Covid Medicine from Forest Messages

While I was exploring the forest in the slow days, I noticed we were having an abundant year for Reishi and I kept hearing messages about combining the seen and unseen, the mycelium and the tree, the shadow and the light.

We are experiencing a life many of us never expected… we are living during the uncertainty of a pandemic. Hedge & Hollow has created a special medicine created by listening to the forest during the time of quarantine. While I was exploring the forest in the slow days, I noticed we were having an abundant year for Reishi and I kept hearing messages about combining the seen and unseen, the mycelium and the tree, the shadow and the light. From these messages, 2 medicines were created with the health needs of this pandemic in mind. They are not only a powerful immune/lung medicine, but also full of the energetics and poetry we need at this current time.  

Reishi is known as the Mushroom of Immortality and is a powerful adaptogen. It helps to balance all parts of our body- our immune system, stress levels, metabolism and so forth. It is also good for the heart (a part of our bodies we all need to focus on listening to and strengthening). Reishi is also a medicine to relieve allergies- helping to make the little things irritating our systems lessen.  

Reishi grows on our dying Hemlock trees here in the Appalachian Mountains. The trees are sick with wooly adelgid and their decaying bodies speckle our mountain tops with their bald limb spires where once it was thick and furry with evergreen needles. Hemlock trees are the gentle giants that protect our mountains and rivers from erosion, provide shade and safe homes for wildlife and help provide therapeutic “blue forest light” when they filter the sun through its needles. Hemlocks are givers, even in the tree’s death it gifts us another powerful and poetic medicine.  

Hemlock Trees are also an immune enhancer; it helps to build the immune system and to lessen the duration of a sickness. Hemlock also has an affinity for the lungs and is a tonic for the respiratory system.  

Hedge & Hollow has made two medicines incorporating this powerful, much needed medicine.  

REISHI TINCTURE 1oz-$12, 2oz-$22 (+$8 shipping) 

A double extraction of responsibly wild harvested Reishi Mushroom from the Appalachian Mountains. Using a double extraction process with a gluten free cane alcohol and mountain spring water, this medicine is powerful and potent. (1 dropper per day dosage to boost immune system, balance all body activity, reduce inflammation, provide allergy relief, and help the heart function) 

FOREST RESILIENCE TINCTURE 1oz-$15, 2oz-$28 (+$8 shipping) 

A double extraction of Reishi Mushroom combined with fresh Hemlock needle tips responsibly wild harvested from the Appalachian Mountains.  This tincture made with gluten free cane alcohol and mountain spring water combines the seen and unseen, the light and the dark, the tree and mycelium creating a full cycle medicine. Reishi is a powerful immune system enhancer and combined with it’s counterpart, Hemlock which is known as a lung tonic. These pair for a special medicine during Covid-19. (1 dropper per day dosage to boost immune system and support healthy lung function) 

Hedge & Hollow will be donating 10% of sales of our Reishi Covid-19 medicines to the Official Navajo Covid-19 Relief Fund.  www.navajo.fund 

As an eastern European settler and herbalist on stolen land of the Cherokee people, I am committed to giving back to the Native people of this land. At this time of Covid-19, Native Americans are facing high death rates as our government once again denies them what they need to survive. Please read more here: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/native-american-health-center-asked-covid-19-supplies-they-got-n1200246 

I recently had a Covid scare when my 19 year old daughter became very ill suddenly with a high fever, swollen glands and body aches. After a week in quarantine, we received negative test results. I was able to treat and monitor her, get her fever down and keep myself healthy. This experience has inspired me to put together Covid Care Kits that will be donated to the mutual aid group in my area, Boone Community Relief. If you are interested in helping with this project by donating herbs/medicine/supplies or helping to wildcraft and make needed medicine, please reach out. It is very important that we all take care of each other in this pandemic.  

For more info about mutual aid during the pandemic please visit https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/collective-care/

To order, please make payment to PayPal.Me/hedgeandhollow 

Also available for in person pick-up in the local High Country area (Watauga, Avery, Ashe, Mitchell, Yancey County) 

AIR: Nature Magic for Survivors Spring 2019 FREE GIFT TO YOU

Available for download now, a free gift for Survivors in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

Available for download now, a free gift for Survivors in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

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Below, you can find the workbook for Hedge & Hollow’s FREE event this weekend which aims to connect Survivors to nature for healing. **More details can be found in this blog post: https://hedge-hollow.com/2019/03/13/a-gift-for-survivors-in-honor-of-sexual-assault-awareness-month/

I hope you enjoy this and I wish you all happiness and healing. May you fall in love with yourself and the natural world around you

********DOWNLOAD BOOKLET BELOW*********

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A Gift for Survivors in Honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I have a gift for all my survivor sisters out there!This is my love letter to all of you and to myself.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I have a gift for all my survivor sisters out there! I will be offering a FREE workshop that will focus on tools for Survivors to connect into nature for healing and fall in love with themselves and their embodied experience in the natural world around them. For non-local Survivors, the workbook zine for this workshop will be available to download for FREE during the month of April. This is my love letter to all of you and to myself.

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As Survivors, we crave deep connection… to each other, to ourselves and to something bigger than ourselves. This workshop is about connecting into the liberating life force of Spring and the element of Air for deep restorative and intimate connection. Connecting into the Magic all around us, and recognizing how we are connected to it can deeply aid us on our healing journeys. I created this workshop two years ago while undergoing some deep healing work of my own and helping my daughter on her own healing journey. It is the first of a four part series, each one focused on a different season and element and how that relates to us as Survivors and the connections we desire. Recently I felt a strong call to make this available and extremely accessible to all Survivors and I am very excited to share this labor of love and healing with you!

In this workshop you can expect to learn:

  • Tools for relaxation, embodiment and grounding using Nature/Spring/Air that can be added to your toolbox of healing resources
  • Rituals for release and renewal that you will want to use again and again on your healing journey
  • Information on the plants and stones associated with Spring/Air and how they help trauma and healing
  • A connection to a magical place you can visit on your own in the future
  • And much much more!

On Sunday April 7th we will spend the day in a beautiful location about 30 miles outside of Boone (60 miles outside of Asheville) on the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Carpool meet up in Boone will be made available. Please bring a few dollars to gift those willing to drive) This workshop is free, but gifts of gratitude are greatly appreciated and allow free workshops like this to continue in the future (Workshop is a $45 value). Dress appropriately for the weather as we will be outside all day and there is no rain date scheduled. We will do some hiking, but nothing strenuous. Please bring a bagged lunch and plenty of water.

PRE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! Limited spots available. Please send an email to phaedrasmommy@gmail.com to register. You will be sent a confirmation email within 24 hrs and more info and details will be emailed a week before the event. Please reach out with any questions you may have.

DISCLAIMER: Although we will not be processing our trauma in this workshop, it does involve inward journeys. Please be aware that trauma and shadow work is messy and often difficult. Only take part in what feels safe to you and have an emergency self care plan in place if needed. Take small steps and know that wherever you are on your healing journey is perfect in this time and place. Be gentle with your beautiful self!

Cicada Magic and Medicine

The life cycle of a cicada is a fascinating thing. Hatched from eggs in branches, a tiny rice grain sized nymph instinctively crawls to a branch edge and with out a second thought, steps off the edge falling and falling into the soft forest floor where it begins to burrow. It retreats to the dark for safety and comfort. It remains in this underworld for 13 to 17 years (depending on the species), feeding on the roots of trees and perhaps listening to the discussions the trees share underground through their web of mycellium. They live with their other cicada nymph friends building camaraderie until the fateful warm spring evening that they emerge to the surface in a riot of new life. They rely on each other and their tough shell for protection while they search for a safe space to attach and emerge. Not only have they crawled and scraped their way to the surface emerging like fingernails in the garden soil, but now their tender bodies and delicate wings must be reborn through the hard shell that once was their body. They rest and become stronger, until their bodies vibrate in song and they call out to each other, searching for their old friends in new bodies and celebrate finding each other once again in the magic of creation.

The cicada story is rich with symbolism and meaning and offers us a great deal of medicine and magic.

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The biggest is the story of transformation. The cicada goes through many transformations, one of which is 17 years long- the other just a few short weeks. Sometimes it can feel dark, or like we’ve been in the same place for too long. Sometimes we are afraid. We have instincts that tell us to go underground, or crawl to the light, to fall from the branch or take to the sky. Not everything becomes a butterfly once, transformation can happen again and again.

The cicada tells the story of revival- right after birth, they leave the earth to go to the underworld, it emerges again after many many years, where they immediately leave behind the body they knew are reborn into a winged body-pink and delicate- that is called to dry in the newly experienced sun, unfurl and take to the sky.

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The cicada brings a passionate energy and a sensuality. A feeling of freedom and liberation- of being in the moment and enjoying it to the fullest, letting it fill and vibrate you till you actually create audible notes.  The cicada after it’s winged rebirth, sings out and follows the songs of other cicadas so that they can complete their life cycle in a loud and spectacular show of passion .Although very old, they remind us that passion can have us as clumsy as teenagers in fast growing bodies and new independence who are trying gracefully to reach what we want, but become blind to anything else around us and bump and crash to what is moving in the peripheral.

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The cicada operates in a group and bring about the spirit of community. They are gentle creatures, as you would consider those who grew up talking to trees to be; and have no defenses others than each other- they rely on their numbers for protection. Although independent, the cicadas operate in a whole as a single moving mass. Perhaps this is why they are often misidentified as locusts. I find great inspiration in the spirit of revolution– the cicadas wait for a crack in the warm spring ground and seize their opportunity exploding in a moment of action. The cicada enjoys it’s new found flight and independence but after flying off, it desperately calls out for a cicada singing the same song of passion- they enjoy their connection to each other and seek it in all stages. It also speaks of family (chosen or blood) and how we nurture each other with patience and in ways of cooperation.How kind and loving the years spent underground must have been,  for them to seek companionship when they have been given wings to fly anywhere they wish to go!

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The cicada also speaks the story of timing. Of knowing, instinctively what not only is best for yourself and what is best for the group. They all know to wait 17 years before they all get the urge that Now, NOw, NOW is the time. Even after crawling to the surface, and then taking to the sky, they know to vibrate and sing and they consider the timing in their replies and overlaps and silences. Listening to them sing in the summer and truly becoming absorbed in their sound can take you on a great meditation journey into reflections about timing. Let your ears hear the individual songs and the harmony they all create in song together. Go in to the forest during the summer or listen to THIS TRACK.

If you want to know more about the cicada life cycle, here is a wonderful video that warms my heart. Return of the Cicadas

A cute song made in duet with a cicada: Baby Bug

An art installation about Cicadas: Magicicada Dublin

And finally, Sir David Attenborough shows you how to call a cicada! Amazing Cicada

 

Imbolic Fire Cider Recipe -You Can’t Trademark The People’s Medicine

Fire Cider is an old folk medicine, made in many different homes in many different ways, often passed down through the generations like a good chicken soup recipe. Despite it’s differences, it’s basis is the same: onions, garlic, hot peppers and other aromatics are infused into vinegar, strained, and then added to honey or something sweet. It is taken by the spoonful in the cold season to warm the body and chase away sickness. I make this in my family and we take it on days when we wake up with a sniffly nose, scratchy throat or a general tired run down feeling and (knock on wood) we generally don’t get winter colds.

February 2nd was World Fire Cider Day. Everyone was encouraged to make and share their Fire Cider Recipe with the hashtag #freefirecider

The reason for this is to call attention and garner support for the fact that a business called Shire City Herbs has trademarked the generic herbal term for a folk remedy. As if that isn’t bad enough, they are suing small herbalist for making and selling their own versions of fire cider. You can read more about the Free Fire Cider Movement HERE. Sign the petition to remove the trademark HERE. Be sure to boycott Shire City Herbs and buy from a small herbalist or better yet, MAKE YOUR OWN FIRE CIDER!

For World Fire Cider Day and Imbolic, I made a batch of Fire Cider and I am including my recipe below. While many people will tell you to buy local and organic, which are certainly wise options, it may not always be possible. It is far better to make-do and concoct this medicine with what is available to you for you and your family, than to not make it at all. I live in a small mountain town with one grocery store and it is also winter, so my choices were slim. Crappy garlic, no fresh turmeric or horseradish didn’t ruin my plan to participate- I just looked elsewhere for ways to supplement. Do not let “the perfect ingredients”, money, or scarcity stop you from taking this into your own hands! (You can even use a recycled spaghetti sauce jar if you don’t have a mason jar.)

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My Imbolic Fire Cider used some holiday flavors on top of the traditional ingredients to make this a special seasonal blend. I added foraged white pine, a good blast of vitamin C; chickweed, another nutrient rich addition that also marks one of the first signs of spring spotted on this halfway mark of winter; and cranberry and clementine, traditional flavors of wintertime and another punch of vitamins.

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Imbolic Fire Cider

2 small onions, diced

2 elephant garlic cloves, chopped

1 jalapeno and 1 habanero

2 thumbsized pieces of ginger, chopped

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 clementine, zest and juice

3 fresh rosemary springs

1 white pine top

1 bunch fresh chickweed

small handfull fresh cranberries

1 Tblsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cayenne powder

Put all ingredients into a quart mason jar. press it down with a wooden spoon and fill the jar with Apple Cider Vinegar. Cover with a plastic lid or line a metal one with wax or parchment paper. put in a dark place and shake daily for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, strain the vinegar using cheesecloth (or a fine mesh sieve works too). After straining, you can add 1/4 cup honey (or more to taste) stirring to incorporate or mix when needed. (I mix a small shotglass of honey and cider as needed so I can add more for the kids.)