Wild Medicine by Jennifer Cayer



Gigi picks up speed as we wander into the woods. I could listen to the self-named “ditch witch,” medicine woman, and Herbalist Without Borders say lobelia, damiana and comfrey all day. She’s about sixty years-old, violet tunic over leggings. A presumably powerful green stone hangs on a cord over her heart.

“Ah, a fringe!” she bubbles.

She’s asked us to bring comfortable hiking shoes for the plant-identification part of the wild medicine course, but she wears only black flip-flops between her cracked heels and the forest floor. “See,” she points to a distinctively taller area of growth along a field. “A lot of action happens here— borders are plant life’s El Paso’s, Juarez.” And where so-called native and invasive species intertwine, Gigi finds the best medicines….

Jennifer Cayer teaches at New York University where she received a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Read “Wild Medicine”…>

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