This is our last installment of reader-submitted herbal hacks – herbs for the home. We hope they’ve inspired you to use herbs in new and creative ways. Enjoy!
When your “Italian herbs” (whether store-bought or home-mixed) reach the end of their tasty usefulness, place them in the coffee grinder and pulverize. Then, mix equal parts herbs and baking soda and strew over your wool carpet. Let sit for one hour or overnight, then vacuum. It is surprisingly deodorizing and refreshing! – Lisa de Vries
Got a big patch of lemon balm in the garden? Freshen up your sink disposal after trimming the lemon balm leaves to use in salads! Stuff the stems down the drain and whirr away for lemony freshness. – Peg Deppe
I drop lavender essential oil on wool dryer balls for a fresh fragrance on my laundry. – Cynthia Wheeler
Trees are wonderful and amazing beings, true teachers, friends, and wonderful introductory guides to nature’s mysteries. Sometimes though, we don’t realize what a powerful impact different trees have had on our lives. As one step towards cultivating a deep relationship with trees, this week I offer a series of exercises that can help you explore your memories of trees and see what existing connections you may already have.
These exercises and meditations can help you develop relationships with trees or deepen relationships that you’ve already started. You can do them either as meditations or as freewriting activities. Discursive meditation or journey work would be appropriate if you wanted to use these as meditation tools. In a discursive meditation, you might meditate on the question or theme given (in each exercise) and work through your thoughts. In a journey meditation, you would use the…
There was something I learned years ago when I was training as a healer: If the energy centre at your root (at the base of your spine) is out of balance, then everything else will end up out of balance, too.
This is because our root is the foundation of our health and well being.
Our physical health, yes, but also
Our livelihoods, our families, our community relations.
Ability to remain grounded, centered, empowered.
To be resilient, to endure.
To feel safe, secure, provided-for, and strong.
When our root is balanced, we feel confident, capable of handling challenges/stress/obstacles, and optimistic.
Our needs are met, and we feel solid in our place in the world.
But when it’s not balanced:
We can feel blocked, afraid, or struggling.
We have weak energy, are fatigued and un-grounded, and have compromised immune systems.
We can isolate and self-neglect, or overcompensate and look for safety, security, or provision in others.
Hoarding, recklessness, aggression, conflict, and defensive behaviour can take hold (and we’ve been seeing A LOT of that in recent history).
If the root energy centre continues to function out of balance, that imbalance vibrates up through our energy system and starts to throw off our other energy centres, too.
Things are getting a bit intense here as Saturn went retrograde on the 23rd, we enter the Eclipse Season with a super moon and experience Mercury’s retrograde on the 30th.
Saturn, the planet of karma and lessons is retrograde for the next 5 months in the sign of Aquarius. This is a time of karmic rebalancing. What you do during this time can project you forward in many of your goals, but you will need to have the self discipline to follow through. The lessons that come during this time are difficult, but the payoff will be worth it!
Mercury’s retrograde begins on the 30th of May. Mercury retrogrades usually have to do with miscommunications, technological issues, and delays. This one is square Neptune which adds another sense of illusion into the mix. This might make it hard to trust what others say. This could also be a time where propaganda, conspiracy theories or frauds are brought to the surface.
Before I share a brand new video with you, I want to provide a reminder that today — Monday, May 24th— is the last day to register for Foraging Wild Mushrooms.
After today, registration will be closed for the season. If you want to learn the skills involved in safely and successfully harvesting wild mushrooms with confidence, Foraging Wild Mushrooms can help you achieve that goal.
People today of every religion, faith, race, society and creed are searching. They are searching for answers. They are looking for themselves and what this existence is all about. Searching for reality. Very few are finding answers. They may find something and go down some rabbit hole only to find out its an illusion like most things in this reality. So they go on searching. Materialism and intellectualism has taken over our world. How do we find truth in a hall of broken mirrors? The key is unlocking the Goddess.
I remember when I first saw a Tamarack tree. It was growing in a bog where I was hiking in late fall. I looked at the Tamarack tree in its golden splendor and wondered if the tree was sick or had gotten too wet–was this confier dying? It had knobby cones and branches, sitting there looking like it was in its death throes. When I commented on it to my friend, she responded, No, that’s just the tamarack tree, a friend of mine said, and we examined the tree growing on the edge of a beautiful wetland. Sure enough, a few weeks later, the tree was bare for the winter and only grew back in the spring. The Tamarack tree has a special place in the ecology in North America, especially as a mid-succession tree in very wet and swampy areas.
Harvesting edible mushrooms that are contaminated with impurities is disappointing and potentially dangerous.
One of the most common questions I receive from concerned foragers is this:
“I hear that mushrooms bioaccumulate all kinds of substances. How do I know that the edible mushrooms I’ve harvested are safe for consumption?”
This is an issue that requires a lot of attention. Fungi, like many living organisms, can harbor all kinds of contaminants, including synthetic chemicals (e.g., pesticides and herbicides), radionuclides, and heavy metals.
While many factors remain outside the personal control of foragers, several actions can be taken to mitigate harm caused by these contaminants.
To shed light on heavy metal contamination, I created a video in which I answer 6 important questions. Information in the video includes:
The most problematic heavy metals.
Habitats that are known to be contaminated.
Edible mushrooms that hyper-accumulate heavy metals.
Specific parts of mushrooms that are most likely to concentrate heavy metals.
Cooking techniques we can implement in the kitchen to reduce contamination.
…and lots more.
The following video is one of over 80 exclusive videos featured in Foraging Wild Mushrooms — a four-season online course designed to help you confidently and successfully forage wild mushrooms.
Registration for Foraging Wild Mushrooms is open until Monday, May 24th at midnight. After May 24th, registration will be closed.
If you’ve ever considered harvesting wild mushrooms but didn’t know where to start, or where to go, or how to discern between edible and poisonous species, Foraging Wild Mushrooms will equip you with the skills necessary to ensure that your harvests are safe and successful.
Registration is now open for The Herb Society of America’s 2021 Virtual Educational Conference and Annual Meeting of Members (Virtual EdCon). This year, we are meeting online from June 10th – 12th and our host is Zoom. For our seasoned attendees, this is a safe way to celebrate the accomplishments of HSA award winners, recognize our new Rosemary Circle and Golden Sage Members, and enjoy educational programming in a socially distanced format. For first-time guests, our Virtual EdCon is a unique way to participate in our signature conference via a simulated experience.
During our Virtual EdCon, you will have the opportunity to enjoy nine outstanding programs featuring presenters from all parts of the country and beyond. Notable HSA member, Deni Bown, joins us from Spain to kick off the educational programming portion of the conference with a keynote titled “Herbs R Us.” Don Haynie, a returning…