Summer’s Spice: Beebalm Flower Infused Honey

Summer’s Spice: Beebalm Flower Infused Honey

Summer’s Spice: Beebalm Flower Infused Honey It won’t be long now until the first brilliant purple flowers of Beebalm explode into bloom here in the Canyon. Locals call this gorgeous wildflower either Oregano de la Sierra or just Wild Oregano. Because yep, it tastes spicy and rather Oregano-like. The botanical name of this particular species is a bit long, being Monarda fistulosa var. menthaefolia, but really, any Monarda species will work just fine for most medicinal, culinary and other uses. The specific actions will, however, vary with the exact flavor and impression of the particular plants you work with. There can be quite a bit of taste variation through the genus of Monarda, all are aromatic but some veer more toward the sweet end of the taste...

Elder Mother Immune Elixir

Elder Mother Immune Elixir

I don’t find the idea of magic bullets to be very effective in healing, and find that the most successful therapy always originates in tailoring the treatment to the individual person and situation. For this reason, you’ll rarely see/hear me recommending a set formula or list of herbs for any given diagnosis. In fact, my answer is almost always, “it depends” to any question asking about herbs to treat a disease or disorder. This is because I work with people, and with the unique ways a virus or pattern may manifest in each person. For an overall tonic approach to modulating and enhancing the body’s native immune system though, I’ve seen Elderberry really shine, even in people with excess inflammation and/or autoimmune...

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...

Simples and Formulas

Simples and Formulas

The Preamble I consider myself a simpler at heart, meaning I prefer the use of one herb at a time, chosen specifically for the individual and issue at hand. I find this approach encourages intimacy between person and plant, and allows for a clearer dynamic between the two that helps me to better see what’s happening and what might be needed. Formulas, especially pre-made ones from set recipes tend to confuse my intuition and observations skills (never mind the fact that many commercially available formulas are just badly put together). Nonetheless, I do find formulas to be very practical at times, especially when based on a small number of herbs selected specially for that moment in time. I’m not discounting the effectiveness of ancient Chinese formulas or...

Pastilles – Sweet Soothing for a Sore Throat & Beyond

My version of pastilles are little balls of herbal powder held together by something sweet. They’re ideal for sore throats but can be used as a tasty dose of herbal medicine for many different issues, including belly troubles, anxiety or any number of other things. My original recipe came from the wonderful Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce Wardwell, but I’ve long since quit looking at the recipe so my version may vary a bit from hers at this point. These are super simple to make, easy enough for children to help with and far less messy or demanding than most lozenges (though those are definitely worth learning to make as well) and require very few ingredients. They’re very transportable, children love them (usually) and to top it all off,...

Simple Guidelines for Purchasing Herbs

Let me begin by saying that I recommend gathering your own herbs if at all possible, in part because this is the only way to really ensure the quality and treatment of the plants is truly optimal. And do realize, that pretty much wherever you are, you have the ability to collect some of your own food and medicine. Any child can learn to recognize a few basic (but very important) herbs, and so can you! Perhaps most important, is that this is one of the best ways to form a lasting and powerful relationship with the plants However, I know that many of you have neither the time, expertise, land, energy or even desire to realistically harvest the bulk of your herbs. So here’s some of my experience-based understandings to help you knowledgeably purchase your...