Herb of the Month; Cardamom – The Queen of Spices

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Cardamom is the Queen of Spices and has grown lavishly under the tropical canopy on hillsides in the Ghat Mountains on the Malabar Coast of southern India to be harvested by hand and shipped around the world.  The cardamom familiar to India and the western world is called green cardamom and it, along with several other types such as giant cardamom, black cardamom, and bastard cardamom, have been used for cooking, perfumery, incense, and medicine since very early in history.

Ancient Egyptians used it frequently for perfume along with frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia, and had a recipe for an ointment called “Oil of Lilies” that included the scent from 1000 lilies. It is often mentioned as one of the ingredients of the ancient incense kyphi. Cardamom essential oil is one of the oldest essential oils known in perfumery and in the apothecary. Cardamom is the third most expensive spice after saffron…

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Aromatic Herb for February; Tansy

Good Witches Homestead

Tansy {Tanacetum vulgare}

Tansy is an upright herb with a crown of bright yellow clustering flowers. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and is also known as common tansy, bitter buttons, cow bitter, mugwort, and golden buttons. It grows to a height of three feet and produces pinnate, lance-shaped leaves that are uniformly toothed. Its button-shaped flowers sit atop erect, reddish stems.

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Native to Europe and Asia – and of possible Asian origin – the plant was likely first cultivated as a medicinal herb by the Greeks. In the eighth century, it grew in the herb gardens of Charlemagne and at the Abby of Saint Gall in present-day Switzerland, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At that time, it was used to treat…

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Breathing Techniques for Anxiety [Guide]

ecogreenlove

You have a built-in stress reliever, always free and always available: your breath. Fortunately most of the time you don’t need to think about breathing. With no conscious effort, your body keeps the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH levels of your blood in balance by varying your breathing rate. However, you have the power to consciously control your breath when you want to, and learning to do so can be an incredible tool for health and wellbeing.

For thousands of years, people have learned to control breathing for health and spiritual reasons. In the Indian yogic tradition, breath control is called pranayama, and it’s practiced to facilitate meditation, enhance physical yoga practices, and change mood. Scientific research affirms pranayama can help people feel better. The practice of Sudarshan Kriya yoga, a series of breathing exercises, has been shown to reduce anxiety, relieve insomnia, and dramatically reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic…

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Home Brewed ‘Love Oil’ for Valentines

Hedgerow Vintage

It’s a funny one for me, St Valentine’s Day, I know it is supposed to be about ‘the one you love’ but I always think about it as a general celebration of love and partnerships of all kinds.

I feel it most as my love of nature, which awakens with a passion at this time of the year. With the emergence of Spring – who could not fall in love with Mother Nature on a new Spring morning.

So, this little ‘Love Oil’ is not just to promote the traditional sense of the word love in a relationship, but it’s an all-encompassing positive love fest – love for our families, love for our friends, love for Mother Nature – perhaps she needs it most of all right now, and love for ourselves.

Most of the ingredients are from my dried herbs/flowers from last year, with some kitchen ingredients thrown in…

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