This is an archived entry from my participation in Jaysen's Cosmophilia Herbal Experiential Group. I had it on the front page but need to archive it since it is from a few seasons ago, but I loved this herb SO
much I am still using it a lot - Slippery Elm. This was the first herb of experiential group and I was excited about participating but also really didn’t know what to expect from that experience or this herb in
particular. And I knew NOTHING about slippery elm other than it could be used magically to halt gossip.
So, I obtained slippery elm in both powder form and tincture form. I ended up using more of the powder, but did experiment with the tincture a good deal too. The tincture I added to tea or water or sometimes even just dropped it on my tongue before bed. I also used it as an ingredient in a ritual bath I was prescribed toward the end of the season.
The powder I completely fell in love with! When I got it and opened the container I was immediately
reminded, oddly, of cocoa wheat. LOL. THAT is what it smelled like to me. Childhood memories there…It is hard to describe though because it smells different to each person I think as the other members reporting on it will tell you. But, definitely very earthy and warm. Like, it almost gave me the comfort vibe immediately, just by smelling it.
Since I’m into tasting things (like horse wormer paste ;) I just went about using it. I made tea with it – first by simmering it in water and infusing it into my green tea. I simmered it by itself and I even added it to lots of
other things –pancakes, my morning granola/nut and fruit mix and my post workout mix of yogurt/oats and protein powder.It is sweet actually – someone described it as “maple flavored” during the discussions and that is really accurate.
As a bath additive I found it to be soothing and it felt really cleansing. As part of my ritual bath I really believe it was a great addition. The whole thing left me feeling very fresh and new and I think slippery elm was a big part of that .I also boiled some of the powder at one point and added it to a regular bath .It definitely left my skin feeling very soothed.
So, from an inner experience standpoint I do really think it affected my dreams and sleep patterns. I had odd dreams of various structures during the season – and out of context dreams related to structures – things like mansions that I had never seen but obviously lived there, my grandma’s old house only it was my office. My sleep seemed deeper and my dreams more vivid .I was drinking slippery elm before bed almost nightly at one point and doing a lot of inner work this season anyway. We discussed whether we all might
be feeding on each other’s experiences with the dreams and although there is a possibility – after that I purposely did not use slippery elm for a week and there WAS a difference in my dream patterns and ability to recall the vivid nature of them. I choose to believe that slippery elm was in my head at night.
Slippery Elm will probably always be an “inner season” herb to me. I am not sure if this is because of its nature or simply my association with everything this past season along with slippery elm. It just seems so heavy and earthy and soothing to me so that is how I see it in my head. That is not to say I won’t brew some up on a cool spring evening and I will definitely use it for any next bout of sickness I have like a cold or something similar – it is just amazingly soothing and I can see it being in my cupboard for
On my latest trip to the co-op I decided on an herb that smelled good and seemed like it would make a soothing tea.
So, what looks like a dandelion but is named after the hooves of a baby horse? The cute little herb Coltsfoot! You may see these flowers growing in open fields or wooded areas while hiking and mistake them for the more common dandelion and they are quite similar - but looking at their leaves you will see that coltsfoot has heart-shaped leaves and the dandelion long, thin very toothed leaves (which pet rabbits love to eat like spaghetti by the way but that is a whole other story).
Many people have been known to eat dandelions, but more often coltsfoot is used as an herbal decongestant to combat phelgm and relieve coughing and even bronchitis. The above-ground
portion of the herb: flowers, leaves, stalk,can be dried and steeped as tea, which is how I plan to use the herb that I purchased from our co-op this weekend.
You can make a tincture from coltsfoot by chopping it and placing it in a jar, then covering it with vodka. Steep for 6 weeks, strain leftover plant matter and save the liquid. That is your tincture!
From my Encyclopedia of Magical Plants I also found that coltsfoot is relaxing when burned as an incense, producing a sense of calm and peace. For love, people would sprinkle a bit of dried coltsfoot outside their home to attract a mate.