apothecary

I have been interested in plant medicines for awhile, but never wildcrafted them for myself until now. Below are a few plants and fungi I am becoming familar with - and making medicine for my friends and family and those in need. Related to ecological restoration, not only are we assisting recovery and healing land, we are often also healing ourselves, asserting and reclaiming culture. This new practice has allowed me to explore new relationships with wild and cultivated plants found in my bioregion. Too, it has been an invitation to learn more about plants potentially used by my ancestors. Below is more information about the plants and their uses.

arbutus

arbutus - gritty and defiant

Defiant is why I like them, defying gravity, bending and twisting towards the light. They epitomize resiliency, growing in tough conditions, and reframe tree health.

also known as: qʷuƛ̓əc, qʷuqʷuƛəc (S. Lushootseed), madrona, madroño, refrigerator tree

planetary archetype: Mars?

plant family: Ericaceae

energetics:  drying

parts I used: leaf

medicinal uses: reduces skin inflamation, stanches bleeding in abrasions, and helps healing from urinary tract infections

preparations: leaf tea and leaf tincture

where I gathered: Swan Creek Park, Tacoma

learn more: Kloos, Scott. Pacific Northwest medicinal plants: Identify, harvest, and use 120 wild herbs for health and wellness. Timber Press, 2017.

Arbutus ARME Traditional and Cultural Knowledge

ashwaganda - adapt

Known as an adaptogen, this tranquil herb has origins in South Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa. I grew up with horses, and it smells like them. I never knew what it looked like until I visited Root Digger Herb Farm, communiy supported agriculture, in Olympia.

also known as: Withania somnifera, "the smell of horse" 

planetary archetype: Sun, North Node, Moon

plant family

energetics:  

parts I used:  root

medicinal uses: promotes restful sleep, deep relaxation, supports the nervous system

preparations: 

where I gathered: Root Digger Herb Farm

learn more: Adriana Ayales, The Herbal Astrology Oracle

burdock

also known as: 

planetary archetype:

plant family

energetics:  

parts I used:  root

medicinal uses: 

preparations: 

where I gathered: Root Digger Herb Farm

learn more

coltsfoot

also known as: 

planetary archetype

plant family: Asteraceae

energetics: cooling, moistening

parts used: root, note: remove the nodes from the roots that high amounts of alkaloids

medicinal uses: 

preparations: 

where I gathered

learn more:

echinacea  - spirit

Echinacea was the first herb I tried to boost my immune system.

also known as:  Echinacea agugustifolia, E. purpurea, E. pallida, coneflower

planetary archetype: Jupiter, Pluto

plant family

energetics:  

parts I used:  root

medicinal uses: fights infections, cures colds, and treats upper resipiratory infections by supporting the liver and blood and stimulating the immune system

preparations: 

where I gathered: Root Digger Herb Farm

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elder - wisdom

also known as: Sambucus nigra, S. canadensis, elderberry, black elderberry 

planetary archetype: Jupiter, Pluto

plant family: Adoxaceae

energetics:  

parts I used:  berry

medicinal uses: blood cleanser, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, used for the kidneys, liver and digestive system

preparations: syrup from decoction of tincture, elixir and fresh berries

where I gathered: Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest

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goldenrod

also known as: 

planetary archetype:

plant family

energetics:  

parts I used:  flower, stem and leaves

medicinal uses: 

preparations: 

where I gathered

learn more

grindelia

also known as: gumweed

planetary archetype: Sun

plant family: Asteraceae

energetics: 

parts used: flowerhead

medicinal uses: 

preparations: 

where I gathered

learn more:

hawthorn - ❤️

Common hawthorn is also designated a Class C noxious weed in Washington State.

also known as:  Crataegus monogyna, common hawthorn, red hawthorn, one-seed hawthorn, Neapolitan medlar, whitethorn

planetary archetype:

plant family: Rosaceae

energetics:  

parts I used:  berries

medicinal uses: 

preparations: 

where I gathered: Wilkinson Farm Park  

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herb robert

Once known as Saint Robert's Herb, was named after a 12th century French monk who used the herb to heal skin conditions, including wounds and herpes. Herb robert is also designated a Class B noxious weed in Washington State.

also known as:  Robert geranium, stinky Bob

planetary archetype:

plant family: Geraniaceae

energetics:  drying, toning

parts I used:  berries

medicinal uses: used externally for healing wounds, herpes and skin eruptions

preparations: wound spray

where I gathered: Dash Point State Park

learn more

ivy - lungs and the shade

Less well loved around the Pacific Northwest, the vine and liana is superabundant where it is left untended by people. However, it exhibits myriad benefits for shading, cleaning air pollution, and heart health. The triterpenoid hederagenin, isolated from Hedera helix, exhibits anti-cancer properties and impacts ovarian cancer. Hedera helix is also classified as a Class C noxious weed in Washington State.

also known as: 

planetary archetype: Uranus, Jupiter?

plant family: Araliaceae (Ginseng)

energetics:  

parts I used:  

medicinal uses: 

preparations: 

where I gathered

learn more: Ivyland with Toby Query | scientific literature on Hedera helix via Google Scholar,

milk thistle

Native to the Mediterranean, Dioscorides described milk thistle's healing properties in the 1st century A.D. Milk Thistle has been used as a remedy for  melancholy, and is said to embody the spirit of the quick acting and decisive badger who protects Earth's medicines. Milk thistle is also listed as a Class A noxious weed in Washington State.

also known as: blessed milkthistle, spotted thistle, variegated thistle 

planetary archetype: Mars, Moon

plant family: Asteraceae

energetics:  

parts I used:  root

medicinal uses:  treats liver and gallbladder diseases, protect the liver against toxins, stimulates the flow of bile - ensuring smooth digestion by improving metabolism, breakdown and absorption of foods.

preparations: 

where I gathered: this is a capsule I purchased at the encouragement of a naturopath

learn more:

rose - true love

also known as: 

planetary archetype:

planetary ruler: Venus, Moon

plant family: Rosaceae

energetics:  

parts I used:  hip

medicinal uses: eases arthrital pain, reduces cold and flu symptoms, and reduces cardiovascular risk

preperations: jam, jellies, tinctures, and tea

where I gathered: backyard

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valerian - rest is resistance

also known as:  Valeriana officinalis

planetary archetype: Neptune

plant family

energetics:  

parts I used:  root

medicinal uses: improves sleep quality, alleviates insomnia,  helps with fatigue

preparations: 

where I gathered: Root Digger Herb Farm

learn more

where I have been learning

Adriana Ayales & Anima Mundi Apotecary, The Herbal Astrology Oracle

Hawthorn & Honey - Herb School and Medicinal Plant Nursery

Kloos, Scott. Pacific Northwest medicinal plants: Identify, harvest, and use 120 wild herbs for health and wellness. Timber Press, 2017.