"Cultivating Awe with Plant Essences" informs on essential oils in plants
There are sculptures of health deities, pure plant essences around the room, and medicinal essential oils bottled up and spread across a table.
Everyone in the room whether curious or looking for healing have gathered from all walks of life, mothers, health practitioners, everyday people.
At the Lotus East-West Medical Center last Friday, Paula Ferraro an alchemical artist, led a discussion about plants and their essential oils and healing properties.
People from the surrounding community came to listen to the discussion and learn more natural practices regarding skin care and overall health.
Ferraro started out in the hospitals working with children and saw the hope in their eyes. Adversely, she felt like they were in the wrong place for her to care for them.
"Why are there McDonalds in the children's hospitals in LA?" she asks. "And why are doctors that are administering chemo and telling kids that they could just eat whatever they want?"
With a crisis of consciousness of sorts, this drove her into deeper research. After having her first child she learned that by being pregnant, whatever she puts on her skin, whatever she consumes, goes straight to the baby.
Ferraro started off the discussion talking about where we've been and where we're headed. And while she might be in tune with nature, she also believes that technology is a great thing.
"We're so fundamentally connected but our societal structure has been created in a disconnected way," she said. "So we're getting this idea of connection through social media, but we're not connecting in a fundamental way."
Ferraro has created a line of her own natural products that she passed around the room for people to smell and to take in. Some people took that notion literally and used some of the natural perfumes, toothpastes, deodorants, etc. and applied them directly.
The products were made from essentials oils that make them very potent. The smells of the products varied from aromatic to plant-like, almost like a forest.
One of the quirks to these products is that they evoke the senses and bring back old memories of being in nature, our childhood, our roots. "When we put these essences on our skin it's like an instant download," Ferraro said.
Ferraro passed her products around the room to give everyone an idea of what they are like. The products were very natural-smelling and potent, from the sweet smells of beeswax to the floral and aromatic smells of rose hips, to the piney scents of frankincense.
The natural products spanned a wide range of uses and showed that you can make anything natural, even sunscreen, toothpaste, and deodorant which Ferraro believes most over the counter versions are toxic.
Many of the products smelled as beautiful as their names sound. Take for instance "Smile," which as its name implies is for your teeth. It's made from essential oils from plants like tea tree, peppermint, wintergreen. This differs from most over the counter toothpastes to which Ferraro asks, "Why would you put something in your mouth that says that it's toxic if you swallow it?"
Ferraro also took a holistic approach to what it means to have a healthy lifestyle.
She stressed the idea of planting your feet on the ground and taking a look at what's around you. Look through a telescope or a microscope and see that at both the macro and micro level how integrated everything is. "Quantum physics is showing that we are all connected, every breath I take reaches into you, every breath you exhale comes back into me," she said.
These simplicities are supposed to bring you into a state of awe. "Stanford and Berkeley have released some studies that are super interesting. They've shown that being in a state of awe actually expands time perception," Ferraro cited from the 2012 study.
Ferraro also believes that what you put in your body is what you get out of it.
The idea of epigenetics, which literally means "above genetics" is where she believes we're at now.
"Your DNA isn't your destiny. My parents may have been one way but I don't have to be like that if I don't choose to be," she said.
This brings to light the whole notion of accountability. She went on to say, "It's so incredible that you can create the perfect environment, the ideal environment for your body to thrive."
Ferraro has been studying cell expression in the body and believes in fighting back disease. "We can really reverse disease. Our body is an incredible healing machine," she said.