Tag Archives: herbal

Delicious Detox Soup!

This soup is wonderful because:
a) it’s so easy and quick to make (20-25 min.)

b) it’s full of vitamins and minerals Image

c) it’s versatile and fun to experiment with

I make this soup on days when I feel I need a boost of vitamins and minerals and a simple, cleansing meal to help move any stagnant energy, especially after days of heavy (and not so healthful) meals.

The basics ingredients:

3 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1-2 daikon radishes, peeled and grated

1 onion, sliced

1 tablespoon of dried nettle leaf (see below for alternatives)

2-3 cups of stock or burdock root decoction (see below)

Directions: heat up some sesame oil (or any oil of your choice) in a soup pot. Add all the vegetables in together, along with the nettle. Stir the veggies well and lower the flame to medium/low. Allow the veggies to soften, about 10 min. Add the stock or burdock root decoction, bring to a boil, then simmer for another 12 minutes. The soup is ready when all the veggies are soft, and the soup has a deep orange color.

Alternatives/Extras:

Instead of dried nettle, you could add parsley, thyme, or other herbs on hand. Nettle leaf is awesome in the soup because it adds so many vitamins and minerals and also helps the liver do its thing.

Instead of daikon, you could use fresh burdock root.

Instead of stock (veggie, chicken, beef) you can use a Burdock Root decoction. I usually make mine with 2 tablespoons of dried burdock root in 2 cups of water. I boil it and let it simmer until the water turns a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Then I add this to the soup, either with some extra water or stock. I even put some pieces of the burdock root in the soup, as it is edible and delicious. The burdock root is excellent because it purifies the blood and also helps the liver function. It’s extra great for skin problems.

Ideas for other additions to the soup are:

1 tablespoon of seaweed (I use wakame)

1-2 garlic cloves

Fresh grated ginger to taste

Fresh scallions, thinly sliced

Hope you can try this soup out, and that it brings you strength and nourishment.

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Summer of Herbs: Shades of Green Facial Toner

Of all the treasures and wonders of the summer season, for me, the most revered are the colorful, aromatic, fresh herbs and flowers. Roadsides, railways, gardens, and mountainsides are all alive with wild flowers and plants and dragonflies, butterflies, bees, and winged creatures of all sizes delight in their presence. After months of using their dried counterparts, fresh herbs remind us of the true vitality and essence of herbalism.  photo 3(2)There’s nothing quite like waking up, going out into the sun, and bending down to pick a few leaves of mint, lemon balm, sage, or verbena and making a fresh infusion. A cup of fresh Lemon Balm leaf tea makes the dry version pale in comparison. Working with fresh herbs and flowers is one of the sweetest experiences one can have, and now is the time for these moments. Naturally, we seek to preserve the fresh herb experience much like one seeks to preserve memories through photographs, feelings through a journal, keepsakes through a time capsule buried in the earth for future discovery. This season, I have enjoyed the blessing of a bountiful little herb patch that began with only a few small starter plants and seeds, and has blossomed into a thriving plant community regularly visited by dragonflies, butterflies, and the like. I am astonished each time I visit at the rapid growth and the incessant offering of Calendula blooms, lavender buds, basil, thyme, sage, lemon balm, parsley, and rosemary. The garden’s growth exceeded my wildest dreams and it seems every day the leaves have multiplied once again, and even after leaving behind plenty for other visitors, I am left with an abundance of plant material to take home. One of my favorite recipes that I developed inspired by my own garden is the follow facial toner, called Shades of Green because as it brews, it goes through stages of greens, leading ultimately to a deep, forest green that alludes to its powerful natural healing gifts. I believe the parsley lends a deep glow to the skin, while calendula can heal past damage. The lavender was added for beauty and inspiration, and also lends a cleansing, astringent effect.

ImageRecipe for Shades of Green Face Toner

You’ll need: 1 pint size mason jar, organic witch hazel or vodka, distilled water
Gather enough Calendula blooms and leaves, lavender buds and leaves, and parsley leaves (you can try root here too) to fill the jar to the top, but not over-stuffing completely (there should be enough space for the herbs to move around freely when the liquid is added.) Fill 3/4 of the jar with vodka or witch hazel, and the rest with water. Swirl the herbs around, and leave in a sunny spot for 2-3 weeks. At first, the liquid will turn a bright emerald green, then watch it daily as it absorbs the vitamins, minerals, and magic of the plants – changing to a deep forest green. When the leaves and flowers look as though they have given all their color away, you can begin to use the toner. I like to leave the plant material inside while I use it, then eventually I strain it and store it in a small jar with a spray pump for easier application.
Use: I like to apply a small amount to an organic cotton ball and use it to clean my face – great when camping! Feel free to experiment with the ratios of the herbs – I used more calendula and parsley, and a few lavender sprigs. Go with what you have on hand and let your garden’s supply inspire you. Be well and be beautiful.

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the whole universe conspires to guide you on your path

syn·chro·nic·i·ty
The simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection, coined by Carl Jung.

me holding the borrowed rare book in the bright winter sunlight today

me holding the borrowed rare book in the bright winter sunlight today

I recently started working as a substitute teacher at a local school and one day I was at the computer looking at Susun Weed‘s website, reading about nettle infusions, when the secretary nearby said something about her sister who is an herbalist living in NY’s East Village. My ears perked up and I eagerly asked, “you have an herbalist sister?!” She saw how excited I was and told me about her sister who had studied upstate back in the 60’s with a well-known herbalist, whose name she just couldn’t recall. I had a hunch and guessed, “do you mean Susun Weed??” Her eyes lit up and she confirmed, “oh yes, her!” I was so blown away because I was literally on Susun’s site at that very moment, reading about nettle infusions. So the woman continued, “yes, my sister is an herbalist and she always teaches me about herbs. She’s even written a book about herbs. She told me to drink nettle infusion every day!” By this point I just couldn’t believe my ears. Of all the hundreds of articles on Susun’s website, I was just reading about nettles! We both became very aware of the synchronicity in this moment and felt the excitement grow. As our connection to the plants unraveled, we realized what a bond we share through them. The cherry on top was when I found out that the book her sister wrote was Herbal Rituals: Recipes for Everyday Living. This was no ordinary herb book, but rather a book that has been on my wish list for over 5 years now! It is out of print so I never got myself a copy, but here I am, sitting in my bed, sipping tea and reading the herbal book I dreamed of for so many years.

This is just one of many plant synchronicities that I’ve experienced on my journey, and I know so many of you have these things going on all the time as well. I’d love to hear about your experiences! Feel free to email me or even post on my Facebook wall, I’d love to get a discussion going where we can all share these magic happenings and reap inspiration and guidance from them! I have a strong feeling that many of us also go through common plant synchronicities as well, so it would be interesting to look at those trends as a community!

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