Sunday, 8 May 2011

May Tasks

The herb apprentices have been given the tasks for May, so it’s time to sum up last month and look to the month ahead. In April I learnt about herbs that could be used for headaches and migraines which will come in useful and have put my findings on this blog. I also tried teas of two of my study herbs, bilberry and blackberry.
 I have finally combined my elderberry glycerite and wild cherry bark tincture, a superb bit of alchemy if I say so myself! This looks smells and tastes like a cough mixture should – made me cough when I tried it! It is the glycerine I think that gives it some sweetness and is mostly responsible for a nice warm feeling as it oozes down your throat.
 Sarah kindly prepared a crab apple flower essence for me with blossom from the Sanctuary, I’ve had a big problem so far this year with finding the plants I need for my task.
 I also gathered ground ivy from the Sanctuary, the tea was like drinking a perfumed infusion and I have prepared a tincture. What was really worrying there was that I thought ground ivy was very bitter; this is because I decided a few years ago that I needed some, found a picture in a book and the corresponding plant in a field and made a very bitter tea. When Sarah showed me ground ivy the plant looked the same except that it was larger so I’m not sure what I consumed, happily it does not seem to have been poisonous.
Ground Ivy

 I have been useless at making dandelion flower products due to a severe lack of time and being distracted with researching natural skin care products after my course in London. I spent today at the NEC and attended a really useful talk by Penny Price on using essential oils in organic skin products. I also nosed at peoples products and was able to test stuff and got a few samples and freebies.
 This month’s tasks are:
·         Make one bruise/bone healing/drawing oil and one aromatic oil of your choice. Describe why you chose to use this herb and what you will use it for. (If you choose comfrey, please read all Paul Bergner’s research on comfrey here and here 
·         Menopause. If you’ve not already read Susun Weed’s book, do so this month and consider what protocols you would develop to support someone going through this time in their life. I have this book and shall refresh myself.
·         Research and note the meaning of the following terms: emollient, galactogogue, emmenagogue.
·         What have you been doing with your herbal ally? Review what you have learned so far and write a story either for adults or children which incorporates some of your knowledge
·         Make a dogrose petal and leaf vinegar and/or elixir and as many different elderflower products as you can. (eg double infused oil, cordial, vinegar and champagne!) The great news here is that elderflower and dog rose both grow close to me so for the first time this year I don’t have to panic about where to find stuff.

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