PACIFIC NORTHWEST WOODLAND ESSENCES:
BEARBERRYArctostaphulos uva-ursi (pale pink)
Healing qualities: Clear-mindedness; logic balanced with knowing; alive and alert cognizance
Bearberry flower essence works strongly on the mental level. It brings clarity of thought, complemented by the ability to observe and reflect; to meditate. Some Native American tribes used “kinnick kinnick” in the mixture they smoked in their sacred Pipe. It brought clear thinking. Herbally, bearberry has been used as a cleanser for the kidneys, and helps to control bladder infections as well as several sexually transmitted diseases. In Greek, arctos is “bear” and staphyle “grape,” while in Latin uva is “a bunch of grapes” and ursus is “bear.” Bears do indeed eat the berries!
BLEEDING HEARTDicentra Formosa (pink)
Healing qualities: Empathetic and caring
Bleeding Heart flower essence helps those individuals whose etheric field is so dense that they might seem callous and uncaring. Very yin, it brings a softening, allowing a natural receptivity and empathy to emerge. The bleeding heart appears in shady, woodland spots. It is often partially hidden, and cannot be seen without a careful exploration. It is a true quest. So with true empathy. One must want to know what another feels, and take the time to open to it, and then it is easy. Bleeding Heart opens the desire and the possibility.
ELDERBERRY Sambucus racemosa (greenish white)
Healing qualities: Clarity of heart and soul; wisdom
Elderberry flower essence is useful in soothing and cleansing. Herbally it is used in many ways: the leaves as an insect repellant (crushed and rubbed on the skin) and as a dye; the flowers and berries in wines, cordials and desserts and medically in eye and skin lotions and for colds and flu. The berries are high in vitamin C. The essence brings the wisdom and clarity of a wise crone, a respected elder.
OREGON GRAPEBerberis aquifolium (pale yellow)
Healing qualities: Easy acceptance and mediation of differences; ability to see other points of view
Oregon grape flower essence is an excellent remedy to take – or spray in the room – when there is conflict. It allows each person to soften enough to see the other points of view and to open enough to consider other wisdom and other solutions. The plant has prickly points on the leaves, like a physical symbol of the emotional state many people assume when in conflict. Yet there are many points on a single leaf, just as there are many ways to look at any situation. Oregon grape brings the ability to find unity in differences. This is one of the master essences.
RED FLOWERING CURRANTRibes sanguineum (pink)
Healing qualities: Open, lighthearted attitude; ability to find and experience joy
Red Flowering Currant flower essence brings one to the sweetness of life. This is a flower that bees and hummingbirds love – it tastes sweet. Its pink flower relates to the heart charka. And this flower thus allows us to become light of heart and mind.
SALALGaultheria shallon (pink)
Healing qualities: Nurturing, nourishing
Salal flower essence brings out the connection we have to our Mother, the Earth, who nurtures and sustains us. Salal grows thickly in the woods and shady clearings of the Pacific Northwest. It has white to pink flowers, followed by thick-skinned berries. The berries are tasty raw or cooked. This abundant food is part of the signature quality of salal: love and service through nourishing freely.
STARFLOWERTrientalis latifolia (pink)
Healing qualities: Openness to change; acceptance of humanness
Starflower essence is here to assist us with the changes the Earth is undergoing – and which we humans, by necessity, are also undertaking. We fear the unknown, the darkness. Yet out of the unknown, out of the darkness, comes birth and new life. Creativity happens in the dark. Starflower allows us to accept this process of death and rebirth, that which happens in the dark. In so doing, we are able to participate, even assist, in the rebirth of the planet.
SWEET WOODRUFFGallium odoratum (white)
Healing qualities: Finding joy and sweetness in any situation; aware of the unity of all
Sweet Woodruff flower essence reminds that joy is found even in shadow. It also keeps fresh the awareness that we are all one; all connected. The plant grows in deep woodsy shade, on rhizomes so that underground is a dense mat of root system. The flower blooms in spring with a sweet fragrance, and is traditionally used in May wine. Sweet Woodruff contains coumarin, a substance which produces a sweet, new mown hay scent when the leaves are dried.
THIMBLEBERRYRubus odoratus (white)
Healing qualities: Ease and comfort; support and encouragement
Thimbleberry flower essence brings ease on the emotional, mental, and physical levels. It is an excellent remedy for those who are unable to easily receive, or those who experience lack. The plant looks a bit like a vine maple, with few small thorns. The berries are nourishing.
TRILLIUMTrillium ovatum (deep red)
Healing qualities: Strength; deeply balanced feminine; transformation; healing; magic
Trillium flower essence reflects its shape and habit of growth: it is three leaved, and the flowers have three sepals, three petals, six stamens, and a solitary pistil. The fruit is a berry. Long before recorded history the three in one was symbolic of the divine feminine: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Later, the Christians adopted the triune symbol: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Buckminster Fuller said the triangle is the building block of everything. It is perhaps the strongest shape. In magic and in healing work, the triangle is an essential element. Three leaved plants are among the oldest of plants.
Trillium grows on the forest floor, in protected, damp and shaded spots, and is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Traditionally, the roots are considered astringent, tonic and antiseptic and have been used to allay hemorrhages, internal and external. Another name for trillium is birthroot.