Monday, February 28, 2011

Intruder alert!!!!

Can you spot the intruder in this picture?

My plants are notorious for invading each others space! 
I had planned on posting some pics and thoughts on my seed hunt today but my computer is not complying and there is a bit of a storm starting up outside! Think I shall go out and dance in it! :-)

Hugs and smoochies all xoxox

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Herbal Ally Challenge # 6 - Tinctures

Wow! Thats all I can say! After comparing the vinegars to the vodka based tincture, I can see after a week, (ok I could say after 2 days) just why a lot of people opt to use alcohol over vinegars when it comes to making medicine.

I have not opened either of them yet and have been shaking the alcohol one every day or so but I noticed in the first couple of days just how quickly you could see the change in colour and the strength of the brew. Its not so noticeable in the picture but the tincture is far darker in the light. I opted not to grind the herb due to its already strong reactions in water. I chopped it a little smaller than the vinegar lot though. 

I opted to make only one small jar of the tincture rather than several. Reasons being that we are not likely to use so much of it and also the fact that we don't have a great supply of alchohol in the house. I had to pinch that bit from one of my daughters who had bought it for a party. I am currently thinking on whether to buy some more just to make medicines or stick to the slower method of making vinegars.  Not sure as yet. Also we have a limited supply of jars which are all full at the moment. :-) I have put the word out for friends and family to collect some more for me.

I am really looking forward to trying out the medicines, unfortunately no-one else trusts the Tansy like I do! So they are not so keen to try it. My plan to drink some more infusions did not pan out this month when my cycle started earlier than I thought it would. So maybe I will just be taking a drink here and there.

I did sneak a taste of the Oregano vinegar I made and it tastes AWESOME! I plan to start using it later this week. Then I shall have a free jar to make some more with Rosemary. 

Big herby hugs xoxoxox

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And theres my earthquake .....(insert very sad face :-( )

I knew something was going to happen, last night the feeling of absolute stillness around me, the concern and worry that something BIG was coming! Praying that we would be safe.......Well, it did not hit us, but all around us big winds last night and just now a huge Earthquake just hit our neighbours in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Sending out loving energy for the safety of all over there. My blood is running cold right now. :-(

I really dislike this new "feeling" stuff when Im awake. At least when I used to just dream about it, I could forget easily. And I still don't feel right! I hope nothing else happens today.

Please add the City of Christchurch to your prayers or healing webs today. Much Love xoxox

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Well that was interesting.....

TY I have had a rather interesting evening and morning on your behalf. In the "asking" I found a lot of confusion which left me wondering if a) you were even sick OR b) your going through a major spiritual upheavel right now. B was winning outright and I was a bit wary about passing on the answer herb wise because of this. I did get an answer but it was less clear so to speak. So I found myself arguing with the answer (my bad). The other problem was that there were two answers and I was not sure if it was just my arguing that caused this or you may need them both.

Anyway, this morning, still undecided as to whether I would pass on the message or not, I ended up feeling compelled to do something I don't normally do. I did a bit of a reading with my Angel Oracle cards. Quite a lot came through, I won't post it here, too personal I think. But definitely brings back the theory of B being more dominant for you right now.

At the end of the reading I "asked" again and loud and clear "Burdock" Why????? "something about your liver dear" apparently you have given it a bit of a beating in the past. (Don't know why I did not just ask why in the first place).

Now, that said,  I don't think you really NEED anything herby other than a balanced healthy diet and sorting out the B problem. Once that is sorted everything earthly will fall into place nicely. The herb I chose for you was Chickweed because of the high protein content. Obviously it also won't hurt you to add more dark green leafy things to your diet.

One last thing. Apparently you are able to do this as well lovely. You don't need to ask me. Ask them yourself. You just need to quiet your mind and listen to the answer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Woops it happened again...

So I was a little worried about someone the other day and "asked" what might be helpful to them. The answer was Comfrey. So I have spent a bit of time reading up on this herb to see why. In Australia it is not recommended for medicinal purposes. However, upon reading, and reading and reading some more, I can't for the life of me understand why.

Here is a small section relevant to why I believe this herb was suggested....(Information from Isabell Shipards..How to use herbs in your daily life).

  • Comfrey acts as an emollient and is very soothing, inhibiting further damage to tissues, stimulating the production of cartilage, tendons and muscles. It has been esteemed as  a blood and flesh builder. 
  •  The dark green colour of the leaves indicates the richness of chlorophyll with a molecular structure closely resembling our blood. Chlorophyll acts as a catalyst, to promote healing within the body of man and animals, and is a valuable blood purifier. Scientific research shows that chlorophyll helps to rejuvenate old celss and promote the growth of new cells . This action, together with comfrey's allantoin properties (a cell prolifierant) provides us with a very powerful herb. 
  • Allantoin is one of the elements that make comfrey unique. Allantoin is also produced in the allantois gland of the umbilical cord (the link  between mother and developing baby, which feeds the embryo) for promoting rapid cell growth. Mothers milk is also rich in allantoin (which stimulates rapid growth of the new baby) and then the element fades out. This process also takes place in other mammals. 
  • Allantoin is a leucocytosis promoter (increases white blood cells) that helps to establish immunity from many infectious conditions.
    Dear Someone (you know who you are), I hope this is of help to you. I am not suggesting you take my word, but it would not hurt for you to further research this yourself. It was your mothers worry coming through to me that allowed me to get this message. I am just passing it on. This is just a very teensy part of the wonders of this herb. Along with scientific back up AND numerious "miracle cure" stories that came with it. First and foremost, if you want to be well, then you must demand it and keep a positive attitude that you will be well. Remember your faith and trust in the Angels to help you get through this. (I suggest you read, Doreen Virtues " Angel Medicine" ). Love + Light = Healing! From this end I am sending loving light every day. Take care lovely! mwah xoxoxoxox

    More reading....(thanks Sarah) 

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Herbal Ally - Challenge #5- Vinegars Part One

    This week our challenge was to make a herbal vinegar with our Ally and do some reading on the subject. This is all new to me. I was unable to initially get ahold of the books Kristine suggested we read, but she has since kindly sent me the chapters to read so I have now caught up. Thank you! I now have yet another book added to my wish list..(he he...I think my hubby might just stop my book allowance at this rate).

    It was however very interesting for me to go a searching on my own as I read many differing opinions and accounts on how it should be done etc etc. I did make my first vinegar and rather than grinding the dry herbs I just chopped them up. (My dried Tansy is pretty strong so I think it will be ok). I also heated the vinegar in this case.

    In my excitement of thinking how to use it, I could not resist going ahead and following Susan Weeds advice of strolling through the garden and snip snip snipping. I came back with some lovely Catnip and flowers AND a hoarde of Oregano flowerheads. I made a small fresh Catnip vinegar and a large Oregano one with room temperature vinegar and stored them away in a nice dark cupboard.

    After finally reading James Greens chapters though, I have learned that I will need to use these ones quicker due to fresh vinegar infusions not keeping as long because of the natural water content in the leaves and flowers. Thats ok though. Like I said, I am learning so I will just make some MORE! I have plenty more outside to snip and dry. Next time I plan to dry the herbs and grind them.

    I plan to use the oregano vinegar on salads so it should get used pretty quickly. I read somewhere that the catnip vinegar is fantastic for mentrual pain so that won't go astray in our house full of women and as for the tansy, well Im not 100% sure on that one. Although I am happy to ingest it myself I am still wary about feeding it to others. So maybe I will just eat it instead of the infusions one month or I may use it when I get the feeling that I need to. We'll see!

    Aside from reading up on vinegars this week. I have found a pile of recipes using Tansy over at Pagan Wiki and A lovely write up by Culpeper which I have linked to in the Side bar for anyone wanting to check it out. I just loved the writing of Culpeper in the old language. I ended up printing off the section on Tansy and fancying up the writing to stick it in my journal.

    Have a wonderful herby weekend all. Hugs and smoochies xoxox

    Can you say Emmenagogue?

     I can, I have been practicing! hehe! I have also been taking notes on this word and YES even writing in my I thought I might share a little for those who are interested......
    For those not familiar with what it means....Emmenagogue =  A fancy word meaning to bring on and increase the menstrual flow.

    Tansy has for centuries been used (considerably on the sneaky) by women as a means of birth control or to "bring on the menzes".

    I have read numerous accounts now of Tansy Tea (being made with the dry herb)  being drunk anything from one cup on the day before to a cup a night for a week prior to your due date as an effective means of keeping regular and avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. Also having the effect of a consistent and heavier flow.

    Unfortunately, it was also used as an abortifacient for those who had left it a little too late. In these cases, either a strong tincture or an oil was used. Depending on the dosage and situation and of course the persons own body symptoms would determine whether it actually worked. (These days it is recommended that if you try this method and it does not work, you should immediately seek a common abortion as the side effects are high to the baby).

    In some cases where too strong a dose was prescribed, it is said, that women unfortunately died as a result of it. It is therefore not a recommended method by "most" today. Now, I have been unable to back up or find any actual evidence of these people who died so am a bit unsure of the accuracy of this claim.

    I am very ashamed to say that many years ago I did try this method. Although I was unaware exactly what I was ingesting at the time. I was prescribed extremely strong doses of a tincture which were increased to even higher doses over the next two weeks. It did not work and at this stage I gave up. I wonder if it was because I did not want it to work? I was co-erced into taking this action and it was not really my choice. In fact I am very much against abortion once a pregancy is confirmed unless the mothers health is in danger. That aside, I did it and am not proud of it. I prayed a lot at that time for the safety of this unborn child and for protection. I guess it worked.

    Not being influenced by what I know now, I had no idea as to just how dangerous it apparently was to me or my unborn child. I have since learned via much reading that it can cause birth defects and or death to the mother. Both of us came through it with no major side effects, again leaving me with dubious thoughts as to the accuracy of this claim.  I also developed a very strong aversion to the smell of flowers for a very long time.

    Now I will not tell you the doses used, although I do remember mine and I have found various other accounts of how it is done. It is readily available online to those who really want it.  Like I said, I don't agree with it. I do however have no problem with people using it as a preventative so I am going to do some experiments this year with taking the tea myself prior to due dates. Just to see if anything changes.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    In order to must first feel the pain......

    This thought runs around in my mind often. If you have read the page "why herbs" you will understand why. Pain reminds us that we are alive but it also warns us of problems that need facing, wounds that need healing, love that needs nurturing.

    Today my hands are hurting, not because I am feeling someones pain, but because I just took a great deal out of my garden. I am feeling pain on the outside from pulling passionfruit vines from every nook and cranny, unwittingly getting cranky as my Elder tree emerged, broken in parts, but mainly missing most of her leaves etc due to being denied sun for so long due to the passion of this vine who seems to think it owns the yard. I am praying that she will heal enough and with sun, now grow from all the smaller shoots in time for the autumn berries to appear. I live in hope and try to keep a postive mind as negative thought brings nought but negative action or results.

    I stopped my guilty thoughts for that very same reason. I apologised to the plants as I ripped them out but reminded myself that they were being very non productive and destructive in their own way. I feel pain on the inside as I detest the thought of harming ANY living, even when it is necessary. Today it was necessary. And I take it as a sign that none of the bees and wasps flying around me and none of the other bugs or spiders crawling over me bit me that it was ok.

    To get at these plants I had to go through one of my beloved Tansy shrubs. Today I thanked her for growing so well, for guarding the other plants but noted that her time had come to do some good. I cut down all the long shoots to just above ground level. As those who have been folloiwng will know, we have had some shocking heat conditions this past week, so if I did not harvest this plant now it was going to go to waste.

    Indeed many of the lower leaves were not good to keep. These I placed aside for the compost where they will help break down other things. The good leaves I sorted into size. Some to dry, some for cooking and some to press. The flower heads cut off and saved, some which were dried for seeds, some to add to my jar of already dried flower heads. I even saved the long stalks which I am thinking to use for something else. No waste at all!

    I made my tansy vinegar yesterday afternoon and hid it away in a nice dark drawer. Its the very first time I have made a vinegar infusion so I hope it works! I am looking forward to trying it out.

    Oh and a big thank you to those who sent healing for my boy. Yesterday I took him to the doctor as he was not looking so well in the morning. The irritation is just in the outer ear which is fantastic, the herbiotics obviously did their job and the doctor said that if he had not gone in the water he probably would be fine. He gave him some drops which I am finding hard to get into the child as her prefers my herbal ones. LOL. Now I just have to convince him on the whole "heal thyself" theory. We can all do it, we just have to want to!

    Happy Herbal Dreaming everyone! Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Challenge # 4 - Impressions

    Ummmmm.........the dog ate my home work!!!! Well......almost! She did kind of slobber all over it and stick her head in every two seconds or so to ensure I stuffed up! Thats my dog! Always gotta be the centre of attention!!!!!

    Seriously though, its been a pretty tough week with sick kids, shockingly hot weather and a pure lack of quality time.  Everything I have attempted has felt really rushed this week. Add to that my complete and utter lack of knowledge when it comes to drawing/painting etc. Well........

    Excuses aside, this would be the picture she helped with........chalk pastels........

    One late night I had a go with some oil pastels too.......

    Ok now I am cheating......I think I showed this one already.......lead pencil.......

     And then there were these paint prints....I really want to have a go at water paints but am feeling a bit insecure........

     And of course my title page......haha...drawn in water colour pencils but too scared to wet......

    And as most of my diary so far looks a bit like this........

    Please excuse coffee stained paper on the side....I have been drinking a lot of the stuff to keep me awake!!!

    I think I better get off the computer and put some of that well learned knowledge I have acquired into writing!!!!!

    Other things I have managed in between life this week. ......

    • Several infusions, both to drink (fresh and dried herb) as well as a stronger batch of bug spray. Loving the smell of that stuff round the doors. :-)
    • Stressed out over losing one of my pot plants but managed to keep the other three alive. Damn weather!
    • Pressed some more leaves ready for a little something I have in mind.
    • A bit more research, learned some interesting facts I will share later.
    • Started a list of unfinished or not satisfied with myself challenge efforts (like this one with Impressions as I feel I did not do what I was supposed to!) I plan to do them again later when I have more quality time.
    Managed to almost cure my sons ear ache with Golden seal (herbiotics) and garlic/mullein ear drops only to have him relapse after swimming in the ocean!  Feeling very guilty about that one! Yes I co-erced him to swim yesteday as it was Championship day at Nippers!  Very Very annoyed with myself!

    I am only beginning to learn but trying to keep the faith in myself is sometimes hard. Planning on giving him hands on healing before bed tonight. That tends to work for me better.

    Many blessings to all, heres hoping this week is a healthier one all round. At least it has finally cooled down a little. Happy Herbals hugs xoxoxox

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    I did it...Yay...

    I finally worked out how to centre this blog a little! In true unschooling fashion I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF! Go me! If only you knew how technimilogically challenged I kids are far more advanced when it comes to computers or indeed anything that requires plugging in and switching on and off again! LOL! And at the risk of having them all roll their eyes and get annoyed with me, I thought I would try it by trial and error. (I don't suppose I ever told you that my husband writes computer software for a living? can imagine the flack I get around here!)

    I have no idea how it looks to the rest of you but with all the little widgets and lines here it looked way over the sides to me SO I played with the HTML until I got it right and then I noticed a widget on the side with nothing on it and went ahead and deleted it! To my horror my background disappeared (see I told you..Im hopeless!)

    So off I went to find and copy the text again, all the while thinking I would have to redo everything I just did. I had one of those moments where I thought Oh well, lets just try this.....And it worked! Yay! It worked. Yes I was so excited for myself......I thought I'd share! hehe!

    Does it look okay? Should I make the writing darker or make any other changes? 

    I also added an about me and Why herbs page if you want to check it out.

    Hugs all, have a great weekend! xoxoxox

    Interesting discovery

    Yesterday I was feeling a little down. The male testosterone in this household seemed to be flying around on a high and all three males had their tempers unchecked and of course this got me feeling extremely horrible. Inside and out.  I do believe it was a result of this extreme heat wave we have been having but still it did not sit well either way.

    Even going out into my garden was a dismal visit. The poor plants are suffering terribly, my avacado tree practically curled up in horror. Some of the vegetables withered and died. One of my potted tansy plants is not looking too well at all. I don't know if it will make it through. Funnily enough out of all my plants, for the most part, my tansy is coping quite well. (The ones in the ground that is). Indeed when my man came out to see where I was he asked me why there was so much "bloody tansy" in the garden! "You cannot possibly be planning to drink ALL that????"

    With malicious thoughts running through my mind, I replied sweetly that no I would not probably drink all that, but it would be useful for other things. Obviously NOT for repelling flies who this week and in this heat seem to be thoroughly enjoying sucking on the flower heads with much joy! But yes other things....insert thought bubble (Now get outta my garden before I bite your head off! GRRRRRR)

    So anyways, where was I? Oh thats right, my discovery.....I once again drank some tansy tea, this time fresh leaves again. Very refreshing and did lift my mood a little. After drinking I realised something or had a light bulb moment so to speak.

    This week I finally received my "A Modern Herbal" set and I had read an account that Tansy was once used for Hysteria, this fact is not in my other books and it got me thinking. The feeling I felt when I drank the stronger dried herb feeling. The absolute, nothingness, bland dead feeling.......that is what you feel if you take anti-depressants. If you have ever taken them, you would understand. Its horrible and something I opted not to take when suffering depression because I believe that pain is better than feeling nothing. Anyway at the risk of me getting side tracked I won't go into that. The effect of the dried herb was pretty much instant by the time I had drunk the whole glass. That wash of nothing feeling, like a blanket falling over you and stilling everything.

    So I guess what I am saying here is that Tansy has the ability to be a CALMING herb, well at least to me. I have been getting some pretty strong messages from the universe this past couple of weeks, promptings etc. I was prompted to drink the tea when I had not planned to and so nicely reminded of my compassionate side when I was having dismal thoughts yesterday of all ways via a facebook message,  which I cannot quote word for word as it appears to NOT be there any more STRANGE....but it did pretty much remind me about LOVING all beings, animals, plants, humans alike despite their actions etc etc etc. I had to laugh as I am generally conscious of this fact and I was a little (okay a lot) off track with everyone elses vibes getting me down.

    Anyway If I happen to say "The dog ate my homework" this week, you will know why. This heat wave is knocking us all rotten. I have managed to do 2 drawings this week (once with the help of a dog who thought she could do a better job with my pastels)  and that is it so far.  I find myself praying for rain. We had a little last night but not enough to make a puddle :-( My daughter and I did however, run outside and dance in it! LOL!

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Mid cycle infusion...

    As I write this I am sipping on an infusion of dried tansy. I dried the tansy this week taking a few days only. I am currently mid cycle so thought it would be good to see the effect when not troubled by womans business like before.

    I am feeling very hot, (the weather is getting hotter this week), my body is calm and relaxed and I feel positive of mind. I found myself craving coffee when I had the urge to instead take a cup of tansy tea. So considering the dried herb was handy thought I'd give it a go.  It is the middle of the day here and very much summer!

    As with last time, I opted for a 5 minute infusion of about a teaspoon of dried herb as I do not want it to be too strong. Keeping it a safe level for drinking.

    The colour immediately is darker yellow than the fresh leaves. The smell not as inviting. And now you may think Im strange but even though I blessed this plant repeatedly before, during and after drying and before drinking, it seems to have lost its energy or life force.  Now I know it is supposed to be better medicinally if the herb is dried but it does not feel right to me.

    My immediate reaction is the taste is that it is slightly bitter compared to the fresh leaf infusion. Not entirely unpleasant but not as sweet. It has a stronger drying effect once swallowed, my tongue has gone quite dry giving my mouth a rather clean feeling. This is less noticeable towards the end of the cup. The last couple of mouth fulls were rather bitter.

    I feel kind of heavy all over after drinking it. Not sure I like it this way.