From the calming characteristics of lavender to the practice of pressing plants, our readers find all sorts of ways to add a bit of herbiness to their crafty arts and relaxing rituals. Please enjoy our next installment of reader-submitted herbal hacks–herbs for crafts, health, and beauty.
I place a little crystal bowl of lavender buds on my bedside table. It helps me relax and get a good night’s sleep. – Janice Cox
Spray your pillow at night with lavender water for a relaxing sleep. – Kim Labash
If you are unfortunate enough to have an allergic reaction to poison ivy while working in your yard, did you know that jewelweed can help with the itchiness? It usually grows nearby. Just break off a stalk and rub the liquid onto the rash. – Janice Waite
I love pressing herbs and flowers in a phone book or microwave press. I use the…
Im getting a ton of questions on why lawyer, Sydney Powell said, “Release the Kraken”. First and foremost, please do not think I am writing a politically motivated post. Those who know me understand I love the occult and hate politics. Im going to show you what I have known for a long time. Your vote and voice has not mattered for a very long time. This will make some people mad because they will refuse to see. For others it will be a connecting of the dots. The Kraken is a Department of Defense spying software, but it was named that for a reason and Sydney said, “Release the Kraken!” for a reason. If you are willing to understand, click the read more button.
As winter approaches, tree identification can pose many problems to those of us who typically rely on flowers, fruits, and foliage for clues.
Fortunately, trees don’t completely disappear during the coldest months, and although their winter outfits may conceal several diagnostic features, dormant trees still offer us a few critical pieces of information.
Take smell, for instance.
Many trees produce unique aromas and odors that can be detected when we scratch their fresh twigs. These aromas will oftentimes lead us to a positive identification when other features fail to do so.
In a brand new video, I discuss six trees that you can easily identify by smell. If you’re interested in improving your winter tree identification skills, check it out!
After watching a video online about making paper from corn husks, I thought it would be fun to try. I had never made paper before, but the video made it look easy. Don’t they always?! I first made some using the husks from six ears. After it didn’t really go well, I bought a book with more detail and tried again.
But like many DIY projects that I try for the first time, or even the second, making paper out of corn husks reminded me that watching a video is no substitute for a detailed book, which in turn is no substitute for experience. It also reminded me that when trying something new, I should perhaps follow the directions.
Corn husks and stalks are some of the many plant materials commonly found in home gardens that can be made into paper. Grass and leaf fibers are some…
Browsing an antique store a year ago, I found a wonderful shoemaking hammer. It was an interesting shape, and when I held the tool, I could literally feel the connection this tool had had with its previous owner. Whoever had owned this tool had used it well–the handle was worn, a piece of old, soft velcro partially worn off where someone had placed it for a firmer grip. I could sense the resonance of craft and skill in this hammer. I held the unique hammer in my hand, and turned it a few times, knowing that this tool would find a wonderful home in my art studio. But more than that, this tool had a bardic ancestral connection to one of the primary bardic arts I have been pursuing for some time: leatherwork.
It never ceases to amaze me how much tea is consumed daily. An estimated 2.16 billion cups of tea are drunk every day around the world, which puts it second only to water in most consumed beverages (DeWitt, 2000). I, myself, have become a tea drinker over the years, and as a plant nerd, I wanted to know more about how the tea leaves were farmed. What I ended up learning is that while tea (Camellia sinensis) is by far the most well known and widely used product of the genus Camellia, it is by no means its only contribution to the herbal marketplace.
Some of you may know the genus Camellia for the wonderful ornamental show that it puts on from fall through spring. Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua have been putting on shows in USDA hardiness zones 7-9 for decades, if not…
The symbol of the stag is very interesting to me. This symbol in the Arthurian legends sends the knights off on a spiritual quest. It is the symbol of Pan and Cernunnos. In China the stag is the symbol of the God of Immortality, Shou-hsien. In Native American legends the stag symbolizes the Spirit World. The Hopi cut the image of their Sun god from a piece of deerskin. Why is the symbol of the stag so important that it represents Gods and Spirits? I found the answers I was looking for in Egypt once again.
This new moon in Scorpio kicks off a month of transformation. Scorpio is the psychic of the zodiac, and there is a lot happening in this sign this month.
Then moon in Scorpio can help awaken your innate psychic abilities. The first Quarter moon in Pisces will further enhance your psychic abilities and increase your sense of inner knowing. Venus moves into Scorpio this month as well which will deepen your emotions and sensuality.
We have a powerful full moon eclipse in Gemini this month as well which will have us looking within and without for new answers and truths… thenn the last quarter in the sign of Virgo might have us tending to our homes, clearing out the clutter and preparing for winter.
The nights are growing longer, and the days are growing colder and shorter as those of us in the Northern Hemisphere move into the months of winter.
This Cold Moon Cycle brings us some clarity and insight about ourselves and others, while also preparing us as we travel towards the colder darker months, preparing for a rebirth.
To determine whether a mushroom is edible or not, time is one factor worth considering.
A mushroom that has been eaten for centuries with few adverse events reported is a mushroom that most people would consider to be edible.
On the other hand, a mushroom with a centuries-old reputation of being toxic is certainly a mushroom whose edibility should be called into serious question, even in modern times.
But not all mushrooms fit neatly into those two categories.
Take the Yellow Knight, for instance.
The Yellow Knight is a wild mushroom that had been safely eaten for centuries. In the 1990s, however, consumption of the Yellow Knight suddenly and unexpectedly became linked to multiple human poisonings. Some of these poisonings resulted in death.
During a recent walk through a pine forest, I encountered the infamous Yellow Knight mushroom. After careful consideration, I decided to harvest the mushroom and cook it, and in the following video I explain why I would do such a thing.
Sponsored by The Herb Society of America’s Long Island Unit
by Jen Munson, Education Chair
Nootropics is a trending topic. Nootropics (pronounced noh-a-trop-iks) includes drugs, supplements, and plants that may improve brain function. According to Allied Market Research, a market research and advisory company, brain enhancing supplements made up $3.50 billion in sales in 2017 and is projected to grow to $5.81 billion by 2023. Unfortunately, it’s an industry that is rife with misleading ingredients and marketing.
True nootropics should aid natural cognitive function, support and protect brain function, and be non-toxic to the user. The properties and constituents of nootropic herbs have demonstrated numerous benefits. Using medicinal herbs to enhance brain health is nothing new; in fact, many have been used safely and effectively for thousands of years.
Some brain boosting herbs can be readily found in the garden. Although rosemary has been symbolically used to represent remembrance, it…