Jul 222008
The Winter Cherry: Restoring Vitality

Botanical Name: Withania somnifera Common Names: Ashwagandha, Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng Energetics: warming Taste: Sweet, bitter, pungent Actions: Adaptogen, alterative, cardioprotective, immunomodulator, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic This post contains some of my ramblings and ponderings about this very special plant. This isn’t an all-encompassing portrait of the herb but rather notes from my own experience plus research […]

Jul 172008
Notes on Beebalm & Rose

    A sweet birthday gift from Wolf, who does a beautiful portrait for me every year. It’s about enough to give me a big head. Here I’m holding an armful of the aromatic and lovely Beebalm that blooms on my birthday each year. Speaking of Beebalm (again), I’ve made an infused honey with Beebalm […]

Jul 152008

Ask any Reserve local, especially those of Spanish or Indigenous descent, about what to do for a deeply lodged splinter or painfully embedded fragment and they’ll point to the nearest Pine tree. Get some of that sticky stuff they’ll admonish, and just slap it on there. It’ll be better in the morning they say, and […]

Jul 102008
Usnea: Healing From the Forest

Name: Usnea, Old Man’s Beard Botanical Name: Usnea barbata and other spp. Energetics: Cool, dry Actions/Functions: Clears heat, moves damp, resolves toxicity When the rains arrive in the Gila, the whole landscape deepens in color and space. It’s as if the land, plants and all, takes a deep breath and fills itself out. Mushrooms pop […]

Jul 012008
Bee's Delight: Gathering Mountain Mondarda

The bees are in a glorious mood just now, buzzing and hovering above the honey sweet Beebalm flowers. Every year I wait for just this moment, for the rains that come sweeping in from the south, the new green growth that erupts everywhere and for the magnificent blooms of one of my favorite flowers. Not […]

Jun 262008
Bone Deep Beauty: Notes on Comfrey

Name: Comfrey, Knit-bone, Bruisewort Botanical Name: Symphytum spp. (usually x uplandicum, but sometimes officinale) Energetics: Cool, moist That Comfrey, she’s just too charming. Such pretty bell shaped flowers, and intricately detailed leaves. And what attitude! The plant that proliferates from one tiny, itty bitty crumb of root and grows into an explosion of new life. […]

Jun 122008
For a Midsummer's Day: Peach Leaf Tea

Cold Peach leaf tea is where it’s at folks, and it may be the best SW summer beverage I’ve met! It’s yummy and mild, great with honey, calming and moistening. Even most little kids really like the taste, and it’s easy to jazz it up with some Wild Rose petals or River Mint (M. arvensis) […]

Jun 092008

Working with liver issues as often as I do, you can bet I’ve dispensed a lot of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) in my time. And for a long while, I rotated between giving a strong tincture and a strong decoction. I certainly saw results, but was always a bit frustrated by what felt like unlocked […]

May 252008

So I’ve been working with Western Chokecherry (that would be Prunus virginiana L. var. demissa, though most Cherries seem to work in a nearly identical way) flowers, leaves and bark this spring in a tincture. Now yes, I can hear the protests already. I too have read all those herb books that say to never […]

May 202008
Blisswort in Bloom: Subtleties & Specifics

One of my favorite plants is in full bloom! Blisswort, otherwise known as Skullcap (Scutellaria spp) is a beautiful native perennial of the mint family. Ours grows in Ponderosa Pine forest in partly shady spots among pine needles, Wild Lima Beans, Golden Pea and Candytuft. They’re little pincushion plants, small and soft and round for […]

May 182008
Aztec Gold: The Medicine of the Mexican Poppy

Botanical name: Eschscholzia californica spp. mexicana Common Names: Mexican Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy, Gold Poppy, Taste: acrid, bitter Energetics: very cool Affinities: liver, gallbladder, heart Actions: anodyne, antispasmodic, relaxant nervine, topical antimicrobial Cautions: Moore suggest that Eschscholzia is probably inappropriate in pregnancy. Ingesting very large amounts can cause nausea. Notes: Eschscholzia mexicana and Eschscholzia californica […]