Gandhi Root, Camel Jasper and the Long, Rewarding Journey of Self-Actualization
Copyright 2018 by Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
By Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Self-realization...is not a new faculty;
it is only the removal of all camouflage.
Special Note: Learn more about
2016 Webinar-Based Training Intensive
this article, I discuss the properties of a lesser known essential oil called gandhi
root and its spirit-level synchronicity with the gemstone camel jasper,
the mystical symbolism associated with the camel, and when correlated, how all
of these reveal the inner nature of an individual for whom gandhi root oil is
course, no individual's soul composition is completely addressed by the use of
only one oil. In Spiritual PhytoEssencing (SPE), the key to moving an
individual toward self-actualization is the formulation of customized essential
oil blends that accurately reflect an individual's singular soul-nature. In
SPE, an interview is conducted, and deep imagery techniques employed,
which enable the blender to identify the constitutional themes and the primary
archetypal components of the person's inner psycho-spiritual dynamics. These
archetypes and themes are then proficiently matched with varying numbers of
essential oils whose own inner nature is characterized by archetypes or deep
forms that correspond with specific parts of that person's soul fabric.
resultant personalized blend constitutes a plant-soul analogue of a
given individual's “unique soul-portrait.” In other words, the blender is
creating a soul-portrait in essential oils. It is this congruence between
essential oil blend and a person's inner soul identity that encourages an
individual's soul to accept the blend of integrated plant-soul essences as a
level reorganization that is healing in nature always involves mobilization of
what the great psychoanalyst Dr. Carl Rogers refers to as, the
“self-actualizing tendency.” Healing on this level is invariably characterized
by a movement away from the false “I” which the ego manufactures to appease the
expectations, and conform to the concepts of others, back in the direction of
one's real self. The real self emerges from the silent background of soul
existence, and it is that aspect of the self-structure that never disengages
term real self, refers to a person's authentic nature carried into this
life by the soul at birth. In The Mandala of Being, Richard Moss,
M.D. writes: “As children we begin our lives right in the center of
our sphere of being, spontaneously expressing our authentic nature; we know
nothing else. However, it is not long before this begins to change, as we are
partially or wrongly reflected back to ourselves by the relationships that
surround us. Eventually, to a greater or lesser degree, each of us loses
contact with our spontaneous essence and begins to live more or less
off-center. This is a period in life—for all of us—in which soul awareness is
dormant and we become identified with a false sense of self...So gradually,
within the context of our early environment, we wake up to our first conscious
sense of self as if materializing out of a void, and without understanding the
origins of our own confusion and insecurity about ourselves.”
There is no separation between the inner spiritual self and
the real self. There are no clear boundaries between the two and the operations
of both of these are mutually dependent. Therefore, the only viable pathway
back to ongoing connection with the spiritual world and “the center of our
sphere of being” is the re-emergence of the real self. On the other hand, this
re-emergence is largely dependent upon the effective penetration of the inner
spiritual self into all aspects of mortal existence.
Gandhi Root (Homalomena aromatica)
root (aka sugandh mantri), a member of the Araceae family, is an
aromatic, rhizomatous, perennial herb. The approximately 140 Homalomena species
are indigenous to subtropical humid regions of Asia (including northeastern
India), the southwestern Pacific and Latin America. The genus name “Homalomena”
derives from a Malayan vernacular name, translated as homalos, meaning flat,
and mene, meaning moon.
sub-tropical species, sugandh mantri loves a warm, humid environment that has a
high annual rainfall. It prefers moist, shady places along river banks and in
valleys. It is often found in association with other undergrowth plants like
root essential oil is distilled from its aromatic rhizomes via steam
distillation. The light yellow-colored oil, widely used in incense making, is
composed primarily of linalool (32.43%), terpinen-4-ol (14.08%) and sabinene
(8.35%). This oil has a woody, spicy, balsamic fragrance with a subtle floral
common name gandhi derives from a Hindi word meaning fragrant or aromatic.
The same term can be seen in the plant's other common Hindi name sugandh
mantri. The word mantri means king. Thus, sugandh mantri
roughly translates as the “fragrance king”, or “king of fragrances.”
rhizome of Homalomena aromatica is aromatic and stimulant, and when
powdered, is often used as an additive to snuff and tobacco. Inhalation of the
aromatic smoke from burning dried rhizomes has long been used to treat
influenza. The plant's roots are used to treat jaundice. The Tamils (an ethnic
group indigenous to India and Sri Lanka) have used gandhi root (which they call
merugu) medicinally for more than 3000 years. They use it in the
treatment of stomach disorders, hemorrhoids, and catarrhal conditions.
mantri is very popular among the Mizo people (an ethnic group indigenous to
northeastern India). They boil the petioles and eat them as a vegetable. The
smoke of the burning rhizome is used as a mosquito repellent. Extracts of the
plant have been shown to kill white termites. An herbal infusion of the plant
is employed to ease childbirth labor. A lotion of the juice of whole plant is
used to treat skin diseases. The local people of Manipur (of northeastern
India) treat skin eruptions with the application of a fresh root paste.
mantri essential oil exerts strong antimicrobial activity against various
common human pathogenic fungi. An alcohol extract of the plant has been shown
to exert anti-hepatitis B virus activity. In Chinese medicine, sugandh mantri
is called qian nian jian meaning “thousand years of health.” It is
classified as bitter, pungent and warm and associated with the liver and kidney
meridians. The herb is thought to strengthen tendons and bones and is used to
treat low back- and knee pain and weakness as well as numbness in the lower
chemical profile of the essential oil suggests it exerts significant analgesic,
anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-infectious and relaxant actions. The
essential oil exerts antibacterial activity against common bacterial pathogens,
including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus vulgaris. Regarding fungal infections,
the essential oil has demonstrated clinically significant antifungal activity
against dermatophytes (pathogenic fungi that grow on skin, mucous membranes,
hair, nails and other body surfaces, causing ringworm and related diseases) and
yeasts. In this reference, some of the organisms it destroys include Curvularia
pallecens, Aspergillus niger and Fusarium graminearum. The essential oil
has also shown high antimicrobial activity against Trichophyton rubrum,
Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum fulvum, Microsporum gypseum,
Trichosporon beigelii and Candida albicans. The oil is useful regarding general
immune support and has value in the treatment of pain, colds, infections
a psycho-spiritual level, the essential oil is considered to be calming,
antidepressant, balancing to the emotions, an aid to meditation and useful in preparing
the soul for spiritual healing.
have worked with both essential oils and gemstone healing for most of my career
of 38 years. Actually, my connection to gemstones goes back much farther. As
far back as I can recall, I've had a driving interest in science. As a young
boy, growing up in Brooklyn, I was primarily drawn to geology and had a
well-organized rock collection. By the time I was in fifth grade, I was riding
the subways by myself all the way from Brooklyn to north Manhattan (in 1950s when
area was far safer) to visit the American Museum of Natural History's rock and
gemstone collection at least one Sunday a month.
my science-teaching days in the early 1970s, my focus had shifted primarily to
biology and ecology, but I also taught earth science and still retained my love
for rocks and gemstones. I began practicing what would ultimately become my
Natural Health Science System in the late 1970s, and it was natural for me to
incorporate gemstone healing into the eclectic set of healing modalities that I
employed with my clients.
in the mid-1990s, I began developing my Spiritual PhytoEssencing system of deep
soul-level healing work with essential oils, I soon began to perceive clear
soul-level synchronicities between specific essential oils and gemstones. The
origin of these synchronicities cannot be explained via linear scientific
inquiry. As Creation is a product of divine intellect rather than human
intelligence, the limited scope of science cannot provide rational explanations
for the vast majority of natural phenomena.
have found that gandhi root oil has an inherent higher-plane synchronicity with
a type of brown jasper called camel jasper. Exploration reveals a
profound soul-level interface between the dynamic aspect of gandhi root oil and
is a dense, opaque, microcrystalline variety of quartz with an earthy luster
and a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. It occurs as a cavity filling or
as nodules or veins in iron ores. Due to the presence of iron oxides, jasper
occurs in a wide variety of colors, including deep earthy tones of red, yellow,
brown and green, as well as shades of blue or purple.
referred to as the “Supreme Nurturer,” all types of jasper provide comforting,
nurturing support during times of stress or healing. It emanates energies of
wholeness and peacefulness, and encourages I-Thou relation and empathic
jasper is a variety of brown jasper. Brown jasper ranges from deep chocolate
brown, gold- to reddish-brown, to tan or ivory, and is characterized by artful
banding, flow patterns and veining. Brown jasper is connected to the Earth
energy, and so, unsurprisingly, encourages deep environmental awareness. It
encourages psycho-spiritual centering, balance and stability; and, primarily
through grounding, can help to ameliorate anger, fear, anxiety or panic. Brown
jasper deepens meditation and is thought to help facilitate karmic healing
related to past life woundings.
most of the commercially available camel jasper is mined in India. Similarly,
most gandhi root essential oil is distilled in India.
following healing actions are associated with brown jasper: conducive for
deep, grounded meditation; inspires calmness, objectivity and positive attitude
regarding problems and obstacles one is facing; facilitates past life
regression; activates the root (1st) chakra; through its connection
to Earth, it engenders stability, security and protection, nurturing and
healing; promotes ecological awareness; helps ameliorate geopathic stress
(negative health effects upon the body caused by geoelectromagnetic frequencies)
and environmental stressors including noise pollution, air and water pollution
and electromagnetic fields (from electronic devices); strengthens the immune
system; helps in both physical detoxification and detoxification of negative
thought forms; stabilizes the aura; increases mental and physical stamina;
strengthens the stomach and intestines; helps balance body's mineral content.
jasper may have value in the treatment of the following symptoms: fear; anger;
anxiety; insecurity related to finances; chronic self-criticism; guilt feelings
about past personal failures; nightmares; hyperactivity; tobacco addiction;
autotoxemia; emotional weakness due to prolonged illness and/or
hospitalization; lethargy and poor stamina; weakness and loss of natural
instincts in urban pets; allergies; circulatory weakness; poor night vision;
gastroenteritis; IBS; celiac disease; Crohn's disease; chronic constipation;
loss of libido; dry skin.
Camel: Symbolic Meaning
gandhi root oil has a synchronistic relationship with camel jasper, the
mystical symbolism associated with the camel provides important clues regarding
the inner nature of the oil. One of the most prominent camel themes is
journeying, especially arduous, long-distance travel and the stamina required
for this activity.
masters of the conservation of water. Camels have
certain physiological mechanisms for conserving water and avoiding dehydration which
enable them to be active in the desert for about 21 days without water. The
camel mainly stores water in its bloodstream and the large cells of its stomach
lining. The animal can drink as much as 30 gallons of water in less than 15
camel's hump is a storage depot for fat. When food is scarce, they use this fat
reserve for fuel. Water is a by-product of their cellular metabolism of fats
(metabolized fats produce hydrogen which, when combined with oxygen, yields
water (H2O). Camels also do not sweat as much as humans and their metabolism lowers at
night to reduce body temperature and thus the need for sweating. They are also
covered with thick fur which seals out the daytime heat. Camels also have the
ability to maintain their blood volume despite lack of fluid intake. Once the
human body loses about 12% of its water content, the blood becomes too thick to
circulate properly. On the other hand, a camel's blood maintains its proper
consistency until the animal has lost as much as 25% of its weight as a result
symbolically, the camel reminds us to pace ourselves, and to closely monitor
our energy level. In general, the camel highlights the importance of conscious
conservation and responsible self-regulation. The camel represents endurance.
They inhabit harsh climates and terrain and endure sustained periods of stress.
The animal maintains a type of positivity even during the most stressful of
Spiritual PhytoEssencing, the term archetype refers to a unique
intangible construct of the soul, a deep form that generates a pattern of
characteristic potentials. Accordingly, particular identifiable patterns of
emotions and physical predispositions are viewed as tangible expressions of
underlying psycho-spiritual archetypes. In turn, these expressions are
considered to be archetypal images.
PhytoEssencing case-study analysis largely depends upon the ability to perceive
archetypal modes and trace these back to specific archetypes. An archetypal
mode (a type of archetypal image) is a specific combination of selected
perceptual filters employed by the ego and a particular psychosocial role that
the ego then activates in relation to everyday experiences. Archetypal modes
are essentially a combination of behavioral and reactional modes.
Jungian psychology, archetypes are considered to be inherited patterns of
thought or symbolic imagery, present in the individual unconscious, which
derive from the infinite inventory of past experiences stored within the
collective unconscious. While Jung's concept of the collective unconscious is
undoubtedly a rich source of the formative archetypes of the soul, Spiritual
PhytoEssencing also places emphasis on genetic memory and past lives as primary
sources of influential archetypes.
A miasm is the homeopathic concept that (being a homeopath myself) I
have adapted into Spiritual PhytoEssencing an archetype with a characteristic
pattern of archetypal modes and physical disease propensities that is
transmitted from generation to generation bioenergetically rather than
genetically. In Spiritual PhytoEssencing, it is believed that miasms can also
be transmitted from one incarnation to the next along the cycle of birth, death
most of the miasms are named for particular diseases, such as cancer or
tuberculosis, a miasm itself is not an actual disease state, but rather, a soul
archetype that generates a complex of constitutional traits and reactional
tendencies that resemble the presentation and/or thematic pattern of the
disease for which it is named.
each of the miasms has characteristic physical and emotional qualities (i.e.,
archetypal images) and symptoms, which, in conjunction, announce its presence.
Similarly, essential oils, based upon their plant characteristics and history,
the nature of the symptoms for which they are specific as well as their diverse
portfolio of synchronicities (e.g., chakras, gemstone, homeopathic remedy,
etc.), have a special affinity for one or more of the miasms.
identification of an individual's prominent miasmatic influences, and specific
essential oil responses to them, provides great guidance regarding essential
oil selection for deep soul-level healing work. Also, it opens up a new,
heretofore unexplored, dynamic in work with essential oils that enables the
practitioner to more effectively penetrate the layers of superficial symptoms
in a case and gain access to the germinal, central disharmony on the
Gandhi Root and the Ringworm Miasm
the various miasms, gandhi root oil is most closely associated with the
Ringworm miasm (a miasm first described by noted homeopath Dr. Rajan Sankaran).
The major themes of this miasm are: it is a difficult situation; things are
not easy—beyond easy reach; problems linger and do not get solved because there
are many ifs and buts; however, there is hope. The key word of this miasm
is “trying.” The individual alternates between periods of trying with a
feeling of optimism and periods of giving up. This period of resignation is
then followed by another period of “trying.”
is characterized by periods when the eruption is relatively benign in
alternation with periods of inflammation and intense itching. A good
illustration of the main theme of this miasm is an overweight individual who
periodically makes attempts to lose weight, gives up and eventually tries
again. The rationale is: I will try and if I succeed that will be
good, but if I fail, I guess I'll just have to be stuck where I am. In the
failed compensated state of this miasm, the individual gives up hope, becomes
completely resigned, no longer tries and feels condemned.
India, a lotion of the juice of the whole gandhi root plant is used to treat
skin diseases. The local people of Manipur (of northeastern India) treat skin
eruptions with the application of a fresh root paste.
profile of gandhi root essential oil suggests it exerts significant anti-inflammatory
and anti-infectious actions. Ringworm (aka tinea corporis) is an
infectious skin disorder that, despite its name, is not caused by worms.
Instead, it is caused by fungi called dermatophytes (pathogenic fungi
that grow on skin, mucous membranes, hair, nails and other body surfaces,
causing ringworm and related diseases). The fungi that cause ringworm live and
spread on the outer layer of skin.
the skin is most commonly caused by the fungus Trichophyton rubrum,
which spreads via human-to-human contact. Less commonly, a more severe form of
the infection spread by cats and dogs, is caused by Microsporum canis.
this reference, gandhi root oil exerts antifungal activity against
dermatophytes and yeasts. In this reference, gandhi root oil has been shown to
destroy Trichophyton rubrum, Microsporum fulvum and Microsporum
gypseum. The oil is also useful regarding general immune support.
gandhi root individual alternates between commitment to the long journey of
self-actualization and resignation to stuckness in an unfulfilling limbo state
at the borderline between the real self and the manufactured ideal
self. As noted above, the great psychotherapist Dr. Carl Rogers believed
that the human being has an inherent "self-actualizing tendency” --- an
innate drive that compels the person to actualize his or her authentic self in
daily life. Accordingly, a "fully-functioning person" is one whose
directional process toward self-actualization is in continuous motion.
identified the "real self" as the aspect of one's being that is
served by the self-actualizing tendency, follows organic valuing (via
sensing, feeling and connection to spirit) of one's daily experiences, needs
and receives positive regard and self-regard. It is the “you” that is associated
with continuous presence of being.
the other hand, to the extent that one's milieu inhibits the self-actualizing
tendency, the individual defers to conditions of worth assigned by others that
are out of step with one's own organic valuing of life experiences, and
receives only conditional positive regard and self-regard (depending upon deference
to conditions of worth) that we develop instead of an "ideal self."
Rogers, the ideal self is something other than real (i.e., illusory), something
that is always out of reach of what is real within us -- a standard we cannot
sustain indefinitely because it is not grounded in who we really are. This gap
between the real self and the ideal self, the "I am" and the "I
should" is called incongruity. Whereas the real self is the “you”
that is associated with continuous presence of being, the ideal self is the
“you” associated with perpetual becoming (always becoming rather than “being”)
without getting any nearer to soul fulfillment.
discussed above, within the context of gandhi root oil's synchronicity with
camel jasper, one of the most prominent camel themes is journeying, especially
arduous, long-distance travel and the stamina required for this activity.
the case of the gandhi root individual, the arduous, long-distance journey is
that of the directional process of the self-actualizing tendency. This
directional process never assumes the form of a straight line. Instead, the
velocity of the directional process is inversely proportional to one's level of
psychical resistance. In turn, the level of psychical resistance is directly
proportional to the inhibitive circumstances in one's life and the tenacity of
the ideal self.
the long journey of the directional process of the self-actualizing tendency,
despite the friction offered by one's everyday life, maintains its forward
momentum, then the gandhi root individual (consistent with her Ringworm miasm
affinity) feels that: things are not easy—beyond easy reach; problems linger
and do not get solved because there are many ifs and buts; however, there is
when that long-journey is completely halted by the circumstances of one's
everyday existence, then the gandhi root individual becomes stressed, anxious,
discouraged, depressed, estranged from spirit and the natural world, loses
positivity and concludes: I guess I'll just have to be stuck where I am.
following major qualities and symptoms from the composite gandhi root oil
picture highlight gandhi root's
potential regarding the long journey of the directional process of the
self-actualizing tendency: On a psycho-spiritual level, the essential oil is
considered to be calming, antidepressant, balancing to the emotions, an aid to
meditation and useful in preparing the soul for spiritual healing. Jasper
encourages connection to the inherent spiritual understanding and sacredness of
the natural world. It heightens one's valuing of times of solitude in Nature
during which one can develop I-Thou relation with all that is ensouled or
inspirited in the natural world. Sometimes referred to as the “Supreme
Nurturer,” jasper provides comforting, nurturing support during times of stress
or healing. It emanates energies of wholeness and peacefulness, and encourages
I-Thou relation and empathic understanding. On a psycho-spiritual level,
jasper: balances yin and yang energies; strengthens, calms and stabilizes
the emotional body; enhances one's ability to relax; aids meditation; serves as
a protective stone in general with particular value during travel; shields one
from invasive negative energies; ameliorates stress-induced emotional symptoms;
counteracts depression and grief; brings beauty into specific life situations;
helps one to come to peace regarding difficult situations including endings,
such as the ending of a personal relationship; has value in the treatment of
emotional trauma; sharpens mental faculties; aids in the making of wise
decisions that avoid entanglement in negative situations. The following
healing actions are associated with brown jasper: conducive for deep,
grounded meditation; inspires calmness, objectivity and positive attitude
regarding problems and obstacles one is facing; through its connection to
Earth, it engenders stability, security and protection, nurturing and healing;
helps in detoxification of negative thought-forms; stabilizes the aura; increases
mental and physical stamina. Brown jasper may have value in the treatment of
the following symptoms: fear; anger; anxiety; insecurity related to
finances; chronic self-criticism; guilt feelings about past personal failures.
in aromatherapy, gandhi root oil is little-used, in Spiritual PhytoEssencing it
is considered to be an important oil, largely because of its unique value in
sustaining those with a strong archetypal affinity for it on their long journey
toward self-actualization. In Talks with Ramana Maharshi, the 20th
century Indian sage observes: “Self-realization...is not a new faculty; it is
only the removal of all camouflage.” For many people, gandhi root oil can
assist in this removal process.
Special Note: Learn more about Dr. Berkowsky 2017 Spiritual PhytoEssencing Webinar-Based Training Intensive
Gandhi Root Materia medica
Written by Dr. Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Dr. Berkowsky teaches in-depth seminars/teleseminars/workshops to health-conscious,
spiritually aware individuals.
Dr. Berkowsky, a
registered naturopath, master herbalist and classical homeopath—is President
of Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. He is the founder/teacher of the art of
Spiritual PhytoEssencing as well as the Natural Health Science System (which he
designed following many years of research and clinical practice, and includes
herbology, nutrition, homeopathy, aromatherapy, exercise, traditional nature-cure
as well as East/West healing arts/bodywork).
If you are
interested in studying with Dr. Berkowsky and would like a free recording
wherein he discusses the theoretical foundation of Spiritual PhytoEssencing,
e-mail your request for the recording link.
Disclaimer: This publication is intended as an
educational tool, and not as a prescription. Seek the advice of your health-care
provider before discontinuing any medication and/or trying any new remedy or technique.