Mullein is an herb that grows so easily in our backyard. It is easy for us to overlook the medicinal properties of plants growing wild around us, but many of those plants have healing qualities many of us can benefit from. Check out this short video of mullein and an brief explination of it's healing qualities.
Look for more of my "home-grown herb" videos on herbs you can find around your home.
Ghee is amazing. As a healthy alternative to butter, ghee is super easy to make at home. Drizzle on popcorn, cook with your next meal, add a dollip on kitchari, or slather on a piece of toast. And lets just be clear here, I love butter, I'm sothern', but ghee is both nourishing and tridoshic.
Ghee is clarified butter where the impurities of butter are heated out and what is left is a type of yummy medicine. It helps improve absorption and assimilation, kindling agni and acting as a digestive. When taken with herbs, it acts as an "ayogavahi", to get them where they need to go in the body. It is unctuous in quality and supports connective tissue, lubricating the the body inside out. Ghee supports cognitive function as it nourishes the myelin and sheath of the brain. Ghee is considered satvic in character as it is of a higher frequency, promoting calm energy and awareness.
Although some say ghee lowers cholesterol, those with high cholesterol should use ghee with caution and in small amounts. Those with a lot of ama (toxicity) in the body should avoid ghee until they have worked some of the toxicity out. Kapha individuals should use in moderation as ghee holds similar gunas (qualities) as kapha-one of them being love.
Best of all, ghee is easy to make.
Check out my "how to" video on how to make ghee in your own home. NOTE: 4 lbs of butter yielded in this batch 62 ounces. Not 25 ounces.
When camping on Gold Bluff Beach, CA you may be terrified by the signs of dangerous wild elk and abrupt tsunami warnings, but you will likely feel a deep sense of nurturing from the proximity to ancient redwoods and thick sounds of Mother Ocean waves. Two miles up the dirt road parallel the beach leads you to one of my favorite places on Earth, Fern Canyon. Carved out by an ancient river, this 50+-foot-high canyon full of five species of ferns and thick moss is tucked away from the beach, a contrast of environment from our ocean front campsite. Home Creek runs through the canyon, providing a pristine and calming, cooling atmosphere for a stroll back in time. A slight breeze plays through the dancing ferns, some species hundreds of millions of years old. So prehistoric and lush is this spot right off the beach that parts of Jurassic Park were filmed here. A mile hike through the canyon leads you to the entrance of trails through the old growth forest named Prairie Creek Redwood State Park and Murrelet State Wilderness.
The 14 plus miles we hiked on Saturday were through these old growth redwoods, some 18 feet in diameter and hundreds of feet tall. Parts of the trail were fern covered, shaded by the canopy of hundred-year-old or older redwoods, not prone to disease or parasitic disasters, while other parts were exposed to the sunlight and fog along chilled creeks and banana slug territories. At any moment, you would expect to stumble upon a brontosaurus grazing on foliage. I breathed in and breathed out as deep and full as possible. The flora and fauna are absolutely fabulous, with Deer ferns, Sword ferns, huckleberries, vibrant orange tiger lilies, and spruce all thriving among the towering redwood. Even the earth below feels cushioned as you step cautiously to avoid the nubs of redwood roots. I could have sat among these friends until the end of time.
If I am ever missing and you cannot find me, on the Miner’s Ridge trail is where I’ll be, listening to the whispers of the ferns and shouts of the waves, all relaying the secret timeless mysteries of life.
Y’all, it is hot! Must be pitta season. As the days grow hotter and the sun brighter, it is important to remain cool so we don’t boil over. Pitta elements are fire and water. When pitta is out of balanced and increased in the body, on may feel over heated, be prone to anger, or tend toward heartburn issues. Balanced pitta is expressed as intelligence, transformation, and digestion. During these hot summer months, it is important to remain cool so we can enjoy, rather than loathe, these beautiful summer days.
There are many tools we have in our belt that can help maintain a healthy balance of pitta during these hot days. Here are a few to try:
A 10 minute walk from our home in Ashland, OR takes you to an intricate trail system with names like White rabbit, Cheshire Cat, and Looking glass. From here you can hike to the Pacific Crest Trail and make your way by foot to Canada or Mexico. The spirit of the Madrone and Manzanita are vibrant and alive on these trails; the wisdom of the Oaks are telling and profound, and the smells incredible.
We live in a small town where the sightings of bears on the streets are not uncommon and the deer whom have taken up permanent residency know how to use the crosswalks better then most humans. Shoes are optional. Some say Ashland is stuck in the 60s and after working at the local Co-op, I might have to agree. One can take it slow and easy. Farm land is typical and organic local foods readily available. As an herbalist for a small clinic in town, I have been able to make a career in alternative health care and am supported by the community to advocate for natural healing.
A 30 minute drive south takes you to the top of Mt. Ashland or head North East towards Grizzly peak. Climb Pilot rock to see a 360 view of the peaks and valleys or catch some trout with volcano views on Howard Prairie Lake.I miss my family and life-long friends in the South East dearly- but good lawrd it feels incredible to be nestled between and hugged by the Cascades and the Siskiyous Mountains! Come check it out, Y’all! It truly is amazing.
Alochaka Pitta is a subdosha of Pitta, water and fire.
The other day I got contacts for the first time in years, and this got me to thinking about alochaka pitta. Alochaka governs the eyes. The transformation, perspective, sharpness, luster, and color of the eyes are all a byproduct of the influence of alochaka.
The emotional aspect of alohaka are seen in the different placements of tears. The outside of the eyes is the placement of kapha; tears here are expressions of love, compassion, coolness. Tears from the middle of the eyes, the pitta placement, are expressions of hate, anger, frustration, salt and heat. Vata governs the inner eye where emotions of sadness, grief, fear, and loneliness are relived.
Disorders of Alochaka pitta are due to suppression of these emotions as well as not being able to see something as it is.
So as I adjust to a new perspective and way of seeing, I thank alochaka pitta for aiding me in optical perception!
Y'all! I am teaching a free lecture next week on the core foundations of Jyotish. We will talk about the characters of the planets, houses, constellations, and begin to delve into the juice of the "science of light"!
Ashland Food Co-op
See you there!
The Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra is the sacred text of Jyotisha, or Vedic Astrology. These 7th century text are full of the qualities of the planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Katu) and how they proved obstacles in our personalities and lives from past karma to either eradicate karma or create more. The planets are called "grahas" as they grab the influence in our lives, molding and shaping the directions we take mentally and physically. Our charts are made up of houses, planets, and constellations, all functioning together as a reflection of the greater One. The ancient text reveal so much of ourselves.
There are many things we can do to support our lungs during fire season. The obvious is limiting outside exposure and wearing a mask when outside, but using herbal support can go a long way. The small particles from the smoke can be harmful to our bodies; from simple irritation of the sinuses to negative lung and cardiovascular impacts, wildfire smoke is not something you want to inhale.
Let us take a look at a few herbs we can use to support our bodies:
First is Pippali and Sitopaladi. Taking a small amount of each as a mixture with a spoonful of honey first thing in the morning can alleviate phlegm buildup as well as support the structure of the lungs.
If these are not available to you, consider mullein, Inula, Yerba Santa, and Yerba Mansa individually or go with a mixture of these herbs. Herb Pharm's 'Herbal Respiratory Relief' and Wish Garden's 'Deep Lung' are both excellent options to work on the deeper lobes of the lung to detox and cleanse out particulates from the smoke.
Lastly, chlorophyll is vital to providing oxygen to the blood stream which also has fantastic detoxifying and cleansing outcomes. Consistent use of chlorophyll allows for higher concentrations of oxygen and cleaner, fresher blood to be pumped between the heart and the capillaries of the lungs to breath easy.
For further information on breathing exercises (pranayama), smart foot choices, and overall Ayurvedic support for lung health or general well-being, set up a consultation today!
Breath fresh friends, this Wildfire season is no joke
In Vedic Astrology, Saturn is in the consultation Sagittarius.
Saturn is the planet of discipline, contraction, separation, physical depletion, spiritual life, and delay. Sagittarius represents will in action, morality, conventional perspectives, strong option, critical thinking, and both material and spiritual gains. When Saturn transitions through Sagittarius, the pitta and vata mind become activated and movement in the workforce is accentuated.
This combination creates a hard work ethic and structural influence in the work space but also contributes to a "go go go" attitude in our daily lives which can negatively impact our bodies. Saturn can dry synovial fluid in the joints, depletes the musculoskeletal system, and creates vata vitiation.
It is crucial during this time to remember to relax, to slow down, have a daily routine, and nourish the body so that we may hold the balance of discipline and spiritual experience like the growth of this this bean plant.