The Four Sacred Medicines


Hello dear friends!

“The plants have enough spirit to transform our limited vision.” ~ Rosemary Gladstar

I’m a firm believer that mother nature has provided us with everything we need to heal. After many years spent trudging through the ringers of the conventional medical world, trying to find help for my chronic illnesses (to little avail), I finally gave myself over to the powers of the natural world. And I haven’t looked back since. While modern medicine can be fantastic and certainly has its place, our plant and animal friends know where it’s AT.

In my studies and experiences with both herbal medicine and spiritual healing, I began to notice quite a bit of overlap. A great many plants and natural substances have a rich history of cultural, religious, and mystical use. And these plants contain a certain energy that can be felt and worked with in an intentional, conscious manner. The sacred language of the natural world began to unfold, the more I worked with them in a more mindful manner. I started experimenting with ritual use, enveloping these medicines into my spiritual practice, and found that their healing properties were amplified!

Now, there are a lot of herbs, flowers, fruits, and other gifts of nature that many consider to be “sacred.” All living things emit vibration, and have wisdom to share with us. These four medicines, however, are especially sacred to me, and I have spent quite a bit of time journeying with them. I have a special affinity for these four amazing substances, and invite you to play with them as well!

These are my favorite four (mostly) legal sacred medicines. In no particular order:


1. Cacao

Nope, not the stuff you find in the grocery store. Not a chocolate candy bar, or cocoa powder. The real deal. Raw, unadulterated cacao. This has long been used as a medicine and in ritual in Central and South America, and nowadays, cacao ceremonies are popping up across the globe, letting more people of more cultures have a taste of this powerful medicine.

Cacao is an incredible heart-opener, connecting us to feelings of bliss, oneness, and intimacy. It relaxes the blood vessels, opens the airways, and focuses the mind (all properties of a mild stimulant). Raw cacao is wonderful to experience as a group, with a partner, or on your own. I often do solo cacao ceremonies that include long, deep meditations, and sometimes I’ll pull some tarot cards too. They’ve been truly transformative! I wrote all about cacao ceremony medicine in this blog, and I highly recommend you check it out!

Now, you should know that raw cacao (often prepared as a hot drink) is bitter and doesn’t taste like yummy hot cocoa. It blends really well with lots of different herbs and spices, and you can add a bit of coconut milk if you need to. Also, it’s super important that you buy good quality ceremonial grade cacao from a reputable source. I personally like Heartblood Cacao.

  • Chakra: Heart, sacral

  • Season: Winter

  • Element: Fire

  • Stone: Bloodstone, rose quartz, jade

  • Spirit animal: Jaguar


2. Honey

Our bee friends deserve all the love, respect, and protection that we can give them. We would not be here if it weren’t for their ability to pollinate our food sources! And their own unique medicine is a potent healing force for nearly every condition out there. Sweet, golden honey is some of the best antibacterial, anti-allergy, and anti-fungal medicine, and gives clean critical carbs to every cell, most importantly our nervous system. It can boost our energy levels, lift brain fog, and improve our mood.

Full spectrum, raw, unprocessed honey is the best. You want little bits of wax, propolis, pollen, and all the goodies in there too. And no two batches of honey are the same, either! The natural world changes every single day- the weather, the flowers, the plants, everything is different. So what the bees collect is different, which goes into the honey. I think this is positively amazing! And it also means that the more different honeys you eat, the broader spectrum medicine you’ll get. Honey has been used across continents and cultures, and is mentioned as a special healing food in several holy books and spiritual texts.

Honey is one source of sugar that nobody should fear. Instead, it should be met with reverence, as it has been for centuries before. Please remember to never heat it (over 104 degrees), as this destroys enzymes and medicinal properties. And always do your research to find sustainable beekeepers near you, and make sure your product is actually 100% raw honey (many are not).

  • Chakra: Solar Plexus, Throat

  • Season: Summer

  • Element: Fire

  • Stone: Citrine, sunstone

  • Spirit animal: Bee (an obvious choice)


3. Mushrooms

Sorry, I won’t be going into THOSE mushrooms. Psilocybin, along with other psychedelics are certainly sacred medicines, but that would require a whole other blog post to cover! No, we will stick to our perfectly legal, non-psychoactive mushrooms here. These fungi have been used as medicines for centuries, especially in the Traditional Chinese system, but also the Indo-European and Native American traditions. There are a handful of mushrooms that I consider to be particularly powerful, and useful for our modern life. I don’t have the space here to go into depth, but I’ll give you an overview of my favorites:

  • Chaga- immune modulator, fights cancer, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory

  • Lion’s Mane- protects and rebuilds the nervous system, improves memory and clarity,

  • Turkey Tail- anti-inflammatory, fights cancer, immune modulator, improves gut function

  • Cordyceps- boosts energy and endurance, protects heart and vessels, anti-aging

  • Reishi- improves immune response, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, fights cancer, improves resilience

Mushrooms are often categorized as adaptogens- substances that have broad-spectrum effects that aid in our ability to handle stress, fight infection, and live longer. And to me, mushrooms are a sacred medicine, as they contain immense intelligence within their vast networks (called mycelium) which can sometimes stretch for miles. Out of this mycelium sprout the actual mushrooms (called the fruiting body), which are packed with energetic information and bioactive compounds. Find a reputable company to get your mushrooms or mushroom extracts from- I personally like FreshCap Mushrooms.

  • Chakra: Root, solar plexus

  • Season: Autumn

  • Element: Earth

  • Stone: Black agate, red jasper, smoky quartz

  • Spirit animal: Serpent


4. Cannabis

Sometimes known as the “original medicine,” the cannabis plant has had a long and fascinating history (you can read more about it in this blog). Nowadays, this versatile plant sees a divided cultural opinion and legal hurdles, for those who wish to access its medicine. Depending on where you live, you may have access to every part (like we do in Colorado), you may need a Med card to get it, or you may only have CBD available (which is legal everywhere). Regardless, you can take advantage of this powerful herb’s healing gifts.

There are far too many active compounds in cannabis to go into here, but let me just say that no matter what ails you, there is likely a strain out there that can help. CBD alone has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, help with sleep, calm anxiety, fight cancer and infection, and so much more. And if you wish to bring in THC as well, along with other active terpenes, you can have more benefits for mood, appetite regulation, nerve pain/neuropathy, IBS and gut issues, neurological healing, and more. You probably know someone who uses cannabis to manage their chronic illness, and that’s because it really works. Governments and industries like big Pharma fear this medicine, for not just physical ailments, but spiritual awakening as well…

Adding in small amounts of cannabis, for me, has opened my awareness and perception, and I have used it to deepen my meditation practice, do more profound journeywork, and receive more messages from the spirit realms. Cannabis has been used for centuries as a kind of psychedelic, opening us to greater truths beyond. Whether or not you have legal access to all cannabis products, I recommend incorporating CBD oil from a clean source- I personally love NuLeaf Naturals (use code ABRIGHTERWILD for 15% off).

  • Chakra: Crown, third eye

  • Season: Spring

  • Element: Air

  • Stone: Clear quartz, amethyst

  • Spirit animal: Eagle

I honestly don't know where I would be today, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, without these four sacred medicines. They have all brought such incredible gifts into my life, and I regularly give gratitude for them. At this point in my healing, I use honey, cannabis, and mushrooms every single day, and take a cacao journey every week or two.

And speaking of cacao journeys, I want to share my special recipe with you!

This is my basic recipe for a ceremonial cacao drink, that includes all of these sacred medicines. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear your experience.


Mel’s Sacred Cacao Medicine

  • 8 oz clean, filtered water

  • 1-2 oz raw, ceremonial grade cacao shavings or discs (1 oz is best for beginners, 2 oz is the traditional dose)

  • ½ tsp mushroom powder (reishi and chaga go especially well)

  • 10 drops potent CBD oil (or appx 20-25 mg)

  • 1 tsp raw, local honey

  • Pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, or chili (optional)


Heat water to the point just before boiling. While it is heating up, measure out cacao into a special cup or mug. Add the mushroom powder too. Pour in the hot (but not boiling) water and stir well. Stir in the honey next, then add the CBD drops, and any spices you’d like. Mix up well (you can use a whisk if you like it frothy), give thanks, and enjoy.

Alright, my friends, what do you think? How many of these sacred medicines have you tried? Have you incorporated them into your spiritual practice?

Honored to share, as always.

~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~

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