Our Herbal Products

 

By listening closely to the plants present here (yes, they
speak to us) and leaning strongly on the relationship-centered and ethical gathering
practices of the Wise Woman tradition, we decided to create our first herbal
products this year. Just a few. And just for locals, visitors to the island,
friends, and family (aka, we don’t ship). Our current products include:

 

  • Douglas Fir body oil
  • Douglas Fir salve
  • Plant-infused soaps and goats milk soaps (about a dozen kinds and what’s available depends on what’s in season and if Julie’s mama goats have extra milk to share)
  • Plant-infused conditioning shampoo bars (this year we did dandelion-nettle and lavender-mint)
  • Herb-filled sleep and dream pillows
  • Holiday wreaths

We began selling our herbal products at the Whidbey Island Harvest Festival in October 2019. They’re available for purchase here at Silly Dog Studios just outside the west edge of Langley at the moment. Call anytime to stop by. We’re also having a holiday trunk sale (with other local artists, crafts people, weavers, basket makers, and soap makers) on November 23, 2019, 10 am to 3 pm. Join us! We’ll have cookies!

Lori Becomes an
Herbalist

 

I’m currently studying herbalism in the Wise Woman tradition, with Julie Charette Nunn, Crow’s Daughter, and all of the plants around us here, and guided by my grandmothers voices and the voices of other herbalists here on Whidbey and elsewhere. I’ve listened to plants my whole life: trees and herbs in particular. Following the tradition of my grandmothers, mom, and aunts who taught me gardening, home canning, and prioritizing relationships with people, animals, and plants.

Since I was young, trees and plants have helped me navigate the world as an empath—someone who picks up and holds the emotions of those close to me (both emotionally and anyone I encounter in person), often whether I want to or not. For example, I cry more than other people. Not because I usually have much to cry about personally, but because I cry in the presence of people who need to cry, but can’t. I cry other people’s tears. Often in public. In a culture in which many assume tears are a sign of weakness. Silly culture.

I have always needed to lean on trees and plants to help me be me. I’m getting much better at listening now. By my late 40s, I was listening well enough that I invited trees to sit on the board of directors here at Silly Dog Studios. And I just keep inviting more trees to join us. Currently, our board includes 10 Douglas Fir trees, a Cedar tree, two Spruce trees, two apple trees, two plum trees, two cherry trees, a quince tree, a crab apple tree, a Linden tree, a Hawthorne tree, and a Serviceberry tree. Also, two humans, two cats, and a dog.

In addition to the plant-relationship-centered products that Silly Dog Studios and friends created to sell this year, I’ve begun to make many more for our family and friends: plant-infused infusions, oxymels, tinctures, vinegars, and oils, for example. These, however, are gifts, not products. I’m more mystic than healer at heart (thank you trees). Most days I leave healing others to those called to healing. I prefer to spend my days listening to plants and figuring out how connect more deeply with trees, work in full partnership with plants, and create, with them, products that help other humans reconnect with the plants closest to them. Remarkable partners that far too many humans can’t hear anymore.