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.
Last month I had the opportunity to go wildcrafting with my teacher and friend, Jessica from Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals. We headed to the ocean to gather wild roses (Rosa rugosa). I was really excited because I felt Rose had been gently calling for me to work with her.
Immediately I felt rose was teaching me boundaries. A needed lesson in my life. We had to drive to a few different locations to find any worth picking, it was raining down on us and when we finally found some, we had to harvest gently with awareness of the prickles. We had to work for her medicine, she wasn’t going to just give it away. I took this lesson into my heart.
We had a wonderful adventure and geeked out on the Botany of each plant, even the ones we found in the parking lot, and there were many!
While we were filming dog roses, I noticed a big pile of poo, stepping around it to film my teacher. I don’t know how I forgot it was there, but when I stepped back, I stepped in it! The runniest, ickiest pile of poo squished under my sandal.
Disgusted but laughing at my own dismay, I blurted out, “Sometimes you have to have a little sh*t with your roses!” I felt my mama speaking through me and I could feel her presence with us. She always added humor and optimism to any ‘crappy’ situation.
We ran to the ocean shore to wash my sandal and my foot, and as we approached we saw a bunch of little baby ducks! We would not have witnessed them if I hadn’t stepped in it. We then giggled and indulged ourselves with foot scrubs.
According to Bach’s Wild Rose Flower essence, wild rose encourages the positive potential for enthusiasm and a lively interest in life. Reigniting our passion for life, and enthusiasm for the world in general, work, and those we care about.
I definitely felt this, despite the rain and the poo, it was a magical day. After we parted, I visited a few sacred spots of mine and gathered some petals that are now infusing in oil for my Ageless cream!
There are over 10,000 species of Roses and they have a long history of healing, used to treat cold, flu, depression, grief, the immune system, digestive system, and used in skincare to name a few!
Thank you Rose for your beauty and magic, for more on Wild Rose medicine, see my Wild Rose Monograph post!!💚🌹
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💚