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.

Reflections on the Mountain West Herb Gathering

IMG_0316I cannot say enough positive things about the Mountain West Herb Gathering.  As with any conference there are bound to be unexpected hiccups but my experience as a teacher and attendant was that it was not only a well organized event but extremely heartfelt as well. I’m already getting excited about next year’s gathering.  Thank you Amanda Klenner for putting on such a welcoming event!  Check out her monthly herbal publication Natural Herbal Living

As someone new to Colorado, I am also happy to have met more local herbalists!  Every class I attended was wonderful, but my favorite had to be Healing the Spirit: Using Plants, Song and Prayer in Modern Herbal Practice, with Shelley Torgove and Monticue Connally.  I am glad they are both in Denver so I can learn more from them.  Deep healing occurred in the space created in their class.  There is nothing like singing with the plants!

IMG_0338My favorite part was to see (hear, taste and feel) new and old plant allies.  The mountain yarrow and horsetail looks so delicate and tender compared to our North Coast varieties.  I have found the mountain plants to be smaller, but packed full of vital energy due to their ability to thrive in such harsh conditions.  And the conifers!  I got to taste and smell the differences in some of the pine, spruce and fir.  The medicine in these mountain plants are strong and give us the gift of resiliency.  So needed at this time.

I leave you with a simple tasty tea that can be easily harvested from many places around the world.  Just make sure the trees and flowers haven’t been sprayed or are close to a heavily trafficked area.

Conifer Rose Tea IMG_0181

1/2 cup needles of your favorite evergreen (pine, spruce, cedar, cypress, fir, redwood)

1/4 cup wild roses

1/4 cup wild blackberry or raspberry flowers

Make a sun infusion with needles and flowers for 2-3 hours.  Strain out herbs and drink deeply.

When energy flows, wellness grows

Happy Summer and Abundant Blessings,

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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,

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Jessica

Finding my Roots & For the Love of Life Spritzer (Recipe)

For the last couple of days, I have been incredibly energized and deeply motivated by my path of sharing the wisdom of the plants. Teaching at the Dandelion Herbal Center last weekend really got me in touch with my herbal roots and reminded me of how grateful I am for everything herbalism has done for me.

When I moved to Humboldt in 1997, I felt my life was totally out of control and I knew I was on the brink of some breakthrough but I was frustrated, scared and unable to handle all the transition that was happening in my life. My parents were getting divorced, I was partying a bit too hard, school was unfulfilling and I hated the south. A move was in order I just didn’t know where to go. Thankfully my boyfriend (now husband) wanted to move too and suggested Northern California. After searching between Humboldt County and Monterey, we decided on Humboldt out of how everything seemed to fall into place when we started actively looking for a place to live.

That’s when you know the universe/intuition is steering you in the right direction. I was being led to this magical place where herbalism is a normal conversation and so is the acceptance of fairies and nature beings in our ancient forests. When you are being led toward a person, a place, a conversation, acknowledge the urge and act on it. Life is too short to ignore all of the signs that are reminding you of why you are here.

Maybe it’s the coming of spring that has me all inspired and invigorated. I’m trying to reign it in a little and enjoy the yin energy of the last couple weeks of winter. It’s a little hard with the Women’s Entrepreneurial Summit is this weekend in Pacific Grove. I’ll tell you about it next week.

I’ll leave you with a forest-inspired spritzer inspired by my love of the Redwood Coast.

For the Love of Life Spritzer

Ingredients:
3-6 drops redwood, fir or any conifer essential oil
1-3 drops rose (or rose geranium)
1-2 drops vetiver
1-ounce spring water (I’m using water from the creek on my property)
1 ounce rose hydrosol

Instructions:

  1. Put water and hydrosol in a 2-ounce glass bottle with a spritzer top.  
  2. Add essential oils (you can add the Vetiver or conifer first). I prefer to add the base note first but others add the top note first).  
  3. Shake and let sit for a few minutes before you check if you need to add more oils.  

Spritz yourself as needed for motivation, inspiration or love.

Photo: Silvia Maggi

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.

Happy Birthday to Me — The Power of 40

February has always been my favorite month, mainly because it’s my birthday month. On February 4th, I will turn 40. Four has always been my power number so I’m excited to have the energy of four all year. It is also a little overwhelming. Forty has been an unconscious milestone in my life since I was a little girl, when I thought, “Where will I be at 40?”  

I am happy to say much of vision has come true. In my young mind, I was an entrepreneur, maybe a writer and I would live a life of adventure and travel — all of which was true! I didn’t know herbalism and healing would play such a pivotal role in creating who I was to become. I love the path I have chosen for myself. I honor myself for having the courage to continue the journey. I welcome you all to celebrate who you really are and strive to live your authentic self.

Today we celebrate Imbolc/Candlemas and honor the goddess Brigit, the Celtic goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft (alchemy). She is associated with the elements of fire and water and represents the return of the warmth of the coming spring at the end of a long, cold winter. Honor Brigit with a candle that you burn with intention while you write a poem that honors your own spiritual journey.

In parts of Africa and around the world, the Yoruba Orisha (Yemaya) is the mother goddess of the ocean and all of life. Honored in various ways in diverse cultures, she is associated with all water, the Moon and protects those out at sea. Honor Goddess Ocean and do your part to ensure plenty of clean water for the future. As Richard Branson recently tweeted, “2016 has to be about building resources & regenerating the #ocean — nothing less will do.”

As you patiently wait for warmer weather and longer days, stay as present as you can to relish the last month or so of the restorative nature of winter. I’ll leave you with a tea that honors the duality of dark and light, yin and yang, and water and fire. As always, use organic ingredients when possible.  And always know where and how your herbs are sourced. It is up to us herbalists to educate about true sustainability of modern herbalism.

Sol & Sea Tea

Ingredients:
2-3 tbsp dried calendula flowers (represents the sun, Brigid)
2-3 tbsp dried horsetail (represents water, Yemaya)
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon peel (brings warmth back to the ming men fire)
Very small amount of honey (to taste, nourishes yin)

I can’t end without honoring, Sid Vicious. Today is the anniversary of his death (RIP Sid). We have all lost loved ones to addiction and violence. Enjoy every moment of your life. You are here. Now. It’s an honor to be alive.

Letting Go of Procrastination & A Recipe for Warmth & Love Tisane (Herbal Tea)

Let’s be real — we all procrastinate. I procrastinate on an almost daily basis.

Unlike some people, I avoid the more pleasurable activities like meditation, yoga, qi gong, and writing. I put emphasis on the least pleasurable things, like checking my work Facebook page, cleaning the house or looking for other distractions.

When I do take the time for self-cultivation like I did today by attending a yoga class from one of my favorite instructors, my true self awakens, and the intensity I carry within me begins to soften. I have more clarity and I remember why I have been given life. I am here to remind us all to breathe, love yourself, love nature and love others.

I encourage you to stop procrastinating when it comes to taking time out for yourself. Spend at least 10 minutes a day just for you. Engage in something that nurtures you. Care for yourself in healthy ways and  your bad “habits” will eventually fade away. The more consistent you are with your self-time, the more time you have for everything else. The times I have been most conscious of my self-cultivation, my food choices, my lifestyle — are the times I have not only felt the best physically, but I am also the happiest. I feel completely supported and loved and I have had the energy to bring my dreams into reality.

It will soon be a Fire Monkey year and I envision it as the time for us to learn to love ourselves unconditionally. It is the time for us to truly honor and love the person we are inside. I know, it’s harder than it sounds when you decide to begin the journey deep within. For me, there is a fierceness that is rooted in fear, misunderstanding and even hatred. I have to work consciously to be the kind, loving person that I know I am here to be. You have the capacity to do it too. It takes courage to cultivate the time.

I leave you with a delicious herbal tea that will continue to bring love and nourishment to you on these cold winter nights.

Always use organic ingredients.

Warmth & Love Tisane

Ingredients:
2 tbsp Hawthorn berries (crushed)
2 tbsp Hawthorn leaf & flower
1″ piece of vanilla bean
1-2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1-2 tsp Cardamom powder

Instructions:

  1. Simmer Hawthorn berries and vanilla bean in 1-quart water for 15-20 minutes.  
  2. Turn off heat and add all other ingredients.  
  3. Steep for another 10-15 minutes.  
  4. Strain out herbs.  
  5. Add honey if desired.

Now cozy up on the couch or in your favorite chair with your tea, a book, and a blanket.  Sip and allow love to envelop your entire being.

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

Hello Friends!

I am happy to announce that I am finally starting my weekly blog.  It has been a long time coming and now I am happy to share fun herbal recipes, health and wellness tips and easy to understand information on herbs and their medicinal uses. Please share any information with your friends and family.  Let’s work together and share openly with each other.

If there are topics or recipes you would like me to include, please let me know!  This is a dynamic blog, written for all of you.

To start it off, here’s a tried and true recipe for a delicious energy boosting, yin nourishing tea.  Usually I would say drink warm or at room temperature, but if you’re in a hot dry environment like I am in Denver, I’m saying it’s okay to add a couple of ice cubes (rose infused are extra yummy!)

Summer Lovin’ Tea

3 tbsp fresh rose buds (1 tbsp dried rose buds)

3 tbsp fresh lemon balm

1 tbsp dried milky oats

1 tbsp hawthorn flowers & leaves

Steep in 8 ounces hot water for 10-15 minutes.  Strain and Enjoy!

Blessings,

Jessica