My teacher, Dr. Lad and I.
Dr. Lad taught me nearly everything I know about Ayurveda and many things about life. As one of his personal herbalist, I learned a deeper side of Ayurvedic medicine, something you can not learn in books. I learned the language of herbal intelligence, a clearer perspective on herbal alchemy, and the power of intentional prayer.
Every Tuesday, my most important duty working in Dr. Lad's herb room was to bathe Ganesha. A heavy and ancient statue, Ganesha flew on Dr. Lad's lap from India to Albuquerque, NM. I would sing mantras under my breath to the love of human kind and care of all beings.
Everyday I feel a sense of honor to have learned and worked alongside Dr. Lad and many other amazing humans. Through Dr. Lad, The Speaker drops profound wisdom.
Mullein on the Banyan Botanicals' farm. This incredible herb grows so easily and strong in many places. Related to spinach, mullein is used for respiratory problems including asthma, cough, and bronchitis. As it soothes irritation in the throat and clears congestion, mullein flowers are also used to treat ear infections when infused with garlic in oil.
I love this herb for respiratory issues as it is a pretty gentle and loving plant. The compounds in mullein move phlegm out of the body while also soothing and tonifying the mucus membranes of the respiratory system.
The leaves are the part of the plant used; the seeds should not be consumed as they are toxic. Not to be used when pregnant.
For any herbal and Ayurvedic support, contact me at email@example.com.
Happy Beautiful Venus Day!
Feminine in spirit, Venus represents refinement, art, poetry, music, dance, pleasure. Those ruled by Venus or have a strong Venus in their chart tend to enjoy the refined qualities of life and have good taste.
Venus rules Taurus and Libra zodiac signs.
When underdeveloped or immature in a chart, Venus can create vanity and superficiality. She loves appearance and is attracted to pleasure, putting everything else at cost. Depending on her placement, she can force intense self-indulgence that turns destructive. Her feminine power can be deceiving and controlling. She loves the be desired, but never owned.
A refined or mature Venus in a birth chart will create love and devotion for truth. She beautifies the world around her, inspiring others toward purity and enjoyment. She is powerful; the romantic that can help us attain communication with the Divine. Where our Venus is placed in our chart indicates affection and harmony in our lives. The power of the Ocean is the power of Venus.
"Venus is joyful in spirit, possesses a beautiful body, is splendorous and has lovely eyes; she is the inspirer of poets, is watery and airy in constitution (kapha and vata), and has curly hair"
Blackberries from our farm!
While all berries are packed full of antioxidants, fruit in general is not to be combined with other foods. Fruit and berries are quickly digested and this can create fermentation in the gut when mixed with foods that take longer to digest.
Food combination is an important component in Ayurveda and many times we find that the source of stomach issues, including gas and indigestion, come from poor food combination. All food, herbs, and spices have their own taste (rasa), heating or cooling energy (virya), and post-digestive effect (vipaka). When conflicting foods are mixed, they can create toxins in our bodies and make it challenging to processes the food we consume.
Here are some general guidelines for proper food combination:
1. Never mix fruit with other foods, especially yogurt! Yogurt is already fermented and when combined with fruit, as most fruits have a sour quality, this creates a habitat for bad bacteria and fermentation. This combination also dampens our agni, or digestive fire. With a diminished agni, we can not have proper digestion and assimilation.
2. Stay away from combining meat and cheeses. Dairy mixed with meat is extremely tamasic, or heavy, and can create clogged arteries, high cholesterol, and stagnation in the body. Both of these food items should be eaten separately, as their specific qualities, especially when combined, are taxing on the body and lead to digestive issues.
3. While there can be a time a place for many food items, especially depending on your doshic constitution, season, and state of agni, raw foods are generally troublesome for the body. Raw foods can be difficult for our bodies to break up and absorb. Consider soaking nuts and cooking veggies to make sure you belly is happy, healthy, and supported!
We harvested Tulsi on the Banyan Botanicals Farm!
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is an incredible herbal ally. Not only does this sattvic plant support our respiratory system to promote clear and easy breathing, it enhances our spiritual awareness and clears the mind. The energetics of Tulsi are heating, pungent, heating making it a strong candidate for protecting from fever.
While Tulsi is generally contraindicated during summer months or with high pitta, this plant was calming and relaxing to harvest.
Ujjayi, breath of victory.
How does it get anymore amazing than that? This throat clearing, muscle challenging, silly pranayama packs full a lot of benefits.
Targeting the thyroid gland, Ujjayi is a breathing technique that is not for the faint of heart. Sounding similar to a conch shell, this exercise is excellent for promoting confidence while also nourishing the nervous system. It does take a few times to get the hang of! Check out Beverly's guidance on the Breath of Victory.
*Ujjayi is contraindicated for high blood pressure and major thyroid issues.
The other day I made a delicious beet pesto with beet greens from my garden. Beet greens, similar to whole beets, have a cooling quality and are excellent for cleansing the blood and liver.
In a blender I mixed:
-Two large handfuls of beet greens
-About 1/4 cup organic olive oil (I added more towards the end to find the perfect consistency)
-4-6 cloves garlic
-Any nut of your choice. I used sunflower seeds
-4 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
-Salt and pepper to taste
Mix with pasta and ghee, spread on toast or crackers, or freeze for one of those evenings you do not feel like cooking! Beet pesto is resourceful way to go for a great summer meal. Enjoy!
The berries are not the only edible part of the raspberry plant.
The leaves of this home grownherb are also used for medicinal purposes. One unique benefit of raspberry leaves is as a uterine tonic- with its astringent qualities, the leaf will relax tightened uterine muscles or tighten relaxed muscles as need be. With an affinity for the uterus, this leaf may allow for easier menstrual flow and relieve menstrual cramps.
Check out this video for more information on raspberry leaves.
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.
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.