This week I made a list of what I call my Boatload of Inspired Actions that I would like to complete, easily and effortlessly, before I return to France this winter. My flight to Paris is 1 Dec; I have a little over 5 weeks’ time.
A nice number of those tasks including making (plant) medicine, including herb-infused oils, salve, and at least one each of tincture and glycerite. I studied Rooted Medicine last year, and came away confident for making many things and equally important, learning and using some big words.
In this post, I’ll spare you a lot of details like what those big words mean. What I will do is give you a brief glimpse into my life as Medicine Woman, as this calling is one of my greatest joys in life ... and, my Parisian sister Lydie has been clamoring for me to write about this for a while.
My virtual mentors John and Kimberly Gallagher were the first to inspire me to learn more about plant medicine. Their story goes, that when Kimberly became pregnant with their first child, they set out on a path to learn home plant-based remedies, as they did not intend to raise their children on pharmaceuticals. John started their company Learning Herbs, which was my first portal to the amazing world of plant-based medicine.
Their philosophy resonated with me deeply, as around the time I became acquainted with them, my little Renata first became a precious part of my life. Had she been with me 24-7 from Day One, she would have been raised on plant medicine. My intention at this point, is to be her Fairy (Nature) Godmother as best I can be, and teach her to embrace plant medicine as she grows up.
Meanwhile, last year, I passionately worked this path! I completed my course just as I left for three months in the UK and France. I transported homemade gifts for my loves, plus daily remedies for myself. This winter I will do a variation of that!
Something that I laughed with my classmates about last year, was how much babysitting there is for certain remedies! At the moment, I am making a slow-infused rosemary oil that requires stirring and heating on the stove, several times daily, for several days! I did this process for a week last year, and the salve that I made as a result was beyond extraordinary. (My new top foto is my just-crafted 2023 Rosemary Salve, ready for gifting!)
Plant medicine is so very worthy of our time and attention. The process of adding intention is a key ingredient for every remedy. This for me, equals mindfully adding love, which is something I do each and every time I cook anything at all. As a result, the responses I’ve had from everything I’ve gifted others, have been very appreciative, loving, and awe-inspiring. I’ve been told I could sell this stuff.
Mmm-hmm ...in my vast spare time ...
In fact ... I do dream of owning my own boutique apothecary in France one day, let’s see what happens. Its name is Apothicaire-Café’ Renata. I dream that Renata will come to be with me there after school, to do her homework, then help me make teas and infusions. I positively love this idea, my prayer is that she will too.
Until then, I would love to share a very simple recipe that helped my Twin, Paigey, recover from a bad spell over our birthday last week. Using dried herbs to make soaks for hands and feet, herbal baths, and compresses, is an easy and very powerful way to get acquainted with plant medicine.
I love lavender and calendula as my top two go-to (dried) flowers; I recommend starting with lavender. Source fine quality, organic herbs at your local apothecary or health food store. I learned that an excellent online source is etsy.com; I personally love supporting the small businesses on that site, and the service is usually divine!
Try this easy infusion for a fantastic way to relax, induce quality sleep, and/or relieve pain or discomfort. May your own personal path to plant medicine – however that unfolds - be a sacred and loving one.
Simple Herbal Bath Remedy
2 cups fine-quality dried herbs
4-6 cups boiling water
In a large deep bowl, pour boiling water over herbs. Let steep for up to 20 minutes. Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain liquid from herbs.
Use herb liquid:
- for a hand or foot soak (20 minutes; try clean hands first then clean feet);
- add entirety of herb liquid to bathtub;
- soak strips of clean cloth to create compress for head, throat, sore muscles; use for 20 minutes then repeat to continue.
Use drained herbs:
- Place in mesh bag and adding to bath water – this is not as powerful as the herb liquid but, fun to play with.
- For composting; do not reuse for infusion.
Liquid may be used for up to 24 hours.
For making compresses only, simply use ½ cup herbs + 2 cups boiling water and infuse 20 minutes.