Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rose Vinegar & Dandelion Decoction

My experimentation continues! My delight in Rose led me to create some Rose Vinegar. Just pluck a bunch of petals and some young leaves, shred them a bit, fill a jar, and then add organic apple cider vinegar to the top. Be sure to put some plastic wrap or waxed paper over the mouth of the jar before screwing on the lid (if it's metal). Otherwise, the vinegar will corrode the metal, and you'll end up with a nasty looking brew.

Let the Rose Vinegar sit for 2-6 weeks (preferably six), in a dark place and shaking it everyday or two or three. Then strain out the petals & leaves.

You can enjoy it as a salad dressing. You can also use it to relieve the pain of a sunburn! And you can use it for other soothing purposes too. Please see Kiva Rose's blogpost on Rose Vinegar for more information! You'll want to whip up some of this stuff too after reading all about it.

Dandelion Decoction
I nibble on some dandelion root. Another nibble. What's the energy of this herb? Cooling? Warming? Hot? Neutral? Cold? As a village herbalist wannabee I'm trying to sort this out. Definitely not hot or cold. I feel warmed from the inside when I nibble the root. The taste to me is mellow. Okay, 'mellow' is not one of the five tastes, which are ... what? Pungent, Salty, Sour, Bitter, Sweet (empty & full). Uhhh. I flip through Healing With The Herbs Of Life by Lesley Tierra and locate her section on Dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum). Well, now. Here's what she writes:

Energy: cold; Taste: bitter, sweet. Actions: clears Heat and toxins.

Urk. Now I'm confused. I reflect on my responses to nibbling the root. Maybe I need to reevaluate my responses. Not to say that my responses are wrong (how can they be?) but maybe I'm not mapping the language in the same way. We're talking about sensations and tastes here! Not a language in which I'm particularly verbally eloquent.

I drink my decoction (a handful of dandelion bark cast into a couple of cups of water, brought to a boil, simmered for 20 min., then strained). My first small cup satisfies something in that digestive fire of mine, and in my soul. After I type all this, and about 1/2 hour later, I take another cup. Well, now I taste some Bitter. And, yes, there is a cool energy that I can identify. Does this mean I needed Dandelion before to work on my body, and so had a different experience of it? Or have I assimilated the lingo a bit more and remapped by responses? The power of suggestion, or just refining my senses and sensibilities ... uhhh ....!

Further experimentation is definitely necessary!

I have this sense of "downward" and "inward". Flipping through Healing With The Herbs Of Life, I read how that herbs have four directional energies, meaning that particular herbs "move" in a certain way to treat various organs or parts of the body. But "downward" is actually a quality of sinking energy: "The sinking energy moves downward and outward, causing elimination through the bowels or urine, activating menses and lowering fevers. Example herbs include bupleurum, black cohosh and peppermint." Well, this definitely describes what I know about Dandelion and its actions.

What about "inward"?

(Again from the book:) "The descending energy moves inward, strengthening the inner Organs and treating the deep-level functions of the body. Examples include ginseng and rehmannia." Well, I have no experience with these herbs as of yet, nor of any others that I know to be herbs with "descending energy", so can't compare the energetic feel. The experiments will continue!


Celestite said...

I loved this. I am doing the roses and vinegar...the roses are just now beginning to wilt.

NewEdit617 said...

That rose vinegar looks lovely. I'll have to try it next summer. Did you use cultivated roses? I wonder how it would turn out with wild/prairie roses?

Jane said...

Celestite -- I'd love to hear how your rose vinegar turns out! And to you at NewEdit617 -- Yes, I used cultivated roses, but I would have used wild roses if any were available here. I'm sure the rose vinegar made with wild/prairie roses would have a wonderful healing energy .... If you make some, do let me know how yours turns out as well!