featherheart trading co is now being sold at palace in portland, or. look at the amazing photo she took of the herbal smokes!!!! i love it! if you live close by, go there!!! http://palacepdx.blogspot.com/
ahhhh soon my little golden beauty blossoms will line the green grassy fields with their sweet blooms... and then it will be time for dandelion wine! if dandelion has already come to your neck of the woods, start gathering. and if you're still waiting patiently read ray bradbury's "dandelion wine" until that time comes.
when it is time to gather your blooms from fields near and wide, wait for a day when the sun is high and shining brightly and then round up your picking bowl, assemble your ingredients, hum a tune and ask the dandy for her bright yellow blossoms.
here's the recipe as adapted from susun weed's "healing wise":
2 gallon crock or ceramic or glass bowl 3-5 quarts of blossoms 5 quarts of water 3 pounds of sugar 1 organic orange 1 organic lemon 1 package of live yeast wholewheat bread toast
immediately after picking place blossoms (sepals okay, but remove stalks)in bowl. boil water and pour over flowers. cover crock or bowl with cheesecloth. stir daily for 3 days. on the fourth day strain blossoms from the liquid. cook liquid with sugar and rind of the orange and lemon for 30-60 minutes. return liquid to crock and add citrus juice. when liquid has cooled to blood temperature, soften yeast and spread on toast. flow toast in crock and cover. let it sit for two days. strain and return liquid to crock for one more day to settle. filter in to clean bottles and cork lightly. don't drink until winter solstice!
baby's got a serious case of spring fever. whoa, i don't know what's with this warm weather in michigan, but i'm not gonna question it, i'm just gonna love it up!!! i'm reeling with excitement about what's popping out of the ground. i've already got some flowering crocuses in the backyard. my st.john's wort is green and creeping low to the ground. peppermint is springing up in my garden -- everywhere as peppermint does. motherwort is spreading her sprightly leaves. and i can tell the tightly wrapped buds of my forsythia are just dying to bust open. soon two of my favorite little weeds will be everywhere. . . you guessed it dandelion and violet. i cannot wait to harvest some golden dandy flowers to make dandelion wine. mmmmm. and violet, well let me tell you about violet. first of all, have you ever eaten a violet flower?? i'm talking about those wild violet flowers all over your yard -- viola odorata. if not you should (that is if you are absolutely certain you've correctly identified viola odorata). they are just heavenly and an amazing way to take the gifts of spring into your body. and actually flower is a misnomer for those pretty little blossoms that pop up everywhere. they are in fact "fake" flowers. they do not have propagation powers. the real violet flower is green and comes later in autumn and hides in the violet leaf. interesting eh? and not only are those tiny fake flowers delicious, but so are the leaves. i love to throw the leaves (and flowers) into a salad. they are so super nutritious, packing in lots of vitamins and minerals. eating these greens boosts the immune and reproductive systems, as well as lend support to the nerves, lungs, liver, gall bladder, digestive and urinary systems. wow, violet is a powerful lady! and her story gets better as she is known as a cancer healer (particularly skin and breast), congestion and cough soother and is a must when dealing particularly with breast tissue cysts, tumors and growths.
this is merely a tiny introduction into the world of violet. there are so many traditional medicinal uses of this plant and i could go on and on and on. my point is not to go stick a bunch of violet leaves in your mouth, but rather to be aware that some of the most healing medicines are in your back yard. most think of violet as an invasive lawn pest, but she is my gal and she can be yours too. i encourage you to do your own research and give violet a try. i cannot wait to see her very soon!
in the first days of june, when summer feels like she has finally dug her barefoot heels into the midwest fertile soil fostering the hearty blooms of freshly sprung greenery, the fuzzy purple flower of the red clover stands tall like a goddess and reminds me to savor the days of my favorite season. with her permission, i love to gather the heads of the red clover flower in a woven wood basket from fields far and wide. i collect and dry these beautiful and subtly fragrant blossoms to make a nourishing herbal infusion. and in the winter when i drink the tea nectar of the red clover blossom, i am reminded of all my summer meanderings.
red clover infusion is wonderfully medicinal and delicious hot or cold. it is a vitamin and mineral dense herb, but in my mind, it is most strongly associated with cancer prevention, cancer treatment and infertility. red clover's powers include a long list of loving optimum health support. she helps alkalinize the blood and has antispasmodic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory effects. red clover is especially useful in combating hormonal cancers and has anti-tumor compounds. no less than 33 different cultures around the world use red clover blossoms when cancer is suspected or diagnosed. when taking for cancer, consume two to four cups of the infusion daily. red clover contains a significant amount of antioxidants – especially vitamin e. she is vitamin and mineral rich with abundant amounts of b vitamins, c, calcium, chromium, magnesium, potassium and protein. when dealing with coughs, colds and bronchial congestion, drink the infusion liberally. red clover infusion is an excellent tonic for menopausal women (reducing night sweats and hot flashes), as well as an unsurpassed fertility herb (2 to 4 cups daily for at least six weeks). it helps regulate the menstrual cycle, but due to it’s blood thinning characteristics, should be avoided by women who bleed heavily -- but, because of red clover’s blood thinning ability, it has a great reputation for preventing strokes. it's wonderful for new mommies, as it replenishes minerals lost during pregnancy and lactation and helps a mother stay calm and feel good. in general, drinking red clover infusion is an easy way to introduce an amazing amount of nourishment into the body.
so many ways this herb can nurture the body and this list only scratches the surface of what she is capable of!!! make an infusion with dried red clover blossoms today and if you need help making an infusion keep reading. i detail infusion instructions several places in previous blogs. you can gather and dry red clover blossoms yourself or purchase dried from your local herb store or source.
oh how i love slippery elm!!! it's a tree that is native to north america and it's inner bark is used as medicine. it's a fantastically mucousy herb that gets things slippin' and slidin' inside the body... ever feel like you just need to be internally lubed up??? slippery elm is for you. traditionally used to soothe upset stomachs, sore throats, coughs and to get things moving (as in "get things moving wink wink") or to calm an acid stomach, slippery elm helps heal internal mucosal tissue, thus anything that you can generally think of as being lined with a mucous layer -- as in throat, stomach and vagina can be aided with the bark of this tree. while the mucilage of the plant moistens and soothes, the tannins of the plant act as an astringent and generally have an anti-inflammatory effect. tannins are also able to form a protective layer over exposed tissue, so as you might imagine, this can be quite soothing to something that is sore or burning or irritated. i like to make slippery elm balls and dissolve them in my mouth like a lozenge when i have a sore throat or irritated tummy. they are pretty easy to make, so i thought i'd share the recipe. slippery elm balls are a great thing to carry in an herbal medicine first aid kit and as this blog progresses i will write about other things to add to your kit. the titles of these blogs will always begin with "herbal medicine first aid kit." you can put together your kit for road trips, travel, home, camping and your purse or backpack. look for more blogs soon!
for now here's something fun to make and keep handy. if you have kids, it's a fun activity for the fam!
first you're gonna need to track down some slippery elm bark powder at your local herb store or online. online, i recommend mountain rose herbs www.moutainroseherbs.com. then you're gonna need to track down some honey. i recommend finding a local source.
take a bowl, add some slippery elm powder to the bowl and then begin to add honey a little at a time until the mixture becomes dense enough and sticky enough to roll into small lozenge sized balls -- you're gonna put these in your mouth and allow them to dissolve so keep this in mind as you roll! you can make a few or many depending on how much powder you use, but either way these will store indefinitely, as honey is antibacterial and has a very long shelf life. let your slippery elm balls sit for a day and then store them in an airtight container. for portability, you can put some in an altoids tin or something like it and throw them in a purse or bag -- then you'll always be ready when someone says, "my stomach hurts" or "my throat is sore!"
there are other more complicated recipes you may find online or in herb books for slippery elm balls or lozenges, but i like to keep it simple and medicinally, this recipe works great!
i cannot think of a political party that was created by a television station in the history of the united states, yet before our very eyes fox news is creating and talking 24/7 about the "tea party." i suspect if they talk about it enough and shove it down the already brainwashed fox viewers throats that it will indeed become a real legitimate party. and let's see here who owns fox news..... and let's see here again, is it right for a television news network owned by one man to create it's own political party?
i am neither democrat or republican. i think it is unwise to ally oneself with either political party given the corruption of our government and the fact that it's all coming from the same place anyway. get your news from legitimate sources and be discerning enough to understand that news and political parties create divide. we are not on this earth to judge or dislike one another. we are one.
from the law of one: "In truth there is no right or wrong. There is no polarity for all will be, as you would say, reconciled at some point in your dance through the mind/body/spirit complex which you amuse yourself by distorting in various ways at this time. This distortion is not in any case necessary. It is chosen by each of you as an alternative to understanding the complete unity of thought which binds all things. You are not speaking of similar or somewhat like entities or things. You are every thing, every being, every emotion, every event, every situation. You are unity. You are infinity. You are love/light, light/love. You are."
please stop wasting your time hating and dividing.
as spring contemplates the velocity it will take to dash into the tightly held hands of winter's red rover, i feel the fairies ready to come out and play, the first tiny hands of the crocus ready to rise from the freshly thawed waking ground and the resplendent stands of nettle ready to ceremoniously unfold its arms to reveal her finely whiskered stinging leafs. in anticipation of all of this i have begun a hopeful ritual of daily nettle infusions to summon lady spring's graceful entrance perhaps a little sooner rather than later.... and as i drink my nettle infusion i remember all the good things she provides.
an infusion of nettle is gentle enough to use everyday and powerful enough to heal the storm of damage winter usually leaves in its wake. the colds, the flus, the coughs and anything else that tore the body apart these past few frigid months can finally seize the opportunity of repair with the aid of nettle. kidneys, lungs, intestines, adrenals, digestion and arteries are tonified and strengthened and gradually altered toward optimum functioning with this nourishing herbal infusion. the result is increased ease and energy in the operation of the circulatory, immune, endocrine, nervous and urinary systems, thus providing you with the joyful energy to take spring and run with her. nettles are high in iron (making them good for those with anemia), calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, amino acids, b vitamins and protein. nettles offer a mega dose of chlorophyll and are considered a blood cleanser – blood and chlorophyll only have one molecule different! nettles are a great ally for healing the kidneys and thus helpful in healing kidney stones, urinary infections, and those with threatened dialysis. they contain quercitin, which is highly anti-inflammatory and very, very good for spring allergies (and all allergies for that matter). this herb is highly recommended for pregnant and lactating women (enhances the quality of breast milk) and is considered very safe. in addition, the infusion is a wonderful ally for women with night sweats, exhaustion, chronic, profuse menstrual flow and cramps. it also gives the hair, skin and nails a beautiful sheen! oats or rosehips can be added to your infusion to enhance the flavor, but i like to drink nettle as it is and savor the tasty the strong goodness of this powerful plant.
i have spoken in past blogs about how to make a nourishing herbal infusion, but as a reminder i recommend an ounce of herb to a quart of water. place dried herbs in a quart jar, boil water and pour the water into the jar filling it all the way to the top and submerging the herbs. cover with a lid and steep 4-6 hours. i like to steep overnight.
herbal and wellness musings are merely food for thought. please do your own research and/or consult with a professional before trying herbs or herbal remedies.
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