Friday, June 13, 2008

Desert medicine making

It's so wonderful to be back in my desert home. I got up early this morning and drove east to dry wash I used to frequent often when I lived here before. I knew the plants to expect...but was pleasantly surprised to find them in the lovely conditions they were in.

The Mexican Elders were still blooming. In fact, they were a riotous mix of flowers, green berries, ripe purple berries, and green leaves. Amazing! I gathered up some of the fresh flowers to bring home for medicine. I have plenty of tincture from a few years back, so I'm inclined to dry these flowers for infusions. I love the smell of fresh elder flowers. I'll go back in a few weeks to check on the berries and see if the birds have left me any ripe ones to harvest for Elderberry Elixir.
I was also tickled to find the clematis vines still lush and green and covered with beautiful white star flowers. The perfect stage in which to harvest them for making what some of my clients have taken to calling "miracle juice" for their migraines. It works really nicely for some types of headaches and migraines, and for other people, it doesn't so anything. I haven't found much use of it otherwise, but I haven't especially tried yet. But, it's a lovely medicine, and one that I was in need of. If any of you need some "miracle juice" just give me a holler. It will be ready in a few weeks.The Canyon Walnut trees are loaded with green walnut fruits, with promise of a late summer bumper crop of nuts. There's a special walnut tree in this wash with open giving trunk and branches that just invites climbing. I took a few moments to rest in the shady arms of this friend when I got hot from the sun beating down on me.

The Soap berry trees were alight with hundreds of fragrant flower clusters, and a buzz with the bees hovering and sampling from them. I collected a few of last years dried fruits to use as a natural soap for dishes, hair, or laundry. In this nice wash, there were a whole lot of other wonderful medicine plants, including ash trees, mesquite trees, desert willow, acacia, wild tobacco, mallows, datura, verbesina, beeweed, and even some eucalyptus trees. This place might be known as a desert to those who don't live here, but if you really LIVE here, and inhabit this place, you'll find as I have that it really isn't much of a desert, except in technical terms defined by rainfall. This is a lush desert, rich with a diversity of life, plant and animal, and diversity stretches far and wide, in elevation and latitude. If I drive just 20 mins up in elevation from this desert wash, I can find myself amongst oaks, junipers and pines, with a small flowing stream, evening primrose, willows and more.

This weekend I'm searching for wild roses on the mountain! I've heard they are there, and I know where to look, so I'm desperately hoping to find a nice stand from which I can harvest, since I sadly missed the harvest in Colorado by about a week when we moved.

1 comment:

Kiva Rose said...

ooohhh, i'm soooo waiting for the elders to flower here....

trade you some peach leaves for elder flowers ;)

so glad you're home and happy!

"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 ~