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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

bunch berries

The fastest plant in the world resides unassumingly in Nova Scotia’s cool woods. Botanists have discovered that the petals of bunchberries move at a speed of 22 feet per second when they open, releasing a flurry of pollen into the air.

In late summer however, it’s the red berries of this plant that dot the forest floor.  Their leaves are worn and streaked with burgundy, duller versions of the fresh green plants that brightened the ground back in June.

buncberryThese bland tasting berries are edible but far less enjoyable to the palate than the blackberries available in the wild at this time of year.  Yet children often enjoy them and find them easy to pick.  Berries can be found on plants consisting of six leaves.  Also known as dwarf dogwood, the plant will acquire an overall burgundy color later in the fall.  Berries dry as the season progresses, providing food for deer, moose, grouse and songbirds.

With a preference for acidic woods, bunchberries often grow in partially shaded spots.  They are known to neutralize the effects of acid rain.

Known as Cornus canadensis in Latin, bunchberries are native to northern North America and have a history of being used medicinally for kidney ailments, to lower fevers and treat infant colic.  Leaves have been applied topically to stop bleeding and heal wounds.  Berries can be made into a poultice to treat burns or taken internally to help counteract the negative effects of ingesting poisonous plants.  Their use is being investigated for cancer treatment.  

bunchberries in bloom

High in pectin, berries can also be made into jellies and puddings. In the fall, they were gathered by native people by the bushel full and later either frozen or stored in bear fat for use in winter. The berries are thought to promote mental strength and clarity which is reason enough to give them a try.

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pink peony

Forget pink cotton candy, bubble gum, Elvis and Mary Kay’s pink cadillacs, pink slips and the Pink Panther.  Forget the color’s association with baby girls and all things feminine…  lipstick, nail polish and party dresses.  Just… think pink.

Pink, often called rose,  is considered one of the calmest colors to look at.  Its delicate blush is attractive, non-threatening and uplifting.  To look at the world through rose colored glasses is to see everything in a positive light.

rose sky at dawn

You may already know that Picasso had a blue period of painting, characterized by sombre arrangements of melancholic, seemingly disconnected individuals.  But did you know that his blue style was superceded by a rose period?  It expressed a changed life of personal happiness for Picasso, marked by closer relationships with others.

pink clematis

In nature, flowers like peonies, clematis and wild roses paint garden and roadside scenes with joyful jots of pink and rose.  The rising and setting sun may also blush the sky and landscape with a rosy glow.  Perhaps a walk at dawn or sunset may be just the remedy for a sad disposition.  If you’re really feeling blue, it might be helpful to gaze into a pink flower for a few minutes and breathe in its color.  It certainly wouldn’t hurt.  Just keep an eye out for the bees!

Frequently the wood are pink –
Frequently are brown.
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.
Oft a head is crested
I was wont to see –
And as oft a cranny
Where it used to be –
And the Earth — they tell me –
On its Axis turned!
Wonderful Rotation!
By but twelve performed!

~ Emily Dickinson

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