Horse Heart Connection

Expanding horse-human communication.

Befriending Burdock


Burdock Articum lappa

Since it is summertime and there is abundance of plant life all around in North Idaho, I am encouraged to put on my Herbalist Dr. Linda hat and share some of my experiences with gathering edible and medicinal plants over the past 30+ years. May you see food and medicine when you look out in your yard and local meadows.

Many people see Burdock as a pesky weed to be destroyed, but it has been valued around the world as a health food and medicine for generations. Articum lappa is a member of the sunflower family and made its way to North America from Europe and Asia where it is sold at markets as Gobo or Wu shih. I have used the leaves and roots of burdock for food and medicine.

Growing/Gathering/Drying Tips

Burdock is easy to grow from seeds that you plant in the spring. For the most potency, harvest the root in the fall of the first year. Big roots require the use of a pitchfork and shovel to loosen the soil. You can dig a big hole, often 2’ wide and 3-4’ deep, around the deep single tap root.


You can find Burdock growing wild in many parts of the world. To help you identify burdock in the wild, when you rub the large leaves, a bitter taste is left on your fingers. Reddish stalks and deep veined leaves make it look similar to rhubarb, but the white underside of burdock leaves is a distinguishing factor. In the second year the characteristic velcro-like burrs form. The seed heads contain more than 2 seeds compared to cocklebur which only contains two. My Siberian husky Sasha loves to walk amongst the wild plants growing at the edge of the gardens. I have learned to harvest the Burdock early before the burrs form, otherwise the main seed head with its many little burrs really dig deep into her fur, then it takes time and patience to remove them without her yelping.

The root can become too hard to cut into usable size once it dries, so it is best to use a hand grater or knife to chop the fresh root before it dries out. If you need to store it, keeping the roots in a cool place can make it easier to prepare when you are ready to use it.

Medicinal values

The root is used in herbal medicine as a tonic and to purify the blood. A tea made with the roots is beneficial to restore healthy functioning to the liver and gallbladder. Burdock assists your body in eliminating metabolic wastes as well as accumulated environmental toxins. A daily dose of the tea or tincture can be beneficial if you work or live in a toxin environment. If you are exposed to pesticides, airborne chemicals, or heavy metals, make Burdock your friend. Drinking 2 cups of tea day can help remove radioactive isotopes from the body, which makes Burdock useful after radiation treatments. It is safe to take over a period of time and is good preventative medicine that helps your body receive the nutrients from the food that you eat. The most popular tea that I prepare is called Detox-tea and contains Red Clover blossoms, Paud’arco, Burdock root, and Fennel seeds. Steep 1 tbls. in boiling water for about 20 minutes 2x a day as needed.

The seeds can be gathered and prepared by infusing them in olive oil for a soothing skin or scalp oil. Pour 1 pint of olive oil over ½ jar full of the seeds. Let it sit for a few weeks. Strain off the oil and store in a jar. Compost the herbs. Rub into the scalp to relieve itching.

For chronic skin irritations, burdock root can offer relief from itching and inflammation, when taken internally as a tea or externally as a skin rinse.  Make a topical wash for skin disorders with the roots or leaves by pouring boiling water over ¼ cup of dried roots or 1 cup of cut fresh leaves in a quart jar. Allow to brew for ½ hour or until cool enough to be soothing for the skin. Burdock root tea or topically has the ability to work with the lymphatic system to clear irritations beneath the surface of the skin. I have used the leaves for cooling poultices on a friend’s legs aching legs while waiting for the sweat lodge fire to heat the rocks. The swelling was reduced when applied in this way.

Edible portions

The root pieces can be used fresh in soups and added to vegetable stir. Simply dig the root, peel it, and cook. The fresh root contains calcium, phosphorus, iron and B vitamins. If you are using the dried root, add 3x as much boiling water to soften the root before adding to soup. The leaves and stems have a bitter favor and can be steamed or stir-fried in small amounts.

Banish Excess Emotional Baggage

Burdock root when taken as a tincture helps to process resentments and grief held deep within the cells of the body. During those times when you feel you are carrying emotional toxicity from the past, reach for burdock to help your banish that extra emotional baggage.

When you feel stuck, daily use of a tea or tincture of Burdock root lifts you out of inaction or depression and help you move out of oppressive situations. Burdock’s emotional healing properties helps you to get unstuck and connect in the present moment to what is being offered rather than dwelling on the past. It helps you to make healthy choices in relationships and can help you break free from co-dependent patterns.

Grief is a multi-layered issue that requires patience and time to process. Whenever there is a present time loss, it can trigger other unresolved feelings of loss, grief, and helplessness, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Burdock offers deep cleansing of the cells down to the core level so that you have a clean slate to begin again. It is like pressing the restart button on your cellular computer. 

Home Remedy Preparation

To make a tincture chop fresh burdock root into a quart jar. Fill almost to the top with the fresh root then pour in enough vodka to cover the roots. When making a burdock tincture with dried root, fill the jar 1/3 of the way with the dried root then fill almost to the top with vodka. Let sit for about 6 weeks before straining off the liquid into another jar. Compost the herbs. Add 1/2 tsp. of tincture a day to water as a beneficial tonic for your whole health.

Safe for Pets

For your pets, burdock root is a good addition to chamomile, and willow bark to ease arthritis inflammation and pain. I create a blend of the powdered herbs for horses at a local rescue. The blend is also safe for smaller companion animals. Usual dosages are 1/2 tsp. to 1 Tbls. of the herbs depending upon the animals weight. Burdock root combine with nettles and dandelions is a remedy often used to balance the endocrine system of animals with Cushings disease.

To view a youtube video of me gathering Burdock and cooking with Burdock click here: Dr. Linda Digs Burdock , and Burdock stirfry


Equine Reiki



Equine Reiki Journal Notes 1-3-11:

Last Monday night I shared Reiki with horses up at Orphan Acres, the local horse rescue where I help with evening feeding once a week. I have been sharing Reiki for a few months primarily with Dusty a white draft horse mare who has elephantitis lymphodema in her back left leg.

The first time I shared Reiki with her she immediately relaxed dropping her head and absorbing the healing life force energy. She is a recent addition to the herd and tends to stand off by herself. She seemed relieved to have a heart felt connection with someone.

Another day after doing the Earth and Sky meditation, I was being Reiki with her about 10 feet away. Dusty received Reiki for a few minutes and then walked away so I was in a different level of her energy field.

I was still in the Reiki space so I turned around. and saw her daughter, Star trying to reach me with her head through the fence. I continued to share Reiki with Star. There was also a mixed herd of 18 horses behind the fence back another 10-15 feet on the other side of a large water trough.

It was rewarding for me to notice that as I continued beaming Reiki to Star, a line of 6 of the other horses stood creating an arc across the area behind her. It seemed like it was mostly the young ones in the group who came as close as they could, about 10 feet away, with their ears perked forward. The longer I beamed Reiki I noticed the rest of the horses in that herd were settling down.


You can be a Certified Animal Reiki Practitioner

Activate your Healer Within I
Reiki I and Animal Reiki Practitioner Training

Connect to the natural healing power of energy as it moves within and around you. Learn to focus this life sustaining energy for your own personal healing and self-discovery. Level I focuses on building the energy inside of you as a container to later share this with the horses. You will learn the basics of sharing Reiki with animals.

August 25 to August 26, 2012.

Friday and Saturday 10:00-4:00

Moscow, Idaho. $250.00 includes a manual

Expanding  your Healer Within II
Reiki II and Animal Practitioner Training

At this level there will be more hands on with the horses. You will receive the three mantras and symbols that aid in focusing the energy. Lots of hands-on with the horses. Learn long distance healing and how to support animals and their caretakers during the dying process.

September 28 & 29, 2012.

Friday and Saturday 10:00-4:00.

Moscow, Idaho. $350.00 includes a manual

For more information and to register please call Linda at 208-883-9933

Horse Dolphin Connections

Dolphin Dreams

Since 1998 one of my hobbies is to swim out in the warm oceans with wild dolphins in their natural habitat.  Dolphins started consistently appearing in my dreamtime in 1996 after a life-changing move from the Portland Oregon area inland to north Idaho. Prior to that move I had lived in a coastal state for most of my life, either in New England or the west coast.

My dreams led me to reading several books about swimming with wild dolphins and searching online for dolphin adventures, I came upon the perfect pre-high school graduation present for my son and I to Key West Florida for a wild dolphin swim. The dolphin bliss effect that occurred when a one dolphin veered off her course to come back and connect with me was exhilarating beyond words. The sensation strikes quickly to the heart creating an endorphin rich orgasmic like rush. I was blissed out of my mind intensely content in the present moment living with an expanded heart and resonant connection with all creation. Gliding back to the shore on the catamaran with a Guru-like grin on my face glowing from ear to ear I was captivated by the dolphins.

Later on a trip to Costa Rica along the Osa Penniusla with Delphin Amor Retreat center, it was apparent at dinner time who had been swimming with the dolphins because they had huge grins on their faces and a connected calm presence. For those who have experienced this, you know what I mean. For those of you who want to come on board look for upcoming Dolphin Light Adventures in Hawaii.

Since all of my time in nature is led from a place of reverence for all nature, with gifts of prayer and gratitude exchanged for the experience and connections, the dolphins have called me to more adventures in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Bimini which you can read more about in upcoming articles.

Dolphins in the Desert

Due to a health crisis that limited my mobility for a couple of years, my dolphin light experiences temporarily came to a halt. That is when Horses started appearing in my nighttime dreams. I learned from the previous sequential dreams with dolphins to listen to the call so once again I began reading and researching about horses as teachers and guides. Ready to experience this myself, I was drawn to the Tucson Arizona area to learn from Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning teachers among them Kathy Pike, Linda Kohanov, Barbara Rector, and Shelley Rosenberg.

The first time I drove in the desert with saguaro cactus I felt the dolphin energy in amongst the cactus. I sensed them flowing towards me. As if the imprint of their joyful inviting energy was left there from millions of years ago. I mentioned this to another Clairvoyant and they said they sensed the same thing. Cool validation.

When I first joined up with a white Arabian horse that called me to choose him to work with, there it was again, that bliss filled visceral connection that radiated and expanded within and around me bringing a giggly attitude. Time and time again when given an opportunity to just be with a horse this occurred, leading me to embark on a midlife career expansion to become an Epona Approved Instructor in the field of Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning.

Bonding with Horses

Science is now proving what we have experienced when in the horse bio-energenic field, that the hormone oxytocin increases when a human spends as little as ten minutes petting a cat, dog, or horse. This bonding hormone stays with us for a period time and can be transferred into all of the relationships in our lives. The relationship with our own body and emotions, with other people, and expanded out into the world improves. Not only that, but there can be a contagious reaction to people and horses who are in this wave of positive affect contagion. Piercing the veil of separation and opening to the liquid light experience of melting in union with all creation and the miracle of being alive.

I experienced this group oxytocin effect expand and travel around the 5 acre ranch during my Epona Instructor Apprenticeship training in the desert of Amado Arizona. One afternoon, we did an exercise where four groups of people and horses were engaging in reflective grooming experiences.  I first experienced this while watching another apprentice groom Cimarron. I was sitting about six feet away out side the fenced arena. After a few minutes, I felt a ripple of calm wash over me like a warm wave. This washed my spirit clean and I was filled with radiant joy.  When I had a turn connecting with Cimarron through the calming act of connected grooming, I not only felt a deepening of this for myself but also for those observing. Later one of my fellow students replied she had never seen me so happy and excited as I explained what I experienced.

Dolphin Bliss

Here is a picture of my favorite dolphin couple. They circle around at a distance and with each rotation spiral in closer. The vibration of being in their presence combined with their sonar, clicks, and whistles truly provides for a visceral cellular experience of conscious expansion. Often “blowing me out of the water” causing me to rise to the surface to catch my breath. The warm sun on my face as I integrate dolphin bliss and spectral healing as the light penetrates the crystal blue waters.

Dolphins have so much to teach us about relationships, expanding play in our lives, the power of being consciously connected to the present moment, and the power of sound and vibrational healing. I am thankful that they have been my teachers along with the water, the sun, the wind, the sand, and the vibrant colors and scents of the tropics.

Both dolphins and horses benefit our lives in many ways creating cellular change that lasts a lifetime. Improving our ability to enhance our energy awareness by experiencing the layers of their energy field and our own aura . They expand the connection between our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves.

I invite you to build your health naturally by spending time with these fantastic beings.  For more about opportunities to play with the horses and dolphins in Hawaiian paradise visit

Self Discovery with the Heart of the Horse

Once you are touched by the heart of a horse, you will never be the same. Your life will blossom and change.

Horse Heart Connection is about embarking on a path of self discovery through the way of horse. As we open to the possibility of horses being teachers and guides along our journey of conscious co creation and discovering our authentic selves, we create a foundation of support with transferable skills to the rest of our lives. We can bring what we experience kinesthetically with our equine friends into our personal and professional lives. As we awaken to our own aha’s and insights into our behavior and thoughts, we learn how to safely create new patterns of being. Our ability to accept love and support increases. This builds self esteem and self acceptance, allowing us to be open to unconditional love for ourselves and others. Successful interactions with the horses transfers into our communities and creating the template for a peaceful world. At Horse Heart Connection the inter-species communication work we do benefits both horses and humans.

For a free brochure about our work and upcoming Spring 2012 workshop schedule call 208-883-9933 or email

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