Friday, October 23, 2009

burdock root

this is burdock root (Arctium lappa). i got it at the health food store since i have not been able to find it wild here. susun weed says that she did an experiment with burdock root harvested wild, harvested from her garden, and bought. they can all be used to make medicine - although the wild burdock root has more inulin - not insulin. inulin is a polysaccharide (several simple sugars linked together) produced by plants, usually found in roots or rhizomes. inulin increases calcium and possibly magnesium absorption. it promotes the growth of good intestinal bacteria. nutritionally it is a soluble fiber and is categorized as a prebiotic.

when reading up on burdock - i was overwhelmed by all the medicinal and nourishing properties... the list is to long for here - but here is what i found out (briefly):

it eliminates toxins and poisons from the digestive tract by nourishing and strengthening the lymphatic and immune system  - it seems to clean the blood. it is very helpful with skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis or acne.

i cut up the root to make a tincture - let it sit in 100 proof alcohol for up to 6 weeks. the smaller the chop the better - breaks down the cell walls in the root to release more of the medicine. i will also make a vinegar - put the chopped roots in a jar and cover with organic pasteurized apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 6 weeks. store them in a cool dark place. do not use metal lids with vinegars because they will rust the metal, and you don't want that getting in your vinegar. i can then use the vinegar in salad dressings and get the nourishment that way.

from what i understand - as these sit - they will get some kind of cloudy muck in them. that is the inulin being released from the root. i will watch and see.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

rock friends

i love rocks. i am not sure why. they are strong, stable and solid. they can soothe away tension. i have them all around my house. on pewter platters on the coffee table, on shelves, in jars, on the patio. i love the way they look. their colors, shapes, textures. even different personalities. i prefer round smooth ones. i like to pour water on them sometimes to see how their colors change. i have always collected them. when on walks in the park, on the beach or even just on the street. i don't just pick up any old rock. they talk to me. and sometimes i pick one up - and it changes it's mind and doesn't want to come home with me - so i put it back.

lavender tincture

i started a lavender tincture today after reading about nervines last night. a nervine is a plant remedy that helps the nervous system. There are three different types of nervines: tonic, relaxing and stimulating. a nervine tonic can help strengthen and restore tissues directly in cases of shock or stress. they feed and heal the nervous system. a nervine relaxant is used in times of stress or anxiety - not to tranquilize - but to calm. there's a slew of herbs that can help with this - and even specific herbs to calm different parts of the body and systems during illness. nervine stimulants directly stimulate the nervous tissues. i could not find a real clear answer as to why you would need to stimulate them - maybe if they are sluggish and things aren't working properly - but i did find a lot of cautions when looking up this term... side effects, psychological problems etc...

the lavender nervine i read about last night said it was mood enhancing. useful in times of stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headachy. i would describe it as something that might be helpful when i feel - what i call - spun. it was described as 'a hug in a bottle'.

i found out something else. i previously posted that my lavender was Lavendula angusifolia. but it's not. i looked at some pictures. i have Lavendula dentata.

Friday, October 16, 2009


fresh from my garden. i never knew tomatoes tasted like this.

red clover infusions

i have added red clover (Trifolium pratense) to my daily infusions. prepared same as the nettle infusions - 1 ounce to 1 quart of boiling water - steep overnight - strain - drink. red clover has so many benefits. here are a few:
• contributes to bone health
• high in phytoestrogens (complex topic for me to explain all of it -
  but they help with menopause)
• helps prevent breast cancer, osteoporosis and strokes
• eases anxiety and confusion
• helps muscle and joint pain
• keeps skin healthy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

first rain

we had our first rain for the season the past few days. i woke up this morning and the sun was out - but everything was still damp and wet from last night. everything was fresh and clean. the whole garden was singing with happiness. all the flowers were open and bright.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

gifts from squirrels

i have a squirrel that comes every morning and i feed him sunflower seeds. i guess he either drops some of them as he is scurrying away - or he puts them in the dirt for later use - i dont know if squirrels do that. but i have sunflower plants popping up all over the yard. they are so pretty. my thought here was that i was going to take a picture once a day to have a progression of pictures as the flower opened... but i forgot. so here is the sunflower bud - and then the flower. i'll catch it next time.