Harvest Super Moon Oil

September 09, 2014

After dinner last night, I talked the fella into walking out to the alley behind our apartment to gaze upon the super harvest moon. She was a sight to behold, unusually large and asserting her bright self behind a school of rolling black clouds. I've been casually studying traditional and herbal medicine recently and decided to make an herbal oil on this powerful lunar evening. It seemed appropriate to whip up the first stage of an herbal breast massage oil from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health; you know, lady stuff. Into a very clean, very dry quart jar went 1/2 ounce of dried calendula flowers, 1/2 ounce of dried comfrey leaf, and 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil - all organic, because who wants to rub toxins all over themselves? The recipe calls for almond oil, but for the past week some spirit persistently whispered, olive oil, olive oil, olive oil. I obeyed. I shall call it my harvest super moon oil. In two weeks, I'll strain the oil and add an ounce more of the herbs to sit and infuse until the Hunter's Moon (October 8th) on which date I'll add some essential oils to enhance its power.

So, about the ingredients.

Calendula. A vulnerary herb that is often used to treat external wounds - burns, bruises, sprains, swelling, and scarring - as well as internal wounds and gastrointestinal problems like ulcers, cramps, and indigestion. Ms. Gladstar writes that calendula is especially useful for the lymphatic system and in treating fibrocystic conditions, hence its inclusion in the breast oil. On a side note, I recently included calendula infusion in my homemade shampoo to bring out golden highlights in my hair.

Comfrey leaf. The video I linked to above covers many of the benefits of comfrey and touches on the controversy surrounding the herb. It has many uses, though I mainly use comfrey leaf internally in infusion form when I am experiencing ongoing digestive upset. The only side effect I've noticed is that it makes me sleepy, so I drink it in the evening rather than during the day. Despite the controversy, it is widely agreed upon by herbalists that comfrey is an incredibly useful herb, in this case healing and strengthening the skin.

In other news, summer is coming to a close and I'll soon be sending in a package of summer memories to the photo lab for processing. In Korea, folks are celebrating 추석 (Chuseok). It is one of the most celebrated holidays in Korea, similar to Thanksgiving in its dedication to the the harvest season and time spent with family. I look at these dainty little 송편 (Songpyeon) and suddenly I long for Korea: the mountains, my friends, bubbling spicy stews, citron tea. It was in Korea that my interest in healing foods and herbs was sparked. 

Love you, Korea. Miss you.

Note: the statements made in this post are based on my own personal experience with herbs, which I use for general health maintenance. Everyone responds to herbs differently. Please seek the guidance of a knowledgable and trained herbalist if experiencing health problems.

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