This post is late in coming---in other words, I haven't written for a while.
Nope, no more foraging. It seems pretty safe to say that the foraging season has come to an end. Ever since we turned back the clocks an hour and the amount of daylight has been waning, I haven't felt the call to go out and explore. I had the idea to go and dig burdock and yellow dock roots, but I ended up buying them instead! Yep, someone else did the work of hauling them up ;)
I have been reaping the benefits of foraging through my herbal recipes, however, aka wildcrafting. The other day I poured several goodies into amber jars: Wormwood tincture (ooh, she's a potent vermifuge!), Sorrel root & Mugwort tincture, a Stevia glycerite, and a St. John's Wort Oil. I've used that St. John's oil as sunscreen, facial oil and --just the other day-- for her classic use as a tight muscle reliever.
I have tons of other goodies still brewing and a few oils that are ready to be turned into creative beauty products. 1 is a comfrey/chickweed/yarrow oil to which I'm going to add beeswax to turn into a salve. The other two are perfume oils, chrysanthemum and lavender. I'm going to add some beeswax to them to turn them into solid perfumes.
Funny that every time I think I'm done wildcrafting for the season, I find another recipe to make! I ended up buying more vodka to make another Wormwood tincture as she needed a pruning. Then I made a Sage oil, great to use as a leave-in conditioner for soft, silky, dandruff-free hair. Very simple to do: add leaves to a jar, pour oil to cover them, put on lid and let sit 6 weeks. Strain and keep in a dark amber jar. I've even used this Sage oil as a facial oil during the lighter spring months quite successfully.
Then, what do I find that my elvish neighbor has left hanging on my door knob? A pretty bouquet of lavender!! This time, no wildcrafting recipe. I left her to dry to use for tea--- and anyway, you can still use dried lavender to make oils, salves, glycerites, etc.
I have been busy in-door gardening, tending to the plants that are inside the house. Too bad that there's white fly on Rosemary and fungus gnats lurking about. I used the Diatomaceous earth, and it worked to some extent. I'm going to use Neem oil with a bit of dish soap and water and see how that goes. Indeed, I used Oregano oil with a squirt of dish soap and water after planting some new seeds: Chickweed, Echinacea and Poke root.
I had already planted Chickweed and I was only able to harvest but a tiny jar to make a tincture. At first, she wasn't growing because she was getting too much sun. Then I thought perhaps the gnats. Turns out, what she really needs is a green house!
Yes, that is my new thing that I have been doing: meditating with plants. Some call it plant spirit medicine...
It's just a world of wonder, I tell ya :)
I feel so happy having this connection :)
It's like I never knew it existed before, and it has sparked my joy, my...heart. It's like having a heart to heart conversation. No words are needed :)
I really love my Taoist teachers, as I call them. They are happy to be as they are. If I talk to them, great. If not, great too! They are happy regardless...
They teach me to relax, relax into my being...
They've been telling me things that bother them. Aloe Vera was so cold where she was, I felt the coldness in my body almost immediately. She's beaming since she got moved to a warmer, sunnier spot. Wormwood needed pruning, and Bamboo wanted fresh earth and more mineral-rich water more frequently.
Wow-o! So great to have such open lines of communication! Much better, I was telling Cleavers just today, than having to resort to looking up information about each plant! But, that info is still quite handy, as I'm still new at this ;)
Anyway, I planted more Echinacea seeds and Poke root, I was saying. There are two baby Echinacea sprouts coming up but the other seeds didn't take. I love the look of Echinacea and I've been taking a tea with her root every day now...nice to be able to harvest my own one day!
Poke root I'd like to grow because I've started taking Poke tincture. She's an excellent plant to use for fibroids, endometriosis, lymphatic issues (encourage drainage), cancer, and for chronic infections. You can read more HERE by Susun Weed. WARNING: Poke is poisonous. SMALL doses as in 1 drop are used to poke or boost the immune system. Best to consult with an herbalist about this one...
That reminds me about Comfrey, and how some herbalists are just fine with using her while others aren't. My herbal teacher was fine using her (NOT the root) and we were to harvest Comfrey while she was in flower (the top 1/3 of the flowering top). After that, Comfrey was fine for External use only, such as for salves, which is really where Comfrey shines. Leaves and salves are great to heal bruises, sprains, strains and broken bones. Internally, she works as a vulnerary for the same issues, and is also helpful in all kinds of inflammatory diseases, including leaky gut.
Interestingly, I was using a few pieces of Comfrey in my tea when I suddenly got the urge to stop. I did and felt fine, and now I've gone back to including a few small pieces of leaves in my tea. The deal-breaker with some herbalists is that she has been shown to damage the liver because of her alkaloids---however, as I mentioned, others feel that this level is low or acceptable during her peak flowering time. As with any herb, I think developing a relationship with the plant and seeing if that plant works for you is really what's key :)
I'm thinking about making a new blog with just my herbal recipes/wildcrafting recipes, especially now as foraging has ground to a halt. I know there are different ways of preparing herbs, but it could be a nice reference to have...
I'm also thinking of having a blog called Chitter Chatter, a place where I can "cathart" my energy and write about the emotional roller-coaster of the menutiae of my life...
Anyway, wanted to post here to close up the season.
Not sure if I'll be "cruising" trees during the winter...But maybe a lil plant spirit medicine will be my new guide :)
See you back next season, sunshine! And keep it sunny during the cold months, ya hear :)
Curiosity Got The Cat: