A Joyful Cup — Good Witches Homestead

With our non-stop, busy lives, it’s hard to find a quiet moment to relax and recharge. But even the practice of pouring a cup of tea can bring peace of mind – especially with the right herbs. Whether you take your tea at high noon or prefer a bedtime brew, these garden herbs provide the […]

via A Joyful Cup — Good Witches Homestead

Rosemary ‘to remember’ Infused Oil — Wylde and Green

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, and it has a lore stretching back to the ancients, so maybe it is fitting, that more than any other this is the herb of ‘remembrance’. It is such an attractive plant, with long, slender limbs of the darkest green, and delicate, pale blue flowers that the bees […]

via Rosemary ‘to remember’ Infused Oil — Wylde and Green

Herbal Digestive Calendula Tea: A Remedy for Heartburn and Peptic Ulcers

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

If you’re looking for an herb to soothe and repair digestive issues, the cheery flowers of calendula (Calendula officinalis) will be one of your primary allies. Calendula tea is commonly used to help remedy peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It supports the healing of gastric and intestinal inflammation from infection or irritation through its vulnerary (wound healing), anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial actions.

Calendula can be combined with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), and meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) as a natural remedy for GERD, which commonly affects people with the symptoms of heartburn. In the case of peptic ulcers, calendula can be taken concurrently with antibiotic therapy (to address the presence of the bacterial infection of H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori), and then continued for two weeks after finishing treatment. See the notes below for important contraindications.

For a more detailed guide to calendula’s expansive medicinal benefits, visit my article on Growing and Using Calendula.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) harvest

Safety and Contraindications: Do not use calendula internally during pregnancy since it has traditionally been used to bring on menses. As calendula is in the aster family, it may cause a reaction for people who are highly sensitive to plants like ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita); this possibility is rare, but sensitive individuals should proceed with caution when using calendula for the first time. Rare incidences of allergic contact dermatitis have occurred with the topical use of calendula.

Read complete original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Herbal Digestive Calendula Tea: A Remedy for Heartbur and Peptic Ulcers

Calendula’s Benefits for the Skin: How to Make Calendula Oil and Salve

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

Calendula’s sunny blooms are an external remedy for practically every manner of skin complaint. The flowers are used topically as a wound healing, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory herb. For optimal strength, be sure you’re using the whole flower—including the green flower base—instead of the “petals” only (the herb is sometimes sold this way). Calendula-infused oils and salves are some of my favorite topical applications for soothing and repairing the skin—see my recipes below.

Calendula is also an edible flower, a cheerful garden medicinal, and an internal remedy for the digestive and lymphatic systems. Take a peek at our article on Growing and Using Calendula for more on this plant’s floral intrigue. It’s incredibly easy to grow your own calendula, and it’s one of the most beautiful medicinals for the garden.

Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine Calendula’s Benefit for the Skin: How to Make Calendula Oil and Salve

Sage Varieties: Growing Tips and Recipes

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The genus Salvia contains a staggering range of species suitable for every garden use under the sun—and in the shade. But for cooking, none can rival common garden sage (Salvia officinalis) and its cultivars. Sage has long been valued for its contributions to the cook’s palette of flavors. Its robust piney aroma and earthy flavor complement many ingredients. Sage is also an attractive garden plant, particularly in its fancy-leaved forms. Plus, it prospers under a wide range of conditions and adds striking bold texture to mixed plantings.

Growing Info For Sage

• Light: Full sun
• Height: 18 to 24 inches
• Width: 24 to 36 inches
• Bloom time: Late spring, although valued most for its evergreen foliage.
• Soil: Well-drained, tolerant of a wide range of soil types.

What’s the Difference Between Types of Sage?

S. officinalis vary widely in the size and shape of its leaves. Sharp-eyed herbalists…

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A Druid’s Primer on Land Healing: Ecosystems, Interconnectivity, and Planting Guilds

The Druid's Garden

I had a recent conversation with a friend who lives in the town where I work (and where I used to rent a house). I had commented on how “nice” her lawn looked, as it was growing tall full of clover, dandelions, all heal, and so many other blooming plants; it was wild and beautiful.  She laughed and said that she wished her neighbor felt the same way!  She said that her lawn would have to be mowed that very day, and if she didn’t do so, her neighbor had already threatened her with calling the township due to the 6″ grass ordinance. Even though my friend isn’t a druid, this prompted a deep conversation about nature, ecology, and ecosystems. We started talking about the broader ecosystem, and the connectivity of all life–how she wanted to support insect life, bees, and larger life in her small patch of…

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Summer Wellbeing: Summer, The Season of Becoming

Good Witches Homestead

Summer has arrived, filled with a joyful abundance of all the sweetest of things. It makes me want to run barefoot and wild, as I listen to the sounds of the forest: the chirping birds and crickets, the rush of leaves when a gentle breeze comes to play. I fill my lungs as long and as wide as I can, dancing upon the warm winds of this season of flourishing.

$50 off the Botanical Skin Care Course for a limited time!

Here we are met with the season of being alive — of letting go of all fears. Of letting the sun heal us with her gentle glow: restoring our hopes and our dreams. By now we are full-grown, in full bloom, but are also all still children with dirty feet and sparkling eyes. Summer is the season of starlight, of hikes through the forest, of a mountain lake, swims, bursts of laughter, long books of poetry, long days by the…

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A Druid’s Primer on Land Healing: A Healing Grove of Renewal

The Druid's Garden

Reishi growing from a stump! Reishi growing from a stump in my sacred forest

Many years ago, I shared the story of the “mystery of the stumps“, which was my path into druidry. I grew up spending all my days in a forest that was rich, full, and bountiful.  When I was 14, that forest was logged.  My heart broke, and afterward, I tried to enter the forest but it was horrible: downed trees everywhere, so much damage, so many friends that had been cut and taken away.  I thought the forest would never heal.  I withdrew not only from nature, but from my spirit and creative gifts, and spent a time in numbness and mourning–a period that lasted almost 10 years. I didn’t return to the forest till I was 24.  When I finally went back in, so much had changed–the land was regrowing.  Large thickets of birch, blackberry, and cherries were…

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Growing Edible Flowers in Your Garden

Good Witches Homestead

While gardeners love flowers for their beauty outdoors in the garden and indoors in a vase, few raise them to eat. That’s a shame because many flowers are edible and bring lively flavors, colors, and textures to salads, soups, casseroles, and other dishes. Eating flowers is not as exotic as it sounds. The use of flowers as a food dates back to the Stone Age with archeological evidence that early man ate flowers such as roses.

Of course, flowers have been used to make teas for centuries, but flower buds and petals also have been used from China to Morocco to Ecuador in soups, pies, and stir-fries. Rose flowers, dried day lily buds, and chrysanthemum petals are a few of the flowers that our ancestors used in cooking. In fact, many of the flowers we grow today were originally chosen for the garden based upon their attributes of aroma and flavor, not…

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Fresh Peas, Pasta and Feta

Wylde and Green

We are well on our way to July now, and the peas are ready to harvest. This is a really easy recipe using fresh peas, and garden mint, all you need to add is pasta, lemon juice and pepper.

Ingredients;


350g penne pasta (I used spaghetti as this was all I had in the house)
150g fresh peas
100g fresh broad beans if you have them
2tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
150g baby spinach if you have any ready to harvest – or you can add a sprinkle of fresh mint
200g feta cheese, crumbled

What you need to do:

  1. Cook the penne in a large pan of boiling water for 5 mins. Add the peas and broad beans and cook for a further 5 mins until the penne is just tender. Drain and return to the pan.
  2. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice…

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