Wildcrafting: Willow By The River Spring 2021
- WHEN: Saturday March 20, 2021
- TIME: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
- FEE: 125 USD
- INSTRUCTOR: Heather Bruno
- SETTING: In-Person
- LOCATION: Snoqualmie River near North Bend (details & directions provided after enrollment)
Come Celebrate the First Day of Spring in a magical and memorable way! Willow is a powerful symbol of spring, rebirth, and renewal and of hope, resiliency, and strength… It’s time to re-fill our cup from the deep wells of Mother Earth!
Willow has been used for thousands of years across cultures as an excellent pain reliever and anti-inflammatory herb. It has also been studied extensively. Did you know that there are over 90 species of wild willow growing in the Pacific and Inland Northwest? It’s true! And all of them have the same medicinal benefits! Willow was my first herb love and a plant that’s had a profound impact on my own health and well-being. I love, love, love this herb and I am excited to share willow’s gifts with you!
Willow is gentle yet powerful herb that contains many different natural constituents that work together with our bodies to bring about relief and allow healing to occur. As always, we’ll discuss the specific phytochemicals found in willow and explore the why and how it is working with your body yo to go beyond simply “this herb is good for this issue.”
For instance, salicin is a glycoside found primarily in the bark. Our bodies metabolize salicin and convert it to salicylic acid in the liver and intestines. And so, unlike aspirin or other NSAID pain relievers, there are no adverse effects on the gastrointestinal mucosa. The effects of this different metabolic pathway also means that even though it may take longer to feel the effects, the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of willow can last longer and and be more effective in the long-term.
Willow is so much more than a pain reliever though!
Among the many constituents in willow is apigenin, a flavonoid shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties. It has been suggested that apigenin and other flavonoids in willow may be protective in other diseases that are affected by oxidative process such as cardiovascular and neurological disorders. Willow is also particularly helpful remedy for various skin conditions. It promotes exfoliation, increases cell turnover, is astringent and improves the appearance and health of skin.
Of course it is important to learn where willow grows and be able to correctly identify it!
You will learn botanical and ecological features, the best time of year to harvest, what part of the plant to harvest, and the best methods of preparation to create effective remedies! You’ll learn more than you thought possible about this amazing plant and spend the day in fresh air harvesting and processing your bounty as you watch the river flow peacefully by. This is going to be the best spring willow wildcrafting intensive EVER!
Make lovely, effective remedies to enhance your own health and well-being and that of your friends and family!
Willow can be utilized as a tea, syrup, honey, tincture, liniment, and medicinal oil. It does taste a bit bitter, so not everyone will be willing to take it in tea form. We’ll explore ways to make the medicine of willow palatable, and get the medicine to the people in a way in which they will take it. It’s bark peeling time!
It would be a fabulous idea to read CMHS articles on willow for extra information. Willow and Nature’s Pain Relievers before the harvest intensive. As a bonus, we will take time to explore the majestic cottonwood, a cousin to willow that embodies some of the same medicinal qualities as willow, yet stands alone in its own unique medicine.
What you’ll need:
- Small clippers (Felco)
- A small towel or sheet for processing the bark
- Paring knife and sturdy scissors or kitchen shears for scraping and cutting the bark.
- Something to sit on
- 1 pint of honey (Unpasteurized, local honey is best. Liquid honey only-not spun)
- 1 pint 80 or 100 proof alcohol-unflavored (vodka or brandy are good choices)
- 1/2-pint witch hazel
- 4 clean half pint jars with lids
- Lunch/water/a thermos of tea
- Discover Pass
- Dress for the weather! Bring warm layers and sturdy shoes!
- Fave boots: Bogs
- Sunblock, hat, umbrella
- hand warmers