• Jewelweed

The elderberries are ripe! I spent much of the day harvesting and medicine making. Elderberry syrup is my go to for colds, coughs, and the flu. When my son was little and suffered from frequent illness and asthma, elderberry was one of the plants we worked with to build his immune system and heal his respiratory system. Read the full story here.

We head for the Elderberry Syrup at the first sign of a scratchy throat. It works wonders!

Here is my recipe (even though I am not much of a recipe gal). I change my recipe almost every time I make it! 6 cups fresh elderberries (stems & green berries mostly removed)* or 3 cups dried elderberries** 6 cups water (chlorine free) 2 heaping tablespoons cinnamon chips or 2 cinnamon sticks 6 whole cloves 3 heaping tablespoon star anise 4 whole cardamom pods 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 6 tablespoon rose hips 1 tablespoon fresh grated or dried ginger 1 cup fresh local honey 

*100% positive plant ID is required for wildcrafting! You want the black (Sambucus canadensis) or blue (Sambucus cerulea).

**If you do not have time to process the elderberries the day you pick them you can pop them in the freezer and work with them when you're ready. You can also substitute 3 cups dried elderberries for the fresh. 

  1. Add elderberries & water to large stock pot.

  2. Squish the berries with the flat bottom of a cup.

  3. Add all other herbs, mix and bring to soft boil.

  4. Turn down to simmer and reduce by half (it took my mixture about 1.5 hours).

  5. Turn off heat and let cool until it reaches a temperature you can handle.

  6. Use a funnel and cheese cloth to filter the mixture into a juice jar. Be sure to squeeze out the elderberries (and compost the pulp)! 

  7. Return to the pan and add honey. Stir until dissolved. No need to turn the heat on in this step. Add 1 cup honey. Honey is a preservative, makes it sweet, and contains an abundance of healing properties, too. Then, freeze the syrup in little ice cubes for future use. 

To serve eat frozen, add to hot water, or just let one ice cube melt and enjoy! 

The syrup lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge. If you would like it to last longer add 1/2 cup brandy as a preservative. It will last 1 month in the fridge. Dose about 1 tablespoon per day as a tonic increased to 3 times per day when needed. This syrup is delicious but a word of caution...do not drink to much as part of elderberries properties is in high doses it can be a purgative. So can cause diarrhea and/or vomiting. Both of which I learned the hard way. 

*This is not medical advice. I am not a doctor but instead a mother who raised her children using herbal remedies. 

Rituals are one of the most effective and powerful tools available to all of us!

Morning Rituals are the first things we do each day, which can take hours or a mere few minutes. They are designed to give us the boost we need mentally and physically and help us feel connected emotionally and spiritually.

You might be thinking that there isn’t time for a Morning Ritual, but the truth is you might already have a ritual going.

Even the most basic morning self-care routine can be done in only a few extra minutes of conscious thought.

Your morning ritual gives you a chance to center yourself and embrace the day instead of starting with activities that increase stress. Following through with your morning ritual, even just devoting 10 minutes can start your day off on the right foot.

The idea is to avoid reaching for your phone, looking at email, or getting on social media. Yes, I know it’s difficult, but try it even for one day and see how you feel.

What do you want your morning ritual to look like?

The beauty of a morning ritual is that it’s completely up to you and what feels good. There are a lot of options to create a morning ritual that will work perfectly for your lifestyle.

First, think of your morning as the first few hours of your day. Your morning ritual can last 10 minutes or 3 hours. It also doesn’t mean you have to wake up early. Although the sunrise is beautiful.

Choose one or two items from each category to try on for a morning ritual. If the activity doesn’t resonate, try something else until you have a Morning Ritual that is a perfect fit.

Take Care of Your Body

  • Do Yoga or Stretch - wake up your bones and muscles

  • Do a self-massage - massaging your hands and feet with a bit of oil is divine.

  • Exercise - Morning workout, anyone?

  • Plan your lunch - Save yourself from last-minute unhealthy food choices

  • Drink a glass of warm water (or with lemon) - get hydrated, flush toxins, increase metabolism, and fill up on water.

  • Drink coffee or tea - This is a familiar morning ritual, especially if approached consciously.

  • Eat a healthy breakfast - whole foods will keep you full until lunch.

  • Scrape your tongue - get rid of bad breath and remove bacteria.

  • Try oil pulling - swish 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, ideally before brushing.

Take Care of Your Mind

  • Cross off yesterday’s to-do list - Those couple of things will free up space in your mind.

  • Journal or Morning pages - Journaling creates clarity and comfort, and helps you organize your mind.

  • Meditate - focus on being present, letting thoughts come and go with ease

  • Visualization - mold your future, repair your past, or simply be more present.

  • Read a book - learning something new increases your brain capacity

  • Listen to a podcast - spark new thoughts

  • Listen to an audiobook - combine a couple of morning ritual events, like an audio book and a walk.

  • Learn one new word - Here’s one MELLIFLUOUS - A sound that is sweet and smooth.

  • Work on a crossword puzzle - give your brain a workout

  • Write down 10 new ideas - Feeling stuck? This is a good one.

  • Write Out Your Top 3 for the Day - Having only 3 tasks to accomplish reduces stress

Take Care of your Emotions

  • Practice Gratitude

  • Drink Cacao - opens your heart

  • Do a breathing exercise.

  • Write your own poem or read a poem that resonates with you - Try Rumi!

  • Ask yourself an important question.

What do I want to be focusing on?

What can I do better than yesterday?

What can I let go of?

  • Listen to Uplifting Music

  • Smile at yourself in the mirror - it’s silly but uplifting

  • Have a good cry - don’t hold back. A good cry releases emotions stuck in your body.

  • Laugh out loud - laughter really is the best medicine.

  • Pound your pillow to release stress and pent-up emotions

  • Go for a walk - good for body, mind, heart, and (in nature), spirit

Take Care of your Spirit

  • Say a Metta Prayer - Blessings on yourself and others brings you into the present moment with gratitude.

  • Connect with your Intuition - What does your intuition feel like?

  • Draw a tarot or oracle card - What do the cards say about today?

  • Create and visit your altar - spending time listening is so beautiful

  • Say affirmations - You do enough! You are enough!

  • Read your favorite Spiritual book - create that mind, spirit connection

  • Find a “Sit Spot” - sitting on purpose (in your backyard) and observe nature around you connects you with all life.

Which new pieces of a Morning Ritual are you excited about trying? Tell us in the comments below. Find massage oils, books, and more for your Morning Ritual at Jewelweed

For years I worked as an interior designer. I noticed after moving furniture around or arranging bookshelves, my arms would often ache, and I would feel unusually tired. On the suggestion of one of my herbal teachers, I began using a homemade essential oil “clearing” spray on my arms and hands once I got into my car. Weirdly (so I thought at the time) this relieved all of my symptoms. I begin bringing the spray into people’s homes and using it before I moved things around and often left a bottle for my clients. This sparked the development of my first product…now called “Lighten Up” essential oil spray (a best seller at the shop)!

One thing leads to another, and I began exploring other herbal clearing techniques in my own home. As an interior designer, I spent so much time focusing on the physical aspects of a space. I never really knew how to formally address the spiritual side of a space, especially when something felt off or heavy. In working with the plants, I learned how to shift the energy in a space, and depending upon which plant I was working with, bring in a specific feeling or vibration that I wanted. It was truly transformational.

Digging deeper, I understood historically fragrant plants have been used since the beginning of civilization to clear space, heal the sick, and promote spiritual connection. Now science verifies that burning plant material does purify the air of bacteria, germs, viruses, unpleasant scents, and more. It’s a winning combination.

Here are my tips + tricks for energetically clearing your space, plus my favorite clearing botanicals.

Simple Space Clearing Steps

  1. Begin with a simple grounding exercise. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and anchor yourself by feeling roots fall from your tailbone into the earth. Picture your roots intertwining with the roots of the trees. Watch your roots go deeper into the earth through layer after layer until they reach the center. Once connected, take several deep breaths pulling Earth energy up into your body.

  2. Notice how this makes you feel. Next, pull that earth energy up into your heart center. Notice how it softens and expands your heart space. Offer gratitude for the tools you will be using to clear your space. Also, ask for help, support, or guidance from your guides or allies.

  3. Set your intention. Why do you want to clear your space? It may be as simple as "to clear all stagnant or negative energies from my body or space."

  4. Clear your space:

Light the end of your burnable bundle over a small bowl or plate (earthenware is recommended here). Blow out the flame and use the smoke as your clearing tool. It is common to have to relight the wand several times if passing around a circle or clearing an entire home


Place a charcoal round on a heatproof plate, bowl, or even a small coffee cup will work. The bottom will likely get hot, and the charcoal can stain…keep this in mind when choosing a dish. Light the charcoal with a lighter (it will spark, and heating up it will turn white). Place burning mixture or resins of the charcoal round, adding more as needed.

Clearing Yourself

For personal cleansing, lightly breathe in the smoke. Start clearing above your head and go down and around your body to the ground your energy. Consider putting your dish on a solid surface and "pulling off" any heavy energy and transmuting it into the smoke. Do this until you feel clear. Use this same technique to clear another person.

Clearing Your Space

To clear your living space, consider opening at least one window or throw wide open many windows, if the weather allows.

Walk around each room with the smoke reciting a wish, prayer, or blessing (it can be as simple as cleanse & bless). Pay special attention to doors, windows, dark corners, and stagnant closets. Follow your intuition, and notice what you're feeling. There is no “right” way to do this. Just guidelines, so make it fun and try to perceive the energy shift.

Once space is cleared, call in the energy you want in your space. It can be the same for the entire space, or you can call in something different to each area, possibilities include: nourishment, joy, or connectedness in your eating space. In your sleeping space, call in rest, rejuvenation, and peace. Your bathroom might be about purification or letting go. Call in what you want in each space.

Once your home is complete, if you have not already (or you may feel like doing it again), clear your physical body. You may want to drink water and eat something grounding if you feel a bit jittery once you are complete.

I recommend clearing your space at least once-per-month. I prefer to do it when I have the house to myself. A clue to whether it's time to clear your space: things may feel heavy, or people are bickering or cranky. Get out your clearing tools (smudge, bowl, candle, or spray). See if you can shift the energy of your home! The results can be amazing.

Botanical options for clearing

As you begin working with the plants, you'll develop a feel for what each one does and how it leaves a space. Follow your intuition and experiment to see what suits you best.

White Sage (Salvia apiana) has been used by Native Americans for centuries in ceremony to clear and open up scared space. It is the most common smudging herb today. It is said to lift, clear, and dissolves both negative and stagnant energies. Used to bless, cleanse, and heal. It is often used as a smoke “wash” to banish unwanted energy. White sage is being over-harvested in the wild, so it should be used sparingly and with intention. Source from Native American vendors, if possible.

Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) grows on prairies here in MN, also throughout the US and Europe. It is considered sacred in every place it grows. The Latin name means “Fragrant holy grass." The three strands of the braid represent mind, body & spirit. Bless the heart, mind, body, and then heart again while asking for clearing & healing. Sweetgrass comforts, soothes, heals, and purifies while creating a space filled with the sweet vibe this plant carries.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) is a perennial grass in tropical climates with a long history of use for its healing qualities. For smudging, the root is used for its grounding, sensual, and deeply calming attributes. Vetiver is said to smell like Tranquility! Think deep warm Earth with rootsy highlights. Use the smoke to purify and set sacred space. Great for personal work, writing, women’s circles, yoga + meditation practices, and healing work of all kinds. Burn before bed to clear the mind and soothe the body. Vetiver root is sustainable!

Cedar (Cedrus) is another sacred plant to the Native Americans. It is used in sweat lodges and ceremony to lift energy, clear negativity, and impart clarity. Trees are said to be the connection between Heaven and Earth and is honored as such. Cedar is also said to protect people from unwanted influences, call in good spirits & release unwanted energies. The wood of cedar was considered sacred by early Europeans who used it to make doors for churches & temples. Consider using the trimmings from your cedar trees to make burning wands.

Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens or Gonopterodendron sarmientoi) means “holy wood” in Spanish. It was sacred to the Incas and is still considered to be sacred by many in Central and South America. When burned, this wood is said to clear misfortune, negative thoughts, and evil spirits. You may find sacred handicrafts or relics made of this aromatic wood meant for home altars and sacred displays. Due to the popularity of this plant, it is being over-harvested and both species are considered to be endangered. Be sure to use this sparingly and consciously.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) has a subtle sweet scent often called “dream weed.” Use it to clear bad energy and protect from “hexes." It can be used as a smudge or a sprig placed under your pillow to chase away nightmares and encourage dreaming. Makes a lovely garden plant and a great addition to homegrown smudge wands.

Resins (or gum collected from tree or shrub/burn on a charcoal round)

Copal was historically used by the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs to opens the doorway to the otherworld while lifting, clearing, and dispelling negative energy. This is my favorite herb to use for a whole house clearing. I like to use a mix of the different grades of copal with dried rosemary. It leaves a clean, crisp feeling.

Frankincense was used throughout history not only in the Christian religion but in many other religions around the world. It was once valued equal to gold. It is a sacred resin that is said to clear, clarify, and calm, which aids in meditation and prayer. It is also said to bestow tranquility, insight, and awareness when it's scent surrounds you.

Myrrh I often think of as the sidekick to frankincense. Still, it is very powerful in its own right and was used for centuries for its soothing, clarifying, and grounding properties. The two burned together to make a timeless, sacred clearing formula.

Make your own clearing bundles and sprays

Garden plants for homegrown burnable plant bundles include rosemary, lavender, basil, yarrow, juniper, pine, mugwort, cedar, sweetgrass, and rose. Dry plants thoroughly and then wrap them securely with a natural string.

Making your own sacred clearing spray with essential oils is a smokeless way to clear space, plus it is simple and fun! Add 40 drops of essential oils to 4 oz. of distilled water in a glass spray bottle. See the list below and develop your own favorite formula. For an extra boost, add 4 drops stock flower essence or a little crystal.

Essential Oils

Peppermint (Stimulating, Cleansing, Refreshing)

Cedarwood (Relaxing, Grounding, Reducing stress)

Rosemary (Stimulating, Cleansing, Invigorating)

Eucalyptus (Invigorating, Cleansing, Tonifying)

White Sage (Cleansing, Purifying)

Juniper (Purifying, Stimulating)

Palo Santo (Purifying, Grounding)

Lemon (Uplifting, Refreshing, Alertness)

Frankincense (Calming, Releasing fear)

Angelica (Lifting, Clearing, Lightening)

Myrrh (Strengthening, Inspiring)

Clary Sage (Purifying, Cleansing, Uplifting)

Flower Essences

Hellebore (Pushing toxic people & influences out)

Bach Rescue Remedy (Basic all-around calming & centering)

Toad Lily (Cleansing of bad habits & people, moving on)

Mountain Pennyroyal (Clearing negative emotions)

Sagebrush (Emptying, Letting go, Moving on)

Crab Apple (Emotional & Physical release)

Chaparral (Emotional cleansing on deep levels)

Wood Betony (Grounding & Protection)

Burning botanicals is an ancient tradition that helps our modern lives clear, shift, and create sacred space. Get to know your options and let your intuition guide you.

For further study, check out our books and a large selection of burnables and essential oils in the shop.