Summer is a magical time for herbal foraging. I spend most all of my summers in the mountains of Appalachia in Virginia where folk medicine is literally bursting through the fields and forests. This is a time when I love to take friends and colleagues out to the mountains and teach herbal wildcrafting and plant ID (which you can read more about here!). It’s an intimate practice in learning more about your surroundings and the plants that have helped sustain us in home and health for generations. It’s a time to practice gratitude for our herbal companions and get to know knew botanical friends. And, it’s my favorite time to take friends on an overnight trip for a full moon summer lunar infusion and to sink into some plant spirit medicine.
This time last year, my cousin Alexis and my friend Hillary and I harvested yarrow and red clover and mullein and honeysuckle and horsetail and nettle from the prairie in Lexington, VA and made a full moon offering tea. We left it to infuse in the river under the moonlight and pretended that little fairies bathed in the infusion overnight, mixing the herbs with their wings and little swimming feets. In the morning, we collected the shimmering golden tea, strained it and sipped it by the river, imbibing the moonlight infused prairie medicine. Admittedly, it was deeply soul rejuvenating and felt like it truly connected us to the land and the healing power of old medicines. It’s a practice I’m doing every year, because we all need more magic in our lives. And it’s so incredibly fun to take friends into the forest and pick flowers (and wineberries) and make tea. It’s the best way to spend a summer day.