Heal Your Heart with Plant Energy Medicine

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Recently I have been very moved and guided to work with hawthorn more. Hawthorn is best known for its benefits in supporting and balancing the heart. It is full of vitamin C, B vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. It’s a deeply nourishing food that also acts as a tonic and brings greater balance to our systems in an extremely gentle manner. It helps to balance blood pressure and bring support and balance to veins, arteries, and capillaries. Because it helps to support and stabilize the collagen in our bodies also helps to repair and build health in the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is also helpful for many digestive problems. 
In herbal healing, the energetic factor is often overlooked–the ways in which herbs help us emotionally and spiritually. Plants connect with us not just physically, but energetically. Hawthorn is a very special plant for supporting the healing of the heart on a spiritual and emotional level, as well as physical. It helps to heal and release grief, opens the heart to true expression and connection, and eases anxiety and deep sadness, especially as related to loss or feelings of being “shut down.” Hawthorn brings balance to the energetic heart, allowing for healthy boundaries, which make the heart capable of peaceful, compassionate, and gentle connection. That is a deeply nurturing and wise healing lesson for our physical cells and our souls.
Here is the recipe I was inspired to create. It is so delicious and can be eaten as a treat that is nutritious and healing on many levels. Astragalus is an adaptogen, helping to bring the entire body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ginger helps bring energy and movement to the herbs and into the body, and it brightens the other flavors and makes their sweetness “pop.”

Love Your Heart Herb Balls:
2 part hawthorn powder
1 part astragalus powder
1/2 part ginger powder
honey
Mix the powders together. Add a small bit of honey (maybe a teaspoon), enough to help the powders bind together and form a dough ball. Mix well until a nice dough ball is formed, then pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a little hawthorn powder to coat them and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I’m not sure why I was led to work with hawthorn or inspired to create this recipe. But I have been working with the plant energy long enough to know that when I am called to work with one, there is always a reason. The energy reaches out where it is meant to go. May it bless any that can benefit from it.

Joy and Peace,
Angie

P.S. Just a reminder…there is still a little time left to take advantage of my Solstice specials on my Herbal Basics Class and my Animal Reiki Class. These are both 25% off through the Solstice on June 21, 2017. The links will take you directly to the information and enrollment page with the discounted price.

Flower Power Tea Blend for the Summer Solstice

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It’s Almost Midsummer–The Solstice!

I have finished Herbal Basics! It is online and ready for you! If you have pre-registered, please enjoy the class. If you were waiting for the class to be completed, now is the time! In fact, in honor of the Solstice, I am offering a 25% off special to Herbal Basics for my newsletter subscribers.

I am also feeling the nudge to offer a 25% off special on my Animal Reiki Class. Summer is such a wonderful time to go outside and do animal Reiki!

Here is a lovely tea blend that is one of many herbal recipes I share in Herbal Basics. Try something fun and do a little Solstice ritual to offer your gratitude to the herbs, plants, trees, and the Earth as you prepare this tea (or any tea). I hope you enjoy!

Flower Power Tea Blend
This is a gorgeous tea that smells amazing, too! It is a great tea to sip during the work day, before bed or as a cold beverage to cool off in the summer. Children will love this tea because it is so colorful and tastes so good!

Ingredients:

2 parts lemon balm
2 parts hibiscus
1 part lavender
1 part rose petals

Blend the herbs together and store the portion you won’t be using now in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. To brew, use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water. You can make an entire pot and add ice cubes to make a cool drink for summer barbecues or picnics.

Blessings,
Angie
angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Herbal Basics homepage

Plants are Our Energetic Allies

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I have always found a deep energetic connection in Nature and her plants.

Sometimes I find myself getting a bit disconnected, but she always calls me back. The flowers, trees, and plants send their loving medicine to me, even if I’m not listening or I don’t fully know how to receive it.

A few years ago, I started receiving messages from the plants during energy healing sessions. I would get an image of a plant or a tree and understand on a deep level that this plant offered medicine that was needed for that particular situation or person. It wasn’t that the person needed to consume the plant, I simply needed to call upon that plant’s energy to allow the energetic plant medicine to flow through and help healing take place.

When this first began happening, I was fascinated! I would look the plant up after the healing session to see what healing properties it held. I always found that the plant was ideally matched in some way to the concerns of that particular client or situation.

In many cases, I was personally led to the perfect herb to help me heal from a particular health issue or a flower essence to help shift an emotional block. This all led me strongly back to my lifelong fascination with Nature, plants, herbs, flowers and generally with being outside and connecting with the Divine Life Force all around us. I returned to making my own herbal remedies and began using plant energetics in my life on a regular basis.

Life does tend to get busy and things happen that seem to come out of nowhere. Sometime in the last year, I found myself so caught up in the tasks of everyday life that I began to forget the plants and flowers again. I still called upon them on occasion, but I could feel myself ignoring my need to re-connect, insisting that I was too busy. Each time I did this, I felt a part of my inner self wither and die. I felt sick inside. And I began to actually feel physically sick, in pain, and thinking in a lesser vibration. I was shutting myself off from that which fed my life force.

One day, in prayer and meditation, I asked to be connected to and nourished by the River of Life. I often do this, but this day I was feeling lost. I suddenly felt a warm, motherly presence that I recognized as the Divine Feminine Aspect of Life—or what many may call Mother Mary. She seemed to be all around me and within me. She said to me, “The River of Life is inside of you and all around you. You are never separate from it. You only need to breathe to remember your connection to it. It is with you always and you can never part from it. You are swimming in it.”

I felt an immense peace. And I remembered the flowers and plants. I remembered my connection was in all of life, on both an energetic level and a physical level. Yet, I had to find my way back to actually applying it, undoing the blocks I had built up in body and mind.

Around that same time, the plants began visiting me in my dreams. First, there was chickweed and calendula. Then dandelion and violet. Soon nettle joined, and then oat straw. Each time a plant would show up, I felt instantly lighter and freer. They were working with me on an emotional level. I also knew enough about these plant’s properties to realize that they were ideal for the physical issues that I was having.

Once the dandelions, chickweed, and violets made their arrival this spring, I went to visit them in person, to pick some for physical medicine and to receive their healing presence. The simple scent of them each time is enough to heal my heart and mind!  Sitting with them in ordinary silent prayerful communion heals my spirit and reminds me of my truth. Consuming them as food, teas and tinctures has been deeply healing to my body as well.

I have returned to my practices of communing with the plants, trees, and the Earth. They are my connection to the Divine, and they are my medicine—on so many levels. It has been the experiences that I speak of here that have encouraged me to teach my Herbal Basics Class this summer. And more classes later on plant energetics. I have felt the nudge for a long time and I am so glad the Divine Mother opened my heart to listen!

Blessings,

Angie

angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

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Elderberry Syrup

elderberriesElderberry syrup is very easy to make at home and is a wonderful and tasty way to keep your immune system strong during the winter months or whenever viruses start making the rounds. It can be taken as a daily preventative dose or the dose can be increased during illness or after exposure to help you fight off the nasties. It only takes about an hour to make, costs about $3 for a quart or so and lasts for up to six months in the fridge. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative measures and up to a Tablespoon every hour during an illness, until symptoms subside or for the first 24 hours after an exposure to a virus or a bacterial infection. *NOTE*This is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you or a family member are ill, please follow standard precautions and all advice given to you by your health care professional.

3 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup dried elderberries

about 1-2 inches fresh ginger root, cut up

1- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 cup raw honey

1/4-1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar (optional, but adds immune boosting benefits)

Add all but honey and ACV to pot and bring to a boil, cover with lid and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain off liquid into a bowl and discard berries, herbs and ginger. Cool in fridge for an hour or so, then add honey and ACV, if using. Store in a glass jar with a lid, in fridge. Keeps for up to six months. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative use or a Tablespoon an hour when ill until symptoms subside.

Adding other herbs, such as 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of lavender, thyme, rosemary, sage and/or peppercorns will strengthen the immune boosting properties of this syrup as well. Just add them into the water when you first put the berries on to boil and strain them off with the berries when done.

Beating Back the Winter Blahs

winter wonderland121413This time of year, when the sun isn’t out as much and it is often gray and rainy/snowy, many people have more trouble with feeling very sad, low on energy, even depressed. This can  happen when our bodies and brains don’t cope well with the lower levels of light. Our brains produce a chemical that responds to darkness and light called melatonin. This chemical helps our body know when it’s time to shut down for the day and go to sleep. Normally, at the end of the day, when it begins to get dark, our body begins to release serotonin, which triggers the production of more melatonin and we get sleepy. In the mornings, when our brains register that there is sunlight again, the levels of  serotonin and melatonin drop and we become more alert and wake up, ready to start our day. These chemicals rely on the nutrients we bring into our bodies to be made properly and in sufficient amounts and they rely on sunlight (and other cues) to trigger their release. We can help our bodies and brains by adjusting how we cope with life during the Fall and Winter months, especially if we have difficulty with seasonal depression, sometimes called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

-Get as much light as possible and self regulate your light exposure. Open your blinds first thing every morning and close them in the evening. Go outside for a few minutes each day. Use Blues Buster bulb in the room your work in or use a full spectrum UV lamp for a few minutes each day. Don’t be afraid to turn on the lights in your home during the day! Spend the money! This is your health we are talking about!
-Take warm sea salt or Epsom salt baths frequently, even daily. They are very detoxifying and they just feel good. Add Lavender essential oil, if you like.
-Stay on a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day. This helps the melatonin in your brain become level and balanced and stay that way.
-Eat healthy. Low sugar, low starch. Lots of vegetables, especially those that are in season. Make sure to include plenty of foods that are rich easily accessible omega-3 fatty acids, as these support brain function and overall health. These are things like salmon, sardines, or eggs. Foods high in tryptophan, such as cottage cheese, avocados, bananas, walnuts and turkey are also good as they support the production of serotonin and melatonin. Make occasional DARK chocolate your now and then sugar treat, as it fights depression.
-Use Rescue Remedy to help lift your spirits and ease extra pains. It is homeopathic and non habit forming. It will help balance your entire system, not just relieve your symptoms. It can be taken as often as every 15-30 minutes on very difficult days.
-Get at least 5-10 minutes of exercise every day. Do something you enjoy! Dance or play with the kids or the dog/cat, whatever you like. No need to make it a chore, simply move your lovely body in some way and stretch it, shake it, feel it, enjoy it!
-Keep flowers in your home. Even one or two flowers in a vase helps. They add a wonderful energy, not to mention how beautiful they look and smell. I’ve found that my local grocery store sells small bouquets for $3-$5. Totally worth it.  Flowers and plants boost spirits. You’re worth it.
-Reiki or other energy work can help keep your energy moving or relieve energy blockages. If you know you have this problem each year, consider making a regular appointment each month during the Fall and Winter months to help support your well being. If you are having difficulties or begin to, a Reiki session can help restore calm and peace of mind, body and spirit.

-Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you are experiencing a sadness that doesn’t lift. Counseling or medication may be helpful in getting your system back on track and helping you feel better again.

Here’s a couple recipes to help support you when your energy is low, but you have cravings. They are healthy, easy and satisfying.

Quick Green Smoothie

1 cup of milk of choice

4 Tablespoons yogurt

2 leaves any type green (kale, collard, mustard, turnip–your favorite)

handful raspberries, handful blueberries

teaspoon raw honey

teaspoon spirulina

1 inch peeled fresh ginger

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender and run for about a minute on high, until smooth.

Cacao (Dark Chocolate) Sauce

All measurements are estimates–adjust for amount and consistency you wish to make

1/4 cup coconut oil (butter can be substituted)

2-3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder (much higher health benefits than cocoa powder)

2-3 Tablespoons raw honey

dash of sea salt or Himalayan salt

Heat in small saucepan over low heat while stirring. Once coconut oil is melted and all is stirred together, add a small drizzle of milk at a time until you have the consistency you would like for a sauce. A splash of vanilla is nice to add. You can also stir in shredded coconut or walnuts. If you leave out the milk and spread this over a sheet of  parchment paper on a cookie sheet  and then refrigerate it for several hours, it makes a nice candy.

If I can help support you with a Reiki session, feel free to contact me at  www.facebook.com/HolisticSpirituality.

Be well and Blessings,
Angie

Grain Free Chicken and Dumplings

cauliflowerGrain Free Chicken and Dumplings

Comfort foods are amazing. They can remind you of a special time in your childhood and just generally soothe and heal your body, mind and spirit. My husband and I are contending with a bit of a cold today and some chicken and dumplings, like my Mom used to make sounded just right. Only grain free.

Once a month I buy 2 chickens, as well as my eggs, from a local farm that I completely trust. They are family owned and they let the chickens live a free and happy chicken life, not a caged one. They provide amazingly kind shelters for their “ladies”, as they call them and treat them like fellow family members.  I get about 4 meals and 8 cups of chicken stock from each of the chickens. Nothing goes to waste and all of the bird is honored deeply.

This recipe uses shredded chicken picked from a previously roasted whole chicken, frozen and thawed for this meal as well as stock made by boiling the bones and skin from the chicken after all the meat was removed. You could also buy chicken thighs or breast, cook it and shred it and buy chicken stock, but it’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken, roast it (or crock pot it for several hours) and then pick it clean and freeze what you don’t eat in 1 or 2 cup portions for later meals.

Grain Free Chicken and Dumplings

1 head cauliflower, cut in half

@ 2 cups shredded chicken (leftover from cooked whole bird)

4 cups chicken stock, split in half (made from bones and skin left from picked clean bird)

2 cups water

@ 2 cups chopped carrots

@ 1 cup chopped celery

@ 1 cup parsley or carrot tops (optional)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt

additional 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt

1 egg

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot

 

1) Chop half of the cauliflower and add it to 2 cups of the stock and 2 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.

2) While that is cooking, chop the other half head of cauliflower and run through a food processor until it is very fine and grainy looking. Add a half inch or so of water to a pan and bring to a boil, then add the cauliflower grains to the water and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain through wire mesh strainer and rinse with cool water. When cool enough, place on a doubled over piece of cheesecloth or a thin dish cloth and squeeze while twisting to get all the liquid out. Set aside in a medium bowl.

3) Pour the cauliflower and stock into a blender and liquefy to make a smooth and thick cream like base. Pour back into the pot and add carrots, celery, parsley, salt, pepper, thyme the rest of the stock and the chicken and bring back to a simmer for about another 10-15 minutes while making the dumplings.

4) Add an egg, both flours (or arrowroot) and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the cauliflower grains you set aside in the medium bowl and stir well with a spoon. Then knead with your hands for a couple minutes until it feels nicely pliable and holds together well. Only takes about 2 minutes.

5) Check on the soup. If the carrots are tender and seasonings are as you like, then form the dough ball into about 9, 1/2 inch dumplings and drop then into the soup. Let them rise to the top on their own. Put the lid on the pot and let simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Serve.

Adapted from: http://paleoparents.com/2013/guest-post-popular-paleo-cauliflower-dumplings-with-creamy-chicken-soup/

Ginger Lemonade

lemons-338138_640Ginger Lemonade

A favorite way to quench thirst in the summer that serves double duty as an anti-inflammatory for over-used sore muscles is ginger lemonade. I like to keep some made up and in the fridge most of the year because we love it so much, but it’s so popular here in the summer, I have switched to a gallon jug in order to keep up with demand!

The lemon juice is a great detoxifier, which cleanses your liver and kidneys and is full of vitamin C. It also has a nice alkalinizing effect on the body, despite it being a citrus fruit and being acidic. It is very good for your digestion and will help to flush toxins in this way as well, stimulating the natural flow of normal digestive juices and enzymes which our bodies can often get sluggish in producing, leading to poor digestion.

Ginger root is an amazing natural anti-inflammatory, which works better than ibuprofen and other over the counter non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (and better than many prescription ones as well, in my opinion!)  The bonus is it is safe and without side effects. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and is an excellent way to boost your immune system and ward off any potential or current infections. I try to include ginger in my diet every single day. (Garlic too, for similar reasons, but that’s another post!)

Ginger soothes the stomach (including morning sickness) and digestive tract and is fantastic to take/drink when you have an upset stomach or other tummy issue. It will significantly shorten the duration of a stomach virus and lessen the symptoms. (Though if you take it daily, you may rarely or never get one at all!) It helps reduce and relieve the severity and duration of migraines, menstrual cramps, arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia pain (any pain really). It can help reduce sinus pressure, allowing them to drain. Whew!! Lots of benefits from ginger! And the truth is, I am restraining myself to keep the post short and get to the recipe! I could really go on! It’s good stuff!

To make 1 gallon of Ginger Lemonade:

4-6 inches fresh ginger root (found in most produce sections), grated or run through a food processor

5-6 lemons, juiced (NOT processed, bottled lemon juice–real lemons!)

1/2 teaspoon stevia, 1/2 cup raw honey, or other sweetener (to taste)

water

1.Using a funnel, pour the juice from the lemons into the jug or container you are using for the ginger lemonade. This may be the point you wish to add the amount of sweetener you are starting with. Start on the low side! You can always add more after all the other ingredients are added in. 2.Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil while you grate your ginger root. I use my tea pot for this as it is exactly the right size and it doesn’t take very long. 3. Put the grated ginger in a mesh wire strainer set atop a small bowl so that the ginger is cradled in the bowl. 4. Pour the boiling water into the bowl, over the mesh wire strainer with the ginger in it and allow it to steep for about 20 minutes. The idea is to make a hot ginger water that is a bit strong. 5. After about 20 minutes, pour the ginger water into the gallon jug (use the funnel). Let it cool before doing this, if you need to. Discard the grated ginger. 6. Cap and shake the jug, or mix with a spoon, if using an open container. Then fill to the top with cool water, shake again, taste and if sweet enough for you, refrigerate.

Enjoy whenever you would like a refreshment or anytime you need a boost of some of those lovely benefits from ginger or lemon. I suggest at least one glass a day. If you want to increase the health benefits, especially as an anti-inflammatory agent, try adding a teaspoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar to your glass of ginger lemonade! I recommend Bragg’s, for taste and the benefits I see, but there are others as well.