Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sweet Solidago

It's been such a busy summer. In fact, it perplexes me to consider that autumn's full arrival is only weeks away. I've been busy growing food, eating food and preserving food. And, in my world, food includes herbs. I dry … ferment … can … freeze … infuse in vinegar, oil, alcohol and honey …

Speaking of honey, I was recently guided to make a small batch of goldenrod (Solidago spp.) infused honey. This is a first for me, and I'm sensing it will come in handy in the coming months for something renal or respiratory related, for lungs or kidneys that crave a little toning sweetness … or (and this really resonates for me) to soothe and comfort the heart-center as we journey into the heart of darkness toward and into the season of winter. 

Whether we use her botanical or common name, she speaks of the sun. 

Solidago expresses sol (sun) and dago (dagger), the dagger of the sun … that cuts through haze, mists, fogs and the deepest darknesses … all the while allowing shadows to emerge with clarity and crispness, forms in which we may nurture sustaining and loving relationships with them, for they are a loving part of us. Goldenrod, which blooms with summer's waning, expresses the staff that we may carry into the west, to steady our footing and offer golden light and warmth as we head into the solitary cold and darkness of winter's realm. 

To make a infused honey is, like so much of herbal Medicine (the people's Medicine), so simple. Fill a jar with your herb of choice, cover with a nice local, raw honey, cap and label with contents and date. You can place the jar on a high shelf, out of direct sunlight and forget about it until you have a need to remember. Strain it and use it at will. I often process my jars in a dehydrator, giving them a several hours at a low (110F) temperature over the course of several days. Some folks process their herb and honey in a crock pot on the low setting for a few days. As I say to my students, this is not rocket science … trust your guidance, your intuition … trust your experience … and have fun.