Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Underground Medicine - part one - Big Herb is a jerk

First, a riddle -

What is the one thing that God lacks?

By definition, God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. So what's the one thing God could possibly lack?

Friday, 7 December 2018

Solomon's Seal root - with tangents

This, ladies and gentlemen, is now my Favourite Plant of All Time.

Over the years, many a plant has nudged me in the right direction, others have comforted me in a time of need and one or two have even saved my sorry ass.

Solomon's Seal is changing everything.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Acupuncture in a bottle? Prickly ash (Xanthoxylum americanum) tincture

Twice a year, I make an appointment with Sheena, my beloved physiotherapist, for a "tune up". And by tune-up, I mean a round of all-over acupuncture.

Needles everywhere!

After an acupuncture session my senses are heightened; especially touch. Interestingly, my feet become especially sensitive - I can FEEL the floor or ground under them in a way I find quite delightful. That sensation only lasts for a day or so, but the general feeling of well being stays with me for quite some time.

Monday, 26 November 2018

the songs of usnea

Trigger alert - this post is about as "woo-woo" as it gets. If this sort of thing isn't your cup of tea .. then really, nothing on this blog will be helpful to you. For you see, this is what the Medicine Plants are all about for me, and stories like this are the background to everything I write.

Once upon a time, it was winter, a sparkling day. We were on a ramble. We'd just crossed the little wooden bridge over the Picanoc river, wondering how far we'd be able to get up the Polish Hills road. As it turned out, we didn't get far at all, but the place we stopped to turn the car around was as nice a place as any to get out and stretch our legs, and so we did.

Paul was taking pictures (I guess, I don't really remember) while I looked up at the big white pines and breathed in the snowy air and let my feet pull me whichever way they wanted, which is always a good way to find something interesting.

Monday, 19 November 2018

The message of prickly plants

I'm particular to prickly plants. And thorny ones. The bristly-er the better. I like a plant with attitude.

Wild rugosa roses - the best roses for medicine - have extremely bristly canes that fight back ferociously whenever it comes time for me to trim them, unless treated with the utmost deference; meanwhile, their cousin hawthorn's thorns are lethal weapons that can literally blind anyone who blunders into them.

Stinging nettles, there's another one that will inflict pain to the unseeing; and burdock with its velcro-like burrs won't let you pass without something to remember it by.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Medicine Chest - gaining strength and clarity with burdock root

Burdock is a big subject, and I've had a hard time getting started on writing about it.

I've read a shit-ton of articles, book chapters, blog posts and summaries of science-y articles concerning burdock (summaries because I ain't forking out 40 bucks for the full study) in the last couple of days, so many that my head is over-full with other people's words.

My plan is not to offer you a synopsis of those, mind you, I read them just to jog my memory, so as to ensure I don't leave anything out. But - as happens so often - all I've done is clog up my brain with 'information'. What I aim to do when I write about the plants is to share my on-the-ground experience. That's a different thing altogether!

So I walked over to my china cabinet, grabbed the small jar of late summer burdock root tincture I made, shook it well to get the white, creamy stuff that sinks to the bottom mixed in with the dark amber stuff, dipped the tip of my finger in and licked it.

There. That's what I know about burdock.

With the bitter/sweet/vodka-y flavour on the tip of my tongue, up rushes my own relationship with burdock.

Now I can begin.