Violets are Delicious

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America

violet bouquetOne of the loveliest flowers of spring is the Viola odorata or as it is commonly referred to, the “Sweet violet.” Violets have been used in herbal healing remedies for centuries, in fact St. Hildegard of Bingen, the famous 12th century German mystic and healer, was said to have made a healing salve of violet juice, olive oil, and goat tallow for its use as a possible anti-bacterial.

I use violets whenever I can for their healing virtues, and they are also an absolutely delicious ingredient in salads, drinks, and desserts. Back in the day, violet flowers, and leaves mixed into salads were one of my favorite spring remedies for pre-menstrual melancholy. When chopped liberally into extra virgin olive oil with some fresh comfrey leaves, they make a poultice that can…

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Growing Medicinal Herbs in Pots: 10 Healing Plants for Your Container Garden

By Juliet Blankespoor and Meghan Gemma
Photography by Juliet Blankespoor

You can grow a respectable herbal apothecary in pots. In fact, some of the most beneficial medicinal herbs will positively thrive in containers placed right on your porch or patio.

Many can even double as attractive houseplants, the likes of which may arouse the botanical curiosity of friends and neighbors.

These ten hand-picked herbs will round out any medicine chest and add beauty to your home. Adaptogens, first-aid herbs, digestives, and relaxing remedies are all represented.

We’ve included hearty medicinal tidbits for each plant, alongside the “green thumb” information you need to shower your medicinal herbs with proper TLC.

Need more guidance? For a fleshed-out primer on selecting containers and understanding the sensitivities unique to potted medicinals, visit our blog on Growing Medicinal Herbs in Containers.

Curious where to find herb starts and seedlings? Take a wink at our catalog of Herbal Seed Suppliers and Nurseries.

*Please note that this article’s discussion of medicinal uses is introductory in scope. We’ve provided safety guidelines for each plant, but we recommend that you research any new herb and consult your health care providers for possible drug/herb contraindications and precautions before ingesting.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) receiving a harvesting "haircut"

1. Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae)

Parts Used:  Primarily leaves, may include small amounts of stem, flowers, and fruit

Medicinal Preparations: Tea, tincture, infused oil, nibble, infused ghee, milk decoction, powder, broth, poultice, compress, green smoothie, and fresh juice

Herbal Actions:

  • Vulnerary (wound healing)
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
  • Nervine
  • Antibacterial
  • Alterative
  • Secondary adaptogen*

View remainder of article at: Growing Medicinal Herbs in Pots:
10 Healing Plants for Your Container Garden

Children’s Garden opens at Kew Gardens helping kids to learn about what plants need to grow

Life & Soul Magazine

A new Children’s Garden, which provides an interactive space for kids to learn about the elements and everything a plant needs to grow, is opening at Kew Gardens this weekend [Saturday 18 May].

The garden, set in a natural setting the size of 40 tennis courts wrapped around a 200-year-old oak in the centre, is a space for kids aged 2-12 to learn about the things that plants need to grow – essentially the elements: earth, air, sun and water.

In the Earth Garden children can weave through a living bamboo tunnel, explore a jungle of large leafed palms and slide down ‘worm-hole’ tubes. Through this experience, there’s opportunities to learn about earth science, from germination to plants with interesting roots.

Through a ring of sunflowers and pink candy floss grass, sits the Sun Garden with its windy and twisted paths. Cherry blossoms from a row of cherry trees and hoop frames…

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Let Us Stroll the Primrose Path of Dalliance

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kathleen M Hale, Western Reserve Herb Society

20190505_163700The botanical family name of the common or English primrose, Primula, comes from the diminutive of the Latin word for “first.” And the common name “primrose,” derived from prima rosa (“first rose”), is also a reference to the primrose being one of the first flowers of spring. This is not the evening primrose (Oenethera), or any of the other, more ornate, forms of Primula. This is the quintessentially English cottage garden flower.

Of course, it is then described as “vulgaris.” Sounds harsh. But this is not a matter of judgment of the primrose’s character. It’s just that, where the primrose is happy, it is very happy. It grows and spreads in abundance in cool, moist places.

This does not describe the micro-climate in most of our homes when primroses beckon so invitingly from the grocery store aisles shortly after the winter holiday…

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Herbs for Your Windowsill

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Like the idea of growing your own medicinal plants? Look no further than your windowsill or patio garden for these four standbys of ours: lemon balm, sage thyme, and peppermint. These herbs are familiar to us from grandma’s recipes and as lyrics in songs, but they may be less familiar as medicine. Lemon balm, also known as “hearts delight” and the “gladdening” herb, has long been treasured for its ability to soothe the nerves and uplift the spirit. An old Arabian proverb says that “balm makes the heart merry and joyful.” From ancient times, though, sage was used for digestive troubles, heartburn, depression, and even dementia. Thyme is excellent for treating sore throats and bronchitis. Make thyme tea with honey to soothe those colds and coughs. And women listen up, for bloating and digestive issues associated with our monthly cycle thyme is an excellent soother and diuretic. Another great herb for digestion…

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Marijuana Associated With Fewer Disease-Related Complications In Those With Crohn’s Disease, Finds Study — TheJointBlog

According to a study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, marijuana consumers with Crohn’s disease who are seeking hospitalization possess fewer disease-related complications compared to those who don’t use cannabis. For the study a team of investigators from the John H. Stroger Hospital in Chicago, the SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in New York City, and the Digestive […]

via Marijuana Associated With Fewer Disease-Related Complications In Those With Crohn’s Disease, Finds Study — TheJointBlog

Lemon Balm Infused Oil

Wylde and Green

Lemon Balm, or you may know this herb as Melissa, is an easy plant to grow. It likes a sunny spot, and if it can be watered every now and again it will reward you with a big bushy plant very quickly – in fact a little too quickly at times – and it is also fantastically good for the bees.

My Lemon Balm is one of the oldest plants I have planted myself in the garden at around 10 years old, it is next to my Tess of the D’Urbervilles Rose (planted for my Daughter Tess), and in the summer provides a good contrast to the deepest pink of the rose with its fresh bright green leaves. Both plants magically are associated with Love, so they make a good companion planting combination. It does, however, get a little too big for its boots at times, and I need to…

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Herbal Bouquets for Mother’s Day – Traditional Medicinals

Good Witches Homestead

In the English and European Victorian era, gifting herbs and flowers were used to relay secret messages. When you received a flower bouquet, you would sit down with your dictionary and try to decipher what it meant; honeysuckle for devotion, aster for patience, and roses for love.  Fast forward to modern times, important life milestones like births, graduations, buying a new home, and career changes are almost always accompanied by flower gifts. While today it’s not our first choice of communication, a flower bouquet can make a lovely homemade and eco-friendly gift for just about anyone in your life, and can certainly contain an intention.

Plants and floral bouquets have a long-standing tradition as Mother’s Day gifts, and with good reason. There’s a simple and well-understood joy that comes from a vibrant and beautiful bouquet on the kitchen table. We have all felt it, botanical bliss; it’s like a type…

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May 2019 Newsletter, The Oregon Lavender Association invites you to enjoy lavender all year round!

Good Witches Homestead

Announcements and Events
 
May 2019
This is an exciting month for lavender lovers and farmers!  Our plants are greening up and sending up shoots!  We will even see flowers from our featured lavenders this month, Lavandula stoechas, and maybe flowers from the early blooming L. angustifolia varieties, such as French Fields, toward the end of May!
There aren’t any events going on during this month, but June will be packed. Here’s a sneak peek of some June festivals and events so you can get them on your calendar:
Clackamas River Lavender Festival at Eagle Creek Lavender
June 22-23, from 10-4
 Join us for our Festival at Eagle Creek Lavender on the Clackamas River. Live music, savory food, U-Pick fresh lavender, gift shop with lavender products, artistic vendors and awesome classic cars on display. A bargain at $5 per car for parking. No pets, please. 27525 SE Starr Rd, Eagle…

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Dandelion Lotion Bars

Wylde and Green

I have used a recipe from The Nerdy Farm Wife and adapted slightly to suit me.

Dandelion lotion bars, are good for very dry, chapped skin, and can be used on hands, knees, elbows or anywhere that needs some serious love.

This is the perfect time of year to make Dandelion infused oil. Our gardens and countryside are full of them, but when collecting please do leave some for the bees. For every 1 dandelion you pick, leave 2 or 3 behind.

Making the infused Oil;

With proper storage this oil will be good for 9-12 months. Gather flowers from places that haven’t been sprayed with chemicals or used as a bathroom site for your pets. Dandelions often have bugs or ants on them, so let the container sit outside for a few hours before bringing in.

Dandelions have a high water content, so let them dry out for 2-3…

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