I initially stumbled upon Angel Wing Begonia (Begonia hirsuta) when I realized I dropped my pen somewhere in the Hidden Garden when Vanessa Chakour (herbalist) was giving a brief plant walk and introducing the concept of plant allies. I retraced my steps, then noticed this cool looking plant under my feet and stooped down to examine it. That’s when my line of sight expanded slightly and I saw my pen directly across from me under another shrub. I knew then that the plant helped me see what I sought, and that I would return to it. Then, when looking for my plant ally, I couldn’t ignore this connection and chose this plant.
I learned from Ansel, a local herbalist who joined us on the walk, that it’s name is Angel Wing Begonia. I tried to look for the doctrine of signatures, and saw that the plant swoops low to the ground in a protective arch, shares a shady plot with other plants, and has dark leaves that are alternating but are close enough to look opposite – with the shape of wings. The flowers of the plant were small, pinkish-white, and looked like little lanterns hanging from the stems along with little seed pods. The gesture of the plant was protective and nurturing, and Ansel commented that it likes company but also likes it’s own space, which I realized sounded exactly like my personality. I like to ‘mother’ and nurture people who need my help (even those who don’t know it or ask for it) and I really value alone time, and introspection. I also noticed the translucent red veiny stems, and thought they represented the plasma part of blood, which reminded me of the fourth phase of water. When meditating with the plant, I imagined that it helps with the circulation of blood via the plasma nature and viscosity, by helping the blood form a shape and vortex along the blood vessels to create movement. The sour taste made me think that it’s vitamin C – rich, and therefore antioxidant and astringent.
When I later looked up the plant and its medicinal uses, back in NY, I couldn’t find too much information. I found that the leaves are used in salads, much like spinach leaves. I also found uses for eye problems, which is something I’m always searching for to help my own eyes. I definitely think I was called to this plant for a reason, and want to continue to explore it and deepen my relationship with it. I hoped, but didn’t truly believe, that I would be able to attune to a plant on a vibrational level, and receive information that is intuitive rather than learned from a book. I finally feel that I am capable of that and I want to experience this with other plants.
I made a flower essence of Angel Wing Begonia the day before coming home, and later that night – a tincture, under the glow of the moon which just turned full. I brought the tincture and flower essence back to NY in my suitcase, and luckily made it through customs. I still have a bit of time to wait for the tincture to set, but I’ve tried the flower essence, which I found makes me slow down and gives clarity. It makes me aware of my surroundings and remember things that are in the back of my mind. It brings it to the foreground of my consciousness and helps me gain clarity to prioritize my time accordingly.