Monday, April 27, 2009

Learning Your Herbs Online and Journal

I stumbled upon Angie' Goodloe and her online Herbalist 101 course, and thought, what the heck! I have a lot of herbal resources available to me, and have been plunging along with nourishing my family and self with herbs, as well as creating remedies. But I'm after that extra something to catalyze me to gather my adventuring into a more coherent medicine bundle. As I've mentioned in the previous post, I engage in plant spirit medicine already, in my healing arts practice. But I long to go deeper and more knowledgeably on all levels in my relationship with herbs. I'm on Lesson One, and love the course--and Angie--already!

Part of the coursework is keeping a journal. So that is what I will do here in a harper's garden: journal my experiences with herbs and my questions. And eventually record the answers to those questions. My aim is to write up my adventures with you, dear reader, in mind, so it's not just me jotting down lists that have meaning only to me.

A few words on my herbal study. I am also a member of and find that to be an incredible resource. It has several fabulous e-courses and audio courses, and an abundance of information that includes videos, interviews, articles, and a lively informative community forum. If you
are interested in herbs, I cannot recommend this resource highly enough. It is worth far, far more than the yearly membership fee. If you're new to the idea of working with herbs (and even if you aren't) do visit their sister site Learning Herbs, which features a monthly herbal project and its free seven-day Supermarket Herbalism e-course.

I'm also entranced and enchanted by Kiva Rose and her blog The Medicine Woman Roots and The Anima Medicine Woman Tradition website, and intend to take her Medicine Woman Herbalist course(s) in time.

Okay. How I used herbs today:

Nourishing Infusion

In a quart size Mason jar, the following dried herbs:

Red Clover (about 3/4 oz), Oat Tops (1/4 oz), peppermint (a sprinkle), lavender (a sprinkle) and rose petals (to cover the top of the herbs in the jar).

Poured boiling water over all, covered, and let sit for about four hours. I chose the Red Clover for its anti-tumor/anti-cancer properties (I have a lump on one of my fingers--not cancerous or a tumor--but which I'm experimenting with dissolving by means of herbs and other "alternative" means). Oat Tops--as a "comfort" herb, and the rest mostly for flavor and a hint of these qualities: Peppermint (sparkle), lavender (soothing), rose petals (grace). Usually I drink my infusions as a single herb or just two herbs, but I thought I might share it at a gathering today that didn't end up happening.

After setting up the infusion I discovered that flowers should only be infused 1 hour maximum. (from a Brewing Table in Healing Wise by Susun Weed) Oops!

In this gathering I'd planned to introduce some simple herbal medicine making. I'd detail my "lesson plan" in another post!

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