Thursday, August 30, 2007

Decanting magic

Yesterday and today I've been going through my jars of tinctures that have not yet been strained. I have a lot of tinctures that I put up, and then just left ......... decanting them now means they will have extracted for thirteen moons :). I missed quite a bit of harvesting this year. The St. Johnswort was scarce, and mugwort, yarrow, and Goldenrod I have in plenty.

The little jar in the photo that is empty, was filled with wild oregano and vodka. It grows in abundance around my home. I made it to stave off colds and viruses. I expected it to be very hot and spicy, like the fresh plant tastes, but to my surprise, it's exquisitely sweet! Very much like my Red Bee Balm (Monarda Didyma) in fact. I can see clearly how herbalists would liken them to each other. The tincture is so lovely to take, and carries a gentle yet determined medicine; opening the throat and relieving start up congestion. I could also see it being helpful for an earache.

I strained two quarts of beautiful crystal green Yarrow blossom tincture. In the past I have often put the yarrow and alcohol into the blender, yielding a potent, cloudy green-brown tincture. This time I had carefully cut all the blossoms and little leaflets off of the stalk and tinctured them whole. I am curious if it carries any difference. It *feels* like fairy tincture. This is a medicine my whole family uses quite often. It's my daughters main herbal ally - she uses it for cooling and toning herself down (she is your classic Pitta-Kapha) especially in the Spring season. She gets flooding nosebleeds, stomach fermentation, and hot feet. If she can't throw herself into cool water to swim, Yarrow does the trick. We also use it for colds, flu, sore throats, and muscle injury, and topically for wounds if needed. Susun Weed recommends a spray to repel mosquitos, which I have tried somewhat but can't vouch entirely because I can't resist adding other ingredients - so I don't really know which one is working.

Mugwort tincture was even older - I found a tincture I made two years ago! Sheesh! That got strained too. I love this Artemisia for right before my Moonflow, when my womb swells with pressure and tension. It warms and releases muscle tension in the uterus, while toning the blood and digestion. Not to mention it's lunar energy helps! A mugwort pillow helps to deepen already potent dreamtime during menses - but be sure to ask the plant for guidance or she may just get into mischief!

And a big beautiful quart of pinky-hued red clover blossom tinctured in brandy. Yum! We love this for it's life nourishing properties and for keeping the libido healthy. I recommend the nourishing infusions on a regular basis - but the tincture has it's merit too. It's lovely when I am feeling too masculine - and the world is wearing me down. It reminds me that *soft* is strong, and seems to beautifully restore my resilient nature and femininity. Not to mention that red Clover is a bosom buddy .... a superb breast tonic. I love the entry on Red Clover in my beloved book: Herbal Rituals by Judith Berger .

Last but not least, Wormwood tincture. This is a valuable staple for us, if anyone has terrible stomach pains or indigestion, 4-5 drops of tincture does the trick. Great for long car rides. I also use it as part of a lyme protocol, as an anti parasitic and alterative, again at a very low dose, about 3-4 drops 2-3x a day. It seems also to help keep joints cool, taking down low grade swelling or aches. And I wouldn't be surprised if she helps with fertility - she seeds and sows prolifically! I had one plant last year - and thirty this year! A bundle of this luminous plant, makes a lovely silver wand for the mantle or altar. Athena would be proud.


Greenlee's Forest said...

Oh Ananda ~ your wild oregano sounds wonderful! And your yarrow...I love it too. I'm a hot berry & I need it sometimes.

Everything sounds just lovely!

I love Judith Berger too. It is one of the books I sleep with. It's on my night stand so the words will seep into me throughout the night. :)

Ananda said...

Hello Hot berry!:) ahhh, yes. A book taking her rightful place as bringer of dreams and ancient wisdom! I'll include some oregano tincture for you in your pending box!