I have a handful of guidebooks that I use, which is very important because each book has unique illustrations and focal points. I cross-reference for accuracy. I also have many books in my library on natural healing practices; permaculture; folklore; Native American healing traditions; wildcraft; teas; oils and tinctures.
I take my time learning about the healing plants in my environment, making sure that the information, practices and art of wildcraft are imprinted within my entire being. I really get to know these plants in their natural spaces. In addition to the physical properties of each plant, I study the soil, light, seasons and general life cycle. I am aware of how they respond to our shared environment, including insects, birds and other living creatures that frequent the plants and how we exist in unison.
I will admit that during the peak season, I was taken aback by the presence of rather large ‘Grass Spiders’. They lived in and around the tall Mullein stalks and bright yellow flowers. They are actually beneficial, consuming bugs that would otherwise possibly harm the plant. Initially I thought that I would be unable to cope, should one of them crawl on me.
Arachnophobia is common, however I did suffer greatly when bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider about four years ago. I am always making my peace with spiders and will not kill them and have learned to be calm and honor them in our shared common space. I have done well with this. I have faced many very large spiders this year and have managed to maintain my composure and even take close-up photographs of them. I am rewiring my brain to admire them instead of wanting to flee. The spider has become my animal totem symbolizing the weaving of stories and wisdom, and working diligently to continue to build your dreams.
Mullein Leaf, Flower and Root (Biennial)Parts Used: Stalks, Flowers, Leaves, Roots
Uses: Traditionally used as a tea, and is frequently combined with other herbs in mixtures for treating cough. May be taken as an extract if fresh material is used, and is very rarely found in capsule form. The fresh or dried flowers have traditionally been used to make an oil infusion for external use. All parts of the plant have been used in making tinctures.
Mullein Tincture – Used for incontinence, spine and disk alignment, coughs, sore throats and respiratory illnesses.
(Journal - Babies Breath)