Wild Herbs in Winter

An important aspect of wild-harvesting is to follow the plant throughout the year.  This way you can get to know it not just in its full glory during peak bloom or initial spring flush, but also in seed, in winter, and eventually at seedling stage.  This helps in locating plants for harvest - if no matter when you are out and about exploring you can identify them, and know where to return later.*

Goldenrod - Solidago spp.

Goldenrod - Solidago spp.  (Hubbie in red ;) )

It's also important to know what part of the plant to harvest and when to harvest for optimum strength.    Spending regular time in outdoor locations throughout the year will enable you to be there when the time is right.  Every season has it's beauties.

Heal All - Prunella

These photos were taken mid-February in the mountains of Virginia.  My apprentices couldn't make it out because of the weather, so I did an herb walk and photo essay for them and am sharing it here.

Mullein - Verbascum

Mullein - Verbascum

All of these plants were photographed on one walk beginning on higher ground and leading to a stream. 
A plant's location can also help you with identification.  Do you know which of these were found near the stream?  and which would not want their feet wet?

Wild Basil - Satureja, Clinopodium, Calamintha

Wild Basil - Satureja, Clinopodium, Calamintha

Winter is a nice time to get to know a plant because you can see its bare bones, its skeleton, it's basic structure, and often its seed pods.  Pay attention to how it grows on the whole - its habit - and get down close with it and inspect the details.  Fascination awaits!

Alder - Alnus

Alder - Alnus

What new plants will you learn this year?  What plant allies are you working with this winter?

Shiso - Perilla

Shiso - Perilla

*Please get to know your plants well enough to know which ones should be harvested and use ethical harvesting practices if you do, never taking more than 10% unless it is a known common, plentiful, invasive and never harvesting at all if rare or endangered.  Also, know how to harvest so that you allow the plants to continue.  Spread their seed, refrain from using the roots if possible, and prune for good regrowth.

There will be more of these posts to come to help you with identification....

Tinctures Available List

Owl be seeing you in the morning!  Nighty Night!  Sleep Tincture Blend. - order below...

Single Herbs extracted in Alcohol - Folk Method:
Please consult a qualified health practitioner as to use.  May be contraindicated.

Ambrosia - fresh
Burdock Root
Calamus Root
California Poppy
Cat's Claw
Chapparal Leaf
Cleavers - fresh
Codonopsis Root
Coltsfoot - fresh
Gokshura Seed
Goldenrod - fresh
Gotu Kola
Houttuynia - fresh
Lemon Balm - fresh
Lemon rind - fresh
Lobelia -Ban Bian Lian
Lobelia inflata - fresh
Mimosa Bark
Mugwort - fresh
Plantain ROOT - fresh
Poria root decotion
Privet Fruit
Raspberry Leaf
Red Root
Siberian Ginseng
Tansy - fresh
Teasel Root - fresh
Usnea - fresh
Valerian Root
Wild Lettuce - fresh
Yerba Santa

Choose your varieties and quantities, then add the appropriate shipping cost, below.
***Please note which tinctures you want when you order.***
1 oz. - $8.95 ea.

2 oz. - $14.95 ea.

Shipping (expensive for liquids)
$8.95 flat rate for up to 5 bottles

$12.95 flat rate for 6-15 bottles, inquire for larger quantities.

SPECIAL! - Buy 10 bottles, get a 1 oz. bottle free!
Specify upon ordering which one you'd like free.

The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any medical condition. 
Please seek a competent health care provider for your specific needs.



Coming out of Imbolc and St. Valentine's Day...feeling the rising energies of the year as the wheel turns and the seed of Yang is visible within the winter of Yin.  The original word for Imbolc, that time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, was Imbolg which means "in the belly."  
Life force is stirring under that snow...life is stirring in our bellies... 
 The lower Dantian, or "sea of Qi" is found below the navel.  This is a particularly good time of year to do meditative and energetic work that focuses on this area.  Keep it warm, front and back.  
Nurture these creative energies.

It's also that time of year when the bird song has changed for they know it will be warm soon enough and it is time to mate so as to give birth at the start of the warm season, leaving room for the possibility of another pregnancy before the cool season returns again.  Their songs sing of desire and offer, readiness and display, protection and guarding.  And with this life goes on...  
 Valentine's Day has its origin in the birds choosing their mates.  

There are many "mates" for us to choose.  Symbolically anything we tie ourselves to is our mate.  Our jobs, our hobbies, our companions, our places...  What are you "breeding,"  what are you creating?  
Female and male alike can be "pregnant" with possibilities...  The energy of the wheel of the year lends itself to this latent energy being fertilized.

The choices you make now will affect the entire next year.

This is also the time I take inventory of my seeds, determining what I want to grow this year, what I have, what else I need to acquire, what I want to try that is new to me...  See the similarity?  
Each choice we make is like a seed.  What "plants" will you grow this year?

So... in this larger time we find ourselves, this time of mass extinction and severe ecosystem disruption (our life support system), this time that may be a miscarriage of ourselves, I find myself thinking about what is truly meaningful, what I can do to create the future I want for myself, for all of us...  
I attempt to reside with the sacred amongst the destruction.  Our great womb, the Mother Earth, is pregnant too, may She be the mate we all choose.

Titled:  'On Death, Delusion, and Sanctity'