Blog

Oregon grape

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

Oregon grape

Our modern palate oscillates between the addictive flavors of salty and sweet, but we have lost an essential ingredient to optimal health: bitter plants.  They are so rare in our diet that many people cannot name anything with bitterness except coffee.  Historically, humans valued bitters for their digestive stimulating and medicinal properties.  Oregon grape is a quintessential bitter plant that has the capacity to cleanse, clarify and enliven body and spirit. Lame name:  Mahonia spp.   Oregon grape is in the barberry or Berberidaceae family Identifying Oregon Grape:  We have two species of...

Read More

Horsetail

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

Horsetail

Horsetail creates strong structure and foundation.  Touch its leaves and you will feel the rocky texture of silica and other minerals.  Horsetails’ masterful roots can dig as deep as 150 feet into bedrock where they dissolve minerals and draw them into their cells.  When we drink horsetail leaf tea we are absorbing these minerals and utilizing them to build strong bones, hair, skin and nails.  Horsetail also regenerates soil health through depositing minerals onto surface soil. Other names: puzzle plant, scouring rush, Equisetum spp.  Identifying horsetail: The ancient horsetail family was...

Read More

Violet

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

Violet

Lady of surprises – you might be small and delicate, but you hold immense power and unmatched beauty.  Your flirtatious fragrance has been the signature perfume of queens and regal women for ages.  And you have also been the emblem of powerful warriors and important cities.  The modern terms “pansy” and “shrinking violet” fail to recognize the power that lies in your humble presence.   Other names: Viola spp.  hearts ease, wild pansy, Johnny jump up. Identifying Violet:  There are many kinds of violets in the northwest.  All are low growing plants with heart or kidney-shaped...

Read More

Rose in Bloom

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

Rose in Bloom

Rose is an old soul.  She has been on earth more than 35-million years and she has walked intimately with humans throughout the rise and fall of civilizations.  Her influence appears in art, poetry and song.  No other flower has had as many admirers or has been as written about.  Rose is a symbol of completeness with strong roots, perfect flowers, straight and strong stems and thorns that symbolize the spice and challenge of life.  People have brought her in during moments of greatest joy and grief.  She speaks when we are at a loss for words.  She is a symbol of love and grace. Rose...

Read More

Big Leaf Maple

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

Big Leaf Maple

Each spring I look forward to seeing the blooms of big leaf maple trees illuminated in front of a dark stormy sky.  Their golden-green color is also a dramatic contrast to the evergreens and the leaf-bare deciduous trees.  They are so lush and so light-filled.  The flowers are full of sweet nectar that pollinators and people relish.  Try eating them straight, adding them to salads, or making maple blossom fritters.    Other names:  Acer macrophyllum, Oregon maple Identifying big leaf maple:  As I think of big leaf maple several strong characteristics come to mind.  The leaves are...

Read More

It’s Nettle Season

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Blog, Media | 0 comments

It’s Nettle Season

  I could not contain my excitement this year as I spotted the first nettles emerging from the cold damp soil.  They are deep green with reddish flames that blend in to the forest floor detritus.   As my eyes soften and adapt to the terrain I begin to see them everywhere – tiny bodies reaching toward the light of a new season.   This year my hunger for nettles is acute.  After having been sick for weeks with the sinus and lung crud, I need some lively plant medicine to help rebuild my strength.  An elder once told me that if you drink about 3 cups of nettle tea per day for two...

Read More