Sometimes, the lessons that herbs impart to us comes not only from allowing them into our bodies, but from the journey in acquiring them. Extracting herbs from their natural habitat requires a sensitivity to the intricate workings of mother nature.
For Tina Sams of The Essential Herbal Blog, hand picking St. John's Wort daily left her with a few gems of wisdom about the art of picking wild herbs and letting nature be your guide.
For example, the politeness and helpfulness of bees may surprise you:
This really surprised me. Not because I think bees are bloodthirsty sting machines but because I’m taking away their pollen. Usually how it works is that I establish myself on one side of the bush and they gather pollen from the other side. And then we switch. Sometimes it takes several back-and-forths before both the bees and I get our fill but it has worked out pretty well so far. No bees or Mollys have been harmed in the harvest so far.
The bees will also let you know if you have forgotten any flowers along the way. If you take your time and be patient you can usually follow the bees throughout the bush. Toward the end I was watching them and found an entire section unpicked! I was able to add even more than I expected to the infusions and have some bragging rights on the commune.
With following the bees in mind I should really emphasize the need to be patient. If you pick too close to the bees they will let you know that it’s time to back off. Give them their space and they will give you yours.
Read the rest at The Essential Herbal Blog.