I notice that once herbalists find their little piece of earth to tend they often become tied to the land. Over the years I have realized that we rarely leave this area during growing season; there is always some chore to be done. Sometimes I can become sheltered in my thinking by remaining so close to home. While this does wonders for my grounding, I discovered that it limits my imagination. Traveling has always been at the center of my heart; it brings me joy to explore what this world has to offer. The expansiveness and education that I receive when I journey to other countries, experiencing their food and plant medicine, is instrumental in my growth as a herbal product maker.
I often need reminded that it is not necessary for me to travel far to continue my education, though it certainly is eye opening to experience different cultures and ways of doing things. Some of my most my cherished lessons were learned no more than 2 hours from our home. Every September I venture to BotanicWise Women's Herbal Gathering (previously known as the Mid Atlantic Women's Herbal Conference) in Kempton, PA where I spend the weekend in and out of various seminars. This event attracts some of the most amazing herbalists from all over the world, and it has always been a pleasure to sit through their classes. In between lectures there are so many wonderful vendors selling their herbal wares, and it is here that I was first exposed to an electuary. One stall was offering a heart care electuary. I had never heard of an electuary before and was completely intrigued. After inquiring, I discovered that an electuary was just powdered herbs mixed in honey. I quickly bought it as I knew I just wanted to know more about this mode of administration. I fell in love with this product started experimenting with creating these remedies myself.
Years later I still make electuaries, though I usually reserve them for the less palatable herbs. I am completely in love with the joint supporting power that turmeric has to offer, but I am less impressed with his earthy flavor. I just knew that I needed to create a anti-inflammatory electuary with turmeric as the star. After formulation and experimentation, our Golden Milk electuary was born. You can usually find this product in our Autumn Box as it has become a favorite among our customers. I enjoy it in my coffee, stirred in hot almond milk or eaten right off the spoon.
I had a little fun creating our Tummy Tamer electuary. This spicy blend is amazing for easing nausea. It is created with warming ginger and cooling peppermint; a yin and yang of energetics. I also created this particular batch on the Equinox so if felt just a little extra balanced. I find ginger a little too spicy, so mixing this root with honey is the perfect way to reap the stomach soothing benefits while taming the heat.
I starting experimenting with different immune boosting herbs to go into our Winter Box. I wanted something potent enough to support people during the cold months, but tasty enough for them to look forward to enjoying. Maqui berries are chock full of antioxidants, but can be very tart in flavor. Cordyceps carry great immune boosting properties, but I am not a fan of tasting mushrooms. Rose hips are high in Vitamin C, but can be lip puckering. After much concocting in the kitchen, the amazing Berry Immune Boost electuary was created. This is one of those products that is enjoyed right off of the spoon, but can also be mixed in a hot beverage. It really is sweet enough to be a dessert. I have a few customers that tell me it is hard not to eat the whole jar in one sitting. Just 1-2 tsp a day will do wonders to keep you healthy during cold and flu season. A jar SHOULD last you through the winter if you can show some self restraint;)
I am a perpetual student and truly enjoy learning different concepts and ideas. I am grateful to my teachers, mentors and fellow herbalists that keep the plant medicine alive and thriving; sharing their knowledge with those willing to listen. Electuaries are not a new concept, but I was exposed to them late in life. Lucky for me I am curious and ready to seek out my next adventure. Where are you finding your life lessons these days?