Monday, September 15, 2008

Medicinal Oils

I have been inspired lately by a herbalist named Kiva Rose who lives in the Gila of New Mexico. Kiva Rose makes an infused oil from the Goldenrod flowers and uses it for muscle strain, muscle spasms and general sore muscles either from over-use or tension. Since the Goldenrod is flowering in abundance here in Vermont I thought I would give it a go. The princesses and I gathered and garbled the flowers, packed them into a jar, and covered them with olive oil. We'll wait about 4 - 6 weeks and then strain. I'll let you know of the results.

(As an aside, we began homeschooling in the Queendom and herbal medicine making is part of the princesses homeschooling. But don't tell them ... they think we are just playing in the meadow!)

After making the Goldenrod oil, I strained the Saint John's Wort flower oil that had been infusing in olive oil for the past 8 weeks. I use the Saint John's Wort oil for the same purpose as the Goldenrod oil ... the sore, over-strained muscles. The wonderful thing about the St John's Wort is that its little yellow flower makes a surprisingly beautiful red oil!

And yeah, dude, I am straining the oil in a hemp coffee filter. I'm so cool.

While I was picking the Goldenrod, I had an herbal inspiration! A few weeks ago the Goldenrod was flowering alongside the Purple Loosestrife, and the antique white Boneset. It was a color combination that made my heart sing. The Loosestrife is now past and the Boneset is beyond its prime, but next year I will make an oil of the three of them together. I have never heard of such a thing, but this oil was my inspiration. Boneset is traditionally used in a tea (together with mint and yarrow) for achey fevers, the Goldenrod, as I said, also for sore muscles. I imagined rubbing the oil from the three sisters of colorful summer onto the body of a loved one to relieve an achey fever in the winter. Ahh, fall hasn't even officially arrived yet and I am already planning next year's herbal adventures!

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Ok - that looks like a big glass bowl of green snot! Sigh. Do you cover it or leave it open for the 8 weeks? I need more time as I dream of doing things like this but never do...I hope you take a pick of the oil when it's cooked- I imagine it to be a bright neon green...