Its a Tuesday morning and I have returned to my stoop. The goldenrod beside me is still in full bloom, and, in true Los Angeles fashion, the white sage leaves are starting to get thick and sticky again– they’ll be ready to harvest by the time the rains come. If the rains come. Mornings have cooled down to sweater weather, and the pavement and grass around me is littered with leaves. The air in this neighbourhood smells like the poplar trees up the street, which have started to drop their leaves, leaving that fermented salicylic smell hanging in the air. I, for one, spend all year waiting for this time.
In the last few weeks, I went to the Herbal Resurgence, and came back, and realised along the way that the feeling of listlessness that had been building over the last few months had eased up. As someone who likes, even craves movement, I’d been feeling a little too still. Sometimes it takes a gathering of like-minded people who inspire you and challenge you. Sometimes it takes someone you respect a lot saying ‘why the hell aren’t you teaching?’, and for a sudden feeling of terror to grab your chest for you to realise that you’re scared of something. And then to maybe ask yourself why? And then maybe ask if you want to do it. And then to decide that yes, you do.
Last week I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of intense tiredness. Its only taken me 31 and 11/12 years to understand that this means my immune system has gone on heightened alert and I went to lie down to take a nap (like a good herbalist who listens to her own advice for once). It was a frenzied dream session that only lasted twenty minutes, complete with slight fever and eyelid twitching. I woke up and my throat was swollen, and twenty minutes later I started coughing.
Southern California, and the southwest in general I assume, is dry cough country. In the years I’ve been practicing here I’ve yet to see a soggy wet cough that I get to dry up. Marshmallow supplies dwindle every fall; I now order in bulk instead of gathering. And I think its going to be a respiratory infection kind of year. I’ve seen six pretty bad respiratory cases already and have heard of three cases of pneumonia already. Its going to be a bad one. But treating respiratory issues isn’t difficult, neither is knowing what to do when someone gets sick. It just takes a little understanding of what’s happening in the body– what the point is for all that sticky slimy stuff, what the point is for a cough reflex that feels like its trying to kill you, and more importantly, what herbs to use and when.
Sunday October 20th? Are you free? I’m doing a respiratory class in my living room, with an explanation of the respiratory system, and details about what herbs to use and when, plus infusions to taste, and some case studies for good measure. It’ll be useful information for both budding herbalists and those who have families they want to treat. Empowering you to take steps to support your body in its healing process. You’ll leave armed with knowledge and understanding, and a lung formula that I’ve put together (one I use commonly here in Southern California).
Class size will be limited to ten people so we can get more hands on experience.