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

Getting What You Want & the Tea of Tropical Bliss

We all have those moments that redefine us. Those moments that push us out of our comfort zone and bring us to an awakening, an epiphany that seems so obvious we can’t believe it didn’t dawn on us before. I’ve had several of these the last 20 years and it is those moments that have gotten me to where I am today.

Where am I? I’m in a sweet little casita overlooking magnificent Banderas Bay. I’ve been talking about restructuring my life to work while I travel and this is the year that I move that dream into reality. This blog post is the manifestation of that dream. So are my online CEU classes that are now approved and soon to be up on my website for sale.  

It is an illusion that we can’t have the life we desire. It is an illusion that kids, work, and bills bind us to a physical location. It is an illusion that we are meant to work to pay bills and then die with regrets.  The truth comes to light when we have the courage to stop running and to just sit with ourselves.  

Ask yourself what you really want out of life. If it is the corporate job, house on the hill and new car, that is awesome. If it is to drift with the wind on a sailboat in the Caribbean, that is awesome, too. I say, there’s no judgement, no remorse.

I was recently thinking why I am writing a book on herbalism, why I write this blog, why I teach classes on herbalism, aromatherapy, and Chinese medicine. The answer is simple. It makes me happy to write. It makes me happy to teach others about our herbal allies. It brings me great joy to be a messenger of the plants. And that is why we are here folks — to be a beacon of inspiration to all those that cross our path. We are not here to tell them “my way is the right way.” We are here to witness others fully live their path and encourage them along the way.

My hope for you is what I hope for myself — that I am able to feel the beauty and grace in all my adversity and come out the other side blissful and content and that I can be a grounding loving force in the chaos that surrounds us and that I can help others see the greatness in themselves and in our communal home we call earth.

I’ll leave you with a tea inspired by the sunrise and sunset over the Pacific. As always, use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Recipe: Tea of Tropical Bliss

Ingredients:
2-3 tbsp hibiscus flowers
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1-3 tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Boil fresh ginger in two cups of water for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and add Hibiscus flowers. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Strain herbs and add lime juice to the tea.
  3. Add honey to taste if desired.  

This tea is delicious warm or iced (normally I don’t say drink teas iced unless it’s an extremely warm day, you are in a tropical paradise, or I’m talking about southern sweet tea).

Love yourself enough to fully live this life.  Even if you think you will have another one, that is no reason not to be present with this one.

When energy flows, wellness grows.