Pink beauty for healthy lungs

It looks that spring is finally ready to manifest itself! Despite strong frosts and snowfall recently, sunshine calls nature to start unrolling buds. Even though it’s too early, I’ve been already checking my places and searching signs of new life among dry and brown last year’s leaves.

First what I’m looking each spring for, are wonderful flowers of Lungwort. I’m hungry for the moment when I see the incredible tenderness of pink and purple. In my daily life I always prefer yellow before pink, but the first spring flowers of Lungwort are probably the only exception.

I really love the unique colors of Lungwort, sweet to look and also sweet and juicy to taste. It’s like a promise that the whole season could be such sweet and delicious. Once I discover the first Lungwort flowers of the year, I gather them directly to my mouth and eat them immediately 😋

My second choice for Lungwort flowers is still eating them directly, but in more civilized way like adding them into salad or put them on potatoes with cottage cheese. It looks and tastes fantastic!

Lungwort belongs to the plants that bloom before their leaves grow fully. So you can enjoy the beauty and taste of flowers before serious harvest for healing purpose. And there is one big purpose of the Lungwort, clear by the name, the healthy lungs!

Lungwort has strong anticarrhal and demulcent effects, so you can successfully use it in case of cold with cough. It reduces unwanted mucus caused by pathogens and protects irritated tissues. The content of silicon and allantoin accelerates skin regeneration, so the Lungwort can be also used externally for longterm wounds even with pus. But the most common use of Lungwort is still in wide range of lung diseases like bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, etc.

Even though the Lungwort looks so useful and kind, there is one warning for all who have problems with blood coagulation (clotting) because the Lungwort slightly increases the level of it. A few fresh flowers should be fine, but be careful about longterm use.

I hope to see the pink and purple flowers soon and this year herbal season will really start!

Which plant is the sign of spring for you?

With love, Ivana

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Playing with the Elements, Part 2 – Air

Imagine the real air. What qualities does it have? First, it’s invisible. Second, you cannot touch it. It’s all around us and can even expand if we give it space. It’s in constant motion, never stops. So, where to look for the air parallel in our lives inside of the 4-element system?

Our mind if full of thoughts that are invisible and we cannot physically touch them. They are definitely moving constantly and sometimes they even expand exponentially. So, our thoughts belong to the element of Air. And if we talk about pollution in case of the real air, we should talk about pollution of our mind as well.

What can pollute our mind? All the useless information we often starve for! Living in the information era, we are obsessed with information and we often forget to put filters in order to keep our mind clear and healthy. Never ending stress on production and/or consumption of information is the most dangerous source of pollution in the segment of Air.

How to reduce it? Breathing and exercise (which leads to better breathing) are good ways how to clean the mind, and both belong to the Air as well. There is a wide range of breathing exercises, some of them are very aerobic, but you can be successful even with the quiet ones, based on yoga for example. Or you can walk regularly. Especially when you walk in nature, it’s a good way how to clean your mind and reduce the information overpressure.

I believe that is what you are exactly doing already. Perhaps you just didn’t realize it was compensation inside of the Air’s element.

Talking is a very similar issue. Communication also belongs to the Air, as well as all the social bonds. If we tend to overwhelm our lives by talking either in a virtual or in real world, we simply need some physical exercise again. We need to move and breathe.

If we want to achieve a balance across all the elements, we need to learn how to identify them in our lives. So, what else belongs to the Air?

All kind of invisible waves meets the condition of being invisible, untouchable and in constant motion. The sound is a good example. If you think your place is too noisy, go outside or anywhere to the silence. Breathe deeply.

The same definition and solution is valid for the electromagnetic waves. They can pollute your inner Air system and cause damage. We cannot do much, but we have to count with these omnipresent waves in total sum.

Finally, I would like to mention cooperation with the previous element. Let’s go back to the real air, for better imagination. The air is a good tool to keep the fire alive. Breathing to the fire is a way how to wake up the flames. On the other hand, too much of air means a danger for the fire. You can either kill it or spread it out of control. And that’s why is important to keep the Air in reasonable limits.

Too much thinking, talking, collection of useless information, being in noisy places or in places with huge density of electromagnetic waves can kill your joy, laugh, excitement and even your vitality. Or it could spread sparkles of your interest into million directions, so you became lost.

The Air, as well as the Fire, is a good tool, but dangerous master.

Next, I will speak about the Water and the influence of the Air and the Fire to the Water.

With love,

Ivana

In case you missed  Playing with the Elements, Part 1 – Fire

When the winter asks…

I believe that in many countries, at least in the areas where the climate brings a big difference between winter and summer, exists similar proverb. When the winter asks what did you do in the summer? And now there is the time which is going to test the summer activities.

During windy weather last week I caught a small cold, so it was the first opportunity to check my tincture made in summer. It is a highly aromatic blend of herbs in strong alcohol, balanced to touch typical winter disorders. This one is better to use against bacteria based infections, but is usable against flu as well. Most herbs act antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, helping to cleanse the body and increase its own immunity.

I have used following herbs:

Oak bark: Oak is a symbol of strength and its bark is an effective shield against lot of enemies for our health. It protects against a wide range of viruses and bacteria, and if some attack the body, it can squeeze them out. Oak bark is ready to absorb redundant moisture and so relieve most of “wet” diseases. Additionally, it stimulates the energy circulation in the body and so accelerates whole process of healing.

Sage: Sage is a sign of wisdom and cleansing, often used in magical rituals too. It means there must be a power inside! I respect all the abilities of sage, but somehow I perceive sage as a provocateur, who only cares where that person is unable to do it. In other cases sage forces a person to act in order to protect himself. So, sage is a big help in various situations, but it is primarily a great teacher, who keeps us in bed if necessary.

Plantain: Unlike the previous herbs, Plantain is here to care directly for throat and lungs. It works like a good uncle who treats injured places and exchanges wet tiles for them.

Wild thyme: Thyme is known especially for its use in the kitchen, but it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects too. It is a good supporter for lung and breathing.

Goldenrod: Goldenrod has yellow-gold brushes that sweep many afflictions out and increase immunity so they cannot easily return. If necessary, goldenrod has a strong vulnerary effect.

Lavender: Lavender is another sign of cleansing or better to say “cleansing with calm head”. One of big lavender’s hobby is to disinfect and bring its own energy instead. Lavender soothes and lets us for a moment forget that we are sick.

Clove: Clove is an active part among the herbs, even in small quantity. It is another from stimulants, ready to fight with microbial enemies. Clove works through the whole body, but oral cavity is a home base for it. And to be honest, mouth is often very touched by winter disorders.

I made a range of tinctures in summer, but I successfully used this one for the small cold of the last week.

With love for herbs and people,

Ivana

Pine Tree

This is an airy tree, which I mostly associate with freedom, space and breathing. If you ask for my first pine memory, so I see myself as a little girl picking mushrooms in the pine forest of the military band. I can still see the noble and free trees with warning signs written in Russian. I sniff the scent of pine’s turpentine mixed with the excitement of the forbidden fruit.

I had grown up in the 70s of the last century in the places, occupied by the Soviet army and they performed their military exercises deeply in our forests. On weekends, the soldiers had leisure time and Czech families from the neighborhood went into the restricted area to pick mushrooms. And they grew there!! We picked them up despite the danger to be caught or that the soldiers change their mind regarding leisure.

From the same forest I carried home pine bark, from which I tried to carve boats by little children’s knife. I loved the easy processing as well as the beautiful color.

Pine twigs and cones are excellent for fire setting. They beautifully crackle and smell and create romantic atmosphere.

Such are my pine memories. And what is it the present?

I still love the pine forests and still love breathing their fragrance. I feel how it expands and heal my lungs, how it wakes desire for freedom and growth up. Unfortunately, now I live in a place surrounded by deciduous forest with only few pines. I highly consider them. They are my allies in worse times. I return to them when I need to recharge my energy and rediscover my own place in the present moment, since the presence is the only right springboard to the future.