Gardens: for Healing the Five Root Causes of Disease

Having a garden is the one solution that solves all five root causes of disease* in this country.

*The ‘Five Root Causes of Disease’ are spelled out by David Crow in a talk discussing the Tibetan Mandala, which depicts a garden. Here’s a summary:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Environmental toxicity
  3. Socioeconomic stress
  4. A spiritual root of some type – “the vacuity of our culture-less culture”
  5. Medicine itself – iatrogenic

In a simply stated linear progression, gardening mindfully heals the soil, builds nutrients in it that are taken into the plants, which become food for the body, which makes the body able to sustain itself without relying on pharmaceuticals (or late-arriving medicine), and provides a well-being that aids connection with others.  Growing your own food in a garden that you tend and connect with your neighbors around is a simple, singular way to be fully alive.   

  1. A garden also builds nutrition in foods – even in urban gardens the nutritional quality is higher than big agribusiness foods
  2. Gardens cleanse the environment, and improve soil quality when mindfully done.
  3. Socioeconomically, all have access to gardens (and therefore good food).
  4. A Chinese saying goes: ‘S/He who plants a garden plants happiness’ – People are shown to be less depressed when in a garden – and food gardens mean people can be with community to gather and help each other.
  5. People experience less stress in a garden, and require fewer meds. This is shown in research with healing gardens at hospitals and the work showing having a window in the hospital room is key to healing.

Making gardens and tending them is a fantastic way to render great change from the small scale to the large. Gardens make small scale community based food, save on fossil fuels, yield higher nutrition (freshness being a key factor in nutritive quality), and bring a grounded happiness to those who tend them.

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