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Welcome to Journey to Health/Rainbow Healing

Of Interest is a place to visit often. Gudrun looks forward to keeping you up to date on upcoming workshops, classes, speaking engagements, and more. Thanks for dropping by!

Green blessings,
Gudrun

SONG OF THE FLOWER

I am a kind word uttered and repeated 
By the voice of Nature; 
I am a star fallen from the 
Blue tent upon the green carpet. 
I am the daughter of the elements 
With whom Winter conceived; 
To whom Spring gave birth; I was 
Reared in the lap of Summer and I 
Slept in the bed of Autumn. 

At dawn I unite with the breeze 
To announce the coming of light; 
At eventide I join the birds 
In bidding the light farewell. 

The plains are decorated with 
My beautiful colors, and the air 
Is scented with my fragrance. 

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of 
Night watch over me, and as I 
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is 
The only eye of the day. 

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to 
The voices of the birds, and dance 
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass. 

I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath; 
I am the memory of a moment of happiness; 
I am the last gift of the living to the dead; 
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow. 

But I look up high to see only the light, 
And never look down to see my shadow. 
This is wisdom which man must learn. 

Kahlil Gibran

The Magic of Mother Earth

The abundance and beauty of the Earth at this time of the year in the Peace Country is amazing. I encourage you to bring some of the magic of Mother Earth into your home by adding the wild greens to your food, preparing a cup of tea with fresh plants or harvesting and drying herbs for later use. Goldenrod is one of those amazing herbs you can see everywhere right now.

Goldenrod is a fairly tall plant with beautiful, vibrant golden-yellow flowers. You will find it in dry woodlands, forest clearings and roadsides.

The Latin name Solidago originates from “solidus” & “ago,” Solidus, meaning “healthy and strong,” and ago meaning “to make whole.” Both of these terms refer to the plant’s ability to heal wounds.

Some common names for Goldenrod from various cultures also give an indication for its medicinal use as a wound healing herb, for example in Germany the herb is often called “Fastening Herb”. In fact in ancient German history Goldenrod was gathered as a wound herb before engaging in battle, just in case it was needed.

However, the focus today for its use has shifted from a wound healing aid, to a very reliable herb to support the kidneys. It promotes the elimination of urine and is applied for acute as well as chronic conditions of the kidneys and bladder including inflammation. In addition, it has been found to support the body during times of upper respiratory infections, especially when dealing with a chronic situation.

For medicinal purposes the leaves and flowers (early flowering stage) are being harvested and may be used fresh or dried. The fresh leaves and flowers can be used for wound healing or made into a tea, which can also be used as a wound wash. The dried herb may be used in the form of a tea as well but also as a tincture. A tincture is an alcoholic extract of a plant and is more concentrated than an herbal tea. The “crafty” person might want to try to use the flowers as a natural dye.

This summer Goldenrod has been brightening up the landscape in so many places and the quality of it has been superb. Many times you will find it being “infested” with many small bugs, but this year the only insects I have watched enjoying the bright, yellow flowers are butterflies and bees!

If you are not sure how to prepare the herbs, remember that the DVD Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone provides clear and easy to follow instructions, teaching a great variety of herbal preparations. Check my website www.herbalinstructions.com for more information.

Disclaimer

This information is not intended for the use of diagnosing any disease, condition or prescribing any treatment whatsoever. The use of any of the herbs and preparations is the sole responsibility of each individual and does not replace the services and advice of a medical practitioner and qualified healthcare provider. Consult a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your individual medical situation. No responsibility is assumed should the information be used in place of a licensed medical practitioner’s services.

WEEDS FOR WELLNESS – A GUIDE TO YOUR BACKYARD PHARMACY FIREWEED

Epilobium/Chamerion Angustifolium

The pale purple, pinkish flowers of Fireweed are lavishly decorating our landscape right now. You can watch bees swarming around the plants, they love the flowers. Fireweed is apparently the only plant in the world that has purple pollen. It is the first plant to grow after a fire, preparing the soil for other plants and trees to follow. Fireweed provides both food and medicine for us. Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” How true this is.

The FLOWERS, UNOPENED BUDS and YOUNG LEAVES of Fireweed make a great addition to any salad, and of course, I add any of them to my Jungle Juice. The young shoots can be prepared like asparagus. A tea made from the LEAVES may simply be enjoyed as a beverage or used for medicinal purposes in cases of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH). Note: Some sources suggest that Fireweed tea has a slight laxative effect whereas others say it is being used for certain forms of diarrhea. Therefore, be your own judge and enjoy the tea in moderation until you know how it affects you – this, of course, holds true for anything you ingest or put on your skin.

As mentioned in an earlier post, a SPIT POULTICE made from the leaves, just like Plantain, will provide great relief from insect bites – numbing the pain as well as reducing swelling and allergic reactions. I have heard from numerous people this year who have made use of this knowledge and were able to avoid hospital trips while watching the magic of the plant world unfold in front of their eyes. The gifts of nature are all around us. The poultice can also be used to minimize bruising and help draw slivers.

The FLOWERS, some sources include the leaves as well, provide effective relief for hemorrhoids. For this purpose, make an infused oil which can be used as is or made into suppositories. It is advisable to look at diet, lifestyle and liver function when dealing with hemorrhoids.

A decoction made from the WHOLE HERB, including the ROOT, has traditionally been used as an anti-spasmodic in the treatment of (whooping) cough and asthma. The preparation was allowed to cool before taken internally.

Fireweed can be considered a survival food with anti-inflammatory properties. It is relatively high in nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotenes, calcium and magnesium. Always remember though, that the nutrient content (and flavour) of a plant varies greatly with the soil it is grown in.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

1. Add leaves, flowers and/or buds in any salad
2. Slightly steam young shoots until just tender. Melt butter, add lime juice, pour over Fireweed. Sprinkle with seeds/and or nuts on top (almonds, hemp hearts…)
Adjust proportions to your own liking. Remember, I consider myself a “free-flowing cook”. No recipe will ever turn out the same.

RESOURCE – QUESTION: Not sure how to prepare infusions, decoctions, infused oils etc? You find all these and many more preparations in my instructional DVD (over three hours of hands-on instructions): Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone – A Practical Guide to Creating Your Own Herbal Preparations. www.herbalinstructions.com. Subtitles in English, German, French and Spanish included as well as an appendix with all the recipes – just like a book.

Today’s Words to Ponder

Just a reminder in case your mind is playing tricks on you today:
 
You matter
You are loved
Your laughter is beautiful
And your presence on this Earth makes a difference whether you see it or not.
 
– Author Unknown

WILD ROSE – My Favourite Recipes for this time of the year

Have you noticed the abundance and colour variations of the Wild Rose flowers this year?

They are so bountiful and a delight to all of our senses. You might have noticed that a lot of different insects use the flowers as their home or resting place.

Wild Rose is also a Bach Flower essence, opening the heart and bringing joy into a person’s life.

Here are two of my all time favorite recipes.

1. WILD ROSE FLOWER WATER

Pick some flower petals and put them in a glass filled with spring water. Let sit in the sun to allow the essence of the flower to infuse into the water. Let sit for 1/2 hour to several hours depending on your taste preference.

Enjoy as is or with some ice. If you wish, you may eat the flower petals.

2. WILD ROSE FLOWER HONEY

Pick the flower petals and place on the honey. Honey that has not been processed is typically hard so you need to soften it slowly at low temperature. You can soften it first and then mix the petals into it, or what I do, I add the petals and let them do “their job” while the honey is softening.

Once the honey is soft, I like to stir the petals in with a wooden chop stick only to watch them come up to the surface again after a while. You can pick out the flower petals if you wish but you can also leave them in the honey.

Enjoy as a spread on a rice cake, on pancakes or with ice cream, or just straight from the spoon – whatever your heart desires.

DELICIOUS SUPERFOOD POWER BALLS

This recipe is a treat packed with powerful nutrition, providing energy while satisfying the desire/craving for sweets. It is a delight to watch my grand children devour this true treat. If I want this treat to last for a few days, I have to hide it in the fridge – away from anyone – small and large!

Why is it that the “treats” commonly used to reward children for “good behaviour” etc. are in most cases damaging to the children’s health? I have always been puzzled about this phenomenon while raising my own children.

As always, every time I create this recipe, it turns out a little different. I suggest you use the recipe as a guideline and be creative. Work with what you find at home in your pantry. Many of the ingredients are interchangeable. The consistency of the dough is what is important in order to be able to roll it into balls.

RECIPE – ENERGY BALLS

Ingredients

  • 20g Powder: spirulina, mushroom, kale etc.– any one or any combination
  • 20g Chi seeds
  • 100g Shredded coconut
  • 80g Almonds
  • 80g Walnuts
  • 150g Pitted dates
  • 20g Cacao powder
  • 50g Dried fruit: goji berries, apricots, cranberries etc. – any one or any combination
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • Shredded coconut for decoration

Instructions

1. Cut dates in small pieces and soak for about 30 minutes
2. If using dried apricots for example, cut them into smaller pieces as well
3. Process soaked dates, nuts, seeds and dried fruit in food processor until somewhat crumbly
4. Add cacao powder, vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup
5. Process in food processor until the mixture has a dough like consistency. I may add a bit of honey, extra vanilla etc. to get the right sweetness and consistency
6. Form into small balls
7. Decorate by rolling each one in shredded coconut
8. Keep in fridge in an airtight container

ENJOY!

DELICIOUS FLAVOURS FROM NATURE

Even though we have not had much of a summer, I am happy to have captured a few great moments.

One of my favourite is to create drinks with the delicate and subtle flavours of nature.

There really is no recipe; as always my favourite recipes are easy to create.

I add flowers to my glass of water, let the glass sit in the sun (or not) for a short while before enjoying it.

Needless to say, you only want to use nontoxic, edible flowers. I suggest, you do NOT use the flowers from plants bought at any of the stores because most of them will have been treated with chemicals.

Examples of flowers: Dandelion, Borage, Wild Rose, Fireweed, Pansies, Lilacs.

Be creative and enjoy.

Green Blessings,

Gudrun

WEEDS FOR WELLNESS – A GUIDE TO YOUR BACKYARD PHARMACY

CHICKWEED – Stellaris Media

Chickweed is one of my favorite herbs. You can use all aerial parts of the plant. My husband has gotten into trouble more than once when he got rid of it from garden beds. Chickens and small birds enjoy feeding on Chickweed as well – probably the reason for its name. Chickweed is very nourishing, it contains many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C, copper, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

My preference is to use Chickweed raw in salads, added to smoothies and the Jungle Juice, and as a garnish on sandwiches and in wraps. The flavour is mild and as with many herbs the younger plants are preferable. Especially when using it raw for salads and toppings, the stems of more mature plants get stringy, so you may only want to us the (flowering) tops. Try mixing it into cream cheese or make a herbal butter by adding chives and chickweed and maybe a bit of flax oil.

You can also add Chickweed to soups and other cooked dishes.  However, you don’t want to cook Chickweed for more than a few minutes; therefore I suggest you add it towards the end after any other vegetables and greens have their required tenderness.

Medicinally Chickweed is very soothing to the skin. I like to use it externally for skin conditions such as eczema and itchy skin. It also has a cooling effect. Apparently the herb is also used as a tea in natural weight loss programs; however, I do not have any personal experience with this application. Less well known is the fact that Chickweed helps to soothe stomach ulcers and other digestive ailments.

Have fun, be creative and I hope you will enjoy Chickweed as much as I do.

Green blessings,

Gudrun

WEEDS FOR WELLNESS – A GUIDE TO YOUR BACKYARD PHARMACY

Insect Bites

Biting insects including wasps and hornets are plentiful this year and can take some of the joy out of summer for some of us. Spit poultices from Plantain or Fireweed leaves can be a life saving tool. When neither one is available you could simply use mud (add water to dirt to make a paste). The mud applied to a nasty insect bite right after I got stung while filming the DVD, brought instant relief (see picture). It also helped to avert an allergic reaction. See more on the DVD at www.herbalinstructions.com.

Carrying a small spray bottle with (apple cider) vinegar while out and about may also prove to be helpful. When applied directly to a mosquito bite it will prevent the swelling and itchiness. I have no personal experience how it might work for other insect bites, but it would definitely be worth a try.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Some people respond with an over-sensitivity to even minor mosquito bites. If this is your situation, I suggest you look at your diet and eliminate all foods you suspect you are allergic/sensitive to. In my practice I have seen people who, almost miraculously, have stopped reacting to mosquito bites after changing their diet, for example taking out all gluten. Prior to this they were not able to leave the house without certain medications because even a simple mosquito bite triggered an enormous reaction such as huge swelling that would last for days. This makes total sense to me.

Happy herballing and green blessings,

Gudrun

WEEDS FOR WELLNESS – A GUIDE TO YOUR BACKYARD PHARMACY

PLANTAIN – PLANTAGO MAJOR

Plantain is one of the most versatile herbal medicines. We can use the leaves, seeds and roots but I will focus on the use of the leaves in the post. Most of you will have come across it. Most commonly around here we find broad-leaved Plantain (Plantago major). The plant grows along waysides, in gardens, lawns, pastures, meadows and cultivated fields. The leaves are very broad ovate and surround the stem in a basal rosette.

Plantain, just like so many other so-called weeds, is rich with nutrients including vitamins A, C, K, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and silicic acid. Remember that the nutritional value of any (edible) plant depends greatly on the soil it is growing in. Silica promotes tissue repair, in this case specifically in the lungs. Zinc enhances immune system function. Plantain also contains mucilage. Mucilage has a soothing effect on any tissue.

Internally Plantain is primarily used for any respiratory tract challenges, it restores the lungs and helps to expel mucous. It is helpful in conditions such as coughs including nervous cough, bronchitis, lung infections, allergic asthma and any other congestion incl. sinus and ear infections. I always have a jar of dried leaves on hand in the winter for my grand children. As a tea it can also be useful in cases of urinary tract infections or simple irritation.

Internally and externally it is a great wound healer for sores, cuts, scratches, dog bites, ulcers and burns. Applied as a poultice it provides instant relief from insect bites. Chew on a few leaves to get the juice from the plant flowing and apply directly to the irritated area(s). It is amazing how good this feels.

Plantain has many more usages but these are the most common ones.

As food you can add some leaves to the Jungle Juice or salad, use as spinach (cook only for a few minutes) or as a potherb. The younger leaves are preferable to older ones. And of course, you can make an herbal tea from the leaves as well.

I highly recommend that you get out there, harvest this miracle herb and add it to some of your dishes. But not only this, make sure you dry some for use in fall and winter in case a nasty cough gets hold of you.

Happy herballing and green blessings,

Gudrun