Wild Humboldt Tea Recipe

Among the old-growth Redwoods of Northern California, my herbal journey began in the late 1990s. Having thousands of acres of ancient forests to explore, my primal self was awakened.  

I wanted to live off the land, eat wild foods, wildcraft herbs and make all my medicine. And so I did that blissfully for years. Then a desire to become an acupuncturist came over me and I completed a four-year master’s degree and passed the licensing boards. I opened a clinic and worked closely with my community to provide much-needed healthcare. Seeing clients and helping people heal themselves is the most rewarding experience, but I knew I had to share the wisdom of herbalism and Chinese medicine with as many people as I could.

And so I left the comfort and shelter of the wilderness to live in Denver, with views of towering downtown buildings instead of majestic forests and Mother Ocean. It is now easier to teach at conferences throughout the US and abroad, and I have the opportunity to work at Colorado School of TCM and Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism.( Not to mention I now actually have consistent, high-speed internet which was hard to get anywhere I lived in Humboldt County, Cali.).

I know it was the right decision because everything has fallen nicely into place since I moved here over a year ago. This year’s teaching schedule is filling in nicely and I have the time to both see a few clients and continue to work on my herb book, “Plant Songs.”

This week I’ll leave you with the tea that made me fall in love with herbalism and our plant allies. It is a delicious and nourishing tea that will leave you feeling more than satisfied. Stay wild!

Recipe: Wild Humboldt Tea (wildcrafted with reverence)

Ingredients:

Handful of fresh nettles

Handful of fresh violet leaves and flower

Handful of fresh plantain leaves

Small amount of fresh dandelion leaves

Small amount of fresh prunella flowers

Instructions:

  1. Infuse all ingredients in the sun in a glass quart jar. 
  2. Infuse one to four hours or overnight on a full or new moon if desired.  
  3. Strain herbs out or be like us herbalists and strain through your teeth or just eat the herbs too.

When energy flows, wellness grows.

Herbal Pioneers Interview with Ethan Russo

img-dr-ethanI am honored to begin my Herbal Pioneers Interview Series with an interview with neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher, Ethan Russo. Ethan has worked with cannabis extensively since the 1990’s and continues to pioneer the research on the human endocannabinoid system. He is the former Medical Advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals and Past-President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. What I like most about Ethan’s work is his ability to scrutinize down to an individual constituent all the while understanding the importance of the synergy of whole plant medicine.

This became a two-part series as I like to keep my blog posts short and I encourage readers to take the time to follow the links Dr. Russo provides for more in depth answers to the questions.  In the first interview Ethan describes how he began researching cannabinoids, debunks the terms “sativa” and “indica” and explains how those descriptions have nothing to do with the effects attributed to them. (Thank You-this has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time!)  In next week’s blog we discuss terpenoids, the future of cannabis laboratory testing and how the FDA is responding to the labeling of CBD products.

JB:  Ethan, thank you for participating in this interview and for your diligence in spreading the truth about cannabis.

Aa young scientist, what inspired you to research the constituents present in the Cannabis plant?

ER: After several years in practice, I came to believe that I was giving increasingly toxic pharmaceuticals to my patients with less and less progress. Some of my patients were employing adjunctive cannabis to treat their illnesses even back in the 1980s, especially multiple sclerosis. This caused me to look back to my teenage interest in medicinal herbs. I then embarked on a mission to find herbal agents to treat migraine more effectively. The greatest abundance of herbal agents is found in the Amazon, so I took Spanish classes once a week for a year and a half before two trips to Peru. The second took place in 1995, when I spend the bulk of a three-month sabbatical working with the Machiguenga tribe in Parque Nacional del Manù. They had a great abundance of psychoactive agents and migraine treatments. Shortly after my return, I became embroiled in the clinical cannabis controversy. Over the next several years, I experienced continual federal roadblocks to that research and began writing, editing and lecturing on the subject, and eventually, in 2003, it became the primary focus of my work.

JB: Have you published (or will publish) anything on your work with the Machiguenga tribe? 

ER: Yes. I wrote an article on the Machiguenga tribe’s diet and its pertinence to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It is accessible here: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/machiguenga-peruvian-hunter-gatherers/

JB: What is your opinion on the debate on whether there are two different species Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica (more if you include ruderalis or afghanica) or if all cannabis plants are Cannabis sativa

ER: I have personally been on every side of this issue. The botanical taxonomists will never agree. To be sure, the way that the terms “sativa” and “indica” are applied in common parlance is absolute nonsense. What consumers need to know is the actual chemical composition of the cannabis, both cannabinoids and terpenoids, in an accurate fashion by a reliable laboratory to have a better idea of its likely effects. I recently was interviewed on this subject at greater length, which is available here: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/can.2015.29003.ebr

Read next weeks 420 blog post with the second part of the interview and celebratory post!

To see Ethan Russo speak in person, attend the Medicinal Cannabis Conference in Arcata, California April 23-24, 2016  Medicinal Cannabis Conference Website

For more information on Ethan’s work and our endocannabinoid system, check out researchgate.net/profile/ethan_russo/contributions and phytecs.com

When energy flows, wellness grows

Abundant Blessings,

cropped-jessicabakerpic.png

Jessica

 

Transforming Darkness into Light

Are you feeling it?  I Am.  

Today’s New Moon and my first morning back home after an epic trip to Baja has me feeling a little introspective.  The fiery nature of Aries is once again awakening something deep within me, while the darkness of the moon has me wanting to retreat deep inside.  I will find the delicate balance between action and nurturing myself.  I hope you do too.

This is normally when my husband and I would be preparing our land for the coming year, but since we are now in Denver I don’t quite know what to do with this spring energy that is beginning to burst inside me.  I am using this energy for internal growth, for growth of my relationships and to nurture myself as I continue to write Plant Songs.

What do you feel growing inside of you?  What is keeping you from tending to this part of yourself?  I encourage you to nurture it as lovingly as you would any other garden.  When we truly allow ourselves to blossom, this is the greatest gift we can give.  I love you and want you to know that I accept the unique gifts you have to offer.  The world is waiting for you!

I’m very excited for next weeks blog post, which Will be the interview with Ethan Russo!  It may become a series of interviews as our conversation led to follow up questions that I think readers would be interested in.  To familiarize yourself with Ethan before the interview, check out his latest research at phytecs

I leave you with a tea inspired by today’s New Moon.

New Moon Bloom

2-3 tbsp Milky oats

2-3 tbsp Spearmint leaf

2-3 tbsp Tulsi basil

2-3 tbsp Rose buds

1 tsp Cinnamon or Cardamom

Infuse herbs in a quart of water under the guidance of the moon.  Strain after 1-2 hours and drink slowly.  Allow the energy of the moon to infuse you with all the love, strength or courage you need to go into the deepest places within yourself.

When energy flows, wellness grows

Abundant Blessings,

cropped-jessicabakerpic.png

Jessica

Finding My Balance

As I write this from Los Barriles, a small ex-pat town in the desert surrounding the Sea of Cortez, I sit blissfully listening to the wind whip down the valley into the sea. The cowbells from the wandering goats and cattle remind me of temple bells and they instill a sense of calmness in me.

There is so much life in this desert and yet I can only identify a couple of plants since I don’t spend much time in this environment. There is something that looks very similar to ocotillo, but has more branches. A local told me the name and I can’t remember. A plant ID book is on the list for today.

The desert has always made me feel anxious. The last couple of years I’ve been trying to get over this aversion to it and coming to where the desert meets the sea is the perfect opportunity to have the best of both worlds!

Today I encourage you once again to go outside of your comfort zone.

Do something that scares the shit out of you! Then think back to why you had that fear. What does it feel like to know you have looked it in the eye?…and lived to tell about it!

Off to the beach, so I leave you with a tea that will help open you up to the infinite possibilities of your life (it’s very simple and very bitter)

Spirit of the Mushroom Tea

IMG_33661-3 small Reishi Mushrooms (Ling Zhi)

1 quart of water

Decoct the reishi mushroom in the quart of water for 20 minutes-2 hours.   Or boil the water and cover the mushrooms, let sit out under the moon.   Strain tea and drink ½ cup. Sit quietly and listen to the wisdom that awakens within you.

When energy flows, wellness grows

Abundant Blessings,

cropped-jessicabakerpic.png

Jessica

Finding My Tribe

Yesterday was sunny and 70 and today we wake up to a blizzard here in Colorado.  It feels like a little shock to my system but I know the hot, long days of Summer aren’t too far away.  I’ll take this opportunity to enjoy one of the last days of Winter weather to stay cuddled up inside with a big mug of hot tea.

Tribeca+Film+Festival+2011+Portrait+Studio+cZmeFy2dMKAlToday I also woke to the news that Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest passed away. RIP Phife Dawg!  I was immediately taken back to 18 years old and driving around with my best friend, Amber.  Always a reminder that life is impermanent.  A motivation to continue on my path.  An inspiration to finish my book, Plant Songs.  Winning a self-publishing contract has re-inforced my thought that it is time for the wisdom of the plants to be shared with more people.  My  life has been so enriched by plant medicine and it is an honor to share their stories with you.

Today and Everyday, Live your Dream!  You are supported in your decision to listen to your higher self and fulfill your desires.  If you need reminding,  Contact me via Facebook and I’ll encourage you! 

Also, in living my dream I will be asking some of my favorite people (scientists, herbalists, musicians) a few questions and will share their answers on my blog.  In the line up will be Ethan Russo, cannabis researcher and scientist.  Stay tuned for his expertise on the chemistry of Cannabis!

To find out more about my teaching schedule Go to my website to see where I’ll be!

I leave you with a heart-opening, life inspiring tea that will help you hear your inner guidance (and actually believe it!)

Try & Be You Tea (thanks Phife)

2-3 tsp Violet flowers & leaves

2-3 tsp Rose petals

1-2 tsp Rosemary

1-2 tsp Raw Cacao nibs

pinch of ground Cinnamon

Infuse (steep) all ingredients in a quart of boiled water for 15 minutes.  Strain and drink 1/2 cup throughout the day as you need inspiration and guidance.  Allow yourself a minute to listen to what it is you really want/need out of your life.  What do you want to accomplish before you die?  What difference do you want to make?  Write down steps to Accomplish it! 

When energy flows, wellness grows

Abundant Blessings,

cropped-jessicabakerpic.png

Jessica

 

Unexpected Teachings

I am still processing what I experienced on Trinidad State Beach Monday afternoon.  I was on my way to Grandmother Rock to sit at the base of her feet and tell her about the women’s conference I attended in Pacific Grove and all of the breakthroughs I experienced.  I stopped short and just stood watching the waves and being one with the rocks, ocean and sand.  I began to walk back to my car when I thought, “I need a teacher, both a business coach and a spiritual mentor.”  

Just then I looked to my left and saw a fin swimming close to shore.  “Dolphin energy”, I thought.  Then I realized the fin was too close, caught in the tide and about to be up on the shore.  I looked down the beach and noticed a couple of other people saw it too.  For a moment, we stared helpless.  Then I flagged down a couple of women and asked them to call the wildlife rescue team.  I was slowly walking towards it, trying to connect with it, when a couple of young women approached us.  The energy of this majestic ocean mammal had us both in awe and afraid.  We knew we had to do our best to help him back into the sea.  I looked into the dolphin’s eye and I know he was aware that we were there to help any way we could.  My thoughts and his were linked as he pleaded, “Push me back in.”  I noticed an undertow area on the beach and with the help of three other women and one big burly guy we could pick him up enough to guide him back into the surf with the tide.

I don’t know if the harbor porpoise (as the marine biologist who came later told us) is still alive.  He was disoriented, scarred and had one bloody eye.  When I left the beach that day he was at the base of rocky Trinidad Head, struggling in the waves but safely in the water, not on the shore, not beached and helpless.  I went back the next morning and thankfully didn’t see his carcass on the sand.  My hope is that he made it farther out to sea and is swimming happily with his pod.  Or that he died out in the ocean, food for the sharks and fishes, as is meant to be.

Since this blog is supposed to be on herbs, I will leave you with a tea inspired by my morning beach walk the day after the dolphin taught me a simple, yet profound lesson.  To always do what I am capable of doing.  All I can do is what I am able and willing to do.  All I can do is my best.  On Monday, I did what I could to help the dolphin and now I have to release the outcome and leave the rest up to Nature.  Today I encourage you to do what you can to make a difference in your life or someone else’s.  Today, do your best and be okay with knowing the outcome is out of your control.  Today, love yourself enough to know you are enough, regardless of what you have accomplished. 

Because I Can Make a Difference TeaIMG_4306

2-3 tsp Horsetail (unopened)

2-3 tsp Plantain leaves

2-3 tsp Violet leaves and flowers

If possible, pick at sunrise and infuse as a sun tea for 1-2 hours.  Invoke the energy of the sun and the wisdom of the moon into the tea and ask for the courage and strength to do all you can do to help yourself and others.  Drink as needed for clarity and inspiration.

When energy flows, wellness grows.

Abundant Blessings,

cropped-jessicabakerpic.png

Jessica

 

 

Trust In Your Infinite Power

When the universe guides your hand and heart and you are bold enough to achieve something so far out of most people’s reach, you have to follow through with it. To be alive in this body, at this time, is truly an honor.

I believe we are born to live our lives to the absolute fullest. It is our duty to live, dance, love, travel, laugh, cry and get angry for all of those that no longer have the chance to — or never had the chance to. I’ve been saying it, and I will say it again — It’s time to take some bold action in your life. Take that painting class, write that book or call that guy. We are here to live!

Maybe it’s the abundance of nature here in Northern California making me feel more vibrant and alive. Maybe it’s the endless opportunities I see before me; divinely placed to remind me I am on my right path. Whatever it is, I am cherishing every moment. I am filled to the brim with renewed energy and joy and am spreading it out to you.

I’m also spreading my Believe to Succeed: Innovative Strategies for Business Success webinar:

If you are interested in where I’ll be teaching or if want to check out my webinars for CEUs.

Today, I’m not leaving you with a recipe. Make whatever tea encourages you to do something out of your comfort zone. Go deep within and listen to what plants are calling out to you. The plants that are calling me are the new spring blossoms of violet and the tender shoots of plantain and horsetail.  

Today I’ll make a nice sun tea to celebrate the new growth of the coming spring.

When energy flows, wellness grows…

Recipe: Wild Humboldt Tea + Upcoming Events

Among the old-growth Redwoods of Northern California, my herbal journey began in the late 1990s. Having thousands of acres of ancient forests to explore, my primal self was awakened.  

I wanted to live off the land, eat wild foods, wildcraft herbs and make all my medicine. And so I did that blissfully for years. Then a desire to become an acupuncturist came over me and I completed a four-year master’s degree and passed the licensing boards. I opened a clinic and worked closely with my community to provide much-needed healthcare. Seeing clients and helping people heal themselves is the most rewarding experience, but I knew I had to share the wisdom of herbalism and Chinese medicine with as many people as I could.

And so I left the comfort and shelter of the wilderness to live in Denver, with views of towering downtown buildings instead of majestic forests and Mother Ocean. It is now easier to teach at conferences throughout the US and abroad, and I have the opportunity to work at Colorado School of TCM and Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism.( Not to mention I now actually have consistent, high-speed internet which was hard to get anywhere I lived in Humboldt County, Cali.).

I know it was the right decision because everything has fallen nicely into place since I moved here over a year ago. This year’s teaching schedule is filling in nicely and I have the time to both see a few clients and continue to work on my herb book, “Plant Songs.”

Here are my 2016 teaching dates through June:

Saturday, March 5, 2016 – Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Roots of Chinese Medicine

Festival of Herbs Series

Dandelion Herbal Center, Kneeland, CA

Dandelion Herbal Center website

Saturday, April 16, 2016
Adaptogens
Hosted by the Rocky Mountain Unit of the American Herb Society
1710 S. Grant Street, 
Denver, CO

Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30, 2016
Classes to be Announced
Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, Laytonville, CA

Thursday, June 16 to Sunday, June 19, 2016
Clinical Aromatherapy; Soul Revival: Conscious Evolution
Mountain West Herb Conference, Breckenridge, CO

My website is constantly being updated with new classes, webinars and blog posts.

This week I’ll leave you with the tea that made me fall in love with herbalism and our plant allies. It is a delicious and nourishing tea that will leave you feeling more than satisfied. Stay wild!

Recipe: Wild Humboldt Tea (wildcrafted with reverence)

Ingredients:
Handful of fresh nettles
Handful of fresh violet leaves and flower
Handful of fresh plantain leaves
Small amount of fresh dandelion leaves
Small amount of fresh prunella flowers

Instructions:

  1. Infuse all ingredients in the sun in a glass quart jar. 
  2. Infuse one to four hours or overnight on a full or new moon if desired.  
  3. Strain herbs out or be like us herbalists and strain through your teeth or just eat the herbs too.

When energy flows, wellness grows.

Fall & the Art of Letting Go

As I watch the leaves turn color, go limp and let go I am reminded of how beautiful it is to release what no longer serves me.

Our own process of going inward and releasing our fear, anger, and grief is like the autumn leaves. It requires a transformation, a surrender, and a liberation.

The past couple of days were hugely emotional for me as I let go of anger towards others and myself, owning my responsibility of forgiveness and motivated by all the energy I now have for myself. Holding on to blame and hatred has prevented me from being grounded and present on my own path.  I spent too much time giving my energy to negative thoughts about other people instead of focusing my positive intentions on what I am achieving.

Allow the courageous act of change that autumn inspires, help you let go of your inhibitions, excuses, judgements and anything else that is holding you back from moving forward in your life.

This autumn, eat root vegetables like dandelion and burdock to deeply nourish and ground you.  Drink teas of mint (spearmint, lemon balm) and sage (white, clary, or pineapple) to clear the respiratory tract. Begin taking a spoonful of elderberry syrup daily to boost yourself for the upcoming winter. Allow yourself 10 minutes a day to meditate, stretch, walk in the forest, sit on a bench in the park. Do nothing and just breathe. Revel in the fact that you are alive, you are here, you are you.

When energy flows, wellness grows.

Photo: Ian Sane

Explore the World & Enjoy this Recipe for One World Tea

I have just returned from a family vacation in Alaska and British Columbia. Since I was born in Alaska, I have been wanting to get back there for years.

Helpful hint: if possible, go to Alaska! The scenery is magnificent, the locals are friendly and the native art is a must see. A highlight for me was seeing glaciers in person.

As my Dad said, “See the glaciers while you can.” Unfortunately, that’s a true statement. I saw the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau that according to a local, had receded greatly since he moved there in 1990. He was actually surprised at how much it had receded since he had been there just a couple years ago.  

It is imperative that we recognize, accept and change much about the way we live so we have the biodiversity for future generations to enjoy. And not just enjoy, but to have the ability to thrive as we have done.On a positive note, we have the resources to create a truly sustainable world if we really wanted to.  I am encouraged that we will come back to our senses and treat Mother Earth (and ourselves) with the love and respect we need to heal the planet.

While there, I found some local huckleberry tea, handmade herbal salves and ethically harvested chaga tincture. I was so happy to take home some herbal treasures to add to my medicine kit. I saw “Devil’s Club” for the first time growing wild by the side of the road from Anchorage to Whittier. Traveling and learning about different cultures feels me with such joy! Seeing them use the same herbs as I do always remind me that we are surrounded by our plant allies and they are an integral part of our survival and evolution. I encourage you to get to know some of the plants growing in your environment. You’ll be surprised how many are commonly used around the world.

With our global community in mind, I share with you a simple tea recipe inspired by some of my favorite cultures:

One World Tea

Ingredients:
1-2 tbsp hawthorn leaf & flower
1-2 tbsp Shan Zha (hawthorn berry)
1-2 tsp Chen Pi (aged tangerine peel)
1-2 tsp linden flower
1-2 tsp fennel seed
1-2 tsp cardamom seed
1-2 tsp rose petals

Instructions:

  1. Simmer the Chen Pi, Shan Aha, cardamom and fennel for 10 to 15 minutes in a quart of water.
  2. Turn off the heat and steep the rest of the herbs for 10 to 15 minutes.  
  3. Strain herbs.  

Drink throughout the day and give thanks for the opportunity to celebrate the culture and from around the world. As always, use organic and ethically harvested herbs

When energy flows, wellness grows.

Photo: San.ounette