Plant Attunement Immersion class this Sunday
This Sunday from 1-4 PM Clearpath Herbals hosts the July edition of Plant Attunemment Immersion. We will be meeting at our usual place — Clearpath Medicine Gardens located at 119 Old Sunderland Road in Montague, MA. Despite this droughty summer, the gardens are ablaze with medicinal plants in full flower. I have spoken about the what, why, and how-to’s of plant attunement in a previous blog (Plant Attunement: How-to Instructions). Today I was out with my camera and so thought I’d share some photos and let the plants speak for themselves. Any of these plants could be the ones we choose to sit and attune with. We always leave it up to the collective decision of the group. We may decide to stay in the gardens and sit with plants we are cultivating, or with meadow plants on the surrounding farm, or we might even venture into the forest to sit with native woodland plants. Chris Sturk of the Binaural Beat Brothers has been a steady constant, offering his drumming skills to help guide us through our attunements.
Agrimony, Arnica, Mullein and Sweet Melilot
Right now yellow is the dominant color at Clearpath Medicine Gardens. From the road several hundred feet away you can see the multi-stalked splendor of Greek Mullein (Verbascum olympicum). I feel as if they are watching over the rest of the plants in garden. Birds certainly like to perch atop of them to get a better view of the beds and fields beyond. A few years ago my friend and fellow herbalist, Kate Gilday of Woodland Essence, gave me a few seeds, and ever since these biennials have graced our gardens. I use it interchangeably with our more common wild mullein (Verbascum thapsus) — flowers for oil to relieve earaches, leaves for lung health among other things, including as an ingredient in smoking mixtures, root for pain relief. Meadow arnica (A. chamissonis) is loving our garden. We are going to need a bigger bed soon for this spreading low grower. The famous homeopathic pain relief medicine also delivers its medicine through the oil we infuse its flowers in. Agrimony (Agrimonia. eupatoria) of the rose family is the first herb alphabetically in Bach’s short list of thirty-eight flower essence remedies. We will likely make a flower essence from this healthy patch ourselves this year, and definitely as a tincture, as I use it extensively in formulas to help people release tension and irritation throughout their systems. Sweet melilot (Melilotus officinalis), also known as yellow sweet clover, is a volunteer in our garden, currently hanging out in a corner with a gang of goldenrod and a prolific stand of raspberries. I am not going to kick this intruder out, but instead make use of its powerful blood-moving medicine. It is strong stuff and needs an experienced touch when using it.
Balloon Flower, Love-in-the-Mist
Not to be outdone by the golden yellows, the blue-purple flowers are making their mark too. Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) is a much desired ornamental in the West, but the Chinese also consider its root to be one of their best lung tonics. Love-in-the-Mist (Nigella damascena), also known as Black Seed and Nigella, is one of the more recent herbal medicine celebrities, and for good reason. The medicine and nutrition in its seed rivals that of any other superstar plant medicine out there, both for its beneficial versatility and its potency. And the flower is psychedelically beautiful.
We can only sit with two different plants in any one Plant Attunement Immersion session, but with all-stars like these, the only difficulty is going to be choosing which one!. There is still room, so if you live close by, feel welcome to participate. Plant Attunement Immersion meetings cost $30, and the next one is this Sunday, July 10. Visit our calendar of upcoming events and classes, and join our mailing list for informational blogs. To register, contact chris@clearpathherbals.