Saturday, September 17, 2022

Silk Tassel, Garrya wrightii

 Garrya wrightii,

Silk tassel

silk tassel, is a perennial south west, p&j manzanita woodland, woody shrub. Growing up to 12-15 ft tall, with opposite leathery pointed leaves, with unique upward tilt. Round purple berries with silky droopping tassels, hence the  name.

https://youtu.be/7tapVCKuCuQ

Birds eat berries, spread the seeds. Resprouts after fire. This stand was in a seasonal wash with luxuriant new growth. The entire plant taste is bitter, however new-new growth here had the smoky musky bitterness of earth tone predominant, sweet overtones noted, hint of spice. The plant immediately produces saliva in the mouth with a slight numbing of the tongue.  Described as a straight medicine plant, not an everyday tea or tonic herb.

silk tassel
silk tassel

   Part of plant used in order of strength: 1)root, 2)bark, 3)old growth leaf, 4)new growth leaf. Adjust amount accordingly. Smooth muscle relaxant antispasmodic. It will behoove you to take extra effort to dig up some root, to make a small batch of silk tassle root tincture. addition to fresh leaf tincture. Silk tassel is a common plant and if you are going to do medicine the root is the most powerful part of the plant. The root tincture should always be labeled as such and set aside for personal use in severe situations.


For severe menstrual cramps, lower GI cramping from diarrhea dysentery, extreme pain in a first aid situation, always have on hand and use root tincture. A good generalized formula equal parts  golden smoke, ginger and silk tassel. The ginger works both to allay nausea, to provide warmth and movement. Golden smoke works to relieve deep pain and promotes restful sleep, while silk tassel supplies the antispasmodic quality. 

Silk tassel is likewise useful in asthmatic coughing fits combined with lobelia, or extreme wet bronchial deep fitful coughing episodes combined with wild cherry bark for sleep. For mild but fairly chronic loose stool, where you are becoming dehydrated, leaf tincture with alum root tincture along with a pinch of salt can allow hydration, and rest recovery.

      Silk tassel, especially the root, is a real medicine in herbal form and is one you should become familiar with while going all in. If you feel cold and clammy with dry heaves, you took too much, don’t take anymore. 



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Tronadora, Tecoma stans

Tronadora, Tecoma stans var. angustata, also called Esperanza, yellow elder, trumpet bush.

Tronadora, wild variety

Family:
 Bignoniaceae. Tronadora presents where I have found and worked with it, in the wild, in far southern Arizona, as a knee to thigh high, about 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall perennial deciduous shrubby wild flower. The wild variety found here on rocky bajadas is usually called Tecoma stans variety angustata, to distinguish it from the landscape varieties sold in nurseries in Arizona and the southwest. The cultivated drought tolerant, xeriscape variety, sometimes found in urban southwest landscaping, along highways, and in parks and so on, is a much taller shruby small tree, 6-10 feet tall, the leaves being twice as large.  Both have visually striking glossy, shiny pinnately compound, lanceolate leaves with serrated margins. The large pinnate leaflet complex appears as opposite leaves along a central leaf stem. The flowers are multiple brilliant yellow to orange. Flowers, in terminal racemes up to 10-15 bright yellow flowers (landscape variety), 3-4 flowers in the wild native variety, both varieties are 5 lobed trumpet shaped flowers. Grows in Mexico, Arizona, NM, Texas, Florida where it is temperature determinant, naturalized world wide. Growing here 4500ft, full afternoon sun, with ocotillo and acacia. Tecoma is abbreviated from the Aztecan, mesoAmerican name,"Tecomaxochitl", while stans means upright or erect.  Often used as a landscape plant known for its trumpet shaped yellow flowers, presenting as a 8-10 foot tree vs the wild variety, more likely less than 3 feet tall.

Tronadora leaf T. var angustata

     An important medicinal plant unique in that it is used in several well separated cultural lineages including Mexican folk, Aryuvedic medicine from the sub-continent of India, and Iran. Both Iran and Indian Aryuvedic herbal medicine are unique strands in that they both have schools of medicine that have strongly religious, Hindu and Islam, strong nationalistic focus India and Iran and racial ethnic focus while at the same time including scientific, chemical, medical and pharmaceutical research to back up historical folk usage. In both Iran and India there are medical herbal traditions that have the distinction of strong academic, medical research, on a university peer reviewed level. 

    Some key plant use of tronadora: Leaves contains several monoterpene alkaloids  including, "tecomine" and "tecostamine" which have been found to lower glucose levels. Anthranilic acid is found in the leaves which also lowers blood sugar levels.

1)ability to lower blood glucose. 

2) anti-inflammatory 

3) anti-oxidant 

4) anti-microbial 

5) anti-spasmodic 

6) wound healing

In addition the whole plant extract has a hepato protective effect similar to hepato protective plants like milk thistle, and others in the herbal repertoire, in addition to renal protective factors. Tronadora is related to desert willow, the flower looks similar, both plants frequently share the same eco-tone. It shares some of the anti-fungal usage with it's related Bignoniaceae tribe desert willow, and the flowers appear related, comparing the two shows a strong resemblance. The flowers themselves, are used as a tea for menstrual cramps, an and emmenaogue to promote menstruation. Tronadora as a poultice on skin interruptions is unique as having success topical and lends itself to ointments and salves. 

      

Tronadora flowers

     Tronadora should be looked at as a plant that purifies the blood and calms the nerves. The leaves and flowers are mainly used, but it is also possible to make a tea from the bark and root of this tree. All portions of the plant have been used in the folk tradition. Tronadora has a complex chemistry while at the same time is understood as mild. The taste of the fresh leaves and flowers is slightly sweet, loosely floral, with distinct yet mild bitter after tones,While having hepato protectant properties it also has renal protective factors, for improved function of the kidney. Taken as a tea infusion, the taste is pleasantwith diuretic effects. 

      Let's talk briefly about adult onset blood sugar de-regulation issues. I hesitate to use the 'D' word because it's a complex issue. Rethinking the 'D' narrative is essential. Glucose or sugar enters the body system in multiple ways. In other words, even if you don't eat anything, you still have sugar flowing throughout the body system, because sugar is essential to life. If you don't take in a single calorie, your body makes sure you have ample sugar to run what's between your ears. Your brain runs on glucose. (This is similar to the cholesterol issue. The body makes its own cholesterol. So controlling diet to eliminate fat intake is futile. Especially when hydrogenated vegetable seed oils are substituted.) No sugar equals non-functioning brain, equals death. Ironic that what your body needs to live, sugar, will slowly poison your body. If your blood glucose sugar level goes to around 30, you pass out, collapse on the ground, go into a coma and die. No sugar, equals no life. If a relatively healthy person fasts on only water for multiple days, their blood sugar level remains constant because the healthy body system has everything in place to fuel the system with sugar, without eating a single thing. If a person with a severely de-regulated body system decides to fast on only water, there is a strong possibility that at least initially, the body system is so out of whack that it will not be able to adapt to a fast, and will go into a hypoglycemic crisis, no sugar no life.Yet fasting is a legitimate tool for tis and many other conditions.  Although sugar, glucose is essential to human life, uncontrolled levels of sugar flowing through the blood body system eventually produce a cascade of damaging effects in the body. Beginning at the cell on cell level at the capillary level, the continuous excess sugar damages the tiny capillaries and hence sabotages every body system. Because every body organ requires a complex mix of nutrients and oxygen supplied via the capillaries, with continuous cumulative damage to the capillary system, every body system declines. Blood re-regulation issues related to neuropathy/nerves, macular degeneration/eye, hypertension/elasticity of veins and arteries, heart cardiac issues, cognitive issues, depression and mental illness are all part of metabolic syndrome. 

     Metabolic syndrome rapidly moves a person from independence and sovereignty to dependence. A dependent person is a controlled person. Control, as we saw during the last round of psyop reset protocols is the ultimate goal. The mask mandate is fully visible and exposed as a psyop humilation technique, only viable, within a system of fear based control. Every system in the body is positively codependent. Our social nature as human beings is to be positive co-dependent upon other human beings for input, feed back, information and interaction, As part of erasure of nationhood depersonalized, non-codependent autistic consumers are the goal and ideal. The dependence is shifted from in person, face to face interaction to modified AI protocols. The goal of lock downs during the recent psyop was to mandate AI dependence. The social experiment of masking children, normalizing humiliation and abandonment, closing schools, drugging alpha male children into life long drug addicts through psychiatric pharmakeia, all of the psyop protocols are erasure within an economic agenda. Medi-pharma is the biggest economic engine in the current western economies. So diabetes and metabolic syndrome is a net gain for the regime. Sick people in a systemic scenario of erasure are economic cash cows. Your medical disability is their economic gain. For that reason dissident medical voices are threats to the status quo set up by the elites, for the elites. Alternative voices of alternative people must be silenced within the fabric of pathological altruism.

coyote guarding protecting Tronadora

      The body is well primed for conditions of lack, problem is, the body is not well primed for the extreme abundance of modernism. Sugar is energy, if the electricity goes out, if there is a power failure, the body has multiple generator systems as back up sugar/energy supplies. The problem is the body is way too good at creating sugar from its own tissue body system stores. The body has too many sources of glucose available, too many redundant built in coping systems. You can not drive a car with three wheels. With three tires, you are parking that car. You are going no where. You can drive a body with one healthy kidney. Obviously the body is not an automobile. The body is not a mechanical system. Yet our thinking and narrative is mechanical post modern. Our culture is a mechanical based system, yet we are distinctly living beings. As living beings created, enlivened by God, we are fundamentally foreign cogs in the machine. The point of no return has been reached in many areas of human interaction. So when the resilient luxuriant coping systems of the body meets the continuous supply of modern living, it rapidly devolves into metabolic syndrome and early death. Welcome to the party, party on. The regime has found a way to exploit sickness and crippled life with economic returns, funneled into the elites. It is fundamentally important to understand, death, early death, malignant lingering debilitating illness like heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome are coping mechanisms. Your lingering illness is big business for the elites running the regime at this time. Completely and forever forget voting, democracy, politics and so on. Your vote is your monied purchase. Since health dollars qualitatively have the heaviest dollar weight in the economy, your health illness is your vote.  So when the body, whom is adapted for extreme conditions of lack meets the modern world of continuous supply, the result is lingering illness and early death. With the caveat of reproduce, make a couple babies, and by 35 you are history. Have a baby at age 15, raise it for 15 years, you're done by 35. See you later. Early death and illness is the body's adaptation to modern life. So if you're ok with that, go for it. All pain, all gain. 

      There is exogenous sugar and endogenous sugar. There is native and non-native sugar acting on the body system.  There is sugar you drink, chew and swallow entering by mouth entering the body via the digestive process. There is sugar already stored in the body as multiple substances, in multiple areas of the body that are converted to sugar blood glucose. One method that sugar enters the body system is through the mouth, by eating food. You eat something, then that something is digested, and the something you swallowed, through the digestive process, enters the body system. Eating something means in body system terms, 'Not you becomes you.', 'Other becomes self.'. Then we need to understand types of food and re-define food to actually mean food. Then there is endogenous native sugar or glucose already in the body system acting on the body system.  Then we need to understand body in balance vs body out of balance. 

     Briefly, a lot of what people eat, consume, put in their mouths as food today is total poisonous garbage, and could better be understood within addiction models of behavior. In other words, while it appears visually the person is eating, the person is in reality an addict completing a debilitating drug consumption interaction ritual. It's called eating, but it's much closer to shooting up, lighting up, chasing the dragon, popping a pill. When thinking about heroin, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, methamphetamine, opioid, pill drug addiction; words like: early death, addict, exploitation, helpless, failed body systems, self defeating behaviour, sabotage, relapse, treatment, treatment center, harm reduction and so on come to mind. Until that style of thinking is understood within the falsefood fakefood sugar fix processed food eating, drinking, slurping paradigm, the only progress possible is within harm reduction. Remember during the last round of psyop reset, convenience stores selling alcohol and tobacco, liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, and fast food were all essential business. Essential to what? Essential to your exploitation, your continued addiction, your erasure, and essential for the elite's maintenance at the top of the food chain. Whenever the regime says health, think sickness. When the regime outlets say speak up, stay silent. Whenever the regime says, freedom, think slavery. Whenever the regime talks, and they are talking continuously, think erasure. The regime has one goal, wealth redistribution, scarf up and grift out. This is a rich rich land so the possibilities for exploitation are endless. Every 15-20 years a new group matures for new intricate narratives. What once was a mud wrestling match between public and private is still a wrestling match only now the wrestlers wrestle the crowd of spectators. So what you eat has to be addressed with a lot of re-thinking, reowning narrative, unless you're ok with deathstyle erasure. Because right now your role is sick villain within their narrative. By participating within their narrative you are saying, 'I am ok with erasure because I deserve to be erased. I deserve to be sick because I am a bad lazy person. Sell me more meds. Give me more meds.' Guilt is so important to the regime. You deserve to be erased because you or your distant relatives did some bad shit, which makes you a bad person. So the food narrative has to change. 

Tronadora, cultivated variety, note larger leaves

       Next herbal remedies like humula and tronadora and many other plant partners I talk about here, and obviously face to face, person to person, can be helpful for certain people in certain situations. Face to face, IRL interaction is key. However again the narrative is essential. Rethinking your identity is essential in meeting every situation. It's important to address who you are, what you doing and why you are doing it. What is your goal and intention. Tronadora works intensely with the liver and glycogen. The dominant culture narrative is medical diagnosis, then medical treatment. What does a wild plant growing at 4500 feet on a hilly, rocky dry dusty bajada have to do with blood sugar? Again it is identity and narrative. Getting the dis-regulated system back in balance is key. Getting the sugar back into muscle and liver as gylcogen rather than just running around freely within the blood is key. Using and getting these plant medicines is key. Getting the negated person to reown their vital cultural narrative is key. The reality is that labeling, silencing a person's voice, making a person into a non-person for political objectives seems like a do no harm, compassionate choice. The idea is that in changing society for the better, certain ideas are no longer tolerated. Because people advocate ideas, limiting those people's ideas is a 'do no harm' way to lead society to a better future. The reality is personhood exists within a subset of persons. Disavowing a medicinal plant is the same as disavowing a plant person, you diminish the plant and you diminish the person. One of the reasons plants have been placed here by the Creator is to promote hailing within the human body. Eventually within the narrative of selective erasure you are erased. 

     Tronadora as a plant medicine has a role in integration of blood sugar regulation. In addition it also has neuro-protective factors that address the degenerative process of adult onset diabetes at the capillary level within the blood vessels. used internally as a folk remedy for Type 2 Diabetes, although the leaves and flowers are also used to treat colds, fever, jaundice, headache, and kidney problems (Argueta, 2014; Alarcón-Aguilar and Román-Ramos, 2006). The leaves contain the alkaloids known as “tecomine” and “tecostamine”, which have been found to lower blood glucose (sugar) levels when given intravenously to laboratory animals.

Tronadora landscape variety

Another compound present in the leaves, known as anthranilic acid, also lowers blood sugar levels (Kameshwaran et al., 2012). The flowers are used to prepare a tea to relieve menstrual cramps, as well as an emmenaogue to promote menstruation. The decoction made from the roots is taken as a tea to promote urination, as well as an antidote for scorpion and snake venoms, although this has not been proven scientifically (Argueta, 2014). Externally, the leaves and flowers are made into a poultice or wash to treat skin infections (Quattrocchi, 2012).

The plant possesses powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activity due to its content of natural chemicals called flavonoids.

With regard to these compounds, Raju et al. (2011) found that an extract made from trumpet flower could be useful in protecting the kidneys from the toxic side effects of an antibiotic known as gentamicin.
Additionally, Jacobo-Salcedo, et al. (2011) found that this plant has important antimicrobial action against certain multi-drug resistant pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria.

Tronadora found 4500ft bajada zone


References:

https://www.utep.edu/herbal-safety/herbal-facts/herbal%20facts%20sheet/trumpet-flower.html

Dr Armando Gonzalez Stuart Phd, Trumpet Flower

Alarcon-Aguilar F, Roman-Ramos R. Antidiabetic Plants in Mexico and Central America.
Chapter 9. In: Soumyanath A (Editor) Traditional Medicines for Modern Times: Antidiabetic
Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2006; pp. 179-191.

Argueta, A. (Editor). Plantas Medicinales de Uso Tradicional en la Ciudad de México.
Mexico City: UNAM; 2014; pp. 122-123.

Jacobo-Salcedo M del R, Alonso-Castro AJ, Salazar-Olivo LA, Carranza-Alvarez C, González-
Espíndola LA, Domínguez F, Maciel-Torres SP, García-Lujan C, González-Martínez Mdel R,
Gómez-Sánchez M, Estrada-Castillón E, Zapata-Bustos R, Medellin-Milán P, García-Carrancá
A. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects of Mexican medicinal plants. Nat Prod Commun. 2011
6(12):1925-8.

Michel Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Desert, Museum of New Mexico Press, 1989

Kameshwaran S, Suresh V, Arunachalam G, Frank PR, Manikandan V. Evaluation of
antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory potential of flower extract Tecoma stans. Indian J
Pharmacol. 2012; 44(4):543-4. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.99352.

Quattrocchi, U. World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants (3 vols.).
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012; p. 515.

Raju S, Kavimani S, Maheshwara Rao VU, Reddy KS, Kumar GV. Floral extract of Tecoma
stans: a potent inhibitor of gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in vivo.
Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011; 4(9):680-5. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60173-9.

White R. Elsevier’s Dictionary of Plant Names of North America Including Mexico.
Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2003; p. 193.

Alonso-Castro AJ, Zapata-Bustos R, Romo-Yañez J, Camarillo-Ledesma P, Gómez-Sánchez M, Salazar-Olivo LA. The antidiabetic plants Tecoma stans (L.) Juss. ex Kunth (Bignoniaceae) and Teucrium cubense Jacq (Lamiaceae) induce the incorporation of glucose in insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant murine and human adipocytes. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 8;127(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.060. Epub 2009 Oct 8. PMID: 19818843.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Vitalism and Bitters

 Vitalism and Bitters:  
Estafiate

     Vitalism, a bitter love story: In order for the journey to live we need nourishment from the food we eat. God's creational earth is, "the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon," Deuteronomy 33:14. The gut is how we make outside inside. Bitters are a way to increase digestive fire and restore the inherent way we interact with God's creation as food. "Blessed are you Lord God of all creation, through your goodness... fruit of the earth, work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life."

Recently when I entered an ephemeral wash, close to the mountain now wet, then dry, now flowing bank to bank with water, it was obvious the scouring action of sand and water alters the plant community growing there. In the upper reaches of the wash here are deeper rooted trees mesquite, large cottonwoods, here and there an emory oak, black walnut, an Arizona cypress, baccharis, button brush, desert cotton. Along the more stable banks clinging to the north facing cooler, moist canyon walls were little stands of poleo, estafiate, monkey flower, bidens, that you would expect along riparian meadows at higher elevation further up the mountain. Yet here they were growing on the valley floor in sheltered spots in curves of the wash. Many miles down the wash the character revealed more invasive tamarisk, nicotinia glauca, buffel grass, only the rare occasional cottonwood, an occasional eddy with amaranth greens,  the upper mountain plants no longer clung to the shady sheltered banks. The wash at the lower reaches was more manipulated and managed for flood control with caliche and graded mortar banks, bridges, culverts. As I examined the plants growing there, it was obvious here the wash as it entered the urban environment of the lower desert valley was shifting from a broad alluvial fan off the mountain escarpment, from a desert wash to an concrete lined flood control project, from wild to tame.


Our herbalism mirrors this change from a desert wash to urban concrete drainage project. As time moves on, although the plants are the same, the context of plants is harder to find, then the context is more garbled, finally the context is lost. The plants change from individual specific plants with medicinal uses for specific uses in our medicine practice to the generic stuff of weeds and bushes. 

Our tribe is enslaved and erased. Re-owning the narrative of person and place, family and tribe is the essential work of faith through these sacramental herbal bitters. Monkey wrenching the regime's agenda whose goal is our erasure is the liturgy of lex orandi lex credendi. For the dying departing generation it may be convenient to flag wave, mouth platitudes, cower in fear, mask up, dumb down, shelter in place and hope to spend the last years in remnants of the once great land now the failed dystopian boomerstan. All the while speaking into the enforced silence while stasi agents reprogram the social credit score, appointing new strikes for listeners hearing the good news within the cyber space fema camp holding zones. We do not have the luxury of retreat, this is the place, and here we remain.

    In the modern context of industrialism all connections with the past are blurred for the people. People become interchangeable, disposable replaceable parts in the industrial process. Family, relationships with the living earth, knowledge of the plants within a specific place or ecosystem, even the word ecosystem, who lives in an ecosystem? At the point we use a word like ecosystem to describe our home, at that point we have lost our way. It is easy to quit, yet there is blood, soil, honour, duty and sacrifice. So whether pristine mountain stream, or concrete lined drainage culvert, we continue till death do us part in the vow we have made…

    Vitalism, in Christ the king, herbs from the Virgin Mary how they inform western herbalism. The framework of understanding vitalism in our western herbal tradition is working from the premise of these four principles. First, 1st ‘I am alive, with a physical body as a baptized Christian, living for and within the kingdom of Christ .’ It is not merely that I am alive, or that I have a body. I am alive in Christ within the kingdom. Second, 2nd, ‘The operant principle within my body is intelligent spirit, life force, set in motion from beginingless time by God the Father.”. Third, 3rd,“ Food is our medicine and medicine is our food.” With ‘food’ being whatever enters the bounded whole of the body through the lips, mouth, eye, ear, nose, skin, sense and thought. In other words food is whatever enters inside.  Food is whatever you can quantify and identify that is put in your body. The body being the greater vehicle. Food is not only what you eat. Food is the emotional regarding tone you give to things that enter your body, how you bless and give thanks for them, what self talk words you say to process events. Food is not only stuff swallowed by the mouth. Food is whatever enters the greater body. Fourthly, 4th, ‘Herbs are ordained by God and meant for our medicine, and the herbal science thereof.’ God through Jesus Christ and his mother Mary by the power of the Holy Ghost protects and guides us in our herbal science by ora et labora, prayer and work, work and prayer. Not only prayer, not only work, work and prayer. So we do not idly wait for health to happen, we use herbal science to petition God’s grace.




      In the Hexaemeron of St Basil written circa 370 A.D. honored by both east and west, orthodox and catholic, we read concerning the six days of creation, “The first movement is called beginning. " To do right is the beginning of the good way." ' Just actions are truly the first steps towards a happy life. Again, we call " beginning " the essential and first part from which a thing proceeds, such as the foundation of a house, the keel of a vessel; it is in this sense that it is said, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," so that is to say that piety is, as it were, the groundwork and foundation of perfection.”

     What organizes all the movement of substances within the human body is no different than what organizes the world around us, a vital spirit of intelligence that permeates the body towards a good life and happy end. The breath of God breathed into the nostrils is unique to men and women, God also created the earth giving man the responsibility of dominion. Dominion is ruling wisely acknowledging God continues to guide, lead and console. This vital spirit was first set in motion by God our Father and continues unbroken into the present moment, as does our lineage. We are taught to pray in our daily prayers, “Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”, as above, so below is a key principle of how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. According to the idea of kind after kind, that within every seed is the recipe for new life, our body behaves as if it were a wild system, self thus, with its own internal system of governance. The same is equally true of all organ systems within the body, there is cooperation and autonomy. 

      Again St Basil in the 5th sermon of the Hexaermeron, St Basil saw the natural world of plants, which according to vitalism are our medicine as inherently by God whole and entire. He wrote,  “The Germination of the Earth. i. '•'•And God said ``Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself." ' It was deep wisdom that commanded the earth, when it rested after discharging the weight of the waters, first to bring forth grass, then wood, as we see it doing still at this time. For the voice that was then heard and this command were as a natural and permanent law for it ; it gave fertility and the power to produce fruit for all ages to come; "Let the earth bring forth." ” 

red bank

    Each body system element: liver, kidneys, eyes, ears, is a kind of autonomous self-thus person ‘yielding fruit after his kind’, doing it’s work after the 2nd mystery of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as the Visitation. according to itself. Within the God created plant, of the herbalist’s materia medica, as medicine is the ‘deep wisdom that commanded the earth’, the logos or Christos, as plant addresses deficiency or exuberance within the body system process. Yet herbs in general, as medicinal tonics are plants and are not the body. Herbs are outside the body, visitors to the body. They tend to stimulate vital functions of the body and encourage a return to balance of processes in the body such as digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation of fluids, the general throttle of the body as metabolism, excretion and elimination of waste. Elimination of waste products is a central key to health within vitalism. Many body processes are akin to a flame, with a kind of combustion process going on. There are multiple upper and lower burners in the body. Just as fire creates heat and requires air flow circulation, dissipation of heat, eventually the process creates ash that must be removed. Whole herbs by their presence in the body do many different things. Their complex signature is also their grace and charity. We can draw conclusions that the body is a temple and everything happening therein is sacred ground, burning bush territory. St Mary went to see and visit her cousin, blood kin, flesh and blood St Elizabeth in the 2nd rosary mystery. Visitation is travel. Travel is movement. Travel is going to see flesh and blood as flesh and blood. The herbs taken by mouth, or applied to the body as poultice, salve or oil, travel throughout the body and re-integrate balance within the tissues by stimulating or quenching the inherent body processes. “It happens that certain men suffer diverse illnesses. This comes from the phlegm which is superabundant within them. For if man had remained in paradise, he would not have had the flegmata within his body, from which many evils proceed, but his flesh would have been whole and without dark humor [livor]. However, because he consented to evil and relinquished good, he was made into a likeness of the earth, which produces good and useful herbs, as well as bad and useless ones, and which has in itself both good and evil moistures.” -St Hildegard von Bingen, Causea et Curae

St  Hildegarde

  Digestive fire is connected to the meditation of the 3rd Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the book of Acts chapter 2, verse 1-3, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.' Pentecost Sunday is 50 days after the passion of Christ in the passover, where, "they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.' Exodus 12:8. We are continuously passing over, because food allows our body, and spirit nourishment for the journey. The bitter herbs are Intybum sylvestre, chicory, dandelion root, sow thistle and leaves, endive, bitter lettuce, and horseradish root. As the bitter herbs prepared them for the Exodus from captivity in Egypt, so in the body, bitter herbs ready digestion. Rushing mighty wind refers to the Holy Ghost, promised of Christ which is said to animate the faith of Christians. In the body the Holy Ghost wind refers to the essential digestive fire which is required in vitalism to allow food to become the body and nourish the essential journey of the Christian. It is not like Jesus Christ is king, then disappears and hides while materialist mechanistic science takes over in the process of digestion. Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Virgin Mary are active in all the body processes. The body processes make possible the journey we take from baptism, when by water, salt, chrism we become fully alive as persons through the first sacrament.

The bitter herbs of vitalism promote digestion by preparing the tongue, which as the Holy Ghost were tongues of fire. The fire of digestion begins in the mouth. We before taking food, pray and offer praise and thanks. We make the sign of the cross, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and by the Holy Ghost, We give thee thanks dear God, for these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, through thy bounty, through Christ thy Lord, Amen. As it was in the beginning and ever shall be, world without end. We pray and give thanks before all meals. We pray while making all herbal formulas, likewise while taking them.

The Swedish bitters formula is just one particular herbal formula on the endless road, one of many. As we said earlier, medicine thy food and food thy medicine. Likewise improper digestion of food is the beginning of much dis-ease. Just as Pentecost is 50 days, 7 times seven, 49 days plus one, 7 sundays after Easter Resurrection Sunday, everything in digestion must be timed with the proper release of digestive secretions. The bitter formula is made specific to the person by the herbalist to match the strength of the digestive fire. The Swedish bitters of Maria Treben through Paracelsus is but one specific example of a bitter formula.

Artemisia vulgaris mugwort

In general the bitter taste plays an important role in the digestive process. Secretions beginning with TAS2R receptors on the tongue and oral cavity. The mouth is inside and outside the body, front and back door, sorry/not sorry entrance. Signals on the tongue begin stimulating release of saliva and through a cascade of other responses via the gut core brain complex, stimulating the vagus nerve. Bitters start things happening in the digestive chain which begins with the eye, in the imagination with giving thanks. "Thank you Jesus, thank you Father." Various bitter herbs assist in release of stomach acids, bile from the gall bladder, and cells in the pancreas releasing insulin. Further down in the intestines, they increase gastric motility, peristalsis, the physical movement of food through the lower gastrointestinal tract. These receptors also exist in other body systems such as the respiratory system, in the cilia, where they detect or taste bacterial and viral infiltration, and hence moderate and direct immune response scenarios in the respiratory tract and lungs. TAS2R receptors exist along the entire digestive tract. Throughout the body, these receptors in addition to preparing the body for digestion, mobilize spirit to adapt to ever changing situations, providing continuous adjustment and response. Sitting at table, giving thanks for food is an essential process of health life. We must continuously re-own our narrative of tribe, of family, of God, of Christ, of health, of life and death in the face of a ruthless regime of slurp food erasure. Fast food is death food, because fast-fake-food destroys the narrative of who you are at the fundamental level. Pray over everything, continuously give thanks as promise and threat to the soul thieves who work, "...according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.." Ephesians 2:2

Dr Robin DiPasquale, ND, RH(AHG): quote from Herbs as Bitters, It's a Matter of Taste, writing in, Naturopathic Doctor News and Review: 

" The iridoid glycoside group represents the highest degree of bitter taste in the plant kingdom (Hoffman, 2003). These iridoids also bring antimicrobial action. The secoiridoid glycoside amarogentin in Gentiana lutea (gentian) has a bitterness value of 10 to 58 million (Samuelsson, 1999). Gentian could also be considered for its actions as a cholagogue and hepatic.

Gentiana

Equally bitter are the harpagosides in Harpagophytum procumbens (devil’s claw), which also support inflammation-modulating effects, and the verbenalin in Verbena officinalis (vervain), which acts as an antispasmodic and nervine.

Sesquiterpene lactones – for example, the absinthin found in Artemisia absinthium (wormwood), lactucin found in Lactuca virosa (wild lettuce) and achillin in Achillea millefolium (yarrow) – are the second most bitter of the plant compounds. Artemisia absinthium is an antimicrobial and vermifuge; Lactuca is one of the stronger sedatives in the herbal Materia Medica; and Achillea is an herb that has many actions, including antimicrobial, inflammation modulation, carminative and nervine. The diterpene lactone marrubiin in Marrubium vulgare (horehound) is also a very strong bitter, as well as acting as an antimicrobial, antispasmodic and expectorant, used in upper respiratory conditions with a cough.

horehound Marrubium

Alkaloids yield a significant bitter taste, often warning the body of toxicity. The following two plants, high in alkaloids, are often included in the group of digestive bitters. Ruta graveolens (rue), with the alkaloids arborinine and graveoline, also acts as an antispasmodic and strong emmenagogue. Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), with its alkaloids hydrastine and berberine, is known as an antimicrobial and inflammation modulator within the gut, healing the mucous membranes.

The remaining bitter herbs on the list are relatively mild bitters compared to those just discussed.

Agrimonia eupatoria (agrimony), one of the Bach Flower remedies, is high in tannins, giving it its astringent and inflammation modulating actions. Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort), a milder species of Artemisia, gently moves the liver, quiets the nervous system and acts as an emmenagogue, supporting healthy menstrual flow. Matricaria recutita, chamomile, is a carminative and nervine, easing digestive unrest, as well as being an inflammation modulator and vulnerary, healing gut tissue. Menyanthes (bogbean) has anthraquinone glycosides, and acts as a gentle laxative. Although it also contains iridoids, the bitterness value is 9,000, much lower than gentian. Iris veriscolor (blue flag), known for its work on conditions of the skin, acts as an alterative while modulating inflammation." -Robin DiPasquale, ND, RH(AHG) 

Cichorium intybus chicory


....From Gerards Herbal Historie of Plants published 1597

            5. To these may fitly be added the thorny or prickly Succory of Candy, being of this kindred, and there used in defect of the true Succory, in stead thereof. The root is pretty long, white, with few fibres hanging thereat; the stalk is hard, woody, and divaricated into many branches, which commonly end in two or three pricks like horns: The leaves are bitter, long, narrow, and sharp pointed, and lie spread upon the ground, and are a little sinuated, or cut about the edges. The flowers, which usually grow upon little footstalks at the divisions of the branches, are much like those of the ordinary Succory, yet much less, consisting of five blue leaves, with yellow chives in the middle. The seed is like those of the common Succory. It flowers in July and August.

The Place and Time

            This Succory, and these Endives are only grown in gardens.

            Endive being sown in the spring quickly cometh up to flower, which seedeth in harvest, and afterward dieth. But being sown in July it remaineth till winter, at which time it is taken up by the roots, and laid in the sun or air for the space of two hours; then will the leaves be tough, and easily endure to be wrapped upon an heap, and buried in the earth with the roots upward, where no earth can get within it (which if it did, would cause rottenness) the which so covered may be taken up at times convenient, and used in salads all the winter, as in London and other places is to be seen; and then it is called white Endive, whereof Pliny seemeth not to be ignorant, speaking to the same purpose in his 20th book and 8th chapter.

 The Names.

            1. Pliny nameth the Succory Hedypnois: and the bitterer Dioscorides calleth Pichris: in Latin, Intybum sylvestreIntybum agreste, Intybum erraticum, and Cichorium: in shops it is called Cichorea, which name is not only allowed of the later physicians, but also of the poet Horace in the 31st Ode of his first book.

 

  Me pascunt olivæ, Me chicorea, levesque malvæ

["I browse on olives,
and chicory, and simple mallows"]

            With us, saith Pliny in his 20th book, 8th chapter, they have called Intybum erraticum, or wild Endive, Ambugia (others read Ambubeia) and some there be that name it Rostrum porcinum: and others, as Guilielmus Placentinus, and Petrus Crescentius, term it Sponsa solis: the Germans call it Wegwarten, which is as much to say, as the keeper of the ways: the Italians, Cichorea: the Spaniards, Almerones: the Englishmen, Chicory and Succory: the Bohemians, Czakanka.

            3. Endive is named in Latin, Intybum sativum: of some, Endivia: of Avicenna and Serapio, Taraxacon: of the Italians, Scariola, which name remaineth in most shops; also Seriola, as though they should fitly call it Seris, but not so well Serriola, with a double r: for Serriola is Lactuca sylvestris, or wild lettuce: it is called in Spanish, Serraya Envide: in English, Endive, and Scariole: and when it hath been in the earth buried as aforesaid, then it is called white Endive.

            5. This was first set forth by Clusius under this name, Chondrillæe genus elegans cæruleo flore: since, by Pona and Bauhin, by the title we give you, to wit, Cichorium spinosum. Honorius Bellus writes that in Candy where as it naturally grows, thcy vulgarly term it Hydriæ spina, the Pitcher Thorn; because people fetch all their water in stone pots or Pitchers, which they top with this plant, to keep mice and other such things from creeping into them: and it grows so round, that it seems by nature to be provided for that purpose.

 

The Nature.

            Endive and Succory are cold and dry in the second degree, and withal somewhat binding: and becaus they be something bitter, they do also cleanse and open.

            Garden Endive is colder, and not so dry or cleansing, by reason of these qualities they are thought to be excellent medicines for a hot liver, as Galen hath written in his 8th book of the Compositions of Medicines according to the places affected" - From Gerard's Herbal and Historie of Plants 1597.

      

valeriana

I would say that for the most part, when a body process enters awareness, when hypervigilance is aroused, when the body process or system is noted, then that body system process may need adjustment. I am not aware of my legs until there is pain, redness, warmth, cold or loss of function in my legs. At the point I become aware of my legs then at that point there maybe need for action with herbalism as tretment. At that point we must take stock of the situation through the science of herbal cure directed at the legs. I am a Christian so for me it is simply, a verse from the bible that describes in a lot of ways for me what is going on, the book of Job, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.’, Job 33:4. I don’t believe it supports health to be hypervigilant, questioning the mind and mystery of the kingdom, regarding the body and its processes. Hypervigilance as well as torpor and dullness are both equally indicative of imbalance, in the mental state and within the body systems. The body can neither long be tight and stiff nor loose and flabby without harming the vital flow. The lymph and spleen are within a key organ system to remove waste and mobilize factors in infection. The lymph system requires specific muscular contraction and relaxation to move the lymph fluids because the lymph system lacks a pump to do its function. The body must move the large muscles of the legs and lower body to facilitate the circulation of lymph. Likewise the blood, even though it has the heart as a partial pump, it too must have muscular movement to maximize fluid circulation. The body must be predisposed to action. Many states of disease are directly correlated to lack of physical movement. Waste products that can not be eliminated build up and begin to attack the body systems. All body systems are adversely affected by sedentary lifestyle as metabolic syndrome. We could call a sedentary lifestyle a sedentary dearth-style. Sedentary life will soon accumulate, and concentrate waste products within a specific body system and contribute to that body system’s  mechanical break down. The body must move and like all creatures, a man or woman will suffer if tethered to a short rope with a tight collar. Certain elements of the modern world work against the health of the body.

La Gobernadora

    There are blessings and curses according to natural law that follow surrounding all choices. Choose carefully. So I would say, be vigilant about the choices you make because most choices become habits. Here, I am in no way arguing for 100% free will, or spontaneous life with no habits, or nature vs nurture. I am simply stating some things you do increase health and vitality, other things you do diminish health and vitality. A lot of these things you do are choices, or at least begin with some kind of conscious choice, some are not. Some of the things that increase health and vitality are inherited. Also life proceeds both in a chronological, linear, straight line way within individuality, and at the same time life proceeds cyclically in a more circular pattern within that same individuality. An example of this in a natural system would be young, short small maple trees and old, large tall maple trees in a northern forest as deciduous trees. On both trees, both sets of leaves will turn red and fall to the ground as autumn and winter approaches. At birth an individual human being has the finite quantified potential for so many breaths, so many heart beats, so many foot steps. You could call this finite limitation genetics or, call it something else. Yet whatever name is used there is no escape that built within us is our own death scenario. When that finite number of breaths is reached, the vital spirit leaves the body and people who know the person say, ‘So and so, Marjorie Smith died.’.Each person has inherited tendencies that can become operative, activated while some remain potential, unactivated. Both positive and negative tendencies exist in all aspects of the human person. Each person has inherited tendencies within the various organ systems. All the body organ systems are designed to do much more than necessary for basic function, partly due to bilateral symmetry, two arms, two kidneys, two eyes, two ears, two lungs, but also in the unitary organs, one liver, one spleen, one digestive tract, to compensate for injury, disease and old age mortality. All body systems reach a peak in the early twenties then decline in function. So that the art of living after age 25 must become the art of preserving body function. 

    

Sour yellow dock root

    Part of the health history is ethnic and racial. Each person is part of a sub set of biologically related individuals with patterns and tendencies. A small short, thick set, barrel chested, dark skinned person will have unique dietary and health concerns. Another set of health concerns are individual, personal, unique to one specific person. Part of the health history is looking at early childhood illness in relation to the problematic organ system. Then focusing on strengthening that organ system. We must give special attention to organs affected by childhood illness, no matter how minor the illness. If for instance a child who had a history of repeated childhood sore throat with chest congestion and cough, although the childhood sore throat with lung congestion and cough, can be described as a related complex of medical conditions, such as streptococcal infection, temperature 38.2c, left lung infiltrate etc in terms of a medical condition, in terms of vitalism, the illness would also be associated with a feeling tone and endowment, perhaps hubris, and if left unaddressed has a tendency to become their nemesis, in both emotional behavioral issues and organ system failure as adult. That person as an adult must strengthen the lungs, throat, or those organ systems will become their nemesis. They must likewise temper grandiose delusional thinking and work to co-operate in social endeavors.  

     Part of vitalism is to identify the inherent weaknesses and strengths of organ systems. In vitalism we nourish weak body systems through God’s nutritive herbs, sunlight, clean pure water, exercise and allow the body to renew itself. Illness is an opportunity to observe and address both excess and deficiency of organ systems. There is a tendency for what happens in the body, when it is nourished by the proper food, to move towards health, balance and homeostasis. Likewise there is a tendency for what happens in the body to move towards ill-health, sickness, disease and imbalance when improper ‘food’ is consumed. For me as a Christian, the spirit of God working both in the body and within creation is fulfillment of faith, hope and charity. The breath of the Almighty continues to operate as the Holy Ghost wind through all living things within creation. Within free-will, garbage in, garbage out. To turn the other cheek to persons or agendas whose stated goal is your erasure, and the cessation of your genetic line, can never be made to love. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. yet still give thanks for each day above ground, still obtaining whatever ordinance may strengtheth spirit for the journey to come, come what may, Deus vult, as God wills it, this herbal medicine road must continue for the generations to come. 


    Vitalism is a standard, baseline understanding that what animates us, also simultaneously enlivens and sustains us, within and without.  According to western herbal tradition, we are creatures enlivened by God. In other words, practice religion; avoid spirituality, dig deep into practice; loathe theoretical science, fine tune the descriptive; while turning off prescriptives. Believe and do within the simplicity of the natural world of God, of forest, mountain, field, garden and family is our food and medicine. So that if next week or next year, a new situation arises for which you have no answer, first, ‘Don’t respond, don’t react’. Then dwell on the new situation without demanding a response. Pay attention. Allow unanswered questions to be unanswered questions. Then  simply invoke the principle of simplicity, plainness and solidarity without elaboration or prejudice as Christians living the promise of salvation as health.

    From St Basil 345A.D.,  Hexaemeron V: " Let the earth bring forth the fruit tree yielding fruit." Immediately the tops of the mountains were covered with foliage ; paradises were artfully laid out, and an infinitude of plants embellished the banks of the rivers. Some were for the adornment of man's table; some to nourish animals with their fruits and their leaves; some to provide medicinal help by giving us their sap. their juice, their chips, their bark or their fruit. In a word, the experience of ages, profiting from every chance, has not been, able to discover anything useful, which the penetrating foresight of the Creator did not first perceive and call into existence. Therefore, when you see the trees in our gardens, or those of the forest, those which love the water or the land, those which bear flowers, or those which do not flower, I should like to see you recognising grandeur even in small objects, adding incessantly to your admiration of, and redoubling your love for the Creator.”

     Vitalism is not so much prescriptive as descriptive of what every God fearing, bible believing, church going, herbalist man or woman knows, and was taught from childhood. As a traditional Catholic, within the subset of Christians attending the 1500 year old, unchanged mass of all time, we were all uniformly taught the Baltimore Catechism: These basic formulas we were universally taught and memorized day in day out, by rote in grammar school, inform us equally today. In a social structure built on continuous flux, the only meaningful creative response to continuous change for change’s sake, in the human realm, is the revolution of tradition and simplicity. Remember, don’t respond, don’t react. 


1. Q. Who made the world? A. God made the world. 

2. Q. Who is God? A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things. 

3. Q. What is man? A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

5. Q. How is the soul like to God? A. The soul is like God because it is a spirit that will never die, and has understanding and free will. 

      My fleshy body is alive only because in beginningless time, in the garden of Eden, God the Father, our Creator, breathed his spirit of life into the nostril of Adam. All of us were taught in our families, as we knelt down together praying to the Virgin Mary in our homes,  during the daily rosary, Jesus was born of Mary the Mother of God. Mary was born by the power of the Holy Ghost. Mary, as Maria Treben, wrote in her book, “Health Through God’s Pharmacy”, said that, “Mary the helper of the sick was showing me the way.”  Likewise Mary the helper of the sick is showing us concretely how to proceed as herbalists, today. For that reason, almost continuously during the day we use the blessing from the Milvian bridge, from that day October 27, 312A.D., Chi Rho, Christos, In this Sign Conquer, not from the sun, but by the Son, Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Glory be to the Father, and the son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning and ever shall be, world without end, Amen. 

     Vitalism is nothing special, matter of fact Christian Vitalism. “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.” Genesis 2:7 My health, healing the human body, the skillful use of herbs, and herbal preparations, in our western herbal tradition exists in a subset that is Christendom, Christ the king, within the greater vehicle of western civilization. Essential Christian Vitalism, begins with the self-evident truth that our life, our life in a human body is bounded, grouped and established in God, by God and through the mercy of God. Do no harm. Don’t respond, don’t react.

Maria Treben

 Here are some quotes from Austrian herbalist Marie Treben, to guide and inspire.     

Maria Treben:  Health Through God’s Pharmacy”:

“The Abbe father Kneipp says, “there is an herb for every illness”…

“In 1961 my dear mother died and since then I have the distinct feeling I was pushed into herbalism. Gradually I acquired knowledge and experience. It was as if I was guided by a higher power. The Virgin Mary, helper of the sick, was showing me the way. My trust in Her, prayers said before an old wonderful painting of her, which I acquired in a strange way, have always helped when I was in doubt. So I not only endeavor to show you the herbs and their medicinal properties, but above all the omnipotence of a Creator in whose hands we exist. In sickness we look for his help and comfort and use the humble herbs He has provided. It is He who guides us so we may live according to His will.”

“….To find a way out of the hopelessness of ill health, by own’s own strength and free will…to win back one’s health and to bear responsibility for oneself,...recovery from one’s sick life.”

Writing on Gallium/cleavers, “Certainly it is not the herbs alone that bring health; it is God Almighty who assists in it. Finally everything lies in God’s hands.”

     “...clearly, one can rely on God’s pharmacy, when a doctor’s help is of no avail.’

…”how the medicinal gift’s of God’s pharmacy help! Who makes such miracles happen? Only by the grace of the Creator.”

…On Soldigo virgo-aurea…”All our emotions are worked off in the kidneys. Therefore they are most affected after an emotional shock, be it a death in the family,  or any accident. Golden rod, (Solidago) provides its worth as a medicinal plant which influence the human emotions most favorably. It should be drunk immediately following loss or emotional disappointment. We feel the soothing effect of this plant almost like a calm caressing hand in severe emotional stress. Even the sight of golden rod has a quieting effect on us. We should be thankful there are plants that grow around us, which bring us such comfort.’

…Horsetail Equisiteum spp, “””Dr Wagner-Jaurregg Two thirds of the mentally ill would not go to mental home had they healthy kidneys…unhappy people through kidney disorders suffered through depressions delusions, and fits of rage would have ended up in a mental institution but for horsetail sitz baths. For these conditions besides yarrow and stinging nettle teas, a cup of horsetail tea drunk mornings and evenings.’


Small swedish bitters


Here are the 11 ingredients for the Small Swedish Bitters, of Maria Treben as listed in her book, "Health Through God's Pharmacy". The 'small" bitters refers to a relatively, 'small', or few number of ingredients. There is another bitters formula, also associated with her, consisting of 22 herbs, called "great" swedish bitters. As I discussed further on, Treben's bitters were given to her fully made and prepared by another person. She kept the bottle in a closet, never using them. She eventually used them in desperation. after failing to regain her health and vitality after a bout of typhoid fever left her in a debilitated state with intestinal issues. She applied the bitters to her stomach as a poultice. I also share Dr Claus Samst's use of a bitters formula as a panacea, or universal healing formula, taken not only internally, but applied topically. As Treben describes in many personal anecdotes, the bitters formula is applied to open skin wounds, conditions such as nail fungus, gout, broken limbs, as an ointment salve, poultice and so on. Her small bitters are quite exotic, meaning the plants listed are not native to Bavaria, Austria or Sweden, with 8 of the listed ingredients being herbs of commerce with a long history dating to the crusades, the spice trade and connected to pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Bitters are part of a long tradition within herbalism and usually refer to much more common, local herbs that contain the bitter principle in plants, taken by mouth as a digestive stimulant, as a formula before meals. Usually not applied topically, in fact nearly always taken by mouth. Usually the bitter formula contains a principle bitter herb, a carminative, and warming spices. Probably most of us are familiar with bitter greens such as dandelion, radish tops, garden lettuce, chicory, arugala, endive and escarole. Bitters are essentially duplicating this flavor and principle of taste, of the early spring bitter green salad, although in concentrated form, available at any month of the year. Bitters greens stimulate the digestive process from salivation in the mouth, release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, release of bile from the liver gall bladder complex for the digestion of fats and absorption of nutrients, and rapid movement of food through the digestive tract. So in a sense bitters contain ingredients that imitate and substitute for the spring bitter green salad, that promote rapid transit of food contents through the intestines, while enhancing nutritive absorption. Obviously easier said than done. Keeping with the principle, that food is our medicine and medicine our food, the obvious question is, why not eat bitter greens at every meal? Again easier said than done.

So here are listed the 11 herbal ingredients from Maria Treben's small swedish bitters:


10g aloe* Aloe vera (gentian root or wormwood powder are listed as substitute for Aloe) of the Liliaceae family is a succulent, native to the desert mediterranean region. Aloe vera, the translucent gel from the leaves contains alloin, and was used from the middle ages in Europe as a purgative laxative. 


5g myrrh, Commiphora myrrha spp is a gummy resin taken from a tree native to desert middle eastern, north Africa. Commiphora spp. Is mentioned multiple times in the old and new testament. It was one of the gifts the magi, three kings, presented to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It was also present at the crucifixion, death and burial of Christ. It is a perfume, herbal medicine and incense. It has antimicrobial properties and a bitter taste.


0,2g saffron, Crocus sativus is a crocus, a european cultivar, with wild native descendants of the Iridaceae family and was cultivated from antiquity and consists of the stigmas of the crocus flower. It is yellow, orange and has numerous phytochemicals including bitter glycosides. 


10g senna leaves, Senna alexandrina is in the legume or bean/pea family and is narive to Egypt, the mediterranean and northern africa. It contains sennosides as is used topically as a fungicide and internally as a laxative.


10g camphor (only natural camphor may be used), native to Asia, China Vietnam Cinnamomum camphora


10g rhubarb roots, Rheum palmatum. A Polygonaceae, knotweed family plant, originally from Asia China. Used as a cathartic and laxative and topically as poultice. It is unknown whether Maria Treben used this variety of rhubarb or common culinary rhubarb, since rhubarb easily cross pollinates and hybridizes it is a mute point. 


10g zedvoary roots, Curcuma zedoaria, tropical ginger family Zingiberaceae plant. Native to southeast Asia. Root has melon/ginger taste, bitter, warming. Used both for food and medicine for inflammation, pain, topical for wounds, skin, and essential oil as a bitter tonic. It is also possible that this ingredient may have been the much more common, turmeric root also in the same family, or ginger root.


10g manna, Fraxinus ornus is a flowering ash tree of the mediterranean region. A cut in the bark of the tree releases a sweet tasting sap, composed of sugars, mannose and mannitol. It was connected to the biblical manna and both sugars will produce loose watery stools, if taken in any great quantity. 


5g carline thistle root, Carlina acaulis, an asteracae plant native to europe, growing in alpine mountainous areas, it was known in european folk medicine for treating plague. Named for Charlemagne the legendary king who found the plant in a dream from an angel.


10g angelica root Angelica archangelica. Apiaceae, celery family. Native to Europe, with similar Angelica species in north america.


10g Theriac venezian, a medieval traditional fermented mixture made in Italy of multiple herbs, roots, flowers, roots, minerals, gums, oils and resins, animal products. That can not be precisely duplicated as it contained opioids, and was a highly individualized proprietary mixture.


Into a wide mouth glass 2L bottle with 1.5L 40proof 80% rye or fruit spirit. In the sun shaken daily. Strained decanted small bottles

Valeriana


     One of the things you’ll notice after reading, Marie Treben’s, “Health Through God’s Pharmacy”, is emphasis on her small swedish bitters formula. Nearly all the ingredients listed in her formula are not native to Austria. The plants in her swedish bitters formula are definitely not from Sweden. Equally the plants in the formula are not native to Austria. They could best be described as south mediterranean, Biblical plants, middle eastern plants. The plants in the swedish bitters formula are exotic folklore heritage plants of the middle ages. They would have been brought back by pilgrims to Jerusalem, traders and crusaders, rather than a native alpine Austrian Elixir ad vitam longam, elixir for a long life. The two native plants to Austria, angelica and carline thistle root, used in the formula, are traditional herbal medicines with a rich folklore history. The carline thistle, an aster family plant is connected to Charlemagne who was guided to the plant by an angel within a dream, as a remedy for the plague. Angelica, means angel and was widely used in original medicinal liquorers crafted by monks such as Benedictine, Chartreuse, and Vermouth, eventually sold as commercial spirits. 

Paracelsus

     Maria Treben credits her small swedish bitters formula  to Dr Claus Samst by way of Paracelsus (1493-1541), a Swiss medical innovator and philosopher, writer indicative of the German renaissance. Paracelsus was typical of the european renaissance man of the 15th century in that he was aristocratic, Christian, arrogant and bombastic, male, white, obviously european, informed on the then recent discovery of the New world. Columbus had just arrived in the Carribean islands of the New World in 1492 at the birth of Paracelsus. He named himself Paracelsus, meaning above and beyond Celsus the 2nd A.D. greek who wrote against the then new revealed religion Christianity. Paracelsus was cutting edge of multiple disciplines. He was involved in what today would be labeled random rash stream of consciousness delusions. He lived in a world where Jesus, medicine, chemistry, metallurgy, theology and psychology all slept in the same bed. For Paracelsus discoveries of science were the same as divine revelation. He was both prophet and scientist.

     One hundred years later, Dr Claus Samst who lived and practiced medicine during the 30 years war, 1618-1648, utilized the swedish bitters formula from Paracelsus and used it to doctor calvary troops injured in the war. In addition Dr Urban Hjärne was a follower of Paracelsus and set up a laboratory in Kungsholmen where he developed recipes, including his Swedish bitters recipe which he sold in pharmacies in 1692 as “Elexir amarum Hjaerneri ad longum vitae” (translation: Bitter remedy by Hjärne for a long life). This recipe was recommended for gout, fever, colic, paralysis, coughs and swollen legs.


    The small swedish bitters formula is part of the the heritage of western herbalism and vitalism, the medieval tradition of panacea goes back to Hippocrates and his oath:   

 Ὄμνυμι Ἀπόλλωνα ἰητρὸν καὶ Ἀσκληπιὸν καὶ Ὑγείαν καὶ Πανάκειαν καὶ θεοὺς πάντας τε καὶ πάσας ἵστορας ποιεύμενος ἐπιτελέα ποιήσειν κατὰ δύναμιν καὶ κρίσιν ἐμὴν ὅρκον τόνδε καὶ ξυγγραφὴν τήνδε.

“I swear, calling upon Apollo the physician and Asclepius, Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses as witnesses, that I will fulfill this oath and this contract according to my ability and judgment.’  A Panacea both calls forth beauty, cleanliness, health, goodness, long life, vigor and through the taking of the herbal cure connects oneself to a lineage of healing. There is nothing exactly like the panacea in the modern world. Yet we have our herbal cures approximating them.  

Wild Onion



Below are listed 46 uses for the swedish bitters Panacea, from Dr Claus Samst circa 1650 A.D.. The old manuscript

The 46 Conditions; Dr Claus Samst

(Transcript of the Swedish bitters curative power)

1. They are frequently breathed in or sniffed, at the base of the skull moisten or a moistened cloth applied to the head, they dispel pain and dizziness and strengthen the brain and memory.

2. They help dim eyes and take away redness and all pain, even if the eyes are inflamed. They rid them of spots and cataracts, if the corners are moistened in time or a moistened piece of cloth is applied to the closed lids.

3. Pustulas and eczema of all kind, as scabs in the nose or elsewhere on the body are healed, if they are often well moistened

4. For toothache a tablespoon of these drops is taken a little water and kept in the mouth for a little while or the aching tooth is moistened. The pain soon eases and the purification disappears.

5. Blisters on the tongue or other infirmities of the tongue are frequently moistened with the drops and healing soon occurs.

6. If the throat is hotter inflamed, so that food is only swallowed with difficulty, these drops were swallowed slowly, morning, noon and evening they take away the heat and heal the throat.


7. For stomach cramps, one tablespoon is full is taken.

8. For colic, 3 tablespoons full are taken slowly one after the other and relief will soon be felt.

9. They rid the body of wind (gas) and cool the liver, eliminating all trouble the intestines and stomach and help Constipation.

10. An excellent remedy for stomach disorders, if the digestion is faulty or food cannot be kept down. They are beneficial.

11. They are beneficial for pain in the gallbladder. One tablespoon full daily in the morning and evening, and at night, compresses and soon all pain with disappear

12. For dropsy one tablespoon white wine is taken in the morning an evening for six weeks.

13. for pain and buzzing in the ear a piece of cotton wool is moistened and put into the ear. Is very beneficial and brings back loss hearing.

14, For morning sickness, one tablespoon of the drops in red wine is given in the morning for three days, half an hour later a walk is taken, then breakfast, but no milk. These drops should not be taken after drinking milk.

15. In the last 14 days of pregnancy if one tablespoon of the drops is taken mornings any evenings, it promotes birth. For easy expelling of the after birth, a teaspoonful is given every two hours, until the afterbirth is expelled without pain.

16. If after a birth, the milk dries up,  and inflammation develops, it quickly subsides if a moisten piece of cloth is applied.

17, They expel worms, even tape worms, in children and adults, the amount taken by children being according to age. A piece of cloth moistened with the drops is applied to the navel and kept moist.

18. They rid children of pustulas. The children are given these drops according to age, diluted with water. If the pustulas start to dry up they're moisten frequently with these drops and no scars will appear.

Monarda

19. For jaundice very soon all complaints disappear, if one tablespoon of these drops is taken three times daily and compresses are applied to the swollen liver.

20. They open all hemorrhoids, heal the kidneys, rid the bodies of all unnecessary liquids without further treatment, taking away melancholy and depression and improve appetite and digestion.

21. Hemorrhoids are reduced if in the beginning there moisten frequently and if the drops were taken internally, especially before going to bed, so they soften the hemorrhoids. Externally a cotton ball moistened with the drops is applied. It makes the remaining blood flow and relieve some burning.

22. If someone has fainted, open his mouth if required, give him one tablespoon of the drops and he will come to.

23. This remedy reads you have pain of the pain of spasms or cramps so that will see some time.

24. For consumption take them daily in the mornings on an empty stomach and continue the treatment for six weeks.

25. If the menstrual flow ceases for a woman or is it too heavy, she takes these drops three days and repeats it 20 times. They will, what is too much, quiet and an what is too little, even out.

Oregon grape

26. This remedy also helps cure the whites (white vaginal discharge).

27. If someone is affected afflicted with epilepsy, he has to be given these drops on the spot and he should take this remedy exclusively, since it strengthens the affected nerves as the body as well as the body and rid of all sickness.

28. They heal lameness and rid you of dizziness an indisposition.

29. They heal also the hot pustulas and erysipelas.

30. If someone has a fever, be it hot or cold and is very weak he is given one tablespoon full of the drops and the patient, if he is not too overloaded with other medications, will in a short time come to, the pulse will start to beat again and the fever no matter how high it was, will pass and the patient will soon be better.

31. the drops also heal old cancer, old pockmarks, warts and chapped hands. If the wound is older festering a proud flesh is developed, everything is wash well with white wine and a piece of cloth moistened with the drops is laid upon it.

32. They heal, without danger, all wounds, be they from a stab or a hit, if they're moisten frequently. A piece of cloth is taken, moisten with the drops in the wounds covered therewith. They take away the pain as short time, permit no blemish or putrification and heal also old wounds which were caused by a short. If there are holes, the drops are sprinkled in the wound which need not necessarily be cleaned before hand. Through a peated applicant applying of the moisten cloth healing occurs in a short time period

33. They take away scars, even if very old, wounds and cuts if moistened up to 40 times with them. All wounds heal and leave no scars.


34 They heal fistulas, even if they seem incurable, be they as old as they may be.

35. They heal all burns and scalds, be they caused by fire, hot water or fat, if the injuries are moistened frequently. No blister forms, the heat is taken out and even festering blisters are healed.

36. They serve against swellings and bruises be they caused by a blow or fall.

37. If someone cannot eat with appetite, they bring back the last taste.

38. In anemia they bring back the lost color, if taken for a period in the morning. They cleanse the blood and form new blood and promote circulation.

39. Rheumatic pain in the limbs are eased if the drops are taking morning an evening a moistened cloth is applied to the aching parts.

40. They heal frostbitten hands and feet, even if they are open parts, if a moistened cloth is applied there's often as possible, but especially at night.

41. For corns a cotton ball moistened with drops is applied and kept moist. After three days the corns fall out or can be removed painlessly.

42. They heal too, bites of mad dogs and other animals, if taken internally, since they heal and destroy all poison. A moistened cloth is laid upon the wounds.

43. For plague and other infectious diseases as well, take them repeatedly since they heal plague boils and swellings even if they are in the throat.

44. He who cannot sleep at night takes these drops for going to bed. For nervous sleeplessness a piece of cloth moistened with diluted drops is laid upon the heart.

45. A drunk can be sober on the spot with two tablespoons two tablespoonfuls.

46 he who takes these drops in the morning and evenings daily needs no further medication, since they strengthen the body, tone the nerves in the blood, take away the trembling of the hands and feet. In short, they take away all illness. The body stays supple, the face young and beautiful.

Important: All stated amounts of Swedish bitters could be taken diluted with herb tea or water.

The wonderful healing power of this herb mixture is showing the above text of the old manuscript. It can be said, and rightly so, that there is hardly any illness where Swedish bitters is not a benefit or at least is effective as a basis for every treatment


References:


Thus Shalt Thou Live, by Father Sebastian Kneipp, Jos Koesel publisher, 1895

Health Through God’s Pharmacy: Advice and Proven Cures with Medicinal Herbs- By Maria Treben, 1980

ST. BASIL: Hexaemeron, LETTERS AND SELECT WORKS. NEW YORK: THE CHRISTIAN LITERATURE COMPANY. OXFORD AND LONDON: PARKER & COMPANY. 1895

Lu P, Zhang CH, Lifshitz LM, ZhuGe R. Extraoral bitter taste receptors in health and disease. J Gen Physiol. 2017 Feb;149(2):181-197. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201611637. Epub 2017 Jan 4. PMID: 28053191; PMCID: PMC5299619.
Gerards Herbal and Plant Historie, 1597

 Samuelsson G: Drugs of Natural Origin (4th revised ed). CITY, 1999, Apotekarsocieteten (Swedish Pharmaceutical Society).

Sanberg F and Corrigan D: Natural Remedies: Their Origins & Uses. CITY, 2001, CRC Press.

Micheal Moore, Medicinal Plants of Desert and Canyon West, Museum of New Mexico Press 1989

Toma W et al: Antiulcerogenic activity of four extracts obtained from the bark wood of Quassia amara L. (Simaroubaceae), Biol Pharm Bull Sep;25(9):1151-5, 2002.

https://ndnr.com/womens-health/herbs-as-bitters-its-a-matter-of-degree/#
Herbs As Bitters, Robin DiPasquale, ND, RH(AHG) Naturopathic Doctor Review 
Echinacea


     Herbal America circa Vietnam:

 

The present moment of time reveals a difficult situation for herbalism, in 1989 herbalist Michael Moore wrote in, " Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West", "In this country we are embroiled in a grim, desperate, multi-billion dollar mud wrestling match between the public sector (the Food and Drug Administration) and the private sector (the pharmaceutical-medical-hospital industry)...Remember, medicine is our largest industry, bigger than the Pentagon...With only this one Brobdignagian game in town, everything else slips between the cracks of the two mud wrestlers (admittedly a poor simile)." Much has changed in 35 years from 1989 to 2022. The two mud wrestlers have given up the ruse and sham of a contest between two opposing public vs private spheres of influence. Public and private now wrestles the paid audience in the stands. There was a naivete in the post vietnam boomerstan, Michael Moore herbalist world of us vs them, good guys vs bad guys, opposing sides with choices and consequences, and a general optimism of working this out. We pray this is sort of a pendulum swing back and forth, give and take ordeal and not a linear straight line progression. We pray we'll live long enough to see the next variation in the mud wrestling match. The marriage of public sector and private sectors into a new monolithic force, has a new frightening look with hospital as part of the police pharma surveillance state. Neither Michael Moore or Edward Abbey, could fully anticipate a universal descent into a cult of observation. There was always a place to go to escape the watching eyes of big brother big sister. In the past you watched or observed something, or someone because it was important, significant, valuable. Now the watching is automated electro automated observation. We watch and are watched for no clear reason other than control by the algorithm. Control by what? For what? Control for control. Progress in any direction looks doubtful, the question becomes not what side you are on, but instead, how can one fight a battle where everyone is a possible enemy? How can there be a mud wrestling match where both wrestlers have agreed prior to the scheduled match, to instead, on cue, indiscriminately attack the audience of spectators. The trained lions, tigers and bears of the circus rather than jumping through hoops now maul the circus goer. We have progressed from war with spoils and victory, to universal slave camps with privileges for every informant. The truth is there can be no victory, no battle or resolution of conflict in a narrative of universal paranoia and fear. Michael Moore and Edward Abbey would both be disappointed in a retreat to tradition, to Jesus Christ, yet for me to live in an unlivable world means defeat. I refuse defeat. I continue to do the work that I can do in peace, tradition is strength beyond the current din and noise. The key point is ora et labora, work and pray within a peaceful forgiving context because there is no alternative. We survive peaceably in the present by regrouping into the real work, face to face with herbalism in faith. We cannot control or even influence the present state yet we resist erasure and move forward. The mark of the beast has come and gone, forging ahead.

In the current Ameri domi-pharma construct, early childhood illness usually means lifelong medication. Childhood in America is used to begin the lifelong continuous medication push process. Life begins at birth in the medical ward of a hospital and ends with the debility of old age likewise in hospital. Every pill is a health care dollar and each step is to move towards dependence, weakness and an early death with liquidation and erasure. Every contact with the american pharma police state is an opportunity to introduce more medications. More health in America means more medication. Just as oxycontin, tobacco, meth, alcohol, fentanyl and marijuana if used as designed will produce addiction, depression, sluggishness, torpor, decrease in function, sloth and eventually an early death. So likewise if you live the American deathstyle to its logical conclusion, you can count on diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, heart disease, life as an invalid, and an early death. At best 65 or 70 years in a boxed air conditioned nightmare zone of fear, resentment paranoia and flag waving madness. 

     I want to look at the American renaissance in western herbalism that occurred in the late 1960’s through the early 1980’s. Part of the return of western herbalism in the United States occurred because western herbalism was an organized, practiced, living tradition within actual living memory. The years 1917 to 1969 is the same time frame period, as 1970 to 2022. There is as much time between 1917-1970 as there is in 1970-2022. In 1917 Harvey Wickes Felter wrote and published, Eclectic Materia Medica Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Not only the writings of Harvey Wickes Felter, but whole libraries of detailed herbal manuals were published in America within the Eclectic medical schools operating from 1830-1939, mainly in the eastern US around Ohio. The last eclectic herbal medicine school graduated its class in 1939. This American eclectic herbal tradition, although suppressed, was still within the actual living memory of some people living in 1970. Yet it was an interrupted American herbal tradition. It was an interrupted broken herbal tradition because eclectic herbal medicine died but not a natural death. Eclectic herbal medicine was murdered. Then the corpse was buried in the middle of the night in an unmarked grave. It’s not like some other western nations, Germany, Austria and central Europe for instance where they were able to reconcile their indigenous native, western herbal traditions with scientific study and a distribution system of herbal products. In America erasure is to never mention the past. America has an undocumented history of herbalism where the distribution of herbal medicines in commerce was suppressed. As recently as 1970, again 50 years ago, pharmacies sold herbal products. I saw them in rural areas and ghost towns in Utah, New Mexico and Nevada. I have seen shelves with the old bottles of herbal tinctures as they were stocked in actual stores, in backrooms and basements of pharmacies. 

Arnica oil

     I can also tell you that within ten years from now, by 2032, the selling of herbal products will be curtailed and extremely limited in the United States. I have no political agenda, my only aim is preserve and protect into the future herbal medicine, the botany of plants, the grace of God and so on. If this resonates with you then proceed accordingly. I have no personal goal but to work seamlessly with others to make this generational work reality face to face.





In police state America a crackdown is on going. The grip of the pharma police surveillance state is strong and it will reassert itself to prevent sales of herbal products.  For that reason I continue…to communicate and encourage face to face interaction. Although years go by in the gulag that is police pharma masked America without eyecontact, silent without voice, in total poverty, shunned by all without even a hint of friendship, fleeced and shunned by the so called members of the herbal community, always behind enemy lines, in years of protective custody, solitary confinement, shunned by the prisoners on the cell block with privileges who at least have their cellies, yet still I give thanks for each day above ground, still obtaining whatever ordinance may strengtheth spirit for the journey to come, even if it is death, this herbal medicine road must continue for the generations to come.

     My American people’s herbal rebirth, renaissance bloomed as it began in the heady post woodstock era, circa 1970. We reacted not only to the forced cultural revolution depriving Americans of herbal medicines long within their reach but to issues that directly related to the compact of trust that exists in a community that makes life in common possible. The compact of trust in America was forever severed in the Vietnam war era. Whatever your flavor of ice cream, it was impossible to continue licking the cone. The herbal renaissance also reacted to the occupying regime itself. The American beast itself whose ultimate goal is control of a people’s access to health care, so that it’s deathstyle culture grows transfixed, unopposed into an orgasm of electricity. America is the hollow death star of globalism, ultimate local erasure and mass produced AI babble. The logic of herbalists circa 1970  being, the same regime that forcibly denies its people access to something akin to a human right, access to native growing natural herbs, and outlaws knowledge guilds to transmit and spread that knowledge of plants, is coexistent and identical to the regime that sends 550,000 Americans to fight and die in a meaningless war in southeast Asia. As such there can be no peace, only struggle.  

    

blue lobelia

 In other words, young people coming of age in 1970 understood their government was an occupying regime acting without regard to their best interests. In roughly the 50 year span 1917-1970, America gradually became more and more an occupied everything for sale nation. On the auction block of America every action is economic, from every grove of fruit trees cut for clip clap housing, to your children's genitals. Everything is for sale, including you, your values and your reputation. America is the nation of universal slavery, every emotion on a ticking time clock. If you want to retain your parking spot, wife, child, home or body, you had better keep putting quarters in the parking meter. Run out of quarters for the parking meter and the dream police come, impound your car and tow it away. Likewise for everything you own because in America you own nothing. Say the wrong thing, doubt the emperor's new clothes and it all slides away into the morass snake viper pit of mental health. In America you’re only as free as your next mass media social credit score. Say the wrong thing, look the wrong way, sorry buddy, you have been flushed away. Mask up at all times, new contagion on the way. 

     America 1970-2022 likewise, continues to be an occupied nation. Meaning the country is ruled by partisans who do not consider the best interests of Americans. To the contrary, the currently residing American is no longer a citizen. Americans are being erased as an official policy of this occupation regime. Deny it, question it, nothing to see here, move along. It matters nothing to name the occupation force. As soon as you identify them they melt into the background to regroup around a new pyramid ponzi scheme. Two for one, bogo, on your eyeballs, lungs. liver and kidneys. Whether the occupation regime is the same one in 1970 vs 2022 is a research job for stupid, now hiring? Naming doesn’t matter, the struggle is life and death, only the work exists of sharing herbal medicine. Get that through your head, it’s about the plants. Of course I want to love and be loved, as do you, yet now we have work to do, the real work.  What matters is the recognition that the regime occupying America no longer supports the well-being of its people or the concept of nation for Americans. Yet no nation doesn’t mean no plants. We still have a dynamic ecosystem and I call it the bounty of God. America has transitioned to an economic zone run by a pharma police surveillance state. There have always been revolutions and promises. We are in survival mode because in the stasi gulag you never know if a friend will instantly become foe, or a lover points a gun at your head, or son or daughter betrays you with a kiss, signaling to mercenary soldiers, “This one.”. Yet we still love and trust and retreat, to fight for another day. This is a generational conflict bigger than any one of us. This struggle is who we are and have always been because it’s for our children and their children.  

Hawthorn

     So members of the herbal renaissance in 1970 empowering themselves by taking back, reowning their own herbal western tradition of plants as part of healing the human person drew conclusions. Those conclusions were based on the understanding that an occupying regime who did not honour the well being of its people was a death cult in power. If my nation, America, makes it a national policy to fight meaningless war, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people in purposeless slaughter, then that regime ruling America I disavow. Likewise, in a similar conclusion, if the churches, and the God worshiped in those churches supports that policy of slaughter, then that God and those churches, I disavow. Likewise, if that social system, educational system, commerce and business supports that slaughter, those too I disavow. Likewise the industrial factory children that participate in the draft, to the tune of 550,000 strong slaughter house five killing machines, that killing machine, I disavow, I disavow all who oppose life because as an herbalist I made a vow to do no harm

     As an example, of the evolving police state regime occupying America, in 1970, during the calendar year 1970, the occupying regime forcibly sent sent over 550,000, 90% white race, 95% male Americans into combat in southeast Asia without regard to the well being of those 90% white, 95% male 550,000 individuals, and likewise with no regard for the well being of the 55,000 black soldiers sent to southeast Asia in 1970, 10% of the drafted soldiers being black African-American. 19,000,000 gallons of herbicides among them agent orange, a cancer cocktail of poison defoliants was sprayed in southeast Asia as part of the occupying regimes policy causing immense suffering for the people of southeast Asia. Untold suffering for the environment was the official policy of America. That the American soldiers were exposed to these toxic chemicals is, was and will be of no concern to the occupying regime. Each nauseating incarnation of flag wave holiday offers no respite. Even with bread and circus MLK and Juneteenth woke holidays on the calendar the bottom line remains erasure. Many soldiers returned home emotionally traumatized by war, injured by the chemicals used in the war, addicted to heroin, marijuana, amphetamines, tobacco, alcohol. Later the occupying regime in a dope down symphony of dystopian degenerate deathstyle said, why not make every american a traumatized soldier? So the same heroin, marijuana, meth, tobacco, alcohol is available on every corner today in the America of a universal hood, with the addition of zani bars, psychiatric drugs, stimulants, antidepressants for every person in a slavery cult of inescapable paid for profit coast to coast prison. The Vietnam south Asian war caused many in the nation to question every aspect of life, including reacting and rejecting any authority that justified the war. The questioning then was recycled into punk hippy nihilism and the greedy occupiers applauded, more erasure, more hedonism, more erasure with even bigger economic free for all zones. 

red bank

     The questioning of the 1960’s left a vacuum with four big holes. The 1960’s was often like a terrible two’s infant, or a dependent child, screaming, “no,no,no!”, to their parents, morphing into a, out of here,  coast to coast withdrawal from engagement into white flight boomerstan. Evidence of those failures is One, nothing to replace the security of a two thousand year old western value system Christedum that gave meaning to life; trade 2000 years of tradition for a yoga mat and a do it yourself ayahuasca trip, not; two, the peace movement offered no lasting solutions to the uncontrolled military menace; three, although herbalism was re-invigorated it didn’t reconcile with the dominant culture American for profit pharma medicine health system and herbalism today is another aspect of white flight boomerstan fringe, choices for the rich elite.  . . Evidence of that vacuum is not theoretical because by By 1991 the rah rah flag disgusting Ameri-wavers were back at it in a new venue, with a new grift. Let’s do to the Levant, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran what we did to south east Asia. Let’s bomb them to the stone age just for shits and giggles. They eliminated the draft, eliminated the old enemy communism, modified to a new enemy, the middle eastern terrorist. Ten years later, 2001, 911, a couple crashed airplanes, 3 buildings in New York city exploded. Which means send Johnny and Juan off to war and spend 20 years doing more disgusting shit. More flag waving, more rah rah, more death, more erasure. 

     For me the future of western herbalism is a book titled, Reconcile and compromise with history. It must contain chapters on: reconcile with the pharma beast. Reconcile with the botany of plants. Move away from private super personal woo woo seance herbalism. For me it must include my own Christian identity and orientation of Vitalism. Reconcile with the eclectic tradition. No one can create a tradition out of thin air. Time is running short and compromises need to be made with existing strands of American herbalism as part of the western herbal tradition. There is endless work to do, I pray I may be strengthened to continue and pray I may find friendship beyond the gulag.

     Vitalism is a standard, baseline understanding that what animates us, also simultaneously enlivens and sustains us.  According to western herbal tradition, we are creatures enlivened by God. In other words, practice religion; avoid spirituality, dig deep into practice; loathe theoretical science, fine tune the descriptive; while turning off prescriptives. Believe and do within the simplicity of the natural world of God, of forest, mountain, field, garden and family is our food and medicine. So that if next week or next year, the dominant culture mass media science regime predicated on our erasure, develops a laboratory butter-like substance, or a laboratory made meat-like substitute, or a new improved experimental gene therapy vaccine, or the occupation regime formulates new genders, legalizes and encourage sinful degenerate behavior, or identifies new terrorists to kill, we simply invoke the principle of simplicity, plainess and solidarity without elaboration or prejudice as Christians living the promise of health.

catalina

     In the flag wave rah rah world of fleecing shepherds and 501c3 churches, God is confined to 100 different flavors of square modern, non-descript buildings. Those buildings with bright lights, pleasant amplified bizarre music are limited to a few hours of use on Sunday. Like many aspects of the current occupied parasite regime, these occupied so called Judeo-christian churches, exploit the past numinous archetypal symbols of belief, do a prayer with the flag wave, offer crumbs and a bandage while offering the church goer continued erasure. God can not be confined to brick buildings on Sunday morning. Resist the masked zombie air conditioned erasure wards. Remember whether taking a stand or in your fleeing exodus, for another day to renew the struggle. Do no harm. Don’t respond. Don’t react. I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue in this herbal tradition, And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me and all of us, and to which I and you, now dedicate what remains to me of my life, and our lives, I pray for the guidance and help of almighty God.

Wishing you God’s speed! In Christ + J+ M




lobelia inflata

great basin



Featured Post

Silk Tassel, Garrya wrightii

  Garrya wrightii, Silk tassel silk tassel, is a perennial south west, p&j manzanita woodland, woody shrub. Growing up to 12-15 ft tall,...