when people ask me how i found MG and why i chose it, out of all the other places i could be, i usually tell the that any Taoist/Anarchist Permaculture establishment that's been goin' on for 30 years has to be doing SOMETHING right. and indeed, it is.
i've been preparing little baggies of TCM ingredients to make tinctures from. they have names like "Huang Ti's Choice", "Step Back from Old Age" and "Tiger Stance". from having to look through all 400-something ingredients constantly, i'm developing a novice familiarity with 'em.
i recognize a lot of them. they're just ordinary stuff that any local city with a botanical garden and arboretum could find most of. how did the Ancients, presumably lacking manual microscopes, chemistry textbooks, and all that shite, figure out how to prepare and use what parts of what plants (and animals) that were already living amongst them, to treat human illness? Joe puts forth, and he's certainly not alone in postulating this, that they had ways of speaking with the spirits of the plants, who shared their previously secret self-knowledge and powers. this is, apparently, the subject of "Plant Spirit Medicine: The Healing Power of Plants" by Eliot Cowan. i'm not reading it, because I'm already reading too many others. you'll be pleased, Hakim (if ur reading this) to know that i'm about to crack open "Food of the Gods", by Terence McKenna