This is harvest season in the Gila, the wild Grapes are blushing a luscious purple, the Acorns ripening to a rich brown, the Alder cones are maturing and the Motherwort, Agastache, Stachys and Leonorus are blooming madly as the Nettle tops droop, heavy with seed.
This is the perfect time to put up my favorite time-tested remedies and newfound treats for Winter.
One of my current favorite concoctions is summer-harvested Peach leaf preserved in brandy with a small amount of Glycerine (or raw honey) as well as a pinch of Cinnamon and a teaspoon of fresh grated Ginger root. I like to use this particular preparation of Peach for nausea, indigestion, liver tension with bloating, morning sickness and any similar belly upset.
A simple combination made of equal parts fresh plant tinctures of flowering Motherwort, Mugwort flowering tops and Violet leaf and flower. This weedy formula is a lovely nervine and liver nourisher for the overworked mother (or father). Also a lovely pre-dinner relaxing bitter for eating related anxiety, especially nice for those recovering from an eating disorder.
Honeyflower Pain Salve
This is a another simple standby recipe recipe that I always make sure to have on hand for the cold months when I won’t be able to simply step outside and grab a bit of this and that for whatever ailment. This salve recipe assumes upon your ability to already create a salve (check out Henriette’s great salve posts for details on proportions etc.)
1 part Goldenrod (flowering tops) oil
1 part Comfrey (leaves) oil
1 part Cottonwood (buds & bark) oil
1 part Mugwort (flowering tops) oil
Raw honey to taste (so to speak)
Smidge of Datura (flower & leaf) tincture
Blend oils in the top of a double boiler, then add a small portion of Honey (I use about a teaspoon to every cup of oil). As the oil warms, add beeswax to desired thickness. Remove double boiler from heat, add your smidge (about a dropperful of tincture to every cup of salve) of Datura to the salve before pouring into appropriate containers. Do not close salve containers while the salve is still hot.
I use this salve for aches and pains, contusions and that kind of thing. There’s a million variations available online. You can add some warming oil of Ginger, Black Pepper, Juniper or the like to make it more warming and penetrating if you like, though the above recipe seems to work just fine.
Summer Berry Bliss
A lovely and ever so tasty blend of fresh Huckleberries, Wild Blueberries, Wild Grapes and Blackberries preserved together in a pint of fine brandy with few dollops of raw Honey, a sprinkle of fresh grated Nutmeg and a splash of homemade Vanilla extract. I use this as a tonic for overall vascular health, stress reduction and a quick fix for the Winter blues.
Wild Rose Gulkand
A simple way to make this lovely Rose petal paste is to create thin (less than an inch thick) alternating layers of Rose petals and sugar in a wide mouthed pint jar until nearly full. Then add one to two inches of raw honey on top of the jar and let sit for about a month. After a month, stir together the now condensed and crystallized concoction, then add a couple of teaspoons of fresh grated Ginger root, a teaspoon of fresh grated lemon and/or orange peel, and additional honey until smooth. Store in a sealed container in a cool dark place. Stir into a cup of warm milk or tea, or eat by the spoonful.
A few of this year’s favored plants to preserve for Winter exploration include Grape Leaf/Vine oil and tincture, RedRoot (bark of new green growth) tincture, Russian Sage (flower/leaf) tincture, Leonorus tincture, American Licorice tincture, Verbasina oil, Evening Primrose oil, Wild Stachys tincture and Agastache (pallida) tincture. I’m so looking forward to some leisurely medicine testing this coming cool season, there’s nothing to bring back the Summer like a sip of Elderberry brandy or a nice warm quart jar of Nettle infusion.