Amazing Anise Hyssop

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Belsinger

Agastache foeniculum

——————–Agastache foeniculum——————-

While commonly called anise hyssop, the odor is more similar to French tarragon, though sweeter, with a hint of basil. The foliage and flowers taste similar to the aroma—sweet, with the licorice of tarragon and basil—and just a bit floral.

All of the thirty or so Agastache species are good for honey production and make great ornamental perennials. The flowering plants go well with the silver-leaved species of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum), which flower about the same time in the July garden and also provide good bee forage. The young, broad, dark green leaves of A. foeniculum, tinged purple in cool weather, are attractive with spring bulbs such as yellow daffodils.

Agastache species do not have GRAS status, even though the leaves of many species have been used for centuries as a substitute for French tarragon, infused in syrups…

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Crafting Herbal Extracts…. – My Herbal Adventures…

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

I shared Anne’s email with you and a bit of her website for she is my herbalist, my go-to for tinctures, extracts, balms, etc. I have complete trust in her expertise, the products she endeavors to create, her passion, and drive. I am honored and pleased to introduce you to Anne, my herbalist, and friend.

By the way, here is the link to Anne’s shop…

https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnesBackyardHerbal

by aspiringherbalist

I have now been crafting herbal extracts, mainly; Tinctures, Glycerites, Vinegars & Skincare Oil infusions, for 4 years now. Even though I am no expert and consider myself a novice, I have learned a new lesson every year. As I learn and read and discover new ways of determining how to best create a plant extract that is both effective & well-rounded, I also have to consider its flavor, consistency and taste. I have experimented with different combinations of solvents over the…

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It’s A Lavender Season! Lavender Association of Colorado

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The cultivar of the Month

Lavender coloradoJune 2020 Cultivar of the Month
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Pink’

Hidcote Pink is another versatile lavender grown in Colorado.  It is an excellent culinary variety.  It produces an exceptionally sweet oil that several growers use in conjunction with other lavender essential oils to make unique blends.  Planted with purple lavenders, the pink flowers make the purple flowers “pop” in the landscape.
Hidcote Pink is not really good for crafting as in drying it loses its pink color and dries to a brown.
Hidcote Pink plants are 30-40″ tall.  Stems are in the 6-10″ range.  Spacing the plants 36″ apart should allow them to remain separate over the years.
Hidcote Pink was developed by Major Lawrence Johnston in Gloucester, England, and became available around 1958.  It is hardy in zones 5-9.  It blooms once in the spring.

lavender dilution

Dilution The Key To Using Essential Oils Safely

We…

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Pattern Literacy: A Guide to Nature’s Archetypes

The Druid's Garden

The unfolding of the bramble ferns in the spring always feels, to me, like the unfolding of worlds. The tightly packed fronds, formed at the end of last season and dormant all winter, slowly emerge, uncurling so slowly that you can’t see it happen, but if you come back later in the day, you can see clear progress.  I like to meditate with these ferns, as they connect me to the deeper energies of the cosmos.  The unfolding of the fern frond, there in my backyard, is the same pattern as the Milky Way galaxy in which we all reside.  It is in this sacred pattern that I can see the connection to all things and connect with nature deeply.

Sacred Spiral in the Spring Ferns

This post is a follow-up to a great conversation about wildcrafting one’s own druidry that members of the Ancient Order of Druids in America…

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Introduction to Sacred Gardening: Connection, Reciprocity, and Honoring Life — The Druid’s Garden

Walking into a sacred garden is like walking into another world, one full of joy, happiness, and wholeness. Fruit hanging from happy branches, plants coming up from all angles inviting a nibble, a taste, a touch. The pathways spiral and you get lost, looking at flowers, breathing in the fresh air, and tasting the tart […]

via Introduction to Sacred Gardening: Connection, Reciprocity, and Honoring Life — The Druid’s Garden

A Safe Bug Spray That Really Works: Natural Mosquito Repellent

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Summer is prime time for enjoying the outdoors. But more often than not, there’s a dark cloud hanging over that backyard barbecue: bugs – and especially mosquitoes. These blood-seeking fun busters expertly follow their senses right to your skin. But if you can repel them with one quick application of bug spray, then what’s the problem? It turns out that many old-fashioned bug sprays contain neurotoxic ingredients that may increase cancer risk. But, worry not – there are plenty of nontoxic essential oil blends that repel the bugs, without the bite to your health.

Why Should We Use Natural Mosquito Repellent?

Mosquito bites are not just annoying. They can also transmit diseases such as malaria, Zika, and dengue fever, among others. So, it’s important to guard against them. Mosquitoes are guided by their sense of smell, which is equipped with hundreds of odor-receptor proteins, and they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide we…

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Wild Foragers, Violets, Spring Enchantments

Good Witches Homestead

Violet has been on our minds this spring as we see her pretty little flowers blooming here in southeastern Utah. Violets are one of the earliest wild plants to appear in the season, and we are reminded of her beauty as well as her long history of culinary and herbal use that may have us deciding to seize spring for all that it is!

Violet, being rich in vitamin C, indeed has our attention for a supportive immune boost! 

We love to harvest the fresh leaves and flowers to incorporate into springtime salads, juices, and refreshing smoothies. Violet, of course, also makes a really lovely tea, vinegar, or syrup, not only for the vitamin C content but also for soothing respiratory symptoms. 
Violet has a cooling and moistening energy, and its demulcent and expectorant properties are soothing to a sore throat, dry cough, and other respiratory irritation.
The recipe for…

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Violet Springtime Fairy Vinegar: A Mineral-Rich Spring Tonic

Written by Juliet Blankespoor with Meghan Gemma
Photography by Juliet Blankespoor

When violets begin to pop up in the spring landscape, it’s our cue that a vernal promenade of mineral-rich, cleansing herbs is in full swing. Violet keeps excellent company—look for herbs like chickweed, cleavers, dandelion, plantain, and stinging nettles when violet’s heart-shaped leaves and purple blooms appear on the scene.

These nourishing spring beauties all fall into the category of tonic alterative herbs. Many herbalists call them “blood cleansers” and indeed they can help to optimize the quality of the blood by affecting cellular metabolism. They also work their magic by supporting the elimination of wastes by improving liver, kidney, digestive, and lymphatic function.

Alterative herbs can be helpful for:

  • Spring fasting and cleansing
  • Low immunity
  • Skin conditions like acne and eczema
  • Cancer prevention
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Rheumatic conditions*

Violet is one of my choice herbal alteratives as its tender young leaves are optimally delicious for infused vinegars, spring salads, and pestos. In addition to being a classic cleansing herb, violet is rich in soluble fiber and is a traditional lymphatic and respiratory remedy; helping to bolster us through the last weeks of cold-season coughs and colds. You can read more about violet’s medicinal uses here.

*Please consult with an experienced herbalist before using herbs for any of these conditions or for cleansing.

Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Violet Springtime Fairy Vinegar:  A Mineral Rich Spring Tonic

THE COURAGE TO TRUST YOUR INNER WISDOM — Good Witches Homestead

NEW CRESCENT MOON IN ARIES We have passed through the Dark Moon in Aries into the New Crescent Moon today. We passed through the Spring Equinox last week, which is the official start of the lunar year, and have moved into the New Moon in Aries which is the official start to the lunar year. […]

via THE COURAGE TO TRUST YOUR INNER WISDOM — Good Witches Homestead

Lemongrass: A Resourceful Herb and Essential Oil

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Lemongrass {Cymbopogon citratus}

Also, Known As:

  • Citroengrass
  • Fever Grass
  • Lemongrass
  • Sereh
  • Te Limon
  • Zacate Limon

Cymbopogon citratus, generally known as lemongrass, is a resourceful herb, a natural source of aroma, mosquito repellent as well as a plant that is widely used to decorate gardens. Lemongrass belongs to the grass or Poaceae family (formerly known as Gramineae) and has several functions – an effective herb, aromatic or container garden, or as a medication for various conditions. One may find a number of the variety of lemongrass and each of them possessing dissimilar chemical compositions. However, citral is the major chemical ingredient found in all varieties of essential oils of lemongrass.

Lemongrass is native to tropical regions and grows in clusters. The plant has globular stems that eventually become leaf blades. This herb belongs to the herb family which also includes citronella and palmarosa and possesses a lemon essence. When the leaves of the herb are compressed…

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