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Image by rgdaniel.

This is the beginning of a series of posts about water based herbal preparations. It’s all about the basics and a great place to begin your herbal journey!

Water based preparations are more than just a cup of simple chamomile tea, as wonderful as a cup of chamomile tea is. Water based preparations are, in my opinion, the best place to start when working with herbs especially nourishing herbs such as stinging nettles, oat straw and red clover. Water is available freely in most places, and safe to work with. Water can be used hot or cold and left to infuse with herbal goodness in solar warmth or lunar coolness. Water based preparations offer hydration. Water is the universal solvent, it dissolves plant minerals and vitamins rendering them bio-available and carries vital plant constituents to the body. Water also allows for flavour and scent to work it’s magic on the olfactory system, helping to deliver effects swiftly.

One of the first exercises I did when beginning my herbal studies was to compare different water based preparations. Using just one kind of herb I made hot water infusions with dried plant material and hot water infusions with fresh plant material. I made cold water infusions with  dried plants and cold water infusions with fresh plants. I used lots of plant material to make rich infusions and small amounts of herb to make tisanes or teas and compared the differences in flavour and effect. I simmered the herb and made decoctions. I set infusions out under the Sun to brew in warmth and under the Moon to brew in coolness. And that is where we will begin now, with my favourite water based preparation style for Spring and Summer blossoms:

Lunar Herbal Infusions.

Evening Primrose Flower and Red Clover Blossom lunar infusions with the Moon peeking over the clouds.

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to share this with you. Especially as it is Summer here in BC and there are plenty of blooms to choose from for a lunar herbal infusion.

Lunar infusions could be made with any fresh herb, or dried too. But the real magic happens with lunar flower infusions. I first experienced a cold water lunar infusion in Spring at herb school, it was a Dark Moon Violet lunar infusion. A jar was filled with little Violet flowers and wild waterfall water, then left out overnight under the dark new moon. When my teacher had me pour the infusion into pretty little tea glasses and hand it out to my beautiful class mates I was not expecting much at all. So when I took my first sip as we all stood around the warm fire pit I was taken by surprise, my eyes went wide and I do believe I exclaimed “Holy crap!!! I feel like bursting into song!” followed by the inspiration to actually sing a lyric written by Bjork (although I shyly spoke instead of singing), well, it’s not exactly her lyric (the correct word is blood, not flowers) but it is the words invoked in me at that beautiful moment:

“I’m a fountain of flowers, in the shape of a girl”

To taste a Violet lunar infusion was like being inside of the Violet bloom itself, to be wrapped in her petals and be drenched in her incredible aroma, her nectar gliding down my throat and through my body until I was filled with Violet vibrations and burst into a fountain of flowers. Woah. Who needs psychoactive drugs when you can burst into an explosion of flowers with one sip of Violet lunar infusion? Another very good reason to ditch the stimulate/sedate path and re-sensitize, don’t you think?

Suitable blooms for cold water lunar infusions include fresh Rose, Violet, Red clover, Evening Primrose, fruit blossoms such as Apple, Lilac (for bathing), Elderflower, Hibiscus, Lavender (just use a little Lavender or it will be too strong to drink, but excellent for bathing and beauty), Honeysuckle…. There are endless possibilities. I personally prefer flowers that are rich in aromatics because they remain vibrant and alive using the cold water lunar process. Hot water infusions change and dilute the aromatics.

Darke Lake Rose.

Last week my little family and I went out to Darke Lake near Summerland and camped for a few nights. The wild roses were in full glory so I filled a big jar with petals, topped it up with clear, fresh, wild mountain stream water then set it out under the stars for the night. Next morning I took my jar of Rose lunar infusion, a towel and a small basin up the creek to a waterfall and indulged in a private waterfall pool Rose bath, under a fallen Cottonwood and giant Devils Club leaves. I offered some to the water first, rinsed and then used the petals to wash my face and body. I finished with shower of Rose infused water and petals, allowing it to run into my mouth. Then I watched as the petals floated away downstream, feeling absolutely incredible. Yet another way to enjoy your lunar infusion.

My waterfall bathing pool.

So… Do you wanna try this out for yourself? Hell yeah!

Here’s how to make your own Lunar Herbal Infusion:

Gather your blooms fresh.

Fresh Evening Primrose flowers. They make an incredible, very moistening and cooling lunar infusion. Could be used for facial cleansing too.

Gently fill a mason jar with the whole, intact flowers, or petals, if you are gathering wild rose for instance and want to leave the rest of the flower to ripen into rose hips.

Pour filtered water over your beautiful blooms, seal with a lid then give a very gentle shake or tip upside down a few times.

Hug and kiss your jar of magical infusion. Give it some love!

Place your jar of goodness under the Stars and Moon and leave to the power of Luna for the night.

Upon rising in the morning find yourself a glass and a strainer then go out and get your incredible Lunar infusion. Strain into your glass and sip joyfully. Be careful… You might just explode into a fountain of flowers.

With Luna Love,

Danika.

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Thank you!

The name poll is now closed. A big thanks to all that voted! Looks like the original name, Radiant Botanicals Facial Serum, is staying.

If you voted and would like a 25% off discount for The Herb & Petal Shoppe follow this link to my online store where you can send me a message. I will send you your coupon code as soon as I can. I’ll keep the offer going until July 5th. 🙂

Thank you again!

Have a wild and weedy day,

Danika.

I’ve been feeling I want to change the name of my beautiful herbal, youth elixir, facial serum. Only thing is I can’t decide which name I like best. Would you help me choose?

Anyone who votes on my poll with be offered a 25% off coupon code for The Herbal Shoppe! Just leave a message in the comments section and/or email me at herbandpetal at hotmail dot com.

Thank you for helping!

 

Playing with macro photography. My Calendula is blooming and will be made into a rich calendula salve this year.

Whenever I get a chance lately I have been focused and busy breathing energy and life into my sweet little herbal shop, The Herb & Petal Shoppe. I have been learning how to make the most of my camera’s abilities and while nothing like my analogue SLR (yes, I know I am far too young to be so behind the times…) it is capable of taking some fine photographs and touching them up in the camera itself. Cool. So I have been doing photo shoots the last couple of days with a clean and crisp concept and lighter, brighter images. Considering I have a 3 year old, a husband, study and a household to run, not mention seizing opportunity to wildcraft this rainy spring, it is taking a long time! I tend to have a lean on in some pic’s… like the way I slice bread. I need a plumb line to take photos or something. Maybe a tripod would be a good investment! Anyway, I am working my way toward a total re-shoot of all of my products.

Chamomile in my wild and weedy garden. Last year was made into a healing balm. This year, tisanes, tincture and more!

I’ve been creating new blends that have been floating around my head for over a year now, things that got put on the back burner when I accepted my job as Sous chef to Chef Mathew Morazain. I really don’t know why I don’t share more recipes with you all when I have some incredible and simple to prepare dishes made from herbs, weeds and wild foods in my repertoire. I am digressing here… but recipes are definitely something to look out for here on Girl Gone Wild and Weedy. So back to my new creations. I am currently having some of my tribal bellydance peeps and herb school class mates test my first raw honey mask and I can’t wait to reveal it to the world! It is a dreamy melange of raw honey, rose petals, rhassoul clay and organic essential oils of cacao and vanilla, and precious rose otto. In my opinion, it is nothing short of divine. But I would say that so lets wait to hear my test subjects feedback.

Still a little dark, will re-shoot for a brighter label.

Playing with light and shadow.

I’ve also decided to add some simple, raw products that I bought to blend into potions but are fabulous to use on their own, such as my awesome organic rose hip oil and evening primrose oil. I also have my hands on, in my opinion, the best supply of raw shea butter in Canada. I buy in bulk so I have decided to package and offer for sale to others this incredible shea butter from the Tapko Widows Group. It is the best!

Pure Evening Primrose Oil. Sooo lovely! I quite like my photograph, also.

With so much creative energy beginning to flow in me I am so excited for the future of my little shop and the love filled, herbal potions I have to offer the world. Here’s hoping Herb & Petal blooms into it’s full potential, for I would love nothing more than to have a real brick and mortar shop with a clinic for consultations in the back and a front room full of my herbal creations to offer my community. My dream come true.

Oenothera biennis or Evening primrose, growing in my wild garden. Ain’t she sweet?

Looking forward to sharing more of my creations with you!

With Love,

Danika.

Sacred Nature.

“Everyone, no matter what their cultural background, has a right to discover the sacred in nature; to heal and be redeemed spiritually by nature; and to revere the ancestors. We are all haunted and saved by our memories” -Martha Brooks (Bone Dance)

Kive Rose Hardin shared this quote earlier today. It speaks of something that is so true to me- the spiritual awakening I have experienced through my love and reverence of nature. I enjoyed the quote so much I decided to share it with you too.

Have a wild and weedy day!

Danika.

I shared this recipe back in February, my take on a creamy massage oil I learned how to make in a Love Medicine workshop at Wild Roots Herbal Learning Center.

I decided I should re-post the recipe, because it’s really good and deserves it’s own posting. I hope you try it out for yourself.

Enjoy!

Rich Chocolate, Cinnamon & Rose Massage Oil for Lovers.

1/8 cup pure prime pressed cocoa butter- wild or organic
1/2 cup wild rose infused almond oil or grape seed oil (you can use plain almond or grape seed oil if you don’t have rose infused oil but do try making your own rose oil if you ever get the chance. It’s pure love in a bottle!)
4-5 drops best quality cinnamon essential oil (be careful, cinnamon can be irritating in too strong doses, it is a stimulant to the skin… Ooo tingly!)
15 drops pure rose otto

To make your creamy massage oil, gently melt your cocoa butter in a small pot on low heat.

Once the butter has melted pour in your rose infused oil and swirl or stir your mix with a chopstick. You may have to gently warm the blend if the cocoa butter hardens a bit after adding the oil.

Add the essential oils and stir again with your chopstick. Make sure your massage oil is well blended.

Pour into a swoon worthy bottle that will entice you from the bedside.

Give your creamy massage oil a gentle shake before using to make sure the cocoa butter stays incorporated in the oil. When the weather gets cold, you may find you need to warm your oil if it stiffens. Do so by placing the bottle in warm water for a few minutes.

This massage oil blend smells incredible and may make you want to devour the skin it comes in contact with. Resist! Or don’t… It’s totally edible, as long as your lover doesn’t mind…

Is it just me, or is weaving wild, herbal goodness into your life in as many ways possible friggen awesome?! I’m obsessed.

Love,

Danika.

Recently, I had the honour of co-proofing author Jesse Wolf Hardin’s latest novel, The Medicine Bear. I relished the quiet, focused work of proof reading and fell in love with the characters Omen and Eland. I even found myself weeping and moved at times, all signs of a really good book! Jump over to The Medicine Bear website for more information on this soon to be released historical, herbal novel.

Stay Wild!

Danika.