I don't know why the generosity of people suprises me so much. Maybe it's the constant bad news we're fed, or the hardwiring of the brain to focus on the negative. But Steemfolk? They are a bloody decent bunch of people that will help out when they can, and when they're asked. One of the things Steemit has taught me is to ask rather than struggling along on your lonesome. From techies to writers, Tribe owners to Steem celebrities, graphic artists to people who just general stuff about stuff, there will always be someone around on Steem to help you out. Thus the history of Natural Medicine's logo is not my history, as the person who may have got the collective started off, but of all the people who have had an input into it's creation. Just like anything in this Tribe, it's been the work of many, many lotuses in the mud!
We've had a bit of a re-vamp, you may have noticed. We didn't really need to, but I like to play around, and we thought it'd be nice to have a fresh image to present our best face to the world outside Steem through the new front end, www.naturalmedicine.io. Was I crazy to take this on? Possibly. But sometimes playing with logos and graphics is the greatest procrastination tool when there's a whole other list of Steem jobs to do. Just like writing this post is a bit of procrastination when I've got real life jobs to do. But a few people have been asking me about it of late, so I thought I'd explain a little bit about the logo and it's origins, and thank the people who have had something to do with it's creation.
When we started Natural Medicine over a year ago, it was to support people writing and publishing about alternative health. The woman I began it with had had her account shut down on Facebook, and the heavy censorship had brought her to Steemit. Whilst she is no longer around, the idea of uniting people specifically wanting to publish this kind of content without censorship took off - we weren't the only ones interested in herbalism, or yoga, or natural birthing.
The lotus with the heart was my idea - I'm big on hearts - and have one tattoed on my forearm to remind me that people are essentially good, and will always help when you need them to the most. Deep down underneath all our social conditioning is our truest, kindest, most compassionate self - the self that can heal the world and others, the self that is a true healer. In my yoga practice, the lotus heart dwells in the centre of the chest, contracting and opening with the light of a spiritual life and nourishment of body, mind and soul.
"Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart.
Everything that moves, breathes, opens, and closes lives in the Self-the source of love.
Realize the Self hidden in the heart and cut asunder the knot of ignorance here and now."
—The Upanishads (Translated by Eknath Easwaran, Nilgiri Press, 1987)
The lotus worked well too as it was a plant medicine:
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaeaceae) is a potential aquatic crop grown and consumed throughout Asia. All parts of N. nucifera have been used for various medicinal purposes in various systems of medicine including folk medicines, Ayurveda, Chinese traditional medicine, and oriental medicine. Many chemical constituents have been isolated till the date. However, the bioactive constituents of lotus are mainly alkaloids and flavonoids. Traditionally, the whole plant of lotus was used as astringent, emollient, and diuretic. It was used in the treatment of diarrhea, tissue inflammation, and homeostasis. The rhizome extract was used as antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of asteroidal triterpenoid. Leaves were used as an effective drug for hematemesis, epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematuria, and metrorrhagia. Flowers were used to treat diarrhea, cholera, fever, and hyperdipsia. In traditional medicine practice, seeds are used in the treatment of tissue inflammation, cancer and skin diseases, leprosy, and poison antidote. Embryo of lotus seeds is used in traditional Chinese medicine as Lian Zi Xin, which primarily helps to overcome nervous disorders, insomnia, and cardiovascular diseases (hypertension and arrhythmia). Nutritional value of lotus is as important as pharmaceutical value. These days’ different parts of lotus have been consumed as functional foods. Thus, lotus can be regarded as a potential nutraceutical source. <sup>1</sup>
And of course, there was the saying 'no mud, no lotus'. Thic Nat Hanh wrote that "when we know how to suffer, we suffer much, much less.". This saying suggests suffering is part of the beauty of life. What beautiful natural medicine wisdoms are inherent in this saying! Let alone all the hard work done in the mud of Steemit, and the desire to bring those hard workers some rewards.
My particular interest was herbs and yoga - but we very quickly understand that the diversity of healing practices extended far beyond these two healing modalities. @metametheus's Freedom Tribe and @kenistyle at the time, who very generously whipped us up the first Lotus, immediately knowing what we wanted. He created us both the logo and divider, which graced our publications for over a year. Thanks so much, @hungryhustle, whose artwork is just gorgeous. She's starting an eco community in Europe, and you should follow her while she does INKTOBER! Her work is also available on [Redbubble](), and she'd created 'natural medicine' inspired images before, beautiful images of valerian and plantain.
On holiday, she kindly drew us this image, but she had left her computer pen behind, so couldn't render it further. We totally loved the curves lines and the gentleness she brought to the logo. Thanks ever so much, @frejafri who heeded my shout out in the Discord channels. With her metal goddess enthusiasm and gorgeous laugh, she rendered the image in a clean lined digital image that could be easily coloured. Thanks so much, Crim!!