Grateful this summer a dear friend gave me the best gift ever…garden space! Living in an apartment I don’t have much room to garden and what I do have is pretty shaded from the large lovely Pines we have growing here. It fills me with joy to have the opportunity to develop my gardening skills, and to deepen my relationships with these sacred plants. I love spending time with them, giving them offerings, and talking to them, and it makes me so happy to please the bees, though I think I annoy them by trying to take their pictures, I back off when they tell me to!In this post, I thought I’d share some pictures of my babies, like any proud mama!Pictured are St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis), Nettles (Urtica dioica), Greek mullein (Verbascum olympicum), Tulsi kapoor (Ocimum tenuiflorum), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac), and a row of kale and a row of pot marigold for pest repellent.
Common Name(s): Rose, Wild Rose, Prickly wild rose, Arctic rose, Cabbage rose, Climbing prairie rose, Prairie rose, Dog rose, Dogwood rose, Japanese rose, Baby rose, Many flowered rose, Seven-sisters rose, Nutka rose, Swamp rose, Woods rose, French Rose
Latin Name(s): Rosa spp. (including R. rugosa, R. centifolia, R. setigera, R. canina, R. multiflora, R. nutkana, R. palustris,, R. woodsii, R. gallica, (and many more, over 10,000 species)
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
Subfamilies: Rosoideae, Dryadoideae, Amygdaloideae,
Part(s) Used: Fruit(hips), Leaves, Flower petals
Actions: Analgesic, antioxidant, astringent, demulcent, inflammatory modulator, nutritive, cooling, moistening, emotional&physical heart medicine, aromatic nervine, antispasmodic, immune system and connective tissue tonic (hips), antiedemic (hips)
Constituents: Tannins (gallic acid) , pectins, bioflavonoids, Vitamin C- Carotenoids, lycopene, B3, E, K (hips), cyanin (seeds) phytonutrients, phytochemicals, calcium, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, quercetin, tocopherols, polysaccharides, Omega 3’s (seeds) volatile oils such as, damascenone, pinenes, nerol, linalool, limonene geraniol,
Indications: colds&flu, inflammation, pain, wounds, eye wash, upper respiratory (tea), anxiety&depression, grief&loss, sexual health&self love, diabetes or metabolic syndrome, lyme disease (connective tissue tonic), immune deficiency, inflamed gut, diarrhea, mild bleeding, reproductive organs, skin care/cosmetic-(rosehip seed oil, rose toners, anti-aging)
Preparation & Dosage: Food, grinding whole dried fruits to include seeds as a form of nutrition (although some people complain of the hairs being irritating), petals in cakes and confections, rose flavored soda, (pop a whole rose blossom in a clear glass container, cover it with plain seltzer and steep 1 hr.), rose hip jam/jelly, honey, syrup, glycerite, tea, infusion, tincture, vinegar, elixer, infused oil , infused in spirits, hydrosol, essential oil, smoke blends
Dosages; Tea, 1tsp dried, or 1 large handful of fresh per 8 oz. water, 1-3xday, Tincture, 1ml/30 drops, 1-3xday or as needed, preferably diluted in water or other drink, up to 4 ml, Vinegar same as tincture or up to 1tsp, 1-3xday, Syrup, elixir, oxymel, or honey, ½ tsp-1tb, 1-3xday, Cordial, 1 oz. daily, Flower Essence 1-5 drops, 1-3x day on tongue, in water, as air mist or rubbed into skin.
Description: Patterns of Rose family; 5 separate petals, 5 separate sepals, numerous stamens, numerous styles, oval serrated leaves, alternate. Leaves vary from simple to trifoliate, palmate or pinnate. The whole leaves or smaller leaflets are frequently more or less oval shaped with serrated edges. Roses have compound leaves with an odd number of leaflets that grow alternately on the stems also called canes. Technically, roses don’t have thorns, they have prickles. Flowers grow in varying shades of white, pink, scarlet and yellow. They typically have 5 (rarely 3-10) separate sepals and a similar number of petals. A distinctive fuzzy center with at least 5 yellow stamens, usually more in multiples of 5. At the base is a star like calyx that sticks around the end of the fruit or rose hip.
Habitat and growing conditions: A deciduous or evergreen woody perennial, reproduces by seed or rhizome. Grows to a thorny shrub 1-15 ft. tall, found on coastal areas, dry slopes, fields, forest understories, hedgerows, lakeshores, marshes, meadows, pastures, riparian areas, roadsides, sand dunes, stream banks, and woodland edges, Roses need full sun to partial shade, and dry to moist soil, well drained, USDA zones 3-9 (depending on variety)
Status: No special status (USDA Forest service)
Cautions and Contraindications: Rose is very safe, especially in standard herbal doses (see above) The quality varies among roses in commerce, so be sure to buy for consumption (food grade) and not for potpourri.
Magickal properties: psychic, spiritual and sexual boundaries, protection, love, connectivity, female intuition, dreams, luck, friendship, love spells, to raise divanatory energies and to strengthen body and mind, Rose hips can be strung as necklace or bracelet to attract love&good fortune
Flower essence Roses heal the heart deeply and to the core. The Divine Feminine, Mother Mary, and Goddess energy are all connected to the rose. As an aphrodisiac, Roses love lovers, and they help us to trust in love again. Red Rose is a flower of passionate love, heart-spirit connection, and intimacy. It also helps with transmuting feelings of betrayal by supporting the back of the heart chakra. Past betrayals can make it hard to open, but Red Rose shows us a path for intimacy with a partner. It helps with self-love, self-respect and even healing tendencies of self-betrayal. White Rose represents the yoni in bloom; the beauty and sacredness of the womb, yoni, and motherhood. It connects us to the inner goddess and helps us see the yoni as a goddess. It is also very clearing and cleansing and speaks of purification. The pink Wild Rose is great for feeling playful, fun and flirtatious.
(From Flower Essences and Sexuality, The Local Rose)
~It was between 1582 and 1612 that the oil or OTTO OF ROSES was discovered.
~A true essential oil of Rose costs hundreds of dollars so know that most rose oils are synthetic, adulterated or extracted with solvents.
~The United States official confection is made by rubbing Red Rose petals, powdered, with heated rose-water, adding gradually fine, white sugar and heating the whole together till thoroughly mixed. The Fluid Extract is made from powdered Red Rose petals with glycerin and dilute alcohol. It is of a deep red color, an agreeable odor of rose and of a pleasant, mildly astringent taste.
~Honey of Roses, official in the US Pharmacopoeia, is prepared from clarified honey and fluid extract of roses. It’s considered more agreeable than ordinary honey and somewhat astringent. In olden das, Honey of Roses was popular for sore throats and mouth ulcers, and was made by pounding fresh petals in a small quantity of boiling water, filtering the mass and boiling the liquid with honey.
~Rose Vinegar, a specific on the Continent for headache caused by hot sun, is prepared by steeping dried rose petals in best distilled vinegar, which should not be boiled. Cloths or linen rags are soaked in the liquid and are then applied to the head.
Pic Credit The Graphics Fairy
Wild Remedies by Rosalee De La Foret &Emily Han
Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel
Northeast Foraging by Leda Meredith
Body into Balance by Maria Noel Groves
American Botanical Council
A Modern Herbal
Spring has Sprung! Slowly but surely I am shaking off the lingering cold of winter and my body is trying to warm up. Feeling a bit sluggish, I am glad I have a dandelion leaf and root tincture made to assist in detoxing leftover stale energy and heavy foods of last season. Spring is such a great time to cleanse away what is no longer serving us.
I know for many this little flower is a nuisance but to me, it is an ally. I look forward to their arrival every Spring. Did you know that dandelion (taraxacum officinale) is full of good stuff for us? You can use the root, leaf, bud, and flower! The entire plant is highly nutritious. The flowers are high in antioxidants and can be used in salads, fritters, and wine, just to name a few. The greens contain vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They can be eaten raw or cooked. I like to make a dandelion pesto. The root is full of soluble fiber and can aid in digestion and help treat liver problems, and is delicious as a tea.
For more on dandelion, see my Dandelion Monograph
So, the next time you are thinking about mowing over them, pause and ask how you can benefit from its medicine. If you are wildcrafting them, make sure they are free from pesticides, 10ft from the roadside (where they are exposed to toxic fumes) and take only 1/3, and always ask permission.
Happy Spring! Happy Wildcrafting! Happy Healing!💚
dandelion pic credit: Natalia Luchanko
Common Name: Dandelion
Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Part(s) Used: Root, Leaf, Flower
Actions: Diuretic, Cholagogue, anti-rheumatic, laxative, tonic, hepatic, detoxifying, bitter, nutritive, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal
Constituents: Leaves are high in vitamins and minerals including Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and Vitamins A, B, and C. Roots contain inulin, mucilage, latex resin, and teraxicin.
Indications: The leaf is a powerful diuretic, and because it is high in potassium it replaces this loss that other diuretics don’t. Dried leaf tea is a folk laxative and remedy for anemia and blood purifier. The root makes an excellent tonic herb, especially for impaired digestion or constipation. As a Cholagogue it may be used in inflammation and congestion of the liver and gallbladder. Other common uses; kidney failure, stones, bladder infection, yeast overgrowth, and scant pale urine.
Preparation & Dosage: Leaves may be eaten fresh in a salad, as a cooked green, or in a tea or tincture. The root may also be eaten fresh and stir-fried, tinctured, or dried and for tea as a coffee substitute. Flowers can be eaten fresh or made into many recipes including fritters and wine. For liver and gallbladder problems it may be used with Barberry or Balmony. For water retention, use with Couch grass or Yarrow. Decoction, put 2-3 tsp of the root into one cup of water, bring to boil, and gently simmer for 10-15 min, drink 3 times daily. For tincture take 5-10 ml 3 times per day.
Description: Thick dark brown, almost black taproot with white and milky within, long jagged leaves with tooth-like edges, earning its French name dent de lion, or lion’s tooth. These grooved leaves funnel rain directly to the root. Leaves are hairless and grow in a rosette form. The stem is hollow and contains a milky white substance called latex. Flowers are yellow, and there is only one flower per rosette. The flowers open in the morning sun and close in the evening, and in gloomy weather. The flower becomes a white poofy “wish ball” and spreads its seed this way.
Habitat and growing conditions: Dandelion has followed the footsteps of pilgrims for millennia. The genus with over 250 species, grows all over the world. It thrives just about anywhere. It also improves soil quality, as the root draws minerals up from deep layers of the earth, concentrating them in the whole plant. When the plant dies back it deposits these minerals into the soil. It is found in virtually every kind of habitat, from openings in deep woods to cultivated fields, from rocky hillsides to fertile gardens and lawns.
Status: Not endangered, Common weed
Cautions and Contraindications: Do not handle if you have an allergy to latex, which may cause dermatitis.
Notes: Root can be used as a dye for a magenta color
Magickal Uses: Dandelion is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element Air.
A tea of the flowers and leaves may be drunk to increase psychic ability.
Puffy seed heads can be blown to make a wish!
Resources: Botanical.com, Ediblewildfood.com, Witchipedia.com, The Herbal Handbook by David Hoffmann, Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants&Herbs by Steve Foster&James A.Duke, and my Materia Medica
The word and feeling of delay is pretty familiar these days. The Pandemic has forced us to slow down and even stop our activity. Nevertheless, I want to apologize for the delay in posting and launching my BeYOUthentic herbal products.
Pandemic aside. I have had other issues that have made me slow down to process. If you follow my other blog Labeled Disabled, then you know I struggle with mental health. I have been working towards launching my own business for over a year with Vocational Rehab, if you want to know more about that journey, you can read my latest post there, Commitment&Consistency.
Meanwhile, I do have two social media pages up on Facebook and Instagram that I have managed to post weekly on. I launched my first product, Nourish Herbal Cream at a recent local fundraiser and received great feedback! I am very much looking forward to sharing it with you!
I hope you are all hanging in here during these challenging times.
Be patient. Be kind.
Thanks so much for being here💚