I come from a lineage of traditional healers and medicine women of the-Panamanian, Cuna tribe. My great grandmother was a curandera and she worked with plants and prayers. My first memories of talking to plants and preparing food in a very sacred way were with her. I was there with her when she passed away and remember giving her permission to leave the earth. She gave me the gifts of healing and " listening "abilities in the dream, plant and spirit world. I'm currently enrolled in the Sacred Journey School of Herbal Wisdom and I'm noticing my awakening to the plants talking to me. I always spoke and listened to the plants and animals, as a young child, but it seems they are showing themselves to me even more than before. My awareness of them is more keen and fine tuned.
I took a trip to the Redwoods last summer and felt the strong energy and ancestors of the Big Sur area. It was a profound, peaceful and spiritual experience!
I recently learned about Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) elixir, which is Redwood leaves and bark infused in brandy and honey. This is a very sacred medicine since the Redwoods are endangered. It is not respectful to wildcraft a lot of this medicine. If you are wildcrafting Redwoods only use small amounts of the tips and younger limbs and always ask permission of the tree.
My herbalist teacher had some elixir and my son and I tasted it and it brought us back to that feeling of being in the Redwoods. The Redwood roots run very shallow but wide in the soil covering much of the topsoil and connecting with other Redwoods. The messages they give us is community, strength, patience, and an ancient connection to our ancestors.
In the Texas region we have Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) trees which are the closest thing to the Redwoods we have. I decided to make some medicine with the cypress tree since they are so prevalent in Austin. It is recommended to harvest these in the spring but, I am experimenting!
I collected tips, small limbs, leaves and nuts from these trees. They really wanted me to use them for medicine. It was a rainy day and they were begging me to take them, so I took that as a good sign. I burned sage, played music and prayed over them as, I chopped up the bark, leaves nuts and infused them in a mason jar with brandy and Quartz crystals for clarity. It is a beautiful ceremony every time I am honored to make medicine. I will leave the infusions in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks and then I will add local honey for a yummy cypress elixir. This medicine is good for any kinds of internal or external bleeding, lung conditions, hemorrhoids, asthma and, bladder infections. I look forward to seeing where the medicine takes me when it's done brewing!