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Posts tagged ‘medicine making’

Turkey Tail Mushrooms & The Antifragility of Immunity

This article appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Plant Healer Magazine, one of this era’s finest publications for plant aficionados.

Medicinal mushrooms have a lot to contribute to an herbalist’s practice. Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor[1]) is begging to be used, like the little kid persistently raising its hand in the classroom, “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me ppllleeaassee!” This little mushroom–so tenacious, resilient & adaptable–has so much to offer in terms of medicine. Their earthen-colored fan shapes herald the arrival of the rains as they move in and digest dead trees, turning them into soil so new life can sprout. These decomposing fungal organisms (known as primary decomposers) are vital in the cycle of life & the seasons, each one an agent in an autumnal pull back to the earth, doing the good dirty work so new life can leap forward in the next season[2].

Turkey Tail mushrooms are busy little beavers in our ecosystems, aiding decomposition & soil generation. In human & animal bodies, the story changes. They means by which they support immune function are enchanting–providing clever little nudges here & there that invigorate our immune response. They’re ubiquitous in the wild and versatile in combination with other plant medicines. To me, this makes them a key member of the apothecary. Read more

Trees, Lichen & Fungi: Teas in February

Tea is the perfect theme for this month’s Wild Things Roundup. I truly love tea—it’s an art and, sometimes, a form of therapy.

In the depth of Winter, we confront dark, hard, uncomfortable things. I doubt I’m the only one recovering from the turmoil of 2012, ducking from the seasonal bugs whizzing through our communities, and trying to find solace & a silver lining from the horrific events we’ve witnessed in the last few months.  It’s been a rough few months, I won’t lie. But tea—well, that makes everything a bit better.  Teas (infusions & decoctions) make available some very useful compounds to rebalance our physiologies. But they’re also satisfying, comforting & soulful. Read more