Delicately perfumed with the GORGEOUS scent of linden blossoms, this moist, crumbly cake truly is delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it – so now I have to bake a whole new one for solstice! But that’s okay, it takes no time to whip up and I’ll get to enjoy even more of it! In Latvia,…
By The Druid’s Garden
Nature can provide tremendous wisdom and healing, especially when we work with our local ecosystems and ecologies. One of the most powerful ways of working healing with nature, I believe, is to combine the innate healing properties of plants with your own various kinds of medicinal preparations. The plants and trees offer the raw material and your hands and tools shape that material into something that heals the body, mind, and/or spirit. Working to transform tree and plant matter through alchemical processes into medicine–and then taking that medicine–can be an incredibly powerful way of establishing deep relationships not only with the living earth but with the trees themselves. Today, I want to talk about a particular kind of medicine known as a “hydrosol” and talk about how you might make your own with plant and tree material. This is especially beneficial for today as many of us are thinking about…
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Natural Remedies for Inflammation (Healing Arts Press, 2014), by Christopher Vasey contains valuable information about treating inflammation naturally. The book examines over 50 of the most common inflammation-related illnesses and explains which medicinal plant or food supplement is best suited to ease the symptoms and help the body heal. The following excerpt is from Chapter 5, “Eighteen Anti-Inflammatory Plants.”
Plants That Stimulate Cortisone Production
The plants of this group have a “cortisone-like” effect; in other words, they stimulate the adrenal glands to produce more cortisone. This hormone will then flow at higher levels in the bloodstream and work its anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body. Since this cortisone is produced by the body and is a natural physiological product, it is entirely beneficial, without any adverse side effects.
Black Currant (Ribes nigrum)
Botanical Description: The black currant is a small bush that can grow to more than 4…
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Dana gathers elder as the sun rises on the summer solstice!
I remember when I first found the massive elderberry patch. It was a few summer solstices ago. There is an overlook deep in the state forest lands, where the roads are more goat path than vehicle worthy, and it takes about 45 minutes to go only a few miles. The overlook is facing east and you can see across multiple counties, for countless miles. Visiting the overlook earlier in the summer, I had said to my mother how much I’d love to witness the summer solstice sunrise from that spot. And so, at 4:30 am on the morning of the solstice we got up and were dismayed to find that it was overcast and drizzling. With hope in our hearts that it would clear, we made our way up the winding path, avoiding potholes and huge rocks, and eventually…
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Last week, I wrote about the many flows of the month of February: the flowing of the springs from the hillside, the flowing of the river, the flowing of deep emotions, and the flowing of the sap from the trees. Today, I wanted to delve more deeply into the nature of the flow of the trees, as part of my “Druid tree workings” series, a series that focuses on deep magical and spiritual work you can do directly with trees in your ecosystem. Earlier posts in this series include: finding the face of the tree, druid tree workings on the outer planes, druid tree workings on the inner planes, helping tree spirits pass,winter tree blessings,a seasonal approach and the breath of the earth,establishing deep tree workings and working with trees in urban settings. The whole goal of this series is to develop…
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Oak – Quercus
Parts used: bark, leaf
Traditional uses: Astringent, antiseptic, bark and leaves can be used to treat diarrhea and dysentery, can be used in poultices and to help stop bleeding.
“The astringent effects of the Oak were well known to the Ancients, by whom different parts of the tree were used, but it is the bark which is now employed in medicine. Its action is slightly tonic, strongly astringent and antiseptic. It has a strong astringent bitter taste, and its qualities are extracted both by water and spirit. The odour is slightly aromatic. Like other astringents, it has been recommended in agues and haemorrhages, and is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers. It is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, either alone or in conjunction with aromatics. A decoction is made from 1 OZ. of bark in a quart of…
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Make this Yule Log use as a handcrafted herbal gift for family and friends this holiday season.
Yule Log Recipe
The Yule log is traditionally burned on New Year’s Eve to usher in good fortune for the coming year. It is created in the spirit of prayer or ritual for the fulfilment of dreams, hopes, and wishes for prosperity, happiness, peace, or whatever you want the New Year to bring. As you create the log, perform each action with intention for your dreams to come true.
1. Start by tying a red ribbon around the middle of a large piece of firewood. There are many items that can be used to decorate the log such as moss, rosemary sprigs, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, rose hips, frankincense resin, fir branches, pinecones, or prayers written down, rolled up, and tied with pieces of string.
2. Attach all of the ornaments with drippings…
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ELDER (Sambucus spp.) – The Latin name Sambucus is derived from a Greek word for a wind instrument made from the elder. Also known as Ellhorn, Elderberry, Lady Elder. Sacred to the White Lady and Midsummer Solstice. The Druids used it to both bless and curse. Standing under an elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a Fairy Ring of mushrooms, will help you see the “little people.” Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Music on panpipes or flutes of elder has the same power as the wand. The pith can easily be removed from the small branches to make a flute. Elder re-grows damaged branches with ease and can root rapidly from any part. A tea for purifying the blood can be made from the flowers and wine from the fruit, but in general, the tree is poisonous. In Norse mythology, the Goddess Freya chose the…
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In the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) legend, there was a terrible conflict between five different nations of people. This conflict was rooted in cycles of pain, revenge, and chaos. A messenger of peace sent from the Great Spirit, the “Peacemaker,” sought to unite the five warring tribes. After convincing them to unite, they came together to make peace, but they still carried their weapons. The Peacemaker uprooted a White Pine tree and had them throw all of their weapons into the hole. He then replanted the tree, and the underground waters carried away the weapons. On the tree, the needles grew in clusters of five, to represent the five nations who came to find peace. The roots of the tree spread out in four directions, to the north, south, east and west; the roots are called the roots…
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