This article focuses upon healing wisdom of Morocco, which I gathered during my recent visit there.
From the moment I set foot in Morocco’s ancient city of Volubilis, I was captivated by its rich history and archaeological wonders. Led by the head of the excavation team, I embarked on a journey through the remnants of a mini city, learning about the ingenious structures and fascinating concepts from over 2000 years ago. One such revelation was the hammam, a personal and social sanctuary with rooms of varying temperatures. The ingenuity of our ancestors never ceases to amaze me.
The Therapeutic Ritual Called Hammam
Eager to experience the magic of the hammam myself, I indulged in not just one, but two hammam visits. The ritual began with hot water and black soap gently applied to my skin, followed by lying on a warm surface that embraced and enveloped me in its comforting heat.
As the scrubbing exfoliation commenced, I could not help but notice that the steam itself didn’t provide the massage I had anticipated. However, during my second hammam experience, something shifted. As I reclined on the warm surface, a sense of profound relaxation washed over me. It was as if my body and mind had found a serene harmony. For 45 minutes, I basked in the blissful combination of natural ingredients and the therapeutic power of the hammam.
A Lesson in Contrast
The pinnacle of the hammam experience arrived with the invigorating plunge into a cold-water tub. The sensation of immersing myself in icy water after the warm treatment was nothing short of rejuvenating. It awakened my senses and left me feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to embrace all that lay ahead.
This age-old practice taught me the importance of balancing extremes, of embracing contrasts to deeply appreciate the beauty of each moment. It was an experience that I can confidently say was the best I have ever felt.
Health and Happiness at an Amazigh Village
In the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco I had the privilege to visit an Amazigh village near the town of Ouirgane. The villagers welcomed us with open arms, treating us as the most cherished company they could hope for. Their genuine hospitality and infectious joy reminded me that having everything at our disposal is not always a blessing. Living in the moment and making the most of what we have can bring us true happiness.
At this village, a herbalist showed me all the leaves, roots, seeds, and flowers that he uses to treat the people of the village for a variety of minor (and sometimes major) ailments. Almost all the medicinal ingredients are farmed or foraged nearby, and they are consumed in a variety of ways — brewed into tea, mixed with a little water or oil, or simply cooked into various dishes. By incorporating these ingredients into their daily meals mindfully, the residents ensure they lead a healthy life.
Later in the day, at an afternoon tea laid out by an Amazigh family, I savored this taste of authenticity. Bread, olives, and homemade honey comprised the spread, with every element sourced from their natural surroundings. Not a single item came out of a packet. The family even had their own brick oven to bake the fresh bread that accompanied our tea.
Tasting Centuries of Wisdom
My visit to Morocco reinforced the importance of eating whole, seasonal, organic food with lots of herbs and spices. This can go a long way to giving our body what it needs to stay healthy.
The Moroccan knowledge of local flora and its various uses for food, oils, and medicine left me in awe. Centuries of wisdom have been passed down through generations, highlighting the effectiveness of natural herbs and spices. In one village, a farm-to-table operation is run by Chef Tarik, one of the country’s top culinary minds. Chef Tarik not only empowers the community but also fosters a deeper connection with the origin of food and the healing potential of locally sourced ingredients.
In Conclusion: A Reminder of What Matters
The cultural immersions of Morocco have left an indelible mark on my perception of the power of nature and its natural healing properties. From the ancient hammam to the wisdom of herbalists and the simplicity of Amazigh life, this journey has reminded me that as we continue to navigate modern life, let us not forget to seek solace and healing in nature, for it holds the key to our wellbeing and harmonious existence.
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