Thursday, June 28, 2012


With the profusion of flowers this early summer as well as the sunny, warm days we have been having, I was inspired to try tincturing. For several days I reviewed Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech. That book is the definitive text on getting the numbers and formula correct. Seeing the equations for testing alcohol content and yield brought me back to Ms. Key's chem. class in High School. What a disaster I was. I was so bad at math, I couldn't even blow anything up in the lab. Thankfully, I found my math skills - especially as they apply to practical applications - like making folk medicine. 

Red clover is in bloom everywhere here on this former Dairy Farm. It has many spiky red/pink petals shooting off of a central stem. It's wonderful in salads - when young - and it's great in tinctures. According to Making Plant Medicine, it helps with lowering cholesterol, and removes metabolic waste products from the body. It's helpful too for fixing nitrogen in the soil. So inspired, I set to gathering the clover flowers. 

Gathering is a magical process - especially from what grows in profusion in the landscape (non-endangered species, and situated well away from roads, septic systems, dumps etc...). It is powerful to me that I can make folk medicine my own way. These plants are from here, where I live, and I harvest them with mindfulness. I believe that such intention and love is an important constituent element in the healing process. So after gathering, I roughly chopped the flowers and then ground them in a Cuisinart with Everclear.  After all was combined, I put the mixture into a labeled jar, and topped it off with more Everclear to make sure that the medium was completely covered. I shook it up and after 6 weeks of infusing, I'll strain out the solids, and then have a good base tincture for creating formulas. (Note, this is a BASIC methodology not intended as a primer - consult manuals like Making Plant Medicine and others by certified herbalists for proper directions.)

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