As the summer solstice tiptoes into our presentness I sit in the grass on a perfectly breezy day and visualize all the plants that make themselves known this time of year, beckoning for us to admire them, cautiously & with tenderness harvest them & if we’re lucky we get to create beautiful potions with them in an honoring way that pays tribute to the time & energy it took for them to mature to a state of usefulness.
In fact, it is because of this diligent work they, the plants participate in through summer that we celebrate the summer solstice. It is a time of abundance, a time of jubilance & a time of harvesting to stow away for the winter months. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, the first official day of summer, initiating the three-month period with enough heat and light to fuel the earth for the growing season. I imagine how these plants feel privileged to be our helpers in our rejuvenation on cellular & energetic level, how they choose to partner with us in ways that heal our minds, our bodies & even our souls.
For years now I have studied plant medicine, not quite settling on the title “herbalist” but instead simply getting lost in the plethora of benefits plants offer us on a physiologically & emotionally, appreciating how they can play a part in our lives during a fleeting day to a lingering month or a year. It is in the summer months that the sweet nectar, enticing flowers & leafy greens beckon for our attention. From the beginning blooms of St. John’s Wort in June to the sunny bright blossoms of calendula showing their sunny faces mid-summer let’s explore together the herbs that have marked the solstice for centuries. Here are 5 I think you will simply adore also!
I live in the Southern part of the United States and one of the first plants I start to recognize pop up in my yard even when the ground is still cold is mullein. Despite its early presence at ground level, it doesn’t reach up to meet with the sun until late May, early June. It is then that it blooms little yellow flowers often used in medicinal formulas with garlic & calendula to soothe sore ear canals. While the mullein leaves are combined with other comforting herbs to quiet coughs & congestion. Check out these two herbalists formulated products by our brand partner Wishgarden Herbs; Ear Be Well & Serious Cough.
I mentioned calendula being supportive to irritated ears, this is due to the medicinal oils found mostly in the resinous green bases of the flower heads, these oils as well as the antioxidants found in the beautiful orange and yellow petals reduce inflammation, regenerate tissue & protect wounds from infection.
“Calendula’s flowers follow the sun, gathering in those gentle, fiery, nourishing energies. His magic is warming, coaxing us into a brighter disposition and offering us a glimpse into the sunny possibilities even when we’re feeling mired in the dark of winter. He asks us to seek similar energies in our lives and to use them to bring ourselves and our work into blossom. Calendula magic is the magic of nurturing potential.” -The Practical Herbalist, Calendula Myth & Magic.
You can find calendula used in this beautiful Glow Skin Serum by Moon Mother Hemp Company!
3. St John's Wort,
Blooming late June it is believed that June 24th, the birthday of the Biblical John the Baptist is the best day for harvesting the little wildflower St. John’s Wort. Adopting his name this herb has bright yellow blossoms that are thought to be associated with the sun, and is popular with divination and fortune-telling. The word “wort” is attached to many herbs to signify in English terms that the plant is potent with medicinal properties. St. John’s Wort has been newly discovered as a modern treatment for depression and virus infection. Today, there are many commercial preparations available as standard oils and liquid or powdered extracts. One of my favorite products utilizing this quintessential solstice herb is Emotional Ally by Wishgarden Herbs.
Being a Southerner my favorite plant ally is passionflower, often called maypop in the south it is abundant in states like Georgia often trellising on rusty fence lines & utilizing the trees to carry their multiple vines. hey tend to start their growth in May but in my experience, they do not flower much until June and if left alone they form fruits that topple to the ground, and when a child's foot dances upon them they “pop!’, hence the name maypop. This plant is so easy to grow, harvest & use in medicinal preparations often used to support emotional health, especially hormone-related anxiety as well as postpartum depression. Find it here in Wishgarden Herbs, PMS Radical Rescue.
5. Wild Rose, Rosa rugosa
If you're in the Northeast in Mid June and you can make your way to the woodlands or to an edge of a field where you may find another solstice beauty, wild rose. These plants support us in reaching the edges of our grief & exploring the boundaries of our hearts. Harvesting in the morning will yield the most essential oil-rich harvest & I like to believe you will be imparted with new wisdom. If you would like a synergistic blend of so many solstice herbs to support a sense of calm for yourself try the Wise Woman Comfort Balm by Moon Mother Hemp.