Oh, For What It's Worth/ I draw My Breath, From An Ancient Earth

Sometimes people ask me, why I make plant medicine the way I do: small batches, once-in-a-bluemoon-remedies (literally 🔵), handcrafted, small, local, seasonal? "Do you have this particular remedy?" People ask."I love this particular essence, will you make more of it?"  "Will you have this salve in the spring?" And the answer is sometimes a plain old "No." 

It's a delicate balance, considering whether I should be making more of the popular items, making sure I spend at least some of my time in a way that financially supports my family, and doing what feels right to my heart. 

All my life, I've pursued things out of interest, because they were meaningful, or fascinating, or outrageous to me. It's certainly not been about "what I'm going to be when I grow up", and frankly, the one time I did pursue something from that place, I ended up disliking what I'd once loved. Because of this, I've also always thought of the things I've learned and know as something anyone could know, if they wanted. I've never placed a lot of value, beyond the personal, on my knowledge.

Last year, a friend and mentor of mine, gave a me kind of a talking-to, about hiding my own gifts and talents, and acquiescing to the critical voices, while always encouraging other people  to pursue their knacks. She pointed out that a lifetime of study of something, however informal, does actually stand for something not anyone can acquire. She's literally the person who set me on this leg of my meandering journey as a plant-person, and I'm forever grateful for that. 

That same friend, in that same conversation, told me "If you feel called to do something, you have to do it. You have no choice.", something I've held as a small mantra to myself ever since then. 

I make herbal, vibrational, botanical, wild medicine, because it's part of my own heritage, my personal practice, my knack.

Of course it's an absolute privilege to get to make a portion of my dollars from it, but at the same time, that's not all there is to it, not to any herbalist. This is a fine line. In a dollar economy, it's easy to start thinking that we need to get compensated for all of our time in currency, and certainly, that is important to our continued existence and survival. At the same time, the point, the real point is standing in your power, trying to line up your work with your values. And this is an on-going process. 

One of the ways I try to achieve this, is creating these medicines from my own intuition, of what people around me need, what I personally need, and most importantly, what plants pursue me. It's the most esoteric part of my very-down-to-earth-practice, but it also happens to be one that has served me the best and that I'm trying to listen to the most these days, when everything is crazy, and unpredictable, and somehow completely clear at the same time. 

When I walk around in the woods, or even in my garden, certain things, sometimes utterly surprisingly, will speak to me. Like you know, for instance trees and stones. No but seriously, trees and tree medicine have been huge for me this year. I might go in for a particular herb, and come out with a tree remedy. 

That's part of why very few of my medicines will ever be anything but seasonal. There will be one-offs, things I'll make every three years, essences of events that will never happen again.  

I ground my practice in following the seasons, the plants, in creating medicines that make sense to me, regardless of whether or not they might be crowd-pleasers. Some will be straight-forward remedies, while others might be mystical magic potions. All will have my trademark goofy, longwinded names. All will be made with the highest quality ingredients, from plants I love, have a relationship with, and nurture. They are part of how I communicate with the world, make sense of it. They are how I try to nurture people. 

A part of this practice, as you can see by clicking on the "Herb Magic"-tag below, is me creating a recipe each time I release a batch of remedies, because to me that's what herbalism is all about: sharing the magic and joy of plants. 

Often, these recipes will be simple kitchen preparations, the oldest form of folk-medine, and secretly my favorite. Eating your medicine is every day magic, whereas taking it in other, stronger, more extractive mediums, is more of a emergency use, or an attempt to shift things, for me. This time, quite unknowingly of how much heart-ache there would be in the world when I post this, I chose a tea that will help us chase away the blues as little. It reflects one of the kits I have in the shop, and captures a lot of the high summer's energy in it. 

Happiness Moves In A Circular Motion -an infusion to reduce anxiety, to invoke happiness, to take space to feel joy, and to calm down and reflect-

Please note about this herbal preparation:

1) If you don't have all the ingredients you can make this preparation with any of the stuff. I will list alternative/bonus ingredients at the end of this post. 

2) If you take any sort of pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medication, or anti-depressants, please make sure those medications are compatible with any herbal preparation you plan to take. Plants are powerful, let's respect their powers*

3) All ingredients can be dried, but since it's summertime in many places right now, they can also be fresh! 

For a quart-jar of infusion use loosely packed herbs, less plant matter if they're dried 🌿

- Good handful of Borage leaves and flowers

-1/4-1/2 cup of Saint John's/ Joan's Wort flowers and leaves

-1/2 cup of Milky Oats

-1/4  cup of Chamomile blossoms

-1/2 cup of Lemon Balm

Chop ingredients up. Bring water to a boil, then let it cool a little bit, for 10-15 minutes. 

Steep up to 8 hours (overnight), but 4-6 is plenty too. You can re-heat without bringing to a boil, and store in a refrigerator for couple of days. You can also strain out the herbs while storing, but I never do, because I'm lazy. 

Additional happiness-inducing, heart-opening, anxiety-soothing herbs could be: Lavender, Rose petals & hips, Hops (thought they're less delicious), California Poppy. 

Enjoy with local, organic honey (maybe rose or lavender- infused?!!). 

I hope you find some sweet relief in this heart-warming drink. That said, it's pretty good iced as well. Oh and if you want to visit the shop, it's right up there on the top bar. 

All photos by the generous Demetria Provatas 

Ps. As you know, I typically donate some of my profits to a cause that matters to me, but this time, I'm gonna ask you to trust me with it for a while before I announce it. Thanks guys. 

*pharmaceuticals are often also absolutely necessary for people having very human reactions to a very inhumane world. Please do make sure to consult a medical professional about your emotional health. There are great ones out there.