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Alchemica

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About Alchemica

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  1. Thanks @HillLily. Hard to hear about your isolation, without knowing the reason could you try to form some connections in your community that might break that via your front yard? Ie. over here we have "Grow Free" carts where it's give what you can, take what you need but a simple something even a box that could form connection? A shared simple herb bed etc. Wish you brighter days, best wishes
  2. Alchemica

    Perpetual life

    You gotta start vibrationally imprinting your plants with positive vibes and start giving them to strangers... Words of kindness and giving are powerful Sow the seeds of what you want in life... be intentional. Here's an example. I recently started a free plants section of my garden out the front, it's been a nice change for me Here's an example of ingraining those positive kindness vibes as you sow And ditch the alcohol ASAP
  3. As spring starts to come around, trying to get back some creativity as it was nicely therapeutic. Not 'good' at it but better than no creative stimulation. Also brings back 'the moment'. Trying to draw plants as I garden, or think about them... Particularly trying to draw all the plants as I wait for them to germinate on the heat mat. Coming up with a wall of plants... art with a heart I like to call it
  4. I'm interested in getting Mesembryanthemum crystallinum growing. I've got some seeds to germinate and in the picture of that one, the plant is covered in glistening bubbles. Is that a defining feature of M. crystallinum? From Wikipedia: "The plant is covered with large, glistening bladder cells or water vesicles..." Today I spotted this plant sold as "Mesembryanthemum crystallinum "Rainbow" deep pink flowers" This doesn't have the glistening bladder cells? Could it still be M. crystallinum? Or wrong ID? In a study, the alkaloid content obtained from the leaves of M. crystallinum was found to be 4.2%, compared to Sceletium which had 1-1.5% http://dspace.univ-tlemcen.dz/bitstream/112/6936/1/REBIAHI-RAHMOUN-Malika.pdf It's also got culinary use
  5. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Thanks for the kind words. Still keeping this up. I find it really healing - try things like 'meditative foraging' The Spiritual Life of Plants Plants are bringing about social change by developing people's attitude and behaviour towards nature and as a result to people Having a more harmonious relationship with what we consume makes a big difference: if you aren’t connected to the land where you are, now is the time to start. The surrounding environment holds a central role and is inseparable from the psychological and therapeutic experience of the plant diets: it is a means of bridging individuals' separation from nature and finding and feeling one's place in it. People benefit more from this method if the plant they are dieting grows nearby, and the ecological connection to it assists with the spiritual connection: through the active and embedded connection to the plant spirit, diets may lead to the recognition of nature as an inspirited space. https://www.tea-assembly.com/issues/2019/6/11/french-plant-spirits
  6. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    I started re-introducing a few less weedy plants and noticed that I felt worse and worse the further I drifted from the wild plants. I feel such are a connection to Source, to our Ancestors - to Healing. The more we've cultivated the plants for food, the less healing connection they've come to offer: the further I drifted in food, the more degrees of separation, the more I started losing something really personally Divine: a greater than self connection that brought me a feeling of mental stability, nourishment and self-transcendence: a radical feeling of nourishing, inclusive Oneness. A feeling of Divine connection that I used to seek in unhealing ways There's something magical about directly interacting with Nature for your sustenance without the intervention of man, in the simplicity of Nature's abundance, something that takes you closer to 'source', to a feeling of Oneness and Love. As this author puts it in The Wild Healing solution, healing “wild plant deficiency syndrome” - that is, adding wild plants back into our diets - is vital not only to our health but also to our spiritual development. Are drugs/supplements that are primarily made from combinations of isolated chemicals really the key to enriching our lives? Can they truly correct the deficit that is making us feel tired, unfocused, sad, empty? "Taking up our wild weeds, let us walk into the field and forest together, mindful that, when we return to our homes and communities, we will be changed, more entangled, more infused with the green blood of our botanical companions. What this will do to our culture I cannot predict, but I hold great hope that the benefits far outweigh the risks." "Throughout history, human beings (and animals, too) have supplemented their diet with a range of substances to prevent illness, treat disease, and feel vibrant, inspired, and connected. As people moved into cities and suburbs and embraced modern medicine and industrialised food, they lost their connection to nature, in particular to the plants with which humanity coevolved. These plants are essential components of our physiologies - tangible reminders of cross-kingdom signaling - and key not only to vibrant physical health and prevention of illness but also to soothing and awakening the troubled spirit." I think it's really important to recognise that our food connection is vital to our sustenance We haven't really left Eden, all of us have this banished from Eden mentality, we have to cleanse ourselves from that... Foraging is rekindling the fire within us that recognises I am nature, I am one with it, this is my home, this is my source...
  7. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Lived off the weeds for awhile - how would I describe 'weed medicine?' 'Weeds' are a great leveler medicine to embrace "otherness" that teach us to learn to accept, even appreciate not just Nature differently but at a deeper level, to see, hold and accept ourselves and 'others' in a more positive light. When you're feeling like a waste of space, like you don't belong, feelings of being useless, low self-worth, lacking acceptance etc relating to weeds as healing food and medicine is particularly nice plant medicine. When you start to see this otherwise unappreciated life force like a weed in a positive light through compassionately relating to it for your day to day healing sustenance, you kindle a new kind of compassion towards yourself and others. You start to relate to the aspects in yourself or others you typically denigrate much differently. When you feel like you don't belong, or are lacking acceptance of self or others, the weeds teach you to find that again compassionately and gently, starting small in the world around you and bringing that back into your core to nourish the aspects of yourself that are hurt and hurting and out solidify a new compassionate embrace in the world. You connect deeply with a heartier attitude towards Nature and others in the world around you. "Wouldn’t it be great if we all started to change our attitudes and broaden our ideas of belonging and accepting, of embracing our differences and trusting that wherever we (and others) are is the right place to be right now? Maybe if we do this, we’ll all gravitate to our natural heart-space..." [1] [1] https://wildflowerwalker.com/2015/09/21/weeds-maybe-nature-knows-best/ Re-wilding ourselves It's been interesting comparing gardening, where you're exerting will and control over the environment and striving for productivity, forcing your will on the Earth, to foraging where you're surrendering and becoming at one with it and it's abundant gifts. There's that power dynamic of gardening/life in general 'control' that gets super softened by living off the land for a bit and you start to embrace a nourishing oneness. I think we have way too many control freaks these days and being able to soften that is often needed... In healing, I feel giving up that need to control the Mother Earth is particularly special. Our relationship with the Earth is mirrored in our other relationships too. In foraging, you're returning to a primal state of being Mothered by the energies of the Earth which is particularly nourishing and special when you're energies are out of alignment It's been a pleasure getting to know common weeds as food, medicine and friends/allies. That said, trying to keep some balance so decreasing my reliance on the open source food which was a fun adventure and limiting it to healing allies that pop up in my garden.
  8. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Today an urban forage for my weeds A recent study highlights the food in urban areas that gets overlooked, and that wealth comes in the form of weeds. In a study of chickweed, dandelion, dock, mallow and nasturtium each of the wild edibles had more "dietary fibre, protein, vitamin A, sodium, calcium, iron and vitamin K, and provided more energy" than kale and even in heavily populated areas, "tests suggest that rinsed greens of the tested species are safe to eat." https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0202450 Today trying a little bit of Rumex, not my preferred one as I want to keep oxalates low Foraging for weeds...
  9. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Depends if you like the pungency - the name does mean nose-twist for a good reason. I like the good bite of peppery goodness, had a big bowl of leaves for breakfast. Nibble a bit and see what you think
  10. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Checked with the foraging professionals, it's a common weed here Sisymbrium has many uses in folk medicine with high nutritional value Taste is a pleasant good strength mustard flavour - the plant is rich in glucosinolates/isothiocyanates and polyphenols I'm just personally cautious not to have too much (or flowering tops) as there have been concerns but the literature says the cardiac glycosides are at too low a level to pose issues https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/sisymbrium/ https://www.thewildfoodhuntress.com.au/brassicas I've eaten Nasturtiums but never really thought of them as plants for mental health. I count them as weeds around here Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.) is "believed to act in the ascension of emotional energy expressed in different forms as manifestations of anguish, frustration, anxiety and depression; and, in recent years, this plant has been popularly used as antidepressant agent". In animal models, it has anxiolytic effects [1] It is widely used due its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-hypertensive and anti-depressive properties. It contains high concentrations of benzylglucosinolate (1000 mg/100 g fresh matter). The hydrolysis products isothiocyanates (ITCs), are potent inducers of phase II detoxifying enzymes and subsequently confer protection against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation It has outstanding antioxidant activity due to its rich phenolic content and a good source of carotenoids
  11. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Went urban foraging today and was surprised how much seemingly Brassica there was Am I right assuming this is a weedy (hopefully edible) Brassicaceae? @bardo Sisymbrium something? Been finding it a nicely spiritual activity The art of foraging for food/medicine is a spiritual practice: Connecting with the plants and their medicine is what draws you closer to nature and Spirit itself. Urban foraging helped people establish connections to place/belonging [1] and foraging embodies spiritual aspects like cultivating stillness and cultivating focus. It is a meditation, a communing with the plants, a way of seeing and self-education "To touch them, to give an exchange, to commune with them. This is really valuable–and the plants love giving of themselves to those who revere them. And we take that bounty within and it sustains us; it allows us to further build our connection to them. The power and importance of this act of communion cannot be understated." [2] It is a way of developing a sacred relationship with food/medicine and it brings one closer to the seasons, aligning with the energies of the land and the foods/medicine that grow here "When you interact on this level, when it becomes part of your pantry, when it’s part of what you eat, now you have a relationship. You’re not an outsider observer. It’s not this ‘other’ thing. It’s part of you and you are part of it." "Foragers developed individual relationships with specific plants; they described listening to these beings in order to learn how best to receive their gifts. The relational acts of giving, receiving, and interacting between foragers and more-than-human others produced a sense of belonging in place" We are extensions of nature, so it makes sense that eating seasonally imbues the body with the energy of what nature’s actually doing in its cycle. As the food we eat thrives and grows at this time, so then will we. [1] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649365.2014.908232 [2] https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/building-sacred-relationships-with-food-seasonal-food-rituals-agricultural-blessings-prayers-and-honoring-our-food/ Dandelions are "one of the healthiest foods on the planet" The dandelion greens are nicely medicinal Dandelion is an entirely edible plant and its leaves, roots, and flowers are incorporated into different food products. The whole plant is recognized as safe and well tolerated by humans, with no reported adverse effects. It is used in herbal medicine to treat various disorders such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, gallbladder disorders, digestive complaints, and rheumatic diseases and exhibits several biological activities, including anti-cancer, hepatoprotective effect, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-obesity, neuroprotective and antidepressant effects. It is of interest in metabolic conditions [1] Aerial parts and root have been found to be rich sources of polyphenols, including cinnamic acid derivatives, flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones and triterpenoids [2] "The most biologically relevant components of dandelion are the sesquiterpene lactones (suggested to exert anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects), the plant also contains several phenylpropanoids (shown to exert inflammation-modulating effects), terpenoids, polysaccharides (shown to play a role in immune regulation and to exert platelet antiaggregation activity, hepatoprotective effects, and antitumoral activity), and inulin (currently under investigation for its immunostimulatory functions). It contains high amounts of minerals, proteins, fiber, and vitamins and a balanced combination of trace elements and compared to spinach, dandelion has a higher content of dietary fiber and proteins and a greater variety of amino acids and of most vitamins and minerals and one of the richest green-vegetable sources of β-carotene" Young leaves are habitually consumed fresh as salads, either alone or in combination with other plants such as lettuce, shallot tops, or chives They may also be boiled and drained, sprinkled with pepper and salt, and moistened with soup or butter. [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553762/ [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22946853
  12. Alchemica

    Medicinal Weeds

    Thanks for the pics of different plants @bardo Unfortunately I just get a little tiny symbol as the picture Hadn't got around to my Lactucas but glad you mentioned them. Did some Backyard Weed Medicine Crafting with mine Lactuca virosa and serriola Virosa & serriola should ideally be harvested for their sap whilst in flower, I'm got them before they take over the backyard because I can't deliberately let the garden go too weedy. " Both Serriola and Virosa have similar effects and are very edible but are quite bitter, I found Virosa was just easier to milk because it didn't have spines but overall id say they are on par with each other in terms of strength " - Marty64 "...even with those young tender plants I try to limit how much I eat so I dont get too drowsy. Its sedating but not all that distinctly anxiolytic" - Auxin Wild lettuce was “highly esteemed to quiet coughing and allay nervous irritation, a good safe remedy to produce sleep, to be used when opium and other narcotics are objectionable” "...wild lettuce and especially the the desiccated lactescent juice obtained from it, lactucarium, were considered to be an intoxicant, and were used as a sedative and an analgesic. The action of the substance was weaker than that of opium but free of the side-effects, and medical practice showed that in some cases lactucarium produced better curative effects than opium." [2] The natural compound lactucopicrin may be a promising neurotrophin-mediated neuroprotective candidate for neurodegenerative diseases and is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor while lactucin is an adenosine receptor agonist with analgesic and sedative properties [3,4]. That said, toxicity has been reported [5] https://www.medicinenet.com/wild_lettuce/supplements-vitamins.htm [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16621374 [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17153150 [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactucopicrin [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactucin [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3031874/
  13. I've tried Purslane and Dandelion before, a bit of Mallow and seen plenty of Tribulus but never got deeper than that on weeds as food or medicine until recently. What ones make it onto your plate? This weed was one that I've developed a liking for: "...although it is widely considered to be a weed, the potential nutritional and medicinal quality of Sonchus species is much more than any other leafy vegetables" Their nutritional value was higher than those of cultivated vegetables like spinach and cabbage. Their consumption could help in alleviating the problem of malnutrition at a negligible cost. They are a good source of carotenoids, phenolics and other active constituents [1] First time I boiled a couple of min in water before cooking which does take away the bitterness (and made something similar to this) but I feel that means part of the medicinal goodness so just been cooking it up to keep that medicinal quality... not too bad and you feel good after a meal of it. Just cooked up with some onion, garlic, chili, oil and few diced tomatoes it's not too bad S. oleraceus has been used as a general tonic in Brazilian folk medicine showing anti-inflammatory [2], pain-relieving [3], antidepressant [4] and anxiolytic [5] effects. It has been used to relieve headaches, general pain, hepatitis, infections and inflammation Native Americans used it as a cure for opium habits [6] https://www.ediblewildfood.com/common-sow-thistle.aspx https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/sow-thistle/ Also Nettles made a nice pesto Urtica dioica or Stinging nettle has long been known worldwide as a medicinal plant. Nettles are a very nutritious food easier digested and high in minerals (especially iron), vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. Nettle is an adaptogenic herb, it acts in the central nervous system and it is an alternative plant that detoxifies, enhances and stimulates the metabolism. Nettle has beneficial anti-diabetic and the cardiovascular effects [1]. The leaf of Urtica dioica has been reported to improve glucose homeostasis in vivo, acting via insulin signaling and improve anxiety and depressive like behaviour [2] and may improve memory functions [3]. Traditionally Urtica dioica has been used for cognitive dysfunction. It might prove to be effective for stress mediated neurological disorders [4]. Some words on the energetics
  14. This is the first human data I've seen for oregano: In humans "a single dose of this extract induced a state of wakeful relaxation, enhanced vigilance and improved concentration in addition to increased mental capacity but did not affect sleep structure"' A single dose increases calmness, vigilance, mental information processing capacity, with an increase in processing speed With the conclusion it "is safe and does not exhibit any adverse side effects at the dosages providing the functional benefits, a result that was also confirmed by behavioural studies" Coupled with experience with the oil in severe mental illness Carvacrol also exerts several actions on the neuronal system including acetylcholinesterase inhibition as well as having anxiolytic and antidepressant properties having the ability to likely modulate mood and cognitive processes. It also modulates central neurotransmitter pathways, such as dopaminergic, serotonergic and GABAergic systems, a terpene rich oregano extract acting as a triple reuptake inhibitor [1]. It also improves aspects of Parkinson's in animal models [2] It seems to cause a specific increase of DA levels in PFC and "ingested in low concentrations, it might determine feelings of well-being and could possibly have positive reinforcer effects." [1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49728029_Monoamine_reuptake_inhibition_and_mood-enhancing_potential_of_a_specified_oregano_extract [2] http://www.scielo.br/pdf/anp/v76n2/0004-282X-anp-76-02-0071.pdf
  15. Alchemica

    Getting science-y in the garden

    Yeah I have done a little bit with aspirin a long time ago. Thanks for the tip Results are in. Using a foliar and feed solution of 2.5g/L K2SO4 was really seemingly beneficial for getting good growth and yields of Brassica like the purple cauliflower. I didn't have a control for this one but they grew really well, strongly and quickly and nicely anthocyan-y With the melatonin, there seems to be tight constraints on how much enhances growth, and a point where it instead drastically inhibits it. Initially, there was a nice improvement on the growth of Kale seedlings, then I kept going with foliar feeding them and it turned into rapid growth suppression. Melatonin's poor water solubility also poses issues. Most notably, initially there were improvements in promoting initial rapid brightly green new growth... then a fine cut off where application drastically inhibited growth. control vs melatonin (1 μM) foliar feed initial growth improvements
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