This week I had a profound experience about the power of plant medicine. This story starts in the summer when here at the Green Life Farm I harvested the leaves of the elderberry bush in order to make an infused oil. I made the oil by filling a glass jar with the leaves which I covered with organic olive oil and left in the sun. Every day I stirred the mixture and after a week the oil turned a rich dark green. I also made infused oils with calendula flowers, rose petals and saint john’s wort. My plan was to make skin creams and salves from the oils.
I am of a certain age where my skin is starting to show wear and tear especially since I lived outside under the tropical sun for 15 years. Even here in the north I spend most of my days outside but it is really the dry, inside, conditions of the northern winter months that inspired me to make moisturizing and healing skin creams.
At the end of this summer I noticed I had a solar keratoses the size of a dime on my right temple. A keratoses is a small, wartlike growth that appears on exposed parts of as a result of over exposure to sun over a period of years. Healers recommend that solar keratoses be removed because of the risk of them turning into skin cancer. I have been rubbing coconut oil into the keratoses hoping to soften it not really wanting to go the laser surgery route.
A few days ago I got together with a friend of mine who is a medical MD as well as a homeopathic healer to make the creams and salves from my collection of infused oils. We made flower water from winter harvested roses, melted beeswax and whipped up the creams. The elderflower oil turned the cream into a vibrant spring green. I was cleaning the bowl from our elderleaf cream and took some of the excess cream and massaged it into my keratoses. I then made a small pea sized ball of the rest and put it aside to use later.
That night before I went to bed, I massaged in some more of the elderflower cream. In the middle of the night I woke up and unconsciously put my hand to my temple. I felt the keratoses slide under my fingers. When I got up in the morning, I looked in the mirror and saw that the keratoses was gone! It had sloughed off during the night.
I think about how the majority of people would think they have no other option than to go under the knife or laser to remove a keratoses. I think about how I am blessed to be on this land with healing forces all around me and how grateful I am to those people who are passing on plant knowledge to those of us with ears to hear.