Monday, August 24, 2009

Field Trip!

Went on an unexpected trip to Priest Lake this morning, to deliver some flowers to a wedding. Sean and I woke at the crack of dawn and were on the road by 5:47, we arrived at 8 or so and made a bride and groom happy :)

It was kind of chilly this morning so we didn't want to go swimming, but we did find elderberries in bloom, elderberry flowers, which was strange since most of the elders were in full berry, Mullien and St. John's Wort! I could have gotten some Tansy as well, but I forgot to grab some before we left our gathering site.

So without further ado, pictures:

Me picking some St. Johns Wort
St. John's Wort, closeup
Elder Flowers

Elder Berries in front of the lake
I picked these elderberries and the only place we had to put them was an old blackberry jam container we had in the trunk. It was clean and everything...strange. Next time we go out to the woods I am making sure I bring scissors, paper bags and of course my camera. I was almost completely unprepared today!

Oh and we also stopped for breakfast at a lovely little cafe called Ardy's in Coolin, ID.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Amanda's Herbal Apothecary, Batch 1

I received two gallons of grape seed oil and a brand spanking new oil press in the mail this week (the press would have arrived on the same day but it was delivered to my parents neighbor), so I have begun the process of processing.

I have been gathering Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) all summer from my mom's, bosses and friends yards so I had plenty to start a batch of oils macerating. I decided after my last batch of oils that I should powder the herbs first. This was a much more involved, loud and hazardous prospect than I would have believed before. At school we only did small individual sized batches, but i was planning on filling a half gallon jar with herbs and oil! We used half of a garbage bag full of whole leaves of comfrey, it took two different blenders to get the leaf down to powder and I don't know how many small batches that was; at least ten. The blender was way noisier than I anticipated (my poor parents were trying to watch TV in the next room) and the powder that came off each batch was sort of noxious, we finally got smart about three batches of blending in and grabbed some face masks. And still after all this only managd to fill the jar a thrid of the way through! Whew~

We decided we'd had enough and poured 1200 ml of the emerald green oil over the lovely garden green powder, shook it up to make sure all the particles were covered, and then we left in a hurry because that was hard work!

I think I may ordered the rest of the herbs in powdered form, it's not that much more expensive to have them do it for me and my time is somewhat precious. It took a good hour for one third of a half gallon jar of powdered herb and I am just not sure i want to deal with that every time!

Picture to come, I forgot my camera ;)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lightning storms and backaches

This long weekend started off with a bang (more like boom) the lightning was so close and the storm lasted so long and brought in a much needed cool breeze. Three days of below 90's temperatures and I feel like a person again. I have brain space, I am less exhausted and I am in touch with herbs once more. I always forget how much heat affects my brain. The only thing that could have been better was my back could not be killing me. Then again pain is a lovely reminder to slow down. Take it easy stop trying so hard. Lay down and rest for awhile.

I only took two ibuprofen and that was to go to work on thursday. My bosses are the coolest people ever and let me stay home thursday afternoon and friday and I am feeling much better. Ice and kava. Motherwort leaves; valerian and dandelion roots. Epson salt baths with rosemary and geranium and lavender essential oils. Beer and water and naps. These are my medicines and these are my loves. Without them my life is bland and painful and tense and stressful.

Just woke from a nap with my husband (of eight years today) and am planning on making a chocolate mousse. Three more glasses of ice cold water and I should be able to do so.