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European adventures & wyld foragings

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

I find myself in my travels, always looking to the local plants to see what I can see. To see what I can eat and use as herbal medicine. Until I go for a nice long walk in the landscape of a place, I don't feel totally grounded. Only after my forest walks do I feel to begin to understand the land, I find drinking some fresh river water always helps to assimilate and adjust.

Here's some of the wyld herbal medicine I found along my wanderings through Europe. So different to the medicinals of the Australia forests I live in.

Life is abundant with.. Life!

Hedera helix grows wyld everywhere! Ironically the sudden cool autumnal weather soon had me using the Ivy for respiratory congestion.

Verbascum thapsus growing through the pavements. Mullein would have also been great for my lungs! But the Ivy did the trick just fine :)

Geranium robertinium, or Herb Robert, on the side of the road, so tasty and so everywhere!

Coltsfoot, or Tussilago farfara growing in the pastures. So many lung herbs! Must be to deal with the cold..

In Switzerland CBD, Cannabinadiol, is legal, and so it's sold in dispensaries for it's sedating, anticonvulsant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapeutic actions. It indirectly works with the CB2 receptors in our cannabinoid system, moderating immune response, inflammation and pain. I trust one day this powerful medicine will be legally available in Australia and I'll be dispensing it in my own store! CBD is found naturally in Cannabis spp. and counters the plants stimulating and a strong psychoactive component THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, and can even be used for the treatment for Cannabis addiction (where THC use is involved). These plants are so perfect in their own unadulterated way as natural medicine.

As CBD is legal, CBD rich strains are legal! They must be below a certain concentration of THC. A Swiss friend of mine explained how useful it's been to his own Cannabis use, which used to be chronic before the CBD strains were legally available, as Cannabis is becoming more and more bred for a strong THC content making it very psychoactive and strong (this comes at the expense of a rich CBD content to counter that effect). Now he can still smoke something delicious in a social setting, without any strong change in his mental state apart from being slightly relaxed. As it indirectly blocks some THC receptors this makes it less compulsive. Plants, not drugs!

Whilst less wyld, it was a special treat to have Absinthe from the original Absinthe bar 'Die Grüne Fee' in Solothurn Switzerland (next door to the CBD dispensary), where the wormwood comes from the local arcana valleys full of green faieries. Perhaps the real highlight was to spend time with owner Roger Liggenstorfer, who runs the psychedelic book label upstairs Nachtschatten, hearing stories of his old friend Albert Hoffman. This town is kind of awesome, for the record. Across the road is the office of the psychiatrist Dr. Peter Gasser. He is the only doctor in the world legally able to prescribe LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, a semi synthesised ergotamine indole alkaloid which is useful for many things, but namely life threatening diseases, coming to terms with death, and living peacefully without anxiety. The town also houses a psychiatrist working with MDMA. Switzerland is uber progressive.

You can read more about Solothurn, psychedelic therapy & Switzerland here:

And me! In the Swiss Jura mountains :)


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