This section lists the posts I’ve made on my experiences with the plant medicine of Galicia, although many of the plants mentioned here grow freely in other areas too. I’m especially interested in the interactivity between individual health and the responsiveness of the land and plant-life and I’ve learned to pay attention to which plants appear in any given year. The year before last we had a glut of St John’s Wort and I made lots of sun oil and tincture, and then used most of it when Freya was gored by a wild boar. This year, for the first time, we have wild lettuce everywhere – it’s a painkiller and sedative, so that doesn’t bode too well, but I’d rather have it to hand than not, should the need arise.
I’m lucky enough to live in the country-side, surrounded by wooded hills and meadows that are mostly wild. There are a few small family farms around, but no large operations and no crop spraying and I find all the medicinal plants I need within a few kilometres of the house. My aim in sharing this information about basic, everyday plant medicine, is to inspire anyone who is interested in living a natural lifestyle and who has access to wild plants, to look to nature as their healthcare provider. I hold to the view that the human creature was designed to be self-healing and is, for the most part, capable of thriving despite everything that is thrown against us by the enemies of life – subject to the proviso, that we live as we were designed to live and don’t work against ourselves. Living naturally is healthier, but every now and then something might throw you off-balance and that’s exactly the right moment to seek out nature’s remedy, plant medicine, if at all possible.
There are some tinctures, salves and powders I always have to hand as first aid remedies: St John’s Wort oil and tincture, Yarrow powder, Usnea Barbata tincture and Plantain salve. Other plants are useful as tonics, or for teas, such as: red clover, pine pollen, pennyroyal, milk thistle, self-heal and lemon balm. I also use of edible wild seasonal plants every day, especially in juices and sometimes in salads – they can’t be beaten in terms of support for the immune system, nutritional value and freshness. Some plants help with spiritual growth, or are pattern breakers, such as Arbor vitae and sometimes a particular plant just grabs my attention and I have to discover it’s secrets.