Today's been all about tidying up. It's rainy and windy outside and it's nice to potter. @nateonsteemit showed us his cupboard full of mullein in the Natural Medicine Discord server today and we thought it'd be fun to do a mini challenge for the week, where we show our 'medicine cabinets' - which many of us realised were 'all over the place' or an 'absolute mess' - yep, hear that! But coincidentally, I was in the middle of tidying up anyway so I thought I'd share. If you'd like to share yours, you can win some Lotus from me, plus 200 Lotus from @naturalmedicine for the winner, and we'll match it all burning the same amount from the LOTUS issuing account. So show us what you got, have a little ramble, and win some LOTUS!
Oh, and only posts that come in via the front end (www.naturalmedicine.io) will be in the running - this is mainly as they appear immediately in the Discord server where I can see them!
We made this medicine cabinet out of an old school bookshelf and some doors from the tip that just happened to fit. I painted the lotus on myself, way before our tribe started up. It was around the time I started to realise that maybe I was creative after all, after years of believing I wasn't. It took me ages to patiently paint the petals - I'm not very good at patience, but learn that I can do it if I try very, very hard and breathe!
On top of the cabinet sits my beautiful smelly box (no innuendos intended - maybe) in which sits my essentials oils. I love just opening up just to smell it. As this is all by my main kitchen table, I also have all my herbal note books and the books I'm reading at the moment, as it's super easy access, especially if I'm listening to a podcast whilst cooking dinner and want to quickly jot something down.
A lot of my dried herbs are now in neat jars in the kitchen cupboard, as I've been experimenting with making teas, and drinking a lot of herbal tea. My favourite tea has been yarrow as I hear she's good for menopause and god help me, but I think it's just around the corner. I also made a delightful blend of lemon balm, lavender, calendula and chamomile, which, if I'm super anxious, I put a couple of shots of hops tincture in for good measure. Beyond the yarrow and chamomile are damiana, lemon balm, hops, peppermint, and lemon verbena.
I'd love to tell you that the lotus cupboard IS my medicine cupboard but I'd be lying - that contains games, pens, notebooks, passports and the like. All those random things. All my other medicines are now in my yoga room, awaiting me to find a kickass medicine cabinet.
I've been busy tidying up all the cupboards one by one in a really ruthless way. If I haven't used it for a year or so I'm chucking it or selling it. It feels good, especially as a long few years at work come to a close before I go off travelling. We're kinda minimalists that like our lovely things - we like things clean and organised, but we like colours and beautiful things too, like my gorgeous Shiva on the bookshelf or Jamie's never played antique banjo on the wall. I wonder if I'd really care if I lost any of it - I've spent a lot of time on non-attachment contemplation. As my Dad said, you can't take it with you when you die.
So tidying up my medicines is quite therapeutic too - I did have a lot of jars everywhere. Empty jars and tins and labels are now in the basket between the shelves. As it's all in my yoga room I feel like it's a bit of an altar to plant medicines, which is kinda nice. I can sit in quiet contemplation of a plant, take notes, meditate, do a little yoga and be generally left alone. I like being left alone to potter and think.
You can see the roses drying on the shelf too. There's no direct sunlight so it's all good. It smells so amazing. Rose is such a divine plant. It's unfolding petals are like the unfolding layers of consciousness. In Islam, roses are symbolic of the sacredness of souls, and in Christianity, spiritual holiness - so it's an appropriate plant to be drying on the shelf I generally use for an altar.
Currently I'm drying more roses to do more rose hydrosol and rose infused oil. I've done some rose infused jojoba and some rose infused coconut using the double boiler method and it smells amazing. I'm just waiting for some small tins to arrive and some rose hip oil, and I'll be making up a rose moistuerising cream for Christmas gifts (and me). I've loved my ACV/Sage/raw honey infusion this year too, because it's incredible for sore throats. They just disappear with a dose or two. And I'm stoked with the essential oil blend I made for the homemade deodorant, which has been amazing - now I know how easy it is to make a great smelling deodorant that works, I'm never going to buy it from the store again!
The lemon verbena wasn't that exciting, so I'm going to chuck that. I thought I'd experiment, but as far as relaxation goes the hops is the one for that. I think it's best suited to tea. Live and learn. There's a lot of experimenting that goes on with these medicines - a lot of study and feeling and contemplating. I love the process.
Right now I'm about to run a bath and have a bit of a grounding self oil massage - I have a lovely calendula and lavender oil expressly for that purpose. I have just run out of bath salts so I'm going to make some more for Christmas gifts as well.
Over the break I'll make a better label - the ones in the thumbnail picture were done on Canva, but I really want to draw my own mandela that I can get put onto a sticker where I can write the medicine name on with a sharpie. I am a bit sick of scrubbing labels off bottles, I tell you - the sharpie's been much more convenient. It does rub off glass with use but it's good enough to put the date on the bigger jars so I know when they're done and need rebottling.
Whilst I'm rambling about herbs and plant medicines, I may as well keep enthusing about my Sunday. Went round to a friends to see his new amazing greenhouse, and he gave me a St John's Wort, which I am super thrilled about. They're not easy to come by here. He also had a gorgeous clary sage - check the flower on it! Isn't it beautiful? I'll know where to get a cutting come Spring. I can't talk him to using any of his herbs as medicines - he is more into natives as he's a horticulturalist who teaches this stuff for a living and completely waxes lyrical about hakeas and callistemons but can't stand the smell of a rose - lucky for me, as he gave me a hug bag of rose petals!
Where do you keep all your natural medicines?