Monday 8 May 2017

Water Lily - Kandamo

Water lily's are a food source, and important medicine. The story that water lily's tell is one that traditional subsistence hunters kept and are keeping alive and vital, Chi-miigwetch, thank you.

We observe relationships in creation and those relationships is where the stories are. Plants are showing us why they are here, all we have to do is listen. This plant tells us quite explicitly by its relationship with amphibians, and the majestic moose! Lets listen to Lily pads.

Can you think of anyone who might have a special relationship with lily pads? Yes, of course, the water, sun, wind, waves, dragonflies, but did you think frogs? Mak'kii, is our name for frog.

When we observe a pond we see frogs, and how they have a hard time catching food on the mucky shores, the cool water and in the tall grass. Frogs look out at the water and see tons of food! If they can just get out to the middle of the pond and stay above the cold water, not only would frog be able to warm from the sun so his tongue could move faster but he would literally be inches from a buffet of food flying past! What a dream. Then he notices lily pads, multiple perfect little platforms seemingly made just for his purpose. He thinks, 'Hey, that is a really great place to sit and wait for food to come to me!' and they do just that. 

The ancient hunting term 'kundo' is used to describe the moments when you are hunting and you see lots of tracks, you know that this is a great place to see something so you find a place to sit back and wait for something to come to you. Kando. The word used to describe this hunting-action in my native language Anishnaabemowin.

Now that we have observed frogs relationship with this plant, lets observe one other relationship. Moose! or, Mooz.

We also observe the Moose's relationship with this plant, just before their rut they sit in the ponds every evening and morning and eat boat loads of these roots. They can dedicate 4-7 hours per day to eating these roots, it quickly becomes an obsession. Now lets look at who exactly is in the swamp eating all these roots, is it all moose? No, it is mostly dominate bulls, and also wanna-be-dominate bulls. Why are they doing it? They are doing it to get their muscles ready for fighting and running great distances during mating season. They are smart, they know their medicine.

Now we understand this plants relationship with both Mak'kii the frog and Mooz the moose.

Immediately there is an important use for this plant. We understand moose and their obsession with the roots and we take advantage of it. Miijmaakijigeh, is our word to describe exactly that, it can be translated as baiting, but there is truly much more happening here. We harvest these roots called 'Kandamo,' dry them and find a spot where moose frequent and smolder the root like incense, then 'Kundo,' sit and wait, just like the frogs did. Moose run in so fast looking for this special medicine food that they don't stop to think, "Hey, I smell a rifle, or a Nikon," they just crash right to it, right to you.

These are the types of relationships that we observe and learn from. These are also some obvious linguistic connections that plants help us understand. The plant called Kandamo is called this because frogs use them in that way, kando, but it is actually hunters that have safe-guarded this ancient term. The tradition of smoke medicine or Pkwenezagan is fading quickly, but our elderly who grew up hunting surely remember it. Lily roots was a primary ingredient. The resurrection of this ancient knowledge also also brings light to Miijmaakijigeh or baiting. When its done properly it is unforgettably successful. Remember trilliums and fishing?

There we have it, an important utility use of this amazing plant. Now, using this story, lets see if we can find out what it can be used for medicinally! 

Remember how moose uses it? It uses the roots as medicine for its muscles, to enable this majestic mammal to be able run super far, super fast engaging in horrific battles along the way! So how do we use it? For our muscles!!

If you don't use it, you will lose it.” This phrase has some amazing truth to it, especially when it comes to your muscles. If you don't use your muscles, never go to the gym, never exercise, your muscles lose their ability to use glucose, to use sugar! The energy provided to them to be able to work, can become useless! When you exercise your liver gives your muscles all the sugar they need to perform. The liver stores a ton of sugar, this is one of its main functions. Now what happens when you have all this sugar in your blood that your muscles didn't use? 

For instance, someone who has been confined to an office job for 30 years and was unable to exercise their entire life (perhaps, due to injury) and this person gets pulled over by the police. We are all able to relate to this situation right? What happens is their liver shoots out all the sugar this person needs to be able to run from the police or fight them. The fight or flight response right? The amount of sugar in your blood is overflowing and your body begins to shake uncontrollably, maybe even convulsing (at least, that's how it feels). There is so much sugar in your blood your emotions get involved and you start bawling. Yet, how many of us run from the police? Or fight them? We don't, we simply drive away completely exaggerating our obedience to road laws through a wall of tears. What happened to all that sugar? As you begin to do breathing exercises you realize your calming down, it breathing using the sugar? No, that is insulin. Insulin is bringing that sugar down to normal. 

The problem here is insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store adipose (fat.) So whenever insulin is present, your body is in fat storage mode. The problem here is that fat is a recognized endocrine organ that dampens insulin and its ability to regulate blood sugar. So with insulin dampened, your body panics and simply makes more insulin, which will make more fat, which will force you to require more insulin. More fat, more insulin, more fat. The cycle your body ends by creating a new organ designed to consume the access sugar, designed to break that cycle. So to not rely heavily on insulin. This organ is called cancer. Ever hear of a PET scan? You drink 500mls of syrup and they watch the cancer go into a feeding frenzy and your body lights up like a christmas tree. It is an effective scan designed to locate cancer. 

Now that I demonized insulin, let us realize that the first dose, 90g of lily roots, as medicine increases our glucose uptake by 60%. Our muscles our now 60% more effective at using sugar our livers provide, so bye bye insulin and consequently, diabetes, Alzheimers and cancer. Also our livers are storing 60% more glycogen, so hello exercise, speaking of exercise, t
hese roots push your bodies ability to stay in aerobic exercise. So muscle fatigue or failure is a longer ways away. 

Your muscles only heal themselves in the fourth and fifth stages of sleep.This is because in these stages your body is somewhat sedated. Your muscles receive a chemical that removes anxiety from the tissue. When we hold anxiety in different parts of our body they don't get the opportunity to heal, like in our jaws (grinding our teeth) in our calves (calf cramps when you stretch in the morning, or swimming in the summer.) What this plant does is chemically remove anxiety from muscle tissue so they are in a healing position twenty-four hours a day. This plant changes those priorities and places muscles so high up on this prioritized set list, your body is able to heal muscle tissue all day long, while they are being worked. 

When you take these roots you are communicating with your body, you are telling your body to focus on muscles because I have a marathon to run and I can't afford to be sore the next day!

I was listening to Lawrence Kelemen who was talking about success. He said that you can turn any human being into a successful one. Every successful person has one thing in common, the drive to keep going even when they are so tired they fall flat on their faces, they still keep going. If you want to be successful you should run marathons. Every wildly successful person he knew ran marathons. The reason for this is simple. Every marathon runner is familiar with 'the wall' its when all the glycogen stores of your liver run out. It occurs, on average, between 21 and 22 miles. This is why marathons are 25 miles. Every marathon runner knows what it feels like to push past 'the wall' when you have zero energy stores left in your body and you have to keep going for about 3 more miles! Successful people know what its like to push your body past its physiological limits. 

Look at this plant that we have been calling muscle medicine for thousands of years. Look at the cross section of those roots, the pattern that is within. I have been harvesting this root for a few years now and I know that this plant invests so much energy into its anchor rootlets. It takes hours to harvest because you have to break/cut the anchor rootlets individually how strong they are. Its no wonder speedboats can cruise next to them and they don't get uprooted. Knowing this plant spends so much energy anchoring itself, and that its an aquatic plant, why would there be all these air tunnels throughout? Why would this plant anchor itself and fill itself with flotation devices? It is completely counter-intuitive!!! The only way that we can make sense of this is that this root has been created to show you that it is muscle medicine by being an exact reflection of our muscles under an electron microscope, one muscle fiber.

It would have been enough that this plant tells you a story of relationships with frogs and moose. It would have been enough that this plants intensely dedicated history of use has been as a muscle medicine. It would have been enough given all the linguistic connections between this plant with its uses, but in addition to all of this it has been created to exactly reflect one muscle fiber. A signature to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that this plant has is here for our muscles. 


  1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's so amazing. This is my spirit name :)

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