1: Roots

The roots of a plant will grow exponentially if phosphorus is added to the soil.  With a larger root mass, the plant can match its above ground growth accordingly. More Leg Room = More Head Room.

Fresh out of  Portsmouth High School, fresh out of the ol’ Hometown – Green Mountain College was going to enhance my herbal and botanical knowledge.  I could already make tea.  I remember being entranced by herbal literature and books filled with this-for-that recipes (Echinacea for enhanced immunity, my first Plant Ally).  My parents came to visit and took me to the Rutland Food CO-OP where I bought an ounce of Horehound, Marrubium vulgare, to treat an ankle sprain.  If you have not tried this herb as a tea, be warned.  A seemingly friendly mint with a latin name that designates it as a bitter herb.  Ha!  I had not yet acquired an herbalist tongue, so naturally I thought it was wretched!  This must have started it.  My attempt at diagnosing myself and curing it herbally began with Horehound. I’d rather call it the Italian Bitter.  Blessed be bitter.  In any case, just staring at herbal books alone was not going to suffice.  I needed some live action herbalism to really get the message across.  There is only so much you can do with a few hundred pages of recipes – you need someone to tell you which direction to spin the spoon so your herbs will gather information from the proper sun sign, etc, etc…

A fellow Green Mountainer and herbalist Michelle H had planned out an informal workshop in the Yes! CoffeeHouse at GMC.  My girlfriends and I thought it’d be groovy so we gave it a whirl.  My first workshop.  The herbalist who spoke had glowing hair and made it clear that I was not the only one talking to plants!  Here I was calling them witches while I grew up.  Now I realized they were Herbalists.  Several years later I found out this magic woman I saw was Pam Montgomery, host of Partner Earth Education Center in Danby Vermont, author of Plant Spirit Healing. That spring I attended Michelle’s medicine-making workshop.  She lead us on an herb walk through campus and the surrounding wild areas identifying herbs and gathering those which “spoke” to us.   I brought back Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca, which I learned to tincture.  My main purpose was for use of menstrual cramps.  I also gathered Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris (my second Plant Ally), to enhance my intuition and dream capabilities.  Michelle had Calendula, Calendula officinalis, on hand to teach us how to make salves for skin.

Now with a little teaching the herbal books I had randomly bought online made sense!  There was more understanding when diagnosing my own ailments and many more avenues I was willing to explore.  The Herbal Door opened.

If you have ever perked a lobe when you hear someone say “Herbal Remedy”, if you’ve ever felt unsatisfied with allopathic medication: Go to a Workshop! Take a Class! Find an herbal shop near you and go in!  Just reading this blog shows that you are on your way.  Ask for guidance and you’ll see there are so many ways to heal yourself.  What a great feeling it is to be able to solve your body’s mystery.  Whether it be the onset of a cold, sore muscles, or worry you can find organic solutions.  The power of plants has lived on since they first emerged from the Earth.  Even mushrooms have healing properties.  And they want to help you.


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