Broccoli Medicine

Broccoli medicine

Broccoli is a star in our garden. I sowed seeds of several different types, purple sprouting, green sprouting and the large headed variety – the purple sprouting is the most prolific and easy going by far. It’s been tough love for the garden. The soil got compacted when we cut down the pine trees to make the garden, we’ve had two years of summer drought with no irrigation. The first seeds were broadcast in seed balls, in the autumn of 2014. I don’t recommend this method as the seedlings were impossible to find and we unknowingly trampled over most of them! I planted out more, grown from seed last spring and we had a seemingly endless supply this year and much of it has self-seeded or grown back from the stalks that I left in the ground. (The broccoli experience has caused me to revise my expectations of permaculture, more on this here: Gaian Permaculture.)

Purple sprouting broccoli
Purple sprouting broccoli

Back to the broccoli. It’s a cruciferous vegetable belonging to the Brassica genus, named because they have flowers with four petals arranged to resemble a cross. Other cruciferous vegetables include: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, collard greens, kale, red and green cabbage, chard, turnip greens, arugula, mustard greens, savoy cabbage, Chinese cabbage, radish, horseradish, turnip and swedes. All these vegetables are nutritionally dense and increase detoxification from carcinogenic chemicals, prevent some precancerous damage to DNA and in some cases stimulate apoptosis. Apoptosis is a natural process of programmed cell death, which causes cells that are not required by the organism to self-destruct.

Cruciferous vegetables contain many potent phytonutrients and the glucosinolate compounds. In the body, glucosinolates break down into numerous other compounds such as indoles and isothiocyanates. Of the isothiocyanates, sulforaphane has been most studied. GreenMedInfo lists over 270 abstracts on sulforaphane research

Broccoli has more glucosinolate compounds than other cruciferous vegetables and over 80 phytonutritional compounds and 3-day old broccoli sprouts are said to be 50 times more nutritionally dense than mature broccoli. Studies have consistently shown that people who consume the most cruciferous vegetables, around 1kg a week, are less likely to get many types of cancer.

However, broccoli does not provide universal protection from all cancers and not all broccoli is not equal anyway, depending on where and how it is grown, freshness etc. There is a good reason why you can’t eat pounds and pounds of broccoli. According to The Weston A. Price Foundation, “When raw crucifers are chewed, or when microwaved and steamed crucifers are digested by intestinal bacteria, they release substances called goitrogens that increase the need for iodine when consumed in small amounts and can damage the thyroid gland when consumed in large amounts.”

Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” Paracelsus.

Broccoli for basal cell carcinoma

As I mentioned before in this post, Dean has a recurring basal cell carcinoma (BCC). We know that’s what it is, because he had one cut out before we left London. He also had a parotidectomy (on the same side) to remove a cancerous parotid gland and radiotherapy, because he was bullied into it by the doctors and we didn’t know better at the time. Since then (2004), the cancer industry has been exposed as fraudulent and evidence of natural cures and lifestyle factors have become more widely available. My personal view on the medical profession is that they are very good for emergencies and structural damage, but worse than useless when it comes to most ‘diseases’. I think they cause more disease than they cure and that the system is so corrupt that the only choice with a non-life threatening condition is to work out how to heal yourself.

I first wrote about this in 2015, when we used an aubergine and apple cider vinegar paste on the sore. It worked for a while and I know several people who have had good results with this remedy, but it never quite eradicated the sore completely. Neither did sodium bicarbonate, nor turmeric. It took me a while to recognise that taking an allopathic approach with natural medicine is still just addressing the symptoms. Cancer is a label used in reference to many symptoms, for which the common denominator is some kind of cellular dysfunction. Just to be clear here, I’m not looking for a cure for cancer; my aim is to help Dean bring his cellular metabolism back into balance, which will be evidenced by the disappearance of the BCC. The fact of it is that no one can ever cure cancer as it is not a disease, which is why it is not transmittable – nobody ‘catches cancer’ – it is always just a symptom, caused by an underlying problem, or series of problems. This is the biggest con of the cancer industry, that it is actually treating a disease!

Dean is strong, a rapid healer, healthy in mind and body, happy and not stressed – so what could could be causing the cellular dysfunction? I disagree with the view that BCC is caused by sun exposure. I think that they tend to appear in the forties because of less regular sun exposure, like the kind you used to get from playing outside as a kid in all weathers or you would get from working outside. We are not designed to live and work in buildings our entire lives. If sun exposure is a factor in BCC, then vitamin D is a factor too.

In fact, vitamin D is not a vitamin. It is a type of hormone that regulates cell growth, modulates the immune system and helps maintain blood pressure and is produced in a biochemical reaction in the skin, kidneys and probably elsewhere in the body through sun exposure, ie photosynthesis. You cannot get sufficient ‘vitamin D’ through food or supplements, sun exposure is essential. Pale skinned people are very efficient at generating vitamin D through sun exposure; we don’t need much and have an inbuilt monitor for signaling sufficient exposure – our skin turns pink – isn’t that amazing? Sunscreen, most of which is carcinogenic, inhibits photosynthesis and vitamin D production. Dark skinned people need ten times as much exposure to generate the same amount of vitamin D. As Dean’s genetic heritage is Native American and Norwegian, the required levels of sun exposure for optimum vitamin D production would have been very different for his ancestors in their native environments. I suspect that this has created a particular sensitivity that we need to address.

A key factor in the vitamin D process are vitamin D receptors. A specific gene called the VDR (vitamin D receptor) gene codes for this receptor, but sick and unhealthy cells express less of the VDR gene, meaning that they are unable to accept and use vitamin D. Supplementing with more vitamin D won’t help these sick cells. Without a receptor site, vitamin D has nowhere to go, which brings me back to broccoli. Research has shown that the sulforaphane in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables increases the expression of the VDR gene, so that more of the vitamin D that the body produces can be used. The one study I found on links between vitamin D and BCC found elevated levels of vitamin D enzymes and proteins in the cancerous tissue, Link between vitamin D and basal cell carcinoma probed: Study sheds light on development of most common form of skin cancer The study drew no conclusions as to whether the increase in vitamin D was causative or curative, but as the body uses vitamin D to regulate cell growth and modulate the immune system, it seems fairly obvious why it would be present in cancerous tissue!

Another study provides graphic evidence of the effectiveness of broccoli on BCC and explains how to use it. The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine: A Simple, Natural Topical Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Maybe Others, by By Dr. J. Rozencwajg, Dean began using fresh broccoli florets, mashed up in a pestle and mortar and taped onto the sore when he’s at home and the BCC already shrunk considerably, after just a few days.

(He is also taking a tincture of Datura Stramonium and St John’s Wort.  This is because the herpes virus (HPV1) is an underlying factor here.   This virus hides in the nervous system in the back of the neck.  The Datura (a minute dose, as it is poisonous) stimulates the nervous system and the St John’s Wort breaks down the outer coat of the virus, so that the immune system can interact with the virus.  Information on the function of the herpes virus emerged in a shamanic realignment session, which will be covered in more detail in a later post.)

Dean’s BCC at the beginning of the process:

bccnov28

 

As a note on this, I made a broccoli extract with glycerin and that did not work at all – the BCC began to grow again as though it was being fed.

Endnote on apoptosis

“….apoptosis (Greek, “shedding, falling off”), a process of programmed cell death in which an organism sheds part of itself that is no longer viable. In contrast to necrosis, traumatic cell death that results from acute cellular injury, apoptosis is a regulated process that advantages the further mutation of the organism undergoing it. Apoptosis produces cell fragments called apoptotic bodies able to engulf and quickly remove before the contents of the cell can spill out onto surrounding cells and cause damage.

German scientist Karl Vogt first described the principle of apoptosis in 1842, and in 1885, anatomist Walther Flemming produced a more precise description of the process of programmed cell death, based on studies of the developing tadpoles of the midwife toad.”

Is Pepe the Frog a Witch’s Familiar? Deeper Dimensions of the Froggy Meme, John Lash

The cultural meme John highlights in this essay has its physiological correlates in the human body, in accordance with the Hermetic Principle: ‘as within so without’ (of which the inverse is also correct). So, the parts of society that no longer serve the Anthropos are falling away at the same time as the A10 cells in our bodies are being shed to make way for A11. Whether you, as an individual, experience this process as traumatic or transformational depends upon your capacity, health and personal circumstances and most significantly on what narrative  framework shapes your perception.

Seen from within the framework of the Sophianic Narrative, a BCC is like a biofeedback alarm, indicating the need for some corrective action so that the mutation (apoptosis) we are undergoing as a species can proceed smoothly for that individual. It is not a life-threatening condition, but it does bring your attention to how you live you life.  We have made significant adjustments to our lifestyle, we live off-grid in a house built of natural materials, we have our own water supply and we grow as much of our food as possible.  We’ve paid particular attention to reducing our exposure to dirty electricity and EMFs, as it’s my view that this interferes with the natural frequencies of the earth.  All of this has been a great pleasure, washed down with excellent Spanish wine!

Usnea Barbata, Old Man’s Beard

Usnea, Old Man’s Beard

Lichens are composite life-forms, the product of a symbiotic relationship between algae, funghi and yeast. Many of them look like plants, but they are not plants at all. Lichens can grow in almost any environment, from bare rock to arctic tundra, deserts and even toxic slag heaps. Some even grow inside rock and others spend their entire lives blowing in the wind. They survive because the algae provide food for the funghi through photosynthesis and the fungi provides filaments that protect the algae from the environment and moisture that it draws from the air.  The yeasts help the lichen produce acid to defend itself from other microbes. Lichens are not parasites; where they grow on living trees they don’t harm the trees in any way, they might even provide benefits.  Lichens provide food and medicine, often in the most inhospitable places and Usnea Barbata, Old Man’s Beard is one of the most useful.

Modern science likes to isolate and study the components of life, without attention to the interactions between them. As such, science has identified the ‘main compound’ behind bearded usnea’s health properties as the bitter usnic acid. Repeated studies have shown the usneas to be effective against Gram-positive bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Mi-crococcus viradans, Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci and mycobacterium tuberculosis, often with very low concentrations.

Source: Identification and Quantitation of Usnic Acid from the Lichen Usnea Species of Anatolia and Antimicrobial Activity

A wide range of symptoms and everyday illnesses are attributed to these bacteria, many of which are also considered to be ‘antibiotic resistant’. Bear in mind the etymology of ‘anti-biotic,’ which literally means against life; if you killed all the microbes in your body, you would die. We already live symbiotically with many micro-organisms, which makes a creature like lichen a very useful plant teacher, given its unique symbiotic expertise.

According to the NHS website in the UK, these diseases can be attributed to Staphylococcus aureus:

“There are many types of Staphylococci, but most infections are caused by a group called Staphylococcus aureus.

This group of bacteria includes meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to certain antibiotics that are commonly used for staph infections, such as flucloxacillin.

It also includes PVL-Staphylococcus aureus, which produces a toxin called Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), which kills infection-fighting white blood cells and can cause recurrent skin infections, such as boils and abscesses.

This page covers some of the main types of staph infection, including information on how these infections are spread and treated.

Types of staph infections

Staph infections can be broadly classified into two groups: skin and soft tissue infections, and invasive infections. Examples are given below.

Skin and soft tissue infections

Most infections caused by staph bacteria are relatively minor and only affect the skin or underlying tissue. Common examples include:

  • boils – red, painful lumps on the skin that usually develop on the neck, face, armpit or buttocks
  • impetigo – a highly contagious skin infection that mainly affects children, which can cause sores, blisters and crusts to develop on the skin
  • cellulitis – an infection of the deep layers of the skin, which can cause affected areas to quickly become red, painful, swollen and hot
  • skin abscess – a collection of pus that appears as a painful lump under the surface of the skin
  • folliculitis – an infection of a hair follicle (small sac in the skin that a hair grows from), which causes an itchy pus-filled bump to develop
  • wound infections – an infection of a cut or graze or surgical wound, causing redness, swelling, pain and pus
  • staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) – a more serious condition that mainly affects babies and young children, where staph bacteria release a toxin that damages the skin, leading to extensive blistering that looks like the skin has been scalded

Invasive infections

In a small number of people, a staph skin infection can lead to a more serious, invasive infection deeper within the body. Examples include:

  • septic arthritis – a joint infection that causes pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in affected joint
  • osteomyelitis – a bone infection, usually affecting one of the legs, causing bone pain, restricted movement, and swelling, redness and warmth in the affected are
  • pneumonia – an infection of the lungs that causes persistent coughing, breathing difficulties and chest pain; this often occurs after a viral illness such as fl
  • endocarditis – an infection of the inner lining of the heart, causing a fever, chest pain, coughing, weakness and shortness of breat
  • sepsis – an infection of the blood that causes a high temperature (fever), rapid heartbeat and rapid breathin
  • toxic shock syndrome – where bacteria release toxins into the blood, which can cause a sudden fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, faintingdizziness, confusion and a rash.”

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Staphylococcal-infections/Pages/Introduction.aspx

This is what the same NHS site has to say about Streptococci infections:

“Minor strep A infections

Most infections caused by strep A are unpleasant, but don’t pose a serious threat to your health. These include:

  • throat infections (pharyngitis or “strep throat”) and tonsillitis – which can cause a sore throat, swollen glands and discomfort when swallowing
  • impetigo – a skin infection that can cause sores, blisters and crusts to develop on the skin
  • cellulitis – an infection of the deeper layers of the skin, which can cause affected areas to quickly become red, painful, swollen and hot
  • a middle ear infection – which often causes earache, a high temperature (fever) and some temporary hearing loss
  • sinusitis – an infection of the small cavities behind the forehead and cheekbones, which causes a blocked or runny nose and a throbbing pain in your face
  • scarlet fever – an infection that causes a widespread, fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch

Invasive strep A infections

In rare cases, strep A bacteria can penetrate deeper inside the tissues and organs of the body, and become what’s known as an invasive infection.

These infections are much rarer and usually affect certain groups of people, including babies, elderly people, people with diabetes, and people with weak immune systems (for example, because of cancer treatment or HIV).

Examples of invasive infections include:

  • pneumonia – an infection of the lungs that causes persistent coughing, breathing difficulties and chest pain
  • sepsis – an infection of the blood that causes a fever, rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing
  • meningitis – an infection of the protective outer layer of the brain that causes a severe headache, vomiting, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and a distinctive blotchy red rash
  • toxic shock syndrome – where bacteria release toxins into the blood, which can cause a sudden high fever, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, fainting, dizziness and confusion
  • necrotising fasciitis – an infection of the deeper layers of the skin, fat and covering of the muscle (fascia), which can cause severe pain, swelling and redness of the affected area that can spread very quickly

Group B strep

Group B strep (strep B) usually live harmlessly inside the digestive system and in the vagina.

Strep B can sometimes cause urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin infections, bone infections, blood infections and pneumonia, particularly in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with diabetes.”

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/streptococcal-infections/pages/introduction.aspx.

Streptococci and Staphylococci commonly live on the skin of humans and other animals. They are not usually problematic, but they are opportunistic and like to get into open wounds where they can cause problems, especially for a weakened or poorly trained immune system. They are highly infectious, from human to human and between humans and other animals.  I hold the view that exposure to these kind of bacteria are useful to a healthy individual, training the immune system and keeping the local bacterial colony in check.

I’m not going to go into detail regarding all the bacteria that usnea is effective against, it is generally regarded as effective against most gram-positive bacteria. Its effectiveness in strep and staph infections is sufficient for it to hold its place in Panacea’s chest. And it grows locally.

I first noticed Old Man’s Beard on the edge of the clearing where I do special cordings, a place of power. I didn’t know what it was at first, receding shyly amongst the Stag’s Antler Lichens on the oak trees. It has a slightly more yellow hue than the Stag’s Antler (Evernia Prunastri) and has beard-like tufted fibres that are rounded, as opposed to the flattened lobes of the Stag’s Antler, that is also known as Oak Moss. I usually notice plants and minerals only at the exact time I need them, but I didn’t have any specific need for usnea when it called my attention. After I looked it up and realised just how useful it is, I went and harvested some to make a tincture. I’ve used it many times since then and consider it to be one of the most useful tinctures to have to hand.

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Usnea Barbata, Old Man’s Beard
Evernia Prunastri
Evernia Prunastri

 

How I’ve used usnea:

Usnea for infected wounds

Recently, Freya gashed her leg quite badly one evening. Overnight, she managed to turn a nasty gash into a gaping wound, so we decided to take her to the vets to get stitched up. The position of the wound put a huge strain on the stitches and by the next day she’d ripped several out, leaving a nice little pocket for bacteria to colonize. The wound got infected and began to smell, so I cleaned it and dosed her with Usnea Barbata tincture, internally and directly on the wound. By the next day the infection had cleared and she’d managed to rip the rest of the stitches out, leaving an open but clean wound.

I don’t have any photos of when she first did it, or the infected stage, but this is the wound six days after she did it, after the infection was cleared and she had begun healing. This is the wound xxxx days later. We have been treating it with yarrow in coconut oil to keep it clean and stimulate healing.

Freya's wound day 7
Freya’s wound day 7
Freya's wound day 18
Freya’s wound day 18

Usnea for cystitis

A visitor here felt cystitis coming on, so I gave her Usnea Barbata tincture to take in a glass of water every hour. Within three hours the symptoms had reduced, but she had to leave and I didn’t have enough tincture to give her.  I’m fairly sure that the tincture would have resolved the problem if she had been able to continue taking it.

Strep and staph are often involved in cystitis, along with other bacteria. Correcting the strep and staph imbalance can provide a sufficient boost, so that the immune system can take care of the rest.

Usnea for sore throat

Streptococcus bacteria cause many throat infections. Infections often occur when seasons change, or when groups of people get together. I got strep throat around the autumn equinox and there are four of us here right now. I took usnea tincture when the symptoms first appeared like a rasping in the back of my throat and it cleared up the next day. A few days later it came back causing swollen glands in my neck. Once again I took usnea tincture, s a dropper full three times a day and it cleared up within 24 hours.

Preparation of usnea tincture

My preferred method is to dry the clumps of Old Man’s Beard, in a dehydrator or naturally, then grind it up in a coffee grinder till it forms a fine powder. I then simmer it gently in alcohol for 20 minutes, I use local orujo, let it cool and simmer it again. Once it’s cooled the second time I put the whole lot in a jar and leave it to steep for a week or so.

I’ve tried it without grinding and the resulting tincture lacks the green colour of the powdered version and doesn’t taste so much of the lichen.

Usnea Barbata in tincture
Usnea Barbata in tincture

Useful resource on usnea:

usnea-booklet-text

 

 

 

Thuja Occidentalis

Thuja Occidentalis, Arborvitae – release from self-sabotage

“The complicity [between victim and perpetrator] implies a kind of contact of sin, with both parties falling short of God’s command. Perpetrators who harm others are obviously sinners, but so are the people they harm, who may well believe they are being justly punished by a higher power. The wrong done to victims is due to the wrong they have done in the eyes of God. To make matters worse, the twisted syntax of the victim-perpetrator bond condones domination, violence, aggression, and murder as expressions of divine retribution. Those who enact the will of God in violent ways are as righteous as those who suffer violence, because the bond prescribes and legitimates both roles. A deal that sanctifies violence and guarantees the righteous vindication of its victims is hard to beat.”

John Lamb Lash, Not in His Image

Glorification of the ultimate act of self-sabotage is the centre piece of Christianity.  Every other creature on this planet uses whatever defense mechanisms it has instinctively, without hesitation. The insidious indoctrination into self-sabotage turns victim-hood into such a virtue that even the perpetrators pretend to be victims.  It takes force to break the victim-perpetrator bond and the victim cannot command this force while under the spell of self-sabotage.

The Spell of Self-Sabotage

The spell of self-sabotage has become an epigenetically normalised pattern of gene expression for most native Europeans.  Perhaps it has for other races too, but I can’t speak for them.  It is evident in the proliferation of harmful addictions, auto-immune conditions and patterns of learned helplessness.  For sure, self-sabotage is not the only problem, but it is a problem that is entirely within our gift to resolve, freeing us up to deal with the other problems we face.

In German, Gift means poison.  When the ‘gift’ comes from the Planetary Animal Mother, it can bring life or death, depending on amount and timing.  The English word ‘poison’ is Latin, but the Indo-European equivalent is ‘virus’.  In this sense, mild childhood viruses could be considered as the gift of the Aeonic Mother, strengthening and informing the physical sense of self, so that we can deal with predators we might encounter later in life.  At the most basic level the immune system is part of the mind-body system that interfaces with the external world.  Its key role is in binary self-identification, ‘me/not me’ so that it can initiate appropriate responses to invaders.  Vaccinating a newborn before it has developed a bond with its mother or any self-identity sets up a potentially life-long dependency on others for identity and validation.  These forlorn creatures are like the forest dwellers of Narnia, living in fear and locked into the perpetual winter of the soul under a spell they cannot break. They do not even know they are under a spell.

If you are reading this, you have sufficient wherewithal to break the spell, but you can’t do it without the gift; the poison of the Scorpion Mother.  I took the poison and broke the spell.

The Gift of Arborvitae

Thuja Occidentalis is also know as White Cedar and Arborvitae, the Tree of Life.  It has a long history of use in Native American medicine and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it is known as Thuja Orientalis.  It is not considered to be a native of Europe, which seems odd. Some fossilzed remains from before the last ice age have been identified in Poland, perhaps the cold wiped them out.

I felt the call of the White Arborvitae last year and bought several small trees and planted them, so that they can become ‘native’, as home-grown medicine is always more effective.  I was delighted to discover that one of the oldest known Thujas in North America is The Witch Tree on the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota, where my husband is from.  It is said to date from 1731 and embodies the determination and resilience of the Ojibwe people, who call it Little Spirit Cedar.

Little Spirit Cedar
Little Spirit Cedar

I have tried a Thuja homeopathic remedy before with Riley, for her vaccine induced allergies.  I didn’t notice any results at the time.  Since then I’ve realized that not all homeopathic remedies are authentic.  I also think that in many cases we have strayed so far from our natural environments and are so poisoned, that subtle changes in the mind-body system are not sufficient to bring about sustainable changes by themselves. Nonetheless, something about Thuja stuck in my mind and after Riley died and Freya came into our lives, I decided to give it another go.

IMG_3282

We adopted Freya, via SOS Dobermann España.  She was found abandoned in Murcia and. although relatively healthy, she was malnourished, hunch-backed and we had been unable to prevent her from being vaccinated for everything possible, including rabies, before we got her. She is very sweet and loving, but would get over-excited and manic too easily and had terrible separation anxiety.  Over the past few years, I’ve noticed the same tendencies in people’s children who have been vaccinated.  It seems as though the ability to handle strong emotions has been impaired and that this induces fear.

A month or so ago I made a tincture with leaves from the Thujas and local orujo.

IMG_3283

The tincture turned emerald green and had a delicious fresh=sweet perfume, a little like vanilla-infused eucalyptus.

Thuja-tincture

As the leaves transformed into tincture I thought about vaccinations and realised that Dean and I needed this medicine too.  We had both been vaccinated in childhood and although we had had nowhere near the number of vaccines as given to children today, our innate healing abilities were still damaged by this assault.  The more I’ve looked into the history of medicine, Rockefeller medicine that is, and the profit-not-people pharmaceutical industry, the more appalled and disgusted I become and all the more determined to stay away at any cost.  The detailed, factual account of the history of vaccines is far from the Disney-esque version preferred by the medical profession and the list of vaccine ingredients reads like something out of a horror movie.

The vaccine issue sign-posted the way to Arborvitae, but the underlying issue of self-sabotage is far deeper.  i have worked to resolve many of my self-sabotage tendencies, but the unconscious programmes are very difficult to shift.  These would show up for me as accidents or sudden illnesses before events or activities that were important to me, or that feeling of hard-grinding gears when things I really want to happen aren’t working out.  This is not how PAM intends us to live and I’ve had plenty of experience of things working out with dream-like ease, but the correlation between intensity of desire and resistance was baffling.   I took a small amount of Arborvitae tincture twice a day for three days and it had me flat-out and spaced-out for the whole time.  This is the active ingredient, thujone, at work.  By the end of the three days I was aware of the depth of the self-sabotage spell, how vaccines intensify that spell and that the spell is broken simply be seeing it and making a different choice than I would have done when under the spell.  I am now able to feel more light-hearted about problems solving, especially about the things that are important to me and it feels as though I’m functioning at a more optimised level. I am also noticing how I am reading my own DNA and what this means in terms of Gaian Alchemy, on which I’ll write more another time.

Freya also had the tincture for three days, about half the amount I took and she just slept a bit more than usual.  By the end of the three days she was much less manic, much calmer and the extremes of her emotional responses have evened out.  When she plays with the other dogs it’s not escalating like it was before and she is listening better.  She seems happier and more relaxed – and even sweeter than ever, which hardly seems possible. Note that a dog, like all non-human animals, cannot commit self-sabotage, because they cannot deny their instincts.  Arborvitae works on the physical body and it is the effect on the physical body that generates the psychological change in humans, the release from self-sabotage.  This psychological effect is redundant in other animals and fundamental in us.

Dean took the tincture too.  He was very tired for one day, but did not report any other sensations or insights..  However, he immediately broke out in a cold sore, which showed an interaction with the herpes simplex virus.  More on this in another post.

Thujone – the Poison

Thujone, the active ingredient in Thuja/Arborvitae, is also found in wormwood, coriander, tarragon and many other herbs and spices.  Thujone gives absinthe its mind-altering properties.  It is toxic if taken in large quantities and should not be taken in any form for long periods.

Many studies provide evidence of its beneficial effects:

A review of its pharmacological and clinical properties.

Thuja and HPV

Thuja: A good remedy for warts and tumours

The pharmacological/allopathic approach focuses on thuja’s effectiveness in alleviating symptoms, not the underlying causes.  The homeopathic approach takes underlying causes into consideration, but is less widely researched.  No one seems to be looking at the function of viruses within the broader context, how some can be beneficial and others have mutated into harmful forms.  Thuja, Arborvitae is one of the most powerful tinctures I’ve used and I think it has much more to teach.

 

Pine Pollen Boost

Pine pollen is nature’s perfect boost for good health and the immune system.

Pine pollen is’the sperm’ of the pine tree and almost  the same structure as human testosterone. It is the most abundant source of testosterone in the plant kingdom.  Isn’t that interesting?  What reason could the Planetary Animal Mother have for making this source of human testosterone in vastly more quantities than is needed for the trees alone.  A single mature pine tree can produce 1-3kg of pine pollen in a season – we are surrounded by pine forest here!

At a certain time, in early April here, all the pine trees release their pollen in an explosion of green smoke across the hills.  They do it several times over a period of about 10 days.  This clip from the Himalayas shows what it looks like:

This presentation explains the benefits of pine pollen, how to get it and use it, very clearly.

Pine pollen is a superfood and an adaptogen, which essentially means it helps the body adapt to stress.  Stress is created by adrenaline and cortisol which are produced primarily by the adrenal glands.  Cortisol shuts down many functions, like the immune system, the digestive system, the reproductive system and the prefrontal cortex, so that adrenaline can use more energy to pump blood to the arms and legs so you can run or fight.  This is the ‘fight/flight’ response.  The problem is that we don’t run or fight and the adrenaline and cortisol remain in the body and eventually become involved in the downward spiral of autoimmune diseases, diabetes, thyroid conditions etc. Pine pollen helps reduce unnecessary fight/flight responses, so that the body has more energy for regeneration and learning.

Pine Pollen in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the use of pine pollen as both a food and a medicine has been recorded for at least 2,400 years, as explained in the clip below.

TCM today can provide a useful insight into the proper use of many plants for food/medicine.  TCM is rooted in a philosophical mix of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism and is concerned with maintaining balance (homeostais) within the body-mind system and harmony between the body and the environment.  So far as can be known from the little recorded artifacts that have survived, the Chinese practiced shamanic medicine from around 1766 to 403 BC, through the Shang and Chou Dynasties.  Ancestor worship and the elimination of evil spirits is still part of TCM today. TCM emerged from an agrarian culture and the originator of Chinese herbal medicine is called, Shennong, the Divine Farmer.  One theory of the origins of acupuncture is that it was discovered when warriors in battle were hit by arrows and noticed conduction of pain to other areas of the body and spontaneous remission of pain elsewhere.

Most TCM in the west is practised allopathically, in that the interventions and treatments are used to address specific symptoms or to stop the process of a particular disease or condition.  TCM was originally preventive medicine, concerned with ‘treating the undiseased’ until the Opium Wars put an end to that. The ancient Chinese knew that the body-mind system is innately self-healing, provided that natural balance is maintained and ‘evil spirits’ are kept at bay.  This is how things were in Europe too, before the healers were murdered and the people forced off the land and into factories and eventually subjected to ‘Rockefeller medicine.’  The road to health will inevitably lead people  out of the cities and into small rural communities, exactly what  Agenda 21 is trying to prevent.

I don’t think all aspects of TCM work as well on Europeans as they do on the Chinese.  Ethnicity is a factor in many diseases; consider the increased  risk of several types of cancer of people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry who have a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.  The progression of disease is affected by lifestyle and environment, as much as intentionally harmful man-made interventions, such as EMFs, chemtrails and GMOs, and of course pharmaceuticals, but Nature has the solutions too.  This brings me back to pine pollen.  Pine trees are indigenous to the northern hemisphere and a rich source of local food and medicine for all northern hemisphere people.  PAM always provides what is needed, where it is needed. China is in the northern hemisphere too, so it is well-worth taking a closer look at the use of pine pollen through the lens of TCM.

Pine pollen is  released as Spring turns to Summer in the Gaian calendar.  Without going into too much detail, this is the transition from liver/gall bladder to stomach/spleen in TCM, characterized by wood birthing fire. Pine pollen supports the liver, encourages regeneration and supports bile secretion. The spleen is responsible for the removal of old red blood cells and the production and storage of white blood cells (lymphocytes) which will cleanse bacteria from the blood in the spleen and provide important tissue healing and other immune responses throughout our body. In TCM the spleen is paired with the stomach and considered to be part of the digestive system, responsible for digesting the nourishment from food and converting it into energy. It is also considered to be responsible for digesting information. In other words, the spleen becomes active as we move into May and is highly involved in the maintenance of the immune system.

Pine Pollen and the Immune System

The basic function of the immune system, is the differentiation between ‘me’ and ‘not me’ in the body, so that it can detect and take action against invaders, like bacteria and viruses etc.  There are two parts to the immune system: the innate, which we are born with and which works instantly to deal with wounds and immediate assaults and the adaptive, which is the learning part of the immune system. The adaptive immune system learns to deal with ‘new’ parasites, bacteria and parasites that we might become exposed to. Vaccination is an abnormal pathogen presented in an abnormal route (injection) and influences the entire immune system in an unnatural way, leading to disruption of the learning processes of the immune system.

I strongly suspect that PAM provides pine pollen in abundance at this time of year when the spleen is just about to move into its most active phase, to help it ‘learn’ what is needed to help repel invaders of all kinds.  There has been very little research on pine pollen, probably for this very reason, as all research is controlled by the parasitical pharmaceutical cartel that doesn’t want us to have a healthy immune system, but there have been some studies and it is confirmed that pine pollen contains phenylalanine and tyrosine (among other things) that are amino acids in L-Dopa, the dopamine precursor.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure seeking and reward behaviours, but it does not cross the blood-brain barrier.  L-dopa crosses the blood-brain barrier although most of it is converted into dopamine via an enzyme in the blood before it gets there and L-dopa concentrates in the spleen.  The relationship between L-dopa in the ‘information centre’ of the immune system in the spleen and L-dopa in the brain working together to train the immune system is worth further investigation. This study supports my intuition:

New model explains role of dopamine in immune regulation

“Elements of dopamine signaling and metabolites can also serve as a communication interface between the central nervous system and immune system, and that communication can work in both directions. Lymphocytes [type of white blood cell in the immune system] that can pass the blood brain barrier can be “educated” by locally secreted neurotransmitters, including dopamine. Then they transmit brain-driven messages to other cells of the immune system via direct or indirect pathways.”

 

Endothelial cells in brain capillaries are the site of the BBB

Source: Blood Brain Barrier and Cerebral Metabolism

BBB

 

This presentation explains the effects of pine pollen on dopamine production:

Perhaps future studies will show that pine pollen has a role to play in reversing vaccine and other damage to the immune system, but there is nothing to lose and plenty to gain by finding and harvesting some in your local pine forest.

Pine Pollen and Testosterone

As a superfood in a class of its own, pine pollen not only helps in sharpening up the ability of the immune system to identify enemies, it also helps deal with them.

Estrogen is the female hormone and testosterone the male hormone, supporting the development of properly defined male and female characteristics,. Men have some naturally occurring estrogen and women naturally occurring testosterone and it is the balance between the two that dictate gender norms for each. Xenoestrogens are environmental pollutants that have estrogen-like activity. These compounds are a primary cause of reproductive health problems in both women and men because they attach to and over-stimulate estrogen receptor sites.

Here’s a list of 10 major sources of xenoestrogens:

1. Commercially-raised meat and diary productssuch as beef, pork, chicken, milk, butter, cheese and ice cream. These products are contaminated with bovine growth hormones and expose us to a significant amount of xenoestrogens.

2. Anything that contains insecticide or pesticide residues can also have estrogenic effects. This includes everything we eat, from grains, fruits, nuts and legumes, to veggies.

3. Tap water. Unfortunately much of our water source is contaminated with petroleum derivatives – the primary source of xenoestrogens.

4. Shampoos, lotions, soaps, toothpastes, cosmetics and other personal care products that contain paraben or phenoxyethanol chemical compounds widely used by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as preservatives.

Note that xenoestrogens entering the skin go directly to tissue without passing through the liver for detoxification. So they’re 100% absorbed by the body and can be 10 times more potent than those consumed orally.

5. Soft plastics used as packaging materials are often treated with chemical compounds called phthalates, a xenoestrogen, to increase its flexibility.

Plastic wrapped foods, heated in the microwave, contain some of the highest xenoestrogen levels. So do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave. Avoid drinking coffee or other hot liquids in Styrofoam cups. And store your food in glass containers whenever possible!

6. Artificial food additives, including artificial sweeteners and MSG. According to a study published in the journal, Chemical Research in Toxicology, 31 substances added to food for the purpose of preservation, coloring, texture and flavor have potential estrogenic effects.

Propyl gallate and 4-hexylresorcinol are two additives to be especially watchful for. Also avoid canned foods, which are usually lined with a plastic coating that contains bisphenol-A (BPA), a xenoestrogen.

Since most processed foods contain some kind of undesirable material, either in the packaging itself or the ingredients, it’s a good policy to cut back on processed and packaged foods.

7. Foods that contain soy protein and soy protein isolate. These foods are packed with condensed, unnaturally high amounts of plant estrogen, which can also lead to estrogen dominance.

8. Dryer sheets are loaded with xenoestrogens to make your clothes feel soft and fresh. These residual xenoestrogens can permeate your skin and go directly into your cells.

9. Birth control pills and conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) contain synthetic hormones that can interrupt our natural hormone balance.

10. Disposable menstrual products. In conventional tampons, the FDA has detected dioxins, a class of chemical contaminants that may increase the risk of cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, heart disease and diabetes.

Source: http://www.cycleharmony.com/remedies/hormone-imbalance/top-10-xenoestrogens-the-primary-cause-of-estrogen-dominance

Xenoestrogens cause changes in estrogen-sensitive tissues like the breasts, uterus and prostate. Xenoestrogens stimulate abnormal changes in these tissues, causing problems like cysts in the breasts, uterine fibroids, prostate enlargement and cancer. Xenoestrogens contribute to the death of testicular tissue in men and boys, depression caused by testosterone suppression, premature aging, infertility and obesity. The link between xenoestrogens and obesity can readily be seen by the high rates of obesity in areas where there is high exposure to xenoestrogens.

Because it is packed with natural testosterone, pine pollen provides the perfect testosterone boost to balance xenoestrogen damage, in addition to whatever avoidance and detoxification you can manage.

One gram of pine pollen contains 80 nanograms of testosterone.  To put that into context, an average man has somewhere around 500 ngs of testosterone per deciliter of blood, out of which around 5-20 ngs is free testosterone not bound to either SHBG or albumin. (The testosterone in pollen is not bound to proteins either).

Given that an average male also has around 5 liters of blood, that same average guy with average testosterone would have around 250-1,000 ngs of unbound testosterone in him.

100 grams, about half a cup, of the pine pollen would contain 8,000 ngs of actual testosterone.

Testosterone is not just for men. In women it is important for bone strength and development of lean muscle mass and strength. Testosterone also contributes to overall sense of well-being and energy level. It is best known for its crucial role is a woman’s sex drive or libido. More specifically, testosterone in women is responsible for the sensitivity of a woman’s nipples and clitoris associated with sexual pleasure. Testosterone not only enhances the sexual mood of a woman, but the experience as well.

According to Stephen Harrod Buhner: “The menopausal years bring on a serious decline in women’s testosterone levels, which is generally why women tend to lack a sex drive. Pine pollen can serve as an aid to decrease the discomfort that menopause can bring,”

Pine pollen is not just a whole food, but also a superfood and one of the most potent at that. Consider how it’s immune boosting function works with its testosterone boosting function, not only to increase our awareness of the invaders in our midst, but also to give us the motivation and strength to deal with them.  Pine pollen is warrior food!

Testosterone has ‘profound effect on brain circuits involved in human aggression’

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280915.php

How to Use Pine Pollen

As a food, pine pollen can be consumed in more or less unlimited amounts by both men and women.  There is a natural limit to what you can get and what you can eat and there are no contra-indications.

I’m a big fan or getting out and responsibly harvesting all the wild foods and healing plants you can find.  The easiest way to harvest the pine pollen is to carefully cut off the catkins you can reach and put them in plastic bags to be shaken out and sieved at home.  You can’t over harvest this way as you won’t be able to reach that many and the trees produce so much.  You can eat the pine pollen directly, it has a slightly sweet flowery taste, or bake with it, or sprinkle it on salads or breakfast cereals. It will store in a cool dry place, or you can store it in honey.  The pine catkins themselves are edible, but they are a little astringent tasting – maybe better  in honey?

Pine pollen tincture is a better way of accessing the testosterone in pine pollen, much of which doesn’t make its way through the digestive system. A few drops of tincture under the tongue, so that it is absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth is the way to take it.  The tincture should not be used by adolescent boys or young men, but is safe for men and women.  Strength varies, so it’s a bit of a ‘suck it and see’ scenario.  I’ll be stocking up and making ours with local orujo.

Cleavers

Galium aparine has many common names including cleavers, clivers, goosegrass, catchweed, stickyweed, robin-run-the-hedge, sticky willy, sticky willow, velcro weed and it is an excellent spring tonic.  It grabs your attention and hangs on, quite literally, when you first venture into the garden after a winter absence.  Its fresh, clean, greenness oozes such vitality that when I first noticed it here I knew it must be good for something.  It appears here after the winter rain and seems to love growing on piles of rotten wood waiting for a bonfire, as well as the beds that have woodchips on them.

I looked into it and what struck me was that it was good for the lymphatic system and removing toxins from the blood and intestines.  This feels right because the little leaves are covered in tiny bristles and I can imagine them acting like scrubbing brushes, cleaning out any debris and stagnation.  I feel sluggish after winter and cleavers helps with the internal spring clean and getting the bodily fluids moving again.

Health is about maintaining optimum balance throughout the mind-body system, homeostasis, if you like.  It’s very difficult to maintain that balance if you are living in an unhealthy environment, because nature informs your body; everything from circadian rhythms to Schumann resonances and seasonal changes are involved in maintaining homeostasis.  In toxic environments, like cities, these signals are blocked by unnatural electromagnetic fields and the nervous system and immune system become very confused.  EMFs are slowly becoming recognised as the underlying cause of most diseases.  Conversely, once yo get out of the city it is very easy to plug back into the Planetary Animal Mother and to discover that She really does provide everything you need.  All you have to do is pay attention.

In my post on St John’s Wort, I mentioned that it is more critical than ever to take care of the nervous system.  My simplistic view is that the Earth is electrical, the Universe is electrical and so are we and that our transmutation to Anthropos 11 will happen first within the nervous system – if your nerves can handle it.  So, imagine my surprize when I looked up Mathew Wood on Cleavers in The Earthwise Herbal:

“Although most herbalists use Galium for the lymphatics and kidneys, I have gotten on a different track, using it for the nerves. I have had many remarkable cures and palliations with cleavers in the neurological sphere. It is beneficial in “gatherings of the nerves” and inflammation of the nerve endings (neurofibrositis). It is indicated for oversensitivity of the nerve endings, tickling and itchy skin.”

So, cleavers supports the nervous system.  No wonder I like it.

I use fresh cleavers in a morning juice, before coffee or anything else for the first month in which it appears.

My cleavers juice recipe, for two people:

  • 2-3 crisp apples (depending on size)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • one thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • two handfuls of freshly cut cleavers

Juice and drink immediately.  It is delicious and zingy.

Cleavers is diuretic, part of its cleansing properties, so it’s better suited for the mornings.  It also contains caffeine and the seed pods are said to be a palatable alternative to coffee, if you can be bothered to collect enough of them to dry, roast and ground.  I don’t think I’ll be doing that.

It is also cooling and helps dispel damp heat associated with urinary tract infections, chronic skin infections and lymphatic disorders.

 

 

St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum, is another of my favourite healing plants.

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It grows all over around here, more abundantly each year.  The healing plants are like that, the more they are appreciated, the more they grow.  St Johns Wort is said to be named after St John, because it begins flowering on St John’s day, the 24th June.  The bright yellow flowers look like the sun, star-shaped with stamens shooting out like tiny sun rays.

From Matthew Woods, The Earthwise Herbal

“It is best known as a first aid remedy for injuries to nerves—and is suited to injuries to parts rich in nerves (eye, fingertips, spine) where there are sharp, shooting pains, inflammation along nerves, acute sensitivity and pain, blood poisoning from injuries to fingers and toes (red stripes up the extremities), and clonic spasms and convulsions from inflamed nerves. Hypericum was considered a specific for tetanic convulsions in homeopathy

It is a fixture of Russian herbalism and medicine (which are not separate in that country). Russian indications are therefore extensive. It is considered to be a “liver remedy” and thus a “detoxifier.” We get some of these indications from Alma Hutchins and Fred Siciliano, OMD. The latter studied with Sydney Yudin, a Russian trained doctor of botanical medicine. Hypericum with Aloe powder (the purgative) is a deep detoxifier, according to Hutchins (1992, 258). Watch the urine: “Whole flakes of morbid matter are sometimes washed away with it.” St. John’s wort is particularly called for in cases where the innervations of the digestive tract, the autonomic, are weak and there is tension from a toxic liver—“liver overpowering the spleen” (Siciliano).

St. John’s wort and wood betony were the two most important remedies for psychiatric problems in the Middle Ages—what were then called the ill-effects of witchcraft and demons. Both plants strengthen the enteric brain, seat of the instincts, and it is in this manner that they “drive away evil influences”—the person gets stronger, so as not to fall under the domination of untoward people. Today, Hypericum is used for depression and anxiety. The exact mechanisms are uncertain, but it does not seem to be an MAO inhibitor.”

St John’s Wort for the nervous system

Many studies show that that the central nervous system is particularly affected by microwaves and ELF radiation, this map of EMF and the nervous system gives you a good overview of the issue and relevant studies. Many health practitioners who are not bought off by big pharma are now finding EMF pollution to be the root cause of all modern disease. It is impossible to escape EMF pollution and it has become a factor in our transmutation to Anthropos 11, whether we like it or not. Anyone who wants to remain healthy for as long as possible needs to reduce their EMF exposure in any way they can.  St John’s Wort has a special ability to support the nervous system and I find that a teaspoon of tincture through the winter months to be noticeably beneficial in maintaining calm alertness and mental clarity.

St John’s Wort is another healing plant that is associated with witchcraft.  I think that its proven ability to support the nervous system has a lot to do with its reputation for scaring away evil spirits and demons.  Anxiety make people susceptible to negative influence and the human imagination is good at creating demons.

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St John’s Wort tincture

The tincture couldn’t be easier to make.  Just gather the flowers and buds, not any that have turned brown, put them in a jar and fill it with 100 proof alcohol.  I use the local moonshine, orujo, which my neighbour makes.  It turns bright red almost immediately and I leave it in the sun for a few weeks and then filter out the flowers and throw them out on the ground.  It seems that the seeds are very robust and often grow the following year.

SJWoil

I take a teaspoon of St Johns Wort tincture a day throughout the winter.  I use it at other times if I’m feeling particularly tense, upset or overwhelmed, or if I’m spending too much time at the computer. I like it because it doesn’t numb the feeling, it just enables the nervous system to cope with the extra strain more effectively.  It is a good pain reliever for pain associated with nerves, like sciatica and inflammation.  I have used the tincture and the salve in combination for these conditions.

It’s also good for dogs.  I’ve given it to the girls after they’ve been spayed, it is recommended post-surgery as it helps with tissue and nerve healing.  It’s also good for anxiety caused by fireworks and hunters.

St John’s Wort salve

Some of the flowers go into olive oil and some coconut oil, to be left in the sun for a couple of weeks.  The flowers in the olive oil go bright red and those in the coconut oil a pinky-red.

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I add beeswax to the St John’s Wort in olive oil to make a salve that will travel and can be kept for a while.  The St John’s Wort in coconut oil is excellent for burns, taking the pain out immediately and preventing blistering.  Although most oils should not be used on a fresh burn, coconut oil is the exception as it has a cooling effect.  It is also anti-microbial.  Both salves can be used topically for nerve pain, arthritis, shingles or any kind of inflammation and can be used on open wounds. I prefer yarrow for open wounds, unless there is bruising as well, in which case I’d use St John’s Wort.  It works just as effectively as arnica for bruising.  It also relives sunburn and frostbite.  I’ve read that some people have increased photo-sensitivity from using St John’s Wort, but I’ve not seen it in anyone myself.

I used St Johns Wort oil most spectacularly when I disturbed a wasp nest and was stung at least a dozen times and had a histamine overload.

I also keep some flowers dried flowers for tea on glum winter days.

Local medicine

As I’m plugged into the Planetary Animal Mother, I take it for granted that She wants me to be well and happy and that She has provided everything I need within walking distance to make it so.  Our ability to travel around and settle a long way from our indigenous homelands has made it harder for our mind-body systems, poisoned and attacked on so many fronts as they are, to access the innate self-healing with which we are endowed.  However, my experience here supports the notion that, if you are able to return to your ancestral homelands, your health will improve and the local medicine will be better than anything you can buy.  Especially if you make it yourself.

Update on wound healing with St John’s Wort

Our adopted dobermann Freya, was spayed last week.  The vets gave us a prescription for antibiotics, which we didn’t use.  Instead I gave Freya coconut oil with St John’s Wort, yarrow and cannabis for the first few days and rubbed the St John’s Wort in coconut oil on her surgical wound.  When we went back to the vet for her three-day check-up after the surgery, her temperature was normal and her wound was healing well with no sign of infection.

I used the St John’s Wort in coconut oil for the wound as it is anti-inflammatory and soothes nerves.  She hardly licked the wound at all and it healed very quickly.

 

 

 

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

Everyone needs to get to know yarrow. It grows wild here through the summer and I harvest the flowers and leaves and dry them and make tinctures and sun oils for use throughout the year.  It is a wonderful helper plant, with many uses.

When I first noticed its feathery leaves growing abundantly and picked it, smelled it and crushed it in my fingers, it felt like a breath of fresh air. Yarrow has a lovely clean fragrance, gently floral and very slightly anti-septic (reminiscent of sticking plasters). Its scent is more pronounced in the leaves. I decided to pick some flowers and leaves, even though I didn’t know what I might use it for at the time – just following the trail of wondering.  Yarrow is good for that……

Yarrow

Yarrow’s ‘magical’ properties

When yarrow first caught me attention, with its lush feathery foliage tiny white flowers, floating like parasols in the breeze, I was certain it had a lot to offer. I have no hesitation in following my instincts. I get three clear indications when I question whether it is good for me to interact with a plant or substance:

  •  strong, clear ‘good for me’ with a feeling of eagerness and no hesitation or doubt, no mental chatter, my body just leaps joyfully towards whatever it is I’m asking about
  • a hard ‘no way’ often coupled with a feeling of repulsion, sometimes I will ‘accidently’ drop the plant or substance
  • nothing, no feeling at all. I’ve learned from experience that this also means that it’s not good for me, even though I might want it to be!

Very often, the first thing I’ll do with a ‘good for me’ plant is make a tea. I’ve never liked herbal teas, they always taste stale and smell musty to me, but I like teas from plants I’ve harvested myself. My current favourites are, red clover, Queen Anne’s Lace, pennyroyal and yarrow.

Yarrow tea

Yarrow tea, made with leaves and flowers that have been dried for an hour or so (or up to a year if it has been stored out of sunlight) has an immediate normalising effect on body temperature and makes you slightly thirsty (the astringent effect). It is a bit bitter (as are many herbs/plants) and so I sweeten it with little honey.

When you follow your wondering, you are led into the unknown, out of the matrix and directly into Gaia’s dreaming. This can happen so gently that you might not realize what is going on, until you look back on it later. Yarrow tea, made with dried flowers, helps me slip into the trance-like state of awake dreaming very easily.  One of its old names is Devil’s Plaything and a sure-fire way of identifying plants with psychotropic properties is to look for the devil in their folk lore names: Datura Stramonium, aka Devil’s Apple, Devil’s Trumpet; Belladona, aka Devil’s Cherries; Mandrake, Satan’s Apple and Devil’s Testicles. All these plants are known to have psychotropic properties, to be analgesic and have various other healing properties, as well as high levels of toxicity. In medieval times, anyone who practiced healing and enjoyed tripping was obviously in league with the devil!

Yarrow for colds and chills

Recently, I came back from the UK with a cold; probably because I didn’t take any warm socks and shoes when we went to Wales and my feet got cold and wet. Yes, you can catch a chill from sudden exposure to cold weather! Our bodies aren’t made to adjust instantly to the climatic and microbial extremes we can experience through the wonders of air travel. This kind of cold comes with a clear, runny nose, sensitivity to cold temperatures and a bit of a headache and may be the start of a sore throat. It commonly occurs with the change of seasons, which I experienced in the extreme in this instance. We tend to call it a head cold – wind with cold in Chinese medicine.

Yarrow tea is particularly good for this kind of cold, as it helps raise the body temperature to induce sweating. This may seem counter-intuitive with the sensitivity to cold, but sweating it out through the skin is the best approach for this type of cold, if you catch it quickly enough.

I made yarrow tea with ginger and went to bed, piling on four extra blankets and sweated it out. The cold was gone in a few days.

Yarrow was among the plants buried alongside a Neanderthal man, plausibly a shaman or medicine man, in the Shanidar cave in Iraq over 60,000 years ago. Does this suggest that maybe the Neanderthals were not as primitive as we have been led to believe? Yarrow has been helping us for a very long time.

Healing with yarrow

The legend of yarrow is remembered in its botanical name: Achillea Millefolium. This roughly translates as ‘Achilles’ Plant of a Thousand Leaves’. Achilles is said to have used it to staunch his soldiers’ wounds on the battlefield and it also known as staunchweed.

The medicinal properties of yarrow have been well studied and are summarised in this article (which everyone seems to quote without referencing):

A few weeks ago, Izzy got a deep gash on her shoulder after chasing a fox. I don’t know whether the fox bit her or whether she caught herself on a branch in the woods.  After I’d cleaned the wound, I saw that it was about 3cm long and a centimetre deep, pulling open because of the location on her shoulder. Dean thought it needed stitching, but it would have been next to impossible to get Izzy to the vets, so I packed the wound with dried yarrow powder. I did this twice a day for the next week or so as the wound dried out and scabbed over, then re-opened slightly because of her activity. Within three weeks it was completely healed, with no scarring.

Yarrow is styptic and hemostatic (stops bleeding), astringent (makes tissues contract), antiseptic (inhibits bacterial growth), vulnerary (helps tissues heal), anti-inflammatory, and slightly anesthetic. I use it powdered, dried in teas, in tinctures and salves. It is an essential element of the Gaian Medicine Cabinet

Powdered yarrow: to stop bleeding and aid wound healing

Take 6-10 white flower heads. Dry the heads for 2-24 hours, depending on the weather. Grind the heads in a coffee mill and store in an airtight jar. It remains effective for a year or two if kept sealed and in the dark. It has a lovely fresh clean smell.

Use by applying directly to any bleeding wounds and it will stop the blood flow almost immediately and help the wound heal.

Yarrow tincture

Tincturing is a method for extracting the active ingredient from the plant, so that it can be used in liquid form and easily stored. Most tinctures will remain effective for at least a couple of years, if stored in a cool dark place. I add a teaspoonful to teas, when I don’t have the fresh or dried flowers.

I make yarrow tincture from fresh flowers at their peak and the top few leaves of the plant only. I pick what I need on a dry sunny morning (yarrow blooms from May to October here) and let the heads dry for an hour or so before using them, to let any critters get out of the way. I don’t wash the plants, because everything I use is wild and organic and it’s very clean here.

I use Orujo for tincturing, which is the local spirit distilled from the solids left after the grapes are pressed for wine. It is usually over 50% or 100˚ proof. We get ours from a neighbour, so I’m not sure how strong it is, but it seems to work well enough.

Prepared yarrow
Prepared yarrow

Yarrow flower essence

All healer plants work on multiple levels and flower essences, being subtler, work on the energetic rather than the physical levels. Yarrow is a wound healer, so the flower essence works to heal ‘wounds’ in the psyche and energy field or aura.

Flower essences work very well with dogs. Just recently we adopted another dog, Freya, after Riley died. Freya had been found wandering the streets in a town in southern Spain. We don’t know anything about her previous life, but she was very skinny, covered in fleas and ticks and had lots of scars around her face and neck. She had obviously had a loving home before, because she is the cuddliest dog we’ve ever had, but she must have had to fight for her survival on the streets. She settled in immediately with Tulku (our male dog) but she and Izzy (our other female) were not quite sure of each other; they couldn’t work out the pecking order. Izzy is terribly sensitive and thought she had to take over Riley’s role, although that wasn’t what she wanted. Freya wasn’t taking any chances if Izzy came near her food and they both wanted to protect Tulku, who wanted nothing more than to play with them both at the same time.

I’ve been giving yarrow flower essence to all three a couple of times a day to help them with the transition into their new pack. Tulku didn’t need it, but he loves to take any kind of supplement or medication (seriously, he starts making sucking noises as soon as I get a dropper or syringe out). Izzy and Freya haven’t obviously bonded yet, but they can sleep on the same couch and the three of them all go off for a walk together often enough. It’s only been three weeks as I write this and they are becoming more comfortable with each other every day.

Yarrow insect repellent

There are many references on the internet to a US Army study that allegedly found a yarrow tincture insect repellent to be more effective than DEET. DEET is toxic stuff [http://www.naturalnews.com/029136_deet_toxic.html] that no one should ever put on their skin – have you ever considered that your skin absorbs substances as easily as your gut? So why would you put anything on your skin that you would not consider eating?

The references to the mythical US Army study made me conduct my own study with yarrow tincture as an insect repellent. I didn’t do it it scientifically, I just diluted some yarrow tincture with water and sprayed it around. It smells lovely and does keep some flies out of the eating area, but it also has a cumulative effect; the more you use it the more it keeps bugs away. I haven’t tried it specifically for mosquitoes, but it is very useful generally.

(We use a home-made pyrethrum spray as a really effective bug, tick and flea killer. I don’t like to spray it around more often than necessary, because pyrethrum is also a neurotoxin, although it is much less harmful to mammals than insects and an organic substance is easier for the body to deal with than anything synthetic. Pyrethrin is generally used in reference to the synthesized version.)

Very little research is done on natural compounds, as it’s not sufficiently profitable, but I found this study stating that yarrow has been shown to repel mosquitoes.

Abstract: An ethanol extract of Achillea millefolium L. showed repelling properties against the mosquito, Aedes aegypti L. “

 Yarrow In the compost heap

 “Yarrow works in the compost heap in the same way as used medicinally in the human body: it can remedy the weaknesses of the astral (soul) body.”

Rudolf Steiner

We compost as much as possible, as a matter of choice and necessity. We don’t have any rubbish collection where we live and we don’t have a sewage system or septic tank – we have a compost loo. I’m very interested in anything that that helps the composting process.

This statement by Rudolf Steiner had me wondering why yarrow is identified as working in the compost heap in the same way as it does in the body, as opposed to any other healing plant. I did a bit more research and discovered that yarrow is known as a compost accelerant because of it’s ability to concentrate both sulphur and potassium, along with other micronutrients such as copper and phosphates.

I’ve started putting some dead yarrow heads, as well as the leftover plant matter from tincturing, in the compost pile and we’ll see how it goes.

Yarrow around the vegetable beds

In addition to helping the compost heap, I think that yarrow works in the earth in the same way as it does in the human body. It’s root runners help balance temperature in the topsoil, just as its tincture does in the blood. It spreads happily bringing lushness to the beds and is easily dug up when it’s time to replace it with something else.

Yarrow attracts beneficial insects and pollinators and is a great companion plant, because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is considered to be of special benefit to aromatics, but I’ve put it all around the veggie beds and find that it generally makes everything grow stronger. It looks beautiful too!

Yarrow around the broccoli
Yarrow around the broccoli

Yarrow as a natural fungicide

I haven’t tried this, as we haven’t needed it, but I came across this recipe for a fermented yarrow fungicide

[http://www.growtheplanet.com/en/blog/learn/article/486/fermented-extract-of-yarrow-a-natural-fungicide] just as a friend asked if I knew of anything that might help his goji berries!

Further resources

Matthew Wood on Yarrow, from the Earthwise Herbal

 A study of White Yarrow by Jane Ellen of the Flower Essence Society

“Yarrow is always the greatest boon, wherever it grows wild in the country — at the edges of the fields or roads, where cereals or potatoes or any other crops are growing. It should on no account be weeded out… In a word, like sympathetic people in human society, who have a favourable influence by their mere presence and not by anything they say, so yarrow, in a district where it is plentiful, works beneficially by its mere presence.”
– Rudolf Steiner.

The Wonder Circuit

The wonder circuit and helper plants

Have you ever wondered how our ancestors first discovered the properties of healing plants, or the meridian system, or the solar system even? Did they have some special talent now lost to us? Or are we just not using the faculties we have?

We all have a “wonder circuit”. It is accessed via the “source prompt” in your mind. The Aeons provided this source prompt, precisely so that we can get to wondering about the nature of the experiment we are in. The source of our experiment, the setting of our very own domed laboratory, is the planet earth and the source prompt takes us directly into Gaia’s mind.

I access the wonder circuit when a particular plant comes into my awareness and suddenly I see it everywhere, waving at me: pick me, pick me! I wonder about it; why am I noticing this plant now? I wonder how it feels. I wonder if it’s a healer plant. I wonder how to work with it. I wonder whether it might work for……..Eventually I pick it and I smell it, taste it, hold it for a bit, crush it to release the oils. I notice how I feel, any sensations in my body and then I put it aside and wait.

The waiting part is essential, because the wonder circuit does not operate within your conscious mind. The source prompt is in the conscious mind, popping up many times a day, but you are probably too busy to notice. It prompts you into a specific day-dreaming modality, in which you are synaptically linked into the mind of the Planetary Animal Mother and with the object of your wondering. Your mind will be flooded instantaneously with data from the Source, but it will take your conscious mind a while to unpick the bundles and package it up for you. This information comes to you in the same way as the name of a forgotten song comes to your mind only after you stop trying to remember it. Unfortunately, if you do not believe you actually live on an intelligent living planet, or if you are not in the habit of listening to what you consider to be your intuition, your conscious mind will filter out this intel for you and your wondering will be wasted.

John Lash talks about this issue in The Tragedy of the Mother   In this talk he introduces the ‘source prompt’ and the ‘wonder circuit’ and laments the tragic fact that so few of us today choose to access this faculty. All is not lost. I suspect that many of us do use the wonder circuit, but don’t realise its value because we have been taught that only information that comes from books or accredited experts is valuable. This is not an either/or situation. Both intel received via the wonder circuit AND information received through your normal senses through observation and experience and what is quaintly called ‘book learning’ are valuable, provided that the information is factually correct. With ‘book learning’ and the like, you have to be aware of the motives of the author, as there is a lot of disinformation out there. I found that JLL’s explanation of the source prompt and the wonder circuit explained the intuitive process that I use to explore the natural world and I aim to demonstrate its use here in a practical way that makes it more accessible.

To be clear, I am not a medical doctor, an herbalist nor any kind of expert and I’m not intending to give any advice here. Most of us have handed responsibility for our health and well-being to so-called experts, at the expense of developing our own knowledge and we need to reclaim the process of discovery to recover lost wisdom. There was a time when most ordinary people knew to use yarrow to stop bleeding, or plantain for insect bites and so much more. As we moved away from the source of our life, nature, our health and well-being declined, we lost the knowledge of how to heal ourselves and we came to believe that sickness and disease is normal and inevitable! However, it is possible to reverse this process, simply by moving back to a more natural environment and lifestyle. That’s what we’re doing here and the point of this site is to demonstrate and share the tools, the process and the journey.

The wonder circuit feeds the imagination, which guides us deeper into the natural world. We then verify and validate our discoveries through observation and secondary research. The first time I wondered about the field of plantain we had growing, I immediately felt the mosquito bites on my legs start itching. I got the message that plantain would help relieve the itching and then did some research that confirmed this intel. I used the internet as a secondary source, to back up the information I received from source. I’ve experimented with using plantain, and other plants in several formats and I’ll only be writing about the plants I’ve encountered, what I’ve discovered about them, how I’ve used them and what the results have been.

As an aside, I’ve noticed in my internet research that the exact same wording appears on multiple sites, claiming to be operated by homesteaders or ordinary people living sustainable lifestyles. The original source of the content is never mentioned and these people are passing it off as their own work. I am really wary of this kind of material; it might be legitimate, it might be true, but I don’t like people pretending to be an ‘authority’ when they are not. What else are they pretending? We don’t need to pretend to hold any ‘expertise’ as this denies the experience of our own learning. We learn through experience and mistakes. When we share a true experience it may, or may not, be useful to third parties, but to pass off some one else’s experience or work as your own is not helping anyone. I will only be sharing information about plants I have experience of working with and if I refer to any other material I will cite it correctly.

The wonder circuit is not limited to working with plants, it works for anything in the natural world we might wonder about. We will be working with the wonder circuit on future retreats, working with plants, animals and the four elements Bhudevi style!

The next post in this series, which I’m calling Panacea’s Box, will be on the wonders of yarrow.