The Herb Walk Podcast Interview with Rachael Carlevale of Ganjasana

I’m super stoked about this podcast episode because it is with a successful stoner sister, Rachael Carlevale. Rachael is the founder of Ganjasana, a ganja infused training that incorporates permaculture, plant medicine, and yoga. It is truly a unique concept for a yoga teacher training.

I don’t want to give the episode away, but as a teaser I’ll tell you she has studied in Peru with Chris Kilham (Medicine Hunter) through UMASS. Rachael won a grant from Cosmic Sister to go back to Peru years later and she an activist for all plant medicine. Oh, and she loves good ganja.

We had a great time recording this interview. I hope you enjoy listening to it! Remember to Subscribe to The Herb Walk Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher!

With love,

Jessica

ps. My visions for 2019 blog post will be released this weekend. It’s kind of a heavy one, y’all….

Bringing Home the Good Vibes

I just returned from the Yucatan Peninsula where I spent a week at a yoga retreat at Papaya Playa Project with two of my favorite teachers, Hannah Muse-Lerner and Ben Good Vibes. It was a perfect week of cultivating peace- daily meditation, asana, and basking in the sun with friends. Pretty much the life I want all of the time!

I forgot to bring my Mayan plant book, which was a bummer at first. As an herbalist, I want to know as much about my plant kin as I can. Then I realized I wasn’t going to leave the beach and I recognized the coconut trees around me, so all was good!

If you haven’t explored the Yucatan I urge you to do so. Especially before it gets too built up! Tulum has changed tremendously over the last 7 years and I couldn’t believe how busier (and more expensive) it was from just last year. It is truly a magical place and I hope it can stay rootsy amongst all the “progress.” My favorite place on the peninsula so far is Coba, an ancient Mayan city, where you can still climb the pyramid, Nohoch Mul. I have had many enlightening moments from the top of Nohoch Mul! One of the most intense being on Mayan New Year in 2012 (I write about it in the Psilocybin chapter of Plant Songs).

Speaking of Plant Songs, it is so close to being released! I was not satisfied with how the color illustrations translated into greyscale, so I had the images lightened and the new copy looks great! Once I have the okay from the publishers that the new version is available I will let you know. Any day now…..!!!!

I can’t wait to share it with you.

For the love of plants,

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Jessica

when energy flows, wellness grows

Rising Up to the Occasion

Being in Denver has been a drastic change from my rural lifestyle of northern California. The opportunity to step away from daily clinical work and the stresses of running a thriving practice have given me time to write, formulate and come back into myself as Jessica, instead of the professional self of “Dr.” Baker. It has been an insightful transition, as I’ve reflected on my own insecurities surrounding all the aspects of who I am and why I am drawn to working with plants and people.

I have missed the one-on-one counseling of my clients as well as the community vibe of group acupuncture. That is why I’m so happy to announce that I will be seeing clients at Urban Sanctuary. I’m offering private sessions of Western and Chinese herbal consultations, Aromatherapy sessions,and Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.

Beginning in March I will be hosting one Community Acupuncture sessions a month! Urban Sanctuary is a perfect location,. Being a yoga studio, there is plenty of space to lay down on yoga mats, breathe and allow your body to heal. I will also be able to hold classes on herbalism, Chinese medicine and anything else I’m inspired to share. The intention of my work is to help empower others to heal themselves so that our larger community will benefit in ways that can be hard to imagine.

I’m really stoked to be a part of Urban Sanctuary, a boutique wellness studio that offers yoga, meditation, workshops and
traditional health care services in the 5 Points community. The founder, Ali Duncan, created the sanctuary as a way to encourage and educate people on the powers of preventative health and self-healing. Learn more about  Urban Sanctuary and all they have to offer.

Call me at 707.499.8587  to schedule an acupuncture session or herbal/aromatherapy consultation! I’m honored to be part of healing and uniting our community.

With love,

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Jessica

5 Companies for Conscious Shoppers

The consumerism of the holiday season really bothers me. I mean Really bothers me. Too much importance is put on buying stuff that people don’t want or need and for those that can’t afford to buy for their children, much less their friends or co-workers the stress is unbearable and unnecessary. Although I make as many gifts as I can (stay tuned for my free e-book with lots of fun holiday recipes), I also like to support businesses that really care about people and the planet.

Here’s the list of my top 5 companies to support this season:

Carry The Future stands in solidarity with refugee families worldwide by personally providing humanitarian aid to ease their journey while creating meaningful opportunities for global volunteers to be a collective force of action and hope. They donate baby carriers to refugees that are forced to carry their children for countless miles.

United Plant Savers mission is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. Become a member and receive at-risk plants to propagate in your area.

The Holistic Cannabis Academy is a cannabis education, training, and business-building platform for holistic-minded practitioners about medical marijuana and its integration with other healing modalities. Give the gift of education and empowerment.

 Together California blends an insatiable lust for color, fun, and forward thinking, Lily and Benedict want to encourage fashion lovers and the fashion industry itself to be their best while still looking and feeling gorgeous. Out of their mutual respect for humanity and planet earth, Together is committed to provide clothing that is equally high-fashion and high-­tech. All products are created with the safest and most sustainable manufacturing techniques available without sacrificing style; these methods are reflective of the thoughtfulness and positive change that our current cultural and physical climate demands. Their designs and styles are unmatched, as is their commitment to sustainable fashion.

Samadhi Yoga is my favorite yoga studio in Denver. For those that live elsewhere, choose a locally owned studio in your town. Your friends will love you for it!

Photo credit: Website of Carry The Future

Ritualistic Intentions

My heart is full after attending the 1st annual Red Earth Herbal Gathering in Longmont, CO.  Inspired by the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, Red Earth honors womens ritualwomen and the cycles we experience throughout our lives.  Always present is the reverence for our medicinal plants that guide and support us along our way.  Astrid Grove and Leela Whitcomb-Hewitt brought a much needed gathering to Colorado and I thank them greatly for it!

One reminder was the importance of ritual in my life.  Some rituals have become so habitual and mundane that I barely recognize the fact that I’m making an herbal tea or aromatherapy blend.  I am reminded to slow down, root deep and expand.  It is in this space, called the WuJi in Chinese medicine, that I have extra sensory experiences and bring the wholeness of the universe into whatever I am doing.  It is in this space that I see reality clearly and tap into what it is I need for the day.

The last few days I have noticed a substantial shift in the way I approach life.  My morning tea ritual is much more intentional and I can feel the difference it has made.  In my practice of yoga and qi gong, I am more aware of subtleties I have been too distracted to notice.  When I diffuse an essential oil or decide which oils to blend I hear the voices of the plants, elated that I am once again listening with the oldest parts of myself.

I encourage you to take a few extra minutes each day to create simple ritual in your life.  If you are the type of person that needs sensory tools to help creating your sacred space, I suggest Frankincense, Myrrh and Amber resins ground up and burnt as an incense, or if you don’t want the smoke to fill your room, you can diffuse the essential oils to elicit feelings of relaxation, expansiveness and meditation.

With Love,

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Jessica

When energy flows, wellness grows

Recipe: Herbal Cream for Irritated Skin

I have used this cream for a variety of complaints, from eczema to dermatitis from an allergen. Safe for babies, yet strong enough to heal chronic skin conditions, this cream will amaze you!  

Healing Skin Cream

Ingredients:
Create a 2 ounce Plantain and Prunella infused apricot kernel Oil
Add 1-3 tbsp Cocoa Butter (less will be more like a lotion, more will be thicker)

This alone will drastically improve the condition of your skin, but you might as well give it a longer shelf life and get the added benefits of essential oils!

While mixture is still warm add 1-4 drops Helichrysum, 3 drops Carrot seed, 2 drops Myrrh to repair skin and prevent further scarring

As always, use organic and sustainably harvested herbs and oils.

Aromatherapy Blend to Help You Focus Your Intentions

I was so excited about getting a tattoo yesterday that I completely forgot to post a recipe!  With that reminder that I can get very scattered and not as productive as I should be I share with you a blend I used for years when I ran my clinic in Arcata, CA.

Not only does it smell delicious, it works great to invigorate and relax you you, helping you have more focused intention throughout the day.

Find Your Focus Mist

5 drops Bergamot Essential Oil (relaxes the mind, regulates qi (vital life energy) allowing for deeper insight and assimilation)

3 drops Rosemary Essential Oil (invigorates the blood, promotes circulation to the head and extremities, one of our wisdom herbs)

3 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil (reduces dampness that may lead to foggy headedness, cloudy thinking)

Dilute essential oils in 1 ounce of spring water and put in a glass spritzer bottle.  Mist yourself throughout the day when you feel a lack of energy or concentration.

As always, use organic and sustainably harvested products.

Have a great weekend!

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Jessica

The Wilderness is Calling You

Whew! The summer has been a whirlwind so far. I haven’t even had the opportunity to hike or camp as much as I’d like, and with our shorter Colorado summers I am getting a little antsy.

That’s why I’m so exited to camp near Gunning this weekend and attend a western energetics class with Jim McDonald at Rooted Apothecary. The wilderness is calling my name and I am responding! I plan on a hot springs diversion and some herbal wildcrafting along the way  (only tiny amounts of course!)mt states foraging book

Pretty much wherever you are, our herbal allies are all around.  You just have to be able to identify them properly.  As someone fairly new to the Rocky Mountains, I find Briana Wiles, Mountain States Foraging, to be a good resource.  The pictures are beautiful and the descriptions of the plants are eloquently written.

If you want to learn more about herbalism, join us at the American Herbalists Guild Annual Symposium in Seven Springs, PA  from September 29-October 3.  I’ll be teaching two classes, one on Aromatherapy & Infectious Disease and the other Redefining Trauma: An Herbal Approach to Healing Deep Wounds.  I hope to see you there!

With Love,

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Jessica

The Spirit of Angelica

I wanted to share one of my favorite essential oil blends with you.  I created this recipe sagemeditateafter a surreal experience with burning the root of Angelica archangelica.  I had a good sized root that I harvested years ago and found it so beautiful I just couldn’t bring myself to use it.  I carried the root in a jar with me and showed it to students in some of my classes.  One night while camping I decided to burn part of the root.  As I lit the dried root on fire, I inhaled the smoke and began to feel deeply relaxed.  Within seconds the essence of spirits (angels, beings- call them what you will) were all around me.  Their gentleness soothed me as I began to remember all the loved ones I have lost. In the smoke from the smoldering root I began to see images of my grandmothers, my friends and others that have passed on.  I cried a long cathartic cry as the spirits cradled and whispered words of love into me.  When the smoke and spirits disappeared, I felt profoundly relieved from some of the grief I had been holding deep inside.

Although this recipe may not give you an experience like the one I had with the Angelica root, I have found this Aromatherapy blend to be super helpful for me during yoga, meditation or any time I need a reminder that I am always held.  I hope you find it as yummy as I do.

Spirit of the Sages

1 ounce organic carrier oil, I use Apricot kernel oil (infused with rose, calendula or any flower you love)

3 drops White Sage essential oil (purifying, cleansing, relaxes the nervous system)

2 drops Clary Sage essential oil (uplifting, clarifies intentions)

1 drop Palo Santo (purifying, brings you into meditative state)

1 drop Angelica archangelica essential oil (regulating, bridge to spirit)

Drop essential oils into carrier oil and mix gently.  I like to put the oil in a roll-on bottle for easy application to rub on temples, forehead, chest or anywhere desired.  Place a drop or two of the oil on your yoga mat to inhale the fragrance whenever you’re in a forward bend or child’s pose.  

It is my intention that with each breath you will find more peace, balance and love.

Forever Grateful,

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Jessica

ps. the image of the Angelica archangelica and bumblebee is from a blog post from The Herb Gardener ((check out their post on growing angelica and other herbs)