Prickly Ash, a Moving Tribute

A few weeks ago I was in Florida and was fortunate enough to find a good-sized stand of Prickly Ash trees (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), a plant that I’d been hoping to find during my trip. There was enough of it that I felt comfortable harvesting a few branches to bring back and make into tincture. As I was researching the herb to refresh my memory of its more obscure uses, I thought it would be a great to share with you. Both because it is an amazing and under-used herb but also it gives me a chance to talk about heating remedies and what they do.

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The Three Best Digestive Herbs

There are more herbs for digestive issues than for just about any other issue, maybe because digestive problems are one of the most common complaints. Almost every herb we use in cooking has a beneficial effect on digestion, which is part of the reason we use them

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The Best Herb for Any Emergency

Maybe it’s these intense times we are living in, but I’ve been seeing more clients recently with a history of trauma. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading more about trauma recently. Or maybe because more people are recognizing what trauma is and wanting to work with it

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Remembering Rosemary

Rosemary is steeped in our culture, one of the most common garden plants as well as a common component in French and Italian cooking. Literally “rose of the sea,” it reminds us of the Mediterranean coast where shrubs grow 8 feet high and almost as big around. 

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Waiting to Sleep

Sleep isn’t always something that comes easily. Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms I see in my clients, even if it is not the problem they came in for. But there are many herbs that can help with sleep, and not just sedatives either. There are

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Time for Bark Harvest

I just got back from the woods, where the apprentices and I harvested Wood Betony flowering herb (Pedicularis canadensis) and Witch Hazel twigs and leaves (Hamamelis virginiana). And so begins my 2015 wildcrafting season, and on May Day no less! (or Beltaine in Gaelic.) What a way

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Spring Harvest: Nettles

This is the best time of year for so many wild greens. My other favorite with Chickweed (see last blog) is Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica). The badass, leather jacket-wearing, don’t-mess-with-me weed of wet places across the U.S. The dark green of the leaves communicates the wealth of

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