The Ziz Files Vol. 2


March 2020

Pure joy from the depths of the archives, floating on a cloud, a picture heard.

These are a few of my favorite things.

The Ziz Files is a monthly series featuring snippets of delight from the visual landscape of everyday life, the kitchen, lectures from the greats, a plant of the month, and some of the globes finest tunes.

Sharing a slice of what inspires me, from my kitchen to late night YouTube'n.



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Kiki Smith


3 multiples of glass



Ivan Illich on Water & the History of the Senses, 1984

"Here is Ivan Illich, speaking in 1984 at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. His topic: the history of water and of the senses. The following year, the Institute published his book 'H2O and the Waters of Forgetfulness.' It is still in print and a must for anyone interested in the senses, in water, in the history of sewers and smells, and in the "historicity of 'stuff'," as Illich puts it."


Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, Directed by Godfrey Reggio, Music by Philip Glass, 1983


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Madness & Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason by Michel Foucault


Cadillac Desert: Water and the Transformation of Nature, directed by Linda Harrar & Jon Else, 1997

"Cadillac Desert Water and the Transformation of Nature (1997)

An American four-part documentary series about water, money, politics, and the transformation of nature. The film chronicles the growth of a large community in the western American desert. It brought abundance and the legacy of risk it has created in the United States and abroad. The first three episodes are based on Marc Reisner's book, Cadillac Desert (1986), that delves into the history of water use and misuse in the American West. It explores the triumph and disaster, heroism and intrigue, and the rivalries and bedfellows that dominate this little-known chapter of American history. The final episode, is drawn from Sandra Postel's book, Last Oasis, (1992) which examines the global impact of the technologies and policies that came out of America's manipulation of water, demonstrating how they have created the need for conservation methods that will protect Earth's water for the next century. --------------- This recording comes from old vhs tapes, and the quality is messed up in places. But, it is nearly impossible to find copies of the original series anymore. Just a single copy of the first episode is for sale on amazon, and the guy selling it wants $1000!! Or you can watch it here for free :)" ~jkoomjian


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California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica, Papaveraceae)

One of California's most beloved flowers but it doesn't stop here. See hillsides and fields of it blossoming all the way down into Baja California Sur, Mexico. I took this photo last spring in Baja, on a plant adventure with my friend and mentor 7Song. We drove all the way down to the tip of the peninsula to find Damiana, not to gather it, but just to see it growing in the wild. After about 14 hours of driving in circles around the southern tip of the peninsula, we started seeing stands of it. I'll share more about this adventure later, but you if you want to read more about it, check out 7Song's piece of writing on our trip, here.

Back to Cali Poppy. In my herbal practice, I use Cali Poppy medicinally for easing anxiety, pain, and helping with sleep. It's also a major plant I use in formulas for addiction. I'll use it in two ways here. 1. As a supportive plant for easing tension and anxiety, to build the nervous system. 2. For withdrawal, taken daily as needed to dampen cravings and ease accompanying anxiety and restlessness.

It's an herb that works well for anxious restless types who have difficulty sleeping and are fidgety.

It's safe for kids in smaller doses and pairs nicely with Chamomile in this scenario. You can take it in a variety of preparations that include tincture, tea, glycerin, capsules, and powder. I prefer fresh tincture of the whole plant but glycerin is nice for those who wish to avoid alcohol. 

You can find California Poppy in Zizia's Sleep Tincture. May support a more restful sleep, ease anxiety, and lessen pain. Good to know tip: you can use this formula in smaller doses during the day for anxiety. Start with 5-10 drops and see how it goes. 


Cacao Coconut Granola from Botanica

I made this the other day for the first time and I'd definitely make it again. I like keeping a big jar of granola around to eat with yogurt or turn it into cereal. This one happens to taste delicious as cereal with oat milk and blackberries. One thing I'd try for next time is dunking the thick coconut pieces in the melted chocolate sauce and coating each one before pouring the chocolate mixture onto the oats. I added in walnuts in place of the sesame seeds and sunflower seeds since I didn't have them around in the pantry. 

Click here for the full recipe over at Botanica. 


Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets, 1974

Every year, when Spring hits, Eno plays. 


Lorna Mauney-Brodek discusses the uses of Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida, Asteraceae) in Atlanta, GA.

Lorna is founder and director of the Herbalista Health Network, a project that offers free clinics and educational programming for underserved communities in Atlanta, GA & Dublin, Ireland. For more info visit

Produced & Edited by Abbe Findley for the HMVDB (Herbal Medicine Video Database) The HMVDB is an herbal educational video project created by herbalist and artist Abbe Findley. The aim of this project is to document and highlight the oral tradition of botanical medicine in the 21st century as it is currently being practiced by clinical and community herbalists. Please use this information responsibly and with consideration and stewardship for the plants discussed here in these videos. 

I apprenticed with Lorna for three months several years ago in Atlanta, she's been a major influence and inspiration to my herbal practice. She's also the one who got me into/introduced me to the world of medical foot care. I've learned a lot from her over the years and she's one of my absolute favorite herbalists out there and is doing amazing and inspiring work helping others using herbal medicine. It's a honor to have her contribute this monograph on Giant Ragweed for the database, I hope you enjoy it. 

Learn more about the HMVDB here, one of my side life projects I've been slowly recording and editing over the last five years.


Aside from taking immune supporting formulas right now like the Reishi Astragalus Powder & Immune Tincture, I always like to introduce liver supporting formulas into my routine as spring approaches. I find liver herbs may be supportive for improving liver function, metabolism, detoxification, hormone balance, skin issues, irritability, digestion, and protecting the liver against the absorption of outside toxins (hepatoprotective). I'll take these two formulas at the same time each spring, the Burdock Dandelion Liver Powder & Liver Tincture. Take 1 tsp. of powder 2x a day and 2ml of tincture 2x a day. Shop and learn more about the Liver Detox Duo here. + for a limited time, enjoy free shipping on all U.S. orders over $75 (no code).

Take care out there and stay safe.