Strega's Pearls Remedies and Recipes
Ponderosa pine is one of the most sacred coniferous evergreen trees of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It grows on South facing slopes in rocky, well drained sandy soil. It easily reaches 100ft in height and 3ft diameter, and if left alone long enough trees can triple that size. The needles occur in clusters of 3 and are 6”-8” long. The bark is reddish brown, thick, deeply furrowed, and fire resistant. In fact, Ponderosa forests are healthiest when intermittently exposed to low temperature wildfires. The bark also has a sweet, caramel scent. Ponderosa is a rubefacient, diuretic, and the needles and resin can act as an irritant on the skin.
The medicine of Ponderosa pine is famous for high elevation lung ailments. The boughs are boiled for tea to help with any lung infection. The needles are high in vitamin C and especially delicious as a backcountry tea. The young shoots can also be eaten. To combat colds and flus pour a strong tea into a hot bath and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes while burning the pitch. Essential oils are released in both the smoke and the steam and when inhaled have anti-bacterial/microbial activities.
The pine resin can be burned and the smoke used to purify any room. The pitch is light golden yellow to off-white in color. It is the blood of the tree and a sign that spring has sprung when it bursts to the surface out of the bark. It can also be seen when the tree is wounded. I like to harvest Ponderosa pitch in the spring when it is sticky and infuse it into olive oil, which we use as an antibacterial and anti-rheumatic agent in salves and balms.
Sitting with this tree is very grounding to the spirit and helpful for cultivating connection with this land. There are a few grandmother trees left in the Boulder area, Colorado’s stories are available to those who would listen. Sit and listen to her stories.
We all need to feel the bare earth beneath our feet but we are not always able to have that time in nature. We can connect with the earth and her energies anytime from anywhere. It only takes a few minutes to actualize ubiety.
This is my grounding technique:
Take off your shoes feel your feet on the ground if you are not outside it does not matter feel your body from the inside. Wiggle your feet press them into the ground feel your ankles, shins, calves, thighs, put your hands on your lower belly and feel your womb, your creative center. Breathe into your belly button, your chest, shoulder, arms, elbows, hands, neck and head. Now create a root from the base of your spine and send it into the earth. Going down through the floor, the foundation of the house and into the earth. Keep sending it down . You may pass an underground stream, tunnel, or animal. As your root descends the earth around it gets warmer, until it reaches the gold, molten lava center of the earth. Allow your roots to plunge into that molten core, and like straws with every inhale draw up the golden energy until it flows through and fills your whole body. First your feet, then your legs, belly, back, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck and head. Feel the warmth of the earth’s heart and as you exhale feel the light and warmth intensify, as though a bellows is blowing upon this golden flame and causing it to burn more brightly. The heat burns away the negativity, anger and desires that encumber your spirit, and you see those emotions being consumed and purified by the golden fire. Now imagine a blue light coming down from the sky connecting with that gold and washing over you. After 10 breaths, allow the visualization to settle, and calm. Feel the stillness, notice the quality of it inside of yourself. Now notice the silence that exists within that stillness. Listen to the silence, feel the stillness. It is the difference between having chocolate and tasting it. Engage in the stillness and the silence, and after 10 breaths of each, experience spaciousness, become sky. Not a sky, with clouds and airplanes and birds, but sky, spacious, never ending, infinite. Rest in the spaciousness of this feeling, taste it, be it. When you are ready, release these energies knowing that you can return when you need and slowly enter into your body, and your day.
This meditation will help with aligning yourself to the rhythms and energies of the earth, grounding yourself here and now, as well as with the universal energies of the sky, receiving them both inside of you to create a healthy balance. This will make it is easier to feel as if we are walking in a good way on this plane, and whenever we forget our spaciousness and stillness in the moment to moment demands of modern life, we can return to this state by just remembering and breathing for a few moments. The more we can balance and align ourselves with our environment the easier it will be to create sacred space for ourselves, giving ourselves what we need to feel good, in a healthy way, and exchanging this same energy with our relations. Seek your strength within and you will find there the earth, the mother of us all, and the ultimate life source, be that Great Spirit, God, or whatever name by which you call that force.
It seems that right now at the change of the season many people are feeling under the weather. What I am giving my own family pretty regularly is a mix of anti- bacterial, immune boosting herbs. I am mixing Usnea, Echinacea, Grindelia (my children tend to have coughs) and Elder Flower all tinctures mixed with Choke Cherry and Elderberry Syrups. Mixing the tinctures make the medicine more palatable for my little ones but still just as effective for that extra boost they need right now. When it comes to medicines this is my way, I would rather one take a medicine with good feelings and a happy spirit than dread the time to take another dose. I want everyone to cheer when its medicine time and elderberry and choke cherry syrups can help you do just that.
Love these cherries for cough syrup and to mix with Elder berries.
I have seen the magic of choke cherries work on many occasions. It is revitalizating to a weakened condition and boosts the immune system.
Elderberries contain large amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene, as well as calcium and phosphorous .Elder flowers and berries are indicated to use to help heal the common cold and flu. Take as a tea to help all upper respiratory track catarrhal inflammation such as hayfever and sinusitis. The berries are diaphoretic, diuretic, and laxative. The flowers are diaphoretic, anti-catarrhal, anti-spasmodic.
Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use and give the more I have to give, the supply is endless. The use of love makes Me Feel Good, it is an expression of my inner joy. I love myself therefore I take loving car of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages. I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy. I love myself therefore I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, my self included, will fee this love and be nourished by it. I love myself therefore, I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people that I love and that love me, and earning a good income. I love myself therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I love myself therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experienes and I am free. I love myself therefore, I love totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright, and joyous, and secure for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more. And so it is.
From "Heal Your Body"- by Louise L Hay
Laura Clemmons CH
There are a few different methods to making an infused oil for your salves, massage oils, lip balms, lotions, creams, etc...
The Folk Method (fresh herb)
The Digestion Method
Calendula Calendula officinalis skin healing helps hold the integrity of the skin cell as it grows back promotes wound healing
Comfrey Symphytum officinale rich in allantoin and mucilage, facilitates and activates the healing of damaged tissue. *Be careful that the affected area does not have an infection because comfrey works so fast that it could trap the infection under the skin creating a problem. Use in salves and ointments.
Dandelion Flowers Taraxacum officinale used topically for breast congestion and lumps.
Plantain Plantago lanceolata used topically as a breast cancer preventative, for staph infection, dandruff, hemorrhoids, insect bites and stings, sunburn
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis antiviral, antibacterial, used topically for herpes virus, and cold sores
Poke Root Phytolacca americana very strong lymphatic mostly used topically for breast lumps and all swollen glands
Roses Red Rosa spp (romantic and passionate love) and Pink (self love, self acceptance) : astringent and tones tissue encourages healing
St. Joan’s Wort Hypericum perforatum anti viral, anti bacterial and used for sunburns, burns, bruises, neuralgia, wounds, and trauma to the skin. It is an astringent for tissue topically and promotes healing helping with dried cracked bleeding lips or skin.
Yarrow Achillea millefolium astringent used for bleeding, dry skin, cuts and wounds.
Duke, James A. The Green Pharmacy.Rodale Press emmaus, Pennsylvania: 1997 pp.500
Hoffmann, David. The Herbal Handbook A user’s Guide to Medical Herbalism. Healing Arts Press Rochester, Vermont: 1988 pp.211
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. Storey Publishing North Adams, MA: 1989 pp.325-372.
Green, James. The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook. The Crossing Press Berkeley, Claifornia: 2000 pp.194-199