Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Herbal Thesis- How to choose just one, and why

So I just got my official thesis assignment today, and I have to pick my herb to write the whole thing on by the end of the month.

Here are some of my top choices in no particular order. Some of them are old favorites, and some of them are herbs I'd LIKE to know better and use more often
( and haven't as yet nixed from the apothecary at home).

Elder
Yarrow
Rose
Wood Betony
Vervain
rosemary
sage
peony
turmeric
juniper

So, some of them have lots of lore and writings, and some of them have less. If I pick one with more, I'll probably learn more, but create more work for myself. I could pick one with less writing on it, and do more experiential learning. I could pick herbs that have multiple useful plant parts, or many varied uses. I could pick something that grows around here (not that anything is growing during the winter). I think of all the wonderful stories surrounding elder, and want to pick it. And then I think of the wonderfulness of wild roses and want to pick her. but I love wood betony so very much as a nervine....
and yarrow, beloved yarrow, my first ally and medicine plant as a 12 yr old.

I dont know how to pick just ONE herb for a thesis. Sheesh! My top 4 choices are probably yarrow rose elder and wood betony...but still, to narrow it down is tough.

So, in the next few weeks as I'm thinking about how to narrow down my choice to just one herb to focus on for the next 5 months ( paper is due in March), maybe you'll share with me what herb YOU"D pick to study in depth for a few months and choose to write on, and why.
Obviously none of us is limited to studying and writing about one herb, we hav ea lifetime to explore all of the herbs, but if you were to pick just one, right now, tell me what it would be and why.

5 comments:

jim mcdonald said...

well, today?

stone root (collinsonia canadensis)

because I feel like what I know is the tip of the iceberg with this plant, that its potential usage is quite broad, and there aren't many plants that can be used interchangeably.

If you pick betonica, feel free to holler for insights...

Shamana Flora said...

I'm really leaning towards wood betony/betonica/stachys today. But that could change by next week. Sigh....so many good herbs!!

Kiva Rose said...

hmm, well you know me... I'd probably go for something weird and fairly unknown like Alder or Bluebells.

But then, the longer I practice the more I realize there's so much more than what's written about some of the common medicines like Rose, Elder and Chokecherry.

I think I'd really want to pick something that I don't already know super well, but that I'm very attracted to. And something that I would have a lot of potential for working with on a practical day to day basis. For me that would be something that's fairly cooling with relaxing and tonic properties. But it's probably different for you.

Actually, I'd probably go with Elder. ;)

Tara said...

Bluebells, because I've loved them forever and there's not enough written about them. Or Cinquefoil, because I just started loving it and don't know enough about it.

Shamana Flora said...

thanks for your insights all. I'm now teetering between wood betony and elder....
sigh

and now i have another thesis to write, but the second one is on a nutrition topic of my choosing. Now I really have to think about this one!!

"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 ~