Jul 232014
 
www.HerbFolk.org

www.HerbFolk.org

Class Schedule
for Plant Healer’s
2014 HERBFOLK GATHERING

Sept 16th-21st – Mormon Lake, Arizona
www.PlantHealer.org/HerbFolk.html

The Information You Need, The Enchantments You Desire

We’ll be coming up soon to our 5th Annual Plant Healer event – five years of education and celebration from Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference to Herbal Resurgence, Medicine of The People, and now the HerbFolk Gatherings. Located in the lush high elevation pine forests south of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, featuring folkloric and hands-on elements as well as clinical, these are truly events like no others! Classes this year are being taught by a collection of impassioned teachers, for students and practitioners of every level from beginner to accomplished. For more information including detailed class descriptions, download the free July issue of Plant Healer’s Herbaria Newsletter: https://madmimi.com/s/633115

2014 Class Schedule

While the class descriptions have been posted on the website for a long time now, we always wait until near August to post the actual schedule and times. It seems there are often some last minute changes, so we don’t want to release it too early. On the other hand, those of you who are coming like to know which classes are up against each other in the same time slots, in order to pick ahead of time which ones you are most excited to attend. We therefore present to you now the schedule for this year’s program, complete except for the names of the kid’s classes. Click on the following link to download your advance copy:
HerbFolk Class Schedule PDF

Thank you for re-posting or otherwise sharing this... and we will hope to see many of you in Arizona’s verdant forests in a little under 2 months time!

Kiva class 72dpi Sheri Hupfer 72dpi mormon flowers

Jul 092014
 

Plant Healer Newsletter Uncle Sam 72dpi

40 Pages-Long  July Newsletter for Folks Interested in Herbs

The July issue of the Plant Healer E-Newsletter will be mailed out on Monday the 14th.  The download link won’t be posted on this blog, so please make sure you are subscribed if you’d like to receive a copy.  Subscribe by going to our website and clicking on the “Subscribe” button on the far left side of the page:
www.PlantHealer.org

This month’s issue is an overgrown 40 color pages in length, and includes:

Herbal Books Stairway – The Amazing Art of a Cyprus Apothecary
Sean Donahue Review
Jesse Wolf Hardin: Sacred Indulgence – Body Care
Robin Rose Bennett: Exclusive Excerpt from Her New Book
Irina Adam: The Magic of Botanical Scents
Asia Suler
Sylvia Linsteadt: Wild Talewort
Elka’s Healthful Recipes: Stuffed Grape Leaves & Watermelon Rind Pickles
HerbFolk Teacher Bios
Plant Healer Event Reviews
Herbalist Interview: Guido Masé

Spreading Like Weeds

We’re now reaching over 11,000 readers with absolutely free content.  Unlike with Plant Healer Magazine, which goes out primarily to committed herbal students and practicing herbalists, subscribers to the newsletter and blog include crossover folks just getting into herbalism, or with natural healing as a side interest.  It feels like one way to spread and grow this this mission of healing and love – this weedy revolution!

Advertise Inexpensively

Display ads in the Plant Healer Newsletter are priced low enough to be affordable to folks launching new herbal related projects.  Space in our pages is intended for the common folk, small operations and family businesses… large corporations would need to explain why they deserve to be an exception. :) You can download the combined magazine and newsletter advertising pdf here:
Plant Healer Advertising Rates & Specs 2014:15

Share Your Knowledge, Submit Your Stories

You don’t have to be a professional writer in order to have something worthwhile to share with others.  And unlike with PH Magazine, it’s ok f your writings have been printed or posted before, so long as they haven’t been too widely distributed before.  Therapeutics, herb profiles, medicine making recipes, tips for practicing, clinical skills, conservation and gardening.   If you’d be interested, send an email with your ideas along with a request for the Guidelines… to:
PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

Subscribe at: www.PlantHealer.org

Wild green blessings, from
Kiva & Wolf

Jul 072014
 

Tell your most financially challenged friends:

HerbFolk Gathering Scholarships!

Plant Healer events draw a unique community of herbalists, not only professionals but everyday people, the common folk: part-time practitioners, backwoods mothers, volunteers at nonprofits, and kitchen-sink medicine makers. Few attendees of our past Traditions in Western Herbalism, Herbal Resurgence and HerbFolk Gatherings have been able to easily afford the trip to beautiful Mormon Lake, let alone the price of the ticket. It is partly for you folks that we picked a site that has free camping in the adjacent national forest, in an earthy resort where we can prepare our own food and avoid the cost of meals in their eatery… and it is for you that every year we make available a limited number of scholarships to attend these educational events and healing celebrations. It’s absolutely crucial that our community purchase enough tickets to cover the high costs of putting on the conference, but it is also important that those who have absolutely no way of covering the cost of a ticket can have a chance to come, learn, and enjoy:
Plant Healer’s 2014 HerbFolk Gathering – Sept. 18-21, 2014 – Mormon Lake, Arizona

HerbFolk half page Ad color 72dpi

We welcome scholarship applications from anyone, and the tickets will be given to those with the strongest enthusiasm for herbal work, as well as the greatest financial need. Applicants who don’t receive a scholarship will still be offered a deferred payment plan, barter possibilities or a work exchange, in order to try and make it possible! We may be full for on-site volunteers, but always need focused assistance with online and phone outreach.

Julie Caldwell of Humboldt Herbs, beloved teacher at HerbFolk 2013

Julie Caldwell of Humboldt Herbs, beloved teacher at HerbFolk 2013

Anyone can be helpful by 1. Contributing funds to help scholarships for others, 2. Donating your purchased ticket if you find you are unable to attend yourself; and 3. Spread this post and announcement around so that the all have the opportunity to fill out and then return to us the following simple form:

2014 Scholarships Application

Name:
Email:
Website, Blog, Facebook etc:
What draws you to Plant Healer’s HerbFolk Gathering in particular:
What you hope to do with what you learn:
Your need, & reason, for requesting a scholarship:

Write “Scholarship” in the subject line, and email your responses to: PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

We look forward to seeing many of you there soon!

mormon flowers

Jul 032014
 

St. John’s Wort has long been one of those herbs that I have great respect for and love as medicine, but have used it minimally simply because it’s not plentiful in my bioregion. Native species of Hypericum don’t always seem to contain much in the way of the red purple juice that herbalists so value, and just as importantly, they tend to be too sparse to ethically gather. So instead, I usually buy or trade for a small amount of the tincture and infused oil each year from friends for personal use and otherwise do without. Until now…

Hypericum scouleri

Hypericum scouleri

I was recently on a hike high in the White Mountains of Arizona on the Little Colorado River in a sheltered subalpine canyon where the plants are lush and green, even this time of year when most things are dormant or dying back while waiting for our summer rains. There were so many gorgeous herbs in flower it was actually difficult to focus, I just kept turning in circles to gaze at the Elderflowers and Wild Roses and Aconite and Violets and Horsetail and Owl’s Claws (Hymenoxys hoopesii) and Checker Mallow (Sidalcea neomexicana) and False Solomon’s Seal and Fernleaf Betony (Pedicularis procera) until I was downright dizzy! But then, under a clump of Red Osier Dogwood, there was a huge patch of one of our native medicinal Saint John Worts, Hypericum scouleri, in wild golden bloom spreading back through the woods to the river.

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Like the completely plant obsessed madwoman that I am, I nearly hyperventilated from joy over the unexpected gift of just seeing so much of this somewhat rare herb. Not only that, I could see from the size of the patch and the patches beyond that there was clearly enough to harvest a small amount for medicine. Elka and I immediately knelt down and began carefully picking the flowering tops, accompanied by quite a lot of excited chatter from me. But seriously, people, look at this plant! Is it possible to not be incredibly happy in its presence?

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St John’s Wort is one of those exceedingly well known plants that is so popular that it becomes difficult to describe its properties without being redundant. It’s probably most famous for its use in treating mild to moderate “depression” and for its sometimes problematic interactions with pharmaceuticals because of its effect on liver metabolism. I personally find a depression a problematic terms that tends to be a catchall for anyone who is not currently happy and may or may not also be manic. In other words, another generic psych term that can result from a plethora of roots and requires some critical thinking to best understand what may help and by what mechanism. Anything the normal processes of grief to side effects of hormonal birth control to chronic pain to symptoms of a food intolerance can be diagnosed as depression, and yet, they all need to be addressed differently… so let’s just forget that whole “St John’s Wort is for depression” thing for a minute.

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Hypericum scouleri elixir

 

P1030732St John’s Wort is a fantastic relaxant nervine, and I think it best enhance mood when there’s a component of tension and/or anxiety. Henriette Kress says in her book, Practical Herbs, that it’s most indicated for depression stemming from frustration, and I find that to be very true. This is basically the only kind of depression I’m personally susceptible thus far in my life, so beyond treating clients, I have some experience of my own with St. John’s Wort. I find that the herb taken internally in such a situation is very helpful at not only getting a sense of humor about the situation, but also in helping to find the proper perspective for sorting out whatever is causing the frustration and changing it.

As is common with herbs that are relaxant nervines, Hypericum is also helpful in cases of insomnia, especially if anxiety, gloomy thoughts, or a busy head is preventing sleep in the first place. I also find it useful in preventing and treating night terrors and nightmares, especially in children. Once again, elements of anxiety and tension are the key here.

Externally, SJW liniment can be a lifesaver for crunched back muscles resulting in sciatica, especially when combine with Cottonwood (resinous Populus spp.) buds and Alder (Alnus spp.) bark or leaf. The oil, salve, poultice, or compress is wonderful for healing almost any skin inflammation, and for reducing the swelling, pain, and overall inflammation of many injuries, including pulled muscles, sprained ankles, and can be useful post ACL surgery when combined with Comfrey, Solomon’s Seal, and Mullein.

P1030730Hypericum is also very helpful in all sorts of back pain characterized by a burning pain, including nerve pain, especially pain that is worse with pressure. It is commonly present in a great many general wound salves, pain liniments, and oils for sore muscles. It can be helpful in all of these situations, being rather multipurpose when it comes to hot, burning inflammation. This also applies to topical use in the treatment of herpetic lesions and shingles, especially if used as a preventative (concurrent with internal use) at the first sign of an occurrence, but most effective in this situation if combined with other helpful antivirals and supportive herbs.

When St. John’s Wort is truly indicated, it tends to work notably in a rapid manner, whether internally or externally. It’s not one of those herbs you have to wait to six weeks to see results from. If it doesn’t show any results from the first few times of taking it, try something else.

Preparations:

I prefer infused oil made with the fresh flowers, and tincture or elixir from the fresh or freshly dried flowering tops. Tisanes and infusions can be made with the dried plant. It is sometimes said that the dried plant is ineffective but I have not found this to be the case as long as I am using high quality, recently dried herb.

Formulae:

Internal: Endless combinations come to mind, but for alleviating anxiety, tension, and general gloominess, particularly if accompanied by exhaustion, weakness, and gut inflammation, I’m especially fond of a formula made up of 5 parts Hypericum, 3 parts Evening Primrose (Oenothera spp.) flowering tops, 2 parts Monkeyflower (Mimulus spp.) flowering tops, and 1 part Rose (especially Wild Roses, but any aromatic species will do) in honey and alcohol to make an elixir. Take as needed, .5 ml 3x/day.

For general sadness and apathy, it combines well with a more moving herb, such as Lavender or Tulsi to lift the spirits and help clear stuck depression or grief. I especially like a formula of 3 parts Albizzia flower or bark, 2 parts Hypericum, and 1 part Tulsi as a tincture or elixir, .5 ml up to 3x/day or smaller doses as needed.

It also makes a wonderful infusion, in equal parts with the flowering tops of Evening Primrose, for chronic coughs, especially that lingering cough after a long struggle with bronchitis in those who are already worn down by the virus and then the secondary infection and having difficulty recovering on the respiratory front.

External: For healing damaged ligaments I like an oil or liniment of 4 parts Solomon’s Seal root, 3 parts Saint John’s Wort, 2 parts Comfrey leaf/root, 2 parts Cottonwood bud, and 1 part Mullein leaf and root. This can also work well for almost any damaged joint that is suffering slow healing, aching pain, and inflammation.

Considerations:

Please note that this article speaks only to preparations made from the whole plant, NOT hypericin or any other isolated component.

Hypericum effects liver metabolism and caution should be utilized when using large amounts of St. John’s Wort concurrently with other medications, including birth control pills, and especially anti-depressants and blood thinners. High doses of Hypericum can also cause photosensitivity in some sensitive individuals.

Also, some people seem to feel absolutely nothing from St. John’s Wort, and some people are practically knocked out by it, so proceed slowly when dosing. I once saw a very perky young woman take a couple dropperfuls of the tincture at the HerbFolk Gathering, and ten minutes later proceed to stagger out of the Healer’s Market to take an impromptu nap on the nearest patch of shady grass. Such a strong reaction seems uncommon, but seems more likely to happen to vata types, especially if they’re anxious or wound up.

Ethical Concerns:

While H. perforatum is an invasive weed in parts of the United States, here in NM and AZ our native species such as H. scouleri are far from weedy and tend to prefer relatively untouched forests high in the mountains, almost always by a water source. They are not necessarily abundant or flourishing, given the habitat degradation, drought, and severe fires of late. If you harvest here, PLEASE (as in do so or I will hunt you down and personally harm you) do so with due consideration for the plant and a great deal of common sense.

Commercial Sources:

Dried Hypericum perforatum can be purchased from most herb suppliers, including Mountain Rose Herbs, fresh flowers can be purchased from select suppliers, including Pacific Botanicals and Zack Woods Herb Farm. Many suppliers also carry the infused oil or tincture, including Fawn Lily Botanicals.

Resources & References:

Practical Herbs by Henriette Kress
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore
Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine: A Clinical Materia Medica, 120 Herbs in Western Use by Jeremy Ross
Hedgerow Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal
The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett
Herbal Therapy & Supplements: A Scientific & Traditional Approach by Merrily A. Kuhn and David Winston
Warding Off Evil in the 21st Century: St John’s Wort As Xenosensory Activator? by Jonathan Treasure
Herbal Pharmacokinetics: A Pratitioner’s Update With Reference to St John’s Wort Herb Drug Interactions by Jonathan Treasure

All images ©2014 Kiva Rose

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Jul 012014
 
P1030676

Monarda fistulosa var. menthifolia

 

This time of year in southern New Mexico is dry and every breeze feels as if it’s been released through  the open door of a furnace. The grass dries to a golden brown and the river slows to a trickle. Even here in the mountains the heat can make it hard to move, and it’s tempting to just lay in the river’s remaining current in the cool shade of the Alders. The monsoons will hopefully bring us abundant rains in only a few weeks, but in the meantime flowers are blooming in the cool crevices of the arroyos and shaded mountainsides. So just the other morning Rhiannon and I decided to hike up the big wash next to the mesa we live on here in the canyon. The wash is sheltered, and within it grows many plants usually only found at higher elevations.

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Monarda fisulosa var. menthifolia

Each year this wash is where we harvest our favorite (for medicinal purposes) species of Beebalm, Monarda fistulosa var. menthifolia. This particular species is especially spicy and buttery (as compared to the half a dozen other species growing in the Gila at least), leaving a numbing oil on the tongue when ingested. Locals call it Oregano de la Sierra in reference to its habit of growing only in the mountains and less in the lower elevations of the Southwest. As the name also suggests, this Monarda has distinctly Oregano like flavor and also has similar medicinal and culinary uses. I’ve written extensively about Beebalm already, but I can’t emphasize what an important and powerful plant this is!

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Monarda fisulosa var. menthifolia

Beebalm’s fiery diffusiveness is the perfect match to Alder’s sweet riparian coolness in an anti-infective formula where I frequently use 1 part Beebalm to 4 parts of Alder for internal use in even acute infections. The two together (alongside other situationally appropriate herbs) can frequently heal even the worst infections when dosed properly, from raging cellulitis to persistent systematic MRSA to painful UTIs. The plant has numerous other applications as well, but it’s power in regards to microbial infections is certainly worth noting.

Rhiannon gathering Beebalm

Rhiannon gathering Beebalm

While the wash was violently flooded during last Summer’s monsoons, and much of the plants has been buried under boulders, there was still a decent amount of Beebalm growing from the banks and walls of the wash, allowing Rhiannon and I to gather a basket full to process for food and medicine. Being such an annual event, I also have pictures from years past and had to stop to reminisce over how much Rhiannon has grown since we first began harvesting this aromatic plant each June… she’s gone from a tiny imp to a bewitching young woman who, I might add, still has plenty of imp even as a nearly grown girl.

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Rhiannon stole the camera for a moment to take a picture of me.

We gathered until the sun was high and it was time to flee back down the wash to the waiting river. In the shade of a fallen Alder tree, we floated on the surface of the waning water, staring up at the lapis blue sky and listening to the breeze blow through the clattering leaves of the surrounding Cottonwoods. Wild Grapes (Vitis arizonica) dangled from the branches, tempting us with its still green fruit, while the scent of Datura wilting in the heat created a hypnotic counterpoint to the scent of wild mountain water flowing around us.

Wild Grape, Vitis arizonica

Wild Grape, Vitis arizonica

We took our basket of Beebalm home to separate leaves from flowers, creating honey elixir and tincture with the flowers while the leaves will be ground into pesto and dried to be used as a spice all year long. While we await the monsoons, we’ll savor the buttery heat of the Oregano de la Sierra, the taste of the land itself in Summer.

 

Jun 262014
 

Free Newsletter For Herbalists Now Available

The June 2014 Issue of Plant Healer Newsletter

  plant healer The June issue of the free Plant Healer Newsletter was emailed to newsletter subscribers a few days ago.  In case you missed it, we’re going to include a link to it at the bottom of this post for you to download.  We won’t be repeating this each time, however, so be aware that in the future you will need to be already be subscribed in order to receive yours. The Plant Healer Newsletter is sent out around the second or third week of every month except September, 11 issues per year, each one providing an average 30 full color pages of herbal information, plant profiles, diagnostics, natural and wild foods recipes, excerpts from past and upcoming Plant Healer quarterly magazines, and interview excerpts with both the elders and the new voices of herbalism today.  It could be said that we didn’t need the extra work of producing a newsletter on top of a magazine, books and events, but we strongly felt that we needed a venue to provide some absolutely free content as well… especially for those of you who can’t afford the kinds of materials you need for your study and practice.  Kiva and I can’t do this work of championing the folk herbal resurgence without the income from paid magazine subscriptions, but neither can we stop giving gifts that help make herbal insights and wisdom available to everyone.

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June Newsletter Contents:

Matthew Wood: Inspiring excerpts from Plant Healer interview with this well know herbal elder • Deborah Wallin: Traditional Tongva Herbalist Toypurina • Michael Tierra: Bermuda Grass profile • Kiva Rose: The Enchantments of Medicine Making • Elka: Watercress & Beet salad recipe • Introducing Tesoro! – the rockin’ flamenco of our HerbFolk 2014 band • The Healing Terrain – creating a book about nature’s healing powers

Your are welcome and even encouraged to repost this blog, or give the link for the June issue to your students and all your friends, or include it as a giveaway now or in future mailings you do.

Click on the following download link: June Issue of Plant Healer Newsletter

Jun 082014
 

Intro: The following is a chapter from our newest book The Enchanted Healer, by my partner Jesse Wolf Hardin.  The Enchanted Healer is our only full-length book with all full-color pages, covering the topics like herbalism and shamanism, medicines of the enchanted forest, body/mind balance, the heightening of awareness and the senses, plant spirit and intelligence, vision quests, places of power, cabinets of wonder, and much more…. from a decidedly NON-NewAge, healer’s perspective and experience.  “The Healing Arts” makes the case that what we do as herbalists and other kinds of healers is beautiful – and that beauty matters!  If you already read parts of this piece in Plant Healer Magazine, I hope you will still take the time to re-post and share it.   To order your own copy of The Enchanted Healer, please go to the Bookstore Page at: www.PlantHealer.org

The Healing Arts & The Art Of Healing

by Jesse Wolf Hardin

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The Living, Healing Arts

art  |ärt|noun:
1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, producing works appreciated for their high level of quality, particularly their beauty and emotional power
2. works produced by such skill and imagination
3. (the arts) the various branches of creative activity
4. a skill at doing a specific thing, improved through practice

Healing Arts woman with pestle 72dpi

The term “healing arts” can be used to refer to a collection of holistic, noninvasive fields, traditions and techniques, generally expected to include such things as herbalism, acupuncture, chiropractic, counseling, and massage therapy.  These practices and any other forms of healing people and planet are “crafts” – carefully learned, practiced and applied – that then become “art” at the point where we:
1. We make our work a creative process and apply our own imaginations.
2. Strive to maximize our skills, and do the highest possible quality of work.
3. Seek to touch/affect people at the deepest emotional and spiritual as well as physical levels.
4. And try, as a matter of both course and principle, to do that work as beautifully as we possibly can.

These days a stark line is often drawn between conventional medical care and alternative or holistic therapies, between phytotherapy and folk herbalism, between hard science and folklore, between the necessary growing of food crops and the nonessential raising of ornamentals, as well as between the supposed florid Artist’s life and the sober existence and sensible priorities of the “normal” woman or man.  Not so in many ancient and tribal societies, nor in the attractive land-informed cultures that we are together working to create.  For them and us – from nourishment to remedy, from planting to harvest, birth to death – is an opportunity to meld ritual and necessity, substance and gesture, artfulness and practicality, working to make every act and result not only productive but evermore meaningful, beauteous and satisfying!

There is little doubt that a healthy psyche is an integral component in the healing of the body, and that any healing of the collective/cultural psyche is essential to any last remedy of the current ecological and psychological imbalances.  As the pioneering psychotherapist Carl Jung wrote, “An Artist is a vehicle and moulder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind.”  And I am not talking about the Artist as a rarified elite.  My sense is that the Anima, the vital life force of this living planet seems calls upon us each to serve others, the planet and ourselves by consciously participating in the ours and human kind’s evolution, as the crafters of our society and artisans of our lives.  It is what the sacred indivisible whole/holon wants and needs to seed, and what I in my own personal role am devoted to grow.

What we hope to sow and water in this modern un-landed culture is not only more artistic and meaningful form in our day to day existence, but also the sprouting art of life: the art of conscious, responsive, celebratory relationship and mission.  Mine and my partner’s intent with Plant Healer Magazine and books not only to help preserve and nurture branches of the endangered traditional healing arts, but to reclaim and showcase the many graphic styles, potent symbols and aesthetics… not only to help inform and inspire effective Healers but also to encourage – with all our deeds and hearts – ever more artistic manifestations of the active art of healing.

Living Arts: Art that lives; and the act of making an art of our every act and moment.

Healing Arts: Art that heals; and making an art of our every healing act.

Healing Arts mortar and pestle-72dpi

Examples of Artfulness

Just as there are different styles of art, there are different styles of teaching, of restoring the land,  of practicing herbalism or the healthful laying-on of hands.  It is the herbalist community that I have been most closely associating with over the past decade, however, and it is my fellow lovers of plants and their medicines that I can quickest site as examples of what I’m talking about. While no two herbalists are alike – exhibiting a very wide range of tastes in clothing and lifestyles – the vast majority I’ve known all demonstrate a very personal, individualized art of living and healing.

Notice how folk herbalists of any culture find hidden patches of desired wild plants largely by their form and color, as in tune with the patterns and hues composing the land as is a painter with her visions of forms and palette of endless chromatic possibilities. We can see surely the art in their purposeful ascertaining of patterns and composing of response, in their deeply partnered dance of natural healing and allied plants… and in what they collect on their shelves, hang on the wall and wear on their bodies.  Each of these herbalist’s clothes express their particular persona, the decorating of home and clinic to reflect their particular values and beliefs, preferences and desires, hungers and callings.

On their desk may be a collage of the tools of inquiry, alongside the frivolity of plant deco.  We may note the curving lines and brass sheen of a vintage druggist’s scale, a hand-me-down magnifying glass, a surreal earth goddess or primitive carved crucifix, the predictable vase or Mason jar with flowers long ago having died and dried into twisted shapes too amazing to throw outside.  On the window sill, colored glass of some sort that’s sure to refract into the room its enchanting morning lights, Arkansas crystals and sun hungry potted sage.  And on their persons, dress and accoutrements that communicate something about the kind of people and practitioners that they are, their character and interests evident in a display of threads…  whether modest but attractive skirts singing out their roots in the rural South, or loose fitting clothes from Thai pants and Guatemalan wapil blouses suggesting globally acquired wisdom and a relaxed demeanor, or sculpted shirts and ties that function as statements of health care professionalism.

Framed and hung are photos of not just kids or grandkids or aged sepia portraits of unsmiling great-grandparents, but images of treasured places as well, from topographic maps marked with one’s favorite spots for gathering wild herbs, to snapshots of significant spots on an oft visited wilderness trail.  Paintings of flowers, or goddesses, or faeries, or vine covered cottages that invite us to world of veritable magic.  Historic drawings of Yerba Mansa or flowering Mullein, or voluptuous Victorian era mushroom porn.  The deep greens of Mormon Lake’s forests may draw the eye to the words centered on an HerbFolk Gathering flyer, wreathed in images of medicinal plants and some of the teachers that champion them.  Competing with glowing gallon containers of precious tinctures, are likely books chosen for not only the valuable information they contain, but for their illustrations as well.

Art can be seen not only in the objects they surround themselves with, but also in their gestures, acts and tasks.  Just watch how they customarily acknowledge, empathize with, speak to, ask for the collusion of, and somehow express their profound gratitude to those medicinal plants that they kneel before in acts of humble connection or unplanned ceremony.  See, also, the deft movements of hands and blades as leaves are separated from flowers and roots, not unlike the sculptor removing elements of stone or wood to reveal a focused and refined purpose within.  Their creation of formulas can be in some ways like the art of cooking, with brilliance, intuition and adaptation augmenting tradition, evaluations made with alert taste buds and noses that know.  The rhythms of their interchanges with clients and patients can be like practiced choreographies with room left for on-the-spot improvisation – in what I think of as the herbalist’s song and dance.  Inspired and fueled by not only necessity and compassion but impassioned aesthetics and taste, theirs is a practical trade made into something complexly personal, focused on a vision and purpose, intent on increased excellence and effectiveness – a point of service and connection that is art at its most relevant.  Important.  Magical.  Sacred, even.

Healing Arts herbal woman element-72dpi

The Artist-Healer

The work of the Artist-Healer could well be considered sacred work, in that style and symbol can not only decorate and communicate but also educate and consecrate, helping us to perceive the connections between all forms living and non, the relations between all elements and beings, and the inner heart, soul, spirit of each and every thing.  And as with any sacred endeavor, their work is most numinous and powerful when the Artists are themselves transformed in the process of its inception and creation.  This ceaseless falling apart and being remade is characteristic of the Artist as it is of the Seeker, the Shaman, the spiritual Adept.

Whenever we artfully work, employing symbols and energies, inspiration and intuition, there is an energetic threading between us and those who participate in the experience, between the viewer and the viewed, and the viewer and the Artist, between the Healer and the client or society or place.  Through the art we make and experience, we’re each transformed into an agent and component of creation, our sense of mission fueled, our senses and dreams heightened, our emotions stirred, pierced by an overwhelming sense of the inseparable unity of all things and the timeliness and importance of our healing, helping, beautifying efforts.

Creatively giving shape and form to the underlying energies which animate our species in a “container” that can hold the experience allows for a shamanic, holy, and whole-making ritual to be made real in time. The act of participating in the creation of art is a magical, ceremonial rite, a sacred liturgy, a higher-dimensional form of communion, a kind of “performance art,” which simultaneously transfigures the unconscious energies in both the Artist and the surrounding field. The act of art-making partakes of the nature of the divine, in that the entire universe, which is itself a living work of continually-unfolding art, becomes infused with endless-inspiration as we consciously realize our relationship with our ever-evolving and never-expiring, creative spirit.

There can be no doubt that modern industrialized medicine can help mend serious wounds and successfully treat some conditions.  It is generally not, however, a craft since it there is little hand work and most diagnosis is based on a computer generated template/model of symptoms and prescriptions.  It is hardly ever an art, since it is a relatively rare M.D. these days who has gone beyond the trade’s impersonal practices to a place of passionate dedication, or who sees and treats a whole person rather than symptoms and organs.  They avoid getting to really know their patients, avoiding getting too close, eschewing “messy” emotions.  Their offices and hospitals are institutional and uninspired, usually only slightly less ugly and conformist than a prison.  While sometimes proficient within a limited model, they are often lacking in the earmark of artisanship: creativity!  To the contrary, alternative Healers of all kinds tend to be more creative and adaptive, looking beyond the assumptions and conventions, acting out of a passionate sense of mission, and doing their work in a deeply personal, empathic and artist way.  With personal aesthetics.  Honed sensitivity.  Engaged emotions.  The involvement of their spirits as well as minds.  Intentional style.  A strong sense of calling.  And practiced flair.

Healers outside of institutions and norms tend to be mistrusted, undervalued, discounted, even legally harassed precisely because of their Artist’s ways, because they serve a calling and fulfill it authentically and stylistically, daring to bypass conventional dead ends, and to be creative in the ways that they instigate and support healing.  We unconventional artisans are denied official accreditation, and when we do seek professional status it comes only from groups themselves outside the “credible” norm.  The Artist-Healer, however, will not be satisfied walking the beaten path, needing to follow the inner creative urge instead, being self-empowered to make choices and make turns based on insights and experience.  And they work not only to heal a person or community, but to be a container and conduit for the expression of the creative thrust, intent and direction of the Anima, of the life force, the dynamic natural whole.

Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Pagan, Pantheist, Agnostic or whatever… the work of the Artist-Healer is to serve something larger than themselves or a client.  It is to serve a larger purpose and aim, to serve something akin to “spirit” no matter what we choose to call it.  And to do it in the most loving and lovely ways.

Healing Arts crafts-72dpi

Conscious Crafting

craft |kraft|
noun:
1. an activity involving skill in making things, usually by hand
2. demonstrating a high level of skill in carrying out one’s work

We’re each connected to one another, to self and home through blood and bone, magic, history, need, service, touch, caring and love — manifest through the moving force of our crafts.  Craft is one way in which we express our inner spirits, serve our planet and our purpose, and make both real and physical our seemingly magical co-creation of our world.  Craft is our deliberate and potentially artistic manifestation and effect, as opposed to that which we unconsciously cause or create.  At one level it is our practices, our applied skills, our trade.  At a deeper level it is every conscious way that we make our visions visible, respond to the needs of the people, culture and land around us, and otherwise share our dear gifts.

All things, all beings are at once both creator and the created, the influenced and the influence, the actor and acted upon.  It is the option of the Healer – and the Seeker, the Activist, Teacher, Shaman, or Shifter –  to be fully, vividly aware of the effects we have on the world… to make every act as intentional, and as beautiful, as we’re able.

In the present dominant paradigm, craft is often thought of as something one purchases or is an audience to, instead of inhabits and embodies.  But it was not always so.  Not so for the pale villagers of ancient Europe who left us the sculpted body of the archetypal Earth Mother, the bearer of all of life.  And not for the first hominid inhabitants of this state called New Mexico either.  The ancient  pueblo people left behind shards of painted pottery that continue to evoke the Great Mystery, fired clay fragments of a life of honoring, picture-puzzle pieces still vibrating with the energy of years of reverent touch.  They spoke their fealty for the land in rock art carved out of their collective and individual souls, lightning bolts and the seed-carrier Kokopelli painted on the sides of caves.  Here too are the forms of the crafters’ fingers and palms, their signatures, the marks of their self-aware beings, in painted hands reaching out to descendants and heirs alike across the chasm of time.  They gifted enduring images of their priorities and loves, deities and dreams.  They left behind for others their holiest expressions of wonder and communion, the evidence of a marriage with place and spirit consecrated through timeless craft.

It is no less true in the case of contemporary arts and crafts, in the painting the fantasies and mythologies that enliven, share and extend our beliefs.  In the making of jewelry that are talismans meant to empower or mend, the fashioning of clothing that not only covers and decorates but reveals something about us and celebrates what we love.  Drumming that’s ever improved, enlisted to communicate with primal visionary self and the “Great Spirit” that informs us.  Massage, that not just relaxes but helps to heal.  Words, too, are craft when formed with care, delivered with rhythm and design, woven into ceremony, employed to inspire courage or heal a broken heart.  Poetry that stops thought and inspires a more intense living of life.  A novel that moves the reader to tears, to change, to action.  Correspondence and diary entries, as honestly and lyrically and one can make them.  Words that can evoke the smell of rain on the fur of a wild creature , the taste of lightning, the warmth of man or woman’s flesh and the feel of the ground where they lay in lust.  Careful conversation with friends, with words invested with meaning and mission.  Words not blurted out or spilled from lips, but formed like a stone canyon elegantly carved by a flowing river.  A child reminded of her intrinsic worth.  The ill consoled, informed and encouraged.  An endearment whispered in a willing ear.  Even our most mundane daily labors rise to the level of craft, art, even ritual, when done consciously with all our heart, awareness and skill, for more reasons than the simple making of an income.  And even the most repetitive chores, whenever they’re executed with both intention and panache.

We are all potential crafters, of course, in that we are born with a chance to craft every aspect of our lives.  Craft is by it’s very nature proactive.  We craft medicines, craft a practice, craft a strategy for how we want to influence our world.  We craft a home out of a mere house, craft family and community, craft our futures to the extent we can.  The word “craft” is first and foremost a verb of great power, denoting direction, activity, process, effort and purpose.  It is only secondarily a noun, referring to an association of activated individuals, or the creations, effects and outcomes of the active Healer.

Part of our purpose as sentient beings on/in this planet, is to make an articulate contribution to conscious, responsive, celebratory relationship, to true encompassing health which is wholeness.  In our ecstatic revealing, bridging and healing, we have the opportunity for a further dissolving of any boundaries between us, the living land, the Anima, or spirit.  Between the creator and the created.  The Healer and the healed.  The crafter and the craft.

Healing Arts still lifes-72dpi

The Artist-Healer’s Responsibility

Being responsible for the form and effects of our actions can be daunting, and staying on the sidelines, avoiding being a force, trying to remain unseen and out of the loop might be tempting… but it is simply not possible.  Even if we were to try to avoid responding, initiating, confronting, creating, or in other ways taking any responsibility, we would still leave some imprint on the world.  We therefore may as well make it a true reflection of our authentic selves, serving our caring purpose.  At best, we can make that imprint evocative, inspiring, instigative, aesthetic, excellent and exciting.  Every awake act, every motion or gesture of our hands can be the craft and art that communicates who we are, who we strive to be, and what we hope to give and achieve.

The pencil for the writing of our’s and world’s story – for the creation of our art – is in part in our hands, ready for us to make the changes that are needed.  We have an entire chest of colors to choose from, with the now and future our unlimited canvas.  We have the pharmacopea botanica for most of our bodily healing needs.  All the necessary materials, it seems, are at hand for whatever project we might launch, awaiting only the actual sweep of the painter’s brush, the slice of the sculptor’s knife, the swirl of the kitchen ladle, the gathering and processing of the herbs, the pouring of the salve of tincture, the purposeful and ceaseless reaching out to help.

The result of such graceful deliberateness – I repeat – is our connection… including connecting with the proactive practice and craft now weaving us back into both the literal and magical material of our experience and existence.  Together we co-create the living fabric of our reality as well as of our culture, assuming some response-ability for how it turns out… jointly painting on that billowing fabric the story of our missions, our struggles, our miracles, and our beautiful, beautiful hope.

You are at once a Healer and a person still actively engaged in your own healing.  You are the subject and creator, witness and participant, viewer and doer.  As such, this kinetic relational process that we call “art” involves – even requires – not just the illustrator’s pen or paint, writer’s keyboard or gardner and conservationist’s shovel and seed, not just the activist’s manifesto or massage therapist’s table, cotton bandages or healthful herbs… it needs you.

See what you can do.

________

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May 202014
 

Note: If you are not already a subscriber to the Plant Healer Newsletter, you can download the Free 35 pages long May Issue now.  Click here:

Plant Healer May Issue Download

––––––––––––––––––––––

Sneak Peek:

HERBALIST CONTRIBUTORS

To The Plant Healer Magazine Summer Issue

by Jesse Wolf Hardin

The 280 pages-long Summer Issue Releases June 2nd

To subscribe, go to Plant Healer Magazine page at www.PlantHealer.org

Plant Healer Magazine for Herbalists www.PlantHealer.org

Plant Healer Magazine for Herbalists www.PlantHealer.org

Summer is always the start of an exciting conference season, as well as a time of growth for us and our herbal crops.  In the upcoming Summer issue of Plant Healer Magazine you’ll find Julliet Blankespoor’s latest in-depth piece on growing our dream herbal gardens, followed by bioregional herbalist Dara Saville’s piece on native-hearted urban medicine gardens that reflect the beauty and power of a region’s wild ecosystems.  And Susun Weed evokes Summer’s bounty with her piece on the “Peas Mother.”

Paul Bergner, too, continues talking about growth in his latest Herbal Rebel column, though in this case it means the deliberate growing of our thinking skills.  We can’t emphasize enough the importance of an intelligent and balanced approach to herbalism, as ably mapped on Pablo’s medicine wheel of healer literacy and competency.  Many folks are excitedly looking forward to the release of his new online courses, hopefully in 2015.

Speaking of new releases, sweet Robin Rose Bennett’s new book is finally available, and is considered to be her best by far: The Gift of Healing Herbs: Plant Medicines & Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life (see her announcement in the Resources section).  We’ve happily featured several excerpts in past issues of this magazine.  And now with its release, Robin returns to writing other original works for you, beginning with this quarter’s excellent piece by her on Yarrow, Honey, & Topical Herbal Medicine.

We’re honored to continue showcasing Matthew Wood’s growing body of work, including another segment on liver health and herbs for the liver.  All his Plant Healer pieces will one day be compiled into another landmark volume for this field and community.  But coming up first, will be a publication about pulse diagnosis by himself, Phyllis Light and Francis Bonaldo, and we’re pleased to be announcing it in advance here.  You may find that you recognize the style of its cover art, created by myself for this valuable book.

Our friend 7Song’s botanical and herbal expertise just keeps growing, and so do the length of the awesome columns he writes for Plant Healer… leading us to split up his newest article on the incredible Cactus family for this and the upcoming Fall issue.  We’re mighty grateful to have his devoted involvement and support, and very happy to be able to showcase his knowledge for all of you to learn from and make use of.  Those of you who have or plan to study with him are fortunate indeed.  The same can be said of the work of amigo Jim McDonald, this time bringing to you a crucial discussion of alteratives and so-called “tonics.”  Michigan-based Jim is considered by Kiva to be unsurpassed in his ability to synthesize and practically/informally express his understandings of herbal actions.  Jim and 7Song’s continually growing wisdom and experience benefit us all, and consequently every person that we ourselves ever seek to help.

Katja Swift continues growing her knowledge, experience and abilities while she and her partner Ryn Midura grow their Massachusetts school for herbalists… and this issue she provides us with a very detailed and very important article on herbal support for kids going through puberty.  Sabrina Lutes manages to write regularly for us while taking care of a growing family, and her piece about moms taking time to recuperate could explain how she is able to pull it off.

Plant lore and history can greatly deepen our understanding of not only plant medicines but the  human/plant connection and social context in which healing takes place.  Gracing our Plant Lore department once again is the very inspiring Corinne Boyer, telling the wondrous tale of the Willow throughout time.  And beloved Virginia Adi, who so kindly shares with us her fascinating history of Gentian.

Familiarity with the plants we use is crucial to our effectiveness as herbalists, hence the value we place on well written plant profiles.  Ocotillo is an incredible plant of the desert Southwest that dear Rebecca Altman covers for us here, exposing not only the secrets of this healing species but also her own undeniable secret draw to the wilder Southwestern lands beyond her L.A. enclave.

We would be amiss, of course, to ever talk about the use of wild medicinal plants without a reminder of the absolutely necessity of conscious, aware, caring, ethical foraging practices.  In Kiva’s concluding column, she discusses Sustainable Wildcrafting.  She makes the crucial point that plants do not exist only to serve us… and that we must protect those increasingly scarce herbs that give so much to our health and well being.

Our partner and provider of nourishment celebrates Summer tomatoes this issue, with her own special sauces and salsas.  After writing food and self-care articles as “Loba” for over 20 years in publications including SageWoman and Plant Healer, she has decided to own her true nature – her characteristic elkness, if you will – by bravely changing her name to Elka.  I’d say that qualifies as some serious personal growth!

For contributor Wendy “Butter” Petty, what grows wild is best.  We’re thankful to run her celebration of wild onions, informing us, and infecting us with her unbridled love for these nutritional veggies.

Sam Coffman continues to produce some our most practical, information-filled articles, this time two contributions to the Seeing People (clinical skills) department: one on Mucosal Immunity, and the other about streetwise, remote and post-disaster herbalism.

We can cite our readers’ growing curiosity about ancient healing traditions as one reason for our happiness with Stephany Hoffelt’s article on the community healers of historic Ireland…. another would be mine and Kiva’s own abiding interest in the subject.

Asia Suler speaks about the ways in which plants affect us beyond their known clinical actions, inspiring connectedness, enrapturing us with their slowly revealed mysteries, mirroring something in ourselves, and sometimes showing us the way…

For an insightful perspective on the growing field of herbalism, there is no one better to turn to than David Hoffman.  David was there with Rosemary and others at the rebirth of this movement over 3 decades ago, helping to inspire a new direction.  And while most famous for his scientific and clinical understandings, he remains today one of the brilliant subversives whose radical, ecocentric vision of an empowered herbalism could lead us to a future of ever more powerful healing and cultural alternatives.  Those of you who may not have read our lengthy discussion in our book 21st Century Herbalists should be happy to find the abridged interview in Summer’s Plant Healer.  His emphasis on the spirit of healing and the importance of enchantment make him a perfect presenter at this September’s HerbFolk Gathering: The Enchanted Forest.

Together, our Plant Healer writers have again created a most amazing magazine issue, providing you with the inspiration and information needed in our work to heal ourselves, our clients, and our world.  A huge thank you to all.

 

Sneak Peek Summer 2014 -72dpi

Summer Issue Releases June 2nd

To subscribe, go to the Magazine page at www.PlantHealer.org

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May 122014
 

The May Issue of Plant Healer Newsletter is now available to download!  Click on:

PH Newsletter For Herbalists -May2014- PDF

These monthly Plant Healer Newsletters are intended to augment the over 250 pages-long Plant Healer Magazine, and to provide absolutely FREE content especially to those unable to afford the educational materials they need.  Newsletter issues will include abridged articles taken from the magazine, advance interview excerpts, and other articles submitted by you, our empowered herbalist community.  Write about what you know best and feel strongest about, and then submit it to: PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

Be sure to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an issue.  And please let your friends know they can subscribe at:
www.PlantHealer.org

Please enjoy!

–Wolf & Kiva

(thank you for re-posting and forwarding this!)

Subscribe for Free at: www.PlantHealer.org

Subscribe for Free at: www.PlantHealer.org

Apr 152014
 

 Kiva with Enchanted Healer cover 1-72dpi

Enchanted Healer Books Now Shipping!

I’m excited to report that the boxes of full color Enchanted Healer books have arrived from the printer!  And they came out great!  The thickness of the paper and vibrancy of the full color pages makes it really stand out.  This morning our daughter Rhiannon and I boxed up the many U.S. pre-orders and we’re shipping them from town today, Priority 1st Class.  International orders will ship on Friday.  Domestic orders should start arriving at your homes and p.o. boxes very soon.  Hurrah!

I should tell you that I’ve decided to also publish The Enchanted Healer later on Amazon.com later, in order to reach way beyond our herbalist, healer and nature lover community… but because of their limits on color book length, it will appear there as two separate volumes – Book I and II – and will therefore cost regular buyers twice as much as what it costs you, our tribe.

And we’ll have copies for you to peruse at this year’s Plant Healer event, the 2014 HerbFolk Gathering in Arizona in September, hope to see you there!  (Go to the Events page at: www.PlantHealer.org)

Below is my overview of this beautiful book, excerpted from the Spring issue of Plant Healer Magazine for any of you who haven’t gotten to read it yet, and for any of you who have blogs or newsletters that you’d be willing to share it through.  If you do, thank you!

If you haven’t already, you can order your personal copy from the Bookstore page at: www.PlantHealer.org

Thank you much, and Spring Blessings from all of us…   Kiva

 

Enchanted Healer Shipping Party!

Enchanted Healer Shipping Party!

Enter the Portal:
Becoming The Enchanted Healer

by Kiva Rose

The Enchanted Healer is one who has gone to that other world, been changed, and committed himself or herself to the All Life, and in a real and often painful manner, died to the mechanical world.  She or he no longer seeks the approval of the skeptic, but rather to heal all things, to bring them into right relationship with all others.  The boring world stops at the door of Earth-with-a-Soul.  I hope you readers enjoy this journey into the enchantment of the Healer as much as I have.”
Matthew Wood, Herbalist

The Enchanted Healer is a new book whose mission is to enchant the reader, assisting us in maintaining and growing a sense of enchantment in our daily lives as well as in our individual healing practices. Its art and insight cast a spell invigorating our curiosity and wonder, our inquiry and our ecstasy. Author Jesse Wolf Hardin invites us “to and through the portal of awakeness and awareness to a place of discovery and delight,” a wholly interconnected world rich with the wisdom, beauty and power of inspirited Nature.

The “Healers” this book seeks to empower, excite and celebrate come in many forms, not only the Herbalist and Physician, Acupuncturist and Naturopath, but also the Nurturer from gardeners and conservationists to caring parents and artful cooks, the envisioning Seer, the spirit-mending Shaman, and the paradigm-changing CultureShifter…. not just helping heal bodies but feelings and spirits, family and community, society and the endangered living land.  As Wolf writes:

“Healers help assist, adjust, counterbalance, shift, direct, nurture and mend… Healing is an active contribution to the balance, integrity and expression of a whole that is and should be always dynamic, morphing, unfolding, improving, and revealing.”

We each come to the portal of our enchantment the same as we come to our healing paths: in our own personal ways, following a circuitous route that is as unpredictable and magical as it is deliberate and planned.

The Journey to My Enchantment

My Journey To Enchantment

“Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.”
J. R. R. Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories

I was first drawn to the work of the Healer through my experiences of spending time with plants. Down on my hands and knees in the grass, surrounded by the wild plants I was only beginning to know the names of, I could easily become lost for hours at a time in the detail of their intricate leaf veins or trailing roots or by the way they moved in the wind and rain. Even in the small patches of woodland oasis amidst the surrounding urban chaos I would find myself transported into another world by the patterns of light flickering across dew-damp wildflowers. These threads of wildness that wove through the city were surrounded on every side by traffic, but still insulated me from the harsh sounds and often frantic pace of the human world. In my green havens I could slip into a sort of reverie, and imagine myself in Tolkien’s tree guarded Lothlorien or the forbiddingly dark forests of Grimm’s fairy tales.

As a homeless teenager, I spent many nights in city parks, climbing up into welcoming branches and sleeping with my legs and arms wrapped around the comforting body of a living tree. I told my secrets to their leaves, and listening to them whisper back with every small breeze. While some seek talismans in technology or human wrought things, I have always found my portal into the otherworld through the plants. One taste of a feral Mulberry or inhalation of Honeysuckle on a humid night can send my senses reeling past the veil and into a Faery touched landscape. Not only have plants ignited my passion and imagination for most of my life, they’ve also provided me with focus, love, and direction in my darkest hours. Learning how the weeds I grew up with could tend the wounds of the body, as well as those of the heart and spirit, only drew me further into the enchantment that began with my first memory of a Yarrow flower as a toddler.

As fellow lovers of plants, I know that you – too – have come to this journey and mission as much out of love and passion as practicality or necessity. You more than likely recognize something magical in the effects of medicinal herbs and in the very processes of healing and repair.

“The plants have open our minds and hearts to new ways of looking at the world and your purpose within it, revealed the presence of spirit in all things and the potential for apparent miracles in our practices and lives.”

The Enchanted Healer book, too, is not only a resource but a revealing… of “how wonderful we can feel, of all we can be, of all the possible ways we can help ourselves, others, and this world to heal.”

Kiva with Enchanted Healer open 2-72dpi

Envisioning & Manifesting

In The Enchanted Healer, Wolf also discusses the many ways in which a Healer can manifest, providing a look at the twists and turns of how we practice, and how far that healing can extend:

“A mark of a Healer is feeling drawn – compelled, even – to try to ease suffering and help remedy unwellness, unwholeness and imbalance wherever and whenever it is encountered. This often manifests in careers as health care providers, but also shows up as hospice work and counsel for the dying, a dedication to plant conservation or land restoration, habitat protection or wildlife rehabilitation, and even stopping to comfort a lost kitten we see. The instinct to help and heal seldom ends here, however, and often extends to empathy for the homeless and volunteer work on their behalf. Awareness of the corporados’ destruction of the last wild places, and activism to address it. Soon it can get to the point that it would feel hypocritical to help a woman with bruises on her face without trying to free her from an abusive relationship, perhaps even volunteering at a shelter. Or to administer herbs unless we know they are from a sustainable and ethical source. Or to make a good income from a healing practice without donating some time or money to those who cannot afford health care. Or to meekly conduct an under-the-radar practice without facing or taking a stand on increasingly onerous regulations.”

The Enchanted Healer covers subjects as diverse as Healer archetypes, plant spirit, plant and animal totems, utilizing and heightening our physical senses, so-called extrasensory perception, eros and sexuality, the magic of cooking, self care and nourishment, Anima and the vital life force, Gaia the living Earth, healing vision quests and places of power, and creating sanctum and sanctuary for ourselves. It is a book intended to both inform and inspire, to clarify and create space for further imaginings and understandings:

“To ‘envision’ is not simply to foresee or forecast, but to recognize patterns and possibilities, to mentally create ideas that beg to be acted on and tested, models that can then be sculpted, manifested, realized in the physical reality. To continue on a path, we must either see or envision the way ahead. To treat a symptom of bodily, cultural or ecological disease, we conceive of its causes, and imagine the best possible treatments, acting on not only what we already know and can see, but also on our growing understanding and experience of the unseen.”

We need not only inspiration, but also clarity, discernment, focus and follow-through. It’s so easy to become diffuse and pulled in too many directions as a Healer. By the very nature of our vocation, we Healers must be multifaceted, but the complex and competing work of study, clinical work, medicine making, sorting through current research, botany, activism, gardening, wildcrafting, and much more can be overwhelming and lead to a feeling of being pulled in too many directions. Wolf effectively breaks down many of the most vital elements and aspects of being a Healer, and makes them accessible, exciting, and achievable for all of us.

The Inner Sanctum www.PlantHealer.org

The Enchanted Healer also provides in depth insights into the working practice of the Healer, and delves into the vital importance of self care. Many of us fall madly in love with our vocation, pouring our whole selves into studying, practicing, and endlessly striving to become better at the mending and nourishing that healing entails. But at some point most of us will find ourselves at a crossroads, wondering whether we are good enough to deserve the title of Healer, when tending others has taken its toll on our energy levels, when the complexity of physiology and chemistry is overwhelming, and when we don’t know if we can continue down this path with more support and strength.

On those days when we wake up tired and worn down from our work, what we most often need is self nourishment, and the time to re-emerge ourselves in the enchantment that first drew us to healing in the first place. Once exhausted, it can be difficult to even remember what that was, or it can seem faded out or inaccessible when seen through such tired eyes. The Enchanted Healer both looks honestly at this important subject, and also suggests ways in which to nourish the self and recharge:

“We can only optimally nourish others, of course, when we have and continue to nourish our selves, our body with all its hungers, our emotional and spiritual needs, tending and feeding and watering all that we need to heal, strengthen, deepen, manifest, and bloom. Whatever your role in this life, you will be better at it and more satisfied with it if you take the time – and do what it takes – to nurture your inherent gifts and talents, imagination and creativity, ideas and desires, calling and missions, hopes and dreams.

It is then that we can best nurture other people, their well-being and their dreams as well as the community we are a part of and the land that needs us. It is as Nurturers, too, that we make things better. And it is making things better that makes us Healers.”

The Enchanted Healer art by Jesse Wolf Hardin

The Beauty & Song

The Enchanted Healer is beautifully illustrated with over 650 photos and paintings by many talented artists including Wolf and our friends Katlyn Breene, Lauren Raine and Madeline von Foerster, with its look and feel intended to be an important component in the spell this book weaves. Words and images merge to create a portrait of a magical life, a Healer both enchanted and enchanting, and opening a portal into the storybook forest. Turning the pages is choosing to walk through the open door, and step into a mushroom marked fairy ring where the ancient dance of the healing arts continues each and every moment. As Wolf tells us:

“Enchantment is not about being bewitched or bewildered, it is a healthy glamour that amazes us with revelations of magic in the mundane, of significance in the overlooked, misunderstood or undervalued. It is neither hallucination, feel-good diversion, self delusion, sleight of hand tricks or entertainment. It is allure, necessarily followed by engagement with what fascinates us engagement with the ever so real world and our work within it… albeit a world that will always be at least in part a wonderful mystery, and everyday healing work that is northing less than extraordinary – not so much credible as incredible, not so much known and conventional as mysterious, adaptive, and mind blowing… with effects and results that can be astounding, awe inspiring, and incontrovertibly phenomenal.

The Enchanted Healer www.PlantHealer.org

The portal to our enchantment is often closer than we think, disguised as something common but betrayed by a faint smell of wild herbs, ocean fog, or forest moss, or concealed by Fir and Spruce boughs sweetly singing in the wind.”

Enchantment is the place of magic and meaning where we gather, and where we recognize each other. The gift of the book The Enchanted Healer is not only that it awakens and empowers our lives and practices, but also that it brings us together.

I’ll meet you there.

–Kiva Rose

Kiva with Enchanted Healer open 1-72dpi

Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin  www.PlantHealer.orgTable of Contents 2-72dpi

Order from the Bookstore page at: www.PlantHealer.org

(please re-post and share… thank you)

Mar 242014
 
Subscribe for Free at: www.PlantHealer.org

Subscribe for Free at: www.PlantHealer.org

Free March Herbal Newsletter Ready For You

The Plant Healer Newsletter is a color pdf supplement to Plant Healer Magazine, featuring abridged reprints from the magazine as well as interview excerpts and original articles about herbs and herbalism from you – our folk herbal community.  It is absolutely free, in order to provide inspiration and information even to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it.  Subscribe by simply filling in your email address on the appropriate line, at: www.PlantHealer.org

The March edition sends out today, 35 pages that includes:

Herbal Treatments for Sinusitis – by Jim McDonald – A lengthy, in-depth article from one of our core Plant Healer writers and teacher at the upcoming HerbFolk Gathering, excerpted from the Herbal Resurgence Classes Book.

Traditions Not Trademarks – by Rosemary Gladstar – Addressing what could be only the first in coming threats to our folk recipes and even our expressions and terms, the shameful trademarking of her freely shared term “Fire Cider” by ignominious Shire City Herbals.

Fire Cider Recipe – by Kiva Rose – Encouraging the free sharing of “the people’s medicine.”

HerbFolk Gathering Updates & News

The Portal – An entire introductory chapter from our upcoming new book The Enchanted Healer, with text overlays on lush illustration taken directly from the book’s pages.

If you aren’t already subscribed, you can still download the latest issue by clicking on this complimentary link: MARCH NEWSLETTER LINK

 

Enchantment PreOrder Poster 72dpi

The Enchanted Healer Book

The Enchanted Healer is the second in our trilogy of books for herbalists and healers of all kinds, this time focused on the spirit of the craft, developing awareness and the senses, plant totems and savoring the enchantments of herbalism.  It’s been at the printers for awhile, and should be in our hands in a very few weeks now.  We’ll start shipping to those who preordered earliest.  Again, you can see the entire first chapter at it appears in the book, in the latest Plant Healer Newsletter linked above.  You can preorder your full color copy on the Bookstore Page at www.PlantHealer.org

“What Kiva and Jesse have delivered through the labor of their dreams and shamanic schemes is a great ride!  In The Enchanted Healer, they do not write ABOUT herbalism, dreams, a healers path; rather they invite us IN to experience the texture, smells, sounds and urgings that the plant world so lovingly beckons us to.”
Kathleen Maier, Sacred Plant Traditions

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2014 HerbFolk Gathering News

Preparations continue for the upcoming Plant Healer event: The HerbFolk Gathering – Sept. 18-21, 2014.  This will be our 5th Annual event, including the earlier Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference with its Western and clinical emphasis, and the Herbal Resurgence Rendezvous with a focus on the Medicine of The People and herbal access for all.  This time our latest incarnation, The HerbFolk Gathering, will have an Enchanted Forest theme evoking Herbalism’s many enchantments as well as the latest in practical herbal knowledge.  Teachers like the visionary herbalist David Hoffman, Matthew Wood and Sean Donahue will be presenting spirit infused topics like never before.  But one thing that all Plant Healer events have had in common, is the particular community it attracts: the most interested and interesting, unconventional and visionary of herbalists, wildcrafters and culture-healers!

From that first unlikely conference at New Mexico’s famed Ghost Ranch in 2010, to 2014’s celebration at the awesome Mormon Lake Resort in the forests of northern Arizona, Kiva and I have been blown away by the support, affection and enthusiasm of our wilder tribe.  It has been an honor to create what our friend Paul Bergner called a “new nexus of the folk herbalism revival,” an opportunity and place for the coming weaving together of community, learning and celebration, helping to usher in not just a more natural healing paradigm but also a healthier world.

2014 Teachers

David Hoffman • Matthew Wood  • Guido Masé • Sean Donahue • Chuck Garcia • Phyllis Hogan • Kiva Rose • Jim McDonald • Kiki Geary • Merihelen Nuñez • Ben Zappin • Kristi Shapla • Asia Suler • Irina Adam • Rebecca Altman • Shana Lipner Grover • Elaine Shiff • Stephany Hoffelt, Jesse Wolf Hardin and more…

“What an exciting conference! Plant Healer events are the new wave of herbalism, featuring speakers and a community rich with a combination of long hands-on experience and fresh creativity.”
-Paul Bergner

Plant walk with 7Song-72dpi

Networking HerbFolk

With all our wonderful teachers selected and the site contracted, we’re now busy with getting the word out to folk through Kiva’s social media presence and the help of people like you who are mentioning it in forums, or announcing it on websites.  Anyone asking can get an HerbFolk graphic for use online, a pdf info packet to share, or poster master to print out and post wherever appropriate.  Write us at: PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org with “conference networking request” in the subject line please.

If you have a website, you can link to our web graphics below.  Grab them from this post or write us to send you copies:

Link To: http://www.planthealer.org/herbfolk.html

Link To: http://www.planthealer.org/herbfolk.html

Link to: www.PlantHealerMagazine.com

Link to: www.PlantHealerMagazine.com

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Masquerade Ball:
Get To Work on That Costume!

Remember that the main night’s entertainment will be centered around an all-species, faeries and woodfolk Masquerade Ball!  Come as you really are on the inside, as the magical character, animal or plant that speaks and dances through you!

There will likely also be a second night of dancing with a live band, if we can find a fitting group to perform.  The Enchantment theme narrows down the possibilities a little bit, and there are very professional groups of interest in Arizona, so we are researching more bands in California again.  If you have a suggestion for an enchanting but also danceable, earthy group, send us an email with the subject “HerbFolk Band.”

Plant Person cartoon-72dpi
Receive Free Tickets, Vending Table
& Advertising as an
HerbFolk 2014 Sponsor

Applications are available for HerbFolk Sponsorships, earning benefits equal to the level of your contribution.  Promote your business, school, craft or practice, through our website and at this unique herbal event this September 18-21.  Write us for the new app with full details: PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

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HerbFolk Tickets

Tickets for Plant Healer’s 2014 event go up in price in June, so get yours soon for the best deal.

Group Discounts

The more folks that you get to participate, the cheaper it is for everyone to attend: 10% discount for 6 to 9 people, 20% off for 10 to 24, and a full 30% discount on groups of 25 or more.  The director needs to submit all the names at one time, and to make sure that all participants pay within a week from submission for discounts to apply.

To Register or for More Info click on the Events Page at:
www.PlantHealer.org

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Mormon Lake Lodging Cabin 72dpi
Cabins Should Be Reserved Now!

Many of you like to camp in the trees near the event site, or choose to stay at an inexpensive motel in nearby Flagstaff, but those of you hoping to rent a cabin this September will need to reserve yours soon.  Cabins always sell out long before the event, so we’re asking folk to please fill the rooms to capacity even if it means inviting friends to share it.  More people can be accommodated that way.  Contact the Resort directly to make reservations: http://www.mormonlakelodge.com/lodging/
928-354-2227 Ext 10

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“There’s nothing like your Plant Healer events, by any name… truly nothing!  I am affirmed.  I am empowered.  I am changed!”
-Karen Colter

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(Share & RePost, Thank You)

Plant Healer - The Magazine Different - www.PlantHealerMagazine.com

Plant Healer – The Magazine Different – www.PlantHealerMagazine.com

Mar 102014
 

We recently received a final proof of the new book by Wolf and myself, The Enchanted Healer, the last step before printing!  While the pages arrived unbound, we were able to see how amazing the color reproduction is, brilliant tones bringing its subjects of heightened senses, awareness, plant spirit and he self-care for Herbalists and other kinds of Sensitives, Seekers and Healers. The Enchanted Healer has now gone to press, and we expect the completed books to be done and shipped in a very few weeks… with those who order earliest getting their copies soonest.  To Pre-Order go to the Bookstore Page at www.PlantHealer.org

Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin

The Enchanted Healer is 8.5×11″, and will be our first book ever to have full color pages, evoking the magic, wonder and delight of the Healer’s work.  We’re so excited to share with you a few quick photos of the book’s interior.

Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin  www.PlantHealer.org

We’ve also gotten some emails from folks wanting to see the chapter titles before ordering, so here is the Table of Contents as they appear in the book:

Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin  www.PlantHealer.org Table of Contents 2-72dpi

We were pleased to have the much respected Matthew Wood write the Foreword to The Enchanted Healer, reflecting his interest in plant spirit and shamanism as well as herbalism:

“The enchanted healer is one who has gone to that other world, been changed, and committed himself or herself to the All Life, and in a real and often painful manner, died to the mechanical world.  She or he no longer seeks the approval of the skeptic, but rather to heal all things, to bring them into right relationship with all others.  The boring world stops at the door of Earth-with-a-Soul.  I hope the reader enjoys this journey into the enchantment of the healer as much as I have.”
Matthew Wood, Herbalist

Enchanted Healer interior 4-72dpi Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin  www.PlantHealer.org

We paid quite a bit extra in order to have the colors and backgrounds extend all the way to the edges of the page, instead of the usual and less expensive pages with white unprinted borders on all sides.

Enchanted Healer interior 8-72dpi Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin  www.PlantHealer.org

Most of the 290 pages were created as photoshop images, making it possible to enjoy different colored fonts on colored backgrounds.  The woman we deal with at the printers wrote us several times to say how “incredibly beautiful” she thinks it is.  We’d love it if you felt the same.

 Like all our books, The Enchanted Healer will eventually be available on Amazon.com where folks outside of our community will be able to order it, though it will appear there as two separate volumes due to their on-demand printer's limits on the number of pages.

Like all our books, The Enchanted Healer will eventually be available on Amazon.com where folks outside of our community will be able to order it, though it will appear there as two separate volumes due to their on-demand printer’s limits on the number of pages.

Enchanted Healer by Jesse Wolf Hardin

We included art work as well as photographs, both vintage and contemporary.

Pre-Order go to the Bookstore Page at www.PlantHealer.org

“Most books written by fabulous herbalists, activists, artists and poets such as these would be described as a ‘great read’ or something like that. What Kiva and Jesse have delivered through the labor of their dreams and shamanic schemes is a great ride! My sweet birch broom stands magnificently on the ready as they remind us from whence we came and to what truths we owe our possibilities.Feral is the word that they have brought to my mind and heart and days now as their teachings are  spiralic and the book has a movement that at first may seem chaotic but then settles down into that place in our souls that actually hungers for a lack of linearity. In The Enchanted Healer, they do not write ABOUT herbalism, dreams, a healers path; rather they invite us IN to experience the texture, smells, sounds and urgings that the plant world so lovingly beckons us to.  With delight and reverence for the Magic in our lives, Kathleen.”
Kathleen Maier, Sacred Plant Traditions

You can Pre-Order you personal copy now and help us with the daunting printing costs… by going to the Plant Healer Bookstore Page at www.PlantHealer.org

(Thank you for sharing and re-posting…. -Kiva)

Feb 182014
 

BECOMING THE ENCHANTED HEALER

by Kiva Rose

“The Enchanted Healer” is the second in our trilogy of books for herbalists and other natural Healers.  While the previous “Plant Healer’s Path” focused on education and empowerment, this second volume is all about heightened physical senses, awareness, plant spirit, Gaia and ecocentric spirituality, magic, enchantment and enjoyment for the Herbalist and other Healers and healthcare providers.  It’s our very first all-color book, with the evocative color paintings and photographs assisting its mission to enchant and inspire. 

Quoting Jesse Wolf:

As important as clinical research is to a healing practice, just as important is the child-like curiosity, entrancement and obsession that leads to fruitful investigation and new ways of perceiving and practicing.  The faculties that can make us better Healers are the same senses and sensibilities that make it possible for us to truly, deeply enjoy our studies and work.  Reason and emotional, spiritual and “magical” ways of perceiving are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, ultrasensory engagement, heightened awareness, shamanic therapies, and an open mind are all crucial to a powerful practice… and enchantment is often a necessary ingredient for remaining in love with and being satisfied by our work and missions.

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“The Enchanted Healer” is 295 color pages long, and will be arriving from the printer in March.  Foreword by Matthew Wood. You can Pre-Order your personal copies now and be among the first to receive a book when they start shipping… click on the Bookstore & Gallery page of our new website: www.PlantHealer.org

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The following is my personal introduction to this important volume, part of my own journey to enchantment… I hope it can help inspire you in yours.  –Kiva

woman in light 72dpi

“The enchanted Healer is one who has gone to that other world, been changed, and committed himself or herself to the All Life, and in a real and often painful manner, died to the mechanical world.  She or he no longer seeks the approval of the skeptic, but rather to heal all things, to bring them into right relationship with all others.  …The boring world stops at the door of Earth-with-a-Soul.  I hope you readers enjoy this journey into the enchantment of the Healer as much as I have.”Matthew Wood, Herbalist (from the Foreword to The Enchanted Healer)

 

The Enchanted Healer is a new book whose mission is to enchant the reader, assisting us in maintaining and growing a sense of enchantment in our daily lives as well as in our individual healing practices. Its art and insight cast a spell invigorating our curiosity and wonder, our inquiry and our ecstasy. Author Jesse Wolf Hardin invites us “to and through the portal of awakeness and awareness to a place of discovery and delight”, a wholly interconnected world rich with the wisdom, beauty and power of inspirited Nature. The “Healers” this book seeks to empower, excite and celebrate come in many forms, not only the Herbalist and Physician, Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist, but also the Nurturer from gardeners and conservationists to caring parents and artful cooks, the envisioning Seer, the spirit-mending Shaman, and the paradigm-changing CultureShifter…. not just helping heal bodies but feelings and spirits, family and community, society and the endangered living land.  As Wolf writes:

“Healers help assist, adjust, counterbalance, shift, direct, nurture and mend…  Healing is an active contribution to the balance, integrity and expression of a whole that is and should be always dynamic, morphing, unfolding, improving, and revealing.”

We each come to the portal of our enchantment the same as we come to our healing paths: in our own personal ways, following a circuitous route that is as unpredictable and magical as it is deliberate and planned.

The Journey to My Enchantment

The Journey to My Enchantment

My Journey To Enchantment

“Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.”J. R. R. Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories

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I was first drawn to the work of the Healer through my experiences of spending time with plants. Down on my hands and knees in the grass, surrounded by the wild plants I was only beginning to know the names of, I could easily become lost for hours at a time in the detail of their intricate leaf veins or trailing roots or by the way they moved in the wind and rain. Even in the small patches of woodland oasis amidst the surrounding urban chaos I would find myself transported into another world by the patterns of light flickering across dew-damp wildflowers. These threads of wildness that wove through the city were surrounded on every side by traffic, but still insulated me from the harsh sounds and often frantic pace of the human world. In my green havens I could slip into a sort of reverie, and imagine myself in Tolkien’s tree guarded Lothlorien or the forbiddingly dark forests of Grimm’s fairy tales. As a homeless teenager, I spent many nights in city parks, climbing up into welcoming branches and sleeping with my legs and arms wrapped around the comforting body of a living tree. I told my secrets to their leaves,  and listening to them whisper back with every small breeze.

While some seek talismans in technology or human wrought things, I have always found my portal into the otherworld through the plants. One taste of a feral Mulberry or inhalation of Honeysuckle on a humid night can send my senses reeling past the veil and into a Faery touched landscape. Not only have plants ignited my passion and imagination for most of my life, they’ve also provided me with focus, love, and direction in my darkest hours. Learning how the weeds I grew up with could tend the wounds of the body, as well as those of the heart and spirit, only drew me further into the enchantment that began with my first memory of a Yarrow flower as a toddler. As fellow lovers of plants, I know that you – too – have come to this journey and mission as much out of love and passion as practicality or necessity.  You more than likely recognize something magical in the effects of medicinal herbs and in the very processes of healing and repair.

“The plants have open our minds and hearts to new ways of looking at the world and your purpose within it, revealed the presence of spirit in all things and the potential for apparent miracles in our practices and lives.” The Enchanted Healer book, too, is not only a resource but a revealing… of “how wonderful we can feel, of all we can be, of all the possible ways we can help ourselves, others, and this world to heal.” —-

Portal to Enchantment

Envisioning & Manifesting In The Enchanted Healer, Wolf also discusses the many ways in which a Healer can manifest, providing a look at the twists and turns of how we practice, and how far that healing can extend: “A mark of a Healer is feeling drawn – compelled, even – to try to ease suffering and help remedy unwellness, unwholeness and imbalance wherever and whenever it is encountered.  This often manifests in careers as health care providers, but also shows up as hospice work and counsel for the dying, a dedication to plant conservation or land restoration, habitat protection or wildlife rehabilitation, and even stopping to comfort a lost kitten we see.  The instinct to help and heal seldom ends here, however, and often extends to empathy for the homeless and volunteer work on their behalf.  Awareness of the corporados’ destruction of the last wild places, and activism to address it.  Soon it can get to the point that it would feel hypocritical to help a woman with bruises on her face without trying to free her from an abusive relationship, perhaps even volunteering at a shelter.  Or to administer herbs unless we know they are from a sustainable and ethical source.  Or to make a good income from a healing practice without donating some time or money to those who cannot afford health care.  Or to meekly conduct an under-the-radar practice without facing or taking a stand on increasingly onerous regulations.

The Enchanted Healer covers subjects as diverse as Healer archetypes, plant spirit, plant and animal totems, utilizing and heightening our physical senses, so-called extrasensory perception, eros and sexuality, the magic of cooking, self care and nourishment, Anima and the vital life force, Gaia the living Earth, healing vision quests and places of power, and creating sanctum and sanctuary for ourselves.  It is a book intended to both inform and inspire, to clarify and create space for further imaginings and understandings:

“To ‘envision’ is not simply to foresee or forecast, but to recognize patterns and possibilities, to mentally create ideas that beg to be acted on and tested, models that can then be sculpted, manifested, realized in the physical reality.  To continue on a path, we must either see or envision the way ahead.  To treat a symptom of bodily, cultural or ecological disease, we conceive of its causes, and imagine the best possible treatments, acting on not only what we already know and can see, but also on our growing understanding and experience of the unseen.”

We need not only inspiration, but also clarity, discernment, focus and follow-through. It’s so easy to become diffuse and pulled in too many directions as a Healer. By the very nature of our vocation, we Healers must be multifaceted, but the complex and competing work of study, clinical work, medicine making, sorting through current research, botany, activism, gardening, wildcrafting, and much more can be overwhelming and lead to a feeling of being pulled in too many directions. Wolf effectively breaks down many of the most vital elements and aspects of being a Healer, and makes them accessible, exciting, and achievable for all of us.

The Enchanted Healer also provides in depth insights into the working practice of the Healer, and delves into the vital importance of self care.  Many of us fall madly in love with our vocation, pouring our whole selves into studying, practicing, and endlessly striving to become better at the mending and nourishing that healing entails.  But at some point most of us will find ourselves at a crossroads, wondering whether we are good enough to deserve the title of Healer, when tending others has taken its toll on our energy levels, when the complexity of physiology and chemistry is overwhelming, and when we don’t know if we can continue down this path with more support and strength. On those days when we wake up tired and worn down from our work, what we most often need is self nourishment, and the time to re-emerge ourselves in the enchantment that first drew us to healing in the first place. Once exhausted, it can be difficult to even remember what that was, or it can seem faded out or inaccessible when seen through such tired eyes. The Enchanted Healer both looks honestly at this important subject, and also suggests ways in which to nourish the self and recharge:

“We can only optimally nourish others, of course, when we have and continue to nourish our selves, our body with all its hungers, our emotional and spiritual needs, tending and feeding and watering all that we need to heal, strengthen, deepen, manifest, and bloom.  Whatever your role in this life, you will be better at it and more satisfied with it if you take the time – and do what it takes – to nurture your inherent gifts and talents, imagination and creativity, ideas and desires, calling and missions, hopes and dreams. It is then that we can best nurture other people, their well-being and their dreams as well as  the community we are a part of and the land that needs us.  It is as Nurturers, too, that we make things better.  And it is making things better that makes us Healers.”

The Beauty & Song 72dpi

The Beauty & Song The Enchanted Healer is beautifully illustrated with over 650 photos and paintings by many talented artists including Wolf and our friends Katlyn Breene, Lauren Raine and Madeline von Foerster, with its look and feel intended to be an important component in the spell this book weaves. Words and images merge to create a portrait of a magical life, a Healer both enchanted and enchanting, and opening a portal into the storybook forest. Turning the pages is choosing to walk through the open door, and step into a mushroom marked fairy ring where the ancient dance of the healing arts continues each and every moment.  As Wolf tells us:

“Enchantment is not about being bewitched or bewildered, it is a healthy glamour that amazes us with revelations of magic in the mundane, of significance in the overlooked, misunderstood or undervalued. It is neither hallucination, feel-good diversion, self delusion, sleight of hand tricks or entertainment. It is allure, necessarily followed by engagement with what fascinates us engagement with the ever so real world and our work within it… albeit a world that will always be at least in part a wonderful mystery, and everyday healing work that is northing less than extraordinary – not so much credible as incredible, not so much known and conventional as mysterious, adaptive, and mind blowing… with effects and results that can be astounding, awe inspiring, and incontrovertibly phenomenal.  The portal to our enchantment is often closer than we think, disguised as something common but betrayed by a faint smell of wild herbs, ocean fog, or forest moss, or concealed by Fir and Spruce boughs sweetly singing in the wind.”

Enchantment is the place of magic and meaning where we gather, and where we recognize each other.  The gift of the book The Enchanted Healer is not only that it awakens and empowers our lives and practices, but also that it brings us together. I’ll meet you there.
–Kiva Rose –––––––

PreOrder your copy of The Enchantment by going to the Bookstore & Gallery page at: www.PlantHealer.org

And if you happened to have missed the last issue of the free Plant Healer Newsletter, featuring free herbal articles, you can download the color pdf simply by clicking on:

Plant Healer Newsletter Feb. 2014

(Thank you for sharing and re-posting)

Enchantment PreOrder Poster 72dpi

Feb 102014
 

Jesse Wolf HardinUNITY MANIFESTO: Celebrating Differences, Healing Schisms

by Jesse Wolf Hardin

Herbalist Schism

Factionalism & Diversity

Plant Healer is dedicated to encouraging and celebrating diversity in herbalism.  This means including, welcoming, and empowering students, enthusiasts and practitioners of every kind, from hobbyists and plant-fans to folk herbalists, clinicians and academics, no matter what their level of expertise or what practices and approaches they might take.  We’ve fostered new kinds of conferences, helped others create bioregional events representing the widely varying flavors of the healing arts,   Our own events – like the Herbal Resurgence Rendezvous and this year’s HerbFolk Gathering – are home to even those people who feel like the oddballs and outliers, who don’t belong to any group or fit into any norm.

That said, my partner Kiva and I worry to see the degree to which diversification seems in some cases to be turning into divisive factionalism.  Various camps and clicks have begun to sound like “true believers” in their approach or cause, loudly and insensitively criticizing others, and showing little tolerance for other people’s opinions, methods, beliefs and styles… at a time when we need to be feeling the sense of family and shared purpose that comes from being fellow lovers of the plants, allies in the shared cause of healing and wholeness.  It’s okay to offer information that could assist or sway someone, or to kindly point out what you believe to be errors in their thinking or work, but to publicly shame someone for their lack of knowledge, or to insist there is only one right way, can only damage our tribe and aims.

Factions and differences have always existed, of course.  Consider the trashing of Vitalists in the 19th and 20th Centuries, or the last decade’s acrimony between those insisting on the importance of becoming an officially registered herbalist and those opposed to all organizations or even all standards.  But now, in the age of internet and social media, it is possible to do more damage to each other and to the reputation of herbalism in general… with only a few poorly considered words.  We’ve seen the longstanding reputations of elders sullied by needless accusations and infighting, as well as beginners brought to tears by ill-considered attacks, with folks tentatively taking their first steps into the the field of herbalism sometimes feeling isolated by the indifference or apparent superiority of those who have practiced for years, though a lot of the evident meanness actually stems from insecurity and a desire for love.  Instead of humiliating the less experienced among us, the more experienced herbalist needs to embrace the newbie as well as the simplest practitioner, both to help them develop and learn, and also so that the veterans and elders can benefit from their questions, fresh perspectives, and sometimes new ideas.  More than almost anything else, we need conscious relationship and intention-filled alliances, leading to a harmony of action and shared goals.

 

Man in Schism

Imagined Schisms & Conscious Relationship

Many of the apparent schisms that herbalism suffers from at this time are without a sound basis.  There is, after all, no inherent conflict between professionals and folk practitioners, between paid herbalist teachers and dumpster-diving anarchists… anymore than between those utilizing Western or Chinese or Ayurvedic systems.  Nor between intellectual and emotional motivations, book studies and hands-on experience, social activism and herbal practice, personal and societal health.  The pragmatists’ and cynics’ dismissing of anything bordering on alternative, spiritual or mystical is as unfounded and unhelpful as New Age practitioners writing off the importance of research, critical thinking, public relations or practical results.  When we were putting together our new book The Enchanted Healer, we thought about those magically-minded folks we know who might be put off by its call for a balance between critical inquiry and wonderment, and we had to consider the skeptical professionals among our friends and readers who might never even pick it up because of its title and topics.  There is, however, no natural division separating seriousness, practicality, credibility or professionalism, and heightened senses, emotional connection, revelations, a sense of magic or spirit, a state of great passion or deep sense of enchantment.

If anything, what we need now is an active and intimate relationship and alliance between learned academics and field practitioners, plant artists and botanists, clinic personnel and field or “street” herbalists, shamans and scientists, herbal cultivators and culture creators, wildcrafters and conservationists, registered herbalists who can work with and influence the bureaucracy and those creating a healthy counterculture, organizers and those who love to resist the excesses of organizations.  A heartful covenant between wild eyed imagineers and determined implementers.

Similarly, our personal well being, our effectiveness as healers or herb providers, the herbal community, and the way herbalists are seen by outside of the community, can all benefit from a mating of different approaches and styles, ideas, ways and means.  It is pure foolishness to ignore Arabic, Indian or Chinese diagnostic models and treatment methodologies when one can integrate these ages-old knowings into our personal understanding and practice, and likewise how silly is it to act as if there is no valid Western contribution to herbalism, or to insist on and go crazy over Asiatic herbs whenever there are Western herbs that work in the same way?  Professional herbalism needs a folk herbal heart, sense of social justice and concern for health care access for the disadvantaged, while folk practices have to take into account new knowledge, accept positive criticism, adapt to the times, and respect the influence of plant-obsessed professionals on the prevailing institutions.  To diss all scientific research and findings is to greatly handicap ourselves, and so is automatic dismissal of the possibilities beyond the already known and “proven,” ignorance of the unmeasured but evident life force in us all, or outright rejection of the spiritual, the magical, the incredible.

 

serious woman b&w 72dpilaughing black woman b&w 72dpi

The False Dilemma of Credible vs Enchanted

(excerpted from the upcoming book “The Enchanted Healer” available for pre-order Feb 14th from the Bookstore page at www.PlantHealer.org)

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
Mark Twain

“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,
I’ll never grow up, never grow up… not me!”
J.M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan)

In the story of Peter Pan, Peter faces what is framed as a dire choice between clinging to the perspectives, liberties and joys of childhood – his enchantment – and growing up to assume his place and role in society.

Barrie had reason to suspect the trap of adulthood, and to resent the efforts to control and “tidy up” children’s minds.  He resented the degree to which it limits our explorations of self and universe, deadens our fun, and prevents our spirits from truly flying.  The institutions of civilization, it seems, have always   mistrusted things like diversity of opinion, new or alternative ways of thinking and perceiving, individual liberty, unbridled imagination, and what it often calls “over-excitement.”  Academia and some models of professionalism exacerbate this tendency by trivializing the unofficial and unorthodox, the informal and unmetered, the emotional and emotive, the experiential and anecdotal, the personal and subjective, the imaginary and fantastic.  And yet to the child, and to the natural human mind, nothing that the somber and cynical adult model offers is as compelling as this world seen through the lens of our enchantment.

 

Peter pan flying 72dpi

Society teaches that we become something else when we get into and past our teen years, that we become grownups, that we “turn into” adults.  The supposition is that in the act of maturing we are no longer the same creatures we were as children, but rather, someone different, held to a different set of standards: a more tamed and sober animal, rational, disciplined, ready to trade our curiosities and indulgences for the world-view and life assignments of the currently prescribed adult world, willing to give up wild unsupervised play time for staged events and daily scripts.  From puberty onwards, we may be taught that to cry out loud indicates weakness, that to chase our dreams shows our naivete, to make crazy animal sounds or giddily interact with the herbs in our gardens demonstrates infantilism and hence unreliability… and that even for us to hope to change the world, or to devote ourselves to the often impractical missions of healing and betterment can be a sign of immaturity.  Who could be blamed for refusing to climb down from the boughs of a magical looking tree, into the cold arms of societal expectations and rote assignments, dampened passions and debunked mysteries?

We damn sure don’t need to do “what we’re told,” if what we are told is to unquestioningly accept their reality, to “straighten up,” “settle down” or “get with the program.”  We do need, as we’re advised, to “come down to earth,” but in terms of getting closer to elemental life and the living world we’re a part of, and actually experiencing rather than simply conceptualizing and analyzing, doing as well as planning… not in terms of letting go of our lofty hopes, cutting loose our cherished dreams, doubting and turning our backs on our visions, rejecting the giddy extremes of sensing and savoring, or retreating from the depths of ecstasy and brilliance of visions.  We need to “get real,” as most of us have been admonished, not by abandoning fantasy but by doing all we can in the real world to make the fantastic and visionary come true.  We need not grow “up” but “inwards” and “within,” growing not bigger but better.  Growing more beautiful.  Growing more healthy, more hopeful, more imaginative, more creative, more determined to be healed, and to help heal others and this earth.

serious herbalist 72dpi

 

laughing woman with salad 72dpi

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
J.M. Barrie

On one level, we don’t need to ever grow up… only to learn how to act in public so that we don’t handicap our efforts or endanger ourselves or our goals!  On the other hand, humankind and the entire planet does need us to take on the best attributes of adulthood, including mature consideration and reflection, discernment and critical thinking, patience, focus, responsibility, initiative, service to a good that is greater than ourselves, self-discipline, follow-through, pledge keeping, and sacrifice when and as required.

As adults we have more entrenched disbelief to get over, and more preconceptions to overcome, but at the same time we have a deepened capacity for a more complex and greater realized enchantment than we knew as kids, a state of ecstatic wonderment made richer by our actual experiences, informed by our memories, feeding our creativity, and fueling our healing purpose.

 

Smiles 72dpi

 

Fire Cider, The Prioritizing of Battles, & a Respectful Opposition

I would never use the popular expression “it’s all good,” because it isn’t.  Not everyone’s abilities are equal.  Some treatments and herbs work better than others in particular people and situations.  At all times there is an optimum choice and action depending on need and conditions, and choices that are counterproductive or downright harmful.  Repressive or onerous governmental regulation needs to be actively opposed, not just censured or ignored.  Even the actions of herbalists are not without potential consequences for our clients and our society, both good and bad.  There are wrongs committed by the system, and also by ourselves.  Our failure to respond to injustice can itself prove harmful.  And there are harmful as well as helpful ways to oppose any wrongs.

 

Fire Cider Folk Medicine 72dpi

A case in point is the unfortunate actions of an herbal beverage maker in 2013/14, and the herbalist community’s various reactions to what they did.  The manufacturers actually trademarked the term “Fire Cider,” apparently ignorant of the fact that it dates back at least a few decades to when the esteemed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar introduced it to the public through her books and other writings, and that many people have freely marketed their personal versions of Fire Cider over the years… effectively removing it from the public commons, and making it illegal for anyone else to use it!  More egregiously, the offending manufacturers have sent out numerous “cease and desist”orders to pre-existing small-time makers and sellers of Fire Cider, threatening legal action if their products aren’t removed from the Etsy craft sales site.  Without any pushback from us, we can be sure of more companies appropriating and monopolizing the terminology of our folkways for their sole profit, acting increasingly like insensitive corporate thugs.

 

"Officially Trademarked" Fire Cider

“Officially Trademarked” Fire Cider

A number of cherished products are at risk.

A number of cherished products are at risk.

 

In this case, however, the offending manufacturer is not even a large corporate entity, and it seems the owners are more hipsters than they are industrialists.  And some of the responses from herbalists seem acrimonious to the point of undermining our moral authority.  Even true enemies of herbalism should be opposed in a respectful manner, strong and insistent but also considerate, and these people are leaning on us to make money, not in a campaign to hurt herbalists or herbalism.  I am not a pacifist but a confirmed activist, a sometimes forceful defender of rights and of innocence against injustice and exploitation, but how we comport ourselves matters.  Not all wrongdoers are truly our opponents, and our true opponents have reasons they can cite, needs they hope to meet, and feelings we can hurt.  I applaud those who are opposing this kind of commercial appropriation with respect and compassion.  Whenever the cause is so serious as to deserve it, let us do what it takes to right the recognizable wrong… yet remain considerate, honorable, and respectful, even when taking the strongest of measures.

 

Fire-Cider2-72dpi

We also need to prioritize our peeves and causes, with only just so much indignation to tap, only so many hours and so much energy with which to act.  It is important that we not only pick our battles, but also determine how much of our precious time and effort to give each one, making sure we are not depleted by whatever cause or issue is currently most in vogue or in our face.  Anger is not always a bad thing, I assure you, but your reservoirs of justified animal anger might be needed for urgent campaigns to save the damaged and threatened natural habitats where our medicinal herbs evolved and still struggle to survive, or in protests on behalf of the freedom to practice our craft without increasing corporate-fostered regulation.  While causes such as the Fire Cider trademarking issue should definitely not be ignored, we should always keep in mind that the same energy reserves we might expend lambasting ill-reasoning herbal entrepreneurs are also available for us to create new herb businesses with, to launch free clinics, educate the masses, and otherwise co-create a new nature-informed culture of healing.

We need to do it all, in the most honorable ways possible.

HerbFolk Conference teachers united - by Adrienne Alanis

HerbFolk Conference teachers united – by Adrienne Alanis

The Call for Unity

It may sound funny to you, but I can’t think of too many things more disagreeable to me than a population of people agreeing about absolutely everything.  That wouldn’t serve diversity, nor contribute to balance or healing, change or improvement.  Differences of opinion and approach are essential to social evolution, the same as the divergence of species propels biological adaptation and contributes to a dynamic ecological whole.  Differences among us are not just tolerable or excusable, they are actually vital if we are to avoid boring conformity, restrictive dogma, and the rigidification, gentrification, corporatization, and institutionalization of herbalism.

On the other hand (as I so often like to say!), a consonance and confluence of values, priorities and actions is necessary to keep a group/community from splitting into factions and failing in its missions.  Unity is not sameness, it does not mean that we need to be the same, think, practice or otherwise act the same.  Being unified means that we are all part of a integral and purposeful whole, not that all parts are or should be alike.  And it means we’re in a conscious and committed relationship that requires our most considerate and honorable interaction, doing our individual parts to heal not just ailing bodies but the any schisms in our community, expressing diversity while avoiding factions.

Plant walk with 7Song-72dpi

While I am generally distrustful and disparaging of manifestos, no matter who provides them or what they describe, there would seem to be a clear need for a manifesto of unity, a proclamation of our determination to unify and strengthen the community and field of herbalism we not only practice but live… and love.  Elders, luminaries, and enthusiastic beginners.  The politically correct and willfully incorrect.  Caring businesswomen and free providers.  Conservatives, leftists, and even the I’m-always-right-ists.  The pragmatists and visionaries. Cholerics and Phlegmatics.   Scientific researchers and explorers of the magical realms.  Skeptical practitioners and wholly, gladly enchanted healers.  Together in our glad differences.  And all one, in our purpose, our struggles, our joys.

 

Juliet & Kiva Rose squared 72dpi

 

(We encourage you to re-post and share Wolf’s message widely – thank you –Kiva)

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The next issue of the complimentary Plant Healer Newsletter will feature herbal articles by Juliet Blankespoor, Jim McDonald, Matt Wood and Catherine Skipper.  It will be available for download on Feb. 14th

You can subscribe for free at www.PlantHealer.org

Jan 262014
 

Muscle Aches and Tension:

Materia Medica, Part II

by Kiva Rose

 

(This is part two of three in the Muscle Aches and Tension series, you can part one on internal therapeutics right here)

The most effective and nuanced external treatment of muscle aches and tension requires a basic knowledge of energetics and differential diagnostics. Don’t be intimidated though, all you need is a simple understanding of a few basic patterns and you’ll be to apply your herbal knowledge with a great deal more subtlety and precision.

I have omitted potentially toxic or mind altering herbs from this list post, and hope to cover low dose external botanicals at some point in the future.

Please don’t allow the pain relief of herbs to fool you into thinking you’re totally healed right away. Proceed with caution, listen to your body, and rest as needed.

 

P1010779

Abies spp.

Warming Herbs

Warming herbs for muscle aches and tension tend to be stimulating, diffusive, and often counter-irritant, and thus initiate healing partially be bringing blood to the affected area in order to initiate healing by the immune system.

These herbs are generally most appropriate on injuries or issues that are cold in nature. Meaning dull, stiff, achy, and better with heat and movement. They are often, but not always, chronic or old issues.

 

Arnica spp.

Overview: One of the most well known herbs in mainstream commerce, making it also one of the mosts widely misused herbs known. It is indeed a wonderful plant for healing any injury that needs increased blood flow to the affected area when used appropriately.  I learned from my teacher, Michael Moore that Arnica is specific to pain on movement, and to use Arnica immediately after an injury happens, and if that’s not possible, use something more cooling initially and go back to Arnica once heat is desirable and active inflammation with heat excess has diminished. If heat does NOT feel good, don’t use Arnica.

Hint: I tend to prefer Arnica in cold, chronic situations rather than acute, or in formula with cooler herbs to help moderate it’s heating tendencies.

Preparation: Flowers or all aerial parts can be extracted in alcohol, oil, or water to varying degrees. Works great as salve, massage oil, or liniment.

Note: This is a very warming herb and I have seen it aggravate acute inflammation with heat excess.

 

Goldenrod – Solidago spp. 

Overview: Goldenrod is a warming and stimulating herb with many uses, but externally it is phenomenal at healing damaged muscles, even old or chronic injuries. I have repeatedly seen it alleviate the pain and stiffness of old muscular injuries in dancers and other athletes. It can be helpful in some joint pain as well, but my experience indicates it is most helpful at healing the actual muscles.

Hint: Try Goldenrod even on severe muscular issues like separated muscles for pain relief and possible long term healing.

Preparation: The fresh flowering tops extract well into water, alcohol, and oil based preparations. Use as needed.

Note: I find that the most aromatic species tend to be the most helpful in this context, but otherwise, any species of Solidago may be used.

 

Cottonwood – resinous Populus spp.

Overview: A gentle but effective herb that is warming and stimulating, but mild enough to be used directly after an injury, especially in an individual with a constitution that tends toward coldness or has impaired circulation. Cottonwood infused oil is one of my most used external remedies, especially after straining a muscle, for an overall achy body, or working old tension out of cold, tired muscles. It is warming and stimulating enough to apply to cold extremities in the winter to help avoid aching in the small joints and cracking of skin.

Hint: It’s difficult to go wrong with Cottonwood bud preparations, and it’s also very valuable as an anti-microbial in general salves.

Preparation: Resinous buds in oil or high proof alcohol. Resin is not water soluble, meaning that water based preparations or low proof alcohol will not efficiently extract the resin that is desirable for therapeutic use. In fact, I prefer to always use 95% alcohol when tincturing resinous plants as it’s the most efficient method way to extract the medicine. Very useful as liniment, massage oil, or salve.

Note: Please don’t strip all the buds off of a branch, as the tree needs its leaves. Take small amounts from numerous trees. Also, be sure to harvest before the buds split open and reveal green leaves inside… by that time you run the risk of your buds spoiling from excess moisture and bacteria, especially in oil based preparations.

 

Conifers  – Pinus spp.,  Abies spp., Tsuga spp., and allied non-toxic genera. 

Overview: Conifer leaves, resin, and bark are warming and drying with a notable counterirritant effect. They bring blood to the surface of the skin, increasing circulation and immune response in cold/chronic injuries so that the body can better heal itself, while also warming the area and causing cold, achy muscles to release tension.

Hint: Add small portions of Conifer leaves to massage oil formulas for the amazing aroma and muscle warming effect.

Preparation: Conifers are resinous and generally most efficiently extracted in alcohol or oil, but can also impart mild warming properties via hot water, as in a hot bath. Pleasantly aromatic, they bring a little extra warming zing to many pain relieving formulas, whether salve, massage oil, liniment, or soaks. The leaves are the mildest part of the plant with the resin being the most heating and intense.

Note: Conifer resin is not water soluble and would make an extremely messy bath, and it’s also much more warming than the other parts of the trees, so I recommend sticking primarily to leaves for water based preparations, and using much smaller amounts of the resin in formulas.

 

P1020057

Alnus spp.

Cooling Herbs

Cooling herbs for muscle aches and tension tend to be relaxing, permanent (non-diffusive), and anti-inflammatory, and thus relieve pain and tension through directly relaxing and cooling the area.  These herbs are generally most appropriate on injuries or issues that are hot in nature. Meaning sharp, stabbing, tense, sometimes red, and better with rest and worse from heat.

Please note that I do not advise using ice on musco-skeletal injuries, cool water can be appropriate but in general the overt cooling of an injury will just slow the healing process and possibly lead to an acute issue becoming a chronic one.

 

Lobelia – Lobelia inflata

Overview: An acrid antispasmodic, Lobelia is excellent for acute injuries accompanied by muscle spasms and notable tension. It can be helpful applied to areas where joint/skeletal issues are causing muscular spasms, and also to recent injuries with signs of heat and tension. Additionally, Lobelia can be useful in cases where overt emotional tension is manifesting as cramping or spasming in any part of the body.

Hint: Lobelia is specific to significant tension with muscles spasms, especially those that move around or vary widely in intensity.

Preparation: Liniment (alcoholic or acetic tincture) or infused oil of seeding plant.

Note: Excessive external application of Lobelia liniment can cause some sensitive individuals to feel nauseous. Apply with moderation and build from there based on tolerance.

 

Comfrey - Symphytum spp. 

Overview: Comfrey is a rather infamous herb that I also consider invaluable for external application in tissue healing where there is acute trauma, including post surgery recuperation.

Hint: Comfrey excels at cooling inflammation and knitting damaged tissues back together. It is most specific to acute injuries or post surgery conditions where heat and dryness are preventing full healing.

Preparation: Comfrey is soluble in water, oil, and alcohol, and can be prepared in many ways, including liniment, massage oil, salve, poultice, foment, soaks, and more.

Note: Comfrey can initiate very quick healing so make sure that there is no infection, dislocations, unset fractures etc., so that Comfrey doesn’t knit together something not yet ready for healing.

 

Alder – Alnus spp.

Overview: Alder is a cooling anti-inflammatory with some pain relieving properties, and a general affinity for tissue healing. It is widely applicable in musco-skeletal injuries and inflammation, and can be used wherever there are signs of heat excess with pain, tenderness, and tissue trauma.

Hint: Alder is blood (part of the mechanism for pain relief) and lymph moving while still being cooling, therefore being an excellent herb for almost any hot/acute muscular injury.

Preparation: Leaves and bark an be extracted in alcohol, oil, or water. A great addition to almost any liniment, salve, or massage oil. Also makes a wonderful soak for sore muscles.

Note: Alder is gentle and generally without negative side effects, but it’s still cooling, so please combine with more warming herbs for chronic injuries or cold signs.

 

Credit, References, and Resources

7Song – personal correspondence

Jim McDonald – personal correspondence and http://herbcraft.org/backpain.html

Michael Moore – Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West, Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West

Matthew Wood – Book of Herbal Wisdom

Darcy Williamson – Healing Plants of the Rocky Mountains