Apple leaf infusions ~
Here’s to thee, old Apple-tree,
Whence thou may’st bud, and whence thou may’st blow;
And whence thou may’st bear Apples enow.
Hats full! caps full!
Bushel, bushel, sacks full!
And my pockets full, too!
I began this New Moon morning in a slow wake & found myself a small glass of water, & a gentle lazy kiss upon the cheek of my love & then the sound of the kettle's whistle as Minori prepared some coffee.
Our sweet dog Kaisa came out with me to harvest the freshly rain-washed morning leaves of Dandelion & Violet & Apple.
The Apple tree finally went into bloom this year & it was a moment of pure joy & surprise to find the first of the pink buds getting ready to unfurl towards the sky. We did not plant this Apple tree in the gardens, it somehow arrived here ~ dropped maybe by a bird ~ the same year we moved into this home, 3 years ago if I count back.
This tree became the source of great mystery & magic for us. I created an entire circular garden beside it to honor its presence, I tie my Beltane ribbons upon it, I offer blessed water to its roots for my clients...
Now the veil has been lifted, it is an Apple tree, it is in bloom, it is beautiful. I will be making an essence with the blossoms & leaves this afternoon, under the New Moon in Aries.
This morning, though, I harvested my first batch of leaves to dry for tisane. I will harvest some more soon to make an oxymel & an infused Witch Hazel extract, but it is my intention to let it have a small moment without my preening its branches.
In other languages, the name for Apple is rooted in the Latin name Pomona. Pomona is the goddess of all the fruit trees. The mythos & medicine of the Apple is as old as time, & one that can be found across our global community. It is in this way, one of the first networks we have had as humans: one of the first places we gathered to share our stories, to connect & bond, to learn, to find nourishment.
A member of the Rose family (Roseaceae), Apple offers similar medicine to all of its many cousins: cooling, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, soothing, toning to our tissues inside & out... An affinity for the heart, circulatory system, the uterus, digestive system, & skin.
The gentle Apple leaves are especially settling to the tummy, & the heart alike, a tisane of the leaves lends its gentle medicine to the places within us that need a little settling, a little calm & cool. They also love to soothe the eyes & the skin ~ consider making a poultice with the fresh leaves on a sting, an itch, a rash, a blemish.
On the matter of the eyes, in Jim Mcdonald's amazing monograph of Apple, he offers a little Apple of my eye wisdom from Hildegard von Bingen:
A person, whether old or young, who suffers a fogginess in his eyes for any reason should take the leaves of this tree in springtime, before it produces its fruit for the year. When these first come out at the beginning of spring, they are tender and healthy, like young girls before they produce children, he should pound these leaves and express their sap, and to this add an equal measure of the drops that flow from the grapevine. He should place this in a metallic jar, and at night when he goes to bed, he should moisten his eyelids and eyes with a feather dipped in a bit of it. It should be like dew falling on grass, and care should be taken that it not enter the eyes. Then he should sprinkle the crushed leaves with a bit of the drops that flow from the grapevine, and place them over his eyes. He should hold this on with a cloth, and sleep with it on. If he does this often, the fogginess will be driven from his eyes, and he will see clearly.
Call on the gentle leaves in your morning tisane to begin your day with a small & quiet moment of pleasure, to set the tone for your day on a note of love, to infuse yourself with the energy of Pomona the goddess of all fruit bearing trees, & to find a slow, steady, joyous strength as you walk into noon.