Posts

Garden Therapy and Seeing Fall

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I just hacked my garden all up. There is something about garden therapy that is so very healing. When I can control nothing in my life, I can go to the plants and find peace. I ripped down the old passionflower vines that are dying back. The blue flag iris has been divided, part was moved to another garden area and I trimmed the rest back with the old lilies. The rosemary and sage have been pruned. The poor tomato vine that didn't handle the wind we had a week ago is gone and in compost heaven. Everything weeded and in order.
Ripping and pulling and trimming....the things I sometimes want to do in my daily life. Ripping down the problems that can be so overwhelming I feel I can't breathe. Pulling out the anxiety and tension and tossing it away. Trimming the parts that I need to change to grow stronger. Letting go completely of things that no longer serve me. Knowing that after the work there is always some rest. The dreaming of growth and beautiful things that happen after th…

Why I Became An Herbalist (and a 6 month journey to remembering that)

Back in January I came down with the flu and had a few bouts with kidney stones. Due to an unexpected series of events for our family, I didn't care for myself the way I normally would. I ended up in the hospital with no insurance and I want to finally share my experience.
My family is not super well off in the ways of money. We never really have been. Insurance for my husband and I is a luxury. I know for some that sounds absolutely crazy. I was excited when Obama Care first came out. I wanted to believe that finally insurance would be affordable for us. It didn't work out that way. We are one of those middle cases. Somewhere in between poverty and middle ground. So just for me insurance would be over $400 a month. JUST FOR ME! This was the reason I became an herbalist in the first place. I knew we couldn't afford insurance but if I could keep us well and strong. If I could take care of the small things. Maybe the big things would be so few and far between that we could…

Cocoa Dirts aka Adaptogen Pills

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When I was learning how to make herbal pills I had an idea that came together deliciously! Made with two of my favorite adaptogens and chocolate so there is a lot to love! 

So adaptogens are herbs that help us deal with the stresses of life. Stress from working too hard or too long, stressful moments life throws our way, stress of illness, stress of loss...for ANY stress these herbs will come in handy! They help us cope, maintain wellness, and keep moving.

I make these for my dad who works swing shift in his 60s and he swears by them! So does my mom since he stops falling asleep all the time and they can actually go do things on his days off. He is the one who loving calls them "Cocoa Dirts" because that is what he thinks they taste like. My own husband loves them too and will pass them out at work on a hard day.

Herbal pills are messy fun to make! Here is my recipe:

COCOA DIRTS 1 oz. Ashwagandha powder1 oz. Eleuthro powder aka Siberian Ginseng2.5 oz. cocoa powder (I used Hers…

I Will Still Be Woman After This......

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I wanted this year to start off with a bang. I thought in the form of herbal wonders but I was mistaken. I wanted to post once a month at least here. Then the flu happened, the loss of our dogs, hospitalization with pneumonia, severe kidney infection, and sepsis, bouts of SEVERE anxiety, car issues, dental issues, bladder stones, sleep studies, abnormal paps, and the loss of my husbands job. Through all this I have managed to keep it together by always finding the golden lining in everything. Trying to not turn away from the light and fall into the shadows. It has been hard. But I am blessed with a bunch of beautiful friends and an amazing family to support me. THANK YOU  TO ALL OF YOU!!! Seriously, I could not have made it this far without you.


This brings me to what happened on Thursday. I had an abnormal pap a few months ago followed by a biopsy. It came back with severe cervical dysplasia. So the doctor was going to do the LEEP procedure to remove them. (At the time I was very un…

New Year, New Direction

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Happy New Year!! I am very hopeful about this year! So many amazing things grew out of 2016. It was hard but there were changes I never would have expected. I grew spiritually into places I never thought I would venture into again. Faced my own judgements. Saw my shadows for what they are. I am stronger for it.
But 2017 I am dedicating myself to working on my physical side. I served in the USCG with flat feet. I signed a waiver to get in with them. During boot camp I had several stress fractures in my legs and feet. My feet have bothered me ever since. When I was grooming dogs a few years ago it got so bad I went to a podiatrist. He showed me X-rays and he was shocked at the "uniqueness" of my feet internally. His exact words were, "I don't even know why there is bone here." I have fallen into the bad pattern of "my feet hurt so I don't want to move, I don't move so I gain weight". It hit me hard this Christmas when my feet were hurting so much…

Solsticing with St. John's Wort

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Anyone who knows me knows my biggest plant ally is St. John's Wort! I still remember the first time I really met this plant. I was on a plant walk with my class at Appalachia School for Holistic Herbalism. There in the middle of the trail was this plant saying, "Look at me all sunny and shiny!" Our teacher, Mateo, taught us how when you crush the flowers and leaves it will stain your hands red.
Using the doctrine of signatures, when a plant looks like what it is good for, that staining shows us it may be used to treat bleeding and the blood. The pin hole dots on the leaves and flowers also signify the treatment of wounds. It is well known for this powerful healing of cuts, scraps, bites, and bruises. 
Lots of people use it for treatment of depression and SAD but I have found it is good for most nervous system issues. The beautiful, ruby red oil is excellent as a massage oil for pain and nerve damage. According to Matthew Wood in his book, The Book of Herbal Wisdom, Will…

Expanding Vision with Rue

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Rue (Ruta graveolens) has been speaking to me all spring. Inspiring me to learn how to heal and how to grow. As care taker of my garden she should definitely know about helping things grow and keeping those nagging pests like negative thoughts and beetles away!

She is feminine and lacy while at the same time very strong. Rue reminds me of Mother Mary in that she is doesn't take center stage with showy blooms but nurtures the rest of the garden so they can shine and strongly supports them. It is even said that adding some of her leaves to compost will help it break down faster to provide yummy nutrients to your soil even quicker.

Rue has been grown in gardens for a very long time due to its strong medicinal healing properties. It has been used for headaches, earaches, wounds, bruises, sprains, arthritis, relaxes smooth muscles, helps with women's trouble from delayed menstruation to use as a nervine during menopause, and to keep eyes sharp and clear. It was used by a lot of pa…