Thursday, July 19, 2018

gentian review

        understanding gentian root a basic review.  so here  a basic review...
       in a world created by God everything is God created, plants are living beings they are part of the creation story-song in a specific place. our relationship with plants involves the basic salvation-story of our souls within the creation. the plants and the plant knowledge of people, plants and place is part of the heritage we inherit and move forward. the gentian pictured here is gentian affinis, blue pleated gentian.
     there are many plants of the gentian family and their flowers range from this purple blue flowered variety to pale yellow white. in general it is a plant of high mountain meadows. the use of gentian root and leaves by itself and in bitter formulas is a long tradition.

      gentian works a bitter principle to promote digestion.  gentian is a God created wild plant met in the mountains. God has provided us a healing dialog with plants.  digestion is a bodily process that touches on fire, air, water, earth, each element created by God. digestion  is an ordained by God occurrence in the body for us to live. digestion is taking in. when understanding digestion there is self/not-self, inside/outside. when the body can not extract harmoniously the things it needs to survive from food we need to understand that it is a problem of frontiers and boundaries, inside/outside, self/other.  from that we enter into the auto-immune disorders, inflammation and allergy. the body's ability to recognize self/not-self is compromised.
     traditionally in europe bitter herbal formulas were used before meals as an aperitif. the herbs were preserved in alcohol. gentian root and sometimes leaf was used along with carminative heating herbs in bitter formulas. the dried root as a tea in water is used in the same way. using gentian in this way is meeting the plant face to face where it grows and using the whole plant rather than disecting it in a laboratory or standardizing for specific components.
      understanding and  journey with plants often battles the secular cultural narrative of separation. narrative outside of a compartmentalized world. the cultural narrative  living in a secular, God-less economic zone of the empire the task of the dialectic moving through re-written history is to create through electronic media the new fluid gender generic person to inhabit a purely economic space. there is continuous re-education efforts to fashion people to generic consumers. every effort is made to create a safe environment for the race-less, gender-less participants of perfect consumerism. within the dialectic of modernism tribal-family ties of loyalty to the earth in a specific place must be purged. the question of how to preserve the existence of our people and a future for our children, is not a theory or concept- it is the intricate fabric of life. so when confronting auto-immune processes gone awry it is not only the physical small world body that has been altered but also the eco-systems, the earth household and family that are altered.
      in promoting the dialectic of modernism within the empire new consumer paradise, all kinds of new illnesses arise. because the process of living in a multi-cultural space is often toxic and unsatisfactory within the new consumer paradise. there are continuous efforts to make available boundless supplies of new pharmaceutical drugs available to treat these new illnesses. not only are pharmaceuticals advocated for physical illness, pharmaceuticals are used to alter the emotional heart, the thinking, the mood. yet for every new drug there are unintended consequences. there is no such thing as a drug that works on a particular body system without effecting every other body system. a drug supposedly for the breathing as in asthma must also effect the liver, the heart, the brain, the emotions, the thinking, the personality and gestalt. there are receptor sites all over the body. the body created by God is not a machine. there are no static isolated processes within the body. likewise medication for behavioral issues, mood and thought disorders don't stay within the brain. dopamine, and serotonin receptor sites are found throughout the body, effecting every body system. again the body is not a machine. medications built in a lab do not have smooth machine like functions within the body. A medication taken for a thought disorder effects the heart's ability to pump blood, effects the pancreas and glucose/insulin dynamic, breathing and respiration.
these so called psych meds while also effecting the entire body dynamic also effect people of different genetic/racial differently.  
     currently i live and was raised in empire. my language, english is empire. in the grand bargain the language of my parents was hush hush so that their offspring, not children, but off spring could participate in empire.  from the social standpoint, the huge experimental process of empire building accelerating. part of the vast social experiment of empire is a conversion to secular life. become interchangeable parts in an economic zone.
     regardless of view, like weed flowers poking out of the asphalt parking lot, people with actual memories, and at times people who because they are created by God, living in a God created world through joy or crisis spontaneously move towards living the old ways with plants such as gentian their medicine.
     our life is not only physical. our life is not only defined by economic terms. part of the cross of Jesus Christ is to portray and advocate for a spiritual place, a home for our people, a community where families may thrive. to view life solely as a material chemical and physical process is to demean it. likewise to understand my work with plants as solely medical, scientific and pharmaceutical is to limit and change what i am doing. any kind of situation i am in is "in him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17:28. it is not that i am living, then digesting, then studying herbs, then going to church. everything is informing one another, because it is in him we have out being. likewise plants. likewise the process of the plants. likewise collecting and gathering plants, it's all sacred activity and spiritual work.
an essential part of this work is tasting the bitter gentian root. developing formulas 
         when you look at the body and look at the mouth and look at the hole where the food leaves the body, it's difficult to find inside and outside. the reason is that the inside/outside of a living being is fundamentally different than the inside/outside of a machine.  beings engage with the world in a fundamentally different way than a machine. the language of empire has accelerated to a technologically place of propaganda. consumers see the world in economic terms. slogans are repeated from movies, television,  and mnemonic repetitive  music. language as a tool of empire doesn't readily capture the overt effort to create a universal economic space. within the dialectic of empire a mode of experiencing is encouraged that makes it difficult to encounter. to further the economic goal of consumerism language embedded in technology shifts the paradigm. one another as persons is shifted to sales, customer service, buying and selling.
     we can think of the cheeks and face as being somehow on the outside. but what about the lips?  are lips inside or outside? or are they at the frontier of inside/outside. as we go further we can see the mucosa of the digestive system somehow inside/outside and frontier. in the body it's like this, the deeper you go you will find it difficult to say inside/outside.  yet there is self and other. and it has to do with movement of elements of fire, wind, water and earth. there is spontaneous recognition of self and other , along with connection and interpenetration with our small world body and the big world spinning planet body. before all else is events with Jesus being born to Virgin Mary now queen of heaven and earth. Elijah his servant on the mt carmel looking for the cloud to bring rain. 1 Kings 18:44 "Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand." 
     we must re-own the cultural narrative of language. language for our history was words spoken. language was words heard remembered. language in the consumer market lab is language/machine. machines speak the words and the drone of electronically repeated phrases broadcast the dialectic of societal revolution. 
      one thing that is absolutely clear is that our lives are not mechanical processes. the plants we use are not mechanical. plants are living beings created by God, they too live and move, and have their being in Jesus Christ. if somebody says, 'the body is like an automobile and food is like gasoline.', or 'the brain is like a computer.', above all re-education is required. if you are seeing gentian working solely through the bitter secoiroid glycosides present in the roots to increase gastric secretions then you have been marginalized. we must be able to speak freely. 
     with all the elements of water, earth, fire, wind there is information of the plants and their qualities. the plants have stayed awhile in place and taken on specific qualities of their place. when we take a plant like gentian we are taking the life of God's breath in our hand with gratitude and intention. Romans 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." above all there must be caution when working with living things. be cautious and alert to what is going on around you and learn how to watch and pray. Mark 14:38 "watch ye and pray." learn to watch and pray let that be your practice.
     water, earth, fire and air, these 4 elements are happening by God in a good way. Genesis 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." so, whatever is happening with gentian,  or plants, our healing herbs or whatever we are  doing while we are alive it is all coming back to this basic understanding and principle. there at a certain point it becomes two and two. just as on the Ark, "two and two with breath" Gen 7:15 "two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life", whatever life we have is on loan from God, not only our life but the life of the plants that we use for healing, all from God. Gen 2:9 "And out of the ground made יהוהElohim to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." whatever is happening or not happening, has to be put into this framework, this principle, this context and this is how we work with the plants. we are always working with an ecosystem which is an earth household, and and with divine providence we must use all our skillful means to have this occur, for self and others.
     with fire we receive our bodily warmth. we are flexible, wet, moist, not cold, lifeless, brittle, dry and stiff.   from wind we receive our breathing in and out. God as the Holy Ghost makes available to us breath. we have borrowed for a short time God's wind. water is our blood in the same way water is a flowing stream or rain from spinning clouds. our body comes from the earth, from rocks, stone or mineral. multiculturalism is wonderful until our deepest heart comes face to face with Christ the King, or Mary the Mother of God. plants only stand approximately to science. learning with plants must happen directly face to face with the plants and a few people here and there. "can't you just tell me what it is?" yes, i would love to tell you what it is however this is not the time or place and we are not ready to speak about gentian and the bitter principle. gentian involves going deeper into our experience.... 
    it helps when approaching  plants  allow the principles to come into play. this may be a foreign concept or a familiar experience.  the work is encouraging others and sharing. i thought it would be best to review basic concepts.
although time is quickly running, it has not run out. there is still breathing. in this breath wind is the power of God, mixed with water, filled with earth, power of green. there is a correspondence between holy ghost still flowing there in lightning clouds. you are breathing and greening is evidenced in your red blood, the moisture in your breath. so regardless it is still possible to embrace. it is miraculous work to live today. when we see greening stepping forward as plants with seed, fruit and flowers, this is the first day. the sun is fire, it has embraced the ground. valerian kiss, hugs and embraces, giggles and laughter of all kinds. gentian makes it easier to pull the light of God into our stomach as fire....
      despised and shunned is nothing new, knowledge is not so much withheld but rejected, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge", Hosea 4:6 who's voice is dismissed and discounted can be important to hear. unless someone is poking you with a red hot poker then you are being triggered. it's important to listen calmly. you can only respond when there is quiet. "And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word." Lk 10:38 so we take the "Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." LK 2:19, this is the vital principle of being in the place and sitting with the plants because in this situation answers will occur. especially when out and about be aware that this is God's garden and present here.
         put out of your mind any issue that says no/can not. it is being done and if plants are growing then you connect.  greening is what we work with, everything else will pull together.
     it's hard for me to understand prayer without a female presence. birth without a mother Mary, or savior Jesus? it is impossible for me to understand healing without acknowledging the power to thrive in green leaves. 
      when thinking of health i think of life pleasing to God. the power plants to heal has to do with the greening power of the leaves. health is the strength and power to thrive and it can only come to us from God by grace. much of suffering pain despair and depression is connected with embracing the stupid, latching on and then through hubris not acknowledging that we need to change our fundamentals. we want more pills but we also want to hold onto our stupid. we need to let go of stupid let go of our pills and embrace the green.                                              
         in the dominant culture it's familiar to describe someone as being sick and in need of a pill or more pills to become better. you will find many people that can name 10 or 15 diseases but they cannot name 10 or 15 green plants for healing. for them the only thing that they have are bushes and shrubs. it is an additive process so that someone has a certain disease routine and continues that disease routine with the addition of more pills. someone is given electric tests and passed through various forms of electricity and then it's all put in the computer, this is a kind of permitted healthcare of  dominant culture. in this way we embrace stupid. 
     the Holy Ghost is breath dwelling in living beings, in and out, spirit. light and fire, the sun seeks out the plants and they embrace one another, earthed with readiness, and this divine presence mixes with the physical world to make green. so encountering green with skillful means is working with plants to God them with green, gradually as they are able to remedy. 

Psalm 104:29-30  "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. 30Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth."
     we have elaborate models of disease. there is abuse and trauma. there is addiction. there are bugs, virus bacteria and parasites. we like to think that someone is anxious because of some situation within their brain some kind of chemical balance or imbalance, when really what is happening is that a person has divorced themselves from the healing green. community and the grace as family as it relates closest to the green energy is remedy. an embrace of divorce is a waste of energy that may cost you the green moment. throwing pills into the mix is pointless. it is relationship that must be restored. the primal relationship is green. it is meritless to pretend that the breath of creation as the holy ghost can be left out of treatments. if you treat green plants in the same way that the dominant culture treats pills then it is true you will do less harm however at a certain point you will also do little good. we must do the most good and the least harm
      the spirit of God and our bodies is the same way as the light of the sun on the rich moist earth, mixed with rain from above and moisture within bringing the green. in our own bodies this green is red blood, bone and sinew. between us is friendships. the greening will to become further.  remember it is God who placed the rain and sun, now plants of green so when gathering remember Ezekiel 37:9 Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. the life lived is eternal

Friday, January 12, 2018


     Signs and symptoms. In terms of healing and an etiology of dis-ease. How it presents. A puffy red raised warm to touch area, painful, uncertain, scary. discomfort. Bacharis glutinous (salicfolia) seep willow. 

... as a girl of thirteen she was visiting her mother's family in Sonora for the first time alone apart from the rest of her family. During the night she had been bit on the right lower forearm by an insect, maybe a spider. She wasn't sure. When she woke she was worried and afraid because she was visiting her grandfather's and had planned on staying a week and her Mom would come to take her back to Tucson. The ranch was a long way from everything. They had good food, water, horses but no telephone. Everything was different at the ranch. Time moved slower. She was happy. Now this. Her wrist was achy, warm, red and swollen. 

        When looking at a map it is important to find, you are here, where you are on the map. Then you can pick out a route, a path. Then the map makes sense. Plants at their most fundamental element are memories of place. She showed her arm to her grandfather and told him she was sad because she was making problems and would have to leave and go back to the city to see a doctor. Her grandfather was Yaqui with knowledge of healing plants. They walked together to the little stream to the horse coral. He showed her a plant growing there, and told her not to worry. He would make her better, with batamote. He showed her how to gather batamote, a plant growing near the wash at the side of their house where the horses watered. He placed the fresh leaves of batamote on the painful red swollen arm. Holding them in place with a piece of cotton cloth wrapped loosely so the skin could breathe. Plants link us and pull us in to a place saying to us, "This is where you are." "You are here." 
          Batamote, Baccharis glutiosa, is a southwest abundant perennial woody stem plant growing where water is close to the surface. A desert-riparian plant, desert riparian being used in the sense of an intermittent dry/wet stream usually dry. That may have cottonwoods, bottonbrush, Dodenaea, sycamores, mesquite, palo Verde, cat claw and an assortment of long thin lancelot leafed waxy aromatic plants. As such batamote initiates healing movement when applied to the surface of skin. It is a well tolerated and a useful medicine box plant. It's important when moving on a journey to have a map and orient yourself on the map. i am here. It furthers to have somewhere to go. 

     En el siglo XVI, Francisco Hernández refiere: "resuelve admirablemente los tumores que han penetrado en las articulaciones o en los nervios y calma cuales quiere dolores quitando su causa. Las raíces machacadas, extraen lo que se ha clavado en la carne, provocan notablemente la orina y limpian su conducto, alivian a los que sufren cólicos, quitan las manchas en la cara, curan la erupción de la cabeza de los niños y la de todo el cuerpo, quitan las fiebres provocando sudor, reducen el bazo y mitigan el dolor; quitan la flatulencia, curan el empacho y resuelven los tumores.     


       In the sixteenth century, Francisco Hernández wrote, "it resolves admirably the congestion that has penetrated the joints or nerves and calms pain by removing its cause. The roots crushed, extract what has been stuck in the flesh. It encourages urination and cleanses the kidney.  It relieves those who suffer colic and empacho. With infants it can cure the red rash of the children's head and the whole body. It helps the body with productive fever by causing sweat. It reduces an enlarged spleen.  Remove the gas, flatulence and bloating of the stomach in empacho, curing the discomfort of the hard ball"   -translation by Paul Manski

       " Empacho is a term used in the south west and refers to stomach distress, Empacho is when food gets stuck in the intestines or accumulates around the stomach. It often manifests with a blocking in the epigastric area.

    There is a special type of emapacho that occurs with nursing mothers and their babies. Women and girls are often nursing, feeding babies and both their state of mind and what they are doing influences their milk. This can create colic in the baby drinking the mommas milk. Therefore fruits that are "cold" like oranges and watermelons, should not be consumed by pregnant women whose nature at that time is "hot". Likewise they should avoid windy places because the wind can enter the milk. In this sense, the ingestion of "cold" or "hot" food in the nursing mother can cause milk "curds" and harm the infant, just as if being in the sun too much she in excess or suffers a "cooling off" when wash or take a bath. Consequence of this is the "enlechamiento"  a variety of 'colic' that occurs when the child eats breast milk under the conditions listed, or mom offers her milk too frequently, too much,  or Mom nurses her baby after suffering a surprise event (shock) or a stressful event. In all cases, the milk is in lumps, and produces colic in the baby. The baby will be filled with gas and crying, if it progresses the baby will lose sleep and lose weight.
     If the Mom is frightened, or mistreated by her husband, if there is a lot of yelling in the house, this can spoil the milk. If the woman is angry or jealous she may spill bile into the milk, creating empacho in the baby. Empacho can also be caused by older women beyond child bearing years who is jealous of the Mom with her baby. Jealous of her youth and beauty, she may intentionally or unintentionally stare at the Mom or kiss the baby and create a special type of empacho which can be helped by this remedio, but it may require a cleansing by someone able to do so."      

        Batamote drew out the poison, soothed the pain and within a few hours swelling and redness was decreased. There was improvement. Things were manageable, coming back into balance. She continued to apply fresh batamote leaf directly to her skin, covering it with cotton to hold the leaves in place, just as her grandfather showed her. She liked that she was able to take care of herself. She decided that day that she wanted to help other people get better. She wanted to be like her grandfather. She walked down to the water and picked a few small branches and stripped the leaves placing them in bag.

    She showed me a small mark on her arm where she was bitten. To be honest i didn't see anything. She saw it though and remembered. It was still visible to her 50 years later. The wound, her grandfather, the ranch with horses, the cool water, the batamote and the healing plants.

   Batamote is a plant with many uses, it draws out poison from insect stings applied topical as a poultice. It is anti-inflammatory. It grows along seasonal desert riparian zones creeks and washes. It's leaves are lacerate, like a lance or blade, pointed, soft with fine serrations along the edges. willow like, sometimes called a seep willow, though not a Salix or willow. An Asteracea, sunflower family member. As a hair rinse/wash it is said to increase hair growth and make the hair shiny. It helps women maintain a full head of hair and stimulates the hair follicle. Another topical use is the dried leaves powdered and applied to the toes for fungal infection, also washing the toes in batomote.
    Internally batamote addresses empacho much like poleo, Nebada, Poleo,  Menta de Lobo and Hinojo. It also acts on the stomach to re-regulate appropriate stomach acid and aid healing in GI ulcers similar to Conyza canadensis, by nourishing the delicate mucosa of the GI tract damaged by overactive colitis and chrohn's disease. Addresses the issue of leaky gut and restoring homeostasis. 

How it presents. What it feels like. Plants are graceful, grace abiding and compassionate. Often illness produces a "where am i?", uncertainty. What is going on?  'Lost but now i'm found'- plants then become amazing grace. Needing to go nowhere else. Meeting a disease process. Able to stay where you are.


Hernández, F. 1959 (1571-1576); Martínez, M. 1969 (1934); Sociedad Farmacéutica de México. 1952
El Empacho Remedio: Nebada, Poleo, Hinojo, Menta de Lobo and Hinojo, by Paul Manski

Oral Field Notes John Slattery Tucson, AZ 

Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest
Charles W Kane Lincoln Town Press 2016

Oral Field Notes Michael Cottingham Siver City, NM

Oral Field Notes Amy Garcia Tucson, AZ

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fouquieria splendens bloom

Fouquieria splendens ....not an ocotillo but a heartdream factory.

         you threw me, to the ground. i woke, unconscious for how long? So i ask cloud sheets, pillow cases, blankets of blue rippling hanging on a clothesline across the sky, "How long?"  "Just be glad you are who you are." This one yesterday in flower was unusual, like they all are, each time the days stretch. The days always stretch the nights shrink after the Quadrantids. When we become beautiful victims, flowers of fire. ...Sparkly, some one asked for this. There are many here among us, keepers of fire. Fighting off car sickness flu maybe for an instant.                                    

       Vibrant life is contrary against pale ryolite. Ocotillo stand above the unsteady ground, crumbling granite. Who knew where flower idols lead? Beneath the ground movement like coral beans flabelliformis or the flickering of flames of aspen with coyote rocks barking. Only one seen yesterday walking during day long plant study. You can clap your hands and dance around.

    Most often bloom is an infectious ecosystem wide fertility carnival. Most often is a construct, a box inside which are further empty boxes. It's a meat market pairing up, based on eyebrow tweezing, indelible tattoos. It's a dream factory of sight and smell. Give me, to believe in. It's a group thing, a tangible trans-species thing, contagious like viral sex-fluenza to the point of pushing abundance and preaching a prosperity gospel in the frugal thorn scrub. 

            Where even if you're not sick with the bucks mating stupid rut you find yourself doing a virtue signal cough, scratch your head to check for velvet or antler rubs or while in silly mode, wrapped in the wet moist dream factory you offer your self to mountain lion as a kill, "Eat me.", just to prove you are alive and capable of reproductive flu, a nuanced dream to see a perfect drop of shiny blood, and let the pain subside. Touching, the flower of fire.

    Usually the blooming period is March-onward thru summer and the ocotillos are frequently leafed out. There can be no vicariously usual. Everything is just the way it needs to be, strung out and broken leaking, perfect. In their lush extravagant phase, green/flame/ the blooming often but not always combined with a tremendous show of flowering plants:bees, hummingbirds, ants- this lone solitary blooming ocotillo if not so exquisitely perfect would have brought nausea, vertigo, waves of fear, the frightening sense of ecstasy unrestrained. A contaminated order structure. Because, is it wrong to luxuriate orange beauty circle in monotone normalville? 

One thing fer sure, life happens regardless of conditions, even before the urgent clown hummingbirds decide, It's time, It's time. No, it's time now! "We are still doing Christmas." Say ocotillo. Blooming.Forever.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Dodonaea viscosa

Dodonaea viscosa and Bio-Actigeneration       

****Note: Before gathering any plant. Know and study that plant. Identify the plant!! Know that Dodonaea, hop tree has deadly look alike plants growing frequently, especially in urban environments, in the same habitat. That can easily be mistaken of one another. In other words don't gather or use this plant until you can tell the difference. The plant i am talking can kill- Until you can tell them apart, leave them alone.***     

Dodonaea viscosa is a ubiquitous plant. Ranked one of the top four most versatile herbs in any first aid kit. Top three herbs for liver restoration on the same level of Milk Thistle. And, and yes, a cool name for a baby if you're PG or heading that way, or plan to adopt- use it, for a name that is- be original. A power plant, an adaptogenist actualizer. Use the plant, use the name. No body cares what you do anyway. Nice baby name. Or legally change your name, or a new ... tattoo, I'm Dodonaea. The plant tells me, please use me. Don't pass me by. Please. 'Hey you!', 'Yeah you.', come on over. As you get older time speeds up, so don't wait. At a certain point there is a convergence that smells like adaptogenic activation across the board, in and out,
Up and down, inside outside, internal external - no need to go any further hop seed bush.

    Dodonaea, named for a 16th century Flemish botanist, named after a man living in the only place where it doesn't grow- go figure. Viscosa meaning the young leaves are sticky. Makes sense. Belonging to family Sapindaceae soap berry. Also known as hops bush by taste, though unrelated to Humulus. Kinda of resembles wild hops when it dries in that both are papery, the strobes of hops and the seeds of hop bush. Used by early Australian settlers for beer brewing, the same in Mexico-America because of it’s bitter hop-like flavor. Does it taste like hops? It is bitter with a little warming in there.
   It grows extensively in Arizona from the Superstitions through Phoenix, diagonally south into Tucson and then into the Sierra Madre south to Sonora. Stepping out of climate controlled box you’ll see it and say, ‘Oh yeah, I know that one.’ It’s also used as an urban landscape plant because it’s green all year, pretty and lush and drought tolerant. So you'll see it around town as a hedge along city streets. See it in the washes. See it on the rocky slopes. It's there, trust me. You can find people who say, invasive, others say native. Pan-global, as in everywhere. It's here and not going anywhere.

     It’s a perennial shrubby evergreen bushy shrub. Hard to miss as it’s 3feet to 7-8 feet high. So it's a big loud in your face plant. It doesn't hide, it's in the open. Dodonaea has come out, showing tattoos, doesn't need special soil or conditions. I take that back. It's a desert droughty plant that likes hot and drought. Got snow? You're out of the loop. OK? The leaves are striking green. Are the leaves pretty? Yes the leaves are pretty. They are sleek, long, thin like a acrobat or yogini clothes hanger model, with thick auburn hair who can bend backwards all the way down, smelling like a mix between patchouli, BO and youthful fertility. Leaves with lines long and thin with a single center prominent vein or simple, essentially sessile, linear to oblanceolate. The seeds are winged like a big saltbrush wing, 3-4 lobes not consistent, with a papery covering. It’s in washes and rocky slopes. Can you find it where I live? Probably. Maybe. I don't know where you live.                      

    I learned about this plant first from somebody special, an original and maybe the original bioregional herbalist who coined the term, which many tried then tried to steal unsuccessfully. this person often working out of teaching Tucson, Arizona and the sky islands. Please enjoy, play guess the herbalist here. ???
     Dodonaea viscosa is a rare pan-global native medicinal plant: native and prolific in Arizona SW, Australia, Africa, Tasmania, Hawaii, Asia. It’s hard to find a more plentiful underused plant than Dodonaea viscosa. The literature of research is extensive both from an ethnobotanical and scientific standpoint. When describing Dodonaea it literally sounds like many different plants. Scientific study reads like a mix up, a wish mash of several plants, partially because they are referring to the wholeplant outside of commercial standardized extract.  
     Where ever it grows whether Asia, Australia, Africa or the hot desert southwest of North America, native people have used it for basically similar uses. Everything. What native people? Everyone. Look don't talk native  a typical mongrel American who can only trace  pedigree back to my Mom, and she is dead, what do I know about native? Nothing. Please.

     What medicinal uses? Everything. Which again makes it hard to categorize. Imagine a plant for sprains, pin worms, tooth ache, soothing skin wash, GI ulcers. How about weight loss and orgasm? Sorry those are two things it doesn't do...but wait...In oil as a salve, water as a tea, alcohol as a tincture, direct as a poultice. What? 
     Movement. Relaxation. Liver protectant more protective than milk thistle. Respiratory. Anti-bacterial. Anti-fungal, inside, outside- plentiful, not at risk, attractive but no shaved head sides with bangs yet. Yet we may get that soon, hopefully. What?
    When reading the literature, then reviewing my hand written notes from JJ’s field school, I find myself saying, “Wait, did I mix it up with another plant?’, surely it can’t do all that? And I ask why would a plant with so many vital uses be virtually unused, unheard of, and unknown? 

   The only answer I have is that lives and information has grown so insulated and groupthink-affirming, fake-news that herbal info just snow balls into cliché sound bites of predictability. blah blah blah. He said. She said. I bought it from superfood Activator Snake oil tribe. Wow. Sorry. Can’t be bought. Can’t be sold. Can't buy it ha ha ha. 
      There are true informational walls based on how can I sell this? It’s difficult for many to use a plant that has no monetary value. Well you can use it and it is worthless. You can use it and explore what it does without attaching a dollar amount. You can use it without worrying about depleting it, cause it's everywhere and not going anywhere. If anything it has an expanding range. Is it native to North America? Experts say it is, do you believe experts? I do rarely sometimes.
    Few are going directly to the plants. Remember there is no U/you in few. So just do it. Step out of the box. Grab a couple handful of the new tender recent growth. Dry it. Taste it. Salve it. Tincture it. Try it. Check out Dodonaea If you’re a person who is going to the plants directly, way to go. Continue. Advice on use:I can tell you what not to do because I have failed so often. I can not tell what to do because I have succeeded so infrequently. 
     So please work on removing sound bite fake information: What? Hypericum St John’s wort = herbal prozac, skin sensitivity for blondes. Reishi: Adaptogen, activator, super food, cures cancer, female viagra. The tendency to description of plants with a price tag. Rarely refer to anything except money toilet tornadoes with slick predictively smooth sale pitch. Always pointing toward, ‘Who said it?’, rarely, “What did they say?” Frequently go to the plants find out from them what they are for. 
   Wait, going to the plants, "Sounds dangerous." It is dangerous. So use caution. Educate yourself because there are poisonous look alikes. Poisonous look alikes? Yes, Definitely. Yes deadly poisonous look alike also a landscape plant, Oleander. So if you can't ID it, don't gather. First educate yourself.
    Go dangerous, step out of the box. Fall on your face. Use Dodonea to nurse you're bruises and scrapes. Doesn't care about body arm pit hair or if you can be smelled from 25 feet away. Likes wind. Encourages movement.
     While reviewing my notes I kept saying, ‘C’mon Jay you’re making that up.’ At a certain point you got to make stuff up, it's about the plants. We’re a community of entertainers.

      Liver gall bladder stimulating and simultaneously relaxing. Relaxation sinew and ligament, spreading and softening, looser. Squeezing out bile, increased peristalsis. 

   Taste:YOU taste it, don’t let me typecast it for you. Acrid, pungent slight sweetness along with bitterness. Resembles Larrea tridenta in taste, not as sweet. Warming bitter, yes. The perfect bitter? Close.

Carminative- dispels gas

Antispasmodic- smooths out muscles similar to estafiate. Better than Silk Tassel, ho ho ho. You salivate, movement, relax. Wait did you say antispasmodic, like silk tassel, and pin worms parasites? wow, are we talking lyme yet? close.
Topically, in Sonora and world wide for scrapes, wounds, as a wash, fomentation, poultice for sprains.  Also to soothe skin. Is it anti-microbial on the skin? Yes. Helps healing with rashes abrasions? Yes.

Liver restorer: Silymarin milk thistle a standard against what other things are measured for liver. Liver enzymes to normal homeostasis. Enhanced detoxification of liver.  These hepatoprotective effects were better than the positive control silymarin. 

Respiratory and topical:Antifungal- chronic respiratory infections in SW from dust and soil born organisms, adjunct to Chillopsis. (Desert willow) Live in Arizona? Got a cough with athletes foot? Mixing up a batch of stinky kombuchu candida down below? You are good to go.
Internally: promising antiulcer activity. Also inhibited acid secretion to prevent ulcer aggravation. Would combine well with Canadian fleabane for GI gut health. Is it gluten free? Totallly.

Wound healing_ as a wash
Seeds- analgesic: toothe ache
Anti-inflammatory did I say anti-inflammatory? 

The antimicrobial activity inhibition of candida albicans in studies. three Gram negative bacteria: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Both for toothache and candida, mouth issues immuno compromised HIV patients.

So what will you use it for? Probably better does it work for you? Or What can’t you use it for? Find it, use it, don't abuse it.

John Slattery:Tucson, AZ hand written Field Notes

Charles Kane, Medicinal Plants of American SouthWest, Lincoln Town Press 2011-2016

Siddiqui, A. A. 1998 Chemical and pharmacological evaluation of Dodonaea viscosa Asian Journal of Chemistry, 10, 14-16. 


A review on Dodonaea viscosa: A potential medicinal plant Prof Dr Ali Esmail Al-Snafi 
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Thi qar University, Iraq. 

Hautriwaic acid as one of the hepatoprotective constituent of Dodonaea viscosa

Medicinal Activity of Dodonaea viscosa —A preliminary study by Andrew Pengelly  2008