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

Supporting Community

These days it is way to easy to disregard our feelings as some of us are overly sensitive about Everything! The news and social media have infiltrated all of our lives- and we are having trouble processing it all.

Some of us get to take a break from the real (and alternate) news, but inevitably it is going to affect us all. Turning off your computer, going on a walk in nature, playing music- all are super important to keep us sane and balanced with all the sensory overload.

What is even more important is helping out your community in whatever way that works for you. If it’s donating your time to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen- that’s awesome! If it’s hosting free or donation based yoga, acupuncture, herbal classes- that’s great!

You know what may be even better. Actually looking at your neighbors in the eye, saying hello, asking if they want to have a cup of tea, helping them bring in their groceries….the list goes on and on.

If you don’t have the energy to be active in your community, be a good neighbor and engage with those that live around you. It only takes a couple of minutes to let them know you are here if they need you.

With love,

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Jessica

Community Offerings Revised

I got so excited about putting classes out there that I didn’t realize I had a scheduling conflict with the studio at Urban Sanctuary. I’m not able to host a 4-week series at this time, but I can offer an Intro to Herbalism on February 28 and two Community Herbalism classes on March 16 & March 30. A longer herbal series will be offered later this year!

Life is about going with the flow, and because of this shift I am able to offer another Community Acupuncture on March 17. The transformations that occur when we come together with the intention of healing our traumas is beautifully profound. I am honored to be able to offer this once again.

All offerings held at Urban Sanctuary 2745 Welton Street, Denver CO

Tuesday Feb 28, 2017

6pm-7:30pm 

Intro to Herbalism 

This donation-based class is offered to give you a brief overview of western and Chinese herbal energetics, aromatherapy, and plant spirit medicine. I’m interested in knowing what the community wants to learn about so I can offer classes according to your needs.

Thursday March 16 & Thursday March 30, 2017

7pm-8:30pm

Community Herbalismlove-yourself

These classes are meant to inspire you to take your health into your own hands. You will be introduced to Western & Chinese herbal energetics, aromatherapy, and plant spirit medicine. The second class will build on the first class. You are welcome to come to one or both. Herbal teas, essential oils and elixirs will be shared.

Please come with an open mind and an open heart. Drop-in available if the class doesn’t fill. Class is limited to 15 people.  $15/class

Friday March 10 & Friday March 17, 2017

12pm-2pm

Community Acupuncture

$10-20 suggested donation (no one will be turned away due to lack of funds)

Your session will be in the yoga room. There may be up to 8 people receiving acupuncture at the same time. You will be lying on a mat, supported with blankets and bolsters. Auricular (ear) acupuncture will be provided and body points may be used in some cases. The intention of this community acupuncture is to help heal the collective trauma we have all experienced. Walk-in only

If you’d like to attend the herbal classes, contact me at 707.499.8587 or jbakerlac@gmail.com

I hope to see you at one or all of these events. Please share the word to others in the Denver/Boulder area!

With love,

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Jessica

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