How fitting is it to talk about Dandelion right at the beginning of the New Year and the New Moon in Capricorn/Eihwaz. Dandelion’s reputation as a Spring detox herb is well known. The plant is edible, highly nutritious & medicinal. Almost all parts can be used.
Let’s analyze it from a mind-body-spirit perspective:
THE ROOTS(which are usually harvested during the Fall) are connected to the Underworld. Roots are perfect for going to the root cause of things whether these are chronic health issues or destructive psycho-emotional issues (which tend to repeat themselves). The Underworldly root connects us with the womb of the Dark Mother where deep healing & transformation can occur if we allow things to unfold, no matter how unpleasant. The bitter taste of this shamanic medicine (and plant) is perfect for the undoing of patterns, the removal of toxins within & without. Because what affects the organs affects the emotions, which then show on the skin, which then find its way to the psyche (the order doesn’t matter)…etc. It becomes a vicious cycle which weakens your physical energy and depletes your life force & your spirit (which also has other consequences). The Dark Goddess’ Medicine is the most potent there is. Trust her in taking the lead in your healing process, she will show you the way back toward wholeness and you will reemerge renewed.
THE LEAVES (usually collected in the Spring, as they are some of the first Spring greens to pop on the ground) are edible, nutritious & blood purifying. They detoxify the liver and attune with the energy of the season. The name Dandelion (Dent de Lion in French, Löwenzahn in German) means lion’s tooth, referring the to the dented shape of the leaves and is also an indication of the high mineral content of the plant, being beneficial to teeth & bones (Doctrine of Signatures).
THE STEM, the backbone of the plant, elevates the energy from the ground to the sky.
THE FLOWER is solar in essence, and full of leonine energy. Yellow being the color of the bile, we are being reminded of the plant’s affinity with the liver. But this bright little Sun is governed by the sign of Leo, which is connected to the heart (in TCM, and in my own experience, a toxic liver will affect the heart). This heart-gladdening flower is the result of the transmutation of the toxins (physical, psycho-emotional, spiritual), the lead, into gold. The inner work with the Dark Goddess is over, we can now return to the outer world & we are greeted by the Sun.
Then come THE SEEDS, which hold within them so much potential. They are thought forms, wishes, hopes & dreams, and connect us with the Higher Realms. The Great Work is over: we have connected the above with the below, elevated ourselves & we have refined our body & our spirit. We are now born anew. This is the Alchemy of Eihwaz.
When I was a child, my Oma would often send us care packages from Germany which included lots of sweets, all sorts of teas and various herbal remedies. One of those hard to find herbal treasures was Fenchel Honig – Fennel honey. One of those all-purpose remedies (which tastes delicious), fennel is usually used for coughs, digestive and nervous issues… Plus it’s a Virgo plant.
Traditionally it’s made with fennel seeds but my wild fennel was in full bloom so I decided to use the flavorful flower heads instead of the seeds (fennel pollen is one of those sought-after ingredients by chefs).
Herb infused honey is one of the easiest medicine one can prepare. You basically fill in a glass jar up to 1/3-1/2 full, then you cover with raw honey. Screw the lid and keep the jar in a sunny spot for about a month. I like to flip the jar every once in a while. After a month, strain with a fine mesh strainer. It’s messy but oh so tasty!
I’ve been harvesting redwood branches for years, usually freshly fallen ones. Redwood is an ancient tree, a time & record keeper, with such a nice energy. I always feel at home in the midst of a redwood grove.
A few years ago, I had a hard time finding anything regarding its medicinal uses, except for a few anecdotes regarding Native uses in the past, but nothing specific. Nowadays, for some reason, there is more information available about redwood medicine.
I was especially happy to finda useful link that talks about Western as well as Eastern (TCM) medicinal use for this tree. Some of the info is a confirmation of the things I had observed as well as guessed.