Saturday, November 27, 2010

Riparian Preserve

Riparian Preserve MAP

Today I was grateful to be able to walk with a couple of my Herbalism students at the Riparian Reserve as they held a Medicinal Plant Walk. They did such a wonderful job!

I have decided to hold some classes there for next years students, it will be a perfect spot leading to their goal of Outdoor Education. Today there were a wide variety of plants taught about from my favorite the Creosote to Globe Mallow and even Bursage, unfortunatly some of the specimens were in their dormant stage and not pretty to look at however the props that the students brought provided a better idea.

If you are interested in media that can help you learn and understand the Medicines of the plant world in The great Sonoran Desert I will provide a reading list below:
Herbal Medicine of the American Southwest by Charles Kane
Herbal Medicine trends and traditions by Charles Kane
and any books from Michael Moore the Herbalist.
However Charles Kane is local and also provides medicinal plant walks in the Tucson area.

Next month I will be at the nature center supervising two other herbalism students, looking forward to their presentations as well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rosemary Wine

by Patricia Halovanic, University Heights, Ohio

3 cups any white wine
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons honey or more to taste
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

Bruise fresh rosemary leaves
bring all to a simmer for 5 minutes
strain rosemary and serve warm or chilled.
Great for colds or coughs, soothing for night time drink.

Medicinal Wine by James Green, Herbalist

Port, Madeira, Claret, sparkling wines, Apple Cider or Mead can be used.

Medicated wines are low alcohol, dosage can be a tablespoonful to a wine glass full 3times a day.

Best made in small quantities, without heat and well capped in a cool dark place.

Using dried herbs, reduced to a fine powder combined with wine of choice, macerate 14 days, visit and shake mixture daily for two weeks, pour into a sterilized bottle, cap and store in cool location.

WHY Rosemary?
This is a great time of year to use Rosemary medicinally. Rosmarinus officinale has many healing properties as it is an antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, spasmolytic and carminative. It is anti bacterial, warming and drying.
It is great for mental fogginess or fatigue, headaches, hypotention, flatulent indigestion, digestive fullness, joint inflammation,hypothyroidism but is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Rosemary is also very tasty! Fresh Rosemary Tea is quite yummy too, I like strong enough to taste but not overwhelming!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness may be common for some expecting mothers, while others may not have a single nauseous moment. Thankfully, there are many natural plant/herbs and excersizes that can alleviate morning sickness without the harsh allopathic medicines containing antihistamines.

Susan Weed, Herbalist and author suggests to simply "Walk a mile a day" to prevent morning sickness as moving will also move the chemical by products of the increased hormonal activity of pregnancy through your body, easing the uncomfortable and sometimes overwhelming feeling of nausea.

Here is a list of some of her other suggestions to PREVENT morning sickness:

Increasing (under doctors supervision) iron and vitamin B complex
Eating unsalted crackers or matzo before getting out f bed.
Avoid spicy and greasy foods.
Get out of bed slowly in the morning, ease into your day rather than sudden movement.
Drink a cup of Anixe or Fennel seed tea when you wake up.
Drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of warm water first thing in the morning.

REMEDIES for morning sickness by Susan Weed:

Drink a cup or two of Raspberry leaf tea each day
Homeopathic remedie: Ipecac 30x, Nux vomica 6z, Cannabis 30x
Drinking a tea made from dried peach tree leaves to help control morning sickness distress.
Sip peppermint or speramint infusion first thing in the morning.
Take tablespoonful doses of ginger root tea anytime nausea occurs.

I didn't have any morning sickness in my pregnancy and I feel very blessed for this as I do not handle nausea well.
I haven't tried any of these remedies but I think that trying them wouldn't hurt, if nausea was an issue that needed to be dealt with.

Tea With Susan Weed

Information from "Wise Woman Herbal for the childbearing years" by Susan Weed.

Susans Poetry Contest

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Psoriasis, not just skin deep

What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease and can be a serious ailment that can effect your skin, nails, joints and even heart. The most common type of Psoriasis can be easily identified by raised red patches on the skin that are covered with a silvery buildup of dead skin cells referred to as "scale". These patches are most commonly seen on elbows, scalp, knees and torso. The skin cells replicate too rapidly, as much as 1,000 times more rapidly than than normal skin.

Psoriasis is linked to an immune system break down but no one really knows for sure what it is caused from however a number of factors appear to contribute to psoriasis including poor digestion, bowel toxemia, impaired liver function, alcohol consumption, too many animal fats in your diet and an excess of stress in your life.

In my Holistic Healthcare schooling I have learned that skin diseases are linked to the liver, and with knowing this then we can rely on the fact that foods or avoidance of foods can help alleviate most skin conditions.

Foods that are healing for Psoriasis are foods high in antioxidants such as carrots, tomatoes(however, in some people may worsen flare ups), fresh fruits and dark leafy greens.

Foods that are high in fiber, this will help eliminate foods that trigger the flare ups that may be in your intestines.

Topically using Capsaicin, aka cayenne or other peppers, however some burning feeling may be felt and too uncomfortable for some, otherwise after a few days of using an over the counter cream with capsaicin, the burning feeling will subside.
Also topical ointments or salves containing glycyrrhetinic acid from licorice, and chamomile.

Consider taking a good source of omega 3's, such as flaxseeds or flaxseed oil or eating purslane ( you can find purslane in some natural grocery stores produce dept. and Food City Markets)

A natural home rememdy made of equal parts honey, bees wax and olive oil to apply to the skin.
The NATIONAL PSORIASIS FOUNDATIONS suggest oatmeal baths, see there website for ingredients and direction.

Tumeric in foods but also topically however this can be messy and may stain clothing.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar-1 cup to one gallon of water and either bath in it or make compresses to apply to inflammed skin. You can also add baking soda to this mixture.

Beet/carrot juice with lemon wedge.

Herbs used for Psoriasis:
The list is long and depends on the type of psoriasis that you have but out of the 18herbs that I know used for this disorder I will list 6.
(not in any specific order)
Red Clover
Oregon Grape

Foods to avoid:
SUGAR, Gluten, Alcohol, fried or fatty foods,high-protein foods and of course drinking grapefruit juice if you are taking medication for psoriasis.

Healing foods by Michael Murray N.D.
Green Pharmacy Healing Foods by James A. Duke, PhD
300 Herbs by Matthew Alfs

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer Heat

The weather is getting hotter, 113 just the other day. I am so glad to have my teas! Iced and making it fresh all day keeps me cool!
My new favorite. Not so theraputic but delicious non the less. I take a pitcher of ice, crammed to it's brim.
5-6 tea bags of Blueberry superfruit by STASH and in a seperate 12 oz cup 3\4 full of boiled water, steep for 15 minutes covered.
This will make a very concentrated tea. LIke I have said before, I have a thing for sweet so I take 10-20 drops of Stevia Clear and add that to the ice before I pour the hot tea over the ice. Add cool water if needed to fill pitcher.

My whole family loves this tea.

This particular blend has hibiscus in it which is a natural coolant. This blend also has some other favorites... orange peel, lemongrass, rosehips, chicory root, bluberry flavor and powder, acai and licorice powder and blaccurrant powder! YUMMY!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

a new blog on supplements

You are invited to check out my new blog on supplements, it is a class project that I am required to post weekly. Could be interesting, maybe.

click below and see:


Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Tea

Beautiful Peppermint and Hibiscus! Both coolants, both delicious.
During the heat of the summer I usually put peppermint spirits in my water or make iced peppermint hibiscus tea.

Freshly Dried Hibiscus can be found at Food City but I buy mine on line from MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS.

Fresh peppermint works best in my opinion, I grow it and that is what I use but if you do not have access to fresh peppermint you can also use peppermint tea bags.
I also add 2-3 drops of therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil from YOUNG LIVING Essential Oils. If you are like me and like your tea sweet than you can add Peppermint Stevia. STEVIA is a natural sweetener made from leaves of the stevia plant. I recommend using the liquid drops and since it is 8000 times stronger than sugar, I only add 9 drops in the whole pitcher of tea. Just a touch of sweet.
My daughter loves it, I love it and the natural coolant of both hibiscus and peppermint keeps you refreshed and cool in the summer heat. For the younger kids who may not like drinking plain water, the pink from the hibiscus helps by giving it a fruit punch or juice look to it.
Another option is just the PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL and fresh peppermint or tea bags and one or two lemon slices, omitting the hibiscus is an option that I take if I do not have hibiscus readily available.

I take a handful of fresh peppermint and steep for 15-20 minutes in about 1/2 quart size jar covered with boiling water and a lid. Add Hibiscus here as well or do the same with the hibiscus in a different jar.
After 15-20 minutes strain and pour over ice in a large pitcher. Add 9 drops of peppermint stevia and 3 drops of YOUNG LIVING PEPPERMINT OIL. At this time you can add additional filtered water.
Pour over ice and garnish with fresh sprigs of peppermint and enjoy!

CAUTION: be careful with the peppermint oil. ingesting straight essential oil is not recommended and may cause skin irritation to some that come into contact with the oil. My suggestion is to only use up 3 drops per large pitcher of water.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ordering up one dose of Propylene glycol !

We all have busy lives, no time to do everything we can in the time that we have available to us.

So, we adapt. We take needed short cuts to get by; there isn’t anything wrong with this right?

What about simple hand washing. It is said that in order to adequately wash your hands that you should run your hands under warm water with a good soap and rub with friction for about 20 to 30 seconds.

So, I ask… “why don’t we have 20-30 seconds to wash our hands? Are we that much in a hurry”. Perhaps not, maybe we just want to make sure that we are germ free when there may not be a washroom around.

Our toddlers touching everything, putting there hands in their mouths after 30 other toddlers just did the same thing and what if the parents of the other toddlers don’t teach hygiene like we teach hygiene, perhaps the other toddler was ill or touched something disgusting? So, we do our best as parents to keep those nasty germs off of and out of our children. We carry our little gel instant sanitizers.

Purell put on the market a wonderfully magical INSTANT HAND SANITIZER with Moisturizers and Vitamin E.

They reinforced our FEARS about germs and then offered their miracle cure. Great idea in our germ phobic world, however they forgot to mention the dangers in there miracle germ cure.

I read the ingredients, but first had to search for them.
The only one listed on the back of the bottle was the active ingredient. Ethyl Alcohol 62%.....purpose Antimicrobial.

Reading the small print, I learned that I could peel away the back sticker and conveniently hiding under was the Drug Facts Continued list.

I couldn’t’ pronounce most of the other ingredients and certainly didn’t know what they were so I GOOGLE searched them. None were that good, and actually listed in MSDS sheets as pretty nasty stuff.

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheets and these sheets are required on all chemical substances. The agency regulating these sheets is OSHA, the U.S. Government owned OSHA
The problem that I am having is that we aren’t really told these awful truths, we have to search them out. Fine, I can do that… my responsibility right…

So that is exactly what I did. I found a plethora of information but will chose just one ingredient to list, when choosing this single ingredient I randomly chose 3 and this one was the worst but there are plenty of other ones on there that you can check out for yourself.

Propylene glycol here is a link so you can read for yourself. I did cut out a few of what information only to shorten the lengthy list but if you want the whole shebang than by all means USE THE LINK.

Splash goggles. Lab coat. Vapor respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Gloves.

It may be absorbed through the skin and cause systemic
effects similar to those of ingestion.

It may affect behavior/central nervous system(CNS depression, general anesthetic, convulsions, seizures, somnolence, stupor, muscle contraction or spasticity, coma), brain (changes in surface EEG), metabolism, blood (intravascular hemolysis, white blood cells - decreased neutrophil function), respiration (respiratory stimulation, chronic pulmonary edema, cyanosis), cardiovascular system(hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest), endocrine system (hypoglycemia), urinary system (kidneys), and liver.

Ingestion: Prolonged or repeated ingestion may cause hyperglycemia and may affect behavior/CNS (symptoms similar to that of acute ingestion).

Inhalation: Prolonged or repeated inhalation may affect behavior/CNS (with symptoms similar to ingestion),
and spleen………..
WAIT… isn’t that enough? Well there is more, I encourage any who are interested to stop, read and educate what it is that we are doing to ourselves with these products that we think are safe to use, daily, and on our children. Disgusting.

So what is the solution?
My NIECE gave me the idea to take little flannel sheets or wash cloths, dampen with sterile water and add essential oils that are anti microbial.
Here are a few antimicrobial essential oils:
Thieves which is a beautiful blend of Clove, lemon cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary.

Not only would this be a wonderful aromatherapy but also isn't harmful for our health, and we are also being GREEN, by not buying and throwing away all those empty bottles of hand sanitizers! Which opens up a whole other can of worms. I strongly encourage you to check out this WEBSITE on plastics.

Friday, June 18, 2010


How is it that the use of insect/animal/plant derived remedies from traditional culture is looked upon as voodoo or as disgusting and superstitious, but cellular poisons such as chemotherapy is accepted in our culture?

If we come from earth and return to earth in our life cycle than wouldn't it make sense to live from earth as well?

Does everyone know that pharmaceutical drugs are still derived from mineral,plant and animal sources For instance there are vaccines derived from blood and urine of various domestic and wild animals such as horses, monkeys and insects. Why is it that pharmaceuticals companies aren't playing SORCERY when they take these natural sources and then alter, taint and tweak them? Then they inject them into our bodies and our children's bodies.

We can learn from nature, eat of the land, stop creating poisons but take what mother earth and father sky has already provided for us in it's glorious natural state, from the plants as they already are and then eat ourselves well or eat well as a preventative... with our families. Yes! actually sitting down with your family at a table sharing with our loved ones thus healing our souls and hearts, healing our bodies with whole unprocessed foods. Herbs and Vegetables rather than boxed, canned or fake foods. IT CAN BE DONE, one step at a time.

Our culture is lacking in nutrition, sleep, community and self worth and we continue to cause damage by ignoring this.

I am not suggesting immediate drastic changes over night but only one food at a time and one meal at a time... even if it is once a week to start is effort.

I am not suggesting to stop your pharmaceuticals, throw out your processed foods, force members of your family to sit around a table at every meal.

I am only suggesting that you look inside at your true needs, begin to imagine what it would be like and maybe start slowly.

It's a choice. Your choice and mine. I am still learning and have a long way to go but slowly I have weeded out one thing at a time, eliminating processed foods one at a time.

It has been two years since I have started, it is a process... I still have processed foods in my house, there are canned goods and ingredients that I cannot pronounce, yet there is a whole lot less of that these days than two years ago. I think that I would have starved to death if I just tossed all processed foods out with out first learning how to replace them.

I am okay with my progress, it isn't perfect but I am okay with where I am and know that it is a process.. it isn't exactly easy, it takes a little time and a lot of effort but it can be done.

It can be expensive too, but there are ways to cut back and that you may not even be aware of. Just by not eating fast food,cutting back or eliminating starbucks, no buying bottle water, turning down your air conditioning by 2 degrees... it all ads up and if it is really important to you to change your unhealthy habits than you WILL find a way.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gluten/ Dairy Issues?

I would like to proudly introduce my daughter McKee, age 15. She has started her own blog on the woes and triumphs of her allergies to foods. Please visit her new blog and come back for more as she will be adding more recipes weekly!

McKees Food Blog

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Herbal crispy rice snacks

Picture borrowed off of

Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe Contest

2 cups of crispy brown or white rice
3/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup of natural peanut butter
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or shelled sunflower seed or combine both.
2 tbls chia seeds
2 tbls freshly ground flax seeds
1/4 cup of Goji berries

cocoa powder or shredded coconut (optional)

Add more berries/seeds/crispy rice for consistancy if needed Can add cinnamon to taste too! When finished you can dip squares in or roll balls in cocoa or shredded coconut.

my berries, and seeds I buy from Mountain Rose Herbs, my crispy rice I buy from Sprouts Farmers Market

Mix peanut butter, honey, vanilla, nuts/seeds and berries to a bowl, add crispy rice cereal and stir gently.
Wet your hands and form mixture either into bite sized balls or squars, place on wax paper and serve.

this will yeild aproximately 8 dozen 1 inch peices.

Happy Eating!

Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe Contest click here to learn more!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Winters Relief Hand Salve Recipe

When infusing these herbs the aroma of spicy pumpkin fills your home and it is delightful! The color of the finished product is a beautiful pumpkin pie color and smells good enough to eat!

Winters Relief Hand Salve

All Herbs were bought at Mountain Rose Herbs so they are Certified Organic,Ethically wild crafted or chemically free harvested and all herbs are dry plant material in whole form which I then (after Measurement, grind down)

1/2 cup Ginger
1/2 cup Chaparral
1/2 cup Clove
1/2 cup Cinnamon
1/4 cup Cayenne (already ground) optional, I like it's anti inflam and warming effect
1 cup White Willow Bark

1/2 cup of Jojoba Oil
3/4 cup Arnica Oil ( previously sun infused with dry plant material)
4 1/2 cups of Olive Oil
2 0z Vitamin E oil ( from Mountain Rose Herbs)
1 1/4 cup Local Bees Wax

After blending down the herbs individually to a fine powder or as fine as I could get them, I put them in a large stainless steel bowl, added the mixtures of oils (except vitamin E)and placed the bowl atop a stock pot of boiling water. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir the mixture very often, making sure that the oils do not get too hot and burn the herbs. I did this for a minimum of two hours but not more than 4.

Strain the herbs from the oil and with a potato ricer and cheese cloth press the oil from the herb and set aside. Herbs now can be discarded.

“Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe Contest”

This oil can be stored away from light and heat for several months if you do not plan to make a large batch of salve as I usually make. This is a great christmas gift Idea and making a large batch as the recipe is suggested would make approximately 32 1oz size containers.

I then take a new clean stainless bowl or clean and dry the first bowl and pour all of the oil and wax into the bowl and again (double boiler method) bring the heat up just enough to melt the wax, this is when I add the vitamin E.

When wax is melted pour into 1oz containers.

This salve smells like pumpkin pie or christmas time. It is warming and delicious to the skin. Caution (due to cayenne) for small children and mucus membranes.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jamaican Dogwood

These are photos that I took during the process of pouring off a tincture of Jamaican Dogwood Bark that I had made.

The flavor of the tree bark is slightly smoky, woody and not at all that bad However it has been explained to be acrid and bitter and to produce a burning sensation in mouth with a strong disagreeable smell like broken opium. I don't find that it is extremely bitter and I haven't broke opium so I am not sure if this is true either. I also do not get a burning sensation but I do find that when the tincture is dropped into my mouth that there is a very slight warming effect.

Jamaican Dogwood tree has a very valuable wood. The pounded leaves and young branches are used to poison fish the method followed is to fill an open crate with the branches, drop it into the water, and swill it about till the water is impregnated with the liquid from the leaves, etc.; this quickly stupefies the fish and enables the fishers to catch them quickly.In 1844 attention was called to its narcotic, analgesic and sudorific properties which are uncertain.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---In some subjects it cures violent toothache, neuralgia and whooping-cough and promotes sleep, and acts as an antispasmodic in asthma. It also dilates the pupil and is useful in dysmenorrhoea and nervous debility. In other subjects it only causes gastric distress and nausea; over doses produce toxic effects.

---Preparations and Dosages---Fluid extract, 5 to 20 drops, which may be cautiously increased to 2 fluid drachms. Solid extract, 1 to 5 grains.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yeast/Candida Infections

Pau d’ Arco

What is Candida?
Candida is a fungi that can live normally in the bowel flora but often with poor diet, can multiply beyond manageable amounts and spread into other areas of the body causing chain reaction and disease.

Candida can be a result to the following:
• Poor diets
• Excessive intake of alcohol and sweets
• Parasitic infections
• Long term use of birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy
• Habitual steroid or corticosteroid use
• Habitual use of antibiotics

Pau d’ Arco is one of many herbs that can help eliminate or prevent yeast infections by its immune building properties, anti fungal and microbial properties, high in nutrients to replace Chi, and Selenium containing.

Selenium is a mineral that is an anti oxidant (scavenger of free radicals) and though it can be found in some foods like various nuts, animal products, tuna and soybeans to name a few, it can also be found in wheat products and other foods that will not be advantageous to someone fighting a yeast infection.

Pau d’ Arco is another way of getting selenium without taking supplements or having to find the foods that have it, that you may or may not enjoy eating, may be allergic to or the hassle of diet planning. * Selenium can reach toxic levels but usually this happens when there are supplements being taken without a professional regulating diet and supplement intake.
Pau d’ Arco also not only supplies you with the Selenium but other factors (3) that are benefit to you and your health, to recap those four benefits of this herb are

• Antimicrobial/Anti fungal
• Nutritional Energy that restores your vitality
• Immune booster
• Contains Selenium which is one of the body’s defenses against the growth of Candida

More about Pau d’ Arco:

The Latin binomial for this herb is Tabebuia impetiginosa and belongs to the Bignoniaceae family.

The part used is the bark and the tendencies of this medicine is drying and slightly warming.

Beyond the wonders of Yeast Elimination, this plant is also known for help in cleansing the Lymph system, Anti Inflammatory, assisting the correction of IBS, Colitis/Chrohn’s,
Herpes virus, Malaria, and Brucellosis.

Caution is best for those who have a tendency to hemorrhage; concurrent use with anti coagulants.

20,000 Secrets of Tea by Victoria Zak 1999 p. 68,139,180-182,219
300 Herbs by Matthew Alfs 2003 p. 83
Herbal Medicine from the heart of the earth by Sharol Tilgner N.D. 1999 p.94

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

plenty to be grateful for

Proud to Sponsor

I recently was invited and am feeling so grateful to be able to sponsor a wonderful herbal event which will be held at the shambhalla institute in LA

I am grateful for all that the universe has to offer and am feeling it's great love and energy daily, which it has stemmed partly from the wonderful out of season rain that we have been getting here in Phx,Arizona and the beauty of the desert that the rain has brought.

The wonderful blooms that I have in our flower garden and the healthy organic veggies that are growing in our other garden.

Spring is in the air and I am lapping up and enjoying every drop of it.

Is it often that we stop and think about all we really have to be grateful for?

Maybe for some, but not for everyone. It isn't always easy, I know that first hand but getting into the habit of it by daily journaling or prayer or how ever one chooses will work, and the more grateful you are the more you will have to be grateful for, others who see this in you will envy it and some may not understand it but it is our responsiblity to share it and to teach it... and if you don't have it then pretend to have it and it will come... that is just how it happens. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Own it, the Zen way.

I recently have acquired several books about and to do with the ZEN way, however with the book list that I have ahead of these books…. I won’t get to reading them for another couple of years.

I love books and always have, I have too many to read though and when I am overwhelmed with all the reading that is required in school and that I have put on my “to read for pleasure” list, I will not read anything that I am supposed to.

This overwhelming pattern of mine brought me to my magazine reading. I can get tidbits of my reading on subjects that I want but not have to worry about finishing a book to get the content in which I was wanting. These little magazine blurbs seem to fill my need for the moment until I can find the list of other books listed in the magazine in which I need to purchase in order to read. It is such a vicious circle!

One of the magazines that I truly feel inspired by is “Spirituality and Health” and in their March/April issue there is an article by Geri Larkin and she writes about “owning up” the Zen way.

She talked about her normal morning dog walking routine in their lovely home town of Portland, Oregon. This certain morning, Geri was groggy from about only six hours of sleep and on her way out the door grabbed her library book to take to the book drop during her morning walk. Her dog Bodhi decided once arriving at the library book drop that he was ready to make his morning poo and so he did. Geri was prepared, with a plastic bag she reaches down and picks up her dogs deposit and ties the bag shut and then placing the bag into the book drop, closing it, and then gasping to realize that in her hand was the book and in the drop were the droppings of her beloved dog Bodhi.

She goes on explaining the stages in which her emotions ran.

Stage one: OH, NO!

Stage two: I could get away with this, just walk away… no one can see you.

State three: Owning up.

This is where she mentions the old Zen koan embedded in her mind in which every morning a monk calls to himself: “Master! Master!” then he answers himself: “Yes” “you must keep clear” In other words, you must stay in the situation exactly as it is, and do what it needs you to do.
She needed to own up and that is what she did by calling the library when they opened and explained what she had done. Her reasoning was that if she hadn’t then she would have causes harm, by leaving the bag without notifying anyone she would have caused harm to the person opening the box and to everyone that that person would have told throughout that day. But by calling and explaining to the appropriate people what she had done, she had caused a great laugh to the person on the other end of the phone and to all that were there to share in the experience of the phone call.

How simple was that I ask myself? When owning up, good things come of it. Sometimes it is harder than you can imagine but the good that comes out of it is priceless.

I may have walked away that morning, not feeling like it was my responsibility and not thinking that it may harm others. Harming others by my actions is not something that I want to do and the next time I do something silly like this, I will give it an extra thought about how my action will affect the next person and I will make the ZEN choice.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Loving Oil of Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang comes from the tropical Asian Tree of the custard-apple family and is named Cananga odorata. It is a fast growing tree and regenerates itself quite rapidly when damaged.
The Cananga plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia thriving on the humid tropical environments.
Ylang Ylang is a loving oil because it speaks to our Heart on many levels, perhaps on every level and especially with the love within ourselves for ourselves and others. It is a calming oil and not only helps normalize sebum issues by calming down over active sebum glands but also with hypertension and tachycardia.
Ylang Ylang harmonized with your soul, mind and Central nervous system… it is said to help control a fit of epilepsy by a simple inhaling of the fragrance at the onset of a seizure. It is loving and calming to premenstrual syndrome, insomnia and anxiety. It is told to help aid infections of the intestinal tract.
The loving oil of Ylang Ylang aids with self-esteem and self awareness, it opens the heart, the sensuous aroma of Ylang Ylang aids with depression, tension, stress, shyness, impatience, resentment and welcomes joy and warmth into your being and your surroundings.
I loved Ylang Ylang before I knew all these wonderful things about it. Before… before I was open to believing in the powers of nature, the power of aroma, the power of plants. What changed it for me was education, I had a teacher that used the word “wooji woo” to explain all the hippie like things, the things that somewhere in my life growing up I found to be ashamed of. The childlike belief of fairies and plants that spoke to you went away a long time ago… along with some hope and some dreams but all that is coming back to me and with the help of the plants.
I wish everyone who laughed or mocked the wisdom of plants would give in… give in to the desire to be like a child again and carry hope and love and forgiveness like children, we are growing up so fast and teaching our children to grow up so fast.. it is such a horrible shame and I am not above this… there have been times that I had to bite my tongue before I said to my daughter when she 9 or 10… “grow up”… why would I want her to grow up? I surely know now that I was foolish, she is 15 years old and way too grown up for me.
Now, I try to erase the pushing of her to grow up, I can’t erase anything though. However, I can introduce her to my knew understandings… this week it will be the understandings of Ylang Ylang, and if she will listen… then it will be a beautiful week.

Carrie ( Herban Chica)

* Ylang Ylang information was gathered from an article written by Robin Michaels called Ylang Ylang a loving oil. The article was found in FEB/MARCH article of the “Four Corners” magazine.

Monday, February 1, 2010


don't wait.

don't wait for the opportunity to approach you...create the opportunity. Believing in yourself is hard to do sometimes... you have to believe in yourself before anyone else does, unless of course it's your mother or you spouse... seriously though.. even if it means pretending. Pretend you are what you want to be and in that act, you will become what you want to be.

We have so many obstacles but so does everyone, and it is those obstacles that mold us into being the best that we can be, without them we would be weak and predictable and I am not sure about you but I don't want to be weak and predictable.

With the economy the way that it is, with the shift that is going on, with the war with the the disaster in Haiti and around the world.. all of these things we need to work even harder, have even more faith and believe even more. It is a collective consciousness and if we just tap into it, then we can prevail.

Prevail in what ever it is that we want to prevail in. Yes, easier said than done but I won't stop saying it, I won't stop believing it and if it doesn't get me to where I want to go, then it will at least get me further than if I hadn't believed at all.

Breathe, believe and treat others the way you want to be treated. Stop being afraid and take someones hand, not someones hand that will help you up.. but someones hand that YOU can help up.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Only use organic house plants now???

Why would you want ONLY organic house plants?

Because the American Society for Horticultural Science says so... at least in September of 2009. "buy only organically grown indoor plants, wash them carefully, and replace any plastic pots."

We use to think that having indoor plants would help make provide a better air quality in our living spaces but we have found out that perhaps it has done more harm then good.

There are harmful toxins in carpets, paint, and in pesticides put on the indoor plants before bringing them home from the store, the plastic pots that these house plants are in often put off toxic fumes as well.

Where do we go from here? Do we drive ourselves crazy trying to avoid all the toxins that are in our daily lives from the fumes on the road or in the sky from the jet trails left behind? What about the plastic that our water bottles come in or plastics that we might microwave or freeze.

We tore the carpet up, we changed what we eat, we took our microwave out of the house,we try to keep positive, loving thoughts, we try to be humble (a hard hard one for me sometimes!) What else can we do??

We recently built an above ground organic garden in our backyard, I was proud of all the thought that was put into it, until someone asked me if the wood that we used to build it was treated or not. WTF? No, I did not think about the wood that was treated with who knows what type of chemicals that may leach into the soil that we babied for months and composted organic veggie scraps in, and then planted our Heirloom and Organic seeds in.

What else do I need to worry about, what about the hose that I water the garden from? How about the nicotine from the neighbors back yard that seems to always make it into our yard and into our house if the windows are left open? What about the bees that pollinate our plants but have visited lethal pesticide plants before mine.

The truth is, I can only do so much without driving myself mad. I have to trust that what effort that we put into the foods that we eat, growing organic foods and wasting little... will help. I have to let go of my fears and just do what I can do because that is all that we can do.

One of my patients that I saw today is trying to change his life for the better, he wanted to get off of all the pharmaceuticals that he was on, he was worried about his liver, he was worried about washing his vegetables, about who touched the fruit at the store before he did and if they ever washed their hands. He was worried about the air that he breaths into his lungs at the health care facilities, the water fountain that he took a drink at in the lobby of the health care facility,and so on and so forth...

I do believe that this patient was so sick with worry that "it" was even a health hazard... Worry is probably one of the biggest toxins to our bodies, I wanted to tell him to breathe, to relax, not be so fearful... but instead, I just listened... and learned. I learned that if we look; we will always find things to fear.

I chose to live and not to worry myself sick. What do you choose?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Albatross speaks

As much as I would like to believe that my carbon footprint is better than my neighbors, I know that it isn't what it should be.

I don't drink tap water, and even though I have a water cooler... I find myself wanting to go buy a case or two of plastic water bottles already filled with water. It's just easier, quicker and more convenient all around. I made that decision two days ago, I rationalized it by stating to my boyfriend that I would drink more water if I had a water bottle that was already filled for me, I would drink my herbal tinctures in my water so that means I would be more consistent with taking my herbs and therefore I would be healthier! It makes perfect sense!

Before I went out and bought a couple cases from Costco, I went home. I checked the mail and received a magazine "Spirituality and Health". I picked it up and I read a little bit then came across a photograph of a dead bird, partially deteriorated, feathers, beak and skeleton and in the center of those feathers were a multitude of colors, unrecognizable pieces and parts of plastic, fishing line, balloons and who knows what else. I read the piece and realized that it is my responsibility, as small as an impact that myself would make, it is still my responsibility to do my part. The story was sad and the photos were even more sad but impact it made on me was big.
I will be honest, I am not sure how long the impact will last or how soon it will be before I forget about "my part" or "my responsibility" but for today, and tomorrow and probably at least this month... I will take part on lessening my carbon footprint by recycling or not wasting. I did want to share this with others though, hopefully to get them thinking too...
The pictures you see here are from the magazine Spirituality and Health Jan.2010 issue, photos by Chris Jordan who will be speaking at the Sharpless Auditorium at Haverfor College in Haverford, PA Jan. 28th.