Quickeners Podcast:  Episode 1 – Finding Inspiration

Quickeners Podcast: Episode 1 – Finding Inspiration

Inspired to launch a podcast. May it inspire you too.

Quickeners: A Podcast to Inspire Self-Care

Quickeners are mini-inspirations that help people make a quick shift toward…better.

My beloved brilliant friend and astrologer Michelle LeCroix gave me the name for this podcast during one of her amazing intuitive astrology readings (turns out I am quad Aries…yes there is fire but I try to contain it with kindness. With mixed success). If you want a life-changing reading delivered by a poet-wordsmith, she’s your gal.

This podcast show focused on shift – toward a bit more love or health or whatever it is you are aiming for. I plan to do 13 weekly episodes and hope that you enjoy them. Please let me know how they land for you, pass them on if they work for you, or let me know if there’s something you’d like to ask or hear about.

A great place to start when it comes to making a shift in self-care is finding inspiration – that energy to get you going and to sustain action. I have been deeply inspired lately by the guests I encounter in workshops, and the clients I work with, in private practice. They, along with my wonderful husband (who recently healed from a life-threatening super-aggressive cancer with style and grace), are deeply inspiring to me.

So, have a listen. let me know what you think!

Listen to all episodes of Quickeners Podcast.

Ashwagandha Sesame Oil

Ashwagandha Sesame Oil

Ashwagandha Sesame Oil by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
Tis the season to begin to think about making my fall batch of Ashwagnada sesame oil to warm our way through the fall.
Bows to my colleagues in the Kripalu School of Ayurveda (KSA). Several years ago I got to sit in on part of their training for Ayurveda Health Counselors and got a lovely intro to the Ayurveda way of herbs from Rosie Mann and the KSA faculty.
My husband and I both love this oil, and he has noticed how it is soothing and quiets his mind like it did mine the first time I practiced abhyanga (Ayurvedic oil self-massage) with it during my training. It does have a musky manly scent in sesame oil. We rub it on our feet at bedtime, and more widely when our minds get chattering too incessantly and we have time to relax (it can be a sedative, so I haven’t tried it on a workday yet).


Ashwagandha is a root used in a number of Ayurvedic preparations. It’s a little famous for its aphrodisiac properties, but it is also calming and strengthening (ashwagandha means horse-smell in Sanskrit, after the musky scent of the root itself). Vata-pacifying, it is great for both my husband and I as we enter our hopefully wise Vata years of life.

Ashwagandha Sesame Oil Recipe


  • 1/2 cup dried ashwagandha root
  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups organic sesame oil


IMG_0887You will need a strainer and cheesecloth, as well as a medium-large saucepan and a container for the oil.
1. Gather all ingredients and bless them. I say a little prayer over them like the one my teacher Pam taught me, then ask the root to bless us with its healing gifts.
2. Pour water into the saucepan, and add ashwagandha root. Gently stir clockwise (only clockwise) with a wooden spoon or whisk.
3. Heat medium-low until reduced to 2 cups. This takes 2-3 hours. There is a point where the ashwagandha will thicken into the fluid – the texture will shift.
I like to let my botanical concoctions spend some time on the alter. Prayers, alters, it is all about infusing what I am making with love and intentions.
IMG_09274. Rinse saucepan. Strain the fluid through a sieve, then strain several additional times through a cheesecloth until you have a thick fluid.
5. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, and add sesame oil. Heat at low-medium, occasionally gently stirring clockwise. Again, you will see the oil change as it absorbs the ashwagandha root. I found it became richer and a smidgen cloudy (but, if I had strained more thoroughly it may be more rich yet clear)…the batch I have from the experts is more clear.
6. Once you see the oil change (this took about an hour), let it cool, then strain the oil off of the remaining root-water, into a clean glass jar.
7. Enjoy as a daily oil massage (I would do a test on the weekend!), or rub on your feet and/or top of your head before bed.
Ashwagandha Sesame Oil by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com