Saturday Morning with Rue

Journey with the Spirit of Rue

The healing & magical benefits of Rue were on full display this morning.  Just as I was finishing my morning brew, I knew that I was being called.  I put my garden shoes on and started up the path knowing I’d step into the magic of the Plant Spirits.  Excited that some new revelation would be downloaded to me, I ignored the lone Hawkweed waving at me.  Hawkweed is cheeky.  I have declared a very small portion of garden as hawkweed-free but know that this Hawkweedplant has visions of overtaking all.  The battle (I have no illusions about Hawkweeds ferocity to get what it wants) for property rights appears to be continuing.

Revelations are not the norm when I sit down with plants.  Sometimes, it’s just a silent togetherness.  The plants know me very well in that I don’t like to hang around too long and can be impatient for the answers.  Mint, for instance, can be very standoff-ish with me and so I’m willing, every now and then, to take more time than usual to hear stories of their medicine.  Today was such a day, but as I approached Rue, Herb of Grace, the beauty of her medicine was shown to me immediately.

Rue presented like a DNA spiral expanding and contracting; as she protects and shields so can she strangle and choke.  In the past, as today, Rue is placed beside entryways or in a pouch to be worn for heightened protection and strangles and chases away negative and harmful energy.  In that same vein, Rue is a reliable antidote to poison, ridding the body of harmful substances.  She can protect and attack with the same fierceness.  Internally, Rue should be used with care.  For example, just a little and she can be soothing; too much and she can aggravate.  Rue Dreamsafeis excellent for mild indigestion but too much and she can produce severe vomiting.  Stick to 10 drops of tincture 2X’s day to start and ½ cup Rue tea (using dried leaves).  I use it sparingly in salads and have not found any other kitchen uses for it although the internet has many different cultural uses.

The healing energy of Rue is overcast by her ability to do harm and so Rue, Herb of Grace, is very much considered a magic herb and seldom used in herbal medicine today.  “Its main modern application is to regulate the menstrual cycle and bring on the suppressed menses” David Hoffman – Medical Herbalism.

The essential oil of Rue is a powerful abortifacient and accordingly, should be avoided during pregnancy.  Rue can leave a rash or irritations on the skin when picking her, so wear gloves and long sleeves.  A fierce clue to her protective abilities.

According to Matthew Wood, Rue is hot and dry in the third degree (Galen’s extended medical system) meaning that (hot in 3rd) it promotes perspiration, cuts through blockages (phlegm, depression) and clears away stagnant situations, such as suppressed menses and (dry in 3rd) cautions on its ability to take over and exacerbate the problem.

Properties of Rue:-

Rue HerbRue  (Ruta graveolens)
Family: Rutaceae
Taste: bitter & pungent
Parts used: Whole herb with the top young shoots (before flowering) being the most potent
Actions: Antispasmodic, bitter, abortifacient, bitter, antimicrobial, emmenagogue
Preparations: Tincture, Tea, Salve, Cream, Oil

And so, coming back from my journey – I give thanks and honour the angel that is Rue.  I ground myself and step gently down, one by one until I land at the bottom; my two feet firmly on the ground.  I don’t know why I don’t sit with the plants every day.  The feeling of breathing and being as one with Mother Earth is always so awesome.

You can find Rue in Aura & Dreamsafe

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How the plants have given us their medicine

How Plants give us their MedicineThroughout time the plants have given us their medicine.  Every culture has used, in some form or another, the healing power of plants.  Sometimes, a plant used for an ailment in one era was used in an entirely different way in another. Greater Celandine was and still is, used as a remedy for wart removal but during the middle ages was used as a digestive and for irritations of the eye.  Chamomile was used by Egyptian women as a cosmetic and throughout time as a digestive and reliever of menstrual cramping.  Lavender was used as a laundry soap in the 12th century because of its pleasing scent and today that scent is used as a relaxant and anti-depressant.

Ancient written texts tell us of cedar and juniper essential oils used for the mummification process, sage, cedar & sweetgrass used in smudging or cleansing rituals and chamomile used as a scented walkway for pleasure.

“O most honored Greening Force,

You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.

You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.

You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
–  Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae

HildegardThe great visionary, Hildegard of Bingen knew of the plants contribution to our health and wellness.  Not only was she concerned with our physical health but knew that the plants assisted in emotional and spiritual health as well.  “Confront anger and other negative thought patterns. Release your negative energy and develop a spiritual attitude.”  Translation from Hildegard’s Physica

She knew the power of the plant world to heal via food, atmosphere and medicine.  She understood that the same balance found in nature, exists in humans and that the humors (essence, liquids/juice(blood, phlegm, bile)) of our physical bodies are always looking for harmony.  Her remedies always included notes on the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of living in order to stay in touch with universal forces through the balancing of the humors. In that way, we stay in communion with the essence of the universe, the Spirit of Life/God.

Hildegard felt that in order to live in harmony, one needs to:-

  • Connect to the Spirit of life knowing that the pathway to health is through communion with all things
  • Take care of the physical body knowing that it is an extension of your soul-self.
  • Balance in all things knowing that to live healthily, we are more connected to universal energies of healing/manifestation
  • Live life with passion knowing that an attitude of positivity creates a healthy spirit-mind-body connection

If we took a plant that Hildegard & the Plant Medicine Shop held/hold in high regard, let’s say Rose (Rosa), and journeyed with it through the ages, below is what we’d find:-

Rose

Sumerian Era (4000-2400 BC), clay tablets have been found depicting Rose as a use of medicine

Hippocrates (460-377 BC) advised wearing a garland of Rose for headaches

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt (69-30 BC) believed in the aromatic healing properties of Rose and used in bathing

Roman, Pliny, the Elder (23-79AD), thought of Rose as an astringent and used the whole flower.  The seed was used as a diuretic.

Dioscorides (40-90 AD), prescribed rose petals for headaches, eye problems and hemorrhoids.

Hildegard (1098-1179) – believed Rose helped with moderation, exterior ulcers and with relieving anger.  “If even a little rose is added, they are so much better, because of the good virtues of the rose.” Translation from Hildegard’s Physica

Culpepper (1616-1654 AD), declared that the Oil of Rose be used for hot swelling or inflammation

Linus Pauling (1901-1944), discovered the high content of Vitamin C, in Rose Hips

Kiva Rose (21st Century, present time) says that Rose is healing “for hot, damp, congested headaches that are often accompanied by feverishness, hot flashes, gas and bloating.” Kiva Rose

Rose is sent to earth by the gardeners of paradise for empowering the mind and the eye of the spirit.” Rumi

Forgiveness Energy MedicinePlant Medicine Shop (that would be us)(21st Century, present time), uses the power and energetic of Rose for finding love, beauty, ruthless compassion, protection and strength.  We use the mighty Rose in Aura, Authenticity, Lost Love, Esteem, Forgiveness, Cell Rejuvenation, Warrior and our Goddess Cream.

 

The Plant Medicine Shop creates healing herbal remedies for all the ways in which we express ourselves.   Our products are all natural, organic and made with a deep sense of communion with Mother Earth.  We are in partnership with the Plants and honour their wisdom and knowledge.   Their energy is of a giving nature and by accepting this gift of healing, we allow it to flow through to others.  That’s how we, as humans, heal.

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Medicine Wheel Garden

Dreaming of a Medicine Wheel Garden

 

I’m sitting on the log steps in our garden.  I’m sitting here because it’s still nice and cool and I have about half an hour before the sun hits.  There is no grass in our mountain garden and so my feet are resting on earth on top of a wooden log.  I feel very spiritual sitting here with Mother Earth underfoot, trees very close and a view of the very still waters (today, at any rate) of Kootenay Lake.  It is not hard to be relaxed and quiet in this place, both in mind and the breath.  So easy to be inspired by the Plant World sitting amongst this much green.  I’m dreaming of a medicine wheel garden and wondering if it’s possible on this hillside garden.  ‘Anything is possible’ I hear.  Um, yes but it might take some woman power to move the big rocks.

DreamcatcherOver the last few days, I’ve walked up and down, and from one end to the other to search for the best place.  This project will take a while as it is now late Spring in my neck of the woods, and some herbs will need to be planted this Fall.  I do not have the garden to myself.  My husband, the other gardener, has taken over and built up quite a bit of the land and since our needs are different, we work with and around one another.

I have a Medicine Wheel protecting my house which could also be a place for the plants but since 3 directional rocks are on a steep rocky area, I think that’s a miss.   I thank the Plant World for their beauty knowing that they will continue to inspire me and step down one by one around the corner, down the path onto the patio.

There in the middle of our patio is my Owl, made of rocks; the protector and guardian of our space.   As I look around I see areas still awaiting plants and of course, here it is, my Medicine Wheel garden, right in front of my eyes.   Below is the planning stage of the garden using some of the plants I use in my healing potions.

 

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Longevity (and other stuff) from a mountain garden

Longevity found in mountain garden treasures

 

It is only when I saunter up our mountain garden that I find the treasures I’ve missed.  Usually, I’m on a mission and so pass quickly to my intent without pausing to check my surroundings.  A few weeks ago, I came upon a plant growing right in the path, took a quick look and realized it was new, but continued on and it was forgotten.  Only when I had nothing to do and nothing to occupy my thoughts did I come upon it again and then noticed two such plants growing not too far apart.  Taking a snippet, I asked my good friend and Plant Medicine woman Dianne Luchtan, what it was.  Dianne has wondered over mountain and meadow in this neck of the woods and only makes herbal medicine from those plants she’s picked herself.  “Pearly (life) Everlasting”, she said without hesitation — the secret to longevity!  Ah, welcome to our blessed garden.

LongevityPearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)  is a member of the Daisy (Asteraceae) family and although it is used extensively in flower arrangements (some species have a strong sweet scent that gets stronger as the plant dries), this sweet plant has many clinical and magical attributes.

Make the flowers and leaves into a Natural Herbal Remedy tea for coughs, colds, flu symptoms or any respiratory ailments, as well as gastro-intestinal problems.  The leaves, in a tea, are reported to suppress the appetite and so have been used as a weight loss tool.  Sarah Anne Lawless states — “coughs, colds and diarrhea as a tea, added to a bath for rheumatism, and” “also smoked for lung problems and used for poultices to treat various ailments.”

Some Indian tribes gave it the name Rabbit Tobacco because it was said this was the method that Rabbit used to talk to the Creator.  It was used in the past, and still sometimes today, in smoking mixtures for ceremonies/rituals.  And…….Pearly Everlasting is reported to promote a long and healthy life!!

Matthew Wood has a very detailed account of this plant.  In his usual fashion, he outlines all you possibly need to know about a plant, both clinically and as a vibrational medicine.

His conclusions as to the personality of this sweet plant (Pearly Everlasting/Rabbit Tobacco) are below:

“1. Physical health: Rabbit tobacco is used for congenital defect or weakness, i.e., incomplete inheritance.
2. Psychological health: It is used when a legacy from a mentor or ancestor is not passed on and there is a break in the psychological inheritance.
3. Signature: Something like ‘life’ continues in rabbit tobacco, after the death of the plant, so that it carries on a communication between the living and dead.”

 

Keep an eye on my New Product page.     Maybe Longevity and Spirit Communication!?

 

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California Poppy – Pleasure & Pain

Pleasure and Pain with California Poppy

 

I dare anyone to walk past the golden yellow flower of a California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and not feel some sort of joy settling in. It stands tall, reaching for, and shining in the sun. It is the State CaliforniaPoppyflower of….. yes you guessed it, California. It has such diverse medicinal properties, that finding out about its ability to reduce pain, other than neuralgic, didn’t take me much by surprise. It’s a member of the Opium Poppy family (Papaveraceae) after all. I am inclined to file herbs into different categories for both traditional herbal and vibrational remedies but every now and then I read something that reminds me of other healing possibilities. It adds another layer to the medicinal benefits of this sunny looking and sunny feeling member of the Plant World.

For any issues with depression, be it mild or more severe, California Poppy has been called upon to uplift the spirits and calm the mind. It is equally good for the nervous system allowing the antispasmodic, anxiolytic and sedative properties to take effect. The chemical components are the same as the Opium Poppy although much less potent; so it lends itself well to a variety of painful conditions. According to Anne McIntyre (1): “It began to be used as a medicine in the last century, when it rapidly gained a reputation as a non-addictive alternative to the opium poppy.” It is so mild that it is quite safe in remedies for children. This herb may have a sunny disposition but is severely lacking in the taste department. Add peppermint and chamomile to tea for anxious children. This combination works well when traveling (2).

As my focus is primarily vibrational medicine, I use this plant whenever I need a joyful or uplifting energy to be present. Here are some of the ways California Poppy works in vibrational remedies:

JoyCalifornia Poppy brings light, playfulness and a calm sense of well-being to our Joy remedy.

 

 

EsteemCalifornia Poppy brings a heightened sense of self-worth and sunshine to our Esteem remedy. Yes, there are herbs for low self-esteem. (2)

 

 

4th Chakra BalanceCalifornia Poppy brings calmness and an uplifting spirit to our 4th Chakra remedy, Harmony.  Helps to release anger and pain.

 

 

After reading Anne McIntyre’s article I was glad to be reminded that California Poppy works well for pain in lotions, creams and salves (1)(Anne McIntyre). I’ll put it on the drawing board for future remedy making.

References:
(1) Anne McIntyre, writing in Positive Health Online: http://www.positivehealth.com/article/herbal-medicine/the-benefits-of-california-poppy-eschscholzia-californica
(2) Thomas Avery Garran, Western Herbs according to Traditional Chinese Medicine
(3) Anne McIntyre, writing in Positive Health Online: http://www.positivehealth.com/article/ayurveda/are-there-herbs-for-low-self-esteem

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Energy Medicine for the 3rd Chakra

Energy Medicine for the 3rd Chakra

The 3rd (Solar Plexus) Chakra represents how we show up in the world.  It is about our Personal Power and how we interact 3rd Chakrawith others on all levels.  This Power, coming from our sense of self-worth and identity, dictates this interaction so profoundly that it brings with it a greater feeling of authority and self-governance over one’s life.  Do we care and love ourselves enough to feel confident and set our own paths?  When we do, we allow the authority we have as humans to be in charge.  Love, compassion, honesty & integrity – for ourselves, others, and all things living on Mother Earth – all stem from a highly balanced sense of self and healthy ego.

The 3rd Chakra plays a big role in our ability to create our own lives– this is what I know, personally.  We manifest from a position of strength.  When we associate with our ‘I’, we say I am, I need, I will.  Actually knowing and liking who we are opens up new ways of communication and allows us to be clear about what we want.  Our authority over our own life then becomes accepted and mindful.

Specifics of the 3rd Chakra:

Location: Solar Plexus (although I find it closer to the navel)
Colour: Yellow
Spiritual Aspect: Self Worth
Issues: Lack of self and identity, no boundaries, passive, anger
Endocrine Gland: Pancreas
Needs: Safety, security, strong relationships/partnerships (1st & 2nd Chakra balanced), healthy ego, feeling in control of life
Associated Organs: Liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine
Associated Disease: Poor digestion, digestive ulcers, liver disease, diabetes, addiction
Enemy: Shame, feelings of disconnection—alone

Healing remedies for the 3rd Chakra:

Connection‘Connection’, a vibrational remedy from the plant medicine shop, awakens the dream of a powerful life, allows connection to oneself and others to be felt.  Heals and balances.

Digestive herbs: (yellow dock, burdock, dandelion, chamomile), St. John’s Wort, California Poppy

Other Healing for the 3rd Chakra: daily affirmations, breathe in sun energy, learn how to receive.

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Using Vibrational Medicine for the 1st Chakra

Using Vibrational Medicine for the 1st Chakra

 

The art of Chakra Balancing is not just about changing/adjusting the vibratory rate and altering the path of disease; it’s about bringing into focus a new level of awareness.

1st ChakraFor over a hundred years, information about our Chakra System and Chakra Balancing has flooded into the mainstream.  Today, there are yoga studios on every corner in every city with each teaching the countless methods of the Masters.  With each movement and breathe, a chakra is affected – a slight awakening and balancing.

Since the function of the physical body is dependent upon the activity of our chakras, awakening and balancing of these energy centres are a major healing modality today.  Each chakra is linked to a specific endocrine gland, and so disease or ill health can, in a sense, be tracked through the subtle bodies & auric field until it reaches the physical.

Starting at the base, the 1st (root) chakra, addresses the need to live in the moment in a relaxed way without fear.  Safety, security and physical groundedness are all concepts that we have a right to feel, acknowledge and trust in.   Our self-awareness as a human being lights up in the 1st Chakra.  Unique experiences dictate the openness and vibrancy, or lack thereof that we project out into the world.  The basic enemy of this Chakra is fear.  If family or community ties have not been strong in our first few years, then this emotion sits heavily in the 1st Chakra.

Specifics of the 1st Chakra:

Location: Base of spine
Spiritual Aspect: Self Awareness or what it is to be human
Issues: Abandonment, physical & mental abuse, poor nourishment, taking on fears of parents, difficult birth.
Endocrine Gland: Adrenals (cortisone, adrenaline)
Needs: Safety, security, comfort, community, nourishment
Associated Organs: kidneys, adrenals, bladder, rectum, colon
Living FullyAssociated Disease: bones or solid parts of the body (arthritis, weak joints), bowel or colon disorders (chronic constipation, crohns, chronic diarrhea, IBS)
Enemy: Fear of all kinds (failure, success, losing control, own power, security,etc.)
Natural Herbal Remedies for the 1st Chakra: Vibrational Remedy, ‘Living Fully’ from the plant medicine shop, dandelion root, burdock root , cayenne, thyme, lavender.  Any root vegetable as in carrots, parsnips, horseradish
Other Healing for 1st Chakra: Enjoy Mother Earth and the way you walk upon Her, stay grounded and bring vital earth energy into the 1st Chakra, take care of your physical body, dance, garden.
Colour: Red

 

 

 

 

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Personal Power Remedies

Personal Power – an energetic prospective

 

Personal Power from the wisdom of the Plant World? Oh yes!! The idea that someone can fill in a form about their current situation and have delivered to their door a powerful Vibrational Medicine is the shape of things to come in a busy fast-paced world. The Plant Medicine Shop specializes in Personal Power Remedies which take into account not only one’s health situation but also their hopes, dreams and direction in life. In this way, we address all of the energetic bodies and Chakra Balancing so that healing can touch the whole person. Providing a pathway that will reflect a person’s healing and life direction is truly exciting.

Personal PowerPersonal Power Remedies, using sacred plant medicine, are always met with childlike glee for us at the Plant Medicine Shop. They take us outside of the norm, into the magical realm of infinite possibilities. Formulation is the act of matching a person’s spirit essence with those plants that are useful for the challenges and obstacles that are being faced. These challenges and obstacles are from both inside and outside of oneself . Clients are asked to look to the future (1-5yrs) as well so that the formulation can take into account life direction. Sometimes, Chakra Balancing is needed in these formulas as well as forward-movement energetics in plants such as Mullein.

What is Personal Power anyway? Basically, it’s being able to influence and change your own life events but how do you get to that point? There are a number of healing points to be considered before Personal Power really takes root:-

  • Having enough self-worth to stand up to what you want
  • Letting go of fear and engaging in life events
  • Letting go of attachments that seek a specific outcome
  • Knowing you deserve the best and make sure to ask for what you need
  • Create strong boundaries, especially with family

Personal Power is felt on the inside when you know you can’t and don’t have to please everyone all the time; when you are able to speak your truth; when you respect and honour those around you; when you love and respect yourself.

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Mystical Mullein

Mullein as physical and vibrational medicine

 

It is -5C outside. The snow is about 8 inches deep and the perennial herbs from last year’s bounty are shielding themselves from the winds and chill. I stay at the back door looking out, scanning the frozen landscape when suddenly, I burst into laughter. Standing tall, in the middle of all the snow is the lone Mullein I planted last year in hopes of getting a strong vibrant patch in the one area where the sun touches first in the spring. Well, aren’t you determined, saucy Mullein!!

Mullein standing tall Mullein (Verbascum thapsis) an excellent medicinal plant, was one of the first herbs to touch me in all my senses. It always gave the impression of being strong-willed, determined, and able to withstand great adversity. After an initial introduction and brief teaching whenever I looked, there it was. When I look back at that time, it seems as though I only had eyes for Mullein.

Over the years, formal and informal herbal education has given me a new appreciation for Mullein. This amazing plant has been used in many vibrational medicines from the Plant Medicine Shop. I learnt from Rosemary Gladstar that Mullein oil is excellent for earaches and so using the energy of the Sun, I made enough to use at home. From Jim MacDonald, I read about the benefits of Mullein (roots of the first year rosette) for lower back pain, the excellent respiratory benefits from Dominion Herbal College, and the best writing I can find on Mullein from Kiva Rose.   Her description of Mullein not only touches on the physical benefits but the spiritual energetics as well. Most importantly, Mullein itself has given information about its unique healing capabilities and each time I connect to the spirit of Mullein, it takes my breath away. It is also the only herb that always makes me laugh.

The Spirit of Mullein tells me that it is comforting and nurturing. It teaches confidence and an increased sense of self-worth. It relays a strong physical presence. I have used Mullein as vibrational medicimullein2scaledne with great success in my remedies.

I am reminded, as I look out at the remaining visual of what’s left of the sole herb I planted that it has spread its seeds all around. Hopefully, not too far so that I can search the ground for the signs of first-year growth; dig up a few the following spring before they’re ready to stand tall once again. With joy, I sense that my education with this plant will continue.

Janis/SilverOwl

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Making Plant Medicine with your Inner Child

Winter is a great time to go within (connecting with your inner child) and take time to flush out new ideas and new formulas that will launch a new year for making plant medicine. It is always fun and mysterious to see which plants show up. In meditation, and in my Sacred spot, I call to the plants that are ready to be used for medicine. Sometimes, it’s academic knowledge that allows the choice but, at other times, it’s the magical knowledge and not just from ancient texts or old beliefs. I find this magical knowledge can come from within. Trying to remember what it was like as a child to wonder the gardens/meadows/woods is where the magical knowledge comes from for me. It’s not just about the length of time spent in a garden or the amount of variety; it’s the awesomeness and abundance I felt at the beauty of the growth.

Inner ChildWhat I remember are the mud pies, daisy chains and the oh-so-lush blackberry bush; one for the bowl and one for me. We dug in the dirt, picked flowers and berries and talked and sang to the animals that arrived. We were happy outside; at one with the garden and all its happenings. Little did I know about the medicinal benefits of all the herbs, flowers & trees in the garden.

Today, I don’t make mud pies but do try to get my hands dirty when looking for specific Plants used for medicine. If I’m wondering the garden for ideas or even on my computer, my ‘little girl’ stays with me to keep the freshness and beauty alive during the search. When things get a little stressful, she reminds me to take a step back and see the beauty of what’s around me; and of course, the beauty of the creations from the Plant World.

Although many plants/herbs are sleeping and gathering energy for their appearance in the Spring, my ‘little girl’ and I are dreaming of new formulations for 2016. We find the Spirit energy of the Plants alive and well during this quiet time.

What better way to make Plant medicine than with the wisdom and knowledge of an adult and the innocence and spontaneity of a child.

 

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