Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Very Picky Herbalist


maybe I'm pitta-vata aggravated today. Perhaps. I've been in the sun a lot more lately, and there's not running river water near enough to the farm area, though it is near enough to visit for lunch, thank heavens.

I've begun week 3 of the Farm to Pharmacy program at the Goldthread Herb Farm and Apothecary, (which, for the most part, is going amazingly well, just to preface) but after being a bit too sun-blazed I have earned myself a spell to rant. Here goes.

I'm learning a lot about myself even though I'm only in week 3, and I think I do not like some of it. I do not like weeding, (how can I "weed" chamomile out of mint? Or sweet annie out of echinacea? or ...)  nor much of the physical movements of gardening. My mind likes, it, but my body not. I do not like harvesting with a bunch of chatty people. I do not like eating tepid lunches, and I don't like drinking cold demulcents in the morning. I do not like tincture ratios because I never understand them, and I don't like it when people tease me.

I DO like quiet, rhythmic, intimate harvesting. I like to touch, taste, feel and listen to the resin, the yellow ray flowers, and to a new plant friend introducing themselves to me for the first time. I like to listen wholly. I like the enormous fragrant peach tree branches I got to bring home. I like the new plants I'm getting to know, and being outside more. I like eating slowly by the water, with my feet in the current, and I still love harvesting plants and making medicine more than anything. I like the brain input on the body systems too, that rocks. I love listening to people make herb honey for the first time. I love taking all the extra garlic scapes home to pickle them.

So there is my version of Kiva's what herbalists really want (and don't want) post ;) entitled: The Very Picky Herbalist.

I probably could find more things I'm feeling pissed off about - but that would just be the heat talking :) I'll let it be, and instead, take you on a tour of my new plant friends, and some medicine making miscellany ...........


Lavender and Echinacea

Clary Sage


Yerba mansa

Yarrow flower medicine

Reishi mushroom

Herbal infused ghee

Lady's Slipper Ring treasures

ready to go

ready to nourish



German Chamomile & Chocolate Mint


Lavender, more and more
Little leaf Linden tree


California Poppy

A finale of Chamomile....

Wormwood punctuations.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MEAD Botanical Perfume Reviews

~ MEAD ~ 

Botanical Perfume


I've been honored to receive some exceptional responses to my latest botanical aromatic, a rich blend based on honeymoons and honey wine. 
Here are two toasts to mead I'd like to share with you today....

MEAD is truly a magical experience for the senses. At first sharp and bright with top notes of vanilla and jasmine, the complex mingling of scents deepens over time on the skin and becomes mellow and sultry. Warm tones of Amber come out to play followed by a hint of rose. I anointed myself with MEAD before a romantic evening and felt like a goddess! This lovely botanical perfume crafted by Amrita Apothecary is really special and evokes strong memories of midsummer, the Earth warm and full of abundance, gardens and meadows in bloom, kisses slow and sweet like honey. An absolutely exquisite blend!

Sarah Washington

....and some have allowed it to be expressed through their novel writing...

Botanical Perfume

My bracelets sound softly in the silence. My lover looks at me with a smile. I wonder at my shyness though we have done this a hundred times before. The musical tinkling interrupts my reflections. I remember who I am and saunter slowly to where he waits.  The perfumed essence of my body entices me to stop and run my hands lightly, stroking the warm silkiness of my skin. His muscles tense, patiently he watches. In the shadows our eyes meet, both of us knowing there is no turning back. I move closer as he reaches out to follow the scented path my fingers leave behind.

Up before sunrise, I gently kiss my lover goodbye. Perhaps he feels the touch of my lips in his dreams. A long day ahead, it will be many hours until my return.  

In early afternoon he calls and tells me to come home. I laugh at the restless edge in his voice, “What have you done, he groans, “The scent of you lingers everywhere, it’s driving me crazy.” He whispers into the phone, “Last night was magic,
your fragrance of moonlight and love, a sensual mix of wild mystery, delicious and so beautifully you. I can’t get enough.”

Grinning to myself, I reach into my bag and find my bottle of botanical perfume. I gifted myself this luscious aroma as a special reminder to the beauty of life. I love being a woman, sacred and connected to the earth, following the path of the moon. Most experiences, I have found, are better enjoyed by the senses than the practicality of the mind. With a lusty sigh, I generously anoint myself and begin searching for my keys.


Donna Marie Roux-Valliere

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chocolate-Rose Bark Recipe, & release of Mead botanical perfume

I've been living in a rose colored world this month.

Roses, Mead, Sun, and growth.

Every year my mom makes Rose petal jam and rose chocolates.

I won't even pretend to know her chocolate rose magic touch much less her secret recipe, but when I strained my rose petal infused virgin coconut oil, I knew I couldn't waste the flowery, delicious marc.

So I did what anyone in their right mind would do.

I made it into chocolate.

First, when your strain the roses from the oil, you'll need to pick out any calyx parts because they are too hard to chew, and not yummy. 

Then you put a bunch of your favorite chocolate bits into a double boiler, on the low side of medium heat.
I used salted caramel and hazelnut fair trade chocolate bars.
( and it more fun to do while you're talking on skype to your favorite girlfriend :)

When the chocolate starts to get melty, add your rose petal coconut marc.
Stir as needed to get everything creamy and well blended together. 

You can add coconut flakes, chopped dried fruit, or macadamia nuts for extra goodness.

Once incorporated, pour onto a plate, and use a spoon to even it out somewhat into a layer. Place it into the fridge for a while to harden up. 
Then, simply use a butter knife to cut and lift sections from the plate, and enjoy! 
(You'll want to keep the finished bark in the fridge or it will be too soft.)

The roses are stronger than you might expect, so a ratio of 1:1, like I did, was a bit to floral for some of my friends to enjoy. My daughter on the other hand, loved it to such a degree that I earned myself a public appreciation announcement from her on facebook :)
Now, from a 15 year old daughter, I'm marking that as a damn good success. 

And good impetus to make more chocolate.

The other sultry alchemy happening in my Apothecary is the completion and release of 

~ MEAD ~ 
Botanical Perfume for Hopeless Romantics

for which reviews are trickling in as I write. 
For me, personally, I am proud. I'm proud of this sweet, rich, melodic blend, which took me several mood swings and phases of the moon to perfect. It's a blend of relationship, beauty, wonder, and lust.

{and a special thank you to my friend Dena, for enlightening my world with your effervescent homemade black birch honey mead. oh holy goddess nectar, I bow!}

Below, are some words from others who have tried ~MEAD~......

"~ MEAD - with its woodsy, rich notes and sacred, tingling whispers of fragrance ~ takes you to a tropical, most spiritual paradise ~ where the gentle, singing heart ~ meets the rich, quiet Awakening of the soul ...   ...  ~ MEAD ~ is a gift from the gods and goddesses ~ who gently take you to a world you barely remember ~ yet have longed to return  to ~ called *Home* ...... from another magical time and place... a time of gentle innocence ~ and deep passion ~ MEAD ~ is your soul calling to you... Grounding ~ Centering ~ Healing  and Empowering ~ MEAD ~ is your Journey within ~ and your journey Home..."

~Danita Wind Song, Sacred Steps Healing

"Close your eyes. Imagine veiled beauties gathering with anticipation at the Palace right at dusk. They immerse themselves in carefully blended aromatic preparations for a mysterious and romantic encounter. 

MEAD envelopes them like the fragrant waters they bathe in.
MEAD is like the rare and precious jewels they are adorned with. Sultry, brilliant rubies and black diamonds gifted by a lover.
MEAD'S balsamic and sweet aroma warms the skin, filling the air with the promise of nights to come. The scent penetrates deeply through the subtle channels, while the fruity lingering notes open your heart to melodious joy. Sing along and bathe in its crimson light!

Rare and precious notes carefully selected to entice both the knowledgeable collector and the novice alike."

~Tiziana, of Fairy Bling on Etsy

Love Sonnet 116
-William Shakespeare 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no, it is an ever-fixèd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his heighth be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.