As summer winds down into autumn, it’s common for people’s moods to wander down into a darker place. This has been a difficult year for many of us. Our country has become involved in a horrible war. It’s hard to escape the feeling that we have made a terrible mess in Iraq, and have no
Author Archive | Urban Shaman
The Urban Shaman knows more than herbs. The Urban Shaman knows a little bit about a lot of stuff. To prevent being revealed as a jack of all trades but master of none, the Urban Shaman would like to invite a guest writer for next month. The Urban Shaman knows of at least one Gnostic
It’s catnip season. The juicy, hollow green stalks mark this plant as one of the mint family. The one-to-two-foot tall plants with their slightly fuzzy leaves are growing in vacant lots and neglected corners all over Riverwest. I picked an armful and brought it home for drying, only to be tackled by two cats at
The gay, green leaves of Motherwort are coming up around the back fences along the alleys of Riverwest. At full growth, the plant is three to six feet tall, has large leaves and spikes of tiny pink flowers. It’s usually taken as an infusion, tincture, or liquid extract, with the advice of a professional herbalist.
Last summer, someone suggested that Comfrey might be considered the official plant of Riverwest. A stroll down the alleys anywhere in the neighborhood reveals this fuzzy, friendly, dark-sage-green plant bursting through cracks in the concrete and festooning the fence lines of vacant lots. With its dark purple, bell-shaped flowers and lush, handsome foliage, it could