Spring Equinox 2016 - Honoring Balance & The Spaces In-Between with Cream of Watercress & Asparagus SoupRead Now
Equal light and dark is one of the gifts of the Spring Equinox. Honoring balance is something I'm thinking about by carefully looking at what's needing balancing in my world. Balance is a dynamic state anyway. Even scales wobble or need a hood to reduce the wobble. We don't live there. Maybe nothing does, or maybe we swing through it and sometimes pause a bit and oscillate around it until the full spectrum measures 'balance’? They’re calling for snow for the Spring Equinox. It's not a new thing here for New Yorkers. It makes me turn to the soup pot again with soft, understanding eyes. I'm not sure how to survive without my soup pot. I most likely could, but not well. The markets are rolling in asparagus and watercress and I love them both! Potatoes from the fall are still around and needing to be consumed so the balance of fall and spring, in one pot to feed our bones, is the way of our weekend within this tribe.
Many are still moving the flu around so the bone broths and thyme, with all the luscious green, help boost our resistance while offering flavor and keeping us in flow with Nature. My dearest friend, Caroline, taught me this recipe with watercress we would harvest in the watery areas we knew of. She was one of those people you are blessed to know, who showed me deep sisterhood at a much needed time, dragged me to my first herbal conference, and then pointed the way for me. Life did an about-face and she was suddenly gone in an accident and many lives changed forever by knowing her. She died on Valentine’s Day decades ago now. I always make this soup in honor of our time together as deep sisters, in gratitude for showing me the herbal world before she had to go, and in great anticipation for the blooming of the Magnolias which was her favorite flower that brought her deep peace from chronic pain. She comes forth through these blooms for me and the worlds are more interwoven than we think when I sit with Magnolia and fill my belly with one of my favorite soups from my dear sister, Caroline.
In deep honor of these days, may you enjoy welcoming Spring and our swing through 'balance' in your way. xo- Jen
Honoring the Plants as Medicine Keepers
Interested in deepening your relationship with the plants as medicine keepers? Full descriptions are available in the links below. Thank you for sharing. xo-Jen
Good Mouth Care the Herbal Way
Using tooth powder is definitely not a new thing. Many today globally still use some form of clay to re-mineralize and clean their teeth daily with consistently good results. My husband lived in Germany for many years and that's what many use in Europe. It comes in a light weight cardboard box too. When I think about all the toothpaste tubes heading to the dump, I'm concerned. How will these ever breakdown? Even if recyclable, what about the toxic processes necessary to recycle certain plastics? Plus many the ingredients in commercial toothpastes are just not good for us. The mouth is full of blood vessels and mucosa designed to absorb significant amounts, quickly, straight into the bloodstream, including much of the unwanted chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and dyes that are known neurotoxins. The rest of it ends up in our water supply after spitting them out. There is another way, yes? The main ingredient in many tooth powders is Bentonite Clay. Not only does it bind to and draw out heavy metals and toxins but it is alkaline and full of minerals.
There are many simple herbal tooth powder recipes that are so easy to follow. Just beginning is the hard part. Most health food stores will have all your ingredients or try Mountain Rose Herbs on-line.
Basic Tooth Powder Recipe:
Mix Equal parts of: Baking soda, Bentonite Clay powder, Myrrh powder, and Sea Salt powder (grind the salt in a clean coffee grinder for a minute to powder so it is less abrasive). I love adding Spearmint, Peppermint, or Fennel Essential Oil to up the flavor and the antimicrobial action. Add 30 drops per 1 cup of mixed powder. Sift the powders through a fine mesh sieve, including the essential oils to break them up because they form little beads of oil in the powders. Once combined well, spoon into a small glass jar, label, and you're ready. When you need to brush, pour a small amount in your hand, wet your toothbrush, and brush as usual. There are times when I add other powdered plants to this mix to up the re-mineralizing and healing properties of the blend.
Homemade Herbal Mouth Rinse
This is a strong and effective mouth rinse particularly for those with gingivitis and periodontal disease. Also helpful for toning gums, keeping them tight to the teeth, and for cold sores, sensitive gums and teeth. Those with festering infections up around the tooth roots that actually drain into the mouth will benefit from this used daily. These active situations as well as the low lying infections of periodontal disease, have been linked to bone and tooth loss, heart disease and stomach cancers. Gum flapping has many promises, is very invasive and traumatic, and I have seen dentists unable to tell what quadrant was done once healed. Sometimes we need surgery. But the point of invasive surgeries is to change the situation, yes? Laser treatments and antibiotic injection to the tooth roots are other options. Insurance companies won’t pay for the care needed either, unless we pay more, which completely disturbs me and makes me look honestly at our healthcare system. Treating our gums is far more cost effective than treating heart disease and cancer.
Yes, we still have options for supporting tooth and gum health. I’ve made this herbal based mouth rinse and given the recipe out for more than 20 years with great reports of great results. You begin by making a full strength tincture. When done, it has a few additions to ease the alcohol content but keep it stable and improve taste and healing properties. Those with alcohol dependency issues cannot use this remedy and so I suggest salt water gargles daily for them, which work great too. We have to tend more to the openings in our body that are more susceptible to microbes from the outer world. Here is another one for tending to the mouth.
Ingredients & Instructions:
Your yield for 1 batch of full strength tincture? I estimate you can make FIVE 17oz. bottles of finished mouth rinse! Maybe six depending on the dried versus fresh herbs you get. Yes, it's Earth and body friendly, effective, and very cost effective too.
May you find simple, powerful healing among the medicine plants like so many have. The plants wait for us and are gifted medicine keepers we have evolved on. Each of us must come in our own time back to some of the simpler ways of tending to our health.
Interested in learning more about medicine plants?
This is part of one of our recent lessons for the new herbalists coming into the world this year through "Birthing an Herbalist in 13 Moons" , an on-line course I designed for training you to know how to make simple powerful medicines right from your own well-stocked apothecary designed by you, for you and your family. I walk with you through the whole course and it's a good, strong journey together deep into the plant world our ancestors knew well.
A new group is starting in April and there's a discount until the end of March. See the full description for all the details in the following links. Questions Welcomed.
ElderMoon School xo-Jen
Are you a medicine carrier?
I'm sure you are. Navigating the herbal world can become very overwhelming today, yes? As is finding reliable resources to learn from. It didn't used to be this way not too long ago. I see this as a beautiful sign of expansion among our people as our desire to remember the ancient ways, needed to navigate our modern times, is the call we are putting forth collectively. Discernment is more of the task at hand. The journey begins with ourself and the 'Birthing of Our Inner Herbalist-Healer in 13 Moons' is a course I designed to cultivate you all along the way. Join me for a good, strong medicine journey that will have you walking strong alongside our healing plants.
Maybe you've decided herbs are for you but being an herbalist is not. That's understandable. Maybe you know you need a deeper walk with someone who has been down the road a bit. That's understandable too. Maybe you would love to know how to make your own medicine and have a personal apothecary at your fingertips? I know this one well. Birthing an Herbalist in 13 Moons is a course I designed for the person who wants to be an herbalist, the medical professional that wants to know the plants and learn to integrate this knowledge, and the caregiver who knows that in any situation, from caring for yourself to caring for your loved ones, this IS the path for you. Sometimes we just know deep within our bones where we must travel.
So my mission, vision, and desire is to create space for our remembering of our birth right to sit with medicine plants and know how to connect and learn directly from them. We all carry this wisdom deep inside. Let's nudge this way forward and integrate it creatively in your life as a path leading to being of service. The plants are here and available and you can do this. Knowing your medicine IS helping your people, yes?
With over twenty-five years under my belt making medicine and teaching about herbs, plus walking the hospital halls for ten years now, I've come up with a course that is full of tips for addressing common ailments at home with your very own, incredibly cost effective and potent tinctures, syrups, poultices and salves and more, right from your own personally designed apothecary.
How does the course work?
Jennifer Costa, Herbalist-RN, Teacher, BS, EM-CST, and Founder of ElderMoon School of Herbs & Earth Medicine