Archive for September, 2008

Natural Ways to Improve Your Health

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

One way to enhance your health is to eat foods that are mineral rich. Minerals help you absorb more vitamins into your body. A fun way to add more minerals to your diet is to make a vinegar tincture to use on your salad.

My husband, Bruce has a nice batch of sage, salvia officinalis, growing in his garden. (Avoid if epileptic.) Sage is traditionally associated with longevity, and is a memory-enhancing herb. So my reiki apprentices went to the garden to make sage vinegar.

Garden Sage

After picking the tops of the plant, Bruce chopped it and filled a jar with cut-up plant material.

Picked Garden Sage

He filled the jar with apple cider vinegar.

preparing tincture

Bruce finished by capping the jar with a plastic lid and labeling it with the plant’s name and date. When he returned home he placed it in a cool, dry place for six weeks.

Wrapping up

We’ve also made vinegar with Red Raspberry Leaf, Mugwort, and Red Clover Blossoms. Later that hot morning, we found a vacant lot filled with Mugwort, Artemnesia Vulgaris. (Avoid during pregnancy.)

Lot filled with mugwort

After giving the plants a gift of a pinch of tobacco, we picked flowering tops. We let them dry for a week before placing them in a pouch. A pouch filled with dried mugwort placed under a pillow is said to produce prophetic dreams to one who sleeps with it.

For more information, contact Susun Weed, the author of HEALING WISE: Wise Woman Herbal. (Ash Tree Pub,  PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498.  ISBN 0-9614620-2-7)

Summer Highlights

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Now that summer is winding down, I want to share some of the highlights I’ve experienced in the last three months. I had a show of mermaid mirrors I made at Old Neptune’s Bookshop in Pocomoke City MD. They’re called “mermaid mirrors” because their heart shaped frames are made mostly from shells I’ve collected over the years while beach combing.

Old Neptune's Bookshop

In July, my husband, Bruce, and I met with his family in Shenandoah National Park for lunch at Big Meadow Lodge. The lovely restaurant serves locally grown organic food and wine. Later in the week, we hiked the Rose River trail, which has a number of waterfalls on it. We saw a big black bear about 20 yards away while on the trail. However, I was too nervous to get a photo. We also saw deer and many birds.

Rose River Trail

On the lighter side, I got to spend an afternoon picking St John’s Wort to make a tincture. St John’s Wort, Hypericum Perforatum, is known for its ability to lighten the mood and lift the spirits. It’s also good to take if you suffer from lack of sunlight in the winter.

We got “rained out” on the day we tried to go canoeing, so spirit blessed us with a rainbow in our backyard.


In August, we traveled down east Maine to visit friends. We stopped at Jasper Beach. And yes, the beach is made of chunks of jasper. Jasper’s healing properties brings tranquility and wholeness in times of stress. A large piece placed in a room absorbs negative energy.

Jasper Beach

We stopped outside of Boston to visit Bruce’s sister and her family. In the morning, a wild turkey came onto the driveway to raid their bird feeder.

Wild Turkey

But the hardest thing for me this summer was hearing that my dear friend, Rufus, died in an accident. In the 19 years I knew him, he always expanded my world. He was a visionary, a caretaker of the earth, an artist, a healer and a pilot who inspired everyone he met. His presence on the planet will be truly missed.

His untimely passing said to me. “This is it! This moment. Now. Live it fully. Express your love. Don’t hold back. Have wild adventures. Keep in touch with people. Buy yourself what you want to have. Be generous. And do what you love.”