It's that time of year. Here's a few decadent chocolate-making recipes to woo yourself, and all other interested individuals! 

(Photo: top- Willow buds opening in Gila wilderness, NM. Bottom- freshly made rose petal chocolate bark.) 



Who are you, traveler? Where do you come from? Where are you going? Where do you set your roots? Where do they feel the most joyous, powerful, and free? How can you express yourself as your most beautiful authentic self?

Dear traveler, wanderer, seeker, pilgrim--- who are you? What is your name? What are all the different names that different people call you? What do you call yourself, as you fall into then rise from your dreams? What is your true name?

Who are you? Where does your name come from? What are its roots and origins? What are your roots and origins?

(photo: Gila Wilderness, NM)

Project Me 2015

Happy New Year, 2016, friends and extended family! Below is a group email that I sent out, during winter solstice. Let me know if you want to be added to my list. This "Project Me" daily self-portrait has been an ongoing commitment since winter 2005. Yes, I've been photographing myself almost every morning, for the past 10 years. This year I missed the most days in all of the 10 years of self-portraits. I left for work pre-dawn two days a week (sometimes more), camped out a lot, traveled even more, and now live in a dark environment where it's difficult to photograph with natural light, which is my preference. So, my project's changing. We'll see how it progresses. I'm still in love with the process. It's already evolved over time, ofcourse. You can see past "Project ME" yearly contact sheet collections via here:

I use a free program called, "Contact Sheets" to compile the images. Contact Sheets does a poor job of arranging things perfectly chronologically--- but, it's relatively close. See if you can rearrange things correctly, if you'd like.

Making daily self portraits is a humbling experience that underlines my humanity, and seeks to document the transient nature of life. My life. "My" life. I share these images as a way of documenting things both for myself, as well as to share for others to see what they will in me, and in themselves. Reflections of reflections of reflections. Divinity and humanity, animal and God in all of the above.

Enjoy this journey. I love hearing your feedback.

I hope that this fresh new 2016 year brings you amazing adventures that you never even deemed possible.

With that, my mass email is attached below.
With humble love and deep gratitude,

Dear community, (家人們好!中文在最底下哦!)

As this year evolves into the next, I look back with a huge, “Whew!” And look forward with a massive, “Yes!” I hope that your year has been amazing, and would love to hear about it, too! Mine has been quite epic: I traveled to or through 38 of the 50 USA states, starting 2015 in the gorgeous Gila wilderness of southern New Mexico (NM), then traveling to California (CA), driving cross-country via the southern route to Connecticut (CT), where I taught Earth skills to youth and herbalism to adults while home-basing in an ancient barn with my dear elder Billy and sweet buddy Karen to travel out and come back, teaching- studying-adventuring to Montana, Florida, New Mexico, and even Maine, and most recently driving back across the country via the northern route to Oregon, where I now sit with most of my worldly belongings still heavily weighing down my car on a pre-dawn morning, sipping tea, dreaming, smiling, and organizing my schedule for the next two weeks, before I return to CA for a final celebration/ stuff-collection, before starting the Doctor’s of Science in Oriental Medicine (DSOM) classical Chinese medicine (CCM) program at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) here in Portland, OR a few days after the inception of 2016.

I’m writing this email to update you on my life, and welcome you to visit me in Portland, since I’m here for the next four years of my life for school, and more. I feel some uncertainty around being in a city for so long, and am still hammering out the details of my living situation, and new home. I hope to find an affordable/ for-trade natural-living situation that allows me to live close to the Earth, while focusing on school in a peaceful, supportive environment, continuing to develop my western herbal skills, and honing my Chinese medicine (acupuncture and herbs) skills as a practitioner, educator, and scholar. I want to make a lovely nest, and stay there for four years. Got ideas/ suggestions?

In 2016, I have two herb-gatherings lined up: I’ll travel to NM in September, and WI in July. Besides that, I’ll occasionally travel to southern CA to visit my family, and NM to look for a place to live. Starting school this winter, I have no school breaks until summer 2017, where I hope to return to Taiwan/ China to fall in love again with what originally drew me to this medicine... then, back to the USA. I won’t be traveling around as much for now. But, I’m still rollin’. See you around! If you have suggestions/ connections for my herbal (western, and now Chinese, too!) work/ travels, or here in Portland, or anything else, then please connect me!

My current longterm plans involve being amazing here in Portland for the next four years, then moving back to NM to develop a small homestead/ healing center, and create a Chinese medicine/ western herbalism integrated practice. We’ll see how the next four years ripen and evolve that vision. I’m open to possibilities. The future smells delicious. The present is even juicier.
May the richness of your life bring joy and satisfaction to all your days. May you find your inner strength and courage to follow your path of heart. May the world rise to meet your Earthen beloved feet. May the coming new year, and each simple-yet-complex moment of your whole simple-yet-complex absolutely gorgeous journey, be absolutely delicious.

Love (and a wink),

基玲今年在美國繞圈圈, 去了五十州內的三十八個州。 大部分時間住在東北岸教野外求生和藥草課。 剛搬到俄勒岡州, 進入中醫研究所, 未來四年的路程。 打算四年之後, 搬回新墨西哥州蓋個小木屋, 開診所。 四年之內, 打算一邊好好的學習中醫, 一邊繼續教西方藥草課, 看病人, 和享受人生!
祝你新年快樂, 心想事成, 萬事如意!
敬, 基玲


Creation Myth

Create your own creation myth about how this world--- our world today--- was created. Make sure that you start from the very beginning, wherever that is for you. And, extend your story out into the future: what happens, from here?


Energetic/ Ritualistic Plant Medicine

Energetic/ Ritualistic Plant Medicine
Jiling Lin - www.LinJiling.blogspot.com - 2015

Different types of Incense
- Loose leaf                        - Smudge bundles
- Powder                             - Kyphi/ incense cakes
- Incense cones/ sticks     - Smoking blends

Making Kyphi

- Berries 1 (powder)               - Resin 1 (powder)
- Leaves/ flowers 3 (chopped fine)
- Roots/ bark 1/2 (chopped fine)
- Beeswax 1/2                         - Honey/ wine

- Mix dry ingredients (first powdered, then chopped)
- Slowly add honey/ wine until it binds, (but isn’t wet)
- Coat parchment paper with 1-2 inches of mix
- Warm until it all coagulates
- Press flat to dry for up to a week
- Cut into small pieces to store
- Burn on charcoal

Making Flower Essences
It’s best to make flower essences when the flower is at the peak of its blossoming, or right before the peak. Go out in the morning with pruners, undistilled spring water, and a glass bowl or jar. Approach the flower or plant that you wish to make an essence of. Ask for permission to extract its essence, in whatever way feels the best to you. I like to make a prayer of gratitude, and sit with the plant for a while, before doing anything. Maybe I’ll observe the plant, draw it, photograph it, or just meditate with it. Do whatever feels the best for you, but it’s integral to establish a healthy relationship with the plant, before you try and make medicine with it. And, do not physically touch the plant that you are planning to make medicine with.

Once you are both ready for the next step, you can fill your glass bowl with water. Once again, make sure that you do not touch the plant with your hands, through this entire process. If you do touch the plant, your own energy may affect the flower essence. You can either clip the flower directly into the water, or you can just place the flower head into the water. I like to move around the flowers with tweezers. The traditional method is to clip the flowers directly into water, and cover the surface of the water with the flowers. Do what feels the best for you, in the moment. You can even experiment with both methods, and see how the different medicines feel.

Let the flowers sit in the water, in the sunlight, uncovered in a safe and lovely spot, for 4-6 hours. This amount of time depends upon your personal preferences, belief system, and the plant itself. Herbalist Mimi Kamp suggests leaving the flower in the water until the energetic feeling of the flower essence is stronger than the energetic feeling of the plant itself. She tests this by placing her hand over the plant and feeling its energy, then placing her hand over the essence and feeling that energy. Sometimes, people can be energetically sensitive and feel these subtle differences. Sometimes, this is difficult to experience. Do what feels best for you. The one rule with making flower essences is that there is no real rule. It’s an energetic medicine, and an intuitive art.

Once your essence is ready, carefully remove the flowers from the essence. Return them back to the Earth, giving thanks for their gifts. Dilute the water essence 1:1 with brandy, or 40% alcohol. (This can be substituted with vinegar too, but alcohol lasts longer.) Now, you have your mother essence!

Bottle and label your mother essence. Preserved in alcohol, she should last for a long time, if not indefinitely. Make sure you share! We tend to make too much flower essences, for a little goes a long way.

When you are ready to use your flower essence, fill a 1 ounce tincture bottle with 1:1 spring water to brandy. Add 10-30 drops of the mother essence to your bottle. Now, you have your stock essence. This is what is usually sold in the store.

Do the same thing again to make your dosage bottle. Fill a 1 ounce tincture bottle with 1:1 spring water to brandy. This time, just add 1 drop of the stock essence into this bottle. This is the final product. This is what you will carry around in your pocket, and take 4 drops 4 times a day, or as needed.

To effect long-lasting subtle change, take 4 drops of your dosage bottle flower essence, 4 times a day. It is like a constant subtle reminder to your self, to effect long-lasting change. Flower essences can also just be taken one drop at a time, for an experience, or to help relieve acute symptoms.

Some local CT “Dreaming Herbs”
- Mugwort               - Mullein              - Monarda
- Motherwort          - Mints                  - Horehound
- Coltsfoot               - Catnip               - Nettles
- Raspberry lf         - Juniper             - Pine

Plant Connection exercises
- Plant meditation               - Draw
- Botanize                            - Breath exercise
- Sense exploration
- Plant spirit journeying (see Eliot Cowan)
- Inner child work (see Julie McIntyre)
- Oneness exercise (see Tamarack Song)
- Experiment: sleep/ dream with, ingest in all forms...



The amazing Kiva Rose, on kyphi: 

A previous post, on dreamwork: 

A previous post, on different forms of meditation: 

Howie Brounstein, on herbal smokes: 


Botanica Erotica (lube class handout)

Botanica Erotica
Slippery herbal unguents for female sexual health and pleasure
 Jiling Lin - 2015 - www.LinJiling.blogspot.com

(Note: This handout combines info from sweet medicine, oils, and aphrodisiacs classes. Just skip over what you know already... and move on to the juicy bits. Enjoy!)

Lube Options
- Water-based lubes (safe, but may need reapplication)
- Silicone-based lubes (unsafe with silicone devices)
- Oil-based lubes (lasts longest, but deteriorates latex)

Water- based lube suggestions
- Aloe vera gel
- Demulcent teas
- Flax seed decoction

Oil-based lube suggestions
See “Oils and Salves” section


Herbal Lube Considerations

Elm                                          Mallow
Oats                                         Chickweed

Vulnerary (skin healing)
Comfrey                                    Calendula
St. Johnswort                           Roses
Chickweed                                Plantain
Gotu kola

Yarrow                                        Mugwort
Wormwood                                Artemisia spp.

Estrogenic (not for pregnancy)
Wild yam                                 Black cohosh

Aphrodisiac, and other Actions/ Considerations
(See next section)


(Experiment, explore, enjoy!)

Chickweed                             Elm
Milky Oats                             Marshmallow
Violets                                     Maca
Nettles                                    Red Clover
Burdock                                 Raspberry leaf

Tulsi                                          Ashwagandha
Astragalus                                Licorice
Ginseng                                    Eleuthero
Shatavari                                 Schizandra
Mushrooms (Reishi, Maitake, Shitaki, etc)

Warming Stimulant
Cacao                                             Cayenne
Cinnamon                                     Dang gui
Ginger                                           Cardamon

Aromatic Relaxant
Damiana                                       Jasmine
Rose                                              Vanilla

Hawthorne                                 Lemon Balm
Motherwort                                Kava Kava
Skullcap                                      Passionflower

Sends blood to genitals (use with care)
Muira puama                                 Horny goat weed

Female Sexual tonic
Dang gui                                     White poeny
He shou wu                                 Shatavari

Fruits/ Berries
Goji                                                Jujube
Cranberry                                     Strawberry

Essential Oils
Sandalwood                                Vetiver
Ylang ylang                                 Patchouli
Rose otto                                    Jasmine

Turn it Red
Add 1 tsp Alkanet powder, per 1 C oil

Other Considerations
Lifestyle (ie. diet, exercise, breath, hydration)
Relationship (ie. connection, goals, trauma)
Setting (ie. candles,incense,ceremony,massage)
Pregnancy (ie. communication, choice, safety)
Flower essences (ie. Bach, Mimi Kamp, etc)
Other oils (ie. Jojoba, Almond, Avocado, Olive)


Making Oil Infusions and Salves

Oil Infusions

Oil Infusion Methods
- Long/ slow infusion (2 weeks)
- Solar/ Lunar infusion (can do with slow infusion)
- Hot infusion (faster. For mucilaginous, or thicker plant materials ie. Barks, roots, and seeds)
- Crock pot (on low, 2-12 hrs)
- Stove top/ Double boiler (1/2- 1 hr)
- Oven extraction (120 F, 8-12 hrs)

Making Oil Infusions: folk method
1. Prepare the plant. Collect fresh plants. Depending on the plant and your preferences/ access, you will use it fresh, freshly wilted, fresh dried, or dried.
2. Process the plant. Chop it into small pieces. The smaller the better, to expose more surface area to oil. If using dried plant materials, you can even powderize the plant, though I find that difficult to strain afterwards.
3. Fill a glass jar with your prepared plant material. Leave two inches at the top. Pack the jar so that it’s firm, but not tight.
4. Fill the glass jar again with oil. Completely cover the plant material. Poke it all with a stick, to release any air bubbles.
5. Cap, and use your desired oil infusion method (see above).
6. When finished infusing, strain out the plant material, and rebottle your remaining infused oil. I like to keep old natural-fiber clothing, and cut it into squares to place over containers as strainers, then just throw away the cloth afterwards.
7. If you infused a plant with higher water content, then let sit for 2-4 days. Any remaining water from the plant will sink to the bottom. Pour off oil from the top, to separate that from the watery mix. Use the watery oil up first, separately. The “pure” oil will last longer.
8. Label, and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Oils to Infuse into
(Other oils may work, too)

Heavier oils:
- Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sesame oil (raw)

Lighter oils:
- Almond oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Grapeseed oil

Solid at room temperature:
- Coconut oil
- Animal fat

(Note comodogenic vs. non-comodogenic oils, for sensitive skin types)

Oils/ Waxes to add
- Cocoa butter
- Shea butter

- Avocado oil
- Argan oil
- Castor oil

Antioxidant oils:
- Rosehip seed oil
- Carrot seed oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Vitamin E oil

- Beeswax
- Carnauba wax (from the Brazilian palm tree)


Salve Proportions
Adding more wax creates a harder salve; adding less wax creates a softer salve. Experiment with what consistency you like.
1 oz wax (weight): 4-8 oz oil (volume)

Making Salves
1. Prepare your oils. Measure out how much salve you want to make, and blend our oil infusions and other oils accordingly. Pour into a glass jar with a pouring spout (I love beakers), and place into a metal pot. Fill water around your glass jar, to create a double boiler.
2. Heat it up.
3. Add wax, at your chosen proportions. It’s easiest to have pre-grated beeswax, and a dedicated grater just for beeswax.
4. Mix it with a spoon. Take out a small amount on the spoon and put into the freezer, to test its consistency texture. Modify as necessary, adding small amounts of wax or oil, until satisfied. It’s easier to slowly add more wax, instead of oil.
5. Once ready, remove it from the stovetop. If you want to add vitamin E or essential oils, then let it cool a little bit, then stir it in at the end, before it solidifies. The essential oils can explode, if the temperature is too high.
6. Pour into the awaiting jars.
7. Let cool. You might have to top off the salve as it dries, as it can create a funnel in the middle of the salve, as it dries.
8. Cap and label.
9. Store in cool areas. Enjoy!


Some Lube Recipe Ideas

Basic Vag Salve
1/4 C liquid oil ((ie. jojoba, almond, olive, or infused oils)
1/2 C cocoa butter
1/2 C coconut oil
1 T vitamin E oil
2 tsp beeswax
1 tsp lanolin
(optional) essential oils (ie. Lavender, rose otto, rose geranium, chamomile, sandalwood)

Flax Seed Decoction
- 1 T flax seeds
- 1 C water
Boil, then simmer on low heat for ~20 minutes, until it’s reduced by half. Strain, and it’s ready to use! Can store in the fridge for 2 months.

Yoni Butter (aphrodisiac/ lube, by Aviva Romm)
- ½ C cocoa butter
- ½ C coconut oil
- 4 oz unsweetened dark chocolate
- 2 T marshmallow root powder (or slippery elm root powder)
- ¼ tsp lavender essential oil (or other essential oil)

Ride and Glide (a nourishing lube, by Margi Flint)
- 0.8 oz grated beeswax
- ¼ C infused oil (with black cohosh, comfrey root, calendula, wild yam)
- ¼ C coconut oil
Combine and heat the above ingredients, then add:
- 1 T wheat germ oil
- 1 T vitamin E oil
- 1 tsp emulsified vitamin A
- essential oils of 30 drops lavender, 30 drops rose geranium, 10 drops rose otto

Coconut oil suppositories
Coconut oil with your choice of other oils (ie. Jojoba, vitamin E, wheat germ, evening primrose, borage, black currant seed oil). Warm and mix the oils together, then freeze in ice trays to harden. Cut each cube into 2-3 sticks. Use a stick before sex or before sleep.

Herbal ointment (a post-menopausal possibility, by Rosemary Gladstar- in equal parts)
Oil infusions, with:
- Comfrey leaf and root
- St. Jonswort
- Calendula
Heat oils, then add grated beeswax (1/4 C beeswax for each C oil), until beeswax melts.
(Optional: vitamin E, cocoa butter, coconut, etc. oils)



Making Chocolate from Scratch
¼ C cocoa butter                 4 T cocoa powder
2 T sweetener                                 ¼ tsp vanilla extract

1. Melt cocoa butter in double boiler on low heat.
2. Stir in cocoa powder.
3. Add sweetener/ vanilla.
4. Add herbs/ nuts/ seeds/ fruits/ etc. (Optional)
5. Pour into molds.
6. When solid, release from molds… and enjoy!

Using Existing Chocolate
1. Melt the chocolate.
2. Add in what you want. Here’s options:
- Add in nuts, berries, solid/ powdered herbs/ tinctures/ sweet preparations, let resolidify.
- Layer herbs (infused into sweet menstruua) onto melted chocolate that has solidified a bit. The herbs can be swirled in lightly, or completely mixed in.
- Use marc from coconut oil infusion to make chocolate. 1 Coconut oil marc : 1 Chocolate. Melt together, and mix. (ex: rose petal marc). Can also use herbally infused coconut oil.
3. Mix thoroughly, and let resolidify. (Optional: If you have molds, such as ice cube trays, then you can pour into them, and skip the next step.)
4. Score or cut in desired shapes, once chocolate is hard enough to hold its shape.
5. Let dry slowly and completely. Do not refrigerate, as elements of the chocolate may separate.
6. Enjoy.


Flying Ointment
(Note: use only under the guidance of a trained herbalist, in small quantities, and well monitored. Not for recreational use.)

Traditional plants:
- Belladonna (Atropa belladonna)
- Datura (Datura stramonium)
- Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)
- Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum)

Traditionally used poisons (do not use):
- Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
- Death hemlock (Conium spp.)
- Monkshood (Aconitum spp.)
- Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)

Other considerations:
- Poplar buds (Populus spp.)
- Calamus root (Acorus calamus)
- Cannabis (Cannabis spp.)
- Sages (Artemisia spp.)
- Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
- Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


Other Considerations

Ingredients to Avoid in Commercial Lubes
benzene derivatives (sodium benzoate, methyl, ethyl, propylparaben, benzoate of soda, boric acid), propylene glycol, parabens, salicylates, anammic aldehyde, synthetic fragrances, glycerine (for irritation/infection-prone folks)

Food as Medicine
- Essential fatty acids (from fish, olive oil, hemp, flax, walnut, almonds, dark leafy greens, whole grain foods)
- Seaweed (and other iron sources)
- Healthy fats (unsaturated fats, only)
- Phytoestrogenic foods (ie. Soy, beans, flax, etc)




Some simple aphrodisiac recipes

My oils/ salves class handout

My sweet medicine class handout 

Past "Botanica Erotica" and "Botanica Aphrodisiaca" class handouts

Flying ointment

Book suggestions
“Herbal Healing for Women,” by Rosemary Gladstar
“Anatomy of Arousal,” by Sheri Winston
“Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health,” by Aviva Romm


Sweet Medicine (class handout)

Sweet Medicine (Class handout)
Jiling Lin 2015 - LinJiling@gmail.com - www.LinJiling.blogspot.com

How to Use
- Direct ingestion (a few drops, to 2 T)
- Blended with other menstruua (ie. Vinegar, alcohol, cooking, etc)
- Topically (ie. Facial scrubs, baths, etc)

Why to Use
- Pleasure (ie. Desserts, aphrodisiacs, general joy, etc)
- Medicine (ie. Herbal honeys, glycerites, syrups, etc)
- Pleasure medicine

Sweet Menstruums
- Honey (can last indefinitely)
- Glycerine (use within 3-4 years)
- Sugar (Syrup= use within a year)
- Anything sweet (ie. Molasses, maple syrup, etc)

Note: make sure that your equipment is sterilized. Micro-organisms love sugars; sweet medicine preparations, if not kept clean, can mold or ferment.


Honey Infusion
1. Fill jar with fresh/ dried finely chopped plant material.
2. Warm honey (via double boiler method) to 130-140 F (hot but not boiling), to liquefy.
3. Pour liquified honey over plant material, covering at least an inch over the top.
4. Infusion options:
- Slow infusion: Let sit for 2-4 weeks, or indefinitely. Useful for flowers, leaves, and other delicate plant material.
- Hot infusion via sun: Place jar in the sunlight to heat, over 2-4 weeks.
- Hot infusion via double-boiler: Place jar in a double-boiler bath (stovetop, crockpot, or other). Let heat slowly for 6-8 hours (overnight in a crockpot on low, works well.) Useful for roots and thicker plant material.
5. To strain or not to strain?
- Strain, to separate the marc from the menstruum. Retain marc in another airtight glass jar for other uses. Strained honey is clear of plant material, easy to pour and use, for formulation, cooking, etc.
- No strain: plants can remain in honey. The honey is chunky and more difficult to pour, but this is helpful if you like having plant bits in your honey, or will use the marc and menstruum together.

Honey infusion marc possibilities:
- Tea
- Cook into pastries or other desserts
- Add to incense blends
- Add into elixirs or shrubs for subtle effect
- Kombucha
- Just eat it

Made like a tincture, but with glycerine as the menstruum, instead of alcohol. Better with dried plant material, and undiluted glycerine. Glycerite can go bad easily with excess water. Useful for folks with blood sugar imbalances/ sensitivities, or to extract tannins. I prefer honey, otherwise.

Electuaries (honey paste)
4 fl. Oz honey: 3 T powdered herb
(1 C honey: 6 T powdered herb)

Add liquified honey to powdered herbs. Stir until evenly coated.

Electuaries with more powders, to form an even thicker paste-like consistency that remains in a ball, when rolled. Roll balls, let dry, then store.

Other options:
- Add powdered demulcent herbs as solidifying agents (ie. Elm, mallow root, licorice, etc.)
- Coat/ roll with other powders on the surface, to further solidify, and prevent sticking.

1. Simmer (2 oz herb: 32 oz water) on low, down to half the original amount of water: 16 oz of strong tea.
2. Strain the herbs.
3. Add sweetener to decoction at 2:1 ratio. (32 oz honey: 16 oz strong tea) The 2:1 ratio doesn’t need refrigeration. Use less sugar, if you have access to refrigeration.
4. Keep heating, until the sweetener dissolves. Can keep cooking, to make more concentrated.
5. Optional:
- Add 3-4 T brandy (or other alcohol) per cup of syrup, as a preservative.
- Add 1-5 drops of essential oil, for a stronger flavor/ medicinal effect.

1. Layer sugar and fresh plant material (light, such as flowers and leaves). Fill to top of jar. Cap it.
2. Options:
- Let sit. The plant marc will release their moisture into the sugar, causing a syrup to form.
- Shake twice daily. The sugar will attach onto the plant material and crystallize, creating candy-like sugarized plants. Mmm.

- Experiment with different types of sugar. I prefer brown sugar, which is more likely to make a syrup. White sugar is more likely to crystallize, if you shake it.
- A few floral ideas: rose petals, violets

Finishing Salt
1 part fresh herb : 1 part salt
1. Finely chop plant material, or blenderize into a powder, with salt.
2. Mix with salt.
3. Let sit in a flat pan, to dry. Drying times depends on your environmental conditions (anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks). Move the mixture around daily, to expose more surfaces to air, to dry. The salt extracts moisture, flavor, and phytochemicals from the plants, until...
4. The whole thing is dessicated, delicious, and ready to bottle.
5. Yum!

- Add powderized plants into the mix after finishing salts are ready, to create a salt blend. Some ideas: nettles gomasio (nettles, black sesame, cayenne, ginger), black pepper, etc.
- Aromatic herbs and spices work well, here.

With Vinegar

Oxymels/ Shrubs
1 part vinegar: 2-4 parts honey
(Can initially infuse plants with combined vinegar and honey, or combine honey infusion and vinegar infusion(s) afterwards.)

With Alcohol

1 C drinking alcohol (ie. Brandy): 1 C sweet syrup/ concentrate (can do 1 tincture: 3 sweet menstruum)
Let sit for a long time. Can be years!

Infused Wine
Infusing herbs into a drinking wine, with the tincture. May be more tasty than a straight tincture. Can add berries and other sweet fruits, to sweeten the medicine

1 part honey: 2-4 parts alcohol
Make with the same technique as making tinctures. Can strain after 2-4 weeks.

Pleasure Elixirs
Add 3 tsp of pre-formulated elixir(s) to 60 oz sparkling water, for a refreshing drink.

With Chocolate

Making Chocolate from Scratch
¼ C cocoa butter                4 T cocoa powder
2 T sweetener                      ¼ tsp vanilla extract

1. Melt cocoa butter in double boiler on low heat.
2. Stir in cocoa powder.
3. Add sweetener/ vanilla.
4. Add herbs/ nuts/ seeds/ fruits/ etc. (Optional)
5. Pour into molds.
6. When solid, release from molds… and enjoy!

Using Existing Chocolate
1. Melt the chocolate.
2. Add in what you want. Here’s options:
- Add in nuts, berries, solid/ powdered herbs/ tinctures/ sweet preparations, let resolidify.
- Layer herbs (infused into sweet menstruua) onto melted chocolate that has solidified a bit. The herbs can be swirled in lightly, or completely mixed in.
- Use marc from coconut oil infusion to make chocolate. 1 Coconut oil marc : 1 Chocolate. Melt together, and mix. (ex: rose petal marc). Can also use herbally infused coconut oil.
3. Mix thoroughly, and let resolidify. (Optional: If you have molds, such as ice cube trays, then you can pour into them, and skip the next step.)
4. Score or cut in desired shapes, once chocolate is hard enough to hold its shape.
5. Let dry slowly and completely. Do not refrigerate, as elements of the chocolate may separate.
6. Enjoy.

Recipes: a few possibilities
(All plants listed in parts. Refer to directions/ proportions above, using the parts listed.)

Arabic Honey Electuary
Black pepper 1: Ginger 1: Tumeric 6-8
4 oz. Honey: 3 T herb powder blend

Sore Throat Pastilles (from Rosemary Gladstar)
- 1 licorice root powder                             - 1 comfrey root powder
- 1 elm powder                                           - 12 echinacea powder
- 1/8 goldenseal powder

Cough and Sore Throat Syrup (from Rosemary Gladstar)
- 2 elm bark                              - 2 valerian
- 2 comfrey root                        - 1 wild cherry bark
- 2 licorice root                         - 1 ginger root
- 1 cinnamon bark                    - 4 fennel seeds
- 1/8 orange peel

Some Sweet Medicine Plant Suggestions
(Loosely organized by primary plant actions. Most plants straddle multiple categories)

- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Onion (Allium sepa, and other Allium spp.)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

- Black birch (Betula lenta)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- Tumeric (Curcuma longa)

- Pine needles (Pinus spp.)
- Rose hips (Rosa spp.)

Circulatory stimulant
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Sage (Salvia spp.)

- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Mints (Mentha spp.)

Nervine (relaxing)
- Anise star (Illicium verum)
- Chamomile (
Matricaria recutita)
- Lavender (
Lavandula officinalis)
- Lemon balm (
Melissa officinalis)
- Lemon verbena (
Aloysia citriodora)
- Rose petals (Rosa spp.)
- Tulsi (
Ocimum sanctum)
- Violets (Viola spp.)

- Elm (Ulmus spp.)
- Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
- Monarda (
Monarda spp.)
- Osha (
Ligusticum porterii)

1 C= 8 oz
1 pint= 16 oz
1 quart= 32 oz
1 oz= 30 mL

Web Resources
Sweet medicine basics

Cordial recipes

General mixology

Finishing salts


(Pictured: Out-on-a-Whim Farm (Bethany, CT) maypole, bedecked with all the sweetness of spring, and new beginnings. A floral centerpiece to a grand community celebration. And this, this is what "Sweet Medicine" truly is!)