Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Plant at a Time: Rosehips (Rosa spp)

I know it's a little early to talk about rosehips but since I just strained and bottled my rosehip honegar...

Rosehips are one of Nature's gems: they're both edible and medicinal.
The hips are rich in vitamins B1, B2, C, E and K as well as beta-carotene, flavonoids, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, polyphenols, tannin, malic acid, pectin and vanillin.
Their properties are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antiviral, astrigent, blood tonic, cardioprotective, digestive, mild diuretic, emmenagogue, kidney tonic, laxative, nutritive, stimulant and tonic.

Rosehips are rich in flavonoids that help strenghten the capillaries of the body. They also improve the body's assimilation of vitamin C. Rosehips have a tart, fruity, sour and sweet flavor. They're often combined with hibiscus in teas. Rosehips can be prepared as herbal tea/infusion, herbal vinegars & honegars, tinctures and jams.

There are more than 10,000 species of roses worldwide. The color and shape of the hips vary from one species to another. When harvesting rosehips, you may either choose wild roses (rosa canina, rosa nutkana...etc) or heirloom/medicinal roses (rosa gallica, rosa damascena, rosa centifolia...etc). Modern and hybrid varieties are not usually recommended. Also make sure that they grow in a pesticide-free area. You can harvest the hips in the fall and the winter, I read that they taste even better after the first frost (it probably concentrates the sugars inside the plant).

How to harvest rosehips? Well, first you want to find some nice red plump hips. The bigger the better, because once you remove the seeds from small ones, there's not much left. So collect your hips at their prime then wash them well and remove stems and dried sepals from the ends. The seeds inside are covered with fine, silvery hairs which can cause digestive problems if ingested, so it's better to cut the hips in half and scrape them clean (rinse if necessary).

If you want to use them right away, you can prepare a rosehip tea by crushing the fruits and steeping them for15-20 minutes in boiling water. Strain and sweeten with honey if you wish. You can also use the fresh fruits in jams (1 part fruit to 1/2 -1 part sugar, honey and/or maple syrup...You may need to add some water though, and a little splash of brandy to preserve your jam). If you're familiar with herbal preparations, you can also tincture them. A little extra vitamin C is always useful in the winter. Otherwise you can dry the fruits for later use. Turn your oven on 150F, place your rosehips on a dish inside the oven and let the oven's door slightly open. It may take an hour or so for the hips to dry, it's good to check them from time to time.

You can also buy organic dried rosehips from Jean's Greens, Living Earth Herbs or Mountain Rose Herbs (see my links).

Rosehips can be used medicinally to treat bruising, colds, cough, diarrhea, exhaustion, flu, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, urinary tract infections...and more. Consult your physician along with an herbalist to make the right choices regarding your health.

If you like harvesting wild plants for foods, tea and medicine, I can recommend "Drink in the Wild - Teas, Cordials, Jams and More" by Hilary Stewart

Monday, June 11, 2007

Protection Against Mischievous Spirits


No matter how careful you are and no matter how good you are at protecting yourself and purifying your home, you might still encounter malicious spirits, unfriendly faeries or negative entities who won't leave you in peace unless they get what they want. Don't bother asking them nicely to leave, you're wasting your time...

I've been in that situation recently. A dark elf invited himself in my apartment asking for something I couldn't and wouldn't give him. I managed to cast him out with the help of my spirit guides, nonetheless before he left he had found the way to leave 4 fingerprints behind my back (with a light burning sensation)...Needless is to say that I was kind of scared (no spirit ever attacked me physically before) and that I needed to find a quick and effective solution to keep him from coming back. I don't know any Faery expert and the 2 friends that could have possibly helped me where out of town...

A few months ago I had bought a book about Faery Magick that proved very useful. I tried the first part of a ritual that was very effective. After I was done, the energy inside my apartment was drastically different, even my husband felt how positive, peaceful and comforting the energy became. I will share this simple ritual with you: all you need is salt. I find coarse salt easier to manipulate and it reminds me of crystals.

"Start by calling the Small Folk to your aid while you pour a small amount of salt into the palm of one hand. Say Faery Queen so bright and good, bless this salt with the highest of positive powers.

Then chant:
King and queen of Faery Land,
Relieve me of this troublesome band.
I also call the warrior Fay,
To send the evil ones on their way.


Moving clockwise around each room, sprinkle a few grains of salt into every corner, including closets. Repeat this in every roon until you have blessed the entire house."


Each time I entered a new room, I asked for a blessing over the salt. I also chanted 3 times because the number 3 is a magical number in the celtic tradition, it may have to do with the fact of being heard in all realms. It's very important that you focus and believe in what you are doing.

I found this ritual in "The Ancient Art of Faery Magick" by D.J. Conway

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A little bit of humor...

A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE:
"Doctor, I have an ear ache."
2000 B.C.—"Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C.—"That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 A.D.—"That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 A.D.—"That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 A.D.—"That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 A.D.—"That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"

Oh, Where Do The Fairies Hide?


"Oh, where do fairies hide their heads
When snow lies on the hills,
When frost has spoiled their mossy beds,
And crystallized their rills?

Beneath the moon they can not trip
In circles o'er the plain;
And draughts of dew they cannot sip,
Till green leaves come again.

Perhaps in small blue diving bells,
They plunge beneath the waves,
Inhabiting the twisted shells
That lie in coral caves.

Perhaps in red Vesuvius,
Carousals they maintain;
And cheer their drooping spirits thus,
Till green leaves come again.

When they return there will be mirth,
And music in the air,
And fairy wings upon the earth,
And mischief everywhere.

The maids, to keep the elves aloof,
Will bar the doors in vain;
No keyhole will be fairy proof,
When green leaves come again."


This Poem was written by Thomas Haynes Bayly

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Walking Meditation

The following text is part of a "Warrior of the Light Online" newsletter from Paulo Coehlo. Subscription is free and you can choose from several languages, just go to: http://www.warriorofthelight.com/

"1] You have already arrived. So, feel pleasure at each step and do not worry about things that you still have to face. We have nothing before us, just a road to be traveled at each moment with joy. When we practice pilgrim meditation, we are always arriving, our home is the present moment, and nothing more.

2] For that reason, always smile while you walk. Even if you have to force it a bit and feel ridiculous. Get used to smiling and you will end up happy. Do not be afraid of displaying your contentment.

3] If you think that peace and joy always lie ahead, you will never manage to achieve them. Try to understand that they are both your traveling companions.

4] When you walk, you are massaging and honoring the earth. In the same way, the earth is trying to help you to balance your organism and mind. Understand this relationship and try to respect it – may your steps have the firmness of a lion, the elegance of a tiger and the dignity of an emperor.

5] Pay attention to what is going on around you. And concentrate on your breathing – this will help you to get rid of the problems and worries that try to accompany you on your journey.

6] When you walk, it is not just you that is moving, but all past and future generations. In the so-called “real” world, time is a measure, but in the true world nothing exists beyond the present moment. Be fully aware that everything that has happened and everything that will happen is in each step you take.

7] Enjoy yourself. Make pilgrim meditation a constant meeting with yourself, never a penance in search of reward. May flowers and fruit always grow in the places touched by your feet."

On the same topic, I recommend the following book: "The Spirited Walker - Fitness Walking for Clarity, Balance, and Spiritual Connection" by Carolyn Scott Kortge

Monday, June 04, 2007

Four Seasons of Tea

I now offer seasonal tea subscriptions (and yearly too upon request) so that you, fellow tea afficionado, can enjoy each month a different tea, a different taste and a different experience. I will mail 1 tea pouch each month, according to my selection.

WINTER:
-JANUARY: Amber Spice tea, a 100% organic blend of rooibos, orange peel, cinnamon & cloves. Caffeine free. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

-FEBRUARY: French Romance with organic black tea, organic rooibos with Madagascar vanilla, pesticide-free rose petals & organic orange peel. Black tea contains caffeine which is not recommended during pregnancy.

-MARCH: Cottage Fairy Blend with organic spearmint, organic sweet marjoram, organic lemon verbena & pesticide-free rose petals. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

SPRING:
-APRIL: French Riviera with organic rooibos, pesticide-free rose petals, organic lavender, organic rosehips & organic calendula. Caffeine free. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING.

-MAY: Timeless Tea with organic white tea, pesticide-free rose petals & organic lavender. White tea contains a little caffeine which is not recommended during pregnancy.

-JUNE: Tisane de Provence (also known as Wild Provence Tea) , a 100% organic blend of thyme, rosemary, lavender & lemon balm. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

SUMMER:
-JULY: Marrakesh Express with organic green tea, spearmint, peppermint & rose petals. Contains some caffeine. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

-AUGUST: L'Arlésienne (also known as Provençal Nights), a 100% organic blend of lemon balm & lavender. Caffeine free.

-SEPTEMBER: Caravan Chai with organic rooibos, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, cardamom & organic cloves. Caffeine free. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

FALL
-OCTOBER: Thé du Matin (also known as Morning Tea), a 100% blend of green tea, rosemary, orange peel, rosehips, cinnamon & cloves. Contains some caffeine. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

-NOVEMBER: L'Orangerie, a 100% organic blend of black tea, rooibos, orange peel, cacao nibs & cinnamon. Contains some caffeine. USE SPARINGELY DURING PREGNANCY.

-DECEMBER: Thé à l'Eglantine (also known as Rosehip Tea) with organic black tea, organic rosehips, pesticide-free rose petals & organic cloves. Black tea contains caffeine which is not recommended during pregnancy.

All my artisan teas are freshly hand blended upon request. The Summer Tea Selection/Subscription is already available on my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=36753&section_id=5089549 ;).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tea Specials on Etsy...

I now offer a "MOON GODDESS Gift Bag" with 1 lunar month worth (28 days) of Luna Teas to help you harmonize yourself and your body with the Moon, its cycle and its influences. With 7 teabags each of Veiled Moon, First Crescent, Bright Moon & Last Crescent teas. For more details, please visit my e-shop:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6105771

I also carry "WOOD ROSE", a limited edition artisan herbal tea loaded with minerals and vitamin C. This blend reminds me of my childhood and vacations with my grandmother in Germany:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6050388
CURRENT MOON

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