Don’t Throw That Away!

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Angela Magnan

A former roommate once picked on me because I saved the crumbs from the bottom of cracker, chip, and pretzel bags. A few years later, he admitted he was rather impressed with all the different uses I found for them, from incorporating them into quiche crusts and coating fish, to topping casseroles and mixing them into meatballs. So it is not surprising that I am often astounded by the bags of trash that get brought to the curb after my neighbors host summer barbecues. I can’t help but wonder: how much of my neighbors’ food waste could be used for something else?

corn silkOne of the great pleasures of summer is fresh corn on the cob, and one of my least favorite things is the silk that often interferes with that pleasure. But these silky strands can be dried and used as a tea. Corn silk was used…

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American Botanical Council and Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs Warns Consumers about High Toxicity of Oleander

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Herbal science group emphasizes that consumers should NOT attempt to produce oleander-based home-remedies or self-medicate with the dangerous poisonous plant.

AUSTIN, Texas (August 18, 2020) — The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) today warned the public about the substantial toxicity associated with all parts of the oleander (Nerium oleander) plant. ABC warns consumers not to ingest any parts of the plant, or capsules, tablets, teas, or extract preparations made from leaves or other parts of the oleander plant because it contains chemicals that can cause serious effects to the human heart, including death.

The ABC warning came as a result of recent media reports that President Trump may be considering asking (or may have asked) the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the drug product called oleandrin as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Oleandrin, as a purified pharmaceutical investigative drug product, has been researched for its potential…

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Free Online Event Plant Medicine for Modern Epidemics Summit August 24-28, 2020

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Never has it been more important and urgent to regenerate your body and build robust immunity than now, in the midst of our global health crisis.

Acquiring the right knowledge about plant allies, and how to source and prepare them, can be life-changing for you and your family.

Some of the plants and fungi of our immediate natural environment offer remarkable healing power. Plants contain a myriad of compounds that can nourish, balance, and support immune function, thereby increasing your body’s built-in resistance to disease.

Join Plant Medicine for Modern Epidemics Summit, where you’ll discover how plants can purify, protect, and support us — as they sharpen our minds, extend our lives, and deepen our connection with this blessed planet.

Free Online Event
Plant Medicine for Modern Epidemics Summit
August 24-28, 2020

Plant Medicine Summit 2020
The summit includes presentations by more than two dozen leading natural medicine experts, health practitioners, and inspiring…

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Makrut Lime – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

thai lime fruitThe Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for August is the makrut lime, Citrus hystrix, a member of the Rutaceae family. This lime is also known as kaffir lime or Thai lime, and also wild lime. You may have spotted it in a produce market or Asian supermarket and wondered what makes it different from an ordinary lime. It certainly looks different, in that it has a gnarly, bumpy skin. The very aromatic leaves are different, too, because they look as though they are two leaves attached to each other. The juice is sour and bitter, and so is not usually used in cooking because it can overwhelm other flavors.

This lime has been widely grown in Asia for so long that it has become naturalized in many countries. Therefore, no one is certain of its origin. It is a staple ingredient in Thai…

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Spicebush to the Rescue

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kaila Blevins

Author Volunteer TripWhile on a volunteer trip in Orlando, Florida, I was desperate for bug spray. In the middle of December, the mosquitoes nibbled on any exposed skin they could find, leaving me and the rest of the unprepared Maryland native participants with patches of red swollen bumps on our ankles and arms. Our guides, a retired couple who volunteers with the state parks, became our heroes on the second day of the trip. During our lunch break, the husband saunters over to us, carrying a branch from a nearby shrub and states, “This is spicebush. Crush its leaves and rub it onto your arms. Keeps the bugs away and helps the itch.” Immediately, we passed the branch around, ripped the leaves off the branch, crumpled them, and rubbed the lemon-peppery scented oil onto our skin.

A couple years later, I would learn that spicebush (Lindera benzoin)…

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Herbalism: A new era (Coronavirus – an Invitation) — John J Slattery Bioregional Herbalist, Forager, Author

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

A bioregional herbalist’s look at the Coronavirus (CoV 2019) and important herbs to consider prior to and during exposure

So I thought I’d take some time to write about some of the herbs that I feel will be important upon exposure to CoV-2, but first, to help put some of this in perspective.

Mexican elder leaf (Sambucus mexicana, syn. S. cerulea subsp. mexicana, syn. S. cerulea, etc.)

Elder s one that is often brought up in any discussion of viruses. Not only does elder help prevent attachment through inhibition of neuraminidase, but it also protects ACE-2 making it exceptionally important at the early stages of prevention and limiting the initial impact of the virus. Another aspect of the elder’s effect on humoral immunity is to increase T cell production. This is important due to the virus’ effects on the dendritic cells of the lungs as the progression advances. This hinders…

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Peppermint – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

Most of us, gardeners or not, are familiar with mint. But how many of us know that there is a distinctive difference between spearmint and peppermint? The difference between these two mints may be important depending on how you want to use them.

Peppermint, Mentha × piperita, is The Herb Society’s Herb of the Month for July.  Peppermint is really a hybrid of two mints, water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). . Being a hybrid, peppermint does not produce seeds. If you want to propagate it, you must either take cuttings or divide the plant. Like other mints, peppermint is a vigorous grower, so must be contained if you don’t want it growing everywhere in your garden.  It favors growing in rich, moist soil. Peppermint has a narrow, coarse leaf and flowers that are pink-lavender.  Spearmint, on the other hand, is…

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Food as Medicine: Moringa (Moringa oleifera, Moringaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Moringa oleifera is one of the 12 known Moringa species in the horseradish tree family (Moringaceae) that flourish in drier parts of the world.1 Nine species occur in eastern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and Somalia, of which eight moringa flowersare endemic to Africa, and three species occur in India.1,2 Belonging to the Brassicales order, this plant family is distantly related to cruciferous vegetables like arugula (Eruca vesicaria ssp. sativa, Brassicaceae) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica, Brassicaceae) and contains many of the same nutrients and sulfurous phytochemicals.1,3 Moringa species grow as stout-stemmed trees or shrubs. Some species are known as bottle trees and have a large root system that enhances water storage and aids the trees’ survival during periods of drought.1 Members of the Moringa genus have corky gray bark and distinct bi- or tri-pinnately compound leaves that have conspicuous swellings, or pulvini, at…

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Black Pepper – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

Black pepper, Piper nigrum, is a ubiquitous spice that can be found on tables anywhere in the world where food is served. But what is the story behind this popular spice that is used in kitchens the world over? 

P. nigrum is native to the Malabar Coast of southern India. It is also grown in other parts of the tropical world, including Vietnam, which has taken the lead in production by exporting 287,000 tons of black pepper worth $722 million in 2019. This is about 35% of the world’s black pepper trade. 

pepppercorn drupe from Missouri Botantical Garden Pepppercorn drupes. Photo credit: Missouri Botantical Garden

Black pepper is a perennial vine with heart shaped leaves and pendulous flowers. It is grown for its fruit, which is dried and then used as a seasoning. The black pepper vine grows in my Zone 8b garden; however, it has yet to produce any peppercorns, although…

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Are You A Forager? New Forager Course — Good Witches Homestead

As herbalists, we have a lot of passions, and foraging is top of the list! With spring in full swing and summer inching closer, we are enjoying our foraging forays and plan for even more time in the fields and forests as the green world bursts into a riot of growth! To make the most […]

via Are You A Forager? New Forager Course — Good Witches Homestead