DIY Recipe of the Month: Herbal Spring Tincture • The Organic Alcohol Company

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Organic Alcohol Company (OAC) was founded in 2001 to provide high-proof Organic Alcohol with herbalists in mind. Our founder, an herbalist himself, saw the need to provide an alternative to other conventional ethanols on the market. Focusing on high quality and healthful medicines is still something our whole team values. We regularly purchase products from our local herbalist customers, not only support their work, but to support the use of herbal medicines and remedies.

Many of us at OAC have taken to experimenting with OAC alcohol to make various herbal concoctions ourselves. As a novice, I am learning new information all the time. I only recently found out that traditional tinctures may be only called a tincture when alcohol is used as the solvent, or menstruum (another word for solvent).

Each time I learn something new I am more excited to dive deeper into herbal education, and glean knowledge from…

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Heartsease–Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

A Tiny Herb Worth Knowing

by Maryann Readal

Heartsease, Viola tricolor, also called Johnny-jump-up, is The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for March. It is the perfect time to learn about this delicate little woodland herb that will be popping out of the warming earth very soon. You may know V. tricolor by one of its many other names. There are dozens of names for it including wild pansy, hearts delight, come-and-cuddle-me, love-in-idleness, call-me-to-you, and kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate, etc.

Viola_tricolor_aggr Muriel Bendel. Wikimedia CommonsV. tricolor is in the violet family (Violaceae). The flowers can be purple, yellow, or white but are most commonly all three colors. The herb is native to Europe and Eurasia and was thought to be brought to the United States by colonists. It can be an annual, biennial, or a short-lived perennial. It will reseed itself and thrives in cooler weather.

This unassuming little herb is rich…

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BIG NEWS: Our newest course is officially here!

Good Witches Homestead

Do you dream of creating your own herbal recipe book? One that’s full ofeffective, original, well-balanced formulasinspired by your unique herbal journey and expertise, and the needs of the people for whom they are intended?Our herbal recipe book would be something environmentally friendly, maybe a wax canvas-bound cover and handwritten interior, with oil stains on the pages and pressed flowers tucked into the spine. Part recipe book, part diary, part scrapbook – it would smell of the garden and be bursting with tried-and-true herbal recipes.

Crafting your own herbal formulations is a beautiful way to develop and share your herbal legacy – a tome of time-tested formulas that your family and clients will treasure for years to come. It’s also how you can start creating personalized formulas based on unique wants, needs, and energetics.  If you’re ready to progress from following other peoples’ herbal formulations to developing your own…

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Florida Herbal Conference

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Though winter snows continue to fall here in the Northeast, we are daring to dream of Spring, flowers, and new gardens filled with beauty and fragrant, healing herbs! For more inspiration, exciting workshops, deepening your understanding of the green world, great music and marvelous fun connecting with herbalists around the world ~ head on over to the Florida Herbal Conference site! Emily Ruff and her amazing team are making this conference available to EVERYONE with the pay-what-you-are-able registration fee.   I so hope you have the time to show up and be a part of this Herbal Celebration!! Enjoy!

Source: Florida Herbal Conference

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Exploring Vanilla in the Rainforest and in the Kitchen: Part I

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Belsinger

(Adapted from her article, “Exploring Rainforest Spices at Villa Vanilla,” featured in the 2019 issue of The Herbarist, the annual journal of The Herb Society of America.)

Vanilla in the Rainforest

P1110204Before going to Costa Rica, I researched gardens, restaurants, herbs, spices, botanicals and the rainforest—places where I wanted to go, see, and experience. Once I visited Villa Vanilla’s website, https://www.rainforestspices.com/, I knew that I had to go there. I made reservations for the farm tour in advance. It was one of my favorite things in Costa Rica—I loved seeing the tropical spice plants up close and personal—and I got to smell and taste so many things, which was a memorable sensory experience!

During the half day Spice Plantation Tour, visitors experience the sights, tastes, and aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, and other tropical spices, essential oil plants, and a wide variety of…

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Happy Valentine’s: Turkish Rose: A Review of the History, Ethnobotany, and Modern Uses of Rose Petals, Rose Oil, Rose Water, and Other Rose Products

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Rose is a common name given to the thorny shrubs and climbing vines of the genusRosain the Rosaceae family. More than 100Rosaspecies have been recorded throughout the world. Because rose is a popular garden plant, it is virtually impossible to determine the number of currently existing cultivars. TheFlora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islandsidentifies 24 Rosa species growing in this region of the world.1

Fossil records indicate that Rosa species have existed on the planet for at least 40 million years.2The earliest historical records on Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets indicate that rose became known to humans about 5,000 years ago. A clay tablet about Sargon I, King of Akkadia (2684-2630 BCE), records that the king brought rose saplings during his military campaign to the countries across the Tigris River. Because he formerly lived in the ancient city of Ur near Babylon…

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Magickal Properties and Uses of Viola, Violet Magic

Good Witches Homestead

Viola is a quiet, little magic. She springs up in fields, lawns, and at the edges of forests. Before her companions begin to bud, she’s blooming away, gathering in the cool, damp spring days. In spring’s quiet while everyone else has yet to awaken, Viola works her magic.

Violas come in a variety of colors and shapes. The ones herbalists are most sweet on are a species called Viola odorata, although we may well fall in love with some of her close cousins, too. Viola odorata sports blue blossoms. Viola tricolor, like the ones in my garden, bloom in deep purples, sometimes sporting a few yellow or white petals. Sometimes they’re called Johnny Jump-ups, Hearts-ease Violets, Sweet Violets, or Pansies by garden centers, sometimes just plain violets. Part of what makes V. odorata and her medicinal cousins particularly special is her scent.

Viola odorata or Violet is a…

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HSA Webinar: Weird Herbs

The Herb Society of America Blog

Sponsored by the Baton Rouge Unit
by Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

lambs earGardening has long been a popular pastime. The pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, has only increased gardening’s popularity. Planting perennials and annuals for beauty, texture, and joy, while rewarding, is tame. It is when you cross into the herb gardening world that things get a little weird. 

The Herb Society of America identifies herbs as any plant or fungi that has a use beyond purely ornamental. This includes plants used for botanical dyeing, culinary,yellow skunk cabbage economic, and medicine, among other uses. This is where things can get strange. For example, lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) has been and can be used as a natural bandage or even toilet paper! Still stranger are the leaves of the Western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus), which can be used like parchment paper for wrapping meat and fish prior to cooking. Surprisingly…

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Herbs are expensive – Grow your own

Town & Country Gardening

Herbs Fresh or Dried purchased from your local Supermarket or Farmers Market are exceeding expensive.

These are sample prices taken from Walmart

The best solution is to grow your own Herbs. Herbs take up little space and are very forgiving if neglected.
Most herbs will do well in containers, window boxes and planted directly in your garden soil.
If herbs are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them when cooking and serving meals.

Herbs Make Common Foods Taste Special

Sage is a herb that does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted about every 3 years since it will become woody with few leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier…

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Join This Thursday’s Free Ethnobotany Webinar on The Development of Crofelemer – American Botanical Council

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

We are happy to announce the next webinar in the Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) Toolkit Webinar Series: The Development of Crofelemer: Connecting Ethnobotany, Conservation, Biocultural Diversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and Global Public Health.

In this webinar, ethnobotanist, Steven King, PhD, will discuss his work creating a sustainable harvesting program for Croton lechleri, (the source of Crofelemer) for use in Crofelemer, the first oral botanical drug approved by the US FDA. King, in particular, will talk about his work with international partners and indigenous and local communities on conserving biological diversity, recognizing intellectual property rights, and meeting global human health care needs.

Dr. Steven R. King is an ethnobotanist who has conducted field research on the use of plants for food and medicine in the highland and lowland regions of South America, Africa and parts of Southeast Asia over the past 42 years. Dr. King holds a Ph.D in Biology…

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