Oregon Grape Rhizome Tincture – Mahonia repens
This classic Bitter Herb is one of my FAVORITE plants. Probably because it was one of the first friends of the forest I was able to grab a hold of and correctly identify.
The color of the internal bark matches that of the color of our internal BILE… this being an old way to read the herbals and how they matched our bodies… Mahonia species have now been shown to increase the body’s ability to concentrate Bile.
This making it a very powerful ally in the health of our digestive system. Not only does this added concentration of bile make breaking down fats and proteins a breeze. The help in the Gall Bladder matches it’s ability to strengthen our Detoxing Organ, the Liver.
When we encourage strength to these major players in healthy digestion. We are also cleansing the blood. Our bodies have an easier time processing hormones correctly. AND we generally FEEL better!
Western Herbalists are ALWAYS looking to the gut. Modern research is now showing us WHY we really want to stimulate, and focus on our guts for health!
Mahonia is my main go to for acidic stomachs, balancing hormonal fluctuations, and cooling the entire body. She is powerful and perfect. An herb to be used, respected and mindfully harvested.
SPECIAL NOTE… I want to address the sustainability factor in our Wild Harvested Mahonia repens products. Not only do I make sure NEVER to dig tap roots… I also watch my patches very closely. They are THRIVING, not diminishing. Our wild herbals need us to work with them. With this comes GREAT responsibility to care for them. NOT over harvest and ONLY take what is used. These are the cornerstones of our Wild Harvesting Standards here at Enchantment Creek.
“For some reason a fear is afloat in the herb community that Oregon Grape is threatened by overharvesting. Even if by Oregon Grape one only refers stubbornly to M. aquifolium, there is little danger of harming the species. More broadly, Mahonias are common upon a quarter of the surface area of the United States and are really quite safe” – the Beloved and Late Michael Moore Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West, page 181
I wanted to address this factor as I know that the fear of this plant being endangered is loudly spoken of in the Western Herbal Community. the moral of the story. KNOW your Herbalist! KNOW they are mindful, honest and NOT greedy. KNOW where they live, how they harvest and who they are! This will be how YOU will know products are SAFE for you and the Earth.