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.

25. April 2016 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~World Healing Exchange · Categories: Health and Healing, Wellness, World Healing Exchange

Acupuncture and the World Healing Exchange
Acupuncturists Without Borders
Loreto, Mexico Baja California Sur
Christina MacLeod, L.Ac., MPH

It is a warm, sunny day in late January, 2016. The quiet fishing village of Loreto, Mexico, sits along the protected south eastern shoreline of the Baja peninsula. In the early months of winter, the town witnesses the familiar arrival of migrating blue and grey whales, there to mate and birth in the safe waters of their bay in the Sea of Cortez. On this day, however, the people wait in anticipation for the arrival of another kind of “pod”. A group of twelve American acupuncturists, all volunteer members of Acupuncturists Without Boarders (AWB) will be offering community-style treatments at the DIF family health center. I am among the American care-givers This is my first time attending an AWB World Healing Exchange. I smile with enthusiasm as a group of about 65 men, women and children of all ages file through the door and take their seats, ready to receive the simple 5-needle ear treatment, designed to address the health issues that come with their increasingly complicated and stressful lives.


With an interpreter on hand, an initial orientation in Spanish offers encouragement and comfort to those who are first-timers. Six practitioners divide the room into manageable groups and the treatments begin. Other team members greet new arrivals, monitor supplies, keep records, or help as needed. Within twenty minutes, the energy in the room has palpably shifted. Silence prevails, breathing slows and deepens, and a sense of peace and calm fills the space. A few heads nod, others sit with eyes closed or gazing softly. At the end of 45 minutes, the needles are removed and people are encouraged to share their experiences. There seems to be overwhelming agreement that the experiences are positive for those who shared.

During the week-long visit, over 100 individuals received treatment by AWB volunteers in two separate clinic events. The most frequently asked question was “When would the team come back again?” “The people were so receptive and appreciative of our care. We were showered with gratitude by even the most tentative of participants. A deep satisfaction and fullness filled the hearts of our entire treatment team”. With a degree in Public Health, I find herself quite at home offering this simple yet powerful treatment in a public setting that serves many at the same time. Plans are underway through AWB for the next World Healing Exchange to take place in the Yucatan in November, 2016. I hopes to attend.


Monthly community-style acupuncture clinics are ongoing here in Westcliffe at the West Custer County Library on Main Street, modeled after the AWB ear treatment protocol. The walk-in events are scheduled for the third Thursday of the month between 11am-1:30pm. Clinics are on a donation basis, $20 suggested. The needles are placed on the ear for a total body effect and without the need to disrobe. The treatment offers clearing and rebalancing of the nervous system and returns vitality to all the organ systems of the body. Half of all revenue from the Westcliffe clinics is given back to non-profits like AWB for their global health initiatives in communities experiencing trauma or family displacement from natural disasters.

AWB was founded as a non-profit in 2006 by current CEO Diana Fried of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in response to hurricane Katrina, initially offering support to first responders. Since that time, volunteer teams have been deployed to New Orleans, Haiti, Nepal, Guatemala and other sites worldwide, treating medical teams as well as families affected or displaced by trauma or disaster events. The Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps, with the same clinical ear protocol, is highly organized and ready to mobilize quickly for any trauma event in Colorado. In addition, spin-off community-style clinics are being established on and off military bases, addressing PTSD and other health issues for veterans and their families.

11. May 2015 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~Moving Ahead with Community-style Acupuncture · Categories: Health and Healing, Wellness, Yarrow's Garden Blog

Announcing Community-style Acupuncture in Westcliffe

On Thursday afternoon, May 21, between the hours of 3 and 6pm, all are invited to join Three Sisters Medicine alternative medicine practice at the West Custer County Library Community Room. Resident acupuncture practitioner Christina MacLeod, L.Ac., MPH will be offering Community-style acupuncture for stress management and wellness. Community acupuncture, now popular in many of the large cities across the United States, offers treatment for clearing, recharging and resetting the body’s nervous system in a safe and quiet setting, without the need to remove clothing, and at an affordable cost. Treatments last 30 minutes. $20 suggested donation.



Here are some of the amazing benefits of this healing modality:

                                                                           ♠ Manages Stress
                                                                           ♠ Clears and recharges the physical body
                                                                           ♠ Harmonizes and Balances Body, mind and Spirit
                                                                           ♠ Touches the Heart and Soul
                                                                           ♠ Opens Creativity
                                                                           ♠ Resets the Body’s Energies
                                                                           ♠ Safe, Quiet Space
                                                                           ♠ No Need to Disrobe
                                                                           ♠ Convenient and Affordable
                                                                           ♠ A great Self-Care Tool

We look forward to seeing you on May 21. Don’t be shy. You will love how you feel!

24. September 2014 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~ Valley Wildflower Honey Harvest · Categories: Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Wellness, Yarrow's Garden Blog

As we witness the mountains and pastures transform into highlights of yellow, orange, maroon, and golden brown, the flow of golden wildflower honey matches the colors of the season. Beekeepers in the Northern Hemisphere are as busy as their bee friends this time of year, harvesting the last of the honey and preparing the hives for winter. In Colorado, a single bee colony needs, on average, about 100 pounds of honey to survive the winter, depending upon its length and severity as well as elevation. It’s hot and sticky business, but last weekend, with the help of my mentor, Father Dan Jones and friend Don Mercill, we harvested and extracted an estimated 85+ pounds, over and above what was left for the overwinter needs of the bees.

The open hive above shows a colony busy at work filling and capping beeswax comb. These frames are ready for harvesting and processing. Pure,capped, honey-filled comb is pictured below.

Aug-2012 008

This year’s nectar flow has slowed considerably, now that a few frosty nights have curtailed flowering. Foraging bees will  continue to collect nectar and pollen for another few weeks, depending upon the availability of viable flowers. Inside the hive, work will continue to feed brood, cap open honey cells, maintain the ambient temperature of the hive, and care for their queen.


The honey we harvest will undergo uncapping, spinning and filtering before it is bottled and ready for market. Shown here is one of the more difficult tasks of the extraction process, uncapping the frames. A hot knife is drawn over the top of the comb exposing the honey for spinning. A specially designed centrifuge is used to spin the honey out of the combs and into an awaiting container.

The honey is further warmed and filtered to eliminate wax particulates, then bottled and stored for enjoyment on warm biscuits or scones or, delightfully, by the spoonful. Raw honey, not exposed to high temperatures, will retain its enzymes and its greatest health benefits. It may crystallize but will never go bad. Honey was one of the treasures found in the tombs of the ancient pharaohs, still as fresh and edible as the day it was poured.

Many healing properties are attributed to the golden miracle of honey. Analysis shows that honey contains over 75 different ingredients, including natural medicines gathered by the bees in their foraging process. Bees are naturally attracted to the diverse nectar and pollen offerings of wildflowers. Contained within their harvests are complex enzymes, organic acids and esters, antibiotic agents, trace minerals, and plant hormones. A range of vitamins including B complex, C, D, E, K and beta carotene have also been identified in raw honey samplings.

Well known are the skin healing properties of honey. Topically, its sweet stickiness acts as a lubricant to hydrate all skin types. Wound healing is accelerated as honey acts as a natural bandage for burns, ulcers, surgical incisions and skin infections, often without the trace of a scar. In addition to its use for cellular regeneration, honey is an excellent remedy for chronic respiratory ailments, including colds and flu, pollen allergies, dry cough, chronic bronchitis, and various asthmatic conditions. Although side effects have been rarely reported, caution should be taken by those allergic to bee stings. Avoid giving honey to children one year of age or younger, as their digestion may not be able to break down or assimilate any possible toxins the honey could carry. Honey is now being widely used in burn centers for its miraculous ability in healing deep and serious skin traumas.

Local, raw wildflower honey is an amazing superfood, life-giving and naturally healthful. With each spoonful, let us remember that our honeybees worked incredibly hard to produce this delectable gold. Their well being comes first and then humans get to enjoy the benefits of their abundance.


Stephen H. Buhner, Herbal Antibiotics
James Duke, The Green Pharmacy
Lesley Tierra, Herbs of Life
Stephanie Tourles, Organic Body Care

Photo credits: Ruth Calvin Boothe, Christina MacLeod


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: 719.371-1315 to schedule an appointment.



29. August 2013 · Comments Off on Yarrow’s Garden Blog~GRINDELIA squarrosa~History Reveals · Categories: Ethnobotanical, Health and Healing, Plant Medicines, Wellness, Yarrow's Garden Blog

Curly-cup Gumweed ~A Scruffy Plant worth Finding

My passion for medicinal plants has taken an interesting twist this month. Quite by coincidence, I have been harvesting a local high prairie native, Grindelia squarrosa, for its exceptional ability to address the mucous congestion of coughs and bronchitis. At the same time, a tangential interest in the botanical findings of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806), is providing a rich historical perspective into this valuable plant as medicine.

Augustpics 179On August 17, 1804, according to their notes, in the prairie habitat outside an Omaha Indian village in Dakota County, Nebraska, specimens of Grindelia squarrosa, also known as Curly-Cup Gumweed were collected as part of the expedition’s botanical findings during their three-year exploration of the American West. History is not one of my better suits, but looking through a botanical lens, my passion for plants finds this compelling. For all the times the question “What makes a plant native?” has been asked, we touch upon a perspective that gives us an answer. This plant was in common use by North America’s native Peoples prior to Anglo exploration.

Merriweather Lewis, an extraordinary naturalist, was chosen by then president Thomas Jefferson, to lead the expedition west across the northern tier of the Great Plains and beyond, with cartographer William Clark. They encountered village after village of Crow, Blackfeet, Cree, Cheyenne, Dakota, Flathead, Gros Ventres and Shoshone all using boiled decoctions of Grindelia as tea internally for coughs, pneumonia, digestive colic and urinary tract maladies. Topically the plant was commonly made into poultices for skin sores, swellings and poison-ivy-like blistering rashes.

Today, the genus Grindelia ranges widely in the US, Canada and south into the Chihuahuan region of Mexico, mostly west of the Mississippi River and into the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. It presents as kind of a weedy, unkept plant, offering good medicine, but not particularly adding beauty to the landscape or a “proper” garden. Most mature plants are 2-3 feet in height, appear shrub-like, and grow in sandy, rocky and poor soils, along roadsides, building sites and open grasslands. July, 2013 083Most sources agree that Gumweed is a biennial or short-lived perennial, surviving on nothing more than the mercy of seasonal moisture. Grindelia squarrosa is host to the Blister Beetle (Zonitis sayi, Family: Meloidae), shown here.

Curly-cup Gumweed is a member of the Sunflower or Asteraceae family. Its oval, linear leaves clasp alternately to its sturdy erect stems. Leaf margins are broadly toothed; with leaf surfaces relatively smooth except for numerous resinous glands found throughout. Grindelia flowers are a bright golden yellow with flat disc surfaces up to 2cm in diameter. Flowering begins by mid-July, their discs initially covered by a sticky, milky sap. Some species of Grindelia are rayless (without petals), while others have short ray florets appearing after the milky stage. Each flower head is held in a cup-like structure called an involucre, covered with sticky curled bracts. It is at the milky stage that the flowers and leaves are gathered for medicine.

Augustpics 182Many types of remedies can be prepared from Grindelia. Fresh, the flowers can be made into a tincture, the resinous sap being extracted only by a high percentage grain alcohol. The leaves and flowers can be dried and later used as a tea. Both tea and tincture are useful for a dry, spasmotic cough, bronchitis, or for asthmatic breathing. Its medicine helps to break up sticky, dry phlegm so that a cough becomes productive. Grindelia has an affinity for the lungs, helps open the chest, promotes expectoration, and relaxes breathing.

Grindelia flowers can also be infused into a high quality olive oil for topical use at a later time. As a medicinal oil, soothing salve, a poultice, or in tincture form, Gumweed has a wide range of topical applications for poison ivy/oak reactions, insect bites, burns, eczema, bed sores, herpes lesions and stubborn wounds that resist healing. It promotes tissue repair, reduces inflammation, stops itching, and moistens and benefits the skin. NOTE: From personal experience, the alcohol tincture works best on poison ivy rashes because of the drying effect of the alcohol.

TSA_products 011This harvest season, I’ll be making an alcohol (organic) tincture and an oil infusion of this healing plant. Its pleasant, balsamic aroma is unmistakable and its medicine powerful. The kitchen will be a sticky mess before I’m finished, but the end result will be a great medicine for coughs, combined with with thyme, osha root, and hyssop. For an all-purpose healing salve (pictured right), I will combine grindelia, calendula, comfrey, and plantain. It is quite satisfying to create relationship with a plant prized so long ago, knowing that it is still appreciated and used for its healing gifts.


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.


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.

20. June 2013 · Comments Off on National Pollinator Week · Categories: Plant Medicines, Wellness

Hi Everyone~

This is National Pollinator Week. As our climate heaves and blows, our pollinators are greatly impacted. What are you doing to support them on your piece of heaven? Want more vegetables–grow more flowers– and watch the pollinators find your veggie blossoms. Without these precious friends, we would not be able to survive. Grow plants that are early and late pollen and nectar sources, have fresh water available, and landscape with pollinator magnet plants for a thriving garden and colorful environment.

28. January 2013 · Comments Off on Thoughts on Authenticity · Categories: Health and Healing, Wellness

By Christina MacLeod

What does it mean to be authentic? Authenticity is being real with yourself, telling yourself the truth through the lens of neutrality. It comes from a deep awareness of patterns, triggers, and emotional reactions to stimuli outside of ourselves and our spontaneous inner responses. Authenticity is acceptance of myself as I am, deeply knowing that I am so much more than my appearance, my perceived limitations, my lack of confidence, or even my process.  Looking into my own eyes reflected back and saying Yes! there is a raw honesty that comes with facing and holding every flaw, every limitation, without the need for pretense or other forms of hiding. The result is genuineness. People don’t always like or feel comfortable around the truth of others. It’s not always pretty or happy. The choice is a conscious one, to be real, un-adapted, un-defended. “What you see is what you get”, if you are ready to look deeply into the Spirit behind those eyes. True authenticity is being in the moment, with the desire and ability to meet life with whole-hearted spontaneity. What others think and feel or how they choose to respond to my authentic nature is their reaction. It’s not that I don’t care how people respond; it is, more importantly, that my behavior is not pre-planned to evoke a certain response, be it admiration, praise or any other means of unhealthy manipulated attraction. This can be a life’s work for many of us, who come from co-dependent roots, shame based family systems, or fall to the expectations of others who do not grasp or respect the relevance or importance of healthy, un-adapted boundaries.

When walking the path of authenticity, I believe it important to be vigilant, especially at the early stages of embracing this journey.  As a life choice, its core feels like honesty with self, acceptance of what is, and being out in the world in that way; determined not to fall into old patterns of right and wrong, finding fault, pretense, or making oneself better than or less than.  So, authenticity also involves equanimity, a sense of fairness and justice. Perception can be a tricky and illusive phenomenon. No one can be in another’s shoes. No two people see the world in exactly the same way. Authenticity implies a respect for one’s uniqueness and the uniqueness of others. With an authentic presence, discernment of fairness and equality is possible. I can then let go of the instances when I don’t feel heard or recognized or met. A subtle shift takes place in our attachment to what transpires in the outside world. There is a freedom, a carefree spirit that can relax and release into the perfection of any given moment, in the knowing that all is as it should be. A quiet recognition that joy comes from living that freedom, a meaningful knowing that we control the quality of our experiences with self and other.

Authenticity requires that both sides of the brain, the linear and the imaginative, join together in alchemical union, and then once interwoven, allowing greater trust in our perceptions. Then choosing our actions from that place of harmonious balance. Without self-knowledge and practice, authentically healthy ways of being in the world can be sabotaged by unknown, unidentified, and unmet needs. The goal then becomes using situations and others to gratify the self. The opportunity for clean, truthful and respectful relationships then slips out of our grasp into the realm of possibility instead of reality.

What I have been describing up to now is active authenticity, that is, us reaching out into our interactive world with others. There is also a type of receptive authenticity. In receptive mode, authenticity involves paying close attention to the details and feeling tones of our sense impressions, both inwardly and outwardly, actively and receptively, linearly, intuitively and metaphorically. Whether we are in meditation, chatting over coffee, or in the board room, the call is to engage the wise Self on all levels in perceiving the real information that is being communicated by another person, circumstance or phenomenon; truly seeing, hearing, recognizing and meeting Other. It might also be experienced as “reading between [or through] the lines”. This type of perception requires a neutral, open state of being, without pre-judgment (prejudice), expectation, or personal agenda. Genuine interpersonal engagement, whether through active expression or active listening, can only happen when there is freedom to be one’s true self in any given situation. Can we look into our own reflection or into the eyes of another and say Yes?

Westcliffe, Colorado, January 28, 2013