Muscle Aches and Tension: Materia Medica, Part II

Muscle Aches and Tension: Materia Medica, Part II

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...

Muscle Aches and Tension: Materia Medica, Part 1

Muscle Aches and Tension: Materia Medica, Part 1

Muscle Aches and Tension: Materia Medica, Part 1 by Kiva Rose   The cold moons are a time when many longstanding aches and pains worsen, and also when recent injuries often become more problematic. The low temperatures seem to make the pain  and stiffness seep into the very bones and can make free movement difficult indeed. In part one of this post, I’ll be covering a few important herbs for internal use. In the next post, I’ll cover herbs for external use, and in the third, I’ll cover a few herbs specific to muscular pain related to joint issues. This first post is a quick and dirty overview/breakdown of herbs that can be used internally to loosen up skeletal muscles, thereby making movement easier and also potentially bringing longer standing healing to...

Purple Haze: The Resinous Medicine of Aster Rhizome, Leaf, and Flower

Purple Haze: The Resinous Medicine of Aster Rhizome, Leaf, and Flower

Botanical Names: Dieteria bigelovii (formerly Aster bigelovii), but also Aster tataricus, Symphyotrichum (formerly Aster) novae-angliae, Aster subspicatus, and probably many others. Common Names: Purple Sticky Aster, Bigelow’s Spine Aster, also Douglas Aster, New England Aster, etc., Taste: Bitter, sweet, aromatic Impression: Oily, aromatic Energetics: Slightly warm, Moistening in the oily sense Actions: Aromatic (and thus, Carminative), Relaxant Diaphoretic, Expectorant Specific Indications: Lung deficiency, Cough with cold signs, Asthma with tension and spasmodic coughing/wheezing, Cough initiated by cold/flu onset with tension I first learned of this beautiful medicine from Jim McDonald through his work with the very similar New England Aster, which in turn...

Poléo: The Meandering Ways of Wild Mint

Poléo: The Meandering Ways of Wild Mint

This post is for the Wild Mint month of the Wild Things Roundup hosted by Wendy Petty’s Hunger & Thirst blog Poléo: The Meandering Ways of Wild Mint by Kiva Ringtail Rose Botanical Name: Mentha arvensis (often considered synonymous with M. canadensis) Common Names: Wild Mint, Corn Mint, Brook Mint, Horse Mint, Corn Mint Energetic Tendencies: Variable temperature, dry Taste/Impression: Aromatic, acrid Actions: diaphoretic, stimulant nervine, aromatic digestive (including carminative), emmenagogue, spasmolytic, choleretic (via regulating liver qi.) Tucked in among the opalescent hedges of Bluestem Willows and silver-skinned Canyon Alders that line the San Francisco River’s lush banks, a wreath of lavender spikes adorn the square stems of the River Mint....

River Medicine: Alder’s Transformation of Lymph, Blood, and The Human Ecology

River Medicine: Alder’s Transformation of Lymph, Blood, and The Human Ecology

This monograph was previously published by Plant Healer Magazine River Medicine: Alder’s Transformation of Lymph, Blood, and The Human Ecology by Kiva Rose “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” - Norman MacLean Common Names: Alder, Mountain Alder, Canyon Alder, Red Alder, River Alder, Thinleaf Alder etc., Botanical Name: Alnus spp. specifically the A. oblongifolia and A. incana that grow in my local area, other species commonly used in medicine include A. rubra and A. serrulata Botanical Family: Betulaceae My affection for this elegant and common tree is second to none. One of the key species in wetland areas on the canyon and mountain Southwest recovering from overgrazing, its curved branches shade the waterways all through the...

A Flower For First Aid: Rose and Wound Care

A Flower For First Aid: Rose and Wound Care

My readers will all likely be very familiar with my fondness for any and all Rosa species, and most especially for my local wild Rosa woodsii. There’s no doubt that Rose is a popular plant among herbalists across the globe. Often though, I notice that it tends to be primarily known for emotional issues. While I would be the last person to debate its applicability in those situations (which are of course inherently tied into the individual’s overall physiology rather than being a separate domain), I do sometimes perceive a lack of serious consideration of Rose’s more down and dirty healing attributes. This post is my attempt at showing why and how Rosa can be utilized in first aid, and specifically in wound care. I will provide a brief overview of the herb’s basic...