Above are the first results of my attempts at plant medicine making here in the PNW. Wine of Life, an Elderberry cordial, and an Elderberry immunity syrup. Not pictured is a salve that I made as well.
I first became interested in plant medicine/herbalism while I was living in Senegal: when I would come down with a cold, flu, stomach ailment, anything, my host father would take me out into the fields and would teach me about which plants were good for easing which ills and how it should be prepared.
These strategies were common practice and even commoner knowledge. While I was down and out with my first real stomach illness a friend brought me a drink that had been steeped with the bark of a cashew tree. It worked like a charm!
From then on I tried to learn as much as I could about traditional medicine in Senegal (called “Wolof medicine” by the people I lived with, who were, of course, Wolof). And beyond that it was a great way to get to know people and places. Exploring the area around where I lived I learned about the ecology, people, and history of the place all while soaking in all the wisdom I could about these plants and their uses.
I’m looking forward to doing something similar here: learning, making, and sharing all of these things.