Sunday, May 6, 2012

Playing with plants

I took an Herbcraft e-class from Latisha at Herb Mother.  Ever since, I've been meeting plants in my yard and getting to know what they do.  My first meeting was with lemon balm who I now love deeply and dearly...

She nursed me through a cold, and has just been a general blessing.  I know we're friends because the more I take, the bigger and healthier the plant looks!  Of course, it is spring, her favorite time of year. 

I have dried some, and made some into a lemon balm glycerite for my little who often tells me her tummy hurts.  Of course... I gave her the lemon balm glycerite and she made a nasty face!  LOL!  As you can see above, I have also collected and dried nettle (and made a tincture for my allergies) and mugwort.  And I made a rosemary tea mixed with vinegar to clean my counters.

I also found that I have yellow dock in my back yard... which is pretty fabulous... as I occasionally suffer from... ahem... digestive irregularity.  I hear this guy will help... although the more yellow/orange roots that can be harvested in fall are reputed to really carry the medicine, I decided to experiment with a tincture.  For this one I used Everclear as my preservative.  When I went to the liquor store asking for Everclear the guy at the counter asked if I was going to drink or cook with the giant bottle of incredibly strong alcohol.  I told him I was using it as a preservative for a tincture.  He asked what a tincture was.... and by the time I left I was pretty sure he thought I was crazier than if I'd just told him I was going to drink it by myself.

Here are a few of my plant crafts... the mandala was an art assignment from my HerbCraft class...

...and the smudge stick wrapping was inspired by something I saw on Etsy by Sage Goddess.  She makes fantastic looking smudge sticks... and I figured I could do something similar myself.  Yeah.  They weren't quite as easy as they look... although I learned a few important lessons about tying them.  Mine are loose and likely to fall apart as I use them... but they were fun to make.

So fun, actually, that I made one and gave it to a friend!

I'm enjoying my new relationship with the plants in my yard.  It makes my yard feel more personal, and I'm more in tune with it.  Next, I want to dry some plantain... I did make an infusion with oil awhile back... then added some beeswax and peppermint essential oil to make a balm for bug bites.  I have more projects on my list too... so I'll share more when it's done.

Despite feeling quiet lately, I guess I've been busier than I thought!