Three Autumn Medicinal Herbs to Harvest Now

20170929_113435This year I was able to harvest over thirty different medicinal herbs from my gardens.  There are three of them right now that would serve you well for the winter if you can find them, and if not, plant some next year!

20170929_114035The first one is Burdock.  There are three kinds of docks; yellow dock that grows in the marshes and on the sides of roads.  Curly dock is the same, it loves willow trees.  I have some popping up in my yard unexpectedly.  Then there is burdock.  They will all work the same.  Burdock has those annoying round burrs.  I harvested mine before their growth.  I planted seeds in the spring and had a beautiful crop.  The roots won’t let you pull them completely which assures that you will have some more next year.  Perennials are a beautiful thing and this perennial could save your life.

Docks have pretty amazing blood cleansing abilities.  They are used to detoxify the body and to kill cancer.  Their long tap roots are eaten in many cultures.  Just chop them up like carrots or parsnips.  They are also available in the health food store at times in the produce section.

The leaves of the burdock are green which tells us that it is specific to organs as well.  They are very nutritious and will make a lovely tea to help cleanse the liver, gallbladder, and kidneys as well as the entire lymphatic system.  I dried mine in a large box because they were so huge.

You can add both leaves and roots to a canning jar with rum, vodka, brandy, etc. and let brew for four weeks but don’t strain it as you want it as strong as possible.  Put one teaspoon in a shot glass of orange juice to take in the mornings as an immunity booster and preventative.  Enjoy the tea with other green herbs like mint and lemon verbena.

20171017_171507Rose Hips contain the highest amount of Vitamin C of any fruit and are specific to Arthritis and as an anti-inflammatory.  They contain anthocyanins for heart health and the prevention of cancers.  We harvested a lot of roses off of nearly-hundred-year old bushes during the year.  I always leave some of the roses.  One, they look beautiful, and two, they will produce hips which contain their seeds and are a delicious fruit.  These can be dried in paper bags and used in extracts or teas.  Or for fun they make a lovely jelly or liqueur.  They take down swelling quickly and taste delicious.

The third medicinal plant is the humble onion.  The onion contains over 150 phytochemicals, quercetin (anti-inflammatory and pain reliever), and saponin (soap to help clean the organs and blood) and is anti-viral, anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-yeast, and kills the flu quick.  Forget chicken soup, if the household is coming down with colds or flu make French onion soup with lots of onions and garlic!

These three autumn plants will keep you healthy, strong, and feeling your best to take on the winter days ahead.

If you prefer to use plant medicines already made you can do so by ordering from my website http://whitewolfherbs.com.  My daughter and I handcraft powerful medicines that we know will work!  You can find the burdock in our Detox and rose hips in our Arthritis.  Thanks for supporting traditional herbalists!

How to Kick a Virus in One Night (homemade antibiotic)

I felt it coming on.  The obvious swollen lymph node even though I felt fine.  My eyes started to get more tired.  My friend asked if I was okay.  I had rocked a sick toddler for two days before so I made a mental note to take some antibiotics when I got home.  Not pharmaceutical antibiotics, intense plant medicines.  This is the timeline of a common virus faced with its nemesis, the herbal antibiotic.  The herbal antibiotic is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-yeast, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-stay-in-bed-sick.

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I took two droppers of my antibiotic (1 teaspoon).  I use the alcohol based one because it goes straight to the blood stream.  A half hour later I did it again.  All through the night I would wake up feeling the illness coming on and would take two more droppers, letting them hover in the back of my throat until I swallowed.  None of this, “Take 5 drops of watered down tincture crap” as stated in some herbal books and bottles.  People, this is war.  Take your medicine!  The plants want to help you.  They won’t harm you.  The viruses get stronger and stronger each year.  Let’s outsmart them with what was intended to protect us.

So, here is the ugly part.  Come early morning you will run to the sink and start hocking up everything that was going to try and lodge in your lungs and become a wretched cough.  Continue taking the antibiotic mixed with an elderberry syrup or honey (click here for recipe) as needed.  If the cold has already taken hold before one can attack it, then take the antibiotic and elderberry concoction several times a day.  But, fighting early is always the best attack.

Tried and True Antibiotic

This concoction contains berberine which inhibits the growth of bacteria and effectively breaks down the protective wall of staph infections.  This extract is effective against common viruses as well as severe infections. 

1 Tablespoon of goldenseal

1/2 Tablespoon of Oregon grape root

1/2 Tablespoon of Barberry

1/2 Tablespoon of Echinacea

Combine in a pint sized canning jar and fill to 1/2 inch from lid with vodka, rum, or brandy. Let sit in sun for a week.  This will work at that point but it will be much stronger if you let it then sit in a cupboard for two weeks and place it in the full moon (frequency change).  A total of four weeks is good measure.  Pray over your medicine and have a happy heart and good intentions as you make it.  It does make a difference.

Take 2 droppers at a time.  They can be added to a small shot glass of orange juice for ease of taking.  This is safe for children.  One can add it to small glasses of juice to hide it.  Small children would take half the dose.

(You are also welcome to come to my store or order by phone if you wish someone else to make it! http://whitewolfherbs.com)

Grandmother Moon and Mercury

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I went to a ceremony yesterday.  A beautiful woman led the smudging and prayers in Cherokee as we welcomed Grandmother moon.  Over fifty women of different colors (and a few men) and backgrounds banged on drums and shook rattles and sang.  It was an empowering group.

I didn’t fully understand what Mercury in Retrograde meant but I found out what it meant for those around me and myself.  Life changes, extreme life changes, deaths, perceived failures, loss, new paths…

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Eva explained that now is the time to start focusing only on the positive.  All things that did not serve us have fallen away.  We are waking at this time in full female energy.  The Super Moon means that the moon was closest to the earth than it will be all year.  An embrace, Eva said.  The lunar eclipse.  Venus glowing brightly in the east in a haze of dawn color.  The Cherokee harvest moon.

From here on out we get stronger.  We get wiser.  We see our bountiful blessings and we are filled with gratitude.  In this ceremony we prayed to release one thing and replace it with something better.  I traded poverty for prosperity.  I traded our family’s hardships this year for strength and love.  I traded lack of inspiration for wisdom and joy.  What a beautiful way to bring in Autumn.

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I always teach my students, as I was taught, to place their medicines in the full moon each month.  The moon’s cycles have a profound effect on us down here on earth.  Women’s menses, the ocean tides, biodynamic farming, and many other things are influenced by the waxing and waning of the moon. All of my medicines glowed like stars from the balcony hanging onto the Grandmother moon’s rays.  As she turned red and dark then light and embracing, the power of the moon made the medicines match the frequency of our own bodies.  A fascinating fact.

During this harvest season and through the feminine power of Grandmother moon and Venus in the east, I wish you prosperity, peace, love, strength, and child-like joy.

The White Wolf Medicine Shop

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This is the view facing out from my soon-to-be shop.  I am so looking forward to it.  Our first shop opened October 15, 2010.  It was a lovely little old building from the turn of the century with crooked wooden floors and a view of Main street.  That first summer after Doug had his nervous breakdown and left his job and as we both decided to leave our house we were going to end up losing in 2009 along with a whole lot of other people out there, we were really scared.  We had three teenagers and no work.  We did eight farmers markets a week and really hustled.  That fall we were getting nervous as to how we were going to make it and it was a beautiful sight to see that building come up for rent.  I felt bad for the jeweler that was leaving just as the antique store owner felt bad for me as I was leaving but we were all happy to have that little shop!

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Now the dream begins again.  Doug has a steady job now and our children have grown.  The shop represents a central place for me.  I attempted to be a community herbalist from home but folks don’t always know where I live!  Every day the community will need to retrieve their mail from the post office, grab their cups of coffee, get their dogs groomed, pick up their healthy food, and visit the Mexican restaurant for margaritas.  In that same central location the White Wolf Medicine shop will welcome the community.

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When I was on Main street there was a shop down the street called the Karma Cottage.  The proprietor’s name was Katie, which in a small town did cause a bit of confusion.  Folks came in to my shop to sign up for palm reading classes and into hers for hormone medicine.  She moved to Florida and her shop was missed, just as mine was.  I hope to incorporate a little of both of our shops to meet the needs of the community.  I will be putting together little bags of specially blended smudging herbs that I have harvested for praying and ceremony.  I will invite a few folks in to do readings that I KNOW are not quacks.  No woohoo scams here.  I will have my friend who makes the most beautiful dream catchers and handmade Native inspired jewelry to make his work in the shop.  I would love to have a community artist wall.  I will hold my herbalist classes there.  I will customize every single medicine to the person asking for it.  We will carry Margie and Ursula’s Garden Fairy Apothecary.

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Margie had the brilliant idea for me to have available samples of various herbal tea blends.  So each week I will have a pot of tea that helps with a physical ailment or tonic, one that helps with spiritual needs, like a broken heart, and one that is just for fun, say like Chai.  We need comfy chairs and places to read so that people feel comfortable coming in for a cup of complimentary tea and a visit.

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Each herb will have its English name as well as its Cherokee name.  I want this to be a lesson for homeschoolers as well.  I dream of parents bringing their kids in and see the various plants, how they are made into medicine, let them blend their own teas, see the Cherokee language and how to pronounce the words, color a picture, or sign up for a class.  I truly want to meet the needs of the community here.  And when I say community, I mean anyone that feels the desire to come visit the store.  I have learned from this blog that my community expands pretty far!

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There is an office in back to make products.  There is everything I need.  The medicines will be done October 13th so that will be my first day open.  I will have a huge grand opening party Saturday, October 17th.

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My little shop is without furniture or money for paint or décor.  Anyone that has a bookshelf, small hutch, a dresser, a few comfy chairs, a side table, a counter, a small round table, or long folding tables, or money for paint or time to help me paint will be rewarded with a huge holiday party and dinner thrown in their honor!

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I know this will all come together beautifully.  Every door has just flown open on this venture.  I look forward to sharing a cup of tea with you!

White Wolf Medicine (a new apothecary coming to Elizabeth)

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I could say that I wish that I hadn’t closed my shop on Main Street.  The Garden Fairy Apothecary was a quaint and charming shop that stood proud for three years before I decided to move the whole thing to the mini-farm we had seven miles away.  At the same time a gal in Elbert who had a large antique shop found herself praying for a new place due to needing to move immediately.  Her shop could not look cuter inside our old store. And I cannot regret because that was all part of the journey.

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Folks continued to find me alright and I happily farmed and grew herbs and made medicines.  The landlords couldn’t afford the house anymore and it belongs to the bank now.  We had to move and that was when we made the dreadful error of moving to the last place.  People couldn’t find me anymore and I grew weary of just sending mail ordered medicines.  I sold the company to my friend, whom I live with presently, and she and her friend love mail order and those that want their old medicines that are the same all of the time order regularly.

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When we lost everything and had to leave that place I wondered if I was done.  Done farming, done teaching, done with herbs.  I gave the stack of my notes that I have kept for the past seven years, recipes, ideas, formulations, to a friend of mine. (She recently gave them back!) Left with re-piecing one’s life there is only room to think of what is very most important.  It is interesting to see what comes forth.

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I figured I wasn’t needed anymore.  I had students opening apothecaries all over the state and many still ordered from Garden Fairy.  When in the dark, the glimmers of reality are bright.  Not everyone can do what I do.  In fact, herbalism is not just something I do, it is a part of who I am.  I AM an herbalist, a medicine keeper, and I needed that reality to reignite what I do.

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People were/are still asking for medicines and I wanted to create a new apothecary that reflected knowledge that I didn’t have when I first started.  I wanted medicines that could be taken by most anyone.  Something that could be blended for each individual that walks in the door.  Something potent and effective and safe and beautiful.  Apple cider vinegar and honey extracts brew jovially in the sun.  Dozens of herbs waiting to be placed in jars for teas and fomentations.  Salve ideas, creams, decorations dance through my mind.

It would have been nice to have a shop on the same property as the home but perhaps a shop among other shops works better for people to find it.  A place where people know where they can come, even if I have to move, the shop itself will stay put.

So, I have some calls out and am looking for the place.  My mom and dad are going to help out.  My daughter’s boyfriend’s dog is a natural model for the logo.  Doug will complete the logo this week on photoshop but his sweet face works great for now.  The name chosen and confirmed.

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I woke up at dawn of the new moon, met the sun, prayed, did ceremony, and began to create.

Our new website: http://WhiteWolfHerbs.com

Our new facebook: http://Facebook.com/WhiteWolfMedicine