Changing Your Outlook

Changing your behavior or your emotions is really hard, especially for anyone with a strong personality or psychological issues. You could be addicted to some substance and having a hell of a time quitting, you could have Seasonal Affective Disorder over the dark, dreary winter months, you could have lost a loved one and be unable to let go, you could have an Attention Deficit Disorder and not be able to organize your thoughts properly or get yourself to actually DO any of the things that need doing around your house. There are many, many facets to psychology and the human mind. And I’ll say right now: I’m not a psychologist. But I AM a flower essence practitioner, and I know from experience that flower essences can help.

Flower essences are energetic medicine. Just a few drops of essence in your water or cool beverage of choice a few times throughout the day produces the desired effect– your mind will suddenly start thinking in a different way. Your heart or brain fog will clear and the feelings you WISHED to feel will materialize. The words stuck inside your head that you couldn’t manifest with your mouth will suddenly flow freely from the tongue. You’ll finally get up and do the pile of dishes in the sink that have been sitting there for days (Blackberry). You’ll finally tell your significant other that you want to do the thing you’ve been wanting to do, but were afraid to tell them about (Echinacea). You’ll finally be able to stop crying over Grandma’s death (Borage).

St. John’s Wort Flower Essence is a powerful tool against S.A.D.

Flower essences are POWERFUL medicine. But they are also incredibly SAFE to take. Flower essences are not the same as a medicinal tincture; you can be on actual pharmaceutical medicine and still safely take flower essences. However, if your pharmaceutical meds are of a kind that affect behavior in some way (antidepressants or ADHD meds for example,) the flower essence may not work as intended. The flower wants to work with YOU, not the medication you’re on.

Whatever personal goal you are feeling the need to help yourself with, please consider flower essence therapy. If you would like help or suggestions, use the Contact Us form and I will gladly help you choose the best essence (or combination of essences) to help you. Please peruse our Flower Essence Listings (scroll down for more) for yourself or a loved one. If you would like help healing your whole self, body and mind, consider a Consultation. But don’t knock the power of flower essences until you try them!

Fire Cider Time

It’s that time of year again! I was always taught that you only harvest horseradish (the key ingredient in fire cider) in months that end in an “R”, and since September was still hot and dry, I waited until early October to harvest my root crops. Unfortunately, my attempt at growing ginger this year was a bust… but I DID manage to grow a small amount of horseradish, some turmeric, onions, garlic, various hot peppers, and all the herbs I put into my fire cider.

Giant jar of fire cider I made this week

Fire Cider is not exactly a ferment… I think it’s more of a tonic, really. You grate and chop all these ingredients, plus lemon juice and zest, and stuff them into a jar. Then cover with apple cider vinegar. I like to cheat and will buy a small jar of ACV “with the mother” to get the probiotic in there, and just finish off the jar with regular distilled ACV, since it will all incorporate anyhow. I let this macerate generally 6-8 weeks, shaking the jar occasionally.

First time growing turmeric!

Once that time is up, you simply strain all the solids from the vinegar and pour the vinegar into a clean glass jar, preferably with a (non-reactive) plastic lid. You can throw the solids into a blender and use them as a meat rub or add a bit to broth or soup for a wild kick.

Fire cider is generally drank in a shot glass– I will take at least half a shot’s worth if I’m feeling under the weather or think I may have a virus coming into my system. Definitely drink a full shot if you’re already sick. I suggest you try a small amount of the fire cider first before you decide how you want to take it. I think the easiest way it to just suck it back quick like a shot and slap your hand on the counter top with a whoop. To each his own…

If you aren’t keen on the flavor, you can try adding some honey, or mixing it with some juice or water. It can also help to have some juice nearby as an after-drink once you’ve swallowed the cider. AND if you’re a drinker, it actually goes really well with a little bourbon and mixed into a Hot Toddy.

The benefits of fire cider are simple— it’s basically a massive dose of antiviral medicine that will kick the living crap out of whatever virus (sand some bacteria) has invaded your body. It’s mostly used during winter time, when you’re stuck indoors and around other people, and your body’s immune system is barraged with tons of wee bacteria beasties with no chance of escape in the open air. But it can be helpful for spring time allergies or that weird unexpected summer cold that catches you off guard. Basically, fire cider helps burn the virus out of your body.

Do you take Fire Cider? Or do you make your own? I’ve been making mine every year for over ten years and now my family can’t live without it.

Learning and Changing

I don’t know if you know this, but my husband is about 1/8th Menomonee (Ojibway tribe) and I know of some Osage ancestry on my father’s side of the family tree. Between these facts and the journey that I’ve been on bringing me closer to Mother Earth and the plants that live on her, I have been trying to learn as much as I can about Native American culture and ways of life. I know that white sage and sweetgrass are sacred herbs, meant to be burned in thanks to the earth and to help one’s own spirit.

Much as I wish I could always only give my plant medicine as gifts, I must feed my family and pay my bills in the modern world. That is why I sell my herbal medicines and incense. I want to help people as well, but I still have mouths to feed in my home and that has to come first for now. However, after reading (or at least beginning to read) the book Braiding Sweetgrass, I now know that I should not be selling my sweetgrass braids. I was very careful before to whom I did sell the braids, but now I will barter or gift only, as the plant is not meant to be exchanged for money.

Moving forward, I have decided that I will no longer SELL my sweetgrass braids, but I will still make them for my own use. If you or a Native American friend are in need of a braid, please contact me and we may be able to work out a gift or barter exchange based on your need.

On a similar note, I also experimented with growing native tobacco this year (Nicotiana rustica) and I may be able to share small amounts with those in need.

Masterful Mullein!

Mullein in flower

Mullein is a common herb in North America, though just like dandelion and plantain it is not native to this land. You have probably seen it in a ditch on the road side, or growing near your favorite walking path, or by the fence at the baseball field. It’s soft, fuzzy leaves have been snuggled by children and used as an alternative to toilet paper for many a year. It is a biennial herb, which means there is a thick rosette of heavy leaves the first year, followed by a huge, tall stalk with flowers the second year. The seeds spread off this stalk and the cycle begins again. You can pronounce it “Mullen” or “Mully-in,” or however you like!

Mullein is one of my favorite herbs because Nik has mild COPD, which causes him to cough a lot in the morning and often times in the evening as he is laying down. Mullein is a perfect remedy for that dry, scratchy cough you can’t seem to get rid of with just a few sips of water.

Mullein can be made into a tincture, which is the easiest way to take it and what we generally turn to at our house. You can also make it into a tea, though you may wish to consider pouring the tea through a coffee filter before you consume it, in case any of the tiny hairs off the leaves have strayed into your cup. Mullein can also be smoked for its benefits (seems counter intuitive, but it actually works!) which is why I add it to Nik’s smoking blends and to several of my home health incense blends. The yellow flowers of mullein are infused into an oil and are a great remedy for ear aches, and help clear up an ear infection if you catch it in the early stages.

The roots of mullein are also helpful in healing muscle and tendon injuries. This whole plant is an amazing piece of work!

I have plenty of this herb available and make medicine with it regularly, so fee free to ask if you need any help working with it.

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