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My Desert Experiences Blog

Desert Medicine Making Class

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM

As the damp clouds shrouded the mountain and the life-giving rains gently fell, we were cozy inside learning how to make real medicine for our uses. On my desert plant walkabouts we stop at length at the prickly pear cactus and I talk about all the incredible medicine it provides us: poisonous stings and bites (my favorite scorpion sting remedy), a drawing poultice, a healing poultice for sprains and broken bones, incredible sun burn remedy and proven cure for diabetes. BUT how ever do we get to the medicine through all those prickers, my students ask. In this medicine making class I demonstrated the fast and easy way to get into a prickly pear pad and how to scrape out the wonderful medicine.

The ocotillo bark is also a very special medicine I use. It is excellent for all ailments from the bottom of the diaphram to the knees: so urinary tract, reproductive organs, prostate, as well as for lymphatic movement and general muscle soreness. But the bark has to be removed from the inner core in order to use it efficiently. I was able to show the students how to do this easiy without getting poked by the needle sharp thorns. CAUTION: the Ocotillo is a protected plant. Harvest only on private proterty with permission, and only the youngest 2 joints of the branch.

The eager students were then able to get their hands on the desert plants and decide which kind of customized medicine to make to take home: hmmm, will it be an allergy relief tincture, a flu and cold rememdy tincture, an antimicrobial salve with analgesic properties or with astringent properties?

We had fun learning, customizing and now practiced to be able to make tinctures or oils and salves with any plant/herb from their environment, from the herb store or fron their backyard.

My last Medicine Making Class of the season is being offered on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013

Categories: Desert Medicine