Thursday, May 14, 2015

Interested in plants? Study!

I recently returned from seminar at the East West School of Planetary Herbology and I'm now officially ready to start coaching herbal clients.

If you have a passion for plants and herbs (or for any subject, I suppose) you will learn a lot by joining with other people who share that interest and from teachers with experience in that subject. I've learned so much more in the last two years since I started taking courses than I had strictly studying on my own.

 Learning from an experienced teacher in your local area is invaluable for plant id and getting to know your local plant allies. Besides the course above, I've also done a year- long apprenticeship with Cedar Mountain Herb School ......

These courses are reasonably priced, although they require a commitment of study and time. Learning in group like this is lots of fun and everyone brings some of their knowledge into the fray.

 If you're just dipping your feet into the water, so to speak, or more of a weekend warrior, there are likely lots of one or two day workshops and classes in your area. Some great resources for those in the Seattle area are Dandelion Botanicals and Rainbow Natural Remedies . Individuals who give classes are also worth seeking out. I just took a wonderful workshop with Ravens and Rosehips in Port Townsend. There seems to be guided plant walks offered by various people regularly, sometimes free, sometimes for a fee. Bastyr University is having their annual public event in a couple of weeks, and Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchens will be one of the keynote speakers, Graeme Tobyn will be the other .

Another option for learning is in joining a like-minded interest group in your area. Here in Seattle, I belong to the Seattle Herb Society, which meets weekly for an activity. 

If you're more of an internet studies, when you have free time, kind of person, there's Herb Mentor , Plant Healer Magazine, which has a free sample from each issue, if you sign up for the newsletter, and of course the American Herbalist Guild, which also has informative magazines it puts out.

I'd love to create a page with resources for studying and workshops on the blog here. If you have local schools, stores with classes, or local groups or teachers; post them in the comments below to share with others, and I'll compile a page for them on the blog. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ode to the Dandelion

Rooting the Chakras with Dandelion

Root chakra is located at the base of the spine, anchoring us to the Earth and the present moment.
Breathe in…. feel the double helix rainbow of the energy coming up from the Earth… into the base of your spine… bringing grounding energy and vital nourishment.
Breathe out…. Sending down anxiety and anything toxic we have accumulated. When we poop we send toxins and debris back to the Earth where it is transformed back into nourishing energy. Dandelion will help you poop.
Dandelion stores the Sun energy in her roots all summer and fall, saving it up all winter in order to spring that energy on the world in the Spring. We sip on this liquid sunshine to release the toxins we've taken on that slow us down. Dandelion will put a spring back in your step.

We need a strong root to sustain the growth of our plans; all that we will into being in the yellow third chakra is built on the foundation of a strong first chakra, like the vibrant yellow flower that pushes forth from the Dandelion’s root. With time the flowers turn into seeds that float on the breeze …what thought seeds are you sowing? Pay attention, for they soon create roots of their own and take hold and thrive. Use this root tea to release any toxic or negative thoughts, memories or imprints or anger, so that only your best thoughts and plans take root.
Dandelion is not just a survivor, she thrives wherever her seed lands, laughing at those who try to get rid of her. Have you ever noticed that the biggest happiest Dandelions bounce back on land that’s been cleared or sprayed? Left even the slightest little root She will grow back, large and in charge. In fact She is a guardian of disturbed land, a first responder to damaged Earth, preparing the way by repairing the soil, digging Her roots deep and pulling minerals up and shedding them with Her spent leaves, on the surface of the ground for daintier plants to find later; all the while shining Her yellow face to reflect the Sun. While the Dandelion is firmly rooted, She is also a free spirit, moving freely with the wind as it disperses Her seeds like little helicopters in every direction. Be rooted and strong, but also float where the winds of Life take you,.... make your wishes, then anchor yourself in each new situation.
Drinking Dandelion tea is said to draw spirits to you, which spirits would you like to invite? They will stay with you until you pee, which with dandelion won’t take long, so invite them quickly!

If you re-post my writing in part or whole, please provide a link back to my blog, thanks.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring Equinox

May the warming of Spring
light a fire under your arse
so that you rush off to bring
your dreams to reality....

Welcome to the Spring Equinox... and a dramatic one at that! With a full solar eclipse, lining up almost exactly with the changing of the astrological year.Time for new beginnings and time to get going on new projects!

This is a great time to set new intentions that you follow with actions. 
It's also a great time to begin a Spring cleaning/detox/ re-nourishing regimen. 
I don't believe in harsh detoxes; given proper excercise, diet and rest, the body is pretty efficient at de-toxing itself. However, after the winter we may feel a bit sluggish and we live in a world that's full of toxins humans haven't had thousands of years to adapt to, so a mild cleaning of the system may be in order. If you have access to a Panchakarma program, this is a great time to do it. Or clean your system with alterative herbs.

Alterative herbs are a great addition to your routine. Astragalus is an easy herb to incorporate into your day in the form of tea or added to soups. I've been sipping on Cleaver's tea to get the lymphatic system moving. Chickweed is another great herb, as are stinging nettles for this time of year. So many plants that are good for us can be found right out in the back  yard! Dandelions help the liver process built up debris. Dandelions are one of my favorite plants. There's so many plants to like, but Dandelion is amazing, all parts of it are edible and tasty; add raw leaves to salads, cook them with other greens, batter the flowers and fry them, roast the roots for a coffee like tea. Just make sure that you forage in a clean area, ie, not sprayed or close to busy roadways. 

My next post will be something I wrote in honor of Dandelion, so check back, or enter your email on the right side to get posts sent to you.

Along with herbs, moving the body more helps clear stagnant gunk and funk we've accumulated. As the weather gets nicer, go out for walks. Just the fresh air and spending a bit in time in Nature can clear the head and body of toxins. When it's cold or rainy out, have a party in your living room! Put on some favorite music and dance! Even a few songs will get the blood moving. Exercise is free Qi medicine. When trying to get things done and feel positive and happy, it helps to pick happy bouncy music, just sayin'

Here's one I like: