Friday, November 23, 2007

Goldthread herbal

A friend recently sent me a clump of Goldthread to transplant, along with some dried roots for infusing. This fascinating elder herbal has a remarkable history and quickly disappearing from our New England forests. After researching it's benefits I formulated a lip saver balm.

A little bit of folklore, history & goldthread usage....

Goldthread is aptly named -- this dainty little evergreen plant of the buttercup family has bright gold threadlike roots. Its lustrous leaves rise from a rhizome base, each stem divided into three leaflets with scalloped, toothed margins. The thin roots form a creeping network of rhizomes from which the aerial parts of goldthread arise. These rhizomes generally spread in the rich organic matter of the forest floor rather than the mineral soil beneath. Goldthread helps loosen up this otherwise impervious mat of needle debris in the cool shade of evergreen woods. Boggier settings find the rhizomes quite at home in beds of sphagnum, often favoring the drier knolls surrounded by sodden ground.

Native Americans had a ready supply of fresh goldthread available throughout the year for either chewing & oftentimes used as a dental 'floss' or making a tea. The vibrant gold roots, available even in winter under a blanket of snow, would have been as near as any old-growth forest. Good remedies naturally got shared with the colonists, leading to goldthread being so popular at one time that more of it was sold in Boston than almost any other indigenous drug. Such esteemed use fell to the wayside, most likely as our forebears' impact on the land altered the availability of this wee plant.

Goldthread has traditionally been used for mouth sores and thrush, which explains its other common names -- canker root or mouth root. It is sometimes used in combination with or substituted for goldenseal, another at-risk plant. Both have berberine, a bitter alkaloid with strong antibacterial qualities. Goldenseal has been considered rare for over 75 years due to unceasing demand, and some herbalists concerned about its survival have suggested using goldthread in its place. This will never be a reasonable alternative on a broad scale as the fine roots of goldthread can't begin to meet our current (though sometimes erroneous) zeal for goldenseal. Transferring such high demand to goldthread would soon bring about its extinction, so the better answer lies in using cultivated organic goldenseal with sustainable discretion.

The simplest way to use goldthread is to chew the fresh root. This is effective for canker sores, cold sores and mouth ulcerations. Goldthread is more commonly used in tea or in tincture form. Both preparations can be made with fresh or dried plant material. One tablespoon of fresh finely chopped root (or one teaspoon of dried root) per cup of boiling water simmered for 20 minutes makes an effective decoction. This tea can then be gargled for mouth sores or applied frequently for thrush. It can also be taken internally as a bitter tonic, 1 tablespoon 3-6 times a day for an average adult, for chronic stomach inflammation or digestive problems.

Goldthread is a plant of the boreal and transition forests that grows where humans tread lightly, if at all, and can be carefully transplanted into suitable locations that offer shade and plenty of abundant organic matter. You need to move these delicate rhizomes and their trailing root systems with earth intact to have any chance of success.
Replenishing native species is an offering of restoration that transcends commercial intent. Nor does the extreme fineness of goldthread roots exactly encourage a medicinal livelihood.

This is a plant to worry about and protect, not to exploit. Goldthread offers us a chance to redefine what 'value' really means and to take the gift of healing to heart instead of to the bank.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blue Immortale'

Our newest in the lineup of facial care products is aptly named, ' Blue Immortale'....

Bulgarian Rose, Blue Chamomile & Helichrysum combined in a truly luxurious facial cream to nourish & protect maturing skin. Organic oils including Rosehip, Borage, Shea butter, Jojoba among others, work to enhance the skin's collagen helping to improve skin tone, help remove those fine lines from sun damage & premature aging spots. We've enhanced this lovely cream with Heliocarrot, Calendula, White tea extract, Marine algae & our Botanica 12 complex formula. Essential oils of Bulgarian Rose, Blue Chamomile and Helichrysum Immortale' work to counter the effects of aging and enhance all skin types.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Holiday Shows

November 17, 2007 Bow HS Holiday Fair - Bow, NH
A very nice holiday fair, with 100+ vendors. Stop by & say hello!

December 1, 2007 Amherst Lions Club Holiday Craft Festival - Middle School -Amherst, NH
28th year running Holiday Craft Fair 150+ vendors. Bring along your XMas shopping list.. there's much to choose from!