Saturday, September 01, 2007

Slimming down the Apothecary

I recently moved, for the third time this year, and frankly I've gotten tired of packing up all the herb jars and tinctures into boxes and hauling them around in U-Haul vans and SUV's every time I uproot. So I've decided it's time to pare down the apothecary/materia medica I'm carrying around with me.

It doesn't mean I can't use or know the myriad plants and medicines available to an herbalist today, but I don't need to have every single one on my shelf. I'm not sure how many to get rid of, how many to keep, how many tinctures, how many jars of dried herb.

Obviously, there are herbs I use all the time, like chamomile, and herbs I hardly use at all like cleavers.

It's hard to be an herbalist and see a medicine plant and not gather and make medicine from it. The summer I made cleavers tincture was particularly wet in Arizona, and the high mountain hillsides were blanketed in trailing cleavers. I gathered cleavers into bundles that I wore around my head as I hiked, and more to tincture, and even more to dry.

But alas, over the years I just haven't had an oppurtunity to use the cleavers medicine much, for whatever reason, it just hasn't spoken to me much, even though I relished and enjoyed the process of communing with and collecting cleavers that summer.

So, as I just moved again this past week, I have to unpack my herbs again, and this time I'll be going through them with a critical eye, to decide which ones I actually use, and which ones I WANT to use. Then I'll be selling lots of tinctures and dried herbs for cheap, by the ounce. I'll post a list of what I have available in a few weeks once I've done my soul searching.

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~