Category Archives: Trips and Travels

Have Herbs, will travel!

In an effort to reach more folks who cannot make it to my Berkeley Apothecary or the Ohlone Herbal Center Faculty Clinic, I am going mobile. If you are in the Bay Area and accessible via BART, I can come near to you. We can have our consultation in a park, in a coffee/tea shop, or possibly in your home.

Consultations are still sliding scale and home visits have an additional travel fee of $10-20.

Desert Family – Chaparral – Larrea Tridentata

In a little less than one month I will be returning to the desert, what used to be the bottom of the sea. Most of think of the desert as a barren landscape with no water, plants, food, or medicine. But I see the desert as a veritable pharmacy and place for deep healing. In order to heal we have to be ready. We have to see the possibility to heal, find our allies, and engage our courage. The desert is a place for me to contact the deepest places inside of me for healing and connection to a greater spirit.Larrea

The desert is where I met one of my most precious healing allies, Chaparral. Also known as Larrea Tridentata, greasewood, gobernadora, and creosote bush. The first time I had the honor of sitting with this plant, I got a deep message from the ancestors. The message that we are STARSEED. The message I got about being starseed, is that Larrea is not from here. And neither are we. We are extra terrestrial. Like the plants have learned to live with the elements, predators, our hot sun, our cool moon, water, and drought. We too are learning how to deal with being human.

Going deeper into my meditation with this plant being I was able to root my body deep into the earth, letting her hold me by my hips. I opened the top of my head and could feel a pull out into the universe. The energy was already flowing between the stars, the earth, me, and Larrea, but I was only able to feel it when I sat in silence. Krista GAS desert trip

Years later, after leading a group in meditation with another Larrea plant, we shared our messages from the plants. One person spoke to their experience – we are starseed!

Larrea is one of our most ancient plant allies. As the bush grows older, it splits into separate crowns as the ‘mother’ dies back, forming a clonal colony all from the same original seed. In the Mojave Desert live ‘King Clone’ Larrea, one of the oldest living organism on the planet, living for more than 11,700 (13,000) years. That is a long life with a lot to teach us.

Traditional uses by Indigenous peoples of North America include treating stomach/bowel complaints, tuberculosis, cancers, and colds and flu and more. These traditions are still in use today. Studies show Larrea works as a bitter, anti-oxidant, antifungal, and antiseptic, supporting liver function and lipid metabolism. It also protects the liver and lungs from free radical damage. (Michael Moore, Medicinal Plants of the desert and Canyon West).

In my practice I have used teas and tinctures in allergy and immune support formulas. Topically, I use infused oil to treat eczema rashes, fungal infections on human feet, and ringworm in cats. Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer uses the Flower Essence for working with feelings of loneliness, ancient sense of being alone, releasing bitterness and grief to free us from the past. Its a reminder we are not alone, we are connected to the ancient mysteries.

Looking forward to being surrounded by Larrea again, connecting to the energy of star seed.

Anza Borrego

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The desert is a place that awakens a deep quiet and peace inside of me. My eyes deepen in color. I feel toxins actively leaving my body and I hydrate with food and water. Water is so precious in the desert. I sleep deep and wake with the sun.


Some of my favorite plants are here in Anza Borrego and for three years I have been visiting some of the same spots to spend time with these powerful plants in their natural habitats. What once was the bottom of the ocean floor is now this desert in Southern California.

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