Moon Time

Apple Blossoms

apple blossoms

     Tight little pink buds open daily into the sweetest white blossoms on our two apple trees.  These trees are very, very special trees.  We planted them 5 years ago on Mother’s Day as a family.  One tree for each of my children, underneath which we buried the placentas from their births.  Giving the trees ultimate nourishment and offering an act of honor to the lives my husband and I brought into this world, a celebration of birth and family.

After we finally set down roots in our home, we broke ground for these two trees.  You see, after the birth of my first daughter we moved a total of four times in two years.  With each move we made, I toted the placenta from her birth from home to home.  Keeping it frozen in a container, I transferred it from freezer to freezer as one of my most valued possessions.  So after we had been in our current house for a couple of years, greeting a new baby during that time, I felt it was time to plant these trees.

And as my daughters grow, their trees grow, marking this passage of time and showing so beautifully how life becomes enriched and deepened with each passing moment.  This year the trees are beginning to mature, becoming big, all covered in beautiful blossoms with the promise of delicious fruit soon to come.

apple blossoms

What, if anything, did you do with your child’s placenta?

Shared On:  The Sunday Parenting Party, Eco-Kids Tuesday
Categories: Adventures And Stories, Mama Care And Empowerment, Moon Time, Parenting, Pregnancy & Birth | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

The Power Of Clary Sage Essential Oil

Late one cold December I gave birth to my second daughter.  Blessed to be at home with my loving husband and three amazing midwives attending my labor and delivery, the whole experience was incredibly empowering and uplifting.

Towards the end of my labor I climbed into a warm bath fragrant with Clary Sage essential oil wisely placed in the bath by one of my sweet midwives.  Normally the smell of Clary Sage (latin name Salvia sclarea) is a bit much for me but at this time it smelled divine.  It came right into my birth space with ease and with in a few minutes I was climbing back out of the tub to birth my daughter.  I felt as though the Clary Sage opened a doorway.  As though it helped me come closer to my authentic self and the Spirit which was bringing this baby into the world through my body.

In the past I’ve used a simple inhalation of Clary Sage essential oil for effectively easing menstrual cramps.  And it always took me to a higher place during my moon.  A place where I could flow through the cramping and the door that opens during menstruation.  As women it is our gift to be able to access this place and bring back feminine knowledge.  I had forgotten about using Clary Sage in this way, I was happy for the reminder.

Clary Sage Essential Oil

  • Supports inner vision
  • Eases PMS associated with depression and emotional turmoil
  • Relieves muscular spasm associated with menstrual cramping and digestive upset.
  • Brings on menstrual flow

The name Clary is derived from the Latin word sclarea coming from the root word clarus,meaning clear.   Clarity refers to its traditional use on a physical level as a soothing eyewash.  While on an internal level it augments perception of oneself and clarity of thought, hence serving useful in meditation and for enhancing True sight.  Beneficial to the nerves, Clary Sage sedates while soothing away anxieties, depression, stress, and insomnia making it very helpful for those experiencing PMS, specifically when associated with depression.  Its action and smell can be intoxicating, bringing on states of euphoria and acting as an aphrodisiac.  Clary Sage eases pain from muscular spasms such as menstrual cramping, headaches, and stomach pains.  It also aids in relieving indigestion.  And Clary Sage stimulates the uterus, bringing on menstruation.  It helps to balance emotions while alleviating physical and mental exhaustion.

For information on lots of ways to use essential oils safely please visit my Essential Oil page in the Materia Medica.

Other essential oils that combine well with Clary Sage include: Lavender, Sandalwood   Cardamom, Rose Geranium, Cedarwood, Pine, Jasmine, Frankincense, Bergamot, as well as other citrus oils.  All of these have their own personalities, properties and use guidelines.

Important…  Essential oils are very strong and concentrated.  Some are stronger than others.  They must be used wisely. (See: Essential Oils)  It is important to dilute essential oils in either water or a carrier oil (vegetable oil such as almond or olive) before applying to the skin.  Clary Sage essential oil should not be used when one has been drinking or during pregnancy because it stimulates the uterus.

Shared On: The Sunday Parenting Party 

 

Image Credit: Morgue Files

 

Categories: Adventures And Stories, Mama Care And Empowerment, Moon Time, Pregnancy & Birth, Woman's Herbs | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Moon Flow

Today is the culmination of many days.  A birthing of myself anew as I begin to flow into the future.

Yet this moment is uncomfortable with a burning in my belly and a head that feels full of sand.  My body feels tired and some what hard to move.  Or it maybe that my body wants to let go feeling like it almost wildly wants to relax.  I find myself forgetting to breathe deep and feeling light-headed from lack of prana.  And when I remember to breathe my body responds with desperate satisfaction yet I keep forgetting.

Many days over the past week I have writhed within myself feeling the depth of this transformation occurring within.  It has not been emotionally comfortable.  Yet the few moments of clarity that have occurred during those days have been beautiful, crystalline.  Like a ray of sunshine breaking through a fog.

I know that once my flow fully begins I will feel the energy of it and everything will be better.  Tomorrow or the next day my energy will be totally different from it is now.

Today the importance of each thing, each moment is poignant. The sun feels sickeningly hot and dazzlingly bright.  The mushrooms in my breakfast remind me of why I detested mushrooms as a child.  Each one is rubbery grey and unappetizing with a flavor reminiscent of the unique odor surrounding a wet dog.

Yet, in the next instant, a word overheard or smile flashed brings me joy and satisfaction.  And earlier the cool mountain air during my morning hike felt like heaven.  Bathing me in sweet refreshment completely washing away fatigue and care.  All while I walked among the most beautiful wild flowers with their innocent purples, yellows and pinks lining the path as sunlight filtered down through precious lofty white clouds keeping me cool.

Now the day has worn away and it is becoming late.  And I am already changed. What I thought would take until tomorrow is already happening.  I am flowing now and on my way.

Categories: Moon Time | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Moon Time Raspberry Leaf, Strong Support

Each month we are blessed with a chance to change, to recreate ourselves anew giving birth to new ideas and visions, projects, attitudes and ways of being.  Sometimes this is a challenge.  Cramping and fatigue can make it hard to enjoy this time of rebirth.  Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus, spp.) gives us a stability, a strong support for a smooth moon time so that we can fully embrace the gifts available to us.  Using raspberry as part of a healthy lifestyle through the entire month nourishes our bodies and ourselves to promote this vital health.  Many herbs are wonderful allies that can be considered super foods, providing beneficial tonic actions to the body through their superior high vitamin and mineral content and raspberry is one of those herbs.  Tried and true this wonderful plant has been used for centuries by a multitude of different people for its beneficial health properties.

Raspberry leaf is most commonly known as a herb for pregnancy.  Raspberry’s effectiveness for pregnant women is due to not only its high mineral content but also its ability to strengthen and tone the uterus while at the same time enabling it to relax.  These same properties benefit menstruating women.  Raspberry is a tonic plant for the uterus which helps to increase the tone of flaccid muscles in the uterus or relax overly rigid muscles, which ever action the body might need.  This is action is thought to be due to a constituent called fragarin which found in high amounts in the leaf.  The tonic action of raspberry leaf is said to regulate the action of the uterine muscle thereby aiding in the reduction of menstrual pain, particularly that which occurs at the beginning of menstruation.  Raspberry’s high tannin content imparts an astringentquality which strengthens capillary beds and mucus membranes thereby helping to curb excess menstrual bleeding and mucus discharge.

Raspberry is high in vitamins and minerals providing many nutrients necessary for female health; including manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins B, C and E.   This power packed plant is helpful for building strong bones and teeth.  Raspberry also tones the digestive system and has long been used as a remedy for diarrhea especially in children.

Raspberry ~

  • strengthens and yet relaxes the uterus
  • reduces cramping, especially cramping which occurs at the beginning of menstruation
  • eases excess bleeding
  • tones the digestive system
  • cooling on a hot day
  • is high in vitamins and minerals

It is so easy to gain all of the amazing benefits from raspberry by making a simple infusion of the leaves.  Click here to read about infusions and how to make them!  Raspberry has a wonderful cooling effect on the body and is great to enjoy iced on a hot day.  You can also add other herbs to your brew to increase the nourishing tonic properties of your drink.  Nettles is high in vitamins and minerals as well as astringent.  Like raspberry it will help curb excess menstrual bleeding and provide excellent nourishment to the body.  Red clover and alfalfa have phytoestrogens which aid in hormone balance and increase overall health due to high nutrient content.  Peppermint and spearmint are both wonderful tasting, cooling to the body and again high in vitamins and minerals.  Experiment with combinations of all of the above plants to find a nutritious brew to support your health and well-being!  Click here to read about finding the best herbs to buy.

Definitions ~

  • tonic ~ encourages increased health.
  • astringent ~ creates dryness, tightening and toning in the body.
  • phytoestrogen ~ provides high quality material which assists the body in making its own estrogen.  Phytoestrogens are thought to compete with environmental estrogens for binding sites on cell membranes.

Originally published in Moon Flow magazine

Categories: Mama Care And Empowerment, Moon Time, Raspberry, Woman's Herbs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moon Time Chamomile, Bittersweet Change

A woman’s moon time is a time of power… a time for inner reflection and change.  A time to let go of those parts of oneself that are no longer of value and to make space for unknown or unacknowledged parts to come forth. There is a passage that occurs between who we were and who we are to become, a kind of death and rebirth.  This  change can sometimes be uncomfortable and difficult but it is well worth being open to as there is much growth to be realized, more of ourselves to come to know.  The beautiful sunny flowers of the chamomile (Matricaria spp.) plant with its delicate bittersweet flavor is like an understanding friend who lends support and comfort anytime when we feel stressed by change.  In this way chamomile is especially helpful when there are feelings of tension, irritability, and  anxiousness which are manifesting as issues in the physical body.

 Chamomile is a gentle yet powerful relaxant for both nervous and digestive systems and has long be valued as a women’s herb.  In fact the genus name of the plant, Matricaria, comes from the word “matrix” which means mother or womb.  Chamomile relieves smooth muscle spasm and is therefore helpful for soothing menstrual and digestive and flatulence.  Chamomile helps to decrease irritation and inflammation in the body.  Because chamomile benefits nervous system it is helpful for PMS associated with tension, irritability and headaches.  It helps women who experience amenorrhea or lack of menstruation from stress.  It provides comfort to those who are highly sensitive and prone to complaining.  It also helps to re-establish equilibrium and ease aliments associated with nervous exhaustion such as insomnia and anxiety.

Chamomlie

  • eases menstrual cramps
  • calms stress and anxiety
  • relieves digestive upset

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic, sedative, antispasmodic, carminative and nervine actions.  It has nourishing minerals including phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.  The sweet apple-like fragrance of chamomile comes from the amazing essential oil, azulene which is  found in the flowers of this plant.  Azulene is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties.

A simple tea of chamomile is a wonderful way to reap all of  the benefits of this amazing herb.  Place a heaping tablespoon of flowers in a heat proof container add one cup of  hot water and cover so the volatile azulene essential oil won’t evaporate.  Steep for 5 to 15 minutes, then strain out the flowers.  Add honey to taste.  Experiment with your brewing time as the longer chamomile is steeped the more bitter is gets.  Drink up to 3 to 4 cups a day.  Other tasty herbs can be added to your brew to increase its soothing and nourishing properties.  Like chamomile, lemon balm is relaxing for the nervous and digestive systems while having a delightful lemony flavor that has long been used to refresh the brain.  Rose petals are comforting for the heart and provide help to those with irregular menstruation.  While  rose hips are high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids.  Both are blood tonics. St. John’swort is like sunshine in a cup for those with depression, fatigue and grief.  This herb can have interactions with some prescription medications and can also cause increased sensitivity to light.  Spearmint and lavender add amazing flavor to brews and act positively on the digestive system.  An extra strong tea of chamomile added to the bathtub or a basin for a foot bath is also very soothing.  For menstrual cramps and digestive upset, a cloth soaked in warm chamomile tea and placed over the belly is lovely!  Whole chamomile flowers and other herbs can generally be found at your local herb or health food store, or on-line.  Look for a source that sells high quality herbs with lots of color and good aroma.

Chamomile is generally considered to be a very safe herb which is  proven by its many applications for children.  Yet a small percentage of individuals may be allergic to it as it is in the Asteracea or ragweed family.  Because chamomile is a mild uterine stimulant it should be avoided by pregnant women.

Definitions for actions:

  • anti-inflammatory ~ decreases inflammation
  • antiseptic ~ helps the body deal with harmful bacteria
  • analgesic ~ soothes pain
  • sedative ~ induces rest
  • antispasmodic ~ relieves muscles cramps and spasms
  • carminative ~ increases appetite, eases gas and nausea
  • nervine ~ nourishes and soothes the nervous system
  • tonic ~ encourages increased health

Originally published in Moon Flow magazine

Categories: Moon Time | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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