My Herbs and Art Blog
Thoughts to consider: "God is the Healer and the physician is the agent." (Taken from an article written by Stephen T. Newmyer called, Asaph's 'Book of Remedies': Greek Science and Jewish Apologetics).
Let us look at the definition of physician.
There are three definitions that I found online at www.dictionary.com:
1. a person who is legally qualified to practice medicine; doctor of medicine.
2. a person engaged in general medical practice, as distinguished from one specializing in surgery.
3. a person who is skilled in the art of healing.
Let us look at this definition- "A person who is skilled in the art of healing."
If I were to interpret this- God is the healer, and a person skilled in the art of healing is the agent.
I am technically not the healer. I am using God's healing herbs. I am researching, studying, learning and trying to understand what He has made. I am an agent, as are others who are have developed skill in the art of healing.
Exodus 15:26 (NIV)
26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
I have grappled with this tenet of the bible "if you do such and such, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His decrees" God promises to keep way the diseases he brought upon the Egyptians.
This verse brings me to this place where I have found myself many times. I have tried to obey all God's commands, and His decrees, but nonetheless- I am a sinner and during times of sin, I have found myself physically weak. Sometimes it takes months to figure out an area of sin, and to repent of it. I should have said years. Sometimes it takes years and years to have one's eyes opened to an area of sin. In that time, sin causes illness in the body. Sin is error. It is not the "way" God created us to be. Jesus came to save us from our sins. He does not save our physical body, but our spiritual body. When we exist in this place of having our sins forgiven, but not in a place of being delivered, I see God's herbs, and plants as a Grace and Mercy.
The closer my walk with God- the better I have found my health to be. The more I am healed, in the physical sense. It seems to me a process of revelation and healing. At least that is what I have experienced in my walk with God. I have been supernaturally healed of areas of sin, or forgiveness, or pain, or worry and at the same time, found illness passing away. This process has been a layering and unfolding and I have found my health better and stronger, but yet we age too always working towards entropy. It is such a bewildering topic to explore.
If I had not have had God's plants in the depths of my messes, I would have become so terribly ill. I am grateful that we have a merciful God, and I see His herbs as a mercy.
I always want to remember though the blood of Jesus covers my sin, and God does not see my sin. I rely of the the blood. However, the wages of sin are death, and when I am in sin, and I mean really in sin... you know the dark side before revelation makes you aware, and you translate to a higher place with the Lord. The herbs keep my physical body strong. They don't save my soul. Jesus does that. My belief in a savior saves my soul, but my physical body is strengthened while I fumble in the darkness.
Oxymel- comes from the Latin meaning of 'acid and honey.' When I refer to the term oxymel- I am referring to Apple Cider Vinegar, and raw honey. The old, or ancient recipes called for more honey than vinegar. I prefer to use more vinegar than honey, but that decision is up to you. You can gladly play around with different recipes.
The following historical information was gathered from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224834098_Oxymel_in_medieval_Persia and accessed on 6/17/2020
Oxymel- as a medicine has been used for thousands of years. There are many recorded recipes and uses. One of the first recorded uses was by Hippocrates (460-370BC) and Dioscorides (1st century AD). Oxymels were used widely in medieval Persia, and much of their knowledge was gathered from Greek and Roman civilizations.
According to the article in Pharmaceutical Historian, March 2012 Oxymel was a kind of syrup which is called traditionally Sekanjabin in Persia. Traditional Oxymel contained 1 part vinegar, 2 parts honey, and 4 parts water. The mixture was boiled, until one-fourth remained as a syrup. There are many many variations to this basic recipe, and the article describes some 1200! I like this simple recipe using pomegranates.
Pomegranate oxymel: "Administered in chronic fevers and useful effects on liver and stomach function." Sweet and sour pomegranate juices (200g of each) are mixed with vinegar (100g) and then sugar (200g) dissolved in the mixture and boiled.
You can read the full article on www.researchgate.net here:
I am kind of new to oxymels- I have been experimenting with different preparations and have found that I like this method best for using fresh herbs. It is summer right now and I am collecting flowers daily and have made a batch of dandelion, Taraxacum officinal and honeysuckle (woodbind), Lonicera periclymenum oxymel. For my recipes I did not boil any of the ingredients. I plan to do so with some dried herbs, to store for the winter, but this batches were meant to be fresh, lighter, and to be enjoyed in this summer season. (As an alternative to tea).
Honeysuckle is in bloom right now.
Botanical name Lonicera- (sometimes called woodbind). As a kid, we use to stand for hours at the honeysuckle bush, sucking out the little sweet nectar from the trunk end of the flower. I still do this today, but not for hours at a time!
Yesterday I picked half a quart jar of the flowers and pressed them down as I put them in the jar. The petals are very light and airy, and you need to gather a lot to fill a jar.
I then decided to make an Oxymel- which is a vinegar/ honey preparation. I considered a tincture with vodka (but the state stores are closed)... and I considered soaking them in wine to make a tincture, but finally settled on the oxymel because I thought the honey would be a nice accent.
What have honeysuckle flowers been used for- historically?
-Stomach disorders and more.
To make the Oxymel I filled a jar half way with the flowers, pressing them down about every inch of flowers gathered. I then added apple cider vinegar until the liquid filled about 2/3's of the jar. I do not use ACV with the Mother when I make my tinctures. I don't feel like they keep as well. I use the purified ("dead") vinegar because it makes a stronger tincture and lasts longer.
Then I added honey to top off the jar, leaving about 1 inch headspace.
* Of using a metal lid, place a piece of wax paper between jar top and lid. Vinegar corrodes metal.
Cover the jar with a lid. SHAKE well. Shake well 2-3 times a day for a week. After a week, strain and save in a brown glass bottle, in a dark cabinet. Make sure you label and date, and this will last for years.
Amounts to take- this of course varies. I like to use energetics to decide how much to take. During a cold/ flu- I would probably take 2 teaspoons a day.
Basic recipe with Tools/ Ingredients:
1 cleaned Quart jar with lid
1 piece of wax paper
2 cups fresh flowers (rose, dandelion, honeysuckle, etc.)
2-3 cups Apple cider vinegar. (I do not use the raw vinegar with the mother to make medicines. It preserves better to use vinegar that has been heated. If I did the heating process myself, as some of the ancient recipes direct, I would use vinegar with the mother. This is up to you).
1 cup raw honey
1 label and sharpie marker
I press the flowers into the bottom of a clean quart jar. Next I add enough vinegar to cover the flowers, and fill the jar about 3/4's full. I use more vinegar with honey to help with preservation. I also use the finished oxymel for my salads, so that is another reason for more vinegar. Then I add the raw honey and stir this mixture with a wooden spoon. I put the lid on the jar without the wax paper, and shake vigorously. To store, I take the lid back off and wipe it dry. Then I place the wax paper down first and tighten the lid, so not to corrode the metal. I will leave this out about 24 hours before putting in the refrigerator. I will then keep this mixture in the fridge until a week has passed and I am ready to strain. You will need to stir 2-3 times a day to mix the flowers around.
This version could be medicinal, but is more of a nutritive recipe. If I were making this for medicine, I would use dried herbs, more herbs, and concentrate the formula with heat. I wanted to make something that was light and airy and reminded me of summer. My dandelion oxymel is very reminiscent of dandelion and when I make salad dressing with it, the salad tastes like it contains dandelion greens. It is delicious!
Today- It is summer. One of my favorite times of year. Honestly I can get excited about every season. I do love the summer months when plants are a bloom. Each day is filled with the occupation of collecting herbs, and drying them, making preparations to last the winter. Today was strange. Hot, with on an off showers, followed by a strong storm with hail. The sun peaked out of the clouds for a brief moment, and then it rained and rained some more. We have a creek in the back of our property and one in the front. Both were over flowing, and running like rapids with mini waterfalls. I checked my garden plnts when the rain slowed down to make sure the hail hadn't damaged anything. It hadn't thank God.
The herb I focused on today was Red Clover, Trifolium pratense. It is blooming like crazy all over the place. I am trying to collect as much as possible, but my problem is that I do not have adequate drying and storage for as much as I want to collect. Normally I use big paper bags from the grocery store to dry my herbs. I have not been to the regular store for a while to pack my groceries in paper, so I have had to change my approach to drying. The rain has created a very humid environment, and even with the AC and a dehumidifier, I am having trouble drying the flower blossoms.
Today I tried laying them on a cookie sheet and putting them in the over when the over was warm. I did this for a few hours and my first batch dried very nicely. The color of the clovers were still intact and bright. They broke apart easily when I crumbled them in my hand, and I felt that the moisture had left. I tried drying a second batch after dinner, and I thought I had let the oven cool enough before putting another tray in, but I think it was too warm because the clovers lost their color and the leaves took an a slight brown tinge. I am still going to keep this batch for my own personal use. I will not sell those clovers in any of my homemade tea batches, but I hate to throw them away.
I also picked some Wild Calendula, Calendula arvensis, two days ago. The flowers were oh so pretty and bright. Not sure if this is worth collecting, because it takes so many petals to amount to anything. They shrivel up to small little things when dried. In fact I dried them very quickly but just setting them in a dish with a paper towel on my stove after it had been used. It took all day, but it was still rather quick. I have a very small handful of dried petals, when I started out with two big handfuls fresh. I will look to gather some more and maybe make a small batch of calendula oil for myself. I would like to have extra for other people, but may not have enough flowers from my own gathering.
Tomorrow I hope to go to a neighbor's field and gather more Red Clover. Got to come up with a storage option! I love Red Clover, and find it one of the most useful herbs to have on hand. It has blood cleansing properties and I would trust it to keep my healthy and well in the winter months. I also know it to be a anti-cancer herb, meaning it should clean up cancer cells in the body. I drink as a preventative and always want this herb on hand. There is much written about the isoflavones in red clover and the hormonal, phytoestrogen/ estrogen effects of this plant. I do not have a particular experience or story to relate to this benefit from the herb, but may want to pay closer attention. It has been known to limit symptoms of PMS, and I do feel like that has to be tied to it's cleansing abilities.
Will write more later. Good night for now.
I love to share with people, herbs that are found in your backyard, on a nature walk in just popping up all over the place. First of all- I love the amazement on their face to realize that this "weed" is actually a plant with a name, and a purpose. Second of all, it is great to see their own recognition, or the "light bulb" go off in their head in regards to seeing that same plant in their own locale.
I was recently introduced to Mugwort. Herbalists have a tendency to focus on certain herbs that they like to use best, and this has never been one that I've had personal experience using. I saw a post on Facebook about Mugwort, and new I had seen that plant on my travels. Lo and behold the next time I took a walk, I found a patch of it.
The plant has sort of a musky smell, and a hint of oregano in its odour. It is called Artemisia vulgaris (part of the Aster/ Daisy family). I took my collection of plants home and looked them up in my herbs books immediately, while the leaves were still full and fresh. I was happy to see that this plant would be a perfect herb in my apothecary, one I truly need.
The leaves are edible. I tried a little piece of one raw and found the taste rather unusual. When I try herbs like this and Purple Dead Nettle, which is edible and I think, no wonder it isn't sold in grocery stores with the other salad greens. The flavor is strong in Mugwort, and I am not sure if I like it. I have heard it is good stir fried in a Tempura dish, so that will be my next trial.
I love how I read that mugwort is excellent when burned in a smudge stick. I use incense on a daily basis, or essential oils in my diffuser. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to one's emotional well-being to breath in the fragrance of plants. To do a quick version of a smudge stick, because I really wanted to try it out, I rolled up a small handful of leaves and placed them in an oven safe container and put the herbs in my oven on less than 200 degrees, to slow dry. I dried them for about 30 minutes, and took the herbs out and set on my stove in the small dish.
The plant was partially dry and I knew would burn a little bit. I lit the most dry part of the quick roll that I had made, and the smoke filtered up into the kitchen, like incense, just a small stream. It smelled so good! I found as I went through my house the rest of the house had the fragrance of mugwort. It is said that mugwort can promote good dreams and clear negative energy. This morning I feel that both of those "predictions" occurred. I often have trouble sleeping, and I slept like a baby last night!
Here is a recipe for a Mugwort Smudge stick my friend told me about.
Take mugwort leaves attached to the stems, woodruff leaves and stems and mountain mint leaves on stems. Lay the herbs side by side, and push together into one shape, or bundle. Then wrap the bundle tightly with a natural fiber. That the bundle and hang in a cool, airy location for a few weeks, or until it has dried. When the bundle is dry, you can light one end of the smudge stick and after a few seconds blow out the flame and the smoke will continue to burn as it does for incense. Take the smudge stick and wave through the area you wish to cleanse.
**Use caution when working with flame. This is not for children.
Can I get really honest with all of you? I hope so. This is me, in my studio. I am a pretty basic kind of person. I like simple, and no fuss. My absolute favorite thing to do besides reading (I am an avid reader) is to make art. Do you want to know what my real goal or dream is? It is to make and sell my art......for a living. It sounds CRAZY when I say it or write it, because it has been conditioned into my brain that it is impossible to do so.
That is why I have put so much time into my art classes. I love teaching people art, but my passion is to make it myself. Teaching my own kids all day, leaves me feeling in need of a little recharging. I find that by creative activities.
Right now I am obsessed with making collages. I am not sure why. It seems to fit well with my lifestyle currently, and I do not have time for deep concentration to create a large painting from start to finish. I can however work a little at a time on a collage, and it is the piecing together of the artwork that I find exciting, because I do not know how it will end.
I have decided to halt on my Homeschool program for the fall. It was a very difficult decision, but a number of doors opened in my life, and it felt like God was leading me through them. One door is a joint venture with my husband, which is my heart and really exciting. It just felt like the homeschool program was more "my idea," than "God inspired," if you know what I mean.
So now- I am getting back to who I am as a person, and the SELF-CARE I often tell people to consider for themselves. I am trying to make art daily, exercise daily, watch an uplifting program daily, and I am feeling great and creative again!
What am I offering? I am offering HANDMADE, Original artwork for a donation amount of $5, $10, or $15. If you want a collage, watercolor, or other artwork, please email me and we can talk about what you'd like. I am taking orders. (Shipping will be your responsibility). If interested send me message on my contact page.
I am a certified herbalist. I love herbs. I fell in love with their healing powers when I was 20 years old. I wanted a more natural well to tend to my body in times of illness. I also love their fragrance, energy and flavor. As an artist, I often use plants in my artwork, either as the subject matter, in collage, or even dried and applied to my canvas or wood. I spend a great deal of time outside absorbing the healing energy of the sun, and earth. A few years ago I began doing plein air painting classes at Lavender farms. Lavender farms are wonderful, but I'd like to see sage farms, and basil farms, or lemon balm farms, but I guess no herb is as spectacular in a row as lavender.
This summer I will be going to Mad Lavender Farm in New Jersey to do a Mixed Media canvas art class. This farm is wonderful! They do a lot of Yoga classes, with goats. This is a very interesting combination which people seem to get a thrill out of. The owners also have a wonderful shop with delicious lavender products. There is an Indian Ti-Pi, and beautiful gardens. I would be happy to see you there!
See full post on Facebook
Hi! Join Pennsylvania artist Jenel Schaffer at Mad Lavender Farm for an art workshop. We will be making a Mixed Media painting using paint, paper, and dried plants- including lavender flowers!
We will be using 9 x 12 canvases, and each work of art will be unique and taken home. The artist will guide all participants through a step by step process with easy directions to make something beautiful. Experience is not required!
All materials for the class are provided in the cost. All questions for the class can be made to Jenel Schaffer at 717-673-7644 or email@example.com
Cost per ticket $38 per person
It has taken me a lifetime to feel good about who I am, and to know who I am. I love being imperfect. I am short, and have laugh lines, crows feet, a few gray hairs, crooked teeth, a body shaped and changed from childbirth, and many other human flaws. I love being free to be me, and happy with the natural progression of life and age. How tiring and stressful to be pressured and striving to look younger than you are, and more perfect than you really are.
It feels good to be around people who can let themselves be real and have the same attitude, personality and temperament no matter who they are with. I want to be that kind of person. I want to be the same to everyone.
I use to be so wrapped up in pleasing others, I could not even begin to please anyone, let alone myself. Now I am content to allow others to be disappointed in me, if they are. I am myself, and let go of the results. Some people may not like this post. I let it go. Some people may not like many things I do. I let it go.
Thank you AnneMarie Hamant you are a gifted photographer. You captured me perfectly.
I am an Art Educator. What does that mean? I went to school for Anthropology, and switched back and forth between an Art Ed. degree, finally I finished my BA in Anthro, and then went back to school to complete my Art Education license. I am not a Fine Artist. Fine Artists, in my opinion are no different than art educators, they just typically have spent more time in the studio than art teachers. I was "afraid" I wouldn't find work if I became a Fine Artist, but I have spent much time in my studio, working on my artistic skills. I still probably have not spent the hours and hours of time a Fine Artist has spent perfecting their craft. So, I have decided to give myself little challenges so that I will purposely spend more time getting better as an artist. About a month ago, I decided to challenge myself to finishing 100 paintings by mid November. Mid November has come and gone, but that is ok. I am allowing myself some grace and extended my challenge to the end of December. In the beginning of my goal, I was on fire, painting 2-3 paintings a day! Then, what often happens with goals, we lose steam. Right now, I am struggling to do 1 a day. ARGHH! I will not quit though, and I truly am enjoying the process, and the stages of development I am witnessing in my art.
The painting below is number 53, in my series. I started with people, and faces, and turned to a more natural, earthy kind of subject matter. I have been painting a lot of flowers, and elements of nature. This lamp was found in a deliciously expensive catalog. Sometimes I enjoy painting an item that I wish to own one day. It "cements" the goal in my mind, and helps it become more real. I am a very visual person, so combining a thought with a visual picture is more impacting.
I never expected to have children. In fact at one point, I definitely said I was not going to have any children. Now I have 5 wonderful blessings. They are all so wonderful. I could not imagine my life without them, and I can not believe how much I have changed because of them. Homeschooling was never on my radar. That was my husband's idea. I resisted it mentally for a number of years, because it was not my idea. You know how we need to feel like we thought of something to want to do it. Last year, my 3 older children went to school for the year. The year was amazing, as far as school goes. I was happy with everything, but, I missed something, we missed something. They missed what I feel like children need most. They missed the extra hugs, and kisses. They missed quiet talks with me. They missed the slower pace. They missed the one on one attention that they receive at home. They missed the camaraderie of brothers (4 boys), and the connection with their sister. They missed the time to daydream and think of the future, and who they want to become. They missed the sunshine, and fall leaves, and reading books outside. I know they missed all these things, because I missed them too. I grew up away from home. I had two loving parents who did what everyone else did. Put kids in school, sports and a slew of activities. I wanted nothing more to be home with my family, and spend time making art, and going outside. I lost myself, before I ever found myself, because that is what happens to a child when they are with groups and peer pressure constantly. They learn how to fit into a group, but they do not learn who they are. I want my children to know who they are, and be connected to where they come from. To me, that is the greatest gift that I can give them- the gift of themselves.
Designed by Jenel Schaffer PO Box 135 Bethel PA, 19507
Copyright Jenel Schaffer, Sheep Hill Herbs LLC, 2020
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