Food as Medicine: Date (Phoenix dactylifera, Arecaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera, Arecaceae) has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years.1 Because of this long history of use and cultivation, the exact origin of the date palm is difficult to pinpoint. Dates have been harvested for centuries in northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and have played a large role in the economies of countries where the plant grows.1,2 The largest global producers of dates are Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United States.3

The date palm is a large palm tree and grows about 49-82 feet tall.1 The palm leaves are 1.5 to 11.5 inches long.1 Around the trunk of the date tree, the palm branches grow in a spiral pattern and form a crown with hundreds of leaves that are gray in color.2,4 The leaves have a…

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6 LUNG HERBS for the BODY & MIND

Good Witches Homestead

Healing the Lungs, Grief, and Trauma

Especially with all the deep sadness with the ongoing fires in California, the necessity to write on the herbs that heal our lungs is vital. My heart is humbled and heavy with what is happening with the world at large. Seeing these fires and shootings affect so many friends and community members, it really shook my core on how precious and vulnerable life can really be. Today we’re reviewing lung herbs as these are herbs that not only help repair lung tissue, they assist in the recovery of emotional trauma, PTSD and grief. Below are herbs that are easy to find in most herb stores and markets, that can help you or a dear one cope with environmental toxicity, and support you emotionally. 

Our lungs are always at work. At every moment of the day, they’re cleansing the air, delivering oxygen to the cells, and energizing the body with life. They are constantly filtering…

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Let’s Create Some Herbal Remedies – When Cold and Flu Season Arrives.

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

These two recipes are prepared as teas but are not taken in your tea cup – they help with the discomfort of flu season in other ways.

Winter Inhalation

living-herbs-for-cold-flu-thymeThis traditional herbal steam helps open your sinuses, discourages bacterial and viral growth, and reduces pain and inflammation. Remember to stay a comfortable distance from the steaming pot to avoid burning your face.

8 – 12 teaspoons fresh or 4 teaspoons dried eucalyptus leaf {Eucalyptus globulus}

2 – 3 tablespoons fresh or 1 tablespoon dried peppermint leaf

2 – 3 tablespoons fresh or 1 tablespoon dried thyme herb

3 cups purified water

Essential oils of the herbs above {optional}

Place the eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, and water in a saucepan and stir to thoroughly combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and uncover. Drape a large towel…

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Food as Medicine Update: Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulaceae) is a trailing, herbaceous perennial in the morning glory family.1,2 It is indigenous to Central and South America and grows best in subtropical climates, spreading along the ground and producing oblong, tuberous roots. There are more than 400 sweet potato varieties, and most have yellow-brown or copper-colored skins with bright orange or yellow-red flesh.3 Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSPs) are the most common varieties consumed, but white, cream, yellow, pink, and deep purple varieties also exist. The sweet potato plant has alternate, heart-shaped leaves and produces funnel-shaped white, pink, or rose-violet flowers that appear in clusters in the leaf axils as the plant matures.4

Taxonomic confusion can arise over the common name “yam” that often is given to sweet potatoes in the market. Botanically speaking, true yams belong to the genus Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae) and are much less common in the United…

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THE GOOD SIDE of BEING DOWN

Good Witches Homestead

The anatomy of anger, envy, sadness, and fear

Negative emotions do us a great favor – they save us from ourselves.
They’re mysterious signals, that oftentimes surge for “no apparent reason”, urging us to pay attention and change what we’re doing. Emotions that generate unpleasant feelings have been called sins (anger, envy), rejected in “polite” interaction (jealousy, frustration), or identified as unhealthy (sadness, shame). Culturally we’re taught to suppress these feelings, or medicate them, and punish ourselves for feeling them. Because these feelings are mostly seen as unpleasant, they are often called “negative” emotions… although “negative” is a misnomer. Honestly, if you think about it, emotions are not inherently negative or positive, they simply are a feeling to situations that happen. In esoteric practices, for example, they are distinguished by much more than whether they feel good or bad. Beneath the surface, every emotion orchestrates a complex expression of changes in motivation…

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BE A HERBALIST THIS FALL

Good Witches Homestead

Autumn is the time to ground down and return to our inward selves.  After the ethereal light and abundant days of summer, we start to prepare for the darker days ahead.  It’s the best time of year to set intentions, get quiet, create and manifest dreams, and to re-commit to healthy habits–the simple things that add up to a healthier state of being.

Wherever you are in the world and whether you experience a dark winter or not, honoring the seasons within the body is one of the most fundamental practices within herbalism.

1. INVITE WARMING, GROUNDING AND NOURISHING RITUALS BACK INTO YOUR LIFE

From a holistic, traditional standpoint, each season is characteristic to an element or quality within nature, and we should guide our lifestyle choices to support the season. For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this season marks the beginning of the Yin (cool, watery, deep) part of…

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A Druid’s Guide to Herbalism, Part II: Preserving and Preparing Sacred Plant Medicine

The Druid's Garden

The moonlight shines through the window in my kitchen as I carefully use a mortar and pestle to grind dried herbs for making tea.  Candlelight softly illuminates the space, and I have my recipe book with me, ensuring that I record everything that I’m doing for future use. Magic is in the air; working in a sacred space at a sacred time on the Fall Equinox ensures that these medicines will be potent, effective, and magical. On the counter, I’ve already finished my fresh New England Aster flower tincture; this keeps my lungs in good health and helps me manage my chronic asthma without pharmaceuticals. A pot of olive oil is infusing with herbs is on the stove; I am getting ready to add beeswax and pour it off into small jars.  This healing salve will be for friends and family as Yule gifts.  The kitchen is bursting with good…

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Food as Medicine: Cherry (Prunus avium and P. cerasus, Rosaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Take advantage of the fleeting cherry season to explore the fruit’s sweet side, sour side, and beneficial side. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, cherry fruit and cherry bark have been used to treat and support a wide variety of chronic inflammatory conditions. In addition, the fruit’s rich phenolic compound content has been studied for their potential benefits for sleep disorders, exercise recovery, and cognitive function.

Known for both their ornamental beauty and sweet and tart fruits, cherry (Prunus spp.) trees are among the 3,400 species that belong to the economically important rose (Rosaceae) family. This botanical family also includes other fruit-bearing trees such as apples (Malus spp.) and pears (Pyrus spp.), as well as herbaceous perennials like strawberries (Fragaria spp.) and brambles like blackberries (Rubus spp.) and raspberries (Rubus spp.).1

Cherry fruits are produced by various trees…

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Breeding Cannabis Chemovars for Patients Requiring Distinct Chemical Profiles for Optimum Efficacy

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Proper exposition requires definition, certainly the case in the longstanding debate over cannabis (Cannabis sativa, Cannabaceae) speciation. Authors briefly introduce the ongoing dispute between followers of Fuchs (1542 CE) and Linnaeus (1753) and those of Lamarck (1783) and Schultes (1974). Lamarck described the putative “C. indica” and has been followed by proposed “compromise” naming like “C. afghanica,’ “C. ruderalis,” etc. If one holds that a species includes all plants capable of reproduction with each other, there is no debate. Cannabis is quite variable in height, branch density, leaf width, seed size, organoleptic and chemical traits, but all cannabis plants can interbreed. Nonetheless, “Sativa” and “Indica,” especially, have entered the popular lexicon, used even in medical cannabis dispensaries to denote the reputed differences in effect. A plethora of “strain” names – more properly varieties or cultivars, despite the illegality of the plant in…

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Catch-22 is Alive & Well ~ How I Learned To Live With Chronic Pain Without Opioids

Oro Cas Reflects

In the Spring, my wife, Paula Cas wrote a post about my battle with chronic pain, pain clinics, and opioid use. Catch-22 Is Alive And Well.

Just wanted to post a short update about how things have been going since then.

After a lot of research, trial and error, I have come up with non-Opioid, no prescription treatment for my chronic pain that works for all but my worst pain days … Rainy days or extreme cold.

A high THC strain of Medical Cannabis usually with the colors purple or blue in the name in flower or dab form. I also found a website with high quality hemp based CBD Oil products, 750mg twice a day most days and 1500mg twice a day on bad days, that has been great help for pain and sleep. The final product in my new pain management program is from a company where…

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