Elixirs, Foraging, Health, Plants, summer, Summer Bouquet Medicine, Summer Solstice, Uncategorized

Summer Bouquet Medicine

“Summertime….. and the living’s easy…..”

Ah, summer, although in the north end of the states we had a warmer Spring this year than summer is turning out so far. But, the plants are growing and flowers abound.

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I’m intrigued by the theory that the best medicines for us come from our local environment; those things that are growing in the same conditions with us…. the same dry, hot, cool, damp that we are being affected by. Plants have been around longer than us and learned to adapt to their local climate (except, well, climate change) They can help us adapt to seasonal changes. The plants around us have mastered the cold, the wet, the dry, the hot and thrive without hiding in a climate controlled box. ( Non-native plants that have to be kept in greenhouses notwithstanding)

I’ve been curious about putting together formulas that consist of plants growing in the same region at the same time.

In the Spring, I put together an elixir of:

Hawthorne flower, leaf and twig, Wild Nootka roses, Devil’s Club, Artemesia Suksdorfii, Toasted Almonds, Coriander, Star Anise, Bayleaf, Cinnamon, Brandy and Honey.

This was my Spring tonic blend this year: the Hawthorne improves venous health, the roses also, as well as being astringent and cooling, just as we come out of hibernation into a little warmer weather, Devil’s Club is good for everything, but I was looking for the diaphoretic quality, Artemesia is also tonic and aromatically stimulating, and all of these along with the other culinary carminative herbs promote good digestion, which is always a thing for me, personally.

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Now that it’s Summer, I have so many choices in the garden and fields that I decided to make a “bouquet” elixir; kind of a kitchen sink of plants and we’ll see how that works out; it’ll certainly be a portrait of the plants available locally:

St. John’s Wort, Devil’s Club, Lavender, Red Clover, Herb Robert flower, White Clover flower, Coriander flower, Thyme flower, Fennel flower, Oregano flower, Strawberries, Rosemary, Chamomile flowers, Calendula, Elecampane flower, Mullein flowers, Yarrow, Mugwort, Evening Primrose flower, Malva Silvestris flower, cinnamon, honey baked licorice, Brandy and Honey

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It was so pretty. (The flowers turn brownish after soaking in brandy and honey, which is why I took the photo at the beginning)

Normally, I wouldn’t gather Devil’s club this late in the year, but we came across a  stand that had been knocked down in the park; sad, but it was fresh, so we decided to not let it go to waste and to bring it into communion with our bodies. I’m interested to see how it feels at this time of year, it definitely has a much sharper perfume. A note on St. John’s Wort: it speeds up metabolism in the liver, which directs how quickly your body processes medications, so, most likely you should avoid it if you are taking any kind of meds, including, but not limited to birth control.¹

In case you’re not familiar with elixirs, they are made with a combination of Brandy and Honey. Everyone says mine are yummy; I think I add more Honey than most people.

*This post is intended as educational in nature and not intended to treat, diagnose or treat any condition or illness. Please consult a Dr. if you have any medically related questions.

¹http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-329-st%20john’s%20wort.aspx?activeingredientid=329&activeingredientname=st%20john%27s%20wort

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