wonderful *early 2014-update* apothecary inventory listing!

IMG_3984honeysuckle 003Dear lovely people,
What follows is the super-exciting list of all the lovelies in Fellow Workers Farm apothecary. Tincture of fresh plant “aboveground parts” in organic grain alcohol unless otherwise stated. If the listing is followed by a * there is a limited or very limited quantity. Tinctures made with “folk method” and tend to be strong.
How can you get some? Use my Local Harvest page(link at right)-anything here can be purchased under the “special order” listing. Use MEMO or e-mail to specify your special order. I can also take orders via e-mail at fellowworkersfarm@gmail.com, I take paypal and I’m open to more creative options too-barter, worktrade, cash by passenger pigeon. ALL products are available on a sliding scale if needed! Just ask.
Tinctures are $10.00/1 oz, $16.00/2 oz or $30.00/4 oz, inquire about larger when available.

Agrimony, Agrimonia eupatorium, fresh pre-flowering leaf
Alder, Alnus glutinosa, freshly dried bark, cones, catkins
Angelica, Angelica archangelica, fresh root, dry root, seed, elixir
Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, fresh flowering tops
Arnica, Arnica chamissonis, fresh flower
Artichoke, Cynara scolymus, fresh leaf
Aspen, Populus tremuloides, fresh bark and buds
Ashwaganda, Withania somnifera, dry root
Aster, New England, Aster novae-angliae, fresh flower
Barberry, Berberis vulgaris, fresh root and stem
Basil, Ocimum spp., fresh flowering tops of Italian basil, Mrs. Burns’ lemon, Thai, Tulsi(holy basil)-elixirs too!
Birch, sweet, Betula lenta, fresh bark and twig. tincture, oil, elixir
Blackberry, Rubus vilosus, fresh root
Black cherry, Prunus serotina, fresh bark, fresh flower elixir
Black Haw, Viburnum prunifolium, fresh bark
Blessed thistle, Cnicus benedictus,fresh flowering tops
Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, fresh root *
Blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium, fresh leaf
Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata, fresh flowering tops
Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, fresh flowering tops
Burdock, Arctium lappa, fresh root

Cacao, raw paste from Heartblood
Calamus, Acorus calamus, fresh rhizome *
Calendula, C. officinalis, fresh flower, also in oil
California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica, fresh whole plant
Catnip, Nepeta cataria, fresh flowering tops
Celandine, Chelidonium majus, fresh whole plant with roots
Chaga, Inonotus obliquus, dry fruiting body
Chammomile, C. recutita, fresh flowers
Chickweed, Stellaria media, fresh whole plant
Cinnamon, C. aromaticum, dry bark
Cleavers, Galium aparine, fresh whole plant
Cloves, Eugenia Caryophyllus, dry bud *
Cramp bark, Viburnum opulus, fresh bark
Comfrey, Symphytum officinale, fresh leaf
Cottonwood, Populus deltoides, fresh bud, fresh bark, also oil
Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, fresh root, leaf, flower

Echincace, E. purpurea, fresh root
Elder, Sambucus nigra, fresh flower, berry
Elecampane, Inula helenium, fresh root
Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis, fresh flowers/tops
Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, dry seed, fresh whole flowering plant*

Ginger, Zingiber officinale, fresh organic root
Ghost pipe, Monotropa uniflora, fresh whole plant *
Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis and spp., fresh flowering tops, oil too
Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis, fresh root from cultivated sources *
Ground ivy, Glechoma hederacea, fresh flowering plant

Hawthorne, Crataegus spp., fresh flower/leaf, fresh berries
Heal-all/Self heal, Prunella vulgaris, fresh flowering tops
Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, fresh flower and buds
Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, fresh whole plant
Horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, fresh husk, in witch hazel (external use) (temp.out of stock)
Hyssop, H. officinalis, fresh flowering tops
Jamaican Dogwood, Piscidia piscipula, dry bark
Japanese knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum, fresh root *
Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum, fresh root
Juniper, J. communis, dry berry
Kava, Piper methysticum, dry root

Lady’s mantle, Alchemilla vulgaris, fresh flowering plant
Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia, fresh flower, also elixir
Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, fresh flowering plant, also elixir
Licorice, Glychrizza glabra, dry root
Linden, Tilia americana, fresh flowers and leaf
Lobelia, L. inflata, fresh plant in flower and seed, tincture or acetum

Magnolia, M. grandiflora, fresh bud*
Maitake, Grifola frondosa, fresh fruiting body
Marshmallow, Althea officinalis, fresh root
Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria, fresh flowering tops
Milk thistle, Silybum marianum, dry seed
Milky oats, Avena sativa, fresh milky seed, elixir too!
Mimosa, Albizia julibrissin, fresh bark and flower*
Mint, Peppermint, mentha piperata, Poleo mint, Mountain mint, Pycnanthemum virginiana, fresh plant
Mitchella/Partridgeberry, Mitchella repens, fresh whole plant*
Monarda, M. fistulosa, bradburiana, didyma, citriodora, fresh flowering tops, elixir too!
Motherwort, Leonorus cardiaca, fresh flowering tops
Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris, fresh flowering tops
Mullein, Verbascum thapsus, fresh root, flower, leaf
Myrrh, Commiphora mulmul, resin
Nettles, Urtica dioica, fresh young leaf, fresh seed
Orange peel, Citrus spp., fresh
Oregano, Origanum, fresh flowering tops
Oregon Grape, Mahonia spp, fresh root
Osha, Ligusticum porterii, dry root *
Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, fresh flowering plant
Peach, Prunus persica, fresh flower, leaf, bark, pit all in brandy
Peony, Paeonia lactiflora, dry root
Pine, White, Pinus strobus, resin, fresh bark and needles, pollen
Plantain, Plantago major, fresh leaf
Poke, Phytolacca americana, fresh root
Pond Lily, Nymphaea odorata, fresh root *
Propolis, raw resin
Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, fresh flowering tops
Ragweed, Giant, Ambrosia trifida, fresh pre-flowering plant *
Red Clover, Trifolium pratense, fresh flower
Redroot, Ceanothus americanus, fresh root*
Reishi, Ganoderma spp., dry fruiting body
Rose, Rosa rugosa, Rosa multiflora, other rosa spp., fresh flowers, fresh flowering plant, rugosa flower elixir
Rose thorns, fresh *
Sage, Salvia officinalis, fresh flowering tops, elixir
Sage, Russian Perovskia atriplicifolia, fresh flowering tops*
Saint John’s Wort, Hypericum perfoliatum, fresh flowering tops, oil too
Sassafras, S. albidum, dry root*
Scullcap, Scutellaria lateriflora, S. galericulata, fresh flowering tops
Schizandra, S. chinensis, dry berry *
Shepherd’s purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris, fresh whole plant
Spilanthes, S. acmella, fresh flowers
Spruce, Picea spp., fresh bark and resin, whole plant
Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum biflorum, fresh rhizome
Sweetfern, Comptonia peregrina, fresh leaf and twig, elixir too
Sweet Annie, Artemisia annua, fresh flowering tops
Teasel, Dipsacus, fresh root
Thyme, thymus vulgaris, fresh flowering tops
Toadflax, Linaria vulgaris, fresh flowering tops *
Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipfera, fresh flower*
Turmeric, Curcuma longa, fresh rhizome, oil too
Usnea, U. barbata, U. spp, fresh lichen
Valerian, Valeriana officinalis, fresh root
Violet, Viola odorata,V. spp, fresh flower, fresh whole plant
Vervain, White, Verbena urticifolia, fresh flowering tops
Walnut, Black, Juglans nigra, fresh hull, dry hull, fresh leaf
White sage, Salvia apiana, fresh whole plant *
Wild Carrot, Daucus carota, fresh seed and flower
Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum, fresh root *
Willow, Salix alba, fresh bark and twig
Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginianica, fresh flower and bark *
Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, fresh flowering plant
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, fresh flowering plant
Yellow Dock, Rumex crispus, fresh root
next up: blends, herbal teas, salves, and “stuff that’s not tinctures”

chaga, oh chaga!

chaga with dog's leg
chaga with dog’s leg

Oh, Chaga. Inonotus obliquus. What the hell is this stuff? It is a fungus which grows primarily on birch trees and allied trees in the birch family-some of my very favorite trees, of course. To call it a “mushroom” sounds absurd. It is a fungus, a fruiting body, and a firestarter.Chaga and birch seem to have a symbiotic relationship, swapping the mutual aid of healing with each other and whipping up a little batch of betulin!People decoct chaga for the usual amazing medicinal mushroom benefits like addressing cancer, supporting immunity and deep nourishment. It may, along with its home the birch tree, help address inflammation.

i hike through the birch and pine forests looking for standing dead or partially downed white birches to harvest chaga from. It is an odd and mysterious, dense, heavy chunk of space junk and can be quite difficult to pry off.i enjoy it as a decoction, perhaps with some roots and warming spices,  infuse it into oils and make tinctures with it. i am working on a chaga-birch body butter right now and a warming chaga nutmeg massage oil.Chaga has an entry in the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s “cancer care” website. For more information on chaga check out Paul Stamets, Dr. Andrew Weil, Christopher Hobbes and Russia.

birch crown!
birch crown!


roots, medicine makers, and my calling

Ah, the making of medicines. I am a creator. I began my herbal journey growing weed with my dear friend Aymar, sneaking around with jars of water in or packs and visiting our sort of pathetic little plants–somehow that led to us sitting quietly, outside, listening to birds sing and watching rain fall. That was the medicine we needed, and our scrappy little harvest was a bonus.

After that I was a home herbalist, a family herbalist, and I was searching for the way forward.  I decided to be an herb farmer. Moved to the country, planted a lot of  Calendula. I learned to ID. I learned to forage. Amazing. But it was the making of medicines that spoke to me, more than anything else. After years of creating mediocre art, writing poetry, and wandering about it was the CRAFT of medicine making that struck me, that grounded me, that fulfilled me like nothing else ever had.

And though I do consult, I do teach classes, I do write about herbalism absolutely nothing recharges me like medicine making. Nothing reminds me that I am exactly where I need to be like making medicines by hand, like digging roots in the cold and muddy swamp, like wielding my precious digging knife and mucking up my boots.  Bug bites, sunsets, chapped lips, hours on my hands and knees harvesting precious violet flowers or digging massive burdock roots. Mmmmmmmmmmm.Coming home, bags of bark, my thighs sore from squatting and hiking, my dog tired from “helping”, my nails dirty and hair full of thorny crap. Herbgasm.

Then the washing, the  chopping, the glug-glug-glug of my liquor and the creative spirit flowing right into my medicines is just pure joy. Pure, unadulterated, present-moment, interspecies wonder. Elixirs? Blending?  Oh, yes. And I’m shaking my jars to booty bass and I’m pressing every drop of juice outta last summer’s precious flowers…..there is no greater heaven. The tastes, the smells, the hands-on, the healing intention, wrapping them up and sending them off to wonderful people. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I am an artisan. The craft of herbalism is a beautiful and meaningful craft which feeds me deeply, and I am thankful to be right where I belong.













solomon's seal root
solomon’s seal root

making room at the table


Herbalists need to push our asses over and make some room at the table for each other. We sure as heck don’t have to like each other-but forming alliances is not about “like”. It is about acknowledging our shared power source-plants- and giving love and respect to everyone. It is providing support to each other, mutual aid, sharing, in ways more tangible than internet  ((((hugs)))).  It is also about encouraging accountability, “first cause no harm”.

Oh indeed there is room for disagreement. There is even room for argument-respectful argument. And spanking; herbalists love a good spanking. However, we are at war. We the people are all on the same side, in the same plant army, and need to acknowledge that. Hey, I’m no conspiracy theorist-I am not watching for aliens in my cornfield-but the water is not polluting itself, you know.  Garbage isn’t leaping into the ocean, forests aren’t clearcutting themselves. A little unity goes a long way towards the well-being of our people, our earth.

So pointless snarking and infighting amongst herbalists is lame, and let us not forget what happened around the turn of the last century, with opposing herbal schools shit-talking each other, leading to  rampant competition and eventual fizzling.  Ah, Scudder and Bach wrestling in a mudpit…..

In the spirit of a loving supportive future that nourishes all of us I present a list of rights and responsibilities to move us forward with joy, humor and alliance:

-Disavow yourself of the notion of a perfect herbalist. Herbalists are fat and skinny, obnoxious and sweet, malodorous, dorky, loud, shy, slutty, messy, queer, boring, colorful, drunk, ill, genius, odd, short, tall, angry, poor, tone deaf. Herbalists have dry elbows and 80s hairdos. Herbalists are metalheads and motorcycle mamas. There is NO “right” way to be an herbalist!

-Inspiration. We need to be inspired by our surroundings and we need to inspire others. Cultivate inspiration! Encourage it in others!

-We need to know the difference between a pancreas and a clitoris. Though the medical knowledge of herbalists varies, having a grip of the basics of the body serves us well. For example, front and back, top and bottom.

-Those who make medicines need to know their plants, where it’s from, how it’s made.  Surfaces and containers should be kept reasonably free from  fuzzballs, boogers  and tapeworms.

-No herbalist has it all figured out. Nor should we. We can be elders, but not experts-herbalists are lifelong students, driven to discover, to make connections, to see patterns. The moment we stop learning we are dead.

-If you wait until you are perfect to begin healing you deprive humanity of your gift.

-Don’t F people over, avoid manipulation at all costs, and first do no harm. Transparency is vital to informed consent. Be honest about your skill level, and let others decide if you know what you are talking about.

-Medicine makers are craftspeople. We are matchmakers, artists, poets  and creators.  Honor the artist in the healer.

-Mutual aid means passing clients on to other herbalists in their area, recommending each other, buying or bartering from each other, providing  tangible support and information to each other, providing feedback with love, sharing knowledge and inspiration.

So…With love and respect to all my fellow herbal allies, I thank you for the amazing things I have learned from my community, I thank those who’ve shared my writing, herbal store, information or recommendation. I thank those who have allowed me to provide you with herbs.  I thank those who’ve done the work to write books and articles, who share their case studies and milky oat seeds, and I thank those who disagree with me, who make me think, who make me hone my craft and my argument. And I thank those in my community who are growing older with me, watching each other kick ass, fall down, get up, mature into elders and build upon our ancestors’ work for ourselves, our earth and our beloved plants.


resins for climate change

so, climate change. first, i don’t give a rat’s ass if global warming is “real”. OR what/who is causing it. the extremely obvvious reality is that humans are causing parts of the Earth to be un-inhabitable through our use of toxic crap. fact. we are all complicit. re-usable bags won’t help. and we are making ourselves vulnerable to climate events and disasters by overbuilding, living completely dependent on fragile power grids and food systems, destroying wetlands, paving every damn surface and destroying plant life. we can’t feed babies without formula, can’t stay warm without electricity and haven’t purchased flashlights, batteries, or extra toilet paper.

but wacky preparedness rant aside, after the flood comes the mold. let’s say polluted water impregnates our home with toxic oils, sewage, mold spores, garbage, nuclear waste and dead rats. what do we do? break out the resins.

my sample post-disaster toolkit:

-propolis. it is a resin that comes from honeybees. a specific for mold exposure, it can be used as a tincture or raw, frequently, to treat those who have been made ill by short or longterm mold exposure.



-white pine and other conifers. bark and resin can be tinctured or decocted to treat deep lung affliction. i used it for a nasty bronchitis i picked up in post-flood new orleans that had me coughing-hacking so hard i would vomit and tear up. for a month.   i had tried everything. it worked within 48 hours. use high proof alcohol to tincture raw resins.

white pine

 -cottonwood/poplar. the resinous buds make an intense tincture to bring stuff up and out. warming, sticky.

-ground ivy. for congestion, metals exposure, and hearing loss.

-goldenrod. also helps move sinus congestion and supports kidneys.

-monarda. for circulation, burns, infection. a polychrest, kinda for everything.

-burnables. i love to clear the air with some homegrown sages, maybe some mugwort, natural incense or a pot of aromatics simmering on the woodstove. not only does this clear the air physically but it can contribute to emotional clearing.

-seaweed. contains iodine for thyroid protection. though an end to nuclear power would probably protect our thyroids even better.

-lymphatics. the body needs support in processing the toxins that are challenging us in these times. cleavers, calendula, alder, mullein, redroot, violet.



-liver support. burdock, dandelion, milk thistle, blessed thistle, artichoke to help our favorite detox organ process this crap.

sticky burrs

-deep immune support. feed yourself! bone broth, garlic, astragalus, mushrooms such as chaga/reishi/shiitake/maitake. use nettle tea, oatstraw and greens daily–especially for exposure to dangerous metals like lead. cleaning out an old house? lead.

turkey tails

-emotional support. get grounded with motherwort and sage. move your emotional pain with scullcap. relax and de-stress with passionflower, vervain, california poppy, linden. rebuild your frazzled nerves with milky oats tincture.

-moisten irritated sore throats with herbs like propolis, sage, monarda, slippery elm, mallow, plantain.  it’s lovely to make a spray and use often throughout the cleanup process.

– heal the skin. white pine salve is my favorite for drawing, protecting, and healing chafed and dry skin. constant exposure to wet junk can be drying.


also, it helps have  some  herbs  on hand for non-emergency wound treatment and basic cold and flu issues  such as boneset, elder, usnea, elecampane, barberry  and alder. if you don’t have a water filter, keep a bottle of bleach or iodine around to purify drinking water. box up some matches, your family’s  medications and a bunch of ammo*. and for crying out loud, spend a couple bucks on a flashlight.

*OK, ammo is optional.


On the Joys of Doing Nothing

spring forth, all.

So…nothing. It is my #1 medicine. No, i am not a nihilist. They are obsessed with nothingNESS. Big difference. iI am into standing by, quietly, while stuff happens without my meddling. Why does nothing work so well? Because the human body is a little ecosystem which has built-in ways to resolve much of the challenges that come along.

I am not talking about emergency medicine. Not the Ebola virus, people. I mean self-limiting illness. The common cold. Non-fatal wounds.  Mild to moderate gas. Just wait.

It is fun to support ourselves and others when moderate non-fatal illnes comes along-chicken soup, hot nourishing infusions, basic hygiene, rest, herbal steams. Addressing symptoms has a place in the world.  However, it is amazing to realize that with or without us and our potions the human body exhibits the will to heal. Need a salve for wound healing? not really-wounds heal. Herbs may be better used here to keep it clean. Need some herbs to “dry out” mucous? Just remember, mucous is  often there for a reason. Dry it at your own risk. Echinacea/Goldenseal to “ward off” a cold? Not only is a cold natural, we can drive illness deeper with endless faux immune boosters.

Additionally, why not live everyday for health? I often see folks get ill and decide to temporarily swear off their normal 3 pounds of sugar a day, cram a ton of vitamins and herbs in,  and increase their nightly rest from 4 to 6 hours.  Good health is like a savings account that you make deposits into every time you nourish yourself! You cannot draw health funds out forever without replenishing. Basic self-care  is a life skill worth practicing all the time, not just in times of crisis.


The other day my son came home with a fever, headache, tiredness and mucous. I propped him in front of the woodstove with a blanket and an herbal infusion for fever support and lymphatic moving. I did nothing to lower his (mild) fever. He ate very lightly and put himself to bed very very early. The next morning he was back to normal.

Now, had I placed him next to a Himalayan salt crystal lamp or rubbed him with overpriced  hemp seed oil and precious endangered goldenseal I could have said “see! those things work!” and if I see a salt lamp regenerate a severed limb I will be impressed. But until then my dreaded indoor electro-smog is not keeping Levi from overcoming his self-limiting illness naturally and quickly.

This may sound funny coming from an herbalist. but i am not an herbalist IN ORDER TO sell products. iIprovide herbal tinctures to those who want or need them because I llove to share my love of plants and humans.  But moving product by any means necessary does not drive my day.

And all this is not to say don’t use herbs. Not at all!  DO use herbs-for nourishment, for support, for emotional and physical and spiritual wellness! And use movement, use grounding, use rest and therapeutic talking and writing, Use healthy sexual expression  and love and ferments and meditation and baths and dance and sunshine and a shot of whiskey. Lord knows in this world we can use all the help available to make it through. But do not let these  goods and services  take the place of your own life force, the most amazing-and free-medicine available.

purple power

manuka honey ain’t all that

dear friends,

boy, honey sure has become trendy lately, eh? and it should–it is a miraculous substance. i am  a beekeeper, i keep 3 top bar  hives which are completely and utterly treatment free–not “organic”, beyond organic. and i love it. i use the propolis, the beeswax and some of their  honey for myself, my family and herbal clients.

hungry little honeybee


i use propolis to support the immune system, to promote healing, to soothe sore throats, to deal with mold exposure and some other nasal allergy issues, to banish nasty bad bacteria in wounds, to fix up tooth and gum issues. amongst other things.

apis something-or-other

i use honey to flavor elixirs, to support immune system, to address some seasonal allergies, on burns and some types of wounds, to soothe sore throats and other cold-and-flu related illness. amongst other things.

and beeswax is a main ingredient in the majority of the salves and balms that i make.

manuka, my buttocks.

however, i do not use or recommend manuka honey. i am not alleging that manuka honey is “bad”–more that it is promoted as a cure-all and as an “exotic” which is somehow better than what we ourselves can make. bullshit.  local raw honey contains the local pollen, supports small local beekeepers and doesn’t need to be shipped from new zealand. which, for me, is far. beware of marketing, my friends.

honeycomb, baby!


ultimately, i suggest  that all households keep their own treatment-free bees and watch them make their own honey, and use that when appropriate-though not as a substitute for actual medical care when needed.



honeybees give more than just honey. they pollinate a large amount of our flowering plants. and they are fascinating. sometimes i like to stand near my hives and just feel the buzz that emanates, smell the warm resinous hivey smell, watch the ladies going from flower to flower on my ground-ivy-yarrow-prunella “lawn”. hands on, baby–it is part of the medicine!!! ordering a jar of WAY overpriced manuka honey from halfway around the world does not come close to sticking your nose into the top bar hive and inhaling…finding the queen…watching the colors of their legborne pollen change with the seasons….hanging out in the sun with a couple of snuggly drones…the honey dance…oh, and then there is the swarm–a force to behold.

plant things that bees like!


“what’s good?” on special orders

in my former life as a diner waitress i would go nuts when dudes plunked themselves down at my counter and asked “what’s good, honey?” it irked me becasue i was like “oh, it’s all good or we wouldn’t be serving it, you know? anyway, i don’t know what the heck you want”… since then i have changed my mind. the food was pretty much all bad, and i DO know what you want-even if you don’t know it yet!

i’m an herbalist, a grower and a forager, and a sometimes-writer, and this is a one-woman apothecary so all that “business” crap comes as a waaaaaay second to my more hands-in-the-muck work. however. in an attempt to be more responsive to YOU my customer -and i do love and appreciate you!!-i am going to list what IS actually especially good at the moment, or interesting at least, and try to do so seasonally. rest assured, all of my herbal products are good–or they get the boot! bam! but some just shine, ya know?

wild rose

so how can you get this stuff? you could check out my local harvest store, link at right, where a representation of the apothecary is listed. but listing is  a process , that list is not exhaustive, so feel free to inquire and special orders  should be obtained by clicking, yes,  SPECIAL ORDER, with your choice in the memo. i also joined 2012 by getting paypal recently-whoa.

doll’s eyes

ok, i hereby commence my list of top 10 awesome fall fellow workers farm products:

-sweetfern elixir. yes, it is the leaf and twig of sweetfern (comptonia) in brandy with maple. limited quantites! i also have a sweetfern tincture straight up.

-hyssop tincture. a great mint family plant for coughs and more, this year’s batch was noticeably vibrant. (hyssopus officinalis)

-propolis tincture. the strongest around! propolis plays well with others in combinations for throat spray, wound wash, immune support and more.

bee buddies


-arnica/pine salve. i am loving this combo! it is actual pine resin and actual arnica flowers, smells great, i use on all kinds of bonks, wrenches, bruises, welts and kinks. i find it warm and comforting. 1 oz. jars.

-barberry root/bark tincture. don’t hate “invasives”, use them! this berberis is closely related to oregon grape root and also shares SOME properties with goldenseal. very bitter! yellow power. good to have around for the nasties.

-monarda. i have already listed monarda fistulosa tincture, and it is great, but did you know that i also have monarda didyma, punctata and bradburiana? in smaller quantities, but all fresh flower/tops. hmm, do i see a monarda tasting party in my future? i am a little obsessed.

-honeysuckle flower, tincture of fresh japanese honeysuckle shrub(lonicera) which is seriously awesome. flu-fighter? perhaps. combines well with boneset,  elder, and yarrow.

-mullein! verbascum! along with leaf i also have small quantities of the root and flower, both fresh, and can make up any combination of the parts.



-milky oat elixir. that would be fresh milky oats tinctured with a vanilla bean in brandy. with or without maple. it’s actually damn good. and deeply nourishing.  limited quantity! (avena.) combines well with linden elixir.

-nettle seed. tincture of fresh seeds. kinda hard to find.

i am also all worked up about helping folks make their own special nervine blend–for relaxation, to move energy, to recharge, to sleep, or just for fun.


emotional toolbox for the care and maintenance of the rare wild spotted herbalist.

10. Powers of Observation: One can read every single book in the universe. All the best herbal authors can line your shelves, next to brilliantly, straightly labeled jars and a big ol’ framed degree. It is all meaningless if you can’t or won’t observe your surroundings. You don’t necessarily have to spend hours gazing at seeds sprouting, flowers opening, leaves blowing in the breeze and honeybees flying from one flower to the next in a field of motherwort, though that does sound like fun. But looking holistically at people, animals, plants and ecosystems will go a long way towards making you an effective healer and that means opening up all your senses and rising to the challenge of observation.

9. Vision: Vision is the opposite of observation. It is the inward side of the seer’s two-part system. Vision involves dreams, sleeping or waking, as well as making connections. Sometimes there is more than one level of what is, and we can peel the onion of reality in our minds, observing each one as we go. And sometimes we must eat the blooming onion of reality deep fried at a carnival.

8. Perspective: The ability to take a step back is a gift when we are overly involved in any given situation. Perspective helps us to see another side, another way. Perspective tells us that though it rained on our parade, some other  folks just got their shanty town washed into the ocean or lost ¾ of their family to a volcanic eruption. Think it through! perspective reminds us that we are all privileged to varying degrees and we must carry thankfulness with us at all times, lest we find a bedfellow in self-pity.

7. Curiousity: Without the desire to continue learning the herbalist is as good as dead. Taste everything. Smell everything. Listen to the birds frolic and goddammit, do a little frolicking of your own while you still can.

6. Self-reflection: Asking questions is good. am I doing the best I can? Where do I need to improve? How may I best serve others? Is that my goal here? What is my goal? A favorite reflective practice of mine is a good long walk to sort things out in my heart and head. Some people write, others pray. But some folks get just as much reflection done  while lying in a hammock drinking a beer. Find out what works for you, and make a point of doing it.

5. Alliances: Forming alliances with others of like mind and heart provides much support in the unusual path we have chosen. It also gives us the opportunity to teach, give back to and support others. We take our place in the ancient cycle of healers. Even if you don’t like other people it helps to respect their humanity. And practically, sometimes you just have way more rose petals, maitakes  or catnip than you need-spread the plant wealth.  Sharing information, bartering goods and services and giving trusted recommendations when we are unable to provide the needed healing are all bonuses of a good alliance. When we build a community of herbalists and healers who we respect and who respect us we build a beautiful house of refuge on a strong foundation.

4. Tolerance: When you open your doors one never knows just who might show up in need of help. Though it can be difficult, reserving judgement helps us to be more effective. (obviously,Take appropriate actions against those who are actively doing harm.) Acknowledge the  variations in race, class, gender, religion, national origin, sexuality and ability and extend your acceptance and ears. Love and respect to everyone.

3. Humility: So you have fixed some people up, gotten some good feedback and had a few articles published. Big whoop. Yes, you are awesome….and so are millions of other people. Remember, you are the humble servant of the plants and of the earth –who are using you to do their work. You still put your pants on one leg at a time. Congratulations, you worked hard! But you came from compost and to compost you shall return.

2. Sense of Humor:

“Humor brings us back down to earth, and reminds of our place in god’s universe”-James Martin. Bringing a sense of humor with us to every life event insures we bring truth. Humor is the spoonful of medicine that makes my medicine go down. Truth delivered with a side of humor has more healing potential than a thousand Echinacea tinctures. Laughter builds bridges, mends fences and opens up clogged drains. Healing takes place in body, mind and soul and humor has the ability to touch all 3.

1. Butter:  Self-care is important. Give yourself time to heal, a warm bath, a spritz of rosewater and a foot rub. And get yourself a good vice.  Whether you take a nip of brandy at sunset, want a little sugar in your bowl or feel like making love don’t think you have to be saint. In fact, I don’t trust anyone who has no vice at all….“Vice is its own reward” –Quentin Crisp