Tuesday, September 30, 2008


With it being 85 degrees out in the afternoons it is hard to believe that it is almost (less than five hours!) from being October. But there you have it. I am sure by the end of the month we will all be shivering in our cloaks (blatant Halloween reference!). I love october. I love watching the leaves fall and having to find all the boxes of winter clothes. I love the smells in the air (sweet smell of decay!), increasing wind and the start of the cold cold rain. I love harvest time! I love pumpkins and apples and potatoes!

So welcome October! I hope you bring in a plethora ("Jefe, do you know what a plethora is?"*) of benefits from the harvest for all!

*ten points if you know the movie quote! (20 if you can say the next line!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Being Productive VS Having Fun

I am working in a pretty stressful work environment these days. A product of being in a rapidly growing company that only employs about eleven people. So when I get home I tend towards playing around instead of focusing on getting my other projects or chores done. Case and point my coworker let me borrow Guitar Hero for my Wii this week and I have spent about 6 hours over the last three days playing. I am finding it quite fun though it seems to take me about three songs to relax into playing well. But when I am done I inevitably feel a bit of remorse for the time lost to playing instead of writing my book, drawing what will eventually become my company logo, writing my business plan or reading the next installment of Harry Potter (not to mention chores around the house!). Then again my brain loves the intensity of playing video games because for the 3 minutes and 5 seconds I can completlely zone out of my stress and focus on hitting notes and 'strumming' in time to the music. How much down time is too much downtime and how much work is too much work? Is work really work when you find it fun (such as my writing?). And where does blogging fit into my schedule?

I think looking over it if I play only a set amount of time a night and then work on my other projects I will get enough down time to enjoy the other 'work' I need to do to push my life forward and (hopefully) into my real career path. In the meantime I think I will try and not turn on Guitar Hero when I get home tonight and curl up with Harry Potter for awhile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Reread some stuff about comfrey this week and feeling warm and snugly with the plant again*. Comfrey is the true witch of the herbal world, doing wondrous good green things for people but is nothing but persecuted for it!

More later...

*which is amazing cause snuggling comfrey isn't the wisest choice of action, its kind of prickly

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Speaking of alien abductions....

Cooking like and Extra terrestrial or perhaps more like a well rounded earthling. I just made nachos. Normal right? It was except it look like a meal from outer space. I had blue corn ships, chocolate peppers, yellow ice peppers and white cheddar cheese. So what is usually a familiar blend of yellow chips, red and green peppers all topped with yellow cheese was a strange concoction of blue, maroon and spring green, all topped with melty white goodness. When I added the tomato and the avocado it made it look all the weirder. I think there is something to say for food that look familiar, because I focused a lot on what it looked like I don't think I enjoyed it as much as my regular nachos.* Are nachos then, more than the ingredients themselves (they were essentially the same as always) or does the look of the food matter as well?

Then again it was kind of fun to think of eating an alien version of nachos. So I wont complain.

*It might have been the fact that I have no sour cream in my new apartment! Nachos without sour cream what WAS I thinking! (Besides aliens that is)

--this post reminds me a little too much of my husband's style of blogging...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I forgot!

Also! The Dr. Horrible Soundtrack is available on itunes!

Go and get it. NOW!

(I know I know, nothing then three posts in one day. Crazy huh?)

..speaking of Matthew Wood

he totally has a new book out that I really want! Its called the Earthwise Herbal and its a 2 volume compendium. I think only the first volume is out right now, the second volume coming out in April. I should just go and splurge on it already, but I am such a bibliophile that I really have to limit my book spending or risk financial ruin. I suppose if it got out of hand I could sell my books on ebay or something.

September Chaos

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lameness of Herbal Amanda's Rant lately, but new job + new apartment + no internet service = no blogging! I would shoot the poor thing, but I think if I use a little herbal magic voodoo I could save its leg.

... ok maybe that metaphor went a little farther than made sense. Anyways I am here to blog the heck out of this place! Woo!!!!

I have determined that this months herbal remedy will be Stress Relief, of which I could probably fill an entire book of information, so I will try and keep in simple and focus on one herb and build some stuff around it. I am picking this subject for the obvious reason that now that I am gainfully employed I am of course visiting the land of stress again and need to remind myself (and you all) how to calm the heck down! (I almost swore there, see how I am not the calm rational me I was before employment?)*

The herb in question for this month is... drum roll please... Wood Betony, Stachys betonica! This is my favorite herb and has a lot of meaning for me. I was introduced to this herb by my professor and Naturopathic Physician Robin Dipasquale and it is one of the herbs that my particular brand of nervous tension responded to quite well.

Wood betony is a small herbaceous plant from the mint family that grows in moist areas (like most mints). It is hard to grow, for it doesn't get very big, but also the seeds need to be stratified (frozen more than once over the winter) since they aren't a 'domesticated' plant. It has a pleasant floral taste and makes an excellent tea on its own or in combination. I often pair it with other mild/restorative nervines such as: lemon balm, oat pods, nettles, or with sleep aids such as lavender, california poppy or valerian. I find even the tincture is pleasant in taste for those floral notes dominate and drown out the bitter alcohol flavor. This is a mild herb and can be taken daily for mild anxiety, or for peopler who find they are too often in their head daydreaming. But can be used for more serious problems such as dementia, alien abduction and full on anxiety disorders. It works well on depression when paired with St. John's (Joan's?) wort since they both work well with anxiety laden depression.

I am the anxious, worry filled, tension headache type stressor that lives in my head a little too much. Wood betony is the calminf bring you back down to earth herb that is just perfect for this type of person. Wood Betony has been used by Mathew Wood for people who think they have been abducted by aliens. He states in his Book "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" that the use of this herb in small doses over time the patients no longer fear another abduction, though they often still think they were abducted in the past. The implications of this herb are that it brings a person back into themself and out of the air, or their heads, putting them firmly in the present and not so disconnected with reality. Yes there are times when one wants to be disconnected, but I find even though I spend a lot of time writing and 'in my head' this herb grounds me in a way that still allows me to imagine a great deal, but leaves me focused so I can actually put my thoughts down on paper. It takes negative spirals where you focus on the negative and puts them into clearer foucs, calming tension and making things easier to deal with. This herb is also great for older patients with dementia to connect with what is going on who are extrememly nervous when they cannot remember things.

So that is Wood Betony in a nutshell.

*Calm? Rational? ...right.