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With my hands scratched and the skin aching, but happy. That’s how I ended my day, after I picked up 4 kilos of blackberries. It seems fantastic to me how a banal afternoon walk into the wild turns into a real treasure hunting, one finding more surprising than other. Every time I lose myself in discontent and I start focusing on what does not work in my life (and the world), it occurs every once in a while such an amazing moment that reminds me to see the many blessings around me. And then my heart is filled with amazement and gratitude.
So… today I went for my (almost)daily afternoon walk in nature, planning to pick up some Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and some exquisite Calluna vulgaris (Heather), but my steps went unnoticed on another path, slightly different… and suddenly a big bush of blackberries came in our way, with so many and big fruits that I never seen in my life. I hardly managed to stop from picking and eating all that marvelous blackberries, and after that we raided a little bit over Yarrow‘s and Calluna‘s place (I just adore it, it has a fantastic smell and a coloring that remains alive even after a long time after drying).I read that three thousand years ago the Scots were making beer with Calluna vulgaris… and the dry plant was used to make perfumed mattresses (sure they did, with a nice scent like this!). Besides the aroma, heather has many other properties: it is urinary antiseptic and diuretic, it soothes nervousness and anxiety, helps in cases of insomnia and can be used externally to heal skin wounds. Yarrow (Achilea millefolium) is a tough and tenacious plant that I encountered from the cool moisture of the mountain pastures to the sunburned seacoasts. Though its taste is bitter and strong, which makes it avoided by lovers of sweet and fine teas, Yarrow has a lot of strength and I always feel it ready to help me whenever I need, as a good friend. Its list of its properties is long: Yarrow treats digestive diseases, enteritis, enterocolitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, it helps to evacuate the gallbladder, prevents the formation of stones in the bladder, increases the body’s resistance to infections, detoxifies the liver and kidneys. It is also a good friend of women, helping to regulate the menstrual cycle and calming adjacent pains. Yarrow (Achilea millefolium) concotions are particularly valuable in the plagues healing, including burns. And since I started studying properties and effects of plants, I wanted to know what are the gifts that the blackberries bring us. So, they have antioxidant effect, they strengthen the immune system, detoxify the liver, strengthen the bones, fight against constipation and relieve hemorrhoids, prevent cancer and anemia. What else can I say?! Ah, yes: foraging blackberries helps a lot by being an excellent exercise of presence, attention and balance. 😉