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Friday, July 25, 2008

Spring/Summer List of Medicine Making

This year is the first year in many that I have been able to devote so much time to herbal studies. As a result I've made the most oils, vinegars, tinctures, and dried plants than ever before. Here's a list of this year's activities:


Oils:
Rue
Hyssop
Bee Balm
Wormwood
Mugwort
Lemon Balm
St. John’s Wort
Red Clover
Mullein Flower
Yarrow
Arnica
plantain
comfrey


Alcohol Extracts: (95% unless otherwise noted)
Rue
Hyssop
Bee Balm
Wormwood
Mugwort
Lemon Balm
St. John’s Wort
Red clover
Yarrow
Plantain
Motherwort
Rose
Wood Betony (Brandy)
Shepherd’s Purse
Nettle (40% vodka)
Elecampane
Feverfew
Meadowsweet
Peach
Plantain
Potentilla
Valerian


Vinegars:
Lady’s Mantle
Motherwort
Hyssop
Red Clover
Cleavers
Dandelion root

Salves:
Cottonwood Salve
Trauma and Pain Salve (arnica, st. John’s wort, Cottonwood, Comfrey)
Healing Salve (plantain, calendula, dandelion, cottonwood)

Lip Balm:
Cottonwood and Coconut
Soothing lip balm (calendula, dandelion, cottonwood)
Cold Sore Care (St. John’s Wort oil and tincture in a beeswax base)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What's up in the Methow

July is already here! With such a busy spring I am constantly reminding myself to slow down and take time to enjoy the summer.

With that said here's a listing of what's up in the Methow (otherwise known as my to do list).

Elderflowers have been beckoning from the roadsides starting a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday while out picking a second round of flowers I noticed several bunches are making the turn to green berries. In a couple more weeks they'll be ready for making "capers". Hawthorne berries are a good size with a slight twinge of red to them.

Also in roadside bloom is fireweed and yarrow is blanketing the hillsides and forests. Mullein is starting to flower and plantain is well on it's way to seed. Even the dock's seed heads are already a rusty brown.

Saskatoons are ripe on the valley floor and I ate my first handful yesterday, followed by my second third and fourth today. (Does anyone use these shrubs medicinally?)

I finally found a small patch of St. John' Wort. I am not sure if it's big enough for all my St. John's Wort needs however. If you are in the valley and know of a good patch - please let me know!

Not only are the plants in this community rich and diverse the community of people is awesome as well. I spent the last three days harvesting many baskets of lavender from a neighbor's garden. She and her husband planted a long row, but seldom use it, so she offered it to me. As a result my husband and I spent the 4th of July making Lavender Faery Wands which we sold at the Farmer's Market the next day.

Being the 4th with many people in town we sold a lot of salves, lip balms, and other herbal products at the market. A fabulous herbalist in the valley stopped by to say that my lib balm is the best she's had and ordered a wholesale lot to sell herself. (Truly flattered.) Also, one of the local proprieters of the health food store in town came by to buy more of my herbal all purpose cleaner and said if I made up a bunch she would carry it at the store as it is her favorite cleaner at home.

Which is all to say this week will be busy in the herbal apothecary. I have fresh arnica oil to make into salve as well as some fresh plantain, comfrey, cottonwood, calendula salve to make as well.

I picked my first calendula flower of the season today and last week from www.ancestreeherbals.com I received fresh red clover flowers, coltsfoot leaves, wood betony, and feverfew. This coming week I have meadowsweet, hyssop, and rue on the way.

Phew!