This Apiaceae has its roots in European folk medicine, and whilst similar in taste to the Illicium Star Anise, it is unrelated and more complex medicinally. The spicy, warm, sweet & fragrant flavour of aniseed is very unique and identifiable. This flavour is a big part of its medicine. It immediately gets to work calming the tissues it touches in the digestive & respiratory systems. The sweet flavour is building, tonifying and nourishing, making it suited for dry and depleted states. The spicy fragrance penetrates whilst the warmth stimulates blood and oxygenation - which means energy to move & detox.
You’ve likely heard of this herb as it’s quite a famous plant that has crossed over to modern medicine beyond the traditions of herbalism. An open minded doctor might even suggest you take Echinacea as an immune stimulant. There are 3 main echinaceas from the Aster family that are mostly used interchangeably, however angustifolia is considered the strongest. It’s popular today as an immune herb, but it was traditionally used in ways I’d like to explore here.
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.
This little yellow flower is called ‘falling sun rose’ by the Cherokee from the North American lands which it is native to. The flower can be spotted open brightly on a night when all is darkness. It is said to be for the sallow person who appears full but expressionless. Whose face is dull and mentality gloomy, but is somewhat puffy with a dirty tone to their hue.