Hal's Hat

Hal's Hat

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Herbal round up

New stuff on the herbal front....

Dandelion tincture.  We've moved through that crazy full moon and then the dip into waning moon time. Astrologically (whoa, I'm going there. It's an herb blog. I can do it if I want.), Mercury went retrograde and the communication has been dogged and sluggish. I suppose I ought to have tinctured dandelion root at the full moon. But I was staring at the moon. And I was clumsily trying to play ball with all of the super intense Aries energy. I mean.... really? I can't be the only one who was terribly overwhelmed by the intensity of it! But now I'm making dandelion tincture in the new moon, digging by moonlight. Allowing the dark roots to be dark and help me during my hibernation this winter. 

Ayurvedic physicality and changing temperature. I've been studying the three ayurvedic physicalities. Pitta, Vata, Kapha.... clearly I'm very fiery and dry and hot and a Pitta. I'm seeking to work with this in mind as I work on my herbal remedies. As all herbs don't work the same way for all bodies, it's important to register what your physiology is and what your issue/ affliction is. This allows me to identify that I frequently feel burned out/ burned up and dried out. What works to nourish and calm my system frequently is nettle. I also have need of demulcent herbs- herbs with a mucilagenous quality. These nourishes my throat and chest (comfrey, slippery elm, licorice root). The Ayurvedic schema is assisting me to identify and experiment here! 


I am a big believer in all things rosemary. Not rosemary all the time, mind you. But I believe that a "simple" or "culinary" herb can have as many vital effects as big-time medicinal herb. This article outlines great ways to use it= as a tea, daily, to improve circulation and brain fog. And this also reiterates my use of it externally as a tissue healer. Oh rosemary oil on my legs! It feels so good.... 

Important herbals this month-- I was given a gift of an ounce or so of Osha root. This is big medicine, bear medicine traditionally, is only wildcrafted and grows above 6,000 ft. Osha root is a bitter, a stimulant of the immune system and aids "winter wellness". Indicated for coughs, to make them productive. So I would say that it's good for a dry chest to get the mucus out. It is commonly used in syrup for coughs and respiratory infections. It is incredibly pungent and spicy smelling. Traditionally, it was also used as a burning smoke for contagious diseases. It contains oxytocin and is contraindicated during pregnancy or nursing. 

Herbally, I'm considering white willow bark. Always good to have some on hand for pain relief. Probably, many of the folks who turn to OTC pain meds don't realize they can have serious liver side effects. I do. I still take them on occasion. However, if we can more naturally ease pain with wildcrafted willow bark, isn't that cool? Please read extensively about this if you want to do it yourself. I am not providing instructions because you need to have a positive botanical plant ID before you gather anything. And I don't feel comfortable with giving you that here- it might be construed as encouragement to gather whatever! As most

of you know, if you gather anything in the wild, make sure you feel good about where it's planted. If you aren't sure if they spray, don't pick/ dig/ harvest there. If you aren't 110% sure of the plant ID, do not do it. Ask a botanist/ herbalist for help. Ask me. Send a picture! If you are gathering a plant that is over harvested/ endangered, you are part of the problem. Please be conscientious and responsible. What I'm exhorting you to do is tune in to your inner voice and look into the areas that are calling to you. I can identify a white willow. It's calling to me! I'll let you know how it goes.