Yoga and Meditation Retreat on the Island of Lesvos, Greece

I had the privilege of joining a yoga retreat on the island of Lesvos in Greece, with teachers and students from the Winston-Salem area . I had opportunities to go for afternoon walks and observe the plants of this arid region. The island has

100.000 inhabitants; and is caring for 10,000 refugees. It also has olive trees everywhere. I was told there were 6 million trees on the island. Enjoy these photos.  I am still searching for the names of these plants. If anyone has thoughts, please email me.

Herbal Blessings from Greece.

Belize 2019 Cacao Making Class

Rain Forest Remedies Class – Belize 2018

Southwest Plant Walkabout

Apache Plume

This September I flew to Albuquerque and took a journey to look at the Fall Plants of New Mexico.  First stop was Jemez Springs a quaint village located in a red rock canyon. In the late 90’s I lived in this town while I attended acupuncture school and also studied the plants of the South West.

There I found a favorite showy plant; Apache Plume Fallugia paradoxa part of the Rose family.  It’s feathery pink seed plumes are very distinctive in early Fall. The Ancient Pueblo People used this plant for arrow shafts, and the branches today are used for making brooms. Making a tea with the leaves, it can be used as a hair rinse to promote hair growth. The pink plumes caught the afternoon sunlight and against the backdrop of the red rocks it was quite enchanting!

Bandelier National Park a little over an hour from Santa Fe is worth a visit. There are ancient cave dwelling sites, kivas and an abundance of plants at this park.  A huge Plantain Plantago Major was spotted near a small stream coursing through the valley. An adaptable plant it was a very impressive size for this high desert region. There is a small botanical garden once you pass through the gate of Bandelier showing the plants that the Ancient Pueblo people used for food, medicine and tools. Below is a picture of me with the Fourwing Saltbrush plant  Atiplex Canesceues and in the Gooseberry family. The seeds of this plant were ground up and cooked as a cereal.  The roots were used medicinally and used to treat sores and rashes.

Bear at Bandelier Park

On a walk in the park a friend and I spotted a black bear heading up the trail and we made a quick retreat. We were able to get a photo as it turned towards the cliffs away from us on the trail.

Cave Dwellings with Chamisa Plants

One of my favorite plants is the Cholla Cactus. So many varieties of cacti in NM! The Cane Cholla Opuntia imbricata was in bloom with yellow fruit and magenta flowers adding a prickly presence to the landscape. At Bandelier I learned that these fruits were eaten raw, stewed or dried and ground into flour. The Cholla buds are also rich in calcium.

I also travelled to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks near the Cochiti Pueblo and on my walk, saw many varieties of Yucca, Chamisa also known as Yellow Twig Rabbit Brush and Apache Plume. I ended my trip going to the Botanical Garden in Albuquerque, spending a lot of time in the Jardin de la Curandera or the Healer’s Garden. There was a wonderful tribute to healers at the entrance to the garden that touched my heart. “The Curandera used hands, heart, intellect, herbs and faith to help relieve suffering and restore health to the people.” As an herbalist I strive to live by these values and am grateful to the plants for leading the way.