March has been Women's history month - this year's theme was 'Visionary women: champions of peace & non-violence' - women are typically seen as peace keepers, as nurturing & caring, they show compassion & empathy, and are thought of as gentle & tolerant. Whilst this can be true, let's not underestimate women as just being 'the fairer sex'; Women too can possess strength and resilliance, have shown courage in adversity, and continue to assert independence (traits considered 'masculine').
This year's theme was sadly epitomised by New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern who responded to the unprecedented terrorist attack in Christchurch in an equally unprecedented way - showing compassion and empathy, but also strength and clear leadership in her decision making, changing gun laws, and banning semi-automatic weapons within a month. She has shone a light on how women can effect change, and will surely be rememebred in future history months to come.
International women's day (March 8th) fell into this month too, and I embraced it by going to a women's conference in the nearby town of Frome. It was truly inspiring hearing womens' stories, and in all cases, the obstacles they had to overcome. We see and hear all too much in the media about how there is still gender inequality, and women are still protesting for issues that really shouldn't be issues any more; and yet, women are still achieving and succeeding, and making their mark on the world.
I recently watched the Oscar winning documentary 'Period. End of sentence' about how taboo menstuation is in Indian culture, so taboo in fact it is rarely talked about, even amongst women, with men believing it is a disease!
It follows a group of women who make sanitary pads - which are generally unaffordable and unaccessible, and who try to break the stigma of periods for younger generations. They are causing a ripple, and a shift, and are visabily empowered in doing so.
It is encouraging to see, but also important to watch and to remember the disparity for women in other countries and cultures in comparison to our own.
Whilst it is a step forward that a day and even a month is marked to recognise and embrace all things womanly and feminine - this should just be a normal every day occurence. Women should just be seen as equal, so whilst building and lifting each other up, it is also a time to reflect on what women have done before us to get us to where we are today.
Triple goddess vinegar - honouring the maiden, the mother, & the crone...
Herbal vinegar is a great option for those wanting to avoid alcohol (used in making tinctures), and offers a gentler extraction method for a herb's medicinal consitituents. The bitter taste of vinegar awakens the liver, which helps to improve digestion, so as a carrier, it has it's own medicinal qualities.
The added bonus of using vinegar for this recipe, is that by awakening & cleansing the liver, it will help it to function more effectively - one of its many roles is to clear hormones from the body once they are 'spent'.
For women, this is vital for a healthier cycle, and during menopause.
The maiden, mother, & crone represent the phases in a woman's life, and align with the waxing, full, and waning aspects of the moon. So closely are women's energies aligned with the moon it seems no coincidence that both have cycles, and many women feel energised when the moon is full. The full moon in March was in fact a supermoon, making it an extra charged feminine month - quite fitting!
Chickweed - Stellaria media (maidenwort): Ariel parts, under dominion of the moon & associated with feminine energy, it is thought to attract love and fertility.
Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca: Flowering tops, acts as a uterine tonic, and helps to regulate menstuation, reduce pain and cramping, and to help with post natal depression. It is considered a women's healing tonic and supports emotions.
Mugwort - Artemisa vulgaris (cronewort): Flowering tops and roots, is of benefit to women's health, provides relief from menopausal symptoms, and restores circulation to the uterus *Caution advised - not to be used in pregnancy, it is too stimulating to the uterus & could cause miscarriage*
If using fresh:
Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh so much less is needed - 1 x tablespoon of each should be enough, and some people prefer to use hot vinegar initially, and to let them steep as tea. The rest of the method remains the same.
*If you make it this week - it should be ready in time for the next full moon - April 19th*
Emma is passionate about promoting good health, and likes to keep things simple. She enjoys yoga, meditation & being outdoors, yet likes to indulge in coffee, wine & cake - Everything in moderation!