Alchemical Herb Profile: Red Root (Ceanothus cuneatus)

Red Root, or commonly called “Buckbrush” around here – is a wild shrubby plant that flourishes all around the hills where we live. Though this variety of Ceanothus is poky, dense, and hardy – not the most welcoming looking plant around – it exudes the most sweet, heavenly fragrance throughout the forest while its fluffy creamy clouds of flowers are blooming in the spring.

We were processing the roots the other day, making a fresh batch of Spagyric Tincture and wanted to take a moment to share some wisdom about this plant. As I share in this video, it’s primarily a remedy for the lymphatic system and spleen. Michael Moore found that it also has an action upon improving the electrical charges of the blood, while also increasing the flow of interstitial fluid and lymph. It can be used for liver headaches and inflammation, for tonsillitis and swelling of the lymph nodes, as well as to tonify the lymphatic tissue in general.

It’s a powerful remedy and is a good one to know – it may even grow near where you live! There are over 30 species of Ceanothus, mostly ranging between northern California up through Oregon, Washington and British Colombia – yet also spanning east of the Cascades into Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming. I’m always a believer in working with the wild medicines that grow around you, so get outside to see if you can find this plant in your area too!

Have you worked with Red Root before? I’d love to hear about your experience with this plant! Post your comments here so that we can all be enriched from the collective wisdom within this community. Share with your friends to uplift and inspire them as well, helping to empower others by spreading herbal education in the world!

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Using Comfrey Safely

Comfrey is an important plant in traditional Western herbalism, as well as in modern herbalism, but there’s a stigma around it too. People seem to be a bit scared of comfrey because of some research showing some of the constituents are potentially dangerous.

But this is an herb that has been used in Western herbalism both topically and, yes—believe it or not—internally as well for a really long time. Few people talk about the possible internal usage of comfrey.

But if you know more about its uses and characteristics, you can use it with greater confidence and competence.

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