Sacred Earth and Plant Medicine Apprenticeship in the Southwest

Sacred Earth & Plant Medicine Apprenticeship
9 months ~ 200 hrs
Tucson, Arizona and Greater SW

Join Herbalist Darcey Blue to learn about botanical medicines, wildcrafting, medicine making, nature awareness and skills, sacred earth connection and ceremony. Deepen, reinforce, reconnect, and sanctify your work with the plants and the earth. This apprenticeship is appropriate for beginners to herbal
medicine, and will cover the basics of medicine making, plant identification, wildcrafting, & herbal energetics. This apprenticeship is also for those looking to deepen their connection with the plant medicines in a sacred and heart centered way. We will be grounded in love and respect for Gaia, the Earth- using nature awareness, nature skills, ceremony, shamanic awareness, seasonal lore, inner heart based wisdom and more. This apprenticeship will take you beyond "this herb for that condition" and set you on the path of sacred relationship with your plant medicines, with the Earth, and your own spirit. Apprentices meet one weekend per month for lessons, wildcrafting, ceremony and time in nature on camping trips to natural areas in the Southwest. In addition, we will meet on one evening per month for Ceremony and Check-In as a group. As an apprentice in the Sacred Earth & Herbal Medicine Program, you will work one on one with Darcey Blue, to create your own healing and health transformation and journey. Each apprentice will meet with Darcey for four personal sessions- which include herbal medicine, nutrition, and shamanic guidance. 

Begins in Feb 2013! Space is limited. Apply to Darcey Blue with a letter of intent/purpose by Jan 15, 2013.

Dia de los Muertos Cacao Ceremony in Tucson, AZ

Dia de los Muertos Cacao Ceremony 

Nov 3, 2012

5 pm - The Harmony Hut, Tucson, AZ


Space is limited. Please register by Oct 25, 2012 by contacting Darcey,

Cacao, in its unrefined state, is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, and compounds that activate the heart, the blood, the mind, and spirit. The medicine of Cacao is well known in our culture, but has been dulled, refined and watered down. Literally. Come and experience the power of true cacao. There is a reason it has been called ‘Food of the Gods’ and was used regularly by indigenous peoples of the Americas for ceremony.
In this heart opening workshop we will sit in circle to create sacred space for this plant spirit and its work, and share a drink of unrefined cacao with another plant ally for ancestor work- Marigold (Tagetes lemmonii.) The synergy of these two potent plant medicines will help us to connect with the realm of the ancestors and reach back to heal ancestral wounds.
We will use drum, journey, voice and movement to explore the teachings and healing that Cacao has for YOU at this time. Be prepared for heart opening, recovering/uncovering, deep feeling and engaging the physical senses. Your focus, intention and spirit and heart’s desires will be magnified. Use this time to journey into YOUR heart and to your ancestors.

RECOMMENDATIONS: We recommend coming well hydrated and eating a light meal a couple hours before so as not to arrive with a belly full of food or drink. Bring a cushion for sitting in comfort and / or a blanket.
It is helpful if those who have rhythmic instruments- drums, rattles, sticks bring them for the ceremony to help raise the energy.
It is also wise to have a little something to snack on post ceremony to help ground the energy. Bring a small potluck dish/offering to share with others after the ceremony.
Questions can be directed to Darcey, at

Blue Turtle Botanicals: Herbal Products for sale from TWHC! Limited quanti...

Blue Turtle Botanicals: Herbal Products for sale from TWHC! Limited quanti...:

Friends and customers, 
I have a few products left after the Traditions in Western Herbalism conference this weekend, and before I put them up on Poppy Swap, I thought I'd give you a chance at them.
The list is below with qnty and price- please EMAIL me at  to reserve the products you want.  I can send you a paypal invoice for the total, including shipping.  
First Come, first served.

Thanks and much love friends!!
darcey blue

2           Juniper Balm- 2 oz  $15
4        Sweet Spirit Skin Balm (tulsi,lavender &white sage) 1.7 oz   $14
7        Cold Sore Balm .5 oz Wand     $5
5       Gaia Earth Goddess Cream (Tulsi & patchouli) 1.7 oz     $22
6        Green Tea and Rose Cream 1.7 oz           $25
3         Lavender Oat Bliss Elixir  2 oz      $22
2         lavender oat bliss elixir 1 oz        $12
5        California Poppy Flower Essence ½ oz stock  $8
5        Sweet Surrender Elixir 2 oz   $22
2        Sweet Surrender Elixir 1 oz    $12
3        Sleeping Dragon Herpes/Cold Sore Elixir  2 oz   $22
3        Tulsi (Holy Basil) Elixir 1 oz     $10
4      Desert Vervain Elixir  1 oz    $10
4        evening primrose tincture  1 oz  $10
2        Tulsi Rose Elixir 2 oz    $22
2        bee balm/monarda tincture 1 oz  $10
1        Bee balm/monarda Elixir   2 oz   $18
5        Passionflower tincture   1 oz  $10
2        Alder tincture   1 oz $10
1        Ocotillo tincture  1 oz  $10
5      juniper smudge wands  $5

Herbal Products for sale from TWHC! Limited quantity!

Friends and customers, 
I have a few products left after the Traditions in Western Herbalism conference this weekend, and before I put them up on Poppy Swap, I thought I'd give you a chance at them.
The list is below with qnty and price- please EMAIL me at  to reserve the products you want.  I can send you a paypal invoice for the total, including shipping.  
First Come, first served.

Thanks and much love friends!!
darcey blue

2           Juniper Balm- 2 oz  $15
4        Sweet Spirit Skin Balm (tulsi,lavender &white sage) 1.7 oz   $14
7        Cold Sore Balm .5 oz Wand     $5
5       Gaia Earth Goddess Cream (Tulsi & patchouli) 1.7 oz     $22
6        Green Tea and Rose Cream 1.7 oz           $25
3         Lavender Oat Bliss Elixir  2 oz      $22
2         lavender oat bliss elixir 1 oz        $12
5        California Poppy Flower Essence ½ oz stock  $8
5        Sweet Surrender Elixir 2 oz   $22
2        Sweet Surrender Elixir 1 oz    $12
3        Sleeping Dragon Herpes/Cold Sore Elixir  2 oz   $22
3        Tulsi (Holy Basil) Elixir 1 oz     $10
4      Desert Vervain Elixir  1 oz    $10
4        evening primrose tincture  1 oz  $10
2        Tulsi Rose Elixir 2 oz    $22
2        bee balm/monarda tincture 1 oz  $10
1        Bee balm/monarda Elixir   2 oz   $18
5        Passionflower tincture   1 oz  $10
2        Alder tincture   1 oz $10
1        Ocotillo tincture  1 oz  $10
5      juniper smudge wands  $5

Sacred Cacao Ceremony Oct 28th, 2012 in Tempe, AZ

Sacred Cacao Ceremony and Journey

When: Oct 28, 2012 at Noon
Where: Southern and Price, Tempe, AZ
Cost: $30

To Register for the Ceremony you may make payment via paypal by visiting this link
Space is LIMITED to 15!  Register by Oct 18, 2012!

Payments via check please contact darcey at

Sacred cacao/ chocolate is one of this planet’s major medicine-plant partners and facilitators, overlooked as it does not act as a psychedelic... but that does not mean it has no depth.

An Indigenous myth tells us whenever the balance between humans and nature becomes threatened, cacao comes from the rainforest to open people's hearts and return the planet to a state of harmony.

You will be indulged with pure raw cacao, learning about its origin, its history, watching the process from cacao brick to a warm spiritual drink that will be sipped on while listening to or engaging in drum, rattle and chanting...

RECOMMENDATIONS: We recommend coming well hydrated and eating a light meal a couple hours before so as not to arrive with a belly full of food or drink. Bring a cushion for sitting in comfort and / or a blanket.
On a psycho-spiritual level, cacao is a medicine of the Spirit and can help us meet and better understand the shadow parts of our psyche as well as connect us with the Soul Essence of who we are. Whatever you are ready to bring to the surface in your own personal relationship with self is welcomed.

It is helpful if those who have rhythmic instruments- drums, rattles, sticks bring them for the ceremony to help raise the energy.

It is also wise to have a little something to snack on post ceremony to help ground the energy. Bring yourself something to eat and have on hand after our ceremony.

Questions can be directed to Darcey, at

Join Darcey Blue for a weekend of Plant Ceremony & Nature Connection

For the first time ever I am leading a weekend retreat devoted to Plant Medicine, Plant Journey, Ceremony and Nature.   You are invited to join me in September in Arizona for this magical offering!

Sacred Plant Medicine Retreat 2012
Sept 28- 30, 2012
Tucson, AZ

Join herbalist, devotee of wildness, and shamana flora Darcey Blue and sacred nature guide, shamanic storyteller, and sacred-soul-mission activator Alyson Greene in a journey to the heart of plant spirit connection.

Imagine yourself in a deeply transformative immersion into plant spirit medicine . . .

You and a small group of fellow retreat companions, being guided through Seven Levels of Plant and Nature Awareness . . .

. . . Experiencing connection, community, solitude, rest, and replenishment

. . . Developing profound awareness skills

. . . Making new plant friends and deepening connections with familiar plant allies

. . .  Bringing sacred plant medicine messages into your dreams and journeys

. . . Hearing plant blessing stories

. . .  Deepening your relationships with wild nature, with plants, with your sense of purpose in relation to wild earth, and with your own sacred nature.


You are invited to join us, in the heart of plant spirit connection.


Register for the Sacred Plant Medicine Retreat here.  Attendance is limited to ensure a sacred retreat experience for participants. Be sure to reserve your place today!

Medicinal Plants of the Southwest: Evening Primrose

Learn about a common weed of the southwest and beyond- that is very underused and unrecognized for its medicinal benefits beyond what the health food store has told us about the seeds.  Evening primrose is an amazing medicine weed!  Learn about all the ways you can use it!

Tree Medicines of the Southwest: Canyon Walnut (Juglans major)

Climb up into an old grandfather Walnut tree in the Tanque Verde Wash in Tucson, AZ with Darcey Blue to learn about forgotten uses for this popular herbal medicine and wild edible plant! 

Also- starting on Aug 8- Ogham Trees Circle: Journey to Tree Spirit, Wisdom and Divination - a Series of Classes and Journey Circle about the 20 Trees that make up the Ogham- an ancient Celtic Divination system.  Circles are offered by donation and you can come to one or all! 
Aug 8,  2012- 6:30 pm  @ ISA's Grotto  (19 E Toole Ave)

Find out more at Tucson Community Herbalism

Chill out summer grumps- Rose Mango Lassi

Rose Mango Lassi

Lassi is a delicious cooling yogurt drink often served with Indian meals. Most common is the mango lassi, but rose is a close second, and then there are salty lassi with cumin and so on and so forth. Well this recipe is not really a traditional lassi recipe, but my inspired version- hot day, grumpy dump mood, and what was in my freezer...including the remaining marc from rose petal elixir. I often save and freeze marc from elixirs or tinctures or honey to be reused...elderberry, rose, honeysuckle, lemon balm, mint etc.
This is a lovely and delicious summer soother- for hot days, a bad mood, low energy, or summertime blahs. It has probiotics, healthy fats, minerals (if you use nettle tea!) and nervine relaxing heart soothing and energy balancing properties.
  • 8 oz whole milk plain yogurt
  • 2-4 oz nettle hibiscus tea (or whatever herb infusion you like and have on hand)
  • 1 -2 fresh mango (peeled and seed removed) or 2 c frozen mango pieces
  • 1/4 cup rose elixir marc (or use fresh or dried rose petals)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp rose hydrosol
  • squirts of various nervine tinctures- oats, tulsi, rose, lavender, etc)
  • 1 tbsp maca powder (or use ashwaganda, shatavari etc)
Blend all the goodies up in your blender and serve cool.

Medicinal Plants of the Southwest with Darcey Blue: Ocotillo

Join me in the Desert in the early morning during monsoon rain season to visit the Ocotillo and learn about its healing properties!  We'll also meet a few other desert friends while we are out soaking in the morning sunrays!

Herbalist's Apothecary Membership

The Herbalist's Apothecary Membership

    • Do you want to use herbal medicine on a daily basis for wellness and health care, but don’t have time to make every medicine you might want to have on hand?
    • Would you like to start to learn about herbs and how to use them, but don’t know where to start, or don’t have access to a local teacher?

In this very special offering I’m offering a membership to a limited number of people who want to build their herbal apothecary from the bottom up and learn more about herbal medicines and plants.  Stock your herbal apothecary with potent hand made medicines frequently used by herbalists all over the world, including tinctures, oils, teas, honeys, elixirs and more. The membership lasts for 12 months and begins on October 1, 2012!

Each month will feature one well loved and widely used plant and includes 2 of the following products:

  • 4 oz tincture/elixir
  • 4 oz salve or infused oil  
  • 4 oz bulk herb for infusions 
  • 4 oz infused vinegar
  • 4 oz infused honey or electuary

This membership is the perfect match for herbalists, herb enthusiasts and herbal students who wish to rely on natural, herbal medicines as their primary health care and wants to begin to stock their pantry with a wide variety of standard and versatile plant medicines.

Membership Begins October 1, 2012!

Featured Plants of Each Month

October - Elder (Sambucus Nigra)
November - Medicinal Mushrooms
December - Alder (Alnus spp)
January - Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)
February - Burdock (Arctium lappa)
March - Vervain (Verbena hastata)
April - Nettles (Urtica dioica)
May- Hawthorn (Crateageus spp)
June - Rose (Rosa spp)
July - St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Aug- Cherry (Prunus serotina/P. virginiana)
Sept- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Herbalists Apothecary CSA Membership

Pay in Full   - $659.00 

12 Months - One Month Free!

Monthly Payments - $59.99/month
12 months

Tea of the Month Club 2012

I've refined and updated the Tea of the Month Club for 2012- to make it more affordable and practical for you! 
Now the Tea of the Month Club is just $12.50 a month, that is 30% off the last years price, with a tea tin of about 1.5 oz of herbal tea blends. Its available in 6 or 12 month subscriptions- pay in full or make easy monthly payments! 
Fresh tea blends every month- with a new variety each month shipped right to your door for the next 6 or 12 months you get a fresh tin of a new variety of tea sent directly to you (or your designated recipient- this makes a wonderful gift for tea lovers,) with nothing more to do!  Easy!

Join the Tea of the Month Club today and make easy monthly payments!
Payments of $12.49/month:

If you prefer to make just one  payment in full on your Tea of the Month Club you can make that purchase using the links below.

Paid in full (Poppy Swap)
6 months Tea Subscription
12 months Tea Subscription

No catch, no reordering -  just freshly blended, medicinal strength and delicious herbal tea blends straight from me to you.  The selections will be seasonally appropriate and will include some of our favorite blends currently available (like Faery Nectar, Artemis Elixir, Banish the Blues, and Belly Bliss) along with new varieties as they are available (look for teas for the Cross Quarter days, Elements and more!)

The best part about this is you can join the Tea of the Month club at ANY TIME through Poppy Swap, Etsy, or using the Paypal links below!  There is no registration deadline, no limits on how many members, and no worries for you.  

90 Degrees and Climbing

It's getting to be that time of year....the sun is beating down and the temperatures are climbing by the week, but night time temperatures are just perfect still, and I'm relishing the familiar rhythms of the desert cycles.
Waking early at dawn for a walk with the bird songs, and to spend time in the garden- enjoying evening walks in beautiful riparian canyons with friends- for ceremony, for drumming, for observing nighttime creatures like the scorpions and bats.  Ocotillo flowers are exploding into passionate red pompoms of sweet nectar- attracting hummingbirds and bees, and wandering herbalists like me.  Prickly Pear Cactus and Cholla Cactus are budding and flowering with their sexy, luscious and moist petaled flowers.  Lizards are scampering and resting on shady stucco walls and under the shade of my squash plants -reminding me of the dreaming medicine they hold.  What we dare to dream we can create- with the application of authentic heart feeling, directed will and focus, and a healthy dose of magic and real world action.
So much that I have dreamed is blossoming....I wake every day- in gratitude to the sun shining, to the mesquite tree shading my cottage, to my blossoming garden filling my breakfast bowl, to the community of sweet friends and beloveds and supportive colleagues around me, to my journey into the depths of my despair, so that I could return home with the clear vision, attention and determination to create exactly what I want in each moment.

I'm astonished and overwhelmed and grateful for the abundance of wild and wonderful medicines at my doorstep and beyond....
Gifted with the rare treat of fresh green moist chickweed underneath the deliriously fragrant jasmine vine out my back door, the exquisite blossoms of pomegranate flowers in the yard, the medicines that come to me from friends gardens, the blooming desert and familiar and favorite collecting spots.

I harvested fresh oats- realized that I've been harvesting from this same stand of oats for almost 10 years...and it is abundant and well.  My beloved cottonwood and walnut trees welcome me back and beacon with juicy buds and leaves and the promise of nuts, to climb and be embraced.  Canyons rich with medicines that I've missed while I was away- Artemisia ludoviciana - Estafiate, Arcostaphylos pungens- Manzanita, Mimulus guttatus- Monkey Flower, Garrya wrightii- Silk Tassel, Juniperus depeanna- Alligator juniper, Oenethera biennis- Evening Primrose, Glandularia spp - Desert Vervain.

Cherry blossoms are about to burst open Mexican Elder blossoms are a light and a buzz with bees galore.

I've been making medicines of all kinds to restock the apothecary that dwindled in the many moves I made in the last year, and taking advantage of the warmth of the desert sunshine in my medicine making.

Beautiful ruby red St John's Wort oil....

Fragrant pink Rose Gulkand,  Rose Infused Honey  and Rose Infused Sesame oil after Community Plant Learning Circle this week- all about the heart medicine of Rose.

Ocotillo blossom elixir and flower essence

California/Mexican Poppy tincture...

Many of these medicines and more can be found at my Poppy Swap store where you can enjoy them fresh from me to you!

Or if you can't settle on just one item- you can join the Herbal  CSA and get freshly made, wild, weedy, wonderful medicines from the desert and beyond every month delivered to your mailbox!

I am so grateful to be able to do this beautiful work in the help others connect with themselves, and the medicine plants, and share the healing power of nature and honoring our heart's truest callings and deepest needs.    If you'd like to find out more about how to work with me privately I encourage you to contact me today for an Introductory Session to my Wellness Programs.  And to join me on my FREE teleseminar on May 5, 2012- Every Day Nourishment!

With humble gratitude and all the love of flowering of the desert,
Darcey Blue

Summer/Fall Plant Walk Schedule 2012

May 19, 2012- Plant Walk 9 am - 1 pm
$30 in Tucson, AZ

June 2, 2012,  Plant Walk, 8 am - 2 pm  $30

July 21, 2012 Plant Walk, 8 am - 2 pm  $30

August 25, 2012, Plant Walk, 8 am - 2 pm  $30

Sept, 22, 2012 Plant Walk, 8 am - 2 pm  $30

Oct 13, 2012 Plant Walk, 8 am - 1 pm  $30

RSVP to Darcey  or call 520 429 2654

Register and pay for ONE  Plant Walk  - $30

Register and pay for FOUR Plant Walks - $100

Rose Gulkand and Aphrodisiac Cacao Paste - a Recipe for Summer Love and Hot Days

Rose Gulkand - a Recipe for Summer Love and Hot Days

Growing roses? Want a new, special and swoonably amazing way to preserve the sweet scent, flavor and medicine of your favorite roses? Try this Gulkand...a recipe from the Ayurvedic tradition. This sweet confection is not only delightful to enjoy off the spoon- but is heart healing and soothing, calming to hot tempers, cooling to the body on hot days- and delicious swirled into lemonade, whipped cream, into cacao treats and more! Share with your lover for a sweet loving heart opening aphrodisiac!
1 half pint canning jar
4-5 fragrant unsprayed roses ( depending on how big they are you might need more or less)
1/2 c sugar
cardamom, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peels, vanilla bean powder (optional additions)
Fill a half pint jar in alternating layers of fresh rose petals followed by a tsp or two of sugar, all the way to the top of the jar. Pack it well, but not too tight. It will reduce down a lot!
If you wish to add any other spices sprinkle those in between your layers of rose and sugar. Whole cardamom seeds or cloves work well, just a few, or try powdered nutmeg, cinnamon or vanilla beans.
Lid the jar well and place in a sunny spot in a window or outside where the roses and sugar will warm up, release their juices and melt the sugar and crystallize together in a mass of gooey rosey goodness. This takes 1-2 days of full warm sun shine.
You might want to stir it up a little once the roses and sugar have reduced, and store it in the fridge. Dip in now and again for a rose delight!
You might also want to try this with other fragrant exotic flowers- I've got honeysuckle and jasmine blossoms both reducing in the sun in their jars right now!  So long as the flower is edible and non poisonous!  I only wish Orange blossoms were still in bloom! 

Cacao Rose Aphrodisiac

Want something a bit more sexy for sharing with your lover this Beltaine season? Seriously this will put you both in the mood faster than you can whip it up!
1/2 c Ground Cacao - I like to use Heartblood Cacao paste, but you can grind your own whole raw cacao beans or nibs
1/8 c liquid coconut oil
1/8 -1/4 c honey (rose infused honey or rose gulkand makes it even more special!)
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne or chipotle chile powder
Mix all the ingredients into a thick paste, drizzle with rose honey and serve it to each other on fingers, lips or anywhere else you can dream up.
Sweet Love to You!

Tucson Herbal Medicine CSA

Now available in Tucson, AZ– a locally produced herbal medicine CSA!  Ethically crafted herbal medicines from the deserts and mountains of the southwest, handcrafted by Clinical Herbalist, Darcey Blue of  Blue Turtle Botanicals. 

Darcey Blue is the clinical herbalist, wildcrafter, plant whisperer, medicine maker and owner of Blue Turtle Botanicals.  In recent years,  the development of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's) has blossomed all across the country.  In this unique partnership, communities support their local farms, business and ecosystems by purchasing a share at the beginning of the season, and are rewarded with rich, healthy, locally grown food and products for a specific amount of time. 

In light of this development, Darcey Blue has created a unique Herbal CSA!  Much like farming, earth centered herbalism is based on long term relationships with the land and the plants harvested, and the skill and art of making medicines, formulas and finished products from the raw plants.  Herbal products have become widely available in health food stores across the nation, allowing more people more access to natural plant medicines, but what is lacking from this model, is precisely what the Community Supported Agriculture movement has done for farming, and what it can do for herbalism!  It provides sustainable, healthy, locally produced plant medicines made by with the skill, knowledge,  intention, love and magic of your herbalist.  And now, the Herbal CSA in Tucson, AZ!

·          6 months of fresh, local herbal medicine 
·          2 locally produced products each month (tincture, salve or tea)
·          Informational newsletter with each package describing the products, the plants and how best to use them
·          Local pick up in Tucson,  AZ each month at a central location (delivery available for an extra fee)

Shares begin June 1! 
Sign up today for one of the CSA shares for 2012!

6 months of fresh, locally produced Herbal Medicines
for $199

Contact Darcey today to sign up
or purchase your share below!

Herbal Medicine CSA in Tucson, AZ

Everyday Nourishment Tele-Seminar May 5, 2012 with Herbalist, Darcey Blue

Do you....
feel like you are running on empty?
feel unsatisfied after eating meals, and wonder whats missing?
feel that you want and need EASY ways to nourish yourself?
feel that you know how to take care of everyone but yourself?
want to learn about what herbs and foods are supportive to improve your vitality every day?
want to begin and maintain a simple and effective self nourishment routine?

I'm inviting you to join me for my free teleseminar-
Everyday Nourishment on May 5, 2012!

I'll be sharing with you the simple ways you can incorporate safe, natural herbal medicines, delicious nourishing foods, and natural self-care practices into your every day routine to boost your natural vitality, improve your energy level, and increase your satisfaction and enjoyment of living your life!

Health and vitality stems from our small day to day actions- the meals we eat daily, the herbs we use to nourish our bodies and the ways we cultivate and preserve our life force - and I will be sharing the ways I have found to practice nourishment every day in my own life, and those of my clients.

You will come away from the call with several easy changes and practices to begin to incorporate into your daily routine- whether you choose just one or several- I know that you will see positive changes that result in better energy, more happiness, and less stress by making these small adjustments in your day to day habits.

I'll be offering a special gift to all the call participants, so be sure to listen in for the gift at the end of the call, and in addition I'll be be giving away an Artemis Elixir Infusion for Women to 3 lucky callers- names will be drawn from all call registrants and announced on the call!!

Mark your calendar now!
Date: May 5, 2012
Time: 1:00 pm PST (4pm EST)

Remember if you can't make the call live, there will be a recording for you to listen to on your own time, so be sure register to receive the recording information after the call!
Register for Everyday Nourishment with Herbalist, Darcey Blue today!

Nettle Hummus with Roasted Garlic, Onion, and Preserved Meyer Lemons

After the Community Plant Medicine Circle this week in Tucson, AZ, where we talked all about Nettles for a couple of hours, sharing stories of medicine making, recipes, harvesting and clinical uses, I felt extra inspired to include Nettles in my menu today.  I had all the lovely ingredients for hummus in the house, and a gathering to attend where hummus will be appreciated.

Nettles are so nutritious, and so easy to incorporate into your daily life, to add extra mineral nutrition and green love to everything.  Sure, you can drink nettles infusion regularly, I do, but I like to eat them even more!  This recipe can be made with dried nettles if you don't have access to fresh, but fresh will be even tastier!

Nettle Hummus with Roasted Garlic, Onion and Preserved Meyer Lemons
2 c cooked chickpeas
1 c dried nettle leaf (or 2 cup steamed and chopped fresh nettle leaves)
1 head of roasted garlic
1/2 roasted onion
1/2 preserved meyer lemon, or 4 slices
1/2 c olive oil
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp chile flakes
(optional- 1/4 c tahini or almond butter)

In an oven on 400 degrees, roast 1 head of garlic ( just chop the top off the garlic and drizzle with oil), and 1/2 peeled onion, until both are soft, and browned.  This might take 20-30 min.   Peel the roasted garlic and use the individual cloves in the recipe, discarding the skin.

In your food processor or blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  You may wish to add more olive oil or lemon depending on your taste.

This is a sweet and mild hummus, different than when you use raw garlic. But bursting with flavor and nettle love.  Serve with carrot sticks, crackers, on salad or however you like hummus best!

Desert Gold: Californa Poppy (Escholtzia californica)

The delicate golden blossoms of the California poppy blanket the desert hills in Mid February- shimmering in the warm sunlight and shivering their paper thin petals in the warm breeze.
In a good rain year, the desert will have a carpet of gold from the large numbers of poppies.  In a dry year, we are lucky to find a patch here or there.
This is one of our spring ephemeral flowers, that is here today and gone tomorrow, blooming only for a few weeks in the spring, when there has been enough moisture over the winter.
But lucky for us herbalists, from all over, this medicine will grow very easily from seed, in your garden at home, when provided water.

California Poppy has long been one of my favorite and most frequently used sedative nervine herbs - from the time I began to study desert herbal medicines almost 10 years ago.  It is in the Poppy Family (Papaveraceae) like Oriental Poppy, but its medicine is gentle and safe enough to be used by children and teething babies, but effective enough to put an adult in pain into a relaxed enough state of mind to get to sleep.

I most often use this little gem for insomnia with pain, particularly musculo-skeletal pain- sore muscles, body aches in flu, injuries, or generalized pain that keeps one awake at night.  I find I use this plant much more often than I have ever used Valerian,  in similar situations of pain and insomnia.  I have found that California Poppy doesn't usually leave people feeling groggy the morning after using it, but it can make you feel a bit groggy during the day if you take it before bed time.   I have also found that it can be extremely helpful for people who can't fall asleep due to excessive thinking and worry, or who wake often in the night from worry.  Its also helpful for those with day time nervous spasmodic jitters and/or anxiety.

Its excellent for kids, or adults, who won't lay down and go to bed and rest, either as habit or when feeling ill.  I have also seen it relieve the pain of teething babies when the tincture is applied to the gums.    It is a reasonable though mild antispasmodic, and can help to quell spasmodic muscle pain or spasmodic cough or digestive system, while encouraging rest and relaxation.

California poppy does not seem to be at all addictive itself, and may possibly be useful in helping those coming off opiate medications dealing with addictive tendencies.  It is safe for general use on a day to day basis, but may show up on urine drug tests (as will poppy seeds from muffins.)

It tastes ghastly, no matter what form you use it in, but I generally recommend the tincture for ease and speed of effectiveness, (that and that no one wants to drink poppy tea! bitter!).  An elixir is also another easier way to get the medicine down.  I tincture my poppy fresh in 95% alcohol for the strongest form of the medicine, using the whole flowering tops- including seed pods, flowers, stems and leaves- and even a few small roots on smaller plants.  I have seen it available sold dry from herb suppliers and herb stores.  But considering how easy it is to grow,  I would suggest growing it yourself and making your medicine fresh as possible!

For insomnia I usually recommend people take 15 drops 4 x in the 90 min before bed time, pulsed at 30 min intervals.  For anxiety and jitters- 10 drops every 5-10 min until relief.  For pain, larger doses are appropriate, and I find that two droppers  (60 drops) helps with the pain of broken bones, menstrual cramps, injuries, mild headaches or other pain, and the dose can be repeated in 30 min/1 hr.   Remember that you might feel groggy from large doses used in the day, so please do not try to drive or operate machinery after taking California Poppy during the day.  It works beautifully in formulas with other nervines or sedatives and often makes it into my formulas for insomnia, or combined with other herbs for pain relief.

There is so much more to this little plant than I can fit it here, but truly it is a treasure to have such a good, effective and safe medicine that grows abundantly in yards or in large patches in the desert in good rain years.  Especially if Valerian doesn't suit you ( as it doesn't suit me at all), you may find that California Poppy will do the trick.  If you are wondering where to get  this medicine-and you can't find it at your local health food or herb store, I'll have a fresh batch of c. poppy elixir made from wild poppies this spring available in a week or so.  Just let me know if you are looking for some!

Wishing you the best of sleep and spring abundance!