Silktassel: Shining From the Shadows

Silktassel: Shining From the Shadows

Common Names: Silktassel, Bear Brush, Quinine Bush, Fever Bush Botanical Name: Garrya spp. Energetics: Cold, dry Taste: Bitter, bitter, bitter Actions: Very Strong Relaxant (anti-spasmodic), uterine stimulant, febrifuge, anodyne Parts Used: Twigs & Leaves Preparations: Tincture for the most part, as I’ve yet to meet a person, including myself, who can get the tea or infusion down. Fresh plant 1:2 95% Dried plant 1:5 50% Dosage: 10-30 drops for a medium sized person (less if you’re very sensitive), taken as needed every 45 minutes or so until pain and cramping is reduced or eliminated for up to several hours at a time. For larger people, start with a dose of 30-60 drops for the first two doses then drop down to 30 drop doses. If feelings of...

Herbs Don’t Read Books: Cherry Leaf Tea

Herbs Don’t Read Books: Cherry Leaf Tea

This is for the September blogparty, hosted by Henriette, with the theme of Herbs Don’t Read Books! Open the herbal book nearest to you, pretty much ANY herb book. Find the section on wild cherry or chokecherry, if there is one. Now check out the contradictions or warnings. It will almost certainly command you in very authoritative tones to NEVER EVER, NOT EVER consume cherry leaves or YOU WILL SURELY DIE. Poisonous, toxic, and perhaps outright evil, we are forbidden to ever partake in any communion with the leaves of any cherry species at all. I’ve always thought this particular herbal rule was pretty strange, considering we use the bark of the cherry to good effect and in general, bark tends to be more toxic and stronger than leaves. So every time I...

The Onagraceae Family: Faery Flowers of the Riparian Forest

The Onagraceae Family: Faery Flowers of the Riparian Forest

Through the dry heat of this long Summer with very little rain, I have been drawn time and time again to the sweet cooling presence of the Onagraceae tribe. From the golden glow of the Suncups to the delicate white blossoms of the Evening Primrose to the feathery silk of the Willowherbs, I find myself entirely enamored of their medicine, that of their presence as well as their power as herbal remedies.   Of course, with flowers like these, it’s easy to fall in love, isn’t it? While some members of this family have very tiny flowers, as far as I can tell they are all exquisitely detailed and utterly gorgeous. Above, you can see a Gaura coccinea (sometimes classified as Oenothera suffrutescens) from earlier in the Summer. Only about a foot tall, these...

Sweet Medicine: An Overview of Honeyed Healing and Sensory Delight

Sweet Medicine: An Overview of Honeyed Healing and Sensory Delight

  The taste of a drop of rich wildflower honey, a lick of peach elixir or a sip of spice infused cordial is sensual, comforting and ecstatic all at once. Humans crave and love all things sweet, and while it’s clear that this is the taste most easily overdone and abused, it still retains its own medicine and magic.  Bees, maple trees, beets and other sweet creatures gift us with their rich blessings, and when used wisely they can be powerful allies in the healing process and add a special magic to the amazing sensory experience that is life. I’ve chosen to do a general overview of a wide variety of Sweet Medicines this month’s blogparty post, including recipes, tips and insights where appropriate. My favorite sweet medicines are always those...

The Nettle Seed Rebellion: Outlaw Plants and Their Progeny

The Nettle Seed Rebellion: Outlaw Plants and Their Progeny

For The Weeds of Summer Blogparty hosted by Darcey Blue over at Gaia’s Gifts Prequel: An Irreverent Introduction to Weeds and Other Wild Things     Unruly and feral, weeds annoy us with their promiscuous strut and blatant disregard for convention and known boundaries. Many of them are immigrants and gypsies, with a reputation for sneaking into happy domestic scenes with troubling ease and for taking over the garden party with a sensual but insistent tangle of tendrils and roots. Some, like Sacred Datura, Stinging Nettles or Poison Ivy, burn or hurt the human hand who attempts to pull or hack them from their desired home. Others, such as the Asian Elm so common to the Southwest, suck much needed groundwater into themselves and away from the parched...

Flowers From the FaeryGrounds: The Enchantment of Beebalm

Flowers From the FaeryGrounds: The Enchantment of Beebalm

Monsoon season is a magical time in the Southwest. The air grows heavy, the clouds roll in and the thunder rumbles across the mountains. Within days of the arrival of the first storms, the golds and sages of the semi-arid woodlands, grasslands and meadows erupt into a riot of vibrant wildflowers and lush green growth. Although Summer is our busiest guest season, and I can’t keep caught up even with 13 hour work days, I simply can’t resist the siren call of the Canyon to come out and play. ~~~   One of the most alluring of all the Canyon’s Summer plants, is the gorgeous Beebalm, known locally as Wild Oregano or Oregano de la Sierra, named for its strong, spicy flavor. Matthew Wood also notes that it has also been called Rose Balm by some authors,...