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 […]

May 042008
The Warm Heart of Rosemary

Rosemary has been a favorite ally of late, not for myself so much as for many clients and family members. It’s a common ingredient in my digestive formulas, especially for those with a sluggish, overtired liver and a cold gut typified by lack of appetite, gas, constipation and bloating. I especially like it combined with […]

May 022008

If you’re new to my blog and haven’t read my many previous posts on the wonders of Nettle seeds, just do a search in the little bar on the left to read up on its properties. So I’ve been using Nettle seeds straight up and Nettle seed tincture, both with dried, hand harvested seeds from […]

Apr 112008

The Peach trees in the village just burst into bloom these past few days, all radiant pink and headily fragrant. From a distance, the trees look to be on fire with a soft magenta light that draws the eye in like a spotlight, obscuring the image of the empty fields beyond, the cars on the […]

Apr 062008

The Elm trees (Ulmus pumila) are covered in gorgeous green disc shaped fruits just now. It’s like the fruits in the picture, but when they’re fatter and greener and the seed is less developed. Loba and I were so entranced by the pretty papery green that we pulled over onto the side of the (remote) […]

Mar 272008

Taking a hint from indigenous peoples throughout the West, I use Moonwort for damn near everything.  Yes, I’ve written about it before (here and here, for example)  but I do like to repeat myself so I’ll go on about it a bit more now. Nearly every herbalist seems to have a favorite topical cure all […]

Mar 162008
First Spring Medicines: Corydalis, Usnea & Cottonwood

Yesterday while planting my newest influx of native trees and shrubs, I noticed the season’s first blooming Corydalis, the Canyon’s usual second Spring flower who usually arrives just before or on the Spring Equinox. This sweet little relative of the West Coast’s Bleeding Hearts has many similar uses for chronic pain, tremors, various neuralgias combined […]

Mar 102008
The Magic of Monkeyflowers

Common Name: Monkeyflower Botanical Name: Mimulus spp. Energetics: Neutral to Cool, Sl. Moist Actions: Relaxant nervine, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, anodyne I’ve talked about Monkeyflowers before, and am loving them just as much now. I really wish I’d made more tincture or least dried more of the plant for infusions, seeing how abundant they are especially […]

Mar 012008

For the March Blogparty on Nettles hosted by Julie at Crow’s Daughter. Stinging Nettle’s has a remarkable ability to rebuild and restore. Part of this comes from the fact that it is intensely nutritive, being dense with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Nettle’s nourishing properties have been discussed at length by many authors, perhaps most notably […]

Feb 242008
Alder & Headaches

Headaches are a curious ailment, they can stem from nearly any kind of imbalance or disorder, and their symptoms can vary hugely in consistency, symptoms, length and other factors. I’ve talked about headache differentials previously, and will probably expand even more on them in the future. For now though, I’d like to briefly discuss a […]

Feb 132008

Earlier this last Autumn I made an oil from dried leaves, bark, catkins and twigs of Alder. After reviewing much of the available ethnobotany on this multi-purpose herb I thought it would at least make a nice wound healing salve if not a downright pain relieving one. I also talked to an herbalist from the […]