All posts tagged: Medicine Making


Violet Elixir – Immortalizing Spring

Tales of a mythical violet liqueur Two years ago, it happened to me. I became determined that I would make violet liqueur. My friend Susan told me about an incredible violet liqueur she found while traveling in Greece. With her experience as a bartender and world traveler, one could not take her praise of the violet liqueur lightly. I had made a few liqueurs before, some at Sage mountain in the herbal classes. Irish Creme, creamy coco damiana blends. They were delicious and surprisingly easy. I had seen Theresa Broadwine make liqueurs at Medicines from the Earth. I had even tried my hand at making dandelion wine. The idea of capturing the essence of violets was too much to shake. I wondered if I could possibly make one myself, if I could ever find that many violets to pick.


Medicine Making – Lunar Infusions

If solar infusions utilize flavor to accentuate medicinal qualities, then lunar infusions (or moon teas) add an element of ritual and seasonality. Ritual can take place in many ways, but in all cases, ritual involves conscious intention. Lunar infusions naturally add an element of dreaming, introspection, quietness to the tea. Lunar infusions are definitely more yin and receptive, and the qualities can be influenced by the phase of the moon, too. I can’t say the words “lunar” and “herbs” in the same sentance and not think of the Artemisias! Mugwort, wormwood, sweet Annie, tarragon, sagebrush, southernwood… those silver-y, upward pointing trident-like leaves seem very moon-like. Not to mention the whole being named after Artemis thing. That calls for another post down the road! My favorite early summer moon tea for dreaming is quite simple: a few mugwort leaves a few violet leaves and flowers a sprig of California poppy Find a still spot out of doors to steep your tea. Set your intention. Add the herbs to a glass jar after sundown, fill with water. …


Vinegar – Medicine from the Pantry

Even herbalists can get into a rut. We don’t see little bottles of vinegar extractions lining shelves at health food/herb stores, so we generally don’t make them at home, either. Vinegar, being made from and still containing plant matter, naturally decomposes over time. Vinegar tinctures last about 2 years, while alcohol preparations last almost indefinitely. As James Green reiterates, when we are making herbs at home, we generally do so in small batches so there is no particular reason we should not employ vinegar tinctures on a more regular basis. For years, vinegar was the official menstrum in mainstream pharmacy. Then in the early 1900’s it was replaced by ethyl alcohol. At that time, medicine was quite heroic, and using the strongest, biggest and baddest (because they were sometimes toxic) medicines and treatments was the norm. It was all but goodbye to food-based menstrums like vinegar, alcohol, honey and sugar, and oils as medical knowledge was becoming possessed by the “official” medical community. Green reminds us that when herbal medicine experienced a resurgence in the …