As the leaves begin to fall and the energy of the plants go from making seeds to concentrating in the roots I think about some of the herbs that are harvested this time of year. When you harvest the roots, the plants aren’t able to grow back the following year so it is important to use other parts of the plant if possible. If the plant takes years to flower or grow, don’t take the roots at all if there is another plant you can use instead. If you can, get your root medicine from organic farmers instead of from wild crafted sources. It is up to us to ensure enough medicinal plants for future generations.
Some plants, like burdock and dandelion, grow easily and abundantly and are highly medicinal so they are a great choice if you want to make root medicine. Burdock and dandelion roots are great in a decoction (simmer roots in water for 15-20 minutes), but I also like to infuse them in olive oil to soothe red irritated skin. External use of herbs can be just as important as internal use, remember your skin is your largest organ!
Soothe Skin Oil
Herbs for oil: dandelion and burdock roots, add comfrey root and leaves, calendula flowers, rose buds, plantain leaves, nettles, lemon balm, and/or myrrh gum
Use dried or wilted leaves, flowers, and roots to avoid the oil from molding.
Fill a clean dry jar 3/4 full of plant material and cover completely with olive, avocado or apricot kernel oil. Make sure the oil is at least 1″ higher than the plant material. Stir mixture and tightly close the lid on the jar.
Place jar in a sunny, warm windowsill and shake at least once a day.
After 2-3 weeks strain the herbs from the oil using a cheesecloth or thin muslin. Squeeze way more than you think you should. You’ll be surprised at how much oil is left in the plants once you start straining.
Pour oil into clean, dry bottles and store in a cool dark place. The oil should last a year. Add Vitamin E to prolong the shelf life of the oil.
Use infused oil on red, irritated skin or add to bath water for a relaxing soothing bath.
For the love of plants,
when energy flows, wellness grows