The Tides of the Moon – Herbs for Heavy Menstruation

A full moon sat round in our sky just a few evenings ago.  As the moon waxes and wanes, our human bodies ebb and flow, mirroring its cycle.  Those who menstruate can find themselves especially sensitive to the cycles of the moon.  Or not at all.  There is not a single, definitive menstrual experience – though it would seem that our mainstream media attempts to define one all the time (“Oh no!  Not your period!  How will you ever have a social life?!  It will embarrass you!”).  Many times advertisements for menstrual products propose a “solution” to menstruation which usually involves being able to pay less attention to it.  I feel that just as when we pay better attention to our breath we are able to breathe better and when we are more mindful of our menstrual cycles we are able to bleed better.


Herbs To Bring Love

We are social creatures who continuously build relationships through family ties, exchange of resources, passionate pursuits, and common cultures.  The pursuit of relationships bound together by romantic love seems often to be of particular interest to our species.  Herbalists have been keen on finding green allies that act as aphrodisiacs – bringing out hidden love, stoking the fires of mature love, and helping desire reside fully in the body.

Peters, Hermann.
Pictorial History of Ancient Pharmacy. 3rd ed.
Chicago: G. P. Englehard, 1902, c.1899.
Ebling Library call number RS 61 P48


Source of Light: Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a beloved herb of the sun and the golden flowers of the plant will turn their faces towards the bright day orb as it travels across the sky.  Held in high esteem by herbalists throughout the ages as an especially healing herb, Calendula has a brightening power on the heart and is lifting to the spirit.  Calendula is a busy healing helper driven by the sweet sorrow of knowing someone you love does not feel well and ever seeking to provide relief. As an herb of enchantment, Calendula was said to protect against all forms of evil influences (including the plague which is no surprise given its anti-viral properties) and even able to reveal the identity of the person who had robbed you if worn.  Placed in a bath, Calendula will win you the respect of everyone you meet and  there is even a curious myth that touching the petals to your feet will allow you to understand the language of the birds.

If you or someone you know is feeling a bit under in the weather in a literal sense – they feel damp, sluggish, slow to heal, and like they are living beneath a cloud – Calendula might be the herb to befriend.


Tea to soothe, to calm, to sing a song…

When I was working at a local café here in Portland, I had the opportunity to create custom teas for our customers.  In the process of creating blends for the café, I asked many of our customers not only what kind of teas they liked, but why they drank tea.  Many responses included drinking tea because it was “soothing” and “de-stressing,” as well as a time to be still and mindful.  Sounds pretty good to me!

I know I enjoy walking into a café, a friend’s kitchen or backyard and having the opportunity to sit down with a cuppa.  It’s not only the tea that centers me but also the environment I’m in, the way the tea is served, its scent, color, and, of course, its taste.  I love especially seeing the tea before it is brewed and I often choose teas by sight, attracted to its particular colors and texture.  Beauty, in its multitude of manifestations, soothes the soul, and with that in mind I created Flower Song as a tea that inhabits the realm of beauty quite comfortably.