Summer is definitely upon us here in the Mountains. The huckleberries are ripe for the picking, the river and lake are calling and the living is sweet.
This is the very first year that I have lived amongst the herbs I am wildcrafting for medicine and the results are powerful both for the medicines and for me. Up to this year I lived in a big city and wildcrafting meant a long journey into the bush. It was difficult to develop a relationship with herbs you only saw once or twice a year. It is so abundant here, a mere walk to the outhouse each morning becomes a full on herb study. The herbs I use in my practice grow steadily and readily wherever I look. Its truly a wildcrafters dream out here. Its easy to get caught up in wildcrafting wherever you see the herbs but so important to remember sustainable and safe wildcrafting techniques.
1) Never harvest at the side of a road.
2) Never harvest by a train track or where an old train track once ran. The creosote from the rail ties stays in the soil for many decades and is absorbed by the herbs.
3) Be cautious for pesticide and herbicide use near nearby, especially when harvesting aquatic plants.
4) Don’t forget to do an energy check of the area. How does it feel here? Is it a positive and healthy place to gather medicine?
5) Always remember to gather only what you need and only what you can without harming the stand of plants; ensure the future growth.
I have been super fortunate to have a Medicine Woman collecting some of the herbs for me in the pristine alpine of the remote and rural Mountains. What a gift. She comes into work each week with baskets and trays full of what she has collected or grown on her amazing herb farm. I am so grateful to have access to such quality herbs. I have yet to travel up the old roads to the upper part of the Mountains, I don’t have the confidence yet, so having these herbs to make medicines with is absolutely incredible. She tells me that gathering up the Mountain is her ‘medicine’. I honoured to benefit from such an honourable act.