One of my most favorite, divine and seductive flowers is the Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica, Caprifoliaceae). It is a rambling vine that loves to climb and appreciates hot, dry waste places. It blooms right about Solstice — which I find apropos as it is a delightful plant with which to celebrate the sun’s highest point of the year.
You will find that it has an aroma similar to the intoxicating Jasmine or the Orange Blossom– with an added bonus as this is local to the MidWest bio-region.
To preserve this seductive blossom’s enticing aroma, I love to put it into honey pots and infusing the honey with its scent. To do this, simply gather fresh, unwilted blossoms of the Honeysuckle and add them to a jar. Then cover with raw honey and let infuse for at least a few weeks, taking the time to occasionally turn the jar upside down to stir up the plant material.
The aroma seeps into the honey and can (and SHOULD!!) be eaten in the most decadent manner. The honey can be spooned over a good sharp cheddar cheese, or perhaps a fresh goat cheese… It’s also nice on toast. With or without the blossoms.
As for me? In the spirit of the Honeysuckle’s seductive-ness, I personally love it straight out of the honey jar onto a spoon — flowers and all… alone or with a partner. It’s a delicious treat.
“Your patients don’t come to you to get cured. They come to get known.” ~ Unknown. Nicaragua, Miraflor. 2013
I cannot recall exactly who said this to our Natural Doctors International herbal brigade in Miraflor, Nicaragua last fall. Maybe it was a villager? A teacher? A fellow brigader? Regardless of its origin, that comment came to mind today while sitting with one of my herbal clients.
It struck me — In a time and space where we work in 140 characters, Facebook updates and when it comes to healthcare — 15 minute primary-care appointments — it’s no surprise that what we each are really seeking in our health and healing journey is someone to listen. To connect. To be heard and to be known.
Frequently — for a multitude of reasons — I wonder if the time I’ve set aside for herbal consultations is fully understood or wanted in my own community. But today, while sitting with one of my clients, I heard a little voice inside that assured me my time (and perspective) was valued and of service: “You offer them the time to be known – to hear their story. To be listened to.”
My role as a practitioner? I just help connect the dots. Help line things up — usually that includes bringing plants, food. Getting them excited about being outside and with the plants around them. But sometimes not.
Holding space for my clients to decompress, open up and become light is probably the most important aspect to my work. And then, I love it when they realize that their own healing actually rests in their own hands. In that space — in their hands — is hope. That sweet, healing hope.