Friday I’m in Love….with Herbs of course! (AKA Friday Herb Fest)

Friday I’m in Love….with Herbs of course! (AKA Friday Herb Fest)
September 4, 2009 Colleen Emery

Friday is a special day around here. Not only is Friday named after our Little Pickle*, it is also our Free Day with no pre-planned activities or classes for unschooling. I also don’t see any clients in my Herb Practice nor do I have to work outside the home at the Yummy Organic Food Market. So to mark this day even more special, if that is possible, I have decided to name Fridays, at least here on the blog, Friday Herb Fest! Yeah, cue the band!!

* The little Pickle is our wonderful daughter

What does Friday Herb Fest mean? Good Question!! This is where I plan to share some of the wonderful wisdom of the plant kingdom that I have been so lucky to have studied for the past decade or so. I practice as a Master Herbalist. The life of plants is very special to me. My personal philosophy is to make medicines and use plant energy that is as close as possible to its natural form. I love to tincture herbs using the cycles of the moon and the guidance of the astral plane. Sustainable wildcrafting is essential to this process, adding an element closely linked to our journey of sustainable homesteading. Check out My Website, its a work in progress, many updates are necessary but you can get a feel for what I do and how I do it.

Tinctures of various herbs.

Tinctures of various herbs.

Today though, I would like to talk about Elder. Elder is a magnificent tree/shrub that grows at sub alpine levels all over Western Canada for sure and really all over the world where the right growing situation is provided. It is not always a welcome tree or shrub as its leaves and bark are poisonous especially to livestock, horses, etc. However the flowers and berries, particularly of the Sambucus nigris, are very helpful in warding off colds and flu situations as well as healing these if they are to occur.

Elder Shrub at the base of the Devil's Range (Valhalla Provincial Park)

Elder Shrub at the base of the Devil’s Range (Valhalla Provincial Park)

The most effective way of using Elder is to create a tincture of either the flowers or the berries (or one of each!). Collected at the peak of their life will provide top levels of all healing attributes but do be sure to take only what is necessary for you and your family for the current year to ensure that futures yields on the tree or shrub will be successful. And always while wildcrafting, offer thanks to whatever deity you feel is appropriate to you for creating and offering such abundance to you. A wonderful guide in medicine making is Richo Cech’s Making Plant Medicine. Resourcing guides to help you through this process will ensure that you create not only an effective medicine but also you begin your own personal journey of herbal knowledge. For those that are not feeling inclined to make their own medicine be sure to access a quality medicine that is created by a tincture maker versed in the traditional art of Herbal Medicine Making. Once you have your elderberry or elderflower tincture on hand be sure to include it in your daily routine to stay strong and healthy and ward off any flu or cold bugs. Always follow dosage recommendations of a qualified Health Practitioner.

This concludes our Friday Herb Fest. I am sure in the Fridays to come I will be able to provide this information with a bit more wit and whimsey but for now I leave you with this thought: The simplest route to the solution is often the first thought occurred.