Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fun With Herbs!

These are some delicious herbal energy balls I made based on Rosemary Gladstar's recipe for Zoom Balls.  Here is her recipe and my variation on it.  Basically you mix your nut butter base and add powdered herbs, dried fruit, chopped nuts, coconut, etc.  it's very easy to make and last for a month or so in the fridge.

3 cups Tahini
1 cup Almond butter (or any nut butter)
2 cups Honey

4-6 ounces Guarana Seed
2 ounces Kola Nut
2 ounces Rhodiola
1 ounce Eleuthero (AKA Siberian ginseng)
1 ounce Ginseng (any panax species0
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 tablespoon Nutmeg

1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried or toasted coconut
2 ounces cocoa powder to thicken

You are supposed to roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and then you can roll the balls in coconut or cocoa powder.

I need more energy like everyone else but this recipe would put me in orbit!  I wanted a formula that would not only give us more energy but other health benefits and some added nutritious value.  So for my herbs I used Guarana, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Hawthorne berry, Elder berry,  and Acai berry.  For my add-ins I used dried blueberries,  dried cranberries, chopped pecans and black walnut and toasted coconut (and the cocoa powder).  I only made a 1/2 batch since my daughter and I will be the only ones eating them.  You can certainly roll them any size you want and make them with any variety of herbs you like.  Astragalus is a nice adaptogen that would work well in this formula, it's not overly stimulating and it boosts immunity.

This is a wonderful way to incorporate herbs into your life.  Herbs are more about nourishment than medicine so this is perfect, especially for difficult "patients" like kids and husbands.  No better way to make them healthy than to make it taste like candy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reap What You Sow

  Now is the time to make use of all the wonderful plants we cared for in the Spring and Summer.  I have been infusing oil from my Comfrey.  As you can see from the picture, I am working with lightly wilted fresh comfrey leaves and I slowly heat them in a crock pot to infuse the medicinal properties of the plant into the oil.  This also allows excess moisture to evaporate out of the oil.  To the right I am straining the oil from my first batch of spent leaves.  Front center I am chopping more leaves to add for a second infusion.  This oil will be STRONG!  you can already see how the oil has turned dark green.  This takes a few days and I heat it for a couple hours on low and turn it off and let it infuse.  I repeat this process a couple times a day until no more moisture forms on the top when I cover the crock.  It takes a while but when I'm done I'll have at least a quart of strongly infused herbal oil.  Plenty to get me through until Spring when my beloved plants come back!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A True Hydrosol Story

I have been so thrilled to be able to make my own hydrosols and now I have a great story to share.  This past weekend my daughter and her friend Kat decided to go for a bike ride.  It's been extremely hot here so they were dressed in shorts and tanks tops.  They hadn't been gone long when Kat came back inside, pale and shaking, covered in dirt and with 2 large scrapes on her shoulder and arm.  One of the peddles had broken off the bike and sent here sailing across the blacktop at high speed.  So I took her into the bathroom and cleaned her wounds with Witch Hazel hydrosol to get all the dirt out and help disinfect them.  The shoulder wounds was bleeding and watery but the large scrape by her elbow was bruising and had a large knot, and the skin hadn't actually been broken.  I applied Lavender hydrosol to both wounds and made a compress of it for the elbow area.  By the time we got her bandaged up she was calm and not shaking anymore and they decided to stay inside and hang out and play video games.

The report the next day-my stuff is a miracle.

It never ceases to amaze me how many uses I find for these amazing waters and how gratifying it is to be able to have these healing materials at hand any time I need them!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Understanding the theory is a great starting point but building a relationship with Reiki through direct experience is the best way of becoming familiar with its power. - Jessica Bergeron

Each month, Gathered Roots hosts a Distance Reiki Healing Circle via Facebook and we extend the offer to all those wishing to receive Reiki healing. Our next event will take place Monday, June 25th, 2012 from 9PM until 9:30PM EST (Eastern Standard Time).

I invite you to discover for yourself how life-changing Reiki can be!

There are no special requirements for you to receive the Reiki healing, other than a willingness to receive it. For this event, it's simply a matter of visiting the details page and hitting the "Join" button. You can also say an affirmation to open yourself more fully to the experience if you feel this would be helpful. You are, or course, also encouraged to share the event with others who may too be interested.

I recommend that participants settle into a comfortable position during the session, either by laying down, sitting in meditation, etc. This can help bring the sensations and effects of Reiki to awareness. While the experience is an individual one, tingling and warmth is very common, as are feelings of enhanced well-being, relaxation, and/or creativity. Sometimes, there will not be much, if anything, that is felt at all.

You are encourages to practice a grounding exercise at the end of each treatment. It can be as simple as envisioning yourself as a tree for a few minutes, and feeling the roots penetrate deeply into the Earth. Ensuring an adequate water intake throughout the day of the treatment, especially afterwards, is also advised.

There is no need to worry if you forget about the event or are busy running errands, working, or sleeping during the session. The energy will still make its way to you!

If you feel any benefit from the session and would like to give support, making a free-will donation in the amount of your choice via Paypal to would be appreciated. Other ways of giving thanks include "Liking" the Gathered Roots Facebook Page if you haven't already, as well as sharing the page with others to help spread the word.

You may also schedule Reiki services at any time at the Gathered Roots Etsy shop or directly through our website.

For further information about Gathered Roots and/or Reiki, please visit our website or message me directly.

Take care and happy healing!

Saturday, May 19, 2012



"Reiki is the energy (or spirit or essence) of everything. There are not different flavours of Reiki - rather different flavours of thought, practice, and intention. It is the energy that envelops and forms all things, including humankind. The systems of Reiki, too, teach that when humans work consciously with Reiki they begin to evolve and strengthen their connection with the universe."     - Bronwen and Frans Stiene

The quote above defines Reiki quite beautifully!

Reiki is a term composed of two Japanese kanji and is most commonly pronounced Ray Key in the English language. The kanji Rei refers to the spiritual, sacred, divine, and/or miraculous entity or power while Ki is defined as energy of the universe. Together Reiki means "Universal Life Force" with a spiritual context.

To explain how Reiki works using analogy, envision a simple water system in your home. The water system as a whole represents a human and the individual parts of that system, such as the pipe line, faucet, and drain correspond to human organs. Reiki as Universal Life Force is compared to the water that flows throughout the system. When the system is maintained, the water flows freely and fully throughout the system. Debris will inevitably appear at times, and it represents emotions such as anger, worry, grief, fear, etc.

In relation to the human experience, debris can arguably serve its purpose by providing us with valuable life lessons, understandings and insights. The concern arises when the debris is left unattended and unresolved. Over time, the water flows more slowly and can perhaps even become blocked altogether. Similarly, as the Universal Life Force that flows through each of us becomes increasingly obstructed, our ability to function at an optimal level decreases and stagnation may occur. It is believed that many of the diseases and symptoms we experience develop as a result.

Reiki practice is energy-based and holistic. During a Reiki treatment, the practitioner channels Universal Life Force and uses a series of hand positions either directly on or above the client's body. The procedure allows the client to draw upon the amount of energy required to clear the debris and obstructions, and for the flow of ki to be re-established. This in turn can support the body's natural ability to heal physically, emotionally, mentally, as well as spiritually. Continued Reiki treatments serve to maintain and strengthen the energy flow.

Services can also be offered through a second method, commonly referred to as “Distance Reiki.” Distance Reiki is convenient for clients who would like to receive the treatments but cannot schedule in-person appointments because they live in a different city or country, or are busy with their every day life (ie: work, errands, etc). For those who also prefer the extra privacy and comfort, remote Reiki healing can be a great choice.

Team member Kristin Marie Rodriguez offers distance Reiki sessions through Etsy shop, Divine Healing:

Distance Reiki sessions are also available for purchase in my shop, Gathered Roots:

All Distance Reiki treatments are done in the same treatment room used for clients who receive the services in-person at the Gathered Roots office. The photos shown in the listings are of the actual room; a clean and comfortable setting that is free of outside distractions. During a session, I channel the Universal Life Force and use a series of hand positions over a “Reiki doll,” which represents the client. Throughout the treatment, the energy is channeled and directed for the client only (multiple clients are not scheduled together).

The Reiki treatment typically beings at the scheduled time but at the client's request (while scheduling the appointment), arrangements can be made to meet over Facebook for a 10 minute chat. This period allows the client to receive confirmation that I am present for the appointment and allows for any questions to be answered. This offer is extended to both new and repeat clients.
I recommend that clients settle into a comfortable position during the session, either by laying down, sitting in meditation, etc. This can help bring the sensations and effects of Reiki to awareness. While the experience is an individual one, tingling and warmth is very common, as are feelings of enhanced well-being, relaxation, and creativity. Sometimes, there will not be much, if anything, that is felt at all. This is especially true if the client is busy during the treatment. However, whether a client is paying attention and noticing the changes or not, the energy is nonetheless reaching him/her and doing its job!

It's encouraged that the client practice a grounding exercise at the end of each session. The exercise can be as simple as envisioning himself/herself as a tree for a few minutes, and feeling the roots penetrate deeply into the earth. Ensuring an adequate water intake throughout the day of the treatment is also advised.

Clients are also welcome to contact me after each session to share their experience, ask questions, and/or schedule another appointment.

The Benefits of Reiki

Ultimately, Reiki supports the re-alignment with Source as well as the strengthening of that connection. We are all traveling a unique path however, and so the exact changes and benefits that manifest, as well as the pace at which they occur, can differ greatly.

One important but simple factor in benefiting from Reiki healing is that the client be receptive of it. Returning to the analogy, the water will only flow through the faucet if the tap is turned open. Similarly, the position of the tap will also determine the pressure of the water as it pours out of the faucet.

The following are some of the changes I have personally experienced since working with Reiki:

  • Clears obstructions and toxins
  • Re-establishes and/or strengthens the flow of ki
  • Re-aligns one's self with purpose

  • Restores the state of natural balance

  • Promotes feelings of relaxation, wellness, and creativity
  • Instills feelings of empowerment and confidence

  • Reduces and/or releases stress and ailments

  • Facilitates the transformation of life patterns

  • Enhances personal self-awareness and clarity

  • Enhances intuition (clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and claircognizance)

Understanding the theory is a great starting point but building a relationship with Reiki through direct experience is the best way of becoming familiar with its power. I invite you to discover for yourself how life-changing Reiki can be!

Please note that Reiki is intended as a relaxation technique and as a complement to natural health care. Reiki Practitioners do not diagnose conditions, prescribe substances, perform medical treatment, nor do they interfere with the treatment of licensed medical professionals. Those experiencing physical or psychological conditions are encouraged to speak with a licensed physician or licensed health care professional prior to beginning a Reiki regimen.


Was absolutely wonderful! I would highly recommend this to anyone! - Steph D.

I had a wonderful Reiki session tonight, thanks so much. I have noticed a huge difference from the beginning. - Monica W.

Reiki with Jessica Bergeron has been nothing short of delightful! I always feel the dissolving of certain energies and the galvanizing of others when connected to the source through her. Good clean energies with her. - Bar B.

This blog article was contributed by Jessica Bergeron from Gathered Roots (

To learn more about Reiki and other modes of natural healing, log into and search "healguild'

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reiki Event with Jessica of GatheredRoots

Hello, I hope you're doing well. I'm very excited to have joined the Etsy Natural Healers Guild recently and would like to make a contribution by writing articles for the blog. For the first article, I'd like to briefly introduce myself.

My name is Jessica Bergeron, and here, in the field of natural health and healing, is where I'm meant to be. These themes have been of interest to me from an early age and I've taken various steps throughout my life to explore and gain a better understanding of some of their many facets.

Reiki caught my attention in 2010 and I delved into First Degree studies without having previously received a treatment or knowing much about it. I was facing a very difficult period and didn't hold many expectations, but Reiki turned out to be one of the most valuable tools for releasing emotional burdens and re-establishing life flow. With regular self-treatments, I've come to develop a greater understanding and acceptance of myself, I better hear and honour my inner voice, I live in stronger connection with my life purpose, and I feel more empowered and able to realize my potential.

My awareness of and dedication for healing continues to evolve, with many discoveries still to be uncovered of course, but I do feel comfortable to begin sharing with others what I've grown to appreciate.

In October of 2011, Gathered Roots was registered with the Government of Canada and I am currently establishing a private practice in my home. I am an active member of the International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP), registered as both a Practitioner and a Teacher, and I am also enrolled with several government-recognized colleges to pursue natural health and healing more extensively. Herbalism and Intuitive Studies are my current areas of focus.

This process feels both meaningful and necessary (AND exciting!) to me. It is commonly believed that the Universal Life Force channelled during a Reiki treatment automatically gravitates toward the area that is in most need of being remedied or enhanced, whether it be on a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual level. This concept inspires Gathered Roots' mission.

Simply, I intend for the services offered at Gathered Roots to be reflective of my personal experiences, wisdom, and character. From there, I trust that the benefits will manifest for individuals based on what is most needed for them and according to where they are on their unique path.

You are invited to visit my website ( to learn further about Gathered Roots and/or Reiki. Both in-person or distance Reiki services may be scheduled there. Distance Reiki services are also offered through my Etsy shop (, where a selection of herbs and other energy-healing related items/crafts will soon be listed. I can also be found on Facebook ( so feel free to either become my friend or "Like" my fan page.


This blog article was contributed by Jessica Bergeron from Gathered Roots (

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hydrosols and Aromatherapy

This beautiful copper, available from Guild member Staci of Elfin Herb Farm, is a must-have if you craft your own natural beauty (or medicinal)  products.  I recently purchased one and have had time to play with it (and get pretty good at it) and I am absolutely in love.  If you've ever used hydrosols, you know how wonderful they are, and how expensive they can be.  Imagine being able to create your own flower waters with plants you've raised yourself!  It's quite simple to use when you get used to it, and learn some patience and the results are wonderful, even with dried plants.  Of course, fresh is best.

Hydrosols are the newest tool in the aromatherapy world and are generally safer and more gentle to use than essential oils.  There is also less controversy over internal use, especially if you make your own and you know exactly the environment your plants are coming from.  The hydrosol contain more of the water soluble compounds from the plant that aren't present in the essential oil, and you will also get a little a little essential oil from most plants along with the water based distillate.  The copper enhances aroma and flavor and also protects against some microbes.  You do, however need to sterilize any containers the distillate will be stored in or come in contact with.  I clean all of my containers out with pure grain alcohol.  Hydrosols are more stable than an infusion but are still perishable and should be refrigerated and you shouldn't touch the liquid, and should resist the temptation to open the bottle and smell-you don't want to contaminate it.  Depending on what plant you have distilled, your hydrosols will last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.  If you see any bloom (slimy growths) then it has gone bad and should be thrown out.

There are so many uses for hydrosols that it would be impossible to list them all here, but I will list a few.
-to remove makeup
-as a natural, gentle cleanser
-to replace all or some of the water in lotion or cream recipes
-added to soap bases in foamer bottles
-pillow spray
-body spray
-gentle hand cleanser/sanitizer
-in finger bowls at fancy dinners
-to clean baby's bottom at diaper changes (esp. lavender, chamomiles, calendula)
-to sooth rashes and sunburns
-invigorating or relaxing room spray (depends on the properties of the plant)
-to make personal cleansing wipes
-use as an aftershave lotion
-hot spots on pets (esp calendula)
-on a cotton ball as a compress for for eyes (cucumber, chamomile, calendula, rose)
-spray lemon balm, lavender or chamomiles in the air to calm fussy children
-as a fragrant base water when rebatching soaps
-a natural deodorant spray (witch hazel, rose, patchouli)
-cooling body spray in hot weather (esp peppermint and cucumber)
-anti-fungal foot spray (tea tree, lemongrass, patchouli, witch hazel)
-safe feminine deodorant spray (esp rose)
-use witch hazel compresses/cleansing cloths on your hemorrhoids (no alcohol burn like store bought)
-some hydrosols make great rubs for sore muscles
-try peppermint, lavender, roman or German chamomile rubs or compresses for headaches

These are just a few and the possibilities are endless!