Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Medicinal Weed Walk

On Saturday we had our weed walk.  Since it has been raining for the past month, we decided not to venture into the woods, and I was able to come up with almost 40 very valuable weeds right in the yard.  We had plenty of things to look at, and we managed to finish up just before the rain began (again).
 We spent the day before pulling together the handouts and planning exactly what we'd be making with those lovely weeds.
Everyone arrived right on time.  It was an interesting group, with about half of them traveling at least an hour to get here.  Before we headed out, we suggested that people think about what they'd like to try as we wandered around talking about the actions of the weeds because they would be needing to harvest about a 1/2 cup of botanicals to create a tincture for themselves.
Out we went.

I'm actually a little rusty, and it takes me some time outside each spring to reacquaint myself with some of the weeds, so I was glad to have Molly and Maryanne along to pitch in.
 In fact, the only plant I didn't know was one Maryanne pointed out.  It was a wildflower that I planted in the garden - how's that for ironic?
After about an hour (during which I realized how very diverse the plants in the yard are...) the storm clouds rolled in and we wrapped it up outside.
Inside, Molly made the tea we had harvested outside, while explaining the choices and how to make it.  I talked about how I find it harder to make a bad blend than it is to make a good one.
The blend we used:
1 part Stinging Nettles
1 part Black Raspberry Leaves
1 part Chocolate Mint
1/4 part Spearmint

Earlier in the day, we'd put oil on to warm with echinacea, plantain, and violet leaves and flowers.  We strained that out and added beeswax, poured it into little jars, and labeled them.  We'd talked about the plants used, and they were also written up in the handout.
 Finally everyone made small jars of tincture.  Every summer I wind up making several from plants that I find and either am not familiar with, or have not learned enough about to use.  Often I find later that tincture is something I'll use.  If not - it doesn't hurt me to throw out 3 or 4 ounces of tincture.

It was a very fulfilling class.  One attendee was surprised to find that she really liked the tea, and was looking forward to using the salve, while another told me that although she's made oils and tinctures before, she never harvested them from their natural environment before.  Both of those comments explain exactly why we do what we do.  They made my week.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I had a very fun time learning all about the plants/weeds. Most of these plants I can find in my own backyard and will certainly look for them. I may even experiment a little on my own. Thank you ladies for a very fun and interesting "walk". It was a very nice Mother's Day gift from my two daughters, Cindy and Donna. Thank you.