I invite you to send me any questions you have on health and wellness, herbs, herbal medicine, plant spirit medicine, natural skincare, and anything else that comes to mind that I may answer. I can’t diagnose or treat over the internet, but I welcome suggestions on what you might want to read in my blog.

Tuesday
May202014

Fresh Rosemary Oil Infusion

The finished product waiting for labelling and two weeks of shaking everyday. I'll then leave

it tocontinue macerating for at least another 2 - 3 months until I'm ready to press it.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May132014

Wild Pasta

Ah, spring. Michael and I spent Monday hanging out in the nature. There were many beautiful flowers and other forest floor plants out doing their thing.

Michael and Sasha enjoying a quiet sit by the river.

This time of year everything happens so quickly that everyday is an awakening to a new world. Birds are all twitterpated, flowers are bursting forth, the days are getting warmer and longer.

Fully unfurled ostrich ferms cover the forest floor.

Now is a great time for gathering wild foods. Already some are on the way out such as wild leeks and fiddleheads. We just managed to gather enough of the last of the fiddleheads to add to our wild pasta. We also gathered garlic mustard, dandelion flowers and stinging nettle.

To make our wild pasta, we gentley sauteed the greens in a bit of water in a large sauce pan with onions, enoki mushrooms, basil, rosemary, salt and chili peppers. At the end I added a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. We tossed the greens into organic brown rice pasta and added grated asiago and parmesan cheeses and freshly ground black pepper.

Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Mar132014

Coming Soon: The New Edition of "Plant Spirit Medicine" 

The much anticipated new edition of the book "Plant Spirit Medicine" by Eliot Cowan will be coming out in April. I am so excited!

The original book literally changed my life. In 1995, a friend gave me a copy of the book and said to me, "This is for you." I cracked it open and couldn't put it down. When I turned the last page I knew two things very clearly: firstly, that I needed to experience this medicine as a client as soon as possible; and secondly, that I needed to study this medicine as soon as possible.

It took a while to fulfill this vision, but I finally became a PSM healer in 2006 and have been growing with the medicine ever since.

Eliot will be here in Ontario August 6 - 11 for Healing Retreat, and the plan is to have a book launch around that time. I haven't any details yet, but will post them as soon as I can.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt from the introduction:

One function of an elder is to demonstrate the wisdom of our wisest elder: the natural world itself. I say “demonstrate” because talk is not enough. I can say, “The natural world sustains itself with balanced relationships, and it can also restore balance, healing, and sustainability in human life.” This may sound appealing, but as an idea it is soon drowned out in the din of other ideas clamoring for attention. Even if you agree with it, nothing will have changed from thinking about it. An experience, on the other hand, can be denied and even forgotten, but it cannot be unexperienced. Experience changes you forever.

When your heart is touched by the medicine of a plant spirit, you feel the love and wisdom of the natural world. Ideas do not deliver the same touch; therefore, this book is not a theoretical treatise or a how-to manual.

Mostly this is a book of stories, because stories aim for the heart, where experience lives.

Thursday
May232013

Bird Photography"If one day I see a small bird and recognize it, a thin thread will form between me and that bird. If I just see, it but don't really recognize it, there is no thin thread. If I go out tomorrow and see and really recognize that same individual small bird again, the thread will thicken and strengthen just a little. Every time I see and recognize that bird, the thread strengthens. Eventually, it will grow into a string, then a cord, and finally a rope. This is what it means to be a Bushman. We make ropes with all aspects of the creation in this way." - Sans Bushman

Saturday
Mar162013

Living Earth School of Herbalism - Herbal Field Studies 

This is a series of seven full-day workshops running monthly from April to October. Participants will learn how to identify, harvest and use many wild herbs that grow in Ontario . At each field workshop they will also have the opportunity to make some kind of herbal preparation using herbs that they will harvest during the workshop.

The course begins with an online introductory class that establishes the theoretical foundation for the field workshops. The field workshops take place in various wilderness locations outside of the Toronto area. Whenever possible, carpooling will be arranged for participants who do not have vehicles.

For students who enrol in the Traditional Herbalist program that do not live in southern or central Ontario and are unable to attend the regularly scheduled field workshops, the field workshops will be included as an extension to the intensive workshops that make up the advanced part of the program.

Topics include:
Identifying local herbs through the various stages of their life-cycle; introductory botany and plant anatomy; the ecology of wild harvesting herbs; harvesting instructions for different herb species; drying herbs; making herbal preparations from fresh plants; the medicinal properties and uses of local herbs.

Prerequisite: Students must register for and complete the online introductory class as a prerequisite for attendance of any of the field workshops.

Required textbooks: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Lawrence Newcomb); Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants of Eastern and Central North America (Steven Foster, James Duke).

Field workshops Dates:
Saturdays 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Field workshops: April 20, May 25, June 15, July 6, 27, August 24, October 19.