Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bah-Humbug! (Transformational Tools for your Holidays!) Journal activities, Herbs, Foods, and Smells to Help You

This past week my girlfriend and I had an enlightening conversation about Thanksgiving. Each of us where sharing what challenges us the most; what we were afraid of, what made us feel rotten, and what kind of behavior by others ruins our day.

I found us saying things like “I wish I had more help with the planning and preparation of the food so I was less resentful”, “I don’t want to have to answer to anybody about my personal life if I’m not ready, but I don’t want them to feel pushed away, either”, “I’m worried about political differences coming up” and “I feel exhausted at the end, not filled up and all happy like we’re told we should feel. I want to actually feel nourished and full of gratitude, not like: ‘thank God that’s over!’”

After we vented a bit, we started asking some questions instead, and low and behold we started coming up with miraculous ways to approach the coming holidays with a lot more self-awareness and intention, and less attachment to how others decide to use the day.
This is an incredibly self-protective and freeing experience! And although I've personally done a *lot* of inner work around dealing with winter and the holidays, but this conversation was especially helpful and insightful.

So, in light of the fast-approaching Yule tide, I come here today to offer a similar journey for you, as well as herbal and aroma allies. For my apothecary members I always approach things holistically this way (including inquiry based journaling/mindset methods, sensory engagement, and herbal nourishment) so that the healing happens from multiple facets and is integrated more completely. I invite you to tackle things with this in mind as well.

The more my friend and I talked about what we wanted and complained less about what we didn’t want, the more clearly we were able to see the potential to enjoy our holiday more, even within the given circumstances.

However, it is good to get all the complaints on the table, as they can help us navigate. So….lay it all out, my friend, with reckless honesty:

What are my biggest, most anxiety producing complaints about the holiday?






{Awesome, good job J}

Next, Go slowly through each of your above frustrations and ask these questions:

1.       Is this an experience I’m capable of changing?

2.       Does the change need to happen externally, involving others?

3.       Is there a change in me, internally, that would help? What is that? Compassion, forgiveness, or a shift in expectations?

4.       Do I contribute to this issue in any way?

5.       What personal boundaries can I set for myself around this issue? (e.g.; Getting more rest? Not answering questions I don’t feel comfortable with? Not engaging in feeling victimized or falling prey to passive aggressive behavior?

6.       In what ways can I ask for help & support from my loved ones in regards to this issue?
7.       How can I better prepare for this potential experience, manage it if it occurs, or help prevent it?

{Woot! Feels good so far, yes? Are you surprised by anything so far?}

Next, we need to shift the focus to what we do desire.

1.       What would each of these experiences look and feel like to you, if they were expressed in the positive?
For example, if your #1 fear was listening to your children fight, it might look like two siblings enjoying each other’s company.

2.       What do I want out of a holy-day? How do I want to feel before, during, and after?

3.       What are some ways my ideals can be fed and supported??

Brainstorm specific ideas around this – the more specific you are the more likely it is to happen, whether because you take action, or something becomes more energetically possible through the magic of your intentions.

Super! We’re well on our way to a transformed holiday experience.  In addition to the above specific problem-solving inquiries, we can arm ourselves with some general ideas as well. These are three of my favorite pattern interrupters that I use the most often.

~In this moment, I can choose peace.

~In this moment, what can I do differently?

~Even though I feel ­­­­_____ (angry, hurt, etc) I can choose to shift things by acting out of love.

By claiming more ownership over the emotional choices, vocabulary we use, and the physical activity choices we have, and by creating a plethora of options for ourselves, we can shift out of feeling victimized and begin to foster a sense of self-protection, groundedness, and hope that the coming days, meant to be most sacred, generous, and fulfilling, actually can be just that.

The nourishing feast: 

Oh the food! Yummy, yummy food, and lots of it! Meant to be a gleeful celebration of bounty, of course, this can instead be the source of much misery for many, whether it is days in the kitchen laboring over the perfect meringue, a tender bird, or peeling endless potatoes – worrying about eating too much and gaining weight, fearing the dish washing task, or simply feeling like crap afterwards.

Whatever the food brings up for you, we can apply a few small tweaks for aid.

--Ditch the MSG. This means no “Mr.Gravy” thickener, and no poor quality brand dressings or seasoning packets. MSG can cause severe inflammation, instigate over-eating, and provide mega-headaches. They are just no good party poopers. (Monosodium Glutamate) is known for its trouble making and is better off left out of the meal.

--Change from soda. UGH! There are so many excellent sparkly options nowadays. Corn syrup and artificial flavor/color is a holiday’s bad news. Don’t go there. Especially if you have volatile parent/kid pairs in the family, or any diabetics. This might feel like an epic change for some – but remember that we can focus on what we are adding instead of subtracting to help us all adapt and enjoy.

--ADD Lots of digestive aids! At least an hour before the main meal, take a little something each ten or twenty minutes to stoke your digestive fire. There are many options you have no excuse to avoid this essential action.

Ginger root, Lemon Juice, Fennel Seeds, Apple Cider Vinegar, black pepper & cinnamon chai, Turmeric root, bitters such as Dandelion root tincture, Artemisia tincture, and Goldenrod tincture can all help ready the digestion. Fermented foods as an appetizer and condiment are one of my very favorite (and delicious) ways to support digestion. Homemade sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickled vegetables are a fantastic way to support those in your family who may not be so interested in your herbal concoctions.

--Have honey available. For those who might decide to use honey instead of sugar in their coffee or tea. Yay! (Then dessert will be more relaxed)

--Ask for help!!!! Call up your inner queen and do some delegating. People who stand around waiting to do something, actually do want to help. But if they are in someone else’s kitchen, they would do well with some helpful directions. Guys who retreat to the football game are, more often than not, willing to help if you’re willing to ask.

And, last but not least, Aroma-allies.

If you’re hosting, and you usually burn Yankee or similarly scented candles consider not. These candles can contribute to migraines, nausea, mood swings, and mysterious maladies galore. They are packed with dangerous fragrance chemicals like z-estrogens that can wreak havoc.

Natural aromas in the house are inviting … cider, stuffing, garlic … these are the smells that help us feel welcome, stimulate salivation, and cultivate memories (without side effects). If you do wish for candles, try ones with natural essential oils of orange or cinnamon for a gentler ambiance. You can also choose unscented candles and use an aromatherapy diffuser with the following essential oils.

If you keep a cupboard of essential oils, you can make yourself a helpful blend.  One of my favorite for Yule time is Roman Chamomile. Wildly herbaceous & floral/fruity, this almost apple-like chamomile oil is incredibly uplifting and anti-depressant. Roman Chamomile is excellent for those who tend to feel brooding, argue beyond the point of reason, and get ‘hot headed’ or stubborn. It is also somewhat expensive – but also strong. Diluted in carrier oil at about 2-4 drops of essential oil to 1/3 ounce carrier oil, you can apply it or smell it as frequently as you like.

If you prefer something more grounded and rooty, you might find Vetiver essential oil to be helpful. It is excellent for those who abhor traveling, tend to feel nervous or insecure, or feel as though they need thicker skin. It is one of the strongest essential oils and will be plenty effective at a dilution of 1 drop in 1/3 ounce of carrier oil.

You might enjoy a trip to your local natural food store to smell an array of essential oils and determine which one makes you feel most relaxed and happy.


However you choose to support yourself this holy-day season, may it be nourishing, joyful, and bring you closer to the ones you love.

Blissful Blessings,

in the Apothecary (and more to come in the next week, stay tuned!!!)

~Resins & Roses~
Botanical Perfume

click here:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pomegranate Elixir Recipe (Homemade Shirley-Temple for Grown-ups!)

Pomegranates are so sexy.

 Totally irresistible

and incredibly delicious!

And of you've got a couple extra, you can make a DeLuscious, frothy pomegranate beverage.

--Seeds of 2 pomegranates (organic if possible)
--put the seeds into a mason jar
--fill up to 3/4 of the height of the seeds with brandy or your favorite sipping liquor
--fill the rest of the space to meet the top of the seeds with local raw honey
--pour it all into a food processor
--add other twists if you like: lime juice, vanilla extract, or nutmeg sprinkles

{My Lady's Slipper Ring Members are receiving a Pomegranate Bitters special blend with wildcrafted herbs added <3 p="p">

Sift through a strainer to remove the seeds, pour over ice (or CAKE) and enjoy.

Happy Wild Gratitude Day!


PS - New Artisan Aromatics and Sacred Herbals are up in the shop!! Support Mamas and Artists and Herbalists!
Pleasure Medicine 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Black Forest Chai Recipe, Cave Poetry, and Important Apothecary Changes (Action Required)



Cave Poetry

Razor sharp is the air this morning. 

Indicative of a true winter's day, the sky is solemn and brooding. 

All warmth is withheld, and joy must be sought  created, or remembered.  

I take solace in welcoming the cave time. 

In the darkness is fertile possibility.

In the silence comes the ancestral answers.

In the smell of the heady, dank earth,

we are granted the chance to take back our body.

In our cave time we adorn!

We draw red ochre on the walls

of our igneous hideouts

We butter our lips with roses and fat.

Smoke curls through time

Scenting our blankets and cloaks.

Libations in blood colored liquids are poured

Invoking dreams and visions.

The light comes to us from within our forest bodies, 

our bellies of love and water,

our breasts of milk and sweetness,

our minds of flowers and kaleidoscope minerals.

The Goddesses visit us in our cavern.

They give us gifts of dances and beauty and order.

They command from us our greatness, our fearless femininity.

As the world outside our cave

turns to ice

and incubates the seeds

We gestate our creative forces

and conjure powerful destinations

We render ghee from butter,

we render love from pain

we render forgiveness from anger

and we turn our inner blossoms

into seeds with wings


Dearest Reader

Thank you for coming along these plant journeys. I know that even though you're here, reading something I have typed, this is really *your* journey. Your way of reconnecting to the earth beneath your feet, to the trees in your own forest, and to the senses tingling and talking throughout your body. 
I'm incredibly grateful to be somehow a part of that for you. 
I give gratitude for you and your divine nature. 

There are a few changes around here in an effort to serve you better, if you are a reader, patron, or ally, please be sure to read this thoroughly. 

As you may know it has been an extraordinary year for me.

I'm entering my second year of offering my Pleasure Medicine Apothecary Membership/Home study course (the Lady's Slipper Ring) and I have grown and learned a lot from the journey. 

I have made an impressive collection of herbals through the process, which I am very proud of. Below is my Botanical Aromatherapy Perfume Archive for the year (Oct 2011 - Oct 2012) It now rests on my abundance/gratitude altar. 

What I've noticed, is that there are two groups that I serve, and while there is quite a bit of overlap, there is also some divide. 

Some of you come for this:

and some of you come for this: 

And sometimes I just want to talk about this:

or this:

Does that make sense? 

So, to serve you better, take these actions: 

1) If you want to connect mostly about plants, nature, and earth based musings, please continue to be a part of this blog, and the Plant Journeys facebook page. You will still receive Apothecary offerings and updates on a semi-regular basis, but it will remain primarily a plants, life, and food-based forum for me.

2) If you're mostly here for my Artisan Herbals, Lady's Slipper Ring annual membership, pain killer salve, elixirs and products, or because you're into beautiful apothecary musings and sexy pictures of red wine and freshly poured magic potions, then the NEW Amrita Apothecary facebook Page is the click to like to stay connected to all of my creative endeavors and product offerings. In the future - THIS is where I will be posting first come first serve offerings such as night owl discounts, early bird specials, and OOAK leftovers from special projects. So, if you love my products, this is the place to be. If you're not interested in hearing about my offerings, this is not the place to be.

In this way, I sincerely hope to continue serving you in the ways more specific to the reasons you visit me, and in the ways that connect you with nature and your body most directly.

In gratitude and beauty blessings,


PS - Thank you to everyone who has enrolled in this year's Ladys' Slipper Ring! I am diving deep to upgrade the home study content, going far into the forest to dig you rich roots, and working tirelessly on ideas for your coming herbal treasures. It's going to be a delicious ride. 

If any of you were hoping to come along, it's not (but almost!) too late! I have TWO SPACES LEFT  - but they will only be here until November 12, when I will lock the doors on the program until September 2013. 
For more information, go HERE


An intense herbal brew for your days hiding in the Cave.

Into a pot on the stove or wood stove, add 2 to 3 quarts filtered or well water. 

~ 1, One inch sized root of Osha, dried.
~ One tablespoon Smoked black tea, such as Lapsang Souchong, or a roasted Mate
~ 1 tablespoon  Licorice root
~ 1 tablespoon Cardamom seeds
~ 1-2 tablespoons Ginger, fresh minced
~ 1-2 Springs freshly gathered conifer twigs with needles (spruce, fir, or pine)
~ 1 handful fresh Black Birch twigs cut into 1 inch bits
~ 5-10 Juniper berries
~ One inch piece dried mushroom (chaga, reishi, or shitake) if desired
~ grated Nutmeg to taste
~ Black Peppercorns as desired
~ 1 Handful of your favorite nuts; walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts work well)

Directions: Gently simmer all ingredients for 30-45 minutes (longer will make it stronger). When ready, ladle out cupfuls as you desire, into your favorite mug. Add cream and honey and herbal elixirs as desired. Enjoy.



Inspirations for Black Forest Chai come from the following:

My Sweet Friend, Herbalist Darcey Blue, who successfully got me addicted to smoked tea.

Kiva Rose's Wild Woodlands Morning Brew Recipe mmm

And of course, my body, who says - "Give me quiet, give me tea." 

And I must obey.