W E S T B O U N D . Spring 2016

Our first real week on the road was a whirlwind. After leaving the comfort and familiarity of the West Texas Desert, we headed North through New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California. We stopped to soak in the Sacred Waters of Truth or Consequences New Mexico and harvested Wild Chaparral from four different states to send to a friend for his medicine-making.

When we arrived finally in California, we made our first stop in Joshua Tree -- feeling at once in heaven and at home.  The Moon just beginning to wane, we slept a deep slumber and woke slow to the silence of the stones and sky.

heavenly harvest

o p u n t i a

the flowers of both the prickly pear + the cane cholla can be harvested fresh or dried and steeped as a truly unique and lovely tea. cooling, soothing, moistening, subtly sweet, and anti-inflammatory they are the perfect antidote to many maladies borne of the harshness and intensity of the desert regions where they thrive. rich in antioxidants, they are useful for capillary fragility and supportive of blood and heart health. apply the tea as a wash to mild burns or add to a bath for relief. the fruit, flowers, and pads of the prickly pear are also an invaluable ally as part of a larger dietary protocol for addressing type II diabetes and insulin resistance. the dried and fresh petals pictured here provided a grounding and wonderfully slimy source of ruby red hydration for myself and my desert companions after our meander through the boulders on my final afternoon in Joshua Tree.

Our next stop was Santa Barbara, where we spent time in the sun and the sand with a dear friend of many years -- fellow herbalist and medicine maker, Emily Sanders of Active Alchemy.

a • v • e • n • a

Wild Oats are one of my greatest allies. Soothing and trophorestorative to the adrenals and nervous system, after driving 1,500 miles straight into the wind, I was mighty grateful to have a few bottles of milky oats tincture tucked away. I'm currently working with a formula of Evening Primrose, Peach Leaf, and Milky Oats that I harvested in Austin a month or two ago. It's my cooling Summer don't freak out tonic -- so far, so good. Harvested in its milky state, Wild Oats are a supreme medicine for fortifying a depleted nervous system after long term exposure to chronic stress -- think moving, break ups, starting a new business. They're one of the first herbs I turn to when working with folks recovering from addiction as well. For this, I like to pair them with passionflower. The whole plant is highly nutritive and extremely mineral rich. I enjoy it near daily as a nourishing infusion and find that it makes me feel, somehow, more solid and steady and slow. For a real Dreamtime treat, take two dropperfuls of tincture of milky oats • rose • passionflower • skullcap before bedtime.

And finally, we found ourselves in Santa Rosa where we spent a few slow days in final preparation to teach and share at this year's Spirit Weavers Gathering.

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