Sunday, 29 August 2010

Austrian Adventures

I am writting this from Austria, where we have come on a family holiday visiting the in-laws n picking Alpine Delights!

We started off in the Salzberg region with my cousin and her wonderful family 5 kids and pregnant with her 6th, they live a healthy happy existance deep in a beautiful valley surrounded by 2-3000 meter peaks.

We walked n climbed a mountain called `Tasty´´ which was totally covered in the gorgeous purple hoods of Aconite, on the way up we passed much red clover, hypericum, bilberry, cranberry and a host of other herbal brilliance....

So far I am spending huge amounts of our holiday fund on vodka hehe to tincture as much as possible of these plants.

We are down on the planes in the East now on the boarders of Hungary and Slovakia where there is an incredible amount of Goldenrod growing - it is often said that what grows around an area is what the people need.

Traditionally it has been used as a kidney and bladder tonic esp. when stones are present, when I tasted the flowers and leaf it reminded me of Echinachea flavour but I am yet to cross ref the exact constituents. So have made this on for our Kidney Cleanse

I have just found out that it contains rubber, how wierd is that, and that the tyres on Henry Fords car where actually made of goldenrod.... wow.

Wormwood also grows plantifully here so I have made a tincture for our Liver Cleanse this herb is an intense bitter and also the ingrediant for the forbidden drink Absinthe.

Bitters stimulate the bitter taste buds on the tongue and thus increase salivation. This stimulates the gastric reflex to cause digestive juices to be secreted.

There is increased flow of digestive juices from the pancreas, duodenum, and liver that results in better assimilation of nutrients and less undigested food being passed through the digestive tract. This is of huge benefit to problems that have their basis in inefficient or allergy distorted digestion. They help stabalise blood sugars and alos reduce stress, we all need bitters and many cultures partake in eating bitter salad leaves before a heavy meal.

Yesterday we visited the site of an old Roman Town Carnuntum now called Petronell with many remains of Ampitheatres, villas and baths and it was full of Vervain, whilst picking it I wondered if the Roman folk had brough it with them there I googled it and found out that the Romans held it sacred and used it in many ceremonies sacred to the Goddess Venus it was also used to sanitise their homes and temples. We put it in our Maximum Chill Potion.

Today has been the datura harvest I found a whole colony of these brilliant white moon flowers on a building site mound, these are truely magical plants as I harvested I found myself feeling quite intoxicated and sang a song ├íll about `letting go of all control´. These special ladies are for this yrs Green Ointment hehehehehehehehe

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Scottish Harvest

We have had an adventure up to the Boarders of Scotland last week when we visited Traquair Festival. Fi and Lily Driving all the way from Dorset, Dieter and Harry took the truck and Elektra and I the train. On arrival in Edinburgh we decided to climb the 257 steps of Scott’s memorial to get superb views of the city sky line.
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet born 1771 was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet, popular throughout Europe during his time, the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime. His works are classics and included Ivanhoe n Rob Roy which I have to confess I have never read or even seen the films! To do list……
I had never been to Edinburgh and was very impressed I would like to go back and spend more time there definitely. The people were so kind, warm and friendly and the general vibe, building and green spaces are great.
Traquair is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland and with its grand avenue, amazing Yew tree, confusing maze, hospitably host Catherine Maxwell Stuart and noisy peacock it’s a truly special place to see. The Fair when well and we met loads of lovely folk a lot of whom had come down from Edinburgh but some as far a field as Dresden in Germany!
After the fair we when on a heather hunt an what a joy to see purple covered hills both little Lily and Elektra helped us to collect our harvest the sweet smelling delicate flowered heather is seldom seen in herbal commercial preparations and is lacking from most Materia Medicas. It is a valuable urinary antiseptic with both kidney and liver actions and a needed ingredient of our Piss Ease Tea used for Cystitis symptoms a strong infusion of heather tea can alleviate burning sensations almost immediately.
It is also the other ingredient of our Clear Vision Drops -
Action not Reaction

Heather is all about patience and imparts her wisdom gently. As a herb of the liver and urinary system she helps us to truly understand the self and our part within our community and relationships traditionally used for purification and stimulation.

Bilberry is renowned for its affinity with the blood vessels especially of the eyes, giving us the ability to see clearly. The circulatory aspects push ideas and concepts that may have reached stagnation. It is nourishing and nutritive, as with all of the berries.
Meadowsweet is another prolific herb on the Scottish Boarders everywhere lining the wayside are creamy white, candy floss, almond scented heads of flowering Filipendula when you take some of the tiny individual flowers that make up the heads to taste they are drying and one can make out the aspirin connection clearly.
With very long history of herbal use, it was one of the three most sacred herbs of the Druids. Unlike the extracted aspirin, which can cause gastric ulceration at high doses, the combination of constituents in meadowsweet act to protect the inner lining of the stomach and intestines whilst still providing the anti-inflammatory benefits of aspirin. It is going to go in our Joint Juice Tea and also our Liver Cleanse Digestive Delight mix.

Meadowsweet is a herb of Jupiter and I have used it to help folk recognise the good in themselves. In particular with one gentleman who was very hard on himself and had a distorted sense of self I made him a little amulet of meadowsweet to keep under his pillow with a few words of affirmation it helps to break down rigid barriers and soften tensions.