Dreaming Herbs for Winter Slumber By Aisling Badger, January 26, 2017

January is one of the darkest times in Vermont. We are mid-winter, leaving the land gray, often icy and barren, reminding us that we are far from spring.

It’s the perfect time to focus on our dreams and rebuild our vital energy through sleep.  Dreaming is often overlooked as a powerful way to answer questions, gain insight or process feelings.

dreaming herbs winter Urban Moonshine

Herbs can be an excellent ally to support dream potential as many of them allow us to get in touch with our imagination and intuition. Most of our favorite dream herbs soothe occasional anxiety and tension, allowing us to enter a deeply relaxed state.

One of the most compelling aspects of dreaming is that we can tap into our subconscious.

A few herbs to support dreaming potential:

dreaming herbs mugwort passionflower urban moonshine

Mugwort is a plant that herbalists have turned to for centuries as a tool for magic and dream work in many different countries. Known to support our ability to tap into the fantasy world, both in sleep and in shamanic trance work, mugwort was called upon in ancient times to help a person to visualize life dreams and desires.  It is also a symbol of protection and is burned as an incense or smudge stick in ceremonies.

As an aromatic plant, it supports a healthy nervous system gently soothing tension and stress.

 

Passionflower supports the nervous system in unwinding when you are feeling wound up from occasional anxiety.  Being in a state of relaxation, allows for the dream work […]

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DIY Golden Milk with Immune-Supporting Herbs by Aisling Badger, January 19, 2017

Golden Milk, or Turmeric Milk is a traditional Indian and Ayurvedic beverage that is typically drunk before bed and has recently gained popularity in the wellness world due to its healing and rich nutritional qualities.  While we enjoy the ritual of drinking warm beverages as we wind down in the evenings, this recipe is great during the day as well, as it is rich in warming, circulatory, and immune system tonics which are important in the long cold winter months.

We have taken the traditional recipe of Golden Milk and added in a few of our favorite immune supporting herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and astragalus, making this drink a powerful immune tonic.

golden-milk-immune-herbs

Turmeric is a rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant and has a shockingly bright golden orange color. Turmeric is what gives the color to curry powder, and has been a traditional medicine and food of native Indian cultures for thousands of years.  Its flavor is the perfect combination of earthy bitterness and spicy sweetness and combines well with a sweetener like honey. It is high in essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs to stay in optimal health. Most of its compounds are fat soluble, so combining some fat into the mixture will help the body easily absorb those vital nutrients.

Astragalus is one of our best adaptogens, meaning it helps support the body during times of physical, mental, or emotional stress. It is also an excellent tonic for supporting our vital, resilient immune system. In China and among herbalists throughout the world, this plant is utilized as one of the best […]

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Science Update: Paleolithic Herbalism By Guido Masé, January 10, 2017

paleolithic-herbalism-tools

Jacob’s Bridge (Gesher Benot Ya’aqov) is an archaeological site in Israel, at a historic crossing of the river Jordan, just north of the Sea of Galilee. It has been a crossroads for thousands of years – for trade, for culture, and for migration of human populations. But in one particular area, archaeologists have been working on a site that is much older – closer to 800,000 years – where a wealth of evidence from stone-age culture has been preserved under layers of mud and water. The prehistoric humans who lived here (archaeologists estimate they occupied the site for close to 100,000 years!) were part of an ancient migration from Africa and into Europe and Asia.

Nira Alperson-Afil, who works at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been studying this site extensively. She has been part of the research team that, at this site, uncovered perhaps the earliest evidence of human control of fire,1 as well as what seems to be a basic organization of the living and working spaces into sleeping, cooking, and manufacturing areas.2 Inhabitants created advanced stone tools, using rock hammers but also more subtle tools such as animal antlers, that were used for building, hunting, and (presumably) preparing and cooking plants for food.

paleolithic-herbalism-fennel-seeds

It is usually difficult to accurately characterize botanical remains form that long ago, because plants spoil very […]

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New Year’s Resolutions and Radical Self-Care By Aisling Badger, January 3, 2017

new year's self-care

As the year comes to a close, with some relief; and some anxiety about the state of our world in the future, we can turn to some simple routines to nourish ourselves. Sometimes it feels like time is moving too quickly, and the sense of longevity dwindles with the daily checklists and the demanding reality of our jobs, family lives, and social responsibilities. Time seems to speed up and the practice of personal time isn’t high on our lists.  Living in a world that demands every ounce of your energy and attention requires radical self-care, particularly at the New Year and after the holidays.  It builds the foundational blocks for the rest of the year and re-establishes a relationship with our deepest self and a genuine meaning of who we are and what we love.

Self-care not only builds our reserves and keeps our systems healthy and well, but it also de-clutters our mind and allows for more positive thinking to take place.

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to turn inward and refocus on our needs. We will be better people for it. And our world needs strong and fiercely passionate people to be engaged and connected.

We all know what happens with elaborate New Year’s resolutions: they aren’t very lasting, and then we feel worse about letting them slip a week into the new year. Focus on small, tangible habits that will sustain the core of who you are and the changes you’d like to see. Everybody has different wants and needs— a nourishing ritual for […]

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