As a herbal teacher who’s taught over one hundred students here on Salt Spring Island, I meet amazing people. I’ve had the opportunity to meet ALL OF YOU – but some of you only meet the students you are in class with. This is my gesture for introducing all of you to each other! Ange Conley is a wise soul who’s taken both the first and second year level Alchemy of Herbal Medicine 2010-2012. What a wonderful few years I had spending each month with her.
“Upon taking Seraphina’s Herbal Medicine classes, I felt inspired to bring some of the knowledge that I gained to my local community on Pender Island. My final class project I chose to make a zine on how we can use herbs to support and heal ailments in children and babies. My confidence in this area grew through my research, and I decided this could be a starting point in how I could share this information further. I decided to create a series of wildcrafting and medicine making classes for children age 8-12. So far I’ve taught 2 different groups with a total of 9 children. Their ability to retain information, and apply the knowledge has been humbling and incredibly satisfying to see!!
I had heard about and even seen the magical play amongst the island kids and their deep connection to the natural world. Growing up in a rural setting allows their senses to stay closely in tune with the natural cycles, and to observe their own unique understanding of a plants medicine. I saw the opportunity to help expand on their beautiful knowledge and to offer some guidance and support into their already profound intuitions of a plant. It has been a joy to see how they understand energetics, in the purest most obvious way! Observations that we as adults so easily overlook. Some of the plants that we have been studying are stinging nettle, plantain, dandelion, lemon balm, rose, calendula and oregon grape root to name a few. The goal is to harvest and make medicine in every class which they can then take home to share with their family and build their own herbal apothecary! I chose plants to work with that are safe and will be in their own backyards, and they will feel confident in identifying and using them.
After our first class together learning about stinging nettle and plantain, I later learned from a parent of a story that had been circulating around the playground. An imaginary situation had been created of a little girl falling into a patch of stinging nettles. To her relief, their happened to be hundreds of plantains around. So the little girls friends picked some plantain leaves and applied a poultice directly to the nettle stings. She felt immediate relief and continued to apply the plantain as needed. An amazing story for me to hear, I loved that they were creating an imaginary scenario that involved healing with plants and working together.” Here’s a favourite recipe: ROSE INFUSED HONEY Quart size mason jar Rose petals to fill the jar 4 cups of honey ( organic and unpasteurized) Harvest rose petals mid day to make sure there is no moisture on them. In a clean glass mason jar, loosely fill it with the rose petals leaving a few inches of room at the top. Pour over your honey, making sure that the petals are completely covered. You may want to stir them around a little to ensure that the honey sits above your plant material. Let sit in a sunny place for approximately 2-3 weeks. Strain through a muslin cloth over a colander squeezing out as much of the honey as you can. Compost the petals and store honey back into a glass jar. Enjoy in tea, on toast, in baking, or simply straight off the spoon. * Roses are rich in vitamin C and trace minerals, and are a wonderful herb for protecting our hearts. Thank you Ange!