Working with Plants

1. Start your own Herbal. There are some great books out there, but recording your own experiences/uses/collected lore for herbs is invaluable. Draw, press or take photos of the plants you include. 

2. Learn about plants by seeing them with your own eyes. Visit botanical gardens, nurseries, garden centres and parks to see the plants in situ and (hopefully) correctly labelled. The human brain has an amazing memory for plants, it is a survival skill to be able to identify them. When you walk through a park or garden, notice the plants and identify those you know to re-establish this memory.

3. Grow things. Be as ambitious as your space, money and time allow. Collect plants that are hard to find, appeal to you and suit your climate. Go beyond culinary herbs. Be aware of where you plant things in the garden, both directionally and symbolically. Plants you have grown are constantly receiving offerings of your time, energy and resources and are therefore more likely to be willing to assist you.

4. Plants will die. Even the most experienced gardener will lose plants. Accept it. Don’t just buy a few seedlings and then decide you lack a green thumb because they all died. Some herbs are annuals, that means they only live for a season, some plants are deciduous, some will simply not be suited to your climate or area and fail to thrive. Be patient and persistent and become a student of gardening as well has herbcraft.

5. Work in depth with a particular herb or tree to discover its secrets. Read everything you can about it, research folklore and planetary correspondences, consume it raw, dried, as a tea and a tincture. Prepare a spagyric essence from it. Burn it as incense. Infuse oil with it. Grow it, talk to it, dream about it. Watch how it changes through the seasons, collect its seeds, smell its flowers. Do this until you know it inside out, and then begin again with another. 

6. Substituting herbs is tricky business. No, you can not replace all flowers with lavender or all herbs with rosemary. That is lazy nonsense. Put some actual effort into getting the herbs you need for a spell, and if you genuinely can’t acquire them find something botanically related, energetically similar or at very least ruled by the same planet.

7. Treat herbs and trees as spirits, with respect and humility. Ask before your take, leave offerings, communicate, bond with them and you will be rewarded with gifts and wisdom and powerful ingredients for your spells.

8. Poisonous herbs and strong entheogens are for advanced practitioners. Don’t just start growing or using them because you want to be taken seriously. Some of these plants are tricksters, they can be very seductive. They are quite capable of controlling you. Be wary.

9. When harvesting for magical use, think not only what the plant is but where it is growing. A tree on a university campus will have different properties to the same kind found in a graveyard. A herb growing at the crossroads is different to one found by a stream. 

10. Expand your learning and awareness beyond trees and herbs. Learn the lore of mosses, lichens, fungi and seaweeds. Parasitic and carnivorous plants. Get to know the plants that grow locally, even if they are far removed from those found in your books.

11. Check your sources when it comes to lore. If a book tells you lavender is good for love spells, question it. Try to discover where the information came from, look up the older herbals, read books of plant folklore, investigate planetary and elemental correspondences based on the nature and virtues of the plant, not just what Cunningham says. 

12. Develop relationships not only with individual trees and herbs, but with particular species. Plants can be spirit guides in the way that animals can. There is an oak tree, and then there is Oak. They can teach, guide and protect. Having a handful of plant allies you know intimately and fashioning your tools from their wood, planting them around your house and visiting them in the wild will make your connection to those spirits all the stronger.

alternatives to institutionalization

alright here on some expending thoughts on community clinics as alternatives to psych wards:

1. run by folks who are neurodivergent
2. totally open and voluntarily, people can come and go as they please
3. people can have access to their shit, including bringing their own blankets, etc
4. access to computers, cellphones, and the Internet. not isolating people.
5. meds for folks who want them that you can go on/off however you please, people there to help you do it safely
6. alternatives to meds like acupuncture and naturopathic things
7. also non-psych meds, including weed. people having their physical needs taken seriously
8. activities to partake in if you want
9. if people get upset, having someone talk to them/walk with them/be left alone instead of medicated or ignored
10. understanding of different cultural norms/resistance to white supremacy
11. helping people get set up with long-term care, checking back in with people after they leave to see if that care is working
12. no plastic beds for the love of g-d
13. allowing people to (if they want) build relationships with each other and support each other, while also respecting boundaries
14. quiet spaces that aren’t seclusion rooms
15. working with people to make sure their individual needs are getting me

SKINCARE - tips and advice for clear healthy skin

With all the questions I’ve been getting about skincare, I thought I would make a post addressing that.

Below is a photo that I took this morning after my daily walk. This is a first photo I am posting on the Internet with absolutely ZERO make up on and ZERO editing/filter.

THIS is the happiest I felt with my skin, well, ever. And so I thought it was fair to share what I personally do, my tips and advice that come from my own experience which might help you too.

DIET. Before I went vegan, I experienced weird rashes around my mouth and dryness. When I was advised by my naturopath to cut out gluten and dairy COMPLETELY and reduce meat intake, my skin went back to normal within 4-5 months. It was like a miracle! And of course when I went vegan it got even better. My skin feels and looks very hydrated and healthy. I try to eat as little processed foods as possible and drink anywhere from 7-10 glasses a day.

PRODUCTS. Use as less as possible or even better ELIMINATE COMPLETELY skin/hair/make up products that contain harsh chemicals and parabens. Switch to plantbased, natural options, HERE is a huge list of cruelty free and natural products.

I use Inika make up and Sukin Purifying shampoo. If my hair feels dry, I use coconut oil. If my skin feels dry, I use a bit of Jurlique Antioxidant herbal face oil. To refresh my skin I use Flora Remedia Lavender spray. That is ALL I put on my face.

Another tip - if you notice you have a rash on your forehead, or small little colourless bumps/pimples and if you use dry shampoo, STOP using it.

EXFOLIATE. Exfoliation gets rid of dead, dull skin cells, brightens the complexion, reveals healthy skin, improves skin tone, kills bacteria and prevents breakouts.
For the past month I’ve been using Spin for Perfect Skin brush and what it does is removes bacteria and gently but thoroughly cleanses, exfoliates and lifts dirt and oil trapped in pores. I have absolutely noticed a difference in general appearance of my skin, it looks clean and glowy and I haven’t experienced any breakouts since exfoliating my face 2-3 times a week.

The brush is $100 originally but can be bought for $30, if you use a discount code “annie4vp”. Definitely recommend. Link -

EXERCISE. Even better - exercise out in the fresh air, not at home or at a gym. Get that oxygenated blood flowing through your body and to your face! Blood circulation is a big one when it comes to skin appearance and health. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including skin.  And interestingly enough, the effect is instant - even as little as 20 min power walking outside and I come home looking very refreshed and radiant.

These are the four main things that I encourage you to focus on if you want healthy, clear skin. Diet, natural/no products, exfoliation and exercise. Below I also included a few extra tips that are also quite important:

- Rest. Get an extra hour or two of sleep or meditate.  
- Do not use hormonal creams or pills. Do not become dependent on them. They will make the matter worse in the long term and have a lot of side effects.
- Maintain good hygiene - wash your hands before eating, change your pillow case at least once a week, sanitize items that you use every day: phone, laptop, keyboard.
- Keep hands away from your face and NEVER pick on your pimples/acne/scars - it spreads infection.
- Clean your make up brushes and chuck away products that have expired.
- Stop stressing out. Meditate, do yoga, listen to relaxing music, develop a strategy that works for YOU to help reduce stress.
- ALWAYS take off ALL your make up before bed and before exercising.


In 1981, 4-year-old Rachel Giordano entered the studio to pose for a LEGO print ad. She was given a set of original LEGOs and her creation was used in the ad. The little red-haired girl, now a practicing naturopathic doctor, is all grown up and has a few things to say about the gender segmentation of toys. “Toys are supposed to foster creativity. But nowadays, it seems that a lot more toys already have messages built into them before a child even opens the pink or blue package. In 1981, LEGOs were simple and gender-neutral, and the creativity of the child produced the message. In 2014, it’s the reverse: the toy delivers a message to the child, and this message is weirdly about gender,” Rachel explains.

Read more via Women you Should Know.

Feeling bad? There’s a plant for that. 🌿🌵🌳🌲🎍🌾

For thousands of years, Native Americans have used plants for healing the body and spirit. Legends indicate that they learned about the healing powers of herbs and other plants by watching sick animals - they tend to know what to do better than we do sometimes.

Sickness is generally rare amongst indigenous people living in nature, unless they are exposed to Westernization. Many prescription drugs do nothing but offer to temporarily abate symptoms - not offer cures. What you put in is what you get out. You can’t expect to eat heavily processed foods constantly and take daily prescriptions and expect to stay in top shape.

Listen to your body’s warnings. A headache isn’t a nuisance - it’s telling you about a bigger problem. Simple Vitamin deficiencies have caused legions of terrible illnesses and deaths for centuries. Why not consider the natural way? You matter. Caring for yourself and others doesn’t cost a thing. Try indigenous foods and learn medicinal herbs.

Check out the great articles below for a complete list of ailments linked with Native American medicinal herbal remedies, and a Depression-Era map of the U.S. with each area’s highly valued medicinal plants.

#NativeAmerican #Survival #Bushcraft #Prepping #WildernessSurvival #Primitive #FirstAid #Medicine #Health #MedicinalPlants #SHTF #MedicinalHerbs #ZOMPOC #ZombieApocalypse #AlternativeMedicine #Naturopath #Indiginous

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The Dangers of Essential Oils

Darling Witches and people who work with natural remedies, especially essential oils: Be careful. Yes, they smell gorgeous. Yes, they can be extremely beneficial. Yes, they’re great for spells and help with a ton of things. But they do have their fair share of risk. I’m going to run you through the ones I’m aware of, feel free to add your own.

  • Lime, Orange, Bergamote, Mandarine,Lemon, Cumin and others decolour your skin when exposed to the sun. If you put these oils directly to your skin and expose yourself to the sun, these can decolour your skin and even burn you.
  • Peppermint is great for nausea, digestion and headaches, amongst other things, but if taken too often in large doses, it can destroy your liver and is highly addictive. 
  • Clary Sage can induce seizures and premature labour. (Though it’s an amazing oil.)
  • If you’re massaging children with essential oils, make sure to dilute them in a LOT of carrier oil. I’m talking 5 drops for 500ml, because essential oil is highly concentrated and can burn the baby’s skin.
  • A lot of oils are considered unsafe during pregnancy, so research and avoid them.
  • A lot of oils are toxic to ingest and can actually kill you, so beware. 
  • Not all oils can be kept too long, and they should always be stored in a dark place. 
  • Oils affect your hormones, bacteria, and other parts of your health, so always take care not to take too much, and make sure it doesn’t interfere negatively with your current condition, may it be pregnant, on meds, taking alcohol, ETC.
  • Wormwood is an ingredient of absinth, and taking too much of it can cause hallucination and addiction. 

There’s just a bunch of risks that come with essential oils. I’ve personally learnt to avoid them and have never had a bad problem (other than my mother not diluting the EO enough when she massaged me as a kid.) but I know people who have, like my dad who got addicted to peppermint, or a woman who went psychotic after a long bath with clary sage and doesn’t remember a thing. 

They’re an amazing and powerful help, but remember how concentrated they are. I think it takes 2 thousand KG of fresh rose petals to make 500ml of rose essential oil. That’s insane. So they’re power packed and intense, treat them with care, use a carrier oil as often as possible and always read up!

From Gastroposter Rachel Schwartzman, via Instagram:

Now this is summer. I can never choose just one veggie and who knew there was purple asparagus? Dig in kids cause this mama’s kicking up her feet.

He said, "You can be the first one to care"

A picture of a toddler with a fork stuck through his nose, piercing the cartilage with the tines, is on the projector screen. The child is in obvious distress and leans against his mother, also in distress. The caption on the slide reads “Sick or not sick?" 

The class answers back that of course the kiddo is fine. There’s nothing life threatening in that picture- uncomfortable, but not going to cause lasting damage. The first responder and firefighter who is talking to us agrees, and then asks us "How big of a deal do you think this is to that family?”  He reminds us that this is a story that will likely stay with the child  for their life. They might even caution their grandchildren about running with forks. It’ll certainly be retold around a few tables, and that the way the care was received during this miniature crisis will feature in those stories too. 

He reminds us again and again that no matter how many times we’ve seen our frequent flier, they are coming to us for help- and that there’s more than one way to help heal someone. He has stories of waiting for ambulances with war heroes, of little old ladies so lonely that they call 911 for company to have cookies with. He tells us our 3:30pm patient who might be the 15th patient for us is still waiting for the first chance to see a doctor- and even if we’ve seen the same thing all day, each moment means something so different to each patient. 

There are so many ways to heal, he says. But they all start with paying attention to the patient, and by treating them as individuals.



if you are trying to get on hormones, ive spent the past 2 months searching and  searching and finally was able to get my first shot yesterday.

Planned Parenthood in Bellingham will work, however they are always booked at least 4 months out because they only take 1 person trying to get on hormones per week. Also they only provide huge needles that you have to inject in to your muscle. (aka ass or thigh)

besides PP, i did a lot of digging. here are some people i found along the way.

there’s Dr. Sarah Garrett - she is a naturopath, so check if your insurance will cover her. I have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and they would not cover her. She is gender affirming, kind, and also will ask that you do multiple sessions before starting hormones.

there’s Jennifer Creson - Jennifer is a queer counselor, as in, she’s actually a queer person not just a counselor who ‘specializes’ in queer issues. She is incredibly kind, works with the Informed Consent Model, meaning if you need a diagnoses of Gender Disphoria (GD) to get your insurance to cover medical treatment, she will give you that diagnoses on your first visit no questions asked. She is willing to skype using TheraLink, so even if you live outside of Seattle you can work with her. While Jennifer doesn’t take insurance, you can request receipts from her and file them with your insurance. Also, if all you need is the diagnoses and don’t necessarily want a councilor, one visit/skype will cost 100$, she uses SquareCash for payment. 

there’s Dr. Kevin Hatfeild - Kevin is a  medical doctor practicing at the Polyclinic in Seattle. The website will say the clinic is full, BUT they will always take trans and gender nonconforming patients, just call and tell them you’re trans. He and all the staff there are gender affirming, will use your preferred name and pronouns, and are very very transparent with you as far as how to best navigate insurance companies and medical treatment. He looks like you wouldnt like him, but he is actually really good at his job, he made me feel very comfortable. He told me he is there to be a safety net and serve as an access point to medicine. He gets non-binary identities. He will help you get to where you want to get and not take the position of a weird medical savior or question your gender. There is no physical exam required to get on hormones, just bloodwork and talking. You will also get your first shot on your first visit if you want. He works under Informed Consent. 

Additionally, for injections of T, he prescribes a tiny tiny needle that you inject into your belly roll rather than a huge needle to the ass. It’s unbelievably easy, i injected my own first shot. He will explain how to do it very well. He takes most insurance.

also My Trans Health  recently launched and probably has quite a few more resources as well!

Feel free to add to this list, i hope you all get the care you deserve. 


A Plant with Heart

Crataegus spp. (Rosaceae) – Hawthorn

Common North American species: C. mollis, C. douglasii, C. monogyna (I)

Parts Used: fruit, flower, leaf

Actions: antiarrhythmic, astringent, antioxidant, cardiotonic, cardioprotective, cardiac trophorestorative, diuretic, hypotensive

Relevant Research:
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease

Adverse-event profile of Crataegus spp.: a systematic review

Hawthorn: pharmacology and therapeutic uses

Hawthorn is typically used for chronic cardiovascular conditions, such as congestive heart failure (NYHA class I-II), hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and angina. It can alter the need for certain heart medications and any cardiac patient taking hawthorn should be monitored by a physician.

Traditional Western herbalists may also use hawthorn for heartache, both emotional and spiritual, and to facilitate healing by opening the heart and inviting forgiveness.

The fruit (called a “haw”) is plentiful in late summer and easy to harvest, and only a bit sour and mealy-tasting when fresh. As the name suggests…mind the thorns.

Image credits: Manuel and FP on Flickr


I know I’ve been going on and on about this diet change and the elimination diet and I’m hoping most of you are getting benefit from it, or at least enjoy reading it. I apologize (sort of) to those of you who are bored with it, but I think it’s important so I’m going to keep talking about it.

Here’s a quick recap in case you don’t know.

- I was feeling sick. Like… All.the.time
- doctors did the Bla-bla-bla we can’t find anything wrong. Maybe it’s cuz you’re fat.
- I didn’t feel very accomplished with my workouts.
- hit breaking point
- saw naturopath for food sensitivity blood test
- came back with A LOT of results. Dairy - eggs- gliadin (gluten) - nuts - kidney beans - corn - yeast - rice - oranges etc.
- determine eliminating ALL of these things will help repair GI tract.
- go on elimination diet for 3 weeks.
-feel better.

Now you’re all caught up. So guess what! Today I did my monthly measurements and progress pics. I FEEL AMAZING! This is 1 month!

You should note that I don’t expect these results all the time and that most of the loss is bloating but dang I’m excited! I can’t believe the difference food makes (everybody says that but it’s honestly true!)

Again, thanks to everyone who supports me

April measurements - just from diet change

Arms: 12.5 - 12"
Bust: 41" - 39" (seriously?! Stupid body)
Waist: 37" - 35.5"
Belly (the biggest part): 41.5" - 40.5"
Hips: 42" - 40.5"
Butt: 45" - 43"
Thigh: 24" - 23.5"

Weight: 208 - 201.5

I would love to hear from you, if anything I’ve said has helped you, if you have any questions, if you want to share your story or journey. I just want to hear from you! Where are you at?!

The Ideal Smoothie for Your Period

From our friend Melanie de Jong, nutritionist and naturopath at FoodElements Berlin.

This replenishing smoothie will bring you back to life when menstrual cramps and fatigue hit. It’s packed with magnesium, iron and tryptophan - exactly what your body needs during your period.

  • Magnesium soothes cramps (1).
  • Iron is essential for the formation of new red blood cells after blood loss (2).
  • Tryptophan eases mood swings (3,4).

Perfect for breakfast or a snack, this smoothie is delectable without spiking your blood sugar levels - making it a healthier alternative for those chocolate and sugar cravings.

Oatmeal, oat milk & flaxseed

Oats are high in fiber, protein, iron and complex carbohydrates. Flax seeds are also dense in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein, providing additional aid in digestion.


Energy and protein-rich cashews are packed with unsaturated fatty acids. Because they are high in magnesium and potassium, they provide good support for your muscles and nerves. Cashews are also particularly high in tryptophan, which can make you happy (3,4).  

Magnesium helps with menstrual cramps, and maybe even hangovers (1,5).

*TIP: Soft, soaked nuts are easier to digest.*


Magnesium and potassium help our cells and muscles keep us fit. Potassium is also a diuretic (it makes you pee), and helps maintain the water balance in the body as well as regulating blood sugar levels.


Dates are a wonderful sweetener because they’re full of fiber and tryptophan unlike other sugars. Tryptophan aids in the production of serotonin and can help ease mood swings.

Cocoa Powder (or Raw Cacao!)

Science has proven that chocolate can actually brighten your mood (6). It’s full of magnesium, iron (even more than beef!) and flavonoids, phytochemicals known to help with inflammation.

Oh, and one more thing: Raw cacao is preferred to roasted cocoa because valuable nutrients can be destroyed by the heating process.


  • 20g cashews (soak for at least 2 hours, but best soaked overnight)
  • 2 dates
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened, raw cacao is preferred)
  • 1 banana
  • 30g rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed
  • 100ml oat milk (or whatever you prefer) 


  1. Mash soaked cashews, chopped dates, flax seeds, banana, cocoa powder and 2/3 of oatmeal together with the milk in a strong blender to a creamy smoothie.
  2. Pour into a large glass.
  3. Roast the remaining oatmeal in a small pan and sprinkle for garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

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♡Tuesday Daydreams♡

#yoga #EatWellLiveWell #local #tattoo #wholefoods #health #healthy #wellbeing #wellness #naturopath #natural #nutrition #paleo #biodynamic #yoga #pilates #cleaneating #cleaneats #cleanliving #fitness #workout #gym #vegan #vegetarian #diet #holistic #inspire

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