medications are well researched in Germany, where Arnica is extremely popular and well known and an ingredient in as many as 300 herbal preparations.  Commission E (a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine), Germany’s authority on herbal medications and preparations, specifies Arnica as a treatment for various post-traumatic conditions such as bruises, sprains, contusions and rheumatic disorders.  Once prevalent, wild Arnica is now on the decline in Europe and America.  Since Arnica montana has become scarce in parts of Europe, the focus is now on cultivated crops.  

Arnica contains numerous active chemical constituents.  Recent studies confirm that terpenoids such as the sesquiterpene lactones helenalin and dihydrohelenalin are the major ingredients responsible for its beneficial effects, particularly the potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action.  The alkaloid arnicin is another main active principle of Arnica.  Other important constituents are 0.1 percent volatile oil containing thymol (antiseptic) and flavonoids (antioxidant). 

Daisy-like plants from the Asteraceae family that contain a high percentage of sesquiterpenoid lactones such as helenalin can cause allergic dermatis in some people.  Although Arnica is a valuable and dynamic herbal remedy, it is best to use it with caution and never take internally or apply to broken skin or open wounds.  To avoid an allergic reaction, it is best to use Arnica ointments and creams containing not more than 20-25 percent Arnica tincture. 

Parts Used Medicinally

The flowers, fresh or dried, are the parts most commonly used medicinally in tinctures, creams and ointments.  The constituents in the stems, leaves and rootstocks have a different composition to those in the florets and are seldom used.


Studies show that 70 percent of human immune system response is connected to emotions.  If one is discontented or depressed the immune system becomes susceptible to dis-ease.  Modern Western philosophy and medicine are only just beginning to understand the relationship between the mind and physical health and how feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour are interconnected with overall health.  Psychological and social stress have a strong effect on the immune system.  This knowledge is not new in Eastern philosophy.

Ayurveda is an ancient system of life (ayur) knowledge (veda) developed in India over 5000 years ago.  Chinese philosophy follows a similar belief system.

Ayurvedic belief is that man is a complex structure of physical, biological, mental and spiritual factors.  Disease or optimum health result from the interconnectedness between the self and the physical, mental and emotional environment.  Balance and harmony (homeostasis) must exist in order for the body to remain in a healthy state.  The goal of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine is freedom from disease through a strong immune system.  It is acknowledged that negative thoughts and lifestyle can result in dis-ease and that illness is often a direct result of the relationship between self, personality and everything that goes into our mental, emotional and spiritual being.

Nature has designed us all to maintain perfect health.  Every day our immune system is exposed to millions of bacteria, viruses, allergens and other toxins.  If we are balanced on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, we are able to maintain homoeostatic equilibrium, and the immune system remains strong and resists infection.  However, when stress, fatigue or poor nutrition weaken the immune system, ill health can develop.  If you have chosen the Arnica card, you may be having some “ah ha!” moments at this time, possibly relating to this information.

Optimal health is our birthright and in large part up to each of us.  Arnica teaches us this important lesson.  Every day we’re given the option to reconnect with our intuitive knowledge and make either positive or negative choices.  The body knows its own nature and what it requires to maintain proper balance.  When we make wise choices, we maintain wellbeing and happiness.  The universe has a way of giving us what we need and getting the message across in whatever manner necessary. Sometimes the learning process may appear negative and even harsh, but these lessons are actually a wake-up call and the Arnica card is letting you know it is worth listening.

Therefore, the lesson Arnica is imparting is to look to positive ways of releasing stress or negative patterns and find new or old (forgotten) ways of maintaining balance and good health.  If it feels right, look into nurturing yourself with some Ayurvedic massages.  Talk to an Ayurvedic practitioner for the best Ayurvedic treatment for you.  Ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand.  Taking up yoga and/or meditation along with Ayurvedic treatments would be ideal.  Use Arnica as a homoeopathic remedy to help with reconnecting whilst moving through this process.

“Please keep in mind the distinction between healing and treatment:  treatment originates from outside, whereas healing comes from within.”

Andrew Weil

 The Celestine Prophecy

I read the Celestine Prophecy some 20+ years ago. One of the most important teachings I learned from this wonderful book, and still use today, is how to determine and recognise the subtle energy manipulations that people use to draw most of us into their dramas. Learning and distinguishing between the four types of Energy Dramas has been a blessing. Once I learned this skill, I’ve been able to extinguishpotential flare-ups before they evolve, avoid energy drain and to give and receive energy in a positive way.

A subtle energy exists, previously undetected by science, that forms the basis of all things. Human perception of that energy starts with an increased awareness of beauty: people, animals, plants, ecosystems that have a high level of that energy appear particularly beautiful. By becoming aware of that energy, we become able to notice when and how we give and receive energy.

A fundamental assumption underlies most human interactions: we must compete for this energy, drawing it from others and protecting ourselves from others’ attempts to draw it from us. This leads to some nasty interactions.  

There are four main methods used to get energy, called “Control Dramas“

The 4 types of energy theft

Living The New Spiritual Awareness

Below James Redfield Explains the Control Dramas from the Celestine Prophecy and how to overcome them.


The great achievement of the interaction of psychologists was to identify and explain the way humans tend to compete and dominate each other because of a deep existential insecurity. It has been from the East, however, that we have gained further clarification of the psychology underlying this phenomenon.

As both science and mysticism demonstrate, humans are in essence a field of energy. Yet the East maintains that our normal energy levels are weak and flat until we open up to the absolute energies available in the universe. When this opening occurs, our chi – or perhaps we should call it our level of quantum energy – is raised to a height that resolves our existential insecurity. But until then we move around seeking additional energy from other people.

Let’s begin our discussion by looking at what really happens when two humans interact. There is an old mystical saying that where attention goes, energy flows. Thus, when two people turn their attention to one another, they literally merge energy fields, pooling their energy. The issue quickly becomes: Who is going to control this accumulated energy? If one can dominate, managing to get the other to defer to his point of view, to look at the world in his way, through his eyes, then this individual has captured both energies as his own. He feels an immediate rush of power, security, self-worth, even euphoria.

But those positive feelings are won at the other person’s expense, for the dominated individual feels off center, anxious, and drained of energy.

All of us have felt this way at one time or another. When we are forced to defer to someone who has manipulated us into confusion, thrown us off balance, shown us up, we suddenly feel deflated. And our natural tendency is to try to win energy back from the dominator, usually by any means necessary.

This process of psychological domination can be observed everywhere, and it is the underlying source of all irrational conflict in the human world, from the level of individuals and families all the way to cultures and nations. If we look realistically at society, therefore, we see it is an energy-competitive world, with people manipulating other people in very ingenious (and usually quite unconscious) ways. In light of the new understanding of the universe, we can also see that most of the manipulations used in this regard, most of the games people play, are the result of basic life assumptions. In other words, they form the individual’s field of intention.

When we move into interaction with another human being, we must keep all this in mind. Every person is an energy field consisting of a set of assumptions and beliefs that radiate outward and influence the world. This includes beliefs about what an individual thinks other people are like, and how to win inconversation.

Everyone has a unique set of assumptions and style of interaction in this regard, which I have called control dramas. I believe that these “dramas” fall along a continuum ranging from very passive to very aggressive.

Everything is EnergyAlbert Einstein


Most of us, throughout life, hear various complaints from others about our behavioral patterns. The human tendency is to ignore or rationalize away these complaints in order to go on with our preferred style of life. Even now, when knowledge of self-defeating scripts and habits is becoming a greater part of human awareness, we find it very difficult to view our personal behavior in an objective manner.

In the case of severe control dramas in which a person has sought professional help, crisis reactions can undo years of progress and growth in counseling as the old patterns, once thought conquered, reappear. In fact, one of the emerging revelations among professional counselors is that true progress takes more than the catharsis that occurs during the personal exploration of early childhood traumas. 

We now know that to end these unconscious attempts to gain energyandsecurity, we must focus on the deeper, existential basis of the problem and look beyond intellectual insight to tap a new source of security that can function regardless of external circumstances.

Here I am referring to a different type of catharsis – one that the mystics have pointed to throughout history and one that we are rapidly hearing more about. Knowing what we do about the energy competitions in human society, our challenge is to look closely at ourselves, to identify our particular set of assumptions and the intentions that constitute our drama, and to find another experience that allows us to open up to our energy within.  

Here is a link to a good YouTube video. 


From: Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants

Cacao copy

Family:  Sterculiaceae 
Botanical Name:  Theobroma cacao
Pure Indulgence – Plant of the Gods
Planet:  Venus
Element:  Fire

The Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus gave the name Theobroma, meaning “food of the gods,” to the genus from which the Cacao tree evolved.  The word Cacao (pronounced kah KOW) originates from the Mayan word “kakaw.”   The word “chocolate” may come from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, derived from “xocolatl” meaning “bitter water.”

The genus Theobroma originated in the Andes of South America thousands if not millions of years ago.  The recorded history of Cacao use began with the Olmec civilisation (1200-400 BC) in the tropical rainforests of south-central Mexico.  Cacao residue found in several jars from the archaeological site of Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, Mexico, dated from around 1100 BC.  Puerto Escondido also has the earliest known archaeological evidence for the use and domestication of Cacao.

With the decline of the Olmec civilisation around 600 BC, the Mayan empire developed and spread over most of Central America.  Jars excavated in Belize containing residue of Cacao date back to approximately 600-400 BC.  These jars were marked with the Mayan glyph for Cacao.  The Mayan civilisation vanished around 1300 AD and their Toltec and Aztec successors began to flourish to the north in what is now Mexico, and the Incas to the south, now Ecuador and Peru.  What do these cultures have in common?  They all referred to Cacao as “food of the gods.”   It was an important luxury and held a sacred place in rituals and religious ceremonies.

Cacao has a very rich heritage and history.  According to one source, evidence indicates that the earliest use of Cacao was as an alcoholic beverage.  It was also consumed medicinally as a drink to combat fatigue.  This quality may be attributed to the plant’s theobromine content.  In pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilisations Cacao beans were the basis of a ritual and medicinal beverage called xocolatl, a bitter, spicy drink seasoned with the indigenous spices vanilla, chilli pepper and achiote (annatto).  Maize gruel as an emulsifier and wild honey as a sweetener were also added.  Mayans and Aztecs believed the beverage was of divine origin and drank it with extreme reverence.

These ancient cultures also used Cacao beans as currency.  The beans were considered so valuable that four could buy a pumpkin, ten a rabbit and a hundred a slave.

The Cacao tree was thought to be a bridge between Earth and heaven.  The Aztecs associated Cacao with the god Quetzalcoatl and with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility.  According to Aztec myth Quetzalcoatl travelled to Earth from Paradise on a beam of the morning star.  He carried with him a sacred Cacao tree to deliver to the people.  He taught them how to roast and grind the Cacao seeds and convert them into a paste to be dissolved in water and made into a drink believed to bring universal wisdom and knowledge.  However, when the gods discovered that Quetzalcoatl had shared the Cacao with mere mortals they became angry and cast him out of Paradise.  Human sacrifices dedicated to Quetzalcoatl were performed and the one to be sacrificed was offered a last meal of Cacao.

Christopher Columbus is said to be the first European to discover the Cacao bean, but it wasn’t until the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs that Cacao was imported to Europe, where it quickly became a favourite of the aristocrats.  In 1554 Hernando Cortez introduced Cacao to the Spanish court as a culinary and medicinal seed.  The first recorded commercial consignment to Europe was a shipment from Veracruz to Seville in 1585.  At that time it was still served as a beverage and not truly appreciated until sugar and milk were added to counteract the natural bitterness.  The chilli pepper and annatto were eliminated in favour of vanilla.

José de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and Mexico in the late 16th century, described Cacao as “Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste.  Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country.  The Spaniards, both men and women, that are accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate.  They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that ‘chilli’; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh.”

Cacao is an evergreen tree that grows up to 40 feet in height and is hardy only in moist, tropical climates.  The Cacao tree is still found growing wild in the hot, humid foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins where it is protected by the shade of the tropical forests.  Conditions here are perfect for the cultivation of the Cacao tree.  Most of today’s commercial Cacao production is in eastern Brazil, South America and the Ivory Coast and other African countries.  The pods, which contain 20-60 Cacao seeds (commonly called “beans”), grow directly on the trunks and larger branches.  The pods are generally harvested twice a year, and the seeds are semi-fermented and dried, then ground and roasted.

Sadly, large Cacao tree plantations have replaced much of the diverse rainforest.  However, the transformed habitat has led to lower productivity of the trees, forcing growers to look at alternative methods of cultivation.  A “cabruca” forest is one in which Cacao trees are planted in the understory of the native forest, where they flourish in the shade, rather than as a monoculture following clearcutting.  By leaving the original forest canopy intact, cabruca forests preserve much of the plant diversity.  The rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem in the world with an abundance of unique species of plants found nowhere else on the planet.

The Mayans, Aztecs and Incas were all aware of Cacao not only as a divine beverage but also for its medicinal qualities.  Science has verified that Cacao is beneficial for health.  For example, it provides significant protection to the cardiovascular system.  It contains nearly twice the antioxidants of green tea or red wine … providing more than 21 times the free radical protection of green tea.  Raw Cacao contains antioxidant polyphenols – catechin, epicatechin and gallic acid.  Epicatechin and its metabolites have been singled out as providing Cacao’s vasodilation benefits (widens blood vessels by relaxing the muscular walls and increasing blood flow), which help prevent thrombosis and hypertension.

Cacao is believed to be the richest source of magnesium of any common food.  Nearly 70 percent of the population is deficient in magnesium, one of the most important minerals in the body.  It is the number one mineral that assists and supports the cardiovascular system for healthy heart functioning and normal blood pressure.  Low magnesium levels have been found in patients who died from heart attacks.  Magnesium supplementation is as important as calcium supplementation in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.  Studies have found magnesium supplementation may help relieve tension headaches, muscle tension and associated pain and cramps.  Low magnesium has also been found in chronic migraine sufferers.

According to one information source, over 350 constituents have been found in chocolate, including theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamide.  Theobromine, the alkaloid contained in the beans, resembles caffeine in its action, but its effect on the central nervous system is less powerful and it doesn’t disturb sleep.  The theobromine in chocolate prevents animals from eating it; they cannot process it efficiently and it causes a toxic build-up in their systems. 

Phenylethylamine is partly responsible for the “high” you get from eating chocolate, because it facilitates the release of dopamine, the “pleasure” neurotransmitter.  Anandamide, another neurotransmitter found in chocolate, is responsible for prolonging the pleasurable sensation.  The word anandamide is derived from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” meaning bliss.

Parts Used Medicinally

Seed pods

Cocoa butter extracted from the seed can be used externally to soften skin and soothe and heals burns and damaged or chapped skin.  It can also smooth skin wrinkles.

Insight (The lesson that the Cacao plant imparts)

Venus, goddess of love, is the ruling planet of Cacao.  Cacao, the food of the gods, induces and celebrates love.  The energy of Cacao is all about love … not just the love we give to our family or partner.  It is the love we express daily from within in our relationships with everything around us.

The Cacao card is the most “transparent” and important card in the deck.  It is clearly appearing to you today to bring the aspect of love to the forefront of your life.  It will help guide you into relationship with all living things.  It will open you up to joy, heal a broken heart, assist you on your spiritual inner journey and bring peace and compassion into your life. 

When visualising chocolate we automatically think about love and connect it to the heart.  However, Cacao has healing potential on another level:  It can assist in the health of the heart.  As an antioxidant, Cacao boosts the immune system and lowers stress, supporting the cardiovascular system and in turn, the heart.  Cacao also stimulates anahata (the heart chakra).  We gain strength and wisdom by activating the anahata chakra.  Therefore Cacao can be of great assistance if you are on a spiritual journey.

Embrace the notion that Cacao raises emotional energy and has the power to transport and inspire you beyond brief culinary pleasure.  Look to Cacao for support.  Feel free to indulge in chocolate, remembering moderation and balance.  But be aware that the market is flooded with chocolate full of additives, preservatives, full cream and white sugar that will counteract the healing benefits.  Look for dark organic chocolate (Cacao) with minimal ingredients and sweetened with organic raw sugar or honey, and develop a taste for pure love.  Raw organic Cacao from Peru (see the Information & Reference Guide) is available in most good health food shops.  

Use good quality pure cocoa butter on the skin as a healing lotion and as an oil for massage.

“Many saints say that Love is the first religion and all religions lead you to love. Love for one another (human brotherhood), love for all creation (non-violence) and love for one’s self.  True love is the language of the pure heart.” 

— Swami Satyananda


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Yoga Nature Lake


The outer environment is in danger from global warming, pollution, and myriad chemicals. As our toxic outer world spins out of control we become aware of the environmental dangers of disturbed emotions, disease, negative and aggressive thinking.

The external environment is a reflection of the environment within our bodies. When the external environment and ecology are out of synch, our inner ecology is also affected. The mental and emotional pollution within us needs to be restored and harmonised just as the outer pollution does. Yoga practices can restore the inner ecology and Permaculture practices can restore the outer environment and ecology…bringing back harmony and balance internally and externally. The two are intricately connected.

For inner and outer ecology we have to consider the food we are consuming…the soil and how the food is grown. If the food we eat is impure then our mind and thinking will be impure also. Food has a tremendous influence on our mind. It forms the mind as well as the body. If our environment is sick and depleted, we will become sick and depleted also. Through yoga we realize that it is our duty and responsibility to look after the two gifts we have been given, namely, the environmental complex upon which we depend for our survival, and the body-mind complex in which we live. Combining Yoga & Permaculture is a foundation for a complete approach to living a sustainable and healthy life.

Last years Yoga & Permaculture Design Certificate course at Anahata Retreat was a huge success.

Yoga PDC Group 2015

Yoga meditation Anahata

Everything is connected









Building Chakra

Plastering light earth building

Compost making









Outside on Anahata deck

Presentation on guilds

Anahata building greenhouse










We invite you to join tutors: Robina McCurdy & Anahata Yoga Retreat this year for our Yoga & Permaculture Design Certificate Course. 

11th -29th November, 2016.

Location / Venue: 
Anahata Retreat, Golden Bay, South Island
Contact Details: 
03)525 9887

We are offering a Super Earlybird discount but this deal ends soon.