Artemesia Under the Snow

Artemesia Under the Snow

For the last week we’ve been receiving a fairly steady coating of snow, which is great because the SW can use all the moisture we can get. I will admit though, that it makes me long for spring and the arrival of new baby plants. But today, wandering about while checking out the sumach buds, I noticed a single silver finger peeking up through the snow. Digging down a bit, I discovered one my favorite plants, locally called Estafiate, happily growing in the cold and wet. Estafiate, one of the most common plants of the Gila, is one tough plant. Growing in near desert, mountains, grasslands and even under the snow, she seems to be able to survived most anything. Closely related to the oft-used Mugwort, Estafiate can be used nearly identically as long as you...

A Note on Energetics (with a little help from a friend…)

In my last post I said“I’ve also noticed that the temperature conundrum is also common tomany mint family plants, as is their strange tendency to be calledsimultaneously stimulating and sedating.” (it’s so much fun to quote myself). But then Great Lakes herbalist Jim McDonald (http://herbcraft.org) commented to me that a better way of understanding this supposed conundrum is to realize that stimulation “refers to bolstering the body’s vital force” and that relaxing/sedating “is acting not on the vital energy as much as on the resistance to the free flow of that energy in the body.” Jim says that a good visceral way of understanding this is “vigorously scratch your head; it relaxes that tension and...

Salvia: A Plant Teacher for Grounding & Presence

Salvia: A Plant Teacher for Grounding & Presence

(Salvia spp., Salvia reflexa, Salvia subincisa, Salvia officinalis, Salvia militiorrhiza, Salvia apiana, etc.,) Energetics Although the Salvias are sometimes referred to as warming, I have always experienced them as cooling, with certain Sages being downright cold (S. apiana springs to mind) Their astringent qualities point to a drying affect but I think of them as balancing to the bodily fluids, as are many members of the Mint family. I’ve also noticed that the temperature conundrum is also common to many mint family plants, as is their seemingly strange tendency to be called simultaneously stimulating and sedating. In fact, I feel that the energetics of many of the Mint family are innately balancing and this is part of the integral medicine of this plant...

Wildness We Have Forgotten

Wildness We Have Forgotten

“Leaning down to sniff a wild rose, I smell instead the dew-damp ashes. It is as though we have built a great bonfire, and we are heaping onto it everything we can seize— hawks and herrings, swamps and mountains, rivers and soil. If I open a book written in our time, and I do not hear the crackle of flames, I soon close it again, not because I enjoy the reminder of havoc, but because I cannot take seriously an art that ignores this holocaust.” -Scott Russell Sanders I heard on the radio this morning that the cherry trees are blooming New York City. It is January 8th. There is something important that we have forgotten, knowledge necessary that we have left behind, there is a language we speak but brokenly, in fragments, in words we no longer know the meaning of....

The Elder Mother

The Elder Mother

I’m so in love with this plant, I’ve loved it since I was a little girl without even knowing why. Long before I understood the medicine or mythology of Elder, I just knew that I loved to be around her, I’ve even always loved the slightly rank smell of the leaves. When I lived in the NE (the bad old days), I was forever propagating small Elder bushes, much to the dismay of more refined gardeners who couldn’t understand why I insisted on spreading a common weed. The medicine I make the most copious amounts of is my Elder Mother Elixir, I’ve used it time and time again to ward off an impending virus. I’ve used it to prevent the bug, to ward it off when showing first symptoms and to quicken recovery time once the bug has been fully contracted. This is the way I do...