Burdock: Arctium lappa

Burdock has some similar characteristics to Yellow Dock - which I wrote about in a previous blog. It is also a "bitter" and "blood purifier". Typically the root is harvested, dried and used medicinally (powdered or made into tincture or tea) and it is often used along with yellow dock and dandelion. Burdock is a member of the thistle family. It grows in wooded areas near water. The photo here was taken at Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena, but I have also found it growing in the park across the street from the Baltimore Art Museum in Baltimore City. The leaves of Burdock can get very large. I love the description of this plant in Mrs. M. Grieve's "A Modern Herbal": ( http://www.botanical.co

The Importance of "Sangha"

In Sanskrit and in Buddhist philosophy, the word "Sangha" means "community", typically a spiritual community. In the Upaddha Sutta, it is said that "Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie." (To which the Blessed One replied), "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expect

Just Show Up!

We all go through periods in our lives (including yogis!) when we feel a little "blah" - unmotivated perhaps, blocked, uncreative, maybe even a little depressed or feeling like our lives aren't moving in the direction we planned or hoped. In yogic philosophy, we might say we are feeling "tamasic". "Tamas" is one of the 3 "gunas" or qualities of natural behavior. Tamasic qualities include being or feeling dull, inactive, inertia, lethargy, negativity or apathy. How do we get inspired during these times? How do we find motivation? I have a pretty strong yoga practice - not just asana but daily meditation practice during which I might meditate on my sankalpa (your heart's intention or desire)

Yellow Dock: Bitters & Blood Purifier

*Disclaimer: None of the following is meant to be medical advice! Please seek the advice of a naturopath or trained herbalist for specific advice on using medicinal plants. Yellow Dock, aka "Curly Dock", or Rumex Crispus is a common "weed" that grows by roadside ditches and wasteland. The pictures here were taken along the B&A trail in Pasadena, MD where there is lots of beautiful Dock growing. Yellow dock flowers are yellowish-green and have no petals. This unusual flower is located on a long slender, branching cluster at the top of a stem; flowers turn reddish-brown in the Fall, when they mature. The photo on the right shows the dead stalk (if you look closely). The leaves, stems and s

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