Hal's Hat

Hal's Hat

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

big june, summer solstice, medicine making time....

I'm making Motherwort tincture this week (harvested on June 20). I'm making Yarrow tincture today or thereabouts. I'm cutting all the flowering comfrey for both infusions and infused oils. I'd love to make St. JOhn's Wort oil but have no medicinal SJW! Bah.

Motherwort: she is calming and easing on the nerves. Great for PMS, menstrual issues (PMDD, PMS both) of bleeding too much and postpartum/natal emotional and physical issues. She is really, really bitter as a tea. So tincture allows the energy/ medicinal stuff to come through without the volume of really bitter infusion!
Harvest while in bloom, like the picture. A bit pokey. Look for the pointed leaves. Likes partial sun and will be in the green areas; in the alley, by the pathways.
*Note: made tincture this weekend. I couldn't get much motherwort, just enough for a pint jar. This will make 8 oz of heavy tincture though. If it generates any interest from others, I will make more!

Yarrow: this is one my best buddies. I love this plant. It is native, beautiful in gardens and wonderful on the body. Helps nasty cuts stop bleeding immediately when applied as the crushed herb. (as in, "I cut myself!", grab some yarrow from the garden, roll it in your hand and press on your cut) Wonderful as a tincture because it fights serious flu viruses and brings my fever down quickly. I use the bloosom and leaves but leave the root. Interesting that many traditional herbalists call for digging the entire plant out.....I haven't ever done this for Yarrow. I also will be making salve (from infused oil) from Yarrow this year. I know that Comfrey (coming up next) and yarrow work so well together. With a beeswax and coconut oil base... should be a big skin eruption healer. (Also, the prettily colored yarrow is for garden use only, not for medicine. The white is the wild, medicinal stuff.)

Comfrey: You can spot comfrey by its big hairy, dark green leaves. They are wide and nearly prickly. They produce a big flower stalk (much like Borage, from the same family) with purple flowers, and comfrey doesn't take no for an answer! My dad had lots planted or migrate to areas of the yard that he frequently mowed over. And they just pop right back up again, invigorated. 
I harvest only the leaves and flowers, no roots. Years ago, scientists "proved" in a lab that the root had so much Allantoin in it that it was dangerous. That's mostly been disproven now. the herb is very healing to skin and I make infused oil from it, so it stays topic/ external anyway. But many other herbalists use it in infusions internally. I'm not there yet. (I use only the garden variety of comfrey with purple flowers. Yellow flowered is a different kind. Look online for more information.)
Also, I am adding to the mix with infused rosemary oil and calendula oil, when mine choose to bloom.