All posts tagged: california poppy


Nervines On My Mind

Who doesn’t love nervines? You know, that relaxing category of herbs, so effective at soothing the mind, emotions and body. Some herbs like lavender and chamomile invoke tranquility through their pleasing scents and flavor. Others like valerian, blue vervain or wood betony may not taste as good, but work well on releasing headaches or pent-up tension in the musculo-skeletal arena; or they may do the trick on liberating worrying thoughts and emotions from those worn to a frazzle, like skullcap, ashwaganda or holy basil. As much as I love them, nervines are not the end-all-be-all for perfect health, but they can be a good place to start when you don’t know what else to do, or are too stressed to focus on figuring out what you need to do, but you know you have to do SOMEthing. Yes, that is where they come in for me more often than not (hello, chamomile!). Botanicals are multi-dimensional; a nervine can be a digestive tonic, circulatory tonic, glactagouge, cardio tonic and more. Some are warming, cooling, drying, moistening, …


Flower Essences from the Garden

Summer has past its peak, but the flowers are still blooming. Some, like the California poppies, are blooming for a second time. Now is the perfect time to see what is available for homemade flower essences. Making flower essences is surprisingly simple; the brunt of the “work” is done by the plant that has flowered and the sun that distills the essence. Midmorning on a sunny day, start the process. Sit next to the plants you will be gathering, to offer gratitude and to focus your intent. Fill a small, plain glass bowl with filtered, fresh water. With large leaves acting to cover your palm of one hand and fingertips of the other, pick flower-heads just below the calyx and float them on the surface of the water, covering it completely. James Green suggests to eliminate the human vibration as much as possible; do not touching the water and do not cast a shadow on the mother essence (127). Use a different bowl for each essence. Let the essence sit for 3-4 hours to absorb …