|Medicines and healing processes|
I use various types of medicines in my practice, some examples of which include: Umhlonyane (Artemisia afra) and Ubuvimbha (Withania somnifera) for treating infection, and Aloe vera, Mlomo Mnandi (Licorice) and Uzara (Xysmalobium undulataum) for healing the digestive system etc. I use a lot of medicines for helping ease stress, anxiety and depression which is very common in today's world.
Some Popular Relaxing and Opening Plant Medicines Jean-Francois uses in his practice and sells include:
(Self prepared, 100% natural and organic)
Mind Clarity Snuff Medicine. This medicine is used both in India and South Africa as a rejuvenative for the nervous system, promoting cerebral circulation, opening awareness and enhancing concentration. A small matchstick head worth is inhaled into each nostril that relaxes the body yet sharpens the mind. It is used for meditation, to ease stress in exams and for breaking stress patterns. R250.
Stress Free Ngizizwa Medicine. This medicine is commonly used in African traditional medicine in love formulas. A handful of the root is boiled with milk and water and half a glass drank in the afternoon or early evening. The effects come about in half an hour as a gentle easing into relaxation. This medicine taken every other day for a period of time (week normally) is very effective for breaking the stress habit pattern and allows for deep processing of anxiety and tension. R250.
Ngizizwa Free and Mind Clarity Medicine work very well together can be taken on alternative days for a 6 day process of healing stress and anxiety patterning.
Spirit Cleanse Meditation Incense Medicine. A combination of three powerful African plants that is used as a burning incense medicine to relax, heal and soothe an over-active mind and can be used as a smudge to clear space. A very calming medicine good for general wellbeing and relaxation. R200.
Peaceful Sleep-Ubuthongo Medicine. 2-3 pinches of this dried root is burnt on a charcoal coal in ones bedroom. The smoke, that has a pleasant smell, is inhaled and has a relaxing effect that helps you to switch off and have a deep and restful sleep. Non addictive. R200.
Sweet Mouth (Mlomo Mnandi ) Rescue Tonic Medicine. A third of a teaspoon of the powdered root is swallowed with water that has a very quick adrenal boosting action excellent for stressful situations meetings, shock etc. It calms, opens communication and uplifts. R200.
Ubulawu Opening Medicine: A special cleansing medicine used in a healing process of self enquiry and personal growth and development that requires consultation and assessment: See below for an overview of this deep healing medicine.
Separate (free) drop in consultations are available to obtain medicines only. These medicines are not prescribed to treat any specific condition but to enhance general well-being.
Vanessa: "The mind clarity medicine is amazing. It astounded me how it opened my mind and strengthened my intuitive skills for healing. Feeling very good. Thank you."
Fran: "Jean, very powerful stuff. The spirit cleanse medicine is mildly soothing but also enhances my senses and attunes me to nature."
Ubulawu: Wesley: "I am doing wonderful thanks to the ubulawu. it is really detoxing my mind. I feel very calmed down and relaxed. I have been doing meditation for years but the ubulawu with buddhist meditation makes for a great combination. still having dreams and it seems each dream is related to a specific issue. The ubulawu helps me get past mental blockages."
Sarah: "The snuff has a great clarifying, calming effect - combined with mentally focusing on such images."
Joseph: Hi Jean I hope you're keeping well. Just to give you an update, I'm almost done using the ubulawu and i feel mentally energetic than I've ever felt and i dream every night now, vividly and i can remember the dreams when I wake up. Sometimes three or four dreams in one night. I only have 2 or 3 days of ubulawu left and it's helped me a lot to unburden the emotion I wanted to unburden.
Easing the frenetic mind,
Ngizizwa takes me back to Yin, to the nurturing valley,
Allowing me to come back to stillness.
I feel I can let go of the habitual busyness of the mind and be in my body,
As I become in tune with feeling more than thinking.
Going to sleep I have a sound dreamless sleep and wake up fresh and relaxed.
Ubulawu: Africa's Self Transformation Plant Healing Medicine.
Ubulawu is an undiscovered − to Western society, yet an anciently used African plant medicine that heals the body and mind. Ubulawu is made mostly from the roots but sometimes the stems or bark of particular subtle acting African psychoactive plants. Though a number of different species are used as ubulawu in Southern Africa, what is common to all these species and what makes ubulawu, ubulawu, is its ability to open the mind and increase sensitivity and intuition.
Ubulawu is a powerful medicine to enhance ones ability to listen to ones deeper personal truths.
Ubulawu is prepared by soaking a certain amount of the roots or stems into 5 to 10 litres of water. This preparation is churned with a forked stick usually made from other medicinal trees. The species used in ubulawu often produces foam when churned though this is not always the case. In the morning, first thing before food or liquids are consumed, the person churns the ubulawu (ideally in a quiet, undisturbed space where one can burn a candle and have objects of prayer and spiritual devotion) and one can typically pray to ones ancestral relatives, angels or whatever one believes in, to acknowledge their place and yours in the Universe we live in, as well as to the medicine itself for healing and knowing. The person then drinks enough of this liquid to feel full and then vomiting is induced with two fingers placed to the back of the throat.
Ubulawu is used by the indigenous people of Southern Africa to cleanse the body so as to cleanse the mind and to open knowing. Vomiting, or what can be called emesis therapy, is an important treatment method used in both African and Ayurvedic (Indian) traditional medicine (Sobiecki, 2012). In Ayurvedic medicine it is known as vamana therapy, and is used to rid the body of excess mucus and water (that is known as kapha) that collects on the lungs and “disturbs the mind and clouds the senses” (Frawley 2000). This is the same purpose that the medicine has in Southern African healing as my late teacher Mrs Letty Maponya indicated when she said: ““It [ubulawu] is important to clear the lungs, which if she does not do, “clouds her inner vision.” (Sobiecki, 2012). There is an important relationship between having a clean body (chest and stomach) and a clean and open mind in African traditional medicine.
South African traditional healers use ubulawu to open their intuition and dreaming and to increase their learning ability. Some species are also used for people who need to heal aspects of their minds, while laypeople use it for dreaming and to increase general health and energy. It is a wonderful tool for integrating the self. Thus, ubulawu can be said to be both a physical and psycho-spiritual healing medicine. My late teacher explained that ubulawu as a medicine “gives you who you are” (Sobiecki, 2012). This in my experience is exactly what the medicine does, by slowly encouraging an opening of ones own deeper awareness one can face deeper questions about ones life and therefore the medicine can teach you about yourself. In this way ubulawu is similar to the psychoactive plant teachers of the Amazon, both having the ability for one to learn new knowledge via the medicines. Ubulawu works similarily to ayahuasca in opening the mind, though it does this much more gradually over days and vomiting is induced rather than occurring spontaneously as happens with Ayahusaca. Ubulawu is a legal traditional medicine.
From my experience the process of using ubulawu requires discipline and as it is an opening medicine, even though gradual, it can lead to intense states of self introspection and questioning after around two weeks in some cases. People differ in how fast or slow they respond with the medicine too. Therefore, using ubulawu is a process of healing that requires mentoring and guidance by the facilitating teacher. Different ubulawu species should not be mixed and used without the guidance of a trained traditional healer as the incorrect mixtures can cause physical and psycho-spiritual disturbance and worsening of conditions. That is why I recommend using only one species at a time as a medicine.
As with any mind opening medicine the correct dosages is important as well as the right setting. One should try focus on ones internal process rather than be directed outwards during the time using the medicine. Social entertainment and sexual relations should be avoided. However people can still work using the medicine (day jobs) though one should try be as self focused as possible. The ability of ubulawu to open to deep states of mind and allow for dream journeying, makes it very much a shamanic medicine. Ubulawu is a safe medicine though as with any vomiting therapy ubulawu is contraindicated in people with problems with digestive problems such as cardiac or gastric sphincters, reflux disease, hiatus hernia, peptic ulcer disease or surgery done on the stomach.
From my knowledge ubulawu is one of the most powerful ways to cleanse the body and to open deep levels of the mind. Being initiated as an inyanga-herbalist with ubulawu it was fascinating for me to see how the medicine promoted an increased sensitivity to ordinary stimuli and like an internal mirror it slowly yet surely made me face deep questions related to my life-path.
By showing me parts of myself in this gentle yet powerful way, ubulawu can be considered a profoundly instructive plant teacher medicine that we in the West can utilize as a shamanic technology to know and heal ourselves.
For a complete paper on Ubulawu and Jeans other research papers see http://www.khanyisagarden.co.za/papers/