Big News! Plant Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine is now available for purchase through Balboa Press!
Two years ago (almost to the date) I was told I won a self-publishing contract with Balboa Pressthrough a Writer’s Workshop I attended through Hay House Publishing. I am thrilled to announce that my book, Plant Songs is officially released!
Amazon has not updated the imagery in the book (I brightened the photos), so don’t order there YET!
If you want to check out my bookPlant Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine, click here!
And please tell me what you think once you’ve read it!!
The 1st of March! What?! Yep, time is cruising by and spring will be here before you know it. It’s a little overwhelming as I plan my year and already seem like my free time is fleeting! When I feel the apprehension rise, I remember to breathe and stay present in the moment. I refuse to fall into the trap of ‘there’s not enough time’ when in reality time is relevant, and when I slow down in my thoughts and actions, I don’t feel the rush of time passing.
Along with my Milky Oats (Avena sativa)and Nettle (Urtica dioica) tea, I have been wearing my aromatic blends that include essential oils of Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanoides)and Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) which both relax the nervous system and Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Pine (Pinus sylvestris), that helps deepen the breath and strengthen your resilience to change. My plant allies are crucial to navigate life in this fast-paced world! I think you will find them helpful for you as well.
I urge you to find what plants call to you. To deepen your connection to nature, find a class or conference near you. Herb Rally is a great resource that lists hundreds of classes across the U.S. Check them out and start your journey with plants!
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…..!!!!
This week in the Yucatan has reiterated how much I want to live in Mexico! I am in love with Mayan culture, the Caribbean ocean, and of course the warm sunny days!
What I also love is the hot cacao every morning with my brunch! No other culture may revere cacao as much as the Mayans. To honor their tradition of hot cacao I share my version with you.
Mayan (inspired) Hot Chocolate
1/4 cup raw Cacao nibs (melted)
1 tbsp Cinnamon powder
1 tsp Cayenne powder
1 tsp Vanilla bean extract
1 tsp Honey
Boil water in a tea kettle. Melt cacao nibs in a double boiler, stirring frequently. Add in cinnamon and cayenne powders. Once cacao is melted and powders stirred in, take off heat. Stir in vanilla bean extract and honey. Add 1/4 cup of melted cacao mixture to 1/4-1/2 cup of hot water. Stir well. Sip while hot. Honor the divinity within the cacao and within yourself.
The last few few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I’ve traveled from California to Colorado, back to California and now to the Yucatan Peninsula. I guess I am feeling the stirrings of spring more than the deep retreat of winter.
With all of this moving around I have been trying to stay healthy, balanced, and sane. I’m doing my best- despite mega viruses, crowds, and societal drama. Besides my daily yoga/qi gong practice, drinking tons of water, and washing my hands like a maniac, I really give credit to my plant allies for playing a huge role.
I don’t leave home without at least one of my aromatic essence blends. My favorite one right now is a blend of Night Blooming Jasmine and White Sage essential oils in a carrier of Calendula infused Apricot kernel Oil. Divine! It keeps me clear and grounded- much needed in all my transitions.
What oils or herbs do you use to help you in times of change? If you aren’t sure, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and see what plant first comes to mind. More than likely, this is who you need in your life. Trust your intuition. You know what is best for you.
I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I believe we need more love for the planet and less material/Hallmark love that encourages us to buy plastic crap and slave chocolate for those we care about. It could be my bitterness from childhood rejection or it could be that I see the destructive nature of our consumer holidays.
Okay- before I get bah-humbugged right out of here, I’ll share a recipe for those that want to celebrate Love today and all days.
Spreading the Love Spritzer
1 ounce Spring Water
2 drops Rose Geranium essential oil
1 drop Vetiver essential oil
1 drop Myrrh essential oil
Add spring water and essential oils to a glass bottle with a spritzer top. Shake well. Spritz yourself (and others) as needed to bring more love and compassion into your life. (I’m going to spray some right now!)
It hardly seems like winter this week in Northern California. Instead of our steady fog and rain, we have had sunshine and temperatures in the mid 60’s. No complaints here as I soak up as much sun as I can!
It is getting brighter in the mornings and the days are gradually increasing, making the warmer days of spring more of a reality. I am still taking my daily tonics as people are still getting sick around me and I do my best to avoid going down like that. Especially since I leave for a yoga retreat in Tulum in 10 days!
I have been loving the Tulsi Rose tea from Humboldt Herbals. I worked at Humboldt Herbals many moons ago when they first opened in Old Town Eureka 20 years ago! Time flies, and us with it! Check out all the herbs, teas, essential oils, skin care, and other goodies they have to offer. You can also hear my interview with the proprietress of Humboldt Herbals, Julie Caldwell.
The combination of Rose Petals, Tulsi Bail, Red Raspberry leaf, and Green Cardamom is mildly spicy and so delicious. Sometimes I add a pinch of Elderberry and Star Anise to keep my immune system even stronger. Either with little honey or unsweetened, this blend keeps me healthy and happy.
May you also enjoy a nourishing cup of herbal tea today!
February is my birthday month! Yes I take a whole month- it is a short one after all!
Since it’s the first day of my month long celebration, I want to start it off with a contest for a chance to win a copy of my (very) soon to be released book, Plant Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine! To be entered into the drawing, sign up for my newsletter! The drawing will be on Chinese New Year, February 16, 2018!
Today’s recipe is one of from the first chapter, Magnolia: Breathe Life In
Breathe in Life Spritzer
6 drops magnolia flower essential oil
3 drops rose otto essential oil
1 drop vetiver essential oil
Mix the above essential oils into 2 ounces of carrier oil (olive, apricot kernel) and put into a 2-ounce spritzer bottle. Shake well and spritz yourself throughout the day. This is great for depression, to uplift the emotions and help transform and absorb the beauty of life.
Make sure you sign up to enter the drawing to receive your free copy of my upcoming book, Plants Songs: Reflections on Herbal Medicine!
I have been in heaven the last few days. The medicine of fog and rain, mixed with a little sunshine and rainbows has been just what I needed. Although the grey dreary days of North Coast winters can contribute to seasonal depression, it is a great reprieve from the dry, cold winds of Colorado. My spirit needs moisture!
The weather is maritime and mild and many of favorite plants are thriving and saying hello, so I have been enjoying the walks around our land. We are only about a mile from the Pacific ocean and as I wander through the redwoods, I can hear the waves crashing while I harvest self-heal, yarrow, violet, and plantain leaves for my tea. The ocean being the Water element incarnate, I am even more nourished by this winter ritual.
Nature heals. If you aren’t sure about that, go take a walk among trees, sit at the edge of a lake or river, or gaze at the mountains in the distance. Take three deep breaths and notice how you feel. Are you more relaxed, content, or at peace? If not, take a few more deep breaths and reflect on what you are grateful for. Give thanks for every breath you are blessed to take.