How could a plant be named after the Elders and be considered anything other than important! Elderberries and flowers are both from Sambuccus nigra, a Honeysuckle that is an Oldworld European and North American primal remedy. It’s a herbal staple, like the potato or yam of food, that has supported the poor and the wealthy to health for generations.
The Pine tree is one of the most widely known evergreen trees in the whole world, and it happens to be the iconic Christmas tree along with its quintessential seed pod the pine cone. This tree is ancient, a gymnosperm that reproduces in an old way with naked seeds, with the pine cone being the female seed. It’s pinon resin is used in aromatherapy and salves, pine nuts are used as food, pine needle tea is drunk, and its wood a revered building material - this is one important tree!
This gorgeous plant Viscum album has become a symbol of Christmas, but before that it was used in the Winter celebrations of Europe as decorations to attract fairies and hung on doorways to keep bad spirits away. This parasitic plant has white berries and a white viscous layer on its leaves where it gets its name. It has long been connected to fertility throughout many cultures. Perhaps this is where the kissing comes in?
Beyond it being a supreme nervous system restorative, Mucuna has wonderful application for the reproductive system in all bodies. Once again, its oily nature imparts a kind of ‘juiciness’, enhancing libido, boosting fertility and regulating genital secretions. Mucuna also is wonderful for the digestive system - especially for those who suffer from ‘nervous digestion’ or gut-brain imbalances. Finally, Mucuna is one of the most abundant plant sources for L-Dopa, the precursor for dopamine. It can help stabilise and regenerate dopamine levels, which makes it a great ally for those seeking to regulate dopamine levels in cases of depression or recovering from addiction.