Archive for September, 2014

Perfectly Imperfect – Letting go judgements

Posted on September 23, 2014. Filed under: Random Musings, Spiritual Practice |

I needed an acorn for a talk I’m giving and that quest ended up reminding me of an important lesson or two.

Imperfectly perfect acorns (Image by Michael Blackmore - Mad Crow Herbalism)

Imperfectly perfect acorns (Image by Michael Blackmore – Mad Crow Herbalism)

I ventured forth on my journey hunting the less then elusive acorn.   This time of year is better than average for finding acorns and there was no shortage of acorns trees about (generally Red Oaks in the city here.)  As I went to my favorite tree haunts I, of course, found a bounty of them.

And that’s where my problem began.   Had I seen just one – the deed would be done and I’d have my acorn.  But the more I saw, the more the illusionary perfect acorn that arose in my mind.

The more I pursed that delusion, the more inadequate any of the acorns in front of me seemed.  I started going to other locations searching more and more deeply.  Still not realizing that the more I searched the further I went from my goal.

Finally, I realized I had been caught in the most human (and consumerist) of traps.  The more choices I had the less able I was to choose.   And the more I followed the mythic ACORN – the less I truly saw and appreciated the many ones right in front of me.

So I closed my eyes and grabbed a handful  – and these were the acorns I held clenched my hand.   I looked them over carefully, as if they were the only acorns in the world, and saw them with openness.   They were all different and yet all perfectly imperfect (or imperfectly perfect!) in each of their own ways.   And I’ll show them all off during my talk.

So the “humble” acorn reminded me of a powerful truth or two.   And at the very least consider this a gentle nudge to remember to  spend some time out in nature finding some truths for yourself. 🙂

 

BTW – it is only through the sheerest act of willpower I didn’t call this post Acorny (A-corny) story…

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Zing went the strings of my heart (Oh, Ginger!)

Posted on September 16, 2014. Filed under: Herb(s) of the Week, Kitchen Herbalism |

Yes, the title of this post is a pun upon an old Judy Garland song and the official name of Ginger (Zingiber officinale); Family: Zingiberaceae.   So shoot me!  But “Zing” is right because not only does it it zing, but how can you help but sing with fresh ginger about!

Ginger and friends (Image by Michael Blackmore, Mad Crow Herbalism)

Ginger and friends (Image by Michael Blackmore, Mad Crow Herbalism)

Ginger is something that goes so well with so many herbal remedies, like the photo above where it was part of the Cider which can’t be named (which I talked about a while back…)

Ginger is offered in many forms including powdered, pickled, etc. – but nothing beats the joy of fresh ginger root which thankfully you can find pretty readily in most stores.  So you have no excuse not be making things from fresh!

Ginger is great classically for digestive issues and as a carminative and I consider it a go to for such issues and I make a pretty yummy fresh Ginger glyceride for the occasional stomach upset and often carry it with me for after meals out or at potlucks where you never know how you’re going to react the food.

I also pressed out a Ginger- Angelica tincture which I made recently.

Ginger meets Ginger Tom (Image by Michael Blackmore, Mad Crow Herbalism)

Ginger meets Ginger Tom (Image by Michael Blackmore, Mad Crow Herbalism)

which while a powerful anti-gas remedy (especially since Angelica is also a potent carminative by itself and I often keep a tincture of it about for the occasional mild gas) – it is sort of the thing only a herbalist can love.  And as you see above Herbal Kitty is so not impressed – even if he is a ginger tom himself.

Because of it’s powerful digestive powers, I also use it before meals in the form of ginger based bitters (infuse some fresh ginger, lemon/orange peel, burdock and yellowdock root with at least 40% alcohol for several week and you have a great pre-meal digestive bitter.)

Beyond it’s digestive magic, Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and stimulates circulation.  I’ve infused it into sesame oil along with fresh Ashwagandha root to make a great oil for sore joints and muscles.

I also just plain love, love Ginger when it’s cold and flu season.  Its antiseptic properties and affinity for respiratory issues make Ginger tea magic in the fall and winter!

Ginger - Mint Tea (Image by Michael Blackmore, Mad Crow Herbalism)

Ginger – Mint Tea (Image by Michael Blackmore, Mad Crow Herbalism)

Ginger tea is also great for nausea and motion sickness – yummy and healing!

If tea is not your thing infuse ginger and lemon together in honey for a yummy cold aid.

With so much good to it – you should be singing its praises too – Zing, zing, zing – Zingiber officianale!

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