Friday, January 11, 2008

Dandelion Root~Nourishing Herbal Vinegar~A Potent Ally

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale has been a potent ally of mine for many years now. I have grown fond of finding this plant where ever I go, growing up through cracks in the sidewalk, near compost heaps, and now here on the farm. She is an integral part of our garden, growing here and there along side our vegetables and medicinal herbs. This past fall, I was delighted to dig some of our incredible garden, dandelion root to make vinegar. What a blessing.

Over the past few years I have been reading and hearing more and more about the value of nourishing the digestive system to bring optimum health to our immune system, nervous system and more. Dandelion root(also burdock root and elecampane root) have within them something called inulin. This starchy substance nourishes the gut flora and helps to create a healthy environment in the intestines. Apple cider vinegar extracts the inulin well.

I am inspired to share here the story of how to make Dandelion Root Nourishing Herbal Vinegar from beginning to end. It is really not difficult to find places, even in the city where you can dig this root.

When I set out to harvest plants, I ask their permission before I do. In mid-November, this dandelion root has asked to be dug. After the fall equinox, the energy of the plants moves down into its roots. Digging the dandelion roots in the early part of fall insures that you will extract plenty of inulin.

The dandelion root freshly dug from the earth. Such a beautiful plant! So strong and deeply nourishing. When we dig plants up by the roots, we give death.

I dug up about 7 plants on that November day. Once all the plants are dug, I wash the dirt off with the "jet" spray on the garden hose. Then they are ready to bring inside and cut up for vinegar. I washed them a bit more once in my kitchen.

I cut the leaves off the roots once inside. It is best to only extract one part of the plant in each preparation. You can use the leaves in salad or soup if they look vibrant and healthy like these do.

Large, old growth dandelion root,
potently beautiful and rich with goodness.

I chopped up the root as small as I could, to get the most potent herbal vinegar.

I filled this glass canning jar, about 2/3 full of the dandelion root. Then filled it again with apple cider vinegar. I put a lid on it and shook it up and down.

I labeled my newly crafted jars of dandelion root vinegar with name of plant, the date and anything else that I may wish to remember; a connection I had with plant, perhaps my harvesting spot, and moon sign, especially if it is on a new or full moon.

This dandelion root nourishing herbal vinegar preparation sat for six weeks, in a cool place away from direct sunlight. By January 1, 2008 it was ready to strain.
My tools for straining herbs.
A two quart glass pitcher. A seive that will hold at least a quart of plant pieces. A dish towel or in this case a handkerchief.

The Dandelion has offered forth her gifts into the vinegar.
The cloudiness is the starchy inulin.

Dandelion is the Wise Woman's Plant. The women that came from Europe did not want to be without her. They collected the seeds from their ancestral lands and put them in their pockets.

Dandelion Root ~ Nourishing Herbal Vinegar, bottled and ready for the market.

Dandelion nourishes the gut flora, yes. It also nourishes the liver, urinary tract system and lymphatic system. Dandelion moves energy.
Dandelion Root is best dug between the fall and spring equinox. You can also chop it up and put it in soup or roast it and make a wonderful brew that tastes like chocolate when you add honey.
May it be in beauty.

Crow’s Laughter Mystery School offering for 2008:
I am just so excited for this year and the possibilities it will bring through our apprenticeships, classes, one to one teachings and the crafting of nourishing herbal creations.
We are continuing our popular programs and also new things are afoot.

Women and Plants~Shamanic Herbal Apprenticeship Program
Next sessions begins January 25 and May 2, 2008
This apprenticeship program is a rare opportunity to connect with the common plants and the spirits of the land on beautiful South Whidbey Island and around the Puget Sound area, to listen deeply to your surroundings and your own inner yearnings and gather the bounty of the Earth. Four, 13 week sessions spread out over a year and a half.
We meet on Fridays. This is a working apprenticeship! Apprentices help with organic gardening, tasks involved in running a success herbal business, classes and moon
circles. Each week we will also connect with each other through classes on topics of in
terest, talking stick, herbal crafting, shamanic exercises, and simple ceremonies.
Call or email to request an apprenticeship application.
360-579-2319 ~

Herbal Wisdom Circle ~ January 26th
January’s Theme: Initiating an Alliance with the Green World.
We meet monthly~Next circles, Feb. 23, March 22. April 19
Includes a delicious, nourishing whole and wild food lunch and herbal crafting supplies
Register online for Herbal Wisdom Circle, $75, 4 months for $250

"The Well"~ A Study Group for Women~ 7-9 pm
North Seattle~ First Wednesdays ~ February 6, March 5, April 2
We are thrilled to offer this group for women to explore the wise woman tradition, nourishing ourselves deeply and connecting with the treasures within us.
$30 ~ 4 consecutive months for $100.
Register on our website~

Herbal Wisdom Mentorship Days for Girls
Feb. 9, March 29, May 3
Come explore the amazing healing way of plants, learn to see through the eyes of the wise woman, discover your plant ally and learn to listen and talk to plants.
$60, 2/$110, 3/$150 Look for information soon about our Summer Programs for Girls.

Dark of the Moon Lodge ~ February 9th
We are returning to meeting on Saturday evenings.
Includes a nourishing supper, talking stick and co-created ritual. $10

Community Classes~ A Healthy Gut ~ January 30 ~ 7-9 pm
Come discover how nourishing the digestive system brings optimum health to the immune system, nervous system and more. A demonstration of herbal vinegar preparation and yogurt and kefir making will be offered. $15, 2/$25

The Compassionate Nature of Plants~A Home Study Course in Shamanic Herbalism ~ Beginning in March 2008, you will be able to participate in this course anywhere in the world. It is designed to inspire you to connect locally with the earth and plants outside your door.

The Journey of the Rose ~ A Weekend Immersion in Shamanic Herbalism
June 13-15, 2008, The wild roses blooming on the farm be will be our guides as we
discover the gifts of living fully and nourishing deeply. Shamanic exercises, herbal crafting, and community connections. Open to adults and teens. $275 early bird price until May 1st. Includes all meals and simple accomodations.

We are working to bring Marisha Auerbach to our farm in spring 2008 to teach a
Weekend Permaculture course. Look for details soon.

Classes in Seattle:

The Wise Woman Herbalist ~ Sunday, Feb 17, 9-Noon~ At the 16th Annual Women of Wisdom Conference at North Seattle Community College in Seattle ~ Empower yourself through exploring the ancient tradition of wise woman herbalism. Experience ancient shamanic listening activities and discover how to craft herbal preparations from the dooryard herbs. This class will include many experiential exercises that will open the gateway onto the spiral path of health, wholeness and holiness. for more information and to register. I will also be selling my nourishing herbal creations at this conference.
This Goddess Market is open to the public.
Saturday, 8:30 am-7:30 pm and Sunday, 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

The Nourishing Herbs ~ March 12, 7-9 pm ~ UW Women’s Center
Wild Edibles and Medicinals Plant Walk ~ Carkeek Park~ North Seattle CC, date to be announced ~ More classes with North Seattle Community College coming soon.

Wise Woman Teachings and Shamanic Healing~ One to One are offered here at our farm and will soon be offered in Seattle. Visit our website for details,

Tantric Dance of the Divine Feminine ~ A Year and a Day program with
Kathy Kali Begin May 18 in Seattle ~ This is a beautiful and sensuous movement meditation practice that I am going to participate in. I invite you to join me. In the few times I have experienced this, I have learned incredible subtlties about my energetic body that have helped me in many different aspects of my life. Visit for more information, to register email

Visit our website for more details about these offering, and please feel free to call or email Julie anytime, 360-579-2319,


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the pictorial tutorial! I also am happy to know about how much you gathered. It's so easy for me to under-gather, because there's always more where that came from, and your information on the vinegar itself is wonderful! :)


Unknown said...

Your website is WONDERFUL and you offer so many things to do, see and participate in. Thank you for sharing.


Julie Charette Nunn, Crow's Daughter said...

Thank you, Julee...I will be posting more things soon. Such a great year in the garden and on the earth. peace, Julie