Yesterday, we re-built our sweat lodge out of Birch (mostly Black Birch, with some Gray Birch touches). Both last night and the night before I started the wood stove fire with the bark of Yellow Birch and one of the ferro ("fake flint") rods I have been experimenting with. Just a moment ago I went out to the wood pile for a couple more pieces of firewood and grabbed both some Yellow Birch and Gray Birch. Yesterday when gathering saplings for the lodge I marveled at the number of species (there was also a White Birch) in the one spot, and just before with the two species in my arm to heat the house, I thought of how there really is an abundance of Birch this Equinox and decided to honor it with this blog.
Explaination of the Five Talismans of Numinous Treasure
...If you can find the resin of a thousand-year-old pine, you can truly live long!
The Venerable Lord said: Nourish your body with this "little louse" and you will recover healthy complexion and return to youthfulness...
If kept deep in the earth, it is a powerful drug... If soaked in boiled water, it can ward off wind and expel cold...
...Since it contains the energy of great yin, it will allow you to live as long as heaven and earth... With pepper you can ward off dampness...
None of the pathogenic influences will dare to come near you...
...For these reasons it helps to ward off dampness and expels cold. It induces warmth and keeps all pathogenic influences at bay...
...Thus calamus gives life to people, nurtures and protects essence and spirit. It drains superfluous body liquids and drives out dampness...
RECIPE OF THE THREE HEAVENS OF NUMINOUS TREASURE
Five parts sesame; four parts pine resin; one part pepper; three parts ginger; three parts calamus. (Best if used fresh and full in essence.)
- The Taoist Experience: An Anthology edited by Livia Kohn
Bupleurum is a top herb of Chinese medicine, primarily as a diaphoretic and in the treatment of liver conditions (see ChineseHerbHealing.com entry). No species are in our immediate area, but Bupleurum rotundifolium does occur in a few spots in New York and Pennsylvania (see USDA distribution map). Since that is close enough to "easily" obtain, it poses the question: Can this species be used as the Bupleurum spp. of Chinese Medicine? Some references indicate that it is indeed one of the species of Chai Hu of Chinese herbal medicine. Another question is if other plants, particularly other members of Apiaceae - the Carrot (and Poison Hemlock) Family, can but used in place of Bupleurum spp.?
Nathaniel Whitmore, herbalist