My spouse hurt her shoulder last week. So my herbalist friend Greg Monzel (co-founder of the newly opened Wild Persimmon School of Wellness) gave me instructions for a special formulation. I knew I was in trouble when he began with “You know what goldenrod looks like, right?”
Yes, the first step in making this formulation—goldenrod-infused oil, excellent for tissue repair, particularly in the shoulder—is “Gather some goldenrod.” (Most people associate goldenrod with fall allergies, but it turns out to be a a fantastic muscle rub, when infused in oil.)
Fortunately for my foraging aspirations, I had already planned a bike ride with some friends, and it was easy to scout goldenrod along the path.
Greg said it wasn’t necessary to wash the cuttings unless they were very soiled.
The next step was to pick the leaves and flowers off the stalks and place in a blender.
I added oil and started blending.
It was supposed to be a smoothie-like consistency, so I needed to add more oil.
By now it was more pesto than smoothie, but I quit doctoring it because I didn’t want to use up all my lovely oil.
Greg’s instructions were to “strain it,” so I put it in a mesh strainer. The blend was so thick that I had to mash it and stir it to get any oil out.
Round about here is when I texted Greg, “Is it supposed to look like this?”
He said to use a cheesecloth. Oh! I dug some out of the back of a drawer.
Finally, the strained-off oil (which still contains some solids and water from the plant) gets set aside to separate.
I forgot to take pictures the next day when I decanted. This is a fancy word for pouring off the oil from the top after the solids and water have settled to the bottom.
Anyway, below is the result. It smells strong and effective! My spouse was game to try it. So far it hasn’t fixed her painful shoulder, but I’m sure it is helping.
Actually, after all that cycling, snipping, picking-of-leaves-and-flowers, mashing, squeezing, and decanting, I am starting to develop a crimp in my own shoulder. Good thing I have plenty of goldenrod-infused oil to rub! And bonus: It feels like I have “leveled-up” in my foraging endeavors, harvesting and processing a medicinal all on my own (with text support from the ever-awesome Greg).