Spare Changing for Trauma: a Memoir of Pain & Healing

Now: $38.99
(You save )


Over the years I have been pleaded with to write a book about my traumas, as well as a book about herbalism. I quickly discovered that there are some plant allies I simply can't talk about without sharing the very traumas that led to our deepened connection. With this in mind, I have written something that I'm not sure has ever been done before: 

A personal memoir of my homeless teenage years (age 13-18) and an herbal healing book, rolled into one.

I don't see how I would be able to do it any other way. You see, my traumas are not something I separate from my healing - whether it's physical or not. It just doesn't work that way for me. 

They are one and the same.

This book will not be an easy read. It will not read like poetry or beautiful realizations - if that is what you are hoping for.

It will read like the brutal life of a young girl unknowingly enacting out bloodline trauma while unable to face her own lifetime's worth. A young girl that gravitated to the dangerous, the dirty, and the scars she felt the need to collect.

It will read like serious wounds healed - broken bones and shattered notions of self vomited onto pages, with no fair warning given to the horrors witnessed. 

It will be embarrassing for me to share my own poor decisions as a teen. It will also be healthy for me to have a place for these things to rest outside of my own tired mind.

There will be tears. There will be a deep look at the plants involved in each story. There will be know-how and recipes shared. There will possibly even be newly gained understanding of who I am as a person, and why plants will always be the company I prefer.

There will be, most importantly of all, healing.

Herbs to be discussed are Yarrow, Plantain, Dandelion, Elderberry, California Poppy.


Here are a few snippets from the beginning chapters of the book


Yarrow Stops The Bleeding But Not The Trauma Of The Wound

"I slowly regained what I guess you could call consciousness to the crackle of a fire and what I could only guess was the sound of rocks bashing and scraping together. Soon the slight breeze shifted and the smoke that had been burning my eyes gave way to the familiar pungent smell of Yarrow. I faded in and out of reality a lot. I was not sure if I had been raped as I couldn't really feel my body. I saw an old teapot stained black from many campfires being filled with water, I saw the man throw more wood into the flames, I heard those rocks smashing again. I smelled the Yarrow even stronger now. I had a conscious thought, “If they kill me maybe they will bury me in the Yarrow field I keep smelling...” I oddly found comfort in that notion as I once again slipped out of consciousness.


I am not sure how long I was asleep. Suddenly this man was making me sit up and dumping a warm liquid down my throat, the first thing I had drank since the river. That smell of Yarrow had now turned into the bitter, astringent taste of earth and volatile oils. I felt every cell in my body scream for it as I gasped for air between the forced drinks. In that instant I realized this man who had not spoken a word was helping me. All night he woke me up and made me drink a whole cup of that fresh Yarrow he had been smashing up between those rocks and boiling in that old tea pot. I must have in all seriousness drank two gallons worth before I had to piss, that’s how utterly dehydrated I was."




Achillea millefolium


How can Yarrow do so much for us?

I wanna take a second or two to talk about how I’ll be breaking this all down for you in each herb chapter. Bear with me. 

In every plant, there are chemical compounds of all varieties. these are how any given plant does any given thing to our body. 

Talking about said chemical compounds can for sure get super dry, scientific, and leave us feeling not only confused but overwhelmed, which usually shuts the average person down to learning. This is no big surprise, as not many people like this kind of drudgery and it sure as hell does not make for easy learning.

At the same time when I read most herbal books geared towards the average human I am more often than not let down with the shocking lack of ‘why’. I mean, the ‘why’ should not be the most important thing in our relationship with plants, but it’s still for sure a thing that should be a part of it to an extent.

So my aim in these chapters is to the best of my ability explain the why in such a way that just about anyone reading will understand it.

I’m not saying I won’t utterly fail at this, but I’m gonna give it a good go and see what happens!

So back to how Yarrow can do so many amazing things for us! The first thing to know is that she has well over 100 unique compounds in her, but let’s just focus on the ones I feel inclined to talk about and how they help us.

Like some pretty powerful compounds such as achilleine, sesquiterpene lactones, azulene, menthol, cineole, camphor, camphene, limonene, sabinene, and eugenol. 

Even looking at that small example of her compounds it’s probably easy to see why when we dive into this side of the pool it can leave us feeling like we’re gonna drown in the depth of it all. I kinda sorta half ass promise to not let that happen. Let’s talk about how Yarrow and bleeding wounds go together like bees and honey.

It’s all about her Achilleine content which makes her a legit hemostatic/styptic, which basically means she is able to make our blood clot as well as shrink up blood vessels to help reduce bleeding. That may not sound like much of a magic trick when it’s put so simply, but let’s break the impact of this down section by section.


Can I buy your books to sell in my store?

You sure can! Any amount of 5+ copies ordered get's an automatic 10% discount and my book has the legally required ISBN number and bar code required to be setting on your shelf for sale!

Customers Also Viewed