1) Pipsissewa tincture (Chimaphila umbellata)
Taste/Qualities: sweet and bitter, astringent, decongesting, restorative
USE: An old Eclectic kidney alterative, which means it helps support kidney function so that elimination of waste works more efficiently. This plant is a sweet indicator of a healthy forest and ecosystem. Michael Moore (the herbalist) describes it as tonic for ‘lingering skin conditions characterized by dry, flaky inflammation, vague aching in the joints and frequent urination at night.’ It helps promote detoxification and helps remove lymph congestion.
30 drops 3 x a day as a general support to the kidney.
2) Yarrow Vinegar (Achillea millefolium)
TASTE/Qualities: Bitter, aromatic, astringent, sour, cooling and warming
USE: This herb is not only my power plant, but she is also a diaphoretic that aids in fevers and colds. As a bitter carminative, she helps all different types of indigestion and stomach ailments. Better yet, in a apple cider vinegar menstrum, the medicinal benefits of this herb are heightened especially in the case of digestion. ACV (apple cider vinegar) unfiltered and raw are full of delicious digestive enzymes that support proper absorption, but in addition to the bitter and fragrant, volatile oils of yarrow there’s a boost in GI support.
Preparation: Take a shot of it straight from the bottle, if the thought of that makes you salivate. Otherwise, drop some into your water to drink first thing in the morning or before/after a meal. You may also mix some into your favorite salad dressing.
3) Arnica tincture (Arnica cordifolia)
Taste/Qualities: Bitter, pungent, restoring
USE: In tincture form? Yes, please! For any type of physical trauma, albeit a strain or a bruise or a contusion, your body will do well to have some droplets of our friend diluted in water or used externally. Specifically indicated for pain on movement and ideally used immediately after an injury. Peter Holmes also describes it tonifying the heart qi represented by heart palpitations, wheezing, but can also help to stimulate cerebral consciousness!
DOSAGE: A LOW Dose
After immediate injury, drop some directly on area of impact and drop 5-15 drops into water to be taken internally. ‘Delicate, tired’, elderly folks should avoid the internal use. Avoid in pregnancy.
4) Milky Oats (Avena sativa) & Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) Ghee
TASTE/Qualities: moisturizing, nourishing, sweet
USE: Ghee mixed in with herbs is nothing new friends. It’s common practice in Aryuvedic medicine. Ghee is clarified butter, yet has no lactose or casein so those that cannot have dairy can enjoy the healing benefits with ghee. Milky oats is a nourishing nervine that helps those whose nervous system is constantly on sympathetic (‘fight or flight’ response) mode. Tulsi is lovely, aromatic adaptogenic herb that helps our bodies deal with stress balancing our endocrine system via the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis! This system is in charge of our hormones, metabolism and energy levels. Tulsi is restorative and relaxing and what better way to have these two herbal buds mixed together with some delicious ghee?
DOSAGE: Cook with it and use as much as you need! Spread it on your bread or raw, flaxseed cracker if you can’t have gluten. Smear it on your face if you’re out of lotion and you’re on a backpacking trip and you only have your Seed and Thistle jar of medicinal ghee. I use my cottonwood ghee all the time in the winter as a moisturizer.