An Old Friend: Mugwort

I love Plant Friends. They make me laugh because they have a habit of showing up right when I need them. Being an  herbalist in this way is quite amazing.

I first met mugwort as moxa. I remember my acupuncturist burning moxa during a session to assist conception. It worked. I soon became pregnant. Months later, moxa made an appearance during labor, as a relief measure. The intention was that moxa would move energy so that baby could be born. After Lil Boo was born, I heard nothing from Mugwort. She disappeared as quickly as she popped up.

A year or so later, I moved to the Silver Spring Metro area. I spent my first summer playing with Lil Boo by (and occasionally in) Sligo Creek. At first I didn’t believe my eyes. Then I took a closer look. Yep, Mugwort was everywhere. I chuckled. I looked at her, she looked at me and then suggested I take a few leaves home to place by my bed. I followed her advice.

In addition to supporting conception, dreamwork, intuition and restorative sleep, I learned that mugwort was very protective. She keeps trouble from finding you. She’s not who to call when you are in trouble. She’s the one  to call when you want to avoid trouble. Mugwort is so much more than a door to unseen realms.

A couple of weeks ago mugwort said that I needed to purchase it. I wasn’t sure why, but I did. She arrived accompanied by skullcap. At first I put a little bit of mugwort in a cup with some lavender to put by my bed. The odor cleared my third eye and relaxed me. It felt so goooooooodddd. Then mugwort suggested I combine her with skullcap as a tea. So I did and had the best sleep I have had in a long long time. It was a restorative deep sleep that did not leave me drowsy in the morning. It was a beautiful thing. My dreams were helpful and soothing. 🙂

Since I am in conception mode I look forward to playing with mugwort more. I know she has a great deal to teach me and I am thankful to learn.

Until next time, take Precious Care

J

It’s the New Year… and I’ve been drinking…

teaHuh? Happy New Year and all that jazz 🙂 We made it to 2016, let’s hope this year is far kinder to us all. Or rather let’s be kinder to ourselves and each other.

Speaking of kindness, if you’ve been hanging out around here, you know I’ve been having a rough time 🙂 Since I’ve stopped taking 10 million tinctures in the morning, I’ve been tinkering with tea. I say tinkering because it’s contents continually evolve. Stinging Nettles and Lemon Balm seems to serve as a base. Other plant friends seem to keep popping up, but Nettles and Lemon Balm are crucial to the mixture and play the biggest part.

 

So here’s the current line up & ratios:

2 Parts Nettles

2 Parts Lemon Balm

1  1/2 Parts Rhodiola

1 Part Oat Straw

1 Part Elderflower

1/2 Part Marshmallow Root

Parts can be tea spoons, table spoons, oz, or whatever have you.

 

Each Plant Friend comes in with a purpose. Oat straw said I needed to add it to the tea, so I can be soothed by it’s presence.  So, now Oat Straw is involved. Rhodiola kinda came out of no where to become part of this tea. It seems to be here to help my adrenals  and support fertility. I feel Rhodiola has lots of wisdom to share. She likes to whisper secrets in your ear when you aren’t expecting it 🙂 She feels like  Mother’s helper, or something.  And most recently Marshmallow Root has made an appearance because it says my intestines aren’t happy about my gluten consumption. Even though I enjoy my ElderFlower tincture, she has requested to be included as well. Something about immune system regulation, being a Divine Orchestrator and helping me not over react to everything. The Plants Speak and I obey. Things seem to work best this way.

Any who, this is what I am drinking these days…

Mourning through Motherhood

Here is a short list of the herbs that have helped me mourn my father while being Mommy. Please note that I didn’t work with all these herbs at once. I find that some plants helped for different parts of the process. However they all have and continue to support me as I grieve and raise my little one. Also, I breastfed while working with all these plants and had no problems. If you are very concerned, please contact your doctor, midwife or lactation consultant.

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic Arnica: Homeopathic Arnica was great for when the death was fresh. It kept me grounded and present so I could actually remember to grieve. Arnica didn’t take the pain away for me. It reminded me that I had just gone through something very painful and that I should take precious care of myself.

Homeopathic Ignatius Amara: Ignatius Amara kept (and still keeps) me from being emotionally constipated. When I wouldn’t let myself cry or be sad, Ignatius Amara would hold space for me to cry or be sad as much as I needed to. It helped me to keep flowing  and helped me to feel without judgment or overwhelm.

How the homeopathic remedies worked with me: For the first 3 months or so, I would take either Arnica or Ignatius Amara (sometimes both) every 4 – 6 hours. I needed all the help I could get at the time.  After three months, I backed off a bit. Now, when I recognize that I am having a rough time, I take some Ignatius Amara. I love Arnica, but for me Ignatius Amara is more gentle.

Tinctures

Elderflower Tincture: I love Elderflower. Elderflower will help you channel your energy in the most beneficial direction. So instead of spiraling into the darkness of what had happened, Elderflower helped me keep one foot in front of the other; moving in a positive direction. Note: This does not mean I had an easy time. It means that in the midst of sorrow, I had a light pulling me forward. There was something that had confidence in my ability to make it through and was rooting for me. For me, this is what I needed most.

Rose Tincture: Rose Tincture helps remind me how my I love my father. No, the man was not perfect, but thanks to Rose’s help I can remember and celebrate what I love most about him. Rose’s love also helped me say all I needed to say to him before he passed, so neither of us needed to carry that.

Peach Tincture: Peach has softened any harsh left over feelings I held towards my Father. It’s allowed my heart to expand and feel compassion for things he did that hurt me. Peach has also been instrumental in keeping my anxiety from running wild. My anger and anxiety have vastly increased as part of the grieving process, Peach keeps things in check for me. (Sweet Violet is another tincture that’s great for anger and anxiety.)

Reishi Tincture: Together with Peach, Reishi has helped to heal old scars on my heart. It’s increased my empathy for Dad and helps me feel like he’s not too far away. Reishi is perfect for deep heart work, and I would play with it more, but it upsets my bowels if I take it for more than a month at a time.

How the tinctures worked with me: I love some tinctures. They are easy to work with. I would take a dropper full in my mouth every morning. Teas I would forget or get stressed out over. Tincture I would rarely forget. I find that I forget, it’s time to play with another tincture. They usually call to me in advance , so if I am being on top of things, I already have what’s needed.

Essential Oils

Frankincense Essential Oil: I started playing with Frankincense oil right before my father died. It has a soothing, calming presence that helped to ground me. Frankincense oil is a great go-to for working through Daddy issues.

Myrrh Essential Oil: Mourning my Father’s death, inflamed grievances I have with my Mother. Myrrh helped keep me steady, in integrity and grounded as I dealt with my Mother. Myrrh is great for working through Mommy issues.

Geranium Essential Oil: Geranium’s big bright spirit brought youthful joy and peace. It helped me to feel resilient and strong. She also has a way of helping you work through things in a simple, easy and almost playful way. Geranium is fun and uplifting, yet protective.

Bergamot Essential Oil: Bergamot kept me from descending into the abyss. He kept me light and fired up. There would be no way that I couldn’t find light to see or understand if he was around. If you are clinging to the edge and want something to bring you light and joy, Bergamot on your hands, belly or the bottoms of your feet can help.

How the Oils worked with me: The Essential oils wanted different things from me. Sometimes, they wished to be put into a diffuser and kept near all day. This was perfect for winter. Now a days, the usually like to be put on my skin in specific places. Bergamot loves my belly and the top of my head. Geranium wants to be on my heart, in the front and on the back. Frankincense and Myrrh go in various places on various days.

Here’s my list 🙂 There are plenty of other Herbal Allies that will support you through grief, but these are the ones I know 🙂 I hope this list has helped you in some way.