My Materia Medica

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“…and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the people.” Revelation 22:2

Herbs are the people’s medicine.

One of the reasons I began herbal studies was to begin (continue) decolonizing my relationship to the land.  I’m thankful the lineage of herbal studies in which I’ve been steeped is about the recovery of the ancient, even indigenous, knowledge of the ancestors from the lands I originally came from, now known as western Europe and particularly England, Scotland, and Ireland.  The herbs in our materia medica (our “medicinal stuff”) are ones my ancestors would have known and loved, with stories to go with them.

Chickweed Grouping
Beautiful Chickweed

I honor my teacher, Tonja Reichley, and our herbal lineage including Gina McGarry, Rosemary Gladstar, and Juliette de Bairacli Levy.  Our tradition is the Wisdom/Wise Woman tradition, honoring many ways of knowing including intuition.

My Materia Medica includes:
Blackberry
Borage
Burdock
Calendula
Chamomile
Chickweed
Cleavers
Comfrey
Dandelion
Elder (flower & berry)
Hawthorn
Lady’s Mantle
Lemon Balm
Licorice Root
Meadowsweet
Mugwort
Nettles
Oatstraw/Milky Tops
Peppermint
Red Clover
Red Raspberry
Rose
Thyme
Vervain
Yarrow
Yellow Dock

These are good friends…some of them are best friends and some I’m totally in love with (or they’re in love with me?).  They all want to be our allies.

When I’m able, I harvest herbs locally:  in our own garden, friends’ gardens, and at the Urban Farm at the United Church of Montbello, where I’m a member.  Otherwise, I obtain herbs and other supplies from Moondance Botanicals and Mountain Rose Herbs.