An integrative approach to healing ourselves and our world: honoring people, plants, planet

12961179_524800921041586_787899536318134546_o

Join me for an edible & medicinal wildflower walk at North Chick Creek near Ivy Academy, April 16th, 10:30 am. We will caravan from Ivy Academy. $5 per person/$10 per family. For more information go to Cumberland Trail’s Facebook Page and The Friends of the Cumberland Trail website.

Standing at the base of Fall Branch Falls in the Citico Creek Wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest with a young naturalist. Photo by Pat Byington, 2014.

Standing at the base of Fall Branch Falls in the Citico Creek Wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest with a young naturalist. Photo by Pat Byington, 2014.

Looking for some exploration in our big backyard? TN Wild is hosting the Tellico Wild Festival in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with lots of fun, nature-loving things to do Friday, July 31st – Sunday, August 2nd. I’ll be leading an Edible and Medicinal Plants Walk on Saturday. The Edible/Medicinal Hike is currently full with a waitlist, but there are many great hikes, boating adventures, and learning events going on throughout the weekend. This is the place to cool off in the heat of high summer, while also supporting the coolest regional land conservation group around. TN Wild advocates for the passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander, which increases the Wilderness designation of land already held by the National Forest Service. The Poster for TN Wild’s Tellico Wild event. And detailed list of events each day of Tellico Wild Festival. 

Bear corn, squawroot, cancer-root are a few names of this non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant commonly found under oak trees.

Bear corn, squawroot, cancer-root are a few names of this non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant commonly found under oak trees.

Hello Plant Friends,

The following are herbal walks and talks that I will be leading throughout the remainder of this year. I hope to see you!  -Holli

August 23rd, WILDERNESS WILD FEST: A celebration festival of the Wilderness Act’s 50th Anniversary

At Outdoor Chattanooga/Coolidge Park, Park 200 River Street, Chattanooga, TN

Free family event hosted by the Sierra Club and Outdoor Chattanooga

Holli will be leading an edible plant walk at 4pm. Sign up inside.

http://www.wildernessacts50thanniversarycelebrationfestival.com/

logo-2014RR

September 12-14, FALL NATIVE PLANT SALE

At Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, 400 Garden Rd, Chattanooga, TN

Holli will be leading a Fall Foraging Event Saturday, Sept 13, from 11:30-1pm. Admission is free.

http://chattanooganaturecenter.org/www/docs/150

logo seww

October 10-12, SOUTHEAST WISE WOMEN HERBAL CONFERENCE, 10th Anniversary

At Black Mountain, NC

Holli will be leading a Medicinal Plant Walk and a Forest Bathing Walk

Register at http://www.sewisewomen.com/

symposium-banner-229

 

November 6-10, AMERICAN HERBALISTS GUILD SYMPOSIUM, 25th Anniversary

At Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia

Holli will be presenting two lectures:

Emotionally-Focused Herbal Therapy: An herbalist’s role in supporting people experiencing mood disorders, anxiety and trauma disorders

Integrative Medicine Clinics: Models of collaborative care

Register at http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/

 

Spring Ephemeral Forest Bathing 2014

Nature loves. It shows its heart if you look.

Nature loves. It shows its heart if you look.

In his song “Nature Boy,” Nat King Cole sings, “The greatest thing you have to learn is just to love, and be loved in return.” Nature is abundant with plants that help us learn to love and be loved in return—and not all of them are for the Viagra-kind of love.

The quest for romantic love is a part of the human condition. Daniel Moerman, author of Native American Ethnobotany, recorded over a hundred stories of Native American tribes using plants as love charms to lure a potential suitor. For instance, the Iroquois considered asters, which are daisy-like flowers, to be love medicine. Perhaps asters were used like the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not daisy method of divining a suitor’s sincerity, or they could have been knotted into chains like dandelion-flower necklaces.

Several tribes used powdered seeds of Columbine to be sprinkled as a kind of love-dust. Other tribes marked a man’s palm with bloodroot, a native wildflower aptly named for the blood-red liquid which oozes from a cut root.

As a more drastic measure—and maybe a last resort for the desperate and restless—yellow dock root was boiled and splashed on the face and clothes to make one more appealing to a love interest. Though, anyone who has seen yellow dock root knows it makes a yellow-staining dye, and therefore, it seems the amorous seeker would be made quite obvious.

Contemporary use of aphrodisiac herbs include performance-enhancing herbs, such as yohimbe or Asian ginseng, which increase virility for men, or female tonics, which help maintain sexual function, such as an herb from India called shatavari, which means “she who has a hundred husbands.” The name conveys its efficacy.

For relaxing into a romantic relationship, damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca or Turnera diffusa) is a traditional herbal beverage, either as a tea or as a Mexican herbal liqueur. Supported by scientific studies, damiana is considered to be a mild antidepressant and nervine, which relaxes and calms the nerves so that a couple isn’t too stressed out to be interested in each other.

Passionflower helps with marriage maintenance.

Passionflower helps with marriage maintenance.

For marriage maintenance, old-timey Appalachian herbalists revived tired domestic partnerships with passionflower vine, appropriate for couples who’ve grown bored in a relationship, having lost the appreciation for the familiar. A recent clinical trial has proven passionflower as effective for anxiety as an anti-anxiety pharmaceutical benzodiazepine, which would likely help the relationship, as well.

More than just finding and keeping a romance, love medicine can foster a sense of togetherness, which is needed in building and maintaining all relationships. Since communication is the key to maintaining healthy relationships, kava kava, a Polynesian herb which means “talk talk,” could be of value. Kava kava has been traditionally used to ease communication and facilitate a win-win conversation when different tribes join together in conversation.

A farmer's market potato heart.

A farmer’s market potato heart.

Most importantly, all love is built upon a compassionate, forgiving self-love. Cultivating self-love involves physically, spiritually and emotionally healing the wounds of the heart, so that one can be open to feeling love for others and allowing oneself to receive love. Reishi mushroom and hawthorn are used as herbal tonics to heal and support the heart on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. By nourishing the heart with antioxidants, and calming the emotional and spiritual mind which, according to Traditional Chinese medicine, resides in the heart, reishi and hawthorn prepare someone to learn to love and be loved in return.

Wild Edible Weeds, OutdoorChattanooga 1-30-14

Wild Edible Weeds, OutdoorChattanooga 1-30-14

Tonight from 6-8pm I’ll be giving a free talk at Outdoor Chattanooga on freely available wild foods around Chattanooga.  The snow prohibited my foraging, so I will have liquid extracts of the herbs to sample instead of food.

Cleavers are best juiced or lightly cooked.

Cleavers are best juiced or lightly cooked.

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 190 other followers