19. February 2017 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~Energetic Self-care for Challenging Times · Categories: Flower Essences, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Self-care, Wellness, Yarrow's Garden Blog

Choosing Clarity vs. Chaos~

Since the recent US presidential election last November, the world as most of us have known it, has turned upside down, leaving many feeling vulnerable, unheard, and no longer important. The negativity, rancor, and disillusionment that comes with this kind of shock has many not knowing what to do with their inner reactions. Anger, resentment and hopelessness abound as people do their necessary (and sometimes careless) venting. We all carry this charged energy within our electro-magnetic fields and, as one person meets another in the course of a day, regardless of what is spoken or consciously perceived, these energetic images imprint upon us, hitchhiking from one person to another. How can we function with clear discernment when these collective energies have latched on without our knowing, and don’t even belong to us personally?

In the same way that we have created hygienic habits of washing our face and hands, brushing and flossing before bed, a simple practice of clearing our electro-magnetic field each evening (and morning I dare say), will help us to tap into our own genuine needs, thoughts, aspirations, responses and allow us to function with greater authenticity. We are able to sleep better, see more deeply into our both inner and outer worlds, and make clearer decisions about where to place our feet on the Path.

Simple Clearing Practices~ “Let all that is unloving, unkind…..”

Use the energy of the physical elements to clear your energy field–air, fire, earth, water.

♣With intention to let go of all that is not yours, take a 15 minute walk in the wind, the rain, the falling snow.
♣Sit in the warmth of the sunshine and ask the sun to bake away all that is not yours.
♣Soak in a sea salt bath or simply shower, seeing and feeling all that is not yours dissolving and floating down the drain.
♣Walk on the Earth, simply asking The Mother to receive from the bottoms of your feet all that no longer serves as you let go of what is not yours.
♣Walk in the energy of the night sky or full moon requesting their assistance in restoring your own unique energy imprint to be the only energy you carry.
♣Use the energy of your breathing and movement to shake off the energies that are not yours through exercise–swim, run, hike, yoga, snowshoe, zumba, dance, etc.

Essential oil blends and flower essences are excellent media for clearing the auric/electro-magnetic field as well as our inner landscape of toxic thoughts and emotions. Oils like sage, citronella, rosemary, juniper, cedar, frankincense, tea tree, lemon grass, lavender–whatever calls to you–can be added to water with a touch of alcohol and used as a spray to clear ones energy. Speaking a prayer of intention and release strengthens the clearing process.

Flower essences can be used by themselves or in combination with essential oils to create potent clearing tools. Yarrow is particularly beneficial for clearing exposure to environmental energy pollutants from radiation, microwaves, and electronic devices. Crab Apple, a Bach flower remedy, is useful for cleansing and clearing of negative thoughts and emotions. Rescue Remedy, Five-Flower Remedy, Soul Support and Desert Crisis Formula are quality commercial preparations that can also be used externally or taken internally to create your own personal intuitive blend for clearing. You can even make a strong herbal tea and use it alone or blended with oils or flower essences as a clearing spray.

Smudging~It is a common practice in many cultures and spiritual traditions to use smoke from sage, cedar, and various tree resins to cleanse and clear a physical space or one’s auric field. Negativity is released with the smoke and sent into the cosmos for purification and re-purposing.

Claiming Your Sacred Space~

Always approach your clearing with intention and a respectful request to the elements, plants, Healing Ancestors, Mother Earth, the Goddess, Angels, or whichever Healing Spirits you work with for your benefit and the benefit of all. Leave your doubts behind and simply begin the practice of regular clearing until it becomes a habit. Finish by sealing your field with a blanket of rainbow colored light. What is within the energetic boundary you have created supports your well being and your Right to Be. It is your sacred space. What is on the outside remains there until and unless you give your permission for that energy to enter. Claim your clear, healthy sacred space for negotiating these challenging times. Without a doubt you will begin to move with greater ease and grace, balance and harmony once you create this consciously sourced practice for yourself. Remember to thank all of the energies that participate in your clearing practice.

29. April 2016 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~The Mystery and Beauty of Flower Essences · Categories: Flower Essences, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Wellness, Yarrow's Garden Blog

After years of deeply relating to plants and working with their medicines, I sense I may be beginning to grasp a speck of understanding of the levels and realms of their healing potential. Flower essences have drawn me to engage with their subtle yet powerful messages of healing for many years. Their gifts gently act to assist in raising our consciousness to release habitual thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve, and help strengthen our resolve to choose our responses from a place of deeper inner awareness. Whether our health concerns are physical, psycho-emotional or spiritual, flower essences address the overall patterns of imbalance, acting upon the whole, multi-faceted nature of our “dis-ease” process. Using a single flower or essence combination, they focus on healing all levels of our being. As our world moves deeper into this time of great change and transformation, many alternative healing modalities are stepping up as potent tools and gateways to assist humans in gracefully making the necessary transitions into a new era of peace and equanimity. Plants, gemstones, sound and color are now easily available to show the way to our fullest potential as humans.


As so beautifully described by Dr. Edward Bach, English homeopathic practitioner in the 1930″s, considered to be the father of modern flower essence therapy: “These remedies cure, not by attacking disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our Higher Nature, in the presence of which disease melts as snow in the sunshine“.

People often confuse flower essences with essential oils. On a continuum of plants and their medicines, essential oils are found at one extreme. Essential oils are concentrated, distilled plant oils whose messages are aromatic, intense and direct. Flower essences are found at the opposite end of the continuum; potent, yes, but subtle in their delivery and gentle in impact. Their healing powers come from the Light energy emitted by a plant’s highest expression, its flower. Traditionally, through the direct activation of the sun’s rays, a flower’s energetic blueprint is released into water and stabilized to form this powerful healing remedy. Each plant has a unique healing signature and theme available through its essence. Taken for a specified time frame, the human Spirit begins to respond to the higher vibration “Spirit” of the plant essence. Old patterns are gently released and new, healthy patterns are introduced and integrated. Ultimately, as each human evolves, our Planet and Universe benefit from the rise in energetic vibration and all of life has increased freedom to thrive.


I recommend flower essences to clients who wish to explore deeper levels into their healing process beyond symptomatic relief. When symptoms finally appear, the dis-ease process has usually been going on undetected for some time. Flower essences address those deeper unexamined levels, facilitating communication with the essence of who we are as beings beyond the physical. With daily use and clear intentions, significant energetic shifts are possible, bringing harmony, balance and blessings into our lives and ultimately the lives of others. In partnership with the light frequencies of the plant kingdom, we are not striving to “fix” anything, but opening to new levels of conscious awakening and wholeness. Remedies are typically preserved with small amounts of either brandy, vinegar, or glycerine and hold their vitality indefinitely. It is preferred they not to be stored in close proximity to electrical appliances that emit electromagnetic frequencies such as televisions, microwaves or computers. Flower essences are safe and effective for adults, children, animals, your houseplants and the environs within and around your home. Their messages are simple, loving and full of grace.

10. August 2013 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~The Medicinal Magic of Mint · Categories: Ethnobotanical, Flower Essences, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Wellness, Yarrow's Garden Blog

Walking through the knee-high grasses alongside the riffling waters of Grape Creek, I become aware of a familiar sweet-spicy aroma wafting around me. My boots flush through the dew-laden vegetation, now soaked with wet grass stains. Peering between the blades, I notice spikes of sturdy green stems bearing clusters of delicate lavender flowers. Mid-summer 096I feel the wetness as it soaks through my socks and the knees of my jeans.

To confirm my suspicions, I look for other clues to its identity. Squeezing the small notched leaf between my fingers, I inhale again, and am immediately taken by the rich, menthol, delicious scent as I bring it to my nose. Instantly my brain feels clear and focused, my body feels alive, my consciousness alert. I twirl the slender stem in my fingers and note its ridges; the stems are square.

Taking a moment, I begin noticing more detail. The opposite leaves grow smaller as they progress up the delicate stem from ground level to tip. The flowers cluster in whorls at the leaf axils, creating  a distinct pattern of segments along the stems. At this point I feel comfortable in saying that I have found Poleo Mint (Mentha arvensis), Colorado’s native field mint. Chokecherry Day 018I draw its strong pungent aroma into my lungs and once again feel my cells come alive with its cool, clarifying vapors.

Scanning the grasses, I notice several patches of the plant, enough to consider harvesting some, since flowering is the perfect time. As I cut, I am reminded that Poleo mint is the strongest of the true mints; stronger in both flavor and action than its European cousins, peppermint and spearmint. All members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family, the mints are best known for their ability to act kindly upon the digestive system, relieving indigestion, gas pains and bloating, intestinal cramping and nausea. Most commonly found in the kitchen, herbs such as oregano, lemon balm, thyme, rosemary and sage are all in this family and useful in cooking for flavoring and for digestive enhancement. The flavor of Poleo is pungent, slightly biting and sweet, with a camphorous taste due to the presence of its volitile, aromatic oils. Both warming and cooling, stimulating and relaxing, it potently promotes bile flow, reduces liver congestion, and settles the stomach.

Mentha arvensis can be found growing throughout the northern latitudes of the United States from the Great Lakes and Central Plains to west of the Rocky Mountains. Early tribes of the Upper Missouri River valued Poleo tea for its carminative, gas-relieving digestive properties. The Cheyenne and Blackfeet believed it strengthed the heart and vital organs. The Lakota and other tribes used the mint beverage to treat headaches, colds, coughs and fevers.

Popularized in the mid-18th century, European peppermint (Mentha piperita) was cultivated on plantations in England, France, Italy, Greece and Germany mainly for distilling its valuable oil. Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is pungent and sweet, energetically neutral–not as warming or cooling– and has a more gentle digestive effect.

Chokecherry Day 012In contemporary herbal pharmacology, the value of Poleo and its related mints goes beyond its known digestive properties. Used interchangeably for colds and flu (Poleo being the strongest), they can promote sweating, reduce a fever, promote productive expectorating and open the sinuses. A sinus steam using peppermint essential oil will clear the nasal passages and promote fuller, deeper breathing in conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and laryngitis. As a warming stimulant, Mentha increases internal warmth through circulatory stimulation and can encourage the onset of a sluggish or delayed menstrual flow. Massaging peppermint oil infused into a carrier (such as sweet almond or olive oil) on the abdominal area has proved effective for that condition. Other topical uses of peppermint oil include treatment of inflammation from burns, scalds, acne, hives and poison ivy, primarily through its drying effect. In a spray with other essential oils such as lavender, rosemary or sage, peppermint is a very effective natural insect repellant.

In flower essence form, peppermint promotes mental clarity, quickens thinking, and heightens and uplifts the spirits. It enhances mindfulness and conscious alertness, fostering a deepened sense of aliveness and well being.

The cultivated varieties of peppermint and spearmint are easy to propagate……perhaps too easy. In moderately amended organic soil with a fair amount of watering, the perennial mints are notorious for spreading vigorously by creeping root stock, and difficult to control in most garden settings. If peppermint is something you would like to grow in your own garden, my suggestion is to plant it in a container. It will grow happily there without invading other areas of your garden where you will eventually lose your liking for the plant. Harvesting of the aerial parts of the herb is best when it is in bloom.

As I move through the grasses, I find several more patches of this good medicine. Feeling blessed with plenty, I cut what I need, offer my gratitude and return home, to prepare, dry and store my bountiful harvest for winter- long enjoyment. I most appreciate the clarity and mindfulness that Poleo tea brings, especially at times when I am in need of creative inspiration.


PLEASE NOTE: Posts on Yarrow’s Garden Blog and Three Sisters Medicine are for educational and inspirational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Herbs are Medicine! Proceed with care. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment of serious medical conditions is inappropriate and unwise. If you have or suspect a medical condition, it is your responsibility to consult a medical practitioner for appropriate treatment.

THREE SISTERS APOTHECARY offers a variety of dry tea blends and tinctured formulations.Formulas are custom blended for your specific health and healing needs. Contact me at skyedarter@gmail.com or phone: 719.783.0465 to schedule an appointment.

24. June 2013 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden~The Beloved Wild Rose · Categories: Flower Essences, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Yarrow's Garden Blog


Whidbey2012 027From very early in botanical history, poets, romantics, mystics and gardeners have sung the praises of the Rose.  First cultivated by the ancient Persians, then by the Arabs, Greeks and Romans, the rose has become glorified as one of the most beloved flowering perennials of all time.

Although most of today’s rapture with the rose is based upon cultivated varieties, I will be focusing on our Colorado native Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii) and then comment on the uses of the rose around the world.

If you have walked the mountain trails here in the Wet Mountain Valley during June or early July, you have certainly come upon the wild rose in bloom. This sensually fragrant, showy, pink, five-petaled beauty is common along trails, roadsides, open meadows and slopes, along forest edges and shady creekside areas, in the full sun or part shade habitats of the foothills and montane zones. They establish themselves easily in most soil types, prefer consistently moist soil and can develop extensive root systems forming dense thickets. Plants in the rose family are typically upright woody shrubs, often with thorns (although shrubs like Mountain Mahogany—Cercocarpus montanus, Choke Cherry, Padus virginiana, and various Cinquefoils—Potentilla sp, are without thorns). All will have an edible fruit of some kind. The familiar rose hip, sour, sweet and astringing, is rich in vitamin C and flavonoids; a favorite food for deer, elk, birds, and bears. It makes an excellent cooling, tension-taming tea.

The widespread popularity of the cultivated rose began near the tenth century in Northern Persia, spreading to China, India, Morocco and throughout Europe. Then, as now, roses were grown for their beauty, fragrance, and for their healing properties, culinary uses, and skin care. One of the first preparations from rose was the floral water. Known for its antiseptic and astringent properties, rosewater used topically, was applied to burns and inflammations.Today, rosewater is still in use for firming the skin, found especially soothing for dry and aging skin conditions. A prized extract of rose is the distilled essential oil or attar. Considered one of the most precious and sought-after fragrances of all flowers, rose oil is used today to lift the spirit from depression, to decrease anxiety, and applied to the abdomen, known to decrease pelvic congestion and menstrual pain. To date, perfume chemists have been unable to replicate this sweet, woody fragrance, explaining why rose essential oil currently retails for about $208 for 5ml (30 ml equals one ounce).

In traditional Chinese medicine, rose flowers are used in herbal formulations to promote circulation, disperse blood stagnation, regulate menstrual bleeding, and to restore harmonious digestion. In various Native American herbal traditions, all parts of the rose have been used. Tea of rose petals, leaves and roots were relied upon to reduce high fevers in children, as a wash for eye inflammations, and to ease emotional tension. Old World European traditions use rose petals and hips for acute inflammatory lung conditions including sore throat, to promote nasal flow and relieve bronchial congestion. In chronic cases, rose petal waters and baths were used for treating the excessive heat of certain arthritic conditions. Since the flower and hips are edible, many culinary uses have been created for rose, including wines, cordials and liqueurs as well as jams, jellies, teas, honeys and syrups. French cuisine makes use of rose petals to embellish even the most ordinary of presentations.

Today, the flower essence of the wild rose is often used to address the more soulful issues of depression, apathy and despair, fatigue, alienation, or lack of compassion. Rose is said to balance the love forces of the heart so that the soul can find enthusiasm in earthly life, worldly tasks and human relationships. As a universal expression of unconditional love, passion, nurturance, compassion, giving and caring, the rose is revered worldwide, respected and appreciated as a healer and remedy with broad application. The native Wild Rose, hardy and relatively easy to grow, has a soft, light, and uplifting energy and would make a great addition to any high altitude garden. The joy of stepping outside your door and experiencing this calming and enlivening energy leaves no excuse for the blues.


PLEASE NOTE: Posts on Yarrow’s Garden Blog andThree Sisters Medicine are for educational and inspirational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Herbs are Medicine! Proceed with care. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment of serious medical conditions is inappropriate and unwise. If you have or suspect a medical condition, it is your responsibility to consult a medical practitioner for appropriate treatment.

THREE SISTERS APOTHECARY offers a variety of dry tea blends and tinctured formulations.Formulas are custom blended for your specific health and healing needs. Contact me at skyedarter@gmail.com or phone: 719.783.0465 to schedule an appointment.

14. January 2013 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~Mugwort · Categories: Flower Essences, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Yarrow's Garden Blog

MUGWORT(Artemisia vulgaris)~

As I sit here sipping a cup of pleasantly sweet mugwort tea, I have begun to envision this century-old healing plant and its many uses throughout history. Its warm and comforting nature begins to pulse gently into my neck and shoulders, relaxing my solar plexus, and carrying me gently beyond the everyday doings of daily life. Slightly sweet, warming and stimulating, I can feel a gently energetic movement into my hands and feet and throughout my musculature. I notice also that my breathing has softened and relaxed.  The name Artemisia speaks in praise of the Moon Goddess, Artemis, ancient goddess of nature and patroness of women.  A restorative by nature, mugwort, is a soothing friend to today’s woman, caught up in the many roles of career, child rearing, managing home, a business or a family, with little time to spare for nurturing herself. Mugwort attends to those situations where women may have suffered abuse, been swallowed into poverty, or healing from a difficult pregnancy or abortion. Tending to withdraw, they suffer from depression or have otherwise insulated themselves from their own emotions. Mugwort helps to restore and soulfully heal the female nature.

artemisia-vulgaris-1Historically Artemisia has been used successfully for premenstrual symptoms, stimulating a sluggish menstruation, to speed labor, or to assist in expelling the placenta after birthing. It is typically the leaf and stem of the plant that are used as medicine, either fresh or dried.  In those cases it is taken as a tea or herbal bath. Mugwort oil can be used topically to massage the abdomen and uterus for alleviating stagnation and bloating typically associated with PMS, stimulating the movement of uterine release. An herbal compress may also be helpful. Topically in a salve, compress or wash mugwort can be used to treat rashes, itching, bruising and swelling, insect bites and boils. As a foot soak, it is both warming and soothing.

Mugwort has been used by the Chinese for centuries in tea formulations for prolonged menstrual bleeding, for a restless fetus, for threatened miscarriage, and any abdominal pain due to cold. These may seem contradictory; however, herbs can have different effects depending upon the dosage. The dry leaf can also be rolled by hand into a ball and placed and lighted atop acupuncture needles for warming and introducing “qi” into the body at specific acupuncture points. This technique is called moxibustion and is an excellent way to expel cold from the body..

Also called Cronewort, Artemesia is known to assist in regulating hormones and reducing hot flashes in menopausal women. It can be prepared as a tea or tincture for these purposes.  On a more esoteric level, an oil infusion of Cronewort can be used as a ceremonial anointment for scrying, visioning or active dreaming. As a tea or flower essence taken at bedtime, Mugwort can enhance vivid dreaming and dream recall. The plant is said to encourage and support intuition, creativity, and dream visioning.

Artemisia vulgaris is a member of the Sunflower family (Asteraceae). As shown in the photo, the leaf is deeply lobed, dark green on the upper surface and a silvery grey underneath. Stems are maroon, purple or brown. Plants can grow between 5-8 feet in height. Once established, mugwort requires little attention, average soil, and light to moderate water.

Originating in Asia and Mediterranean regions, Artemesia is not native to the Rocky Mountains, but is easy to cultivate here. A moderately organic sandy loam with no special soil amendment offers ample growth medium. Once established mugwort is a robust grower, seeds readily and can quickly become the center of attention if not managed. Its stems offer a colorful texture to the dormant winter garden.

Mugwort is available as a loose tea, tincture and infused oil through Three Sisters Apothecary.

NOTE: Photo compliments of PROTA4U.

Christina MacLeod, Westcliffe, Colorado, January 14, 2013