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Changes for Dandelion Revolution Around the Bend

Things have changed in the past three years for me when it comes to herbalism. This blog used to be a place where I shared what I was learning about specific herbs, concoctions I made and concepts I was exploring. My learning experiences have changed, and this blog is no longer the same learning tool it was in the past.

At the same time, I am completely immersed in Chinese herbalism and medicine. I learned more about anatomy in 9 months than I ever knew about Western herbalism in 8 years of study. We were continuously tested on single Chinese herbs, every other week for a year, and then a half a year of formulas. I had to memorize information about plants I had never seen growing or tasted, which was really weird. But it was also really, really neat. There is something exhilarating about reading formulas from a book originally written in 220 AD. Forcing myself to learn about herbs in an intellectual way by going to class, reading textbooks and classics was a valuable experience which informs my herbal practice as much as plant spirit medicine and folk herbalism do.

Another big transition based on my studies of Chinese medicine is the use of base formulas and the flavors, nature and Organs entered of the individual herbs for formulations. When I look at the formulas I have written, like for my Etsy shop, I feel a sense of conflict. I don’t see the world in the same way anymore; I don’t see dandelion as a liver herb, but as expression of certain energies present in our planet. Formulation have become much more strategic, where in the past I was more experiential and experimental. I went with my gut, with what was available, with what I was craving, with what the herbals said. Now I follow my treatment principles and diagnostic information as well.

I have to interject that I there is no sense of ‘better’ or ‘worse’ withing myself and my journey of herbalism. I don’t think it is better to have done it one way or another. It just is. Whatever personal influences or interpretation surround me are simply an expression of where I am in that moment, like a snapshot of my psyche.

Which brings me here, to this moment.

Herbalism is a daily practice which takes many forms. I have expanded my personal definition of herbalism to be how I engage with and practice plant medicine to promote the innate healing potential present in an entity. I used to think it happened in the body, but now I see that it happens in many areas of life. Whenever I engage with plants, I am practicing plant medicine. In the past, I didn’t think that was valid, but what do I know? I wrote a paper called “If Plant Medicine Worked Doctors Would Use It” and thought flowers were stupid.

I am so blessed to be in over my head with Chinese medicine. This term I have 4 shifts at school directly treating patients (yes, I said patients, not clients) with acupuncture, herbs, shiatsu, diet therapy, supplements, yoga, lifestyle recommendations, ect… Herbalism surrounds me, but it is not all that I do anymore. These aspects were not available for me to work with in the past. There are about 100 different products I make and sell in my Etsy shop. That is a form of herbalism, too, albeit in a really broad, generic sense. But then there’s a floral designer in me, a gardener, a house plant collector, a neighborhood wanderer, a photographer, a decorator, a friend which are all expressions of the herbalist. These faces have always been there and most likely will always be.

Where will this leave Dandelion Revolution? What will be become? What will I talk about and share? I used to do a lot of monographs, for example, but my brain is just not cut out for that right now. Plant therapy is more my style.

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Left Over Flower Props

After a photo shoot for my Etsy shop, I am left with all these beautiful botanical bits – flowers, leaves, and petals galore. They are too lovely to compost, but not cut out for a bouquet in a vase because the stems are trimmed. I threw them all in a wooden box as I was tidying up and left them there.

It was like a horizontal, flat arrangement. They sat on my printer next to my computer, so I could smell it when I was working. When else do I get to have flowers on my printer?

A week later, it was dried and browned, but the roses still smelled yummy. The flowers had shrunk, but the beauty was still evident. Delicate, old-fashioned, reminiscent.

 

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A Classic Chinese Herbal Formula: Gui Zhi Tang – Cinnamon Twig Decoction

Even a Chinese medicine student knows Gui Zhi Tang is an really important formula. Gui Zhi is Chinese for Cinnamon Twig; Tang means ‘soup’ or ‘decoction’. It is named so because of the chief (representative) herb of the formula, Gui Zhi/Cinnamon. This formula is simple yet complex, and demonstrats the elegance of Chinese herbal formulation. I am not attempting to disseminate the theory behind this formula or its combinations, which I do not feel prepared to do as I am still exploring it as we speak, but instead will share a bit of my experience with this awesomely tasty and effective tea. Read More

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Midnight in the Garden ~ Treasury

'midnight in the garden' by AuldNua


Woodland Hair accessories, Flower Headband, Secret Garden Headpiece, Floral Multicolor statement Fascinator, Hair accessory women - SchickiMickis
Hawaiian Jasmine, Patchouli and Amber Natural Solid Perfume - Cimbalom Honey Pot - Organic Exotic Pikake Fragrance - IlluminatedPerfume
8x12 After - f2images
Flower Portrait, 5x5 Photography,  Offering, Dreamy Pink Purple Flowers Print - ellemoss
No. 9903 - kariherer
Still Life of Flowers and Skull and Wasp Nest 10x10 - lucysnowephotography
Surreal Garden - 11 X 8 colorful fine-art print - StoriedEye
April Flowers Tapestry nature photograph - 11 x 14  yellow brown white pink dark background - GardenCapture
Iris High Waisted Geometric Color Block Panties Undergear Made to Order - undertheroot
flora print - britthermann
Ivory Roses with Black Tulle - RobinMacKillop
Map Paper Flowers- Wedding Bouquet-Fall- Home Decor- Party-Rose-Centerpiece-Paper Wedding Bouquet-Recycled - WeaselBees
Vintage Gold Umbrella Wedding Prop 50s to 60s Crystal Inlay Handle From Nowvintage on Etsy - nowvintage
Body Scrub, Elemi & Rose, trial size - lebotanicals
Badger's Dream- Print of original watercolor painting - amberalexander

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

I just wanted to share a a bit of inspiration from my main channel for {Western} herbalism at the moment, Etsy.
Joellen from the shop AuldNua curated this botanically inspired treasury. So many treasuries are made every day, hundreds? Maybe thousands? This one really stood out as conveying the dark, elegant beauty of a nighttime garden. Treasuries are a collection of items sold by the artisans, craft supply and vintage sellers.