Herbals, Plants

A Natural Antibiotic: Thyme Oil for Wellness and Cleaning

Good Witches Homestead

Superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus {MRSA} are on the rise and, unfortunately, are becoming resistant to the drugs used to treat them. When faced with a microbial infection, using natural antibacterial agents may not only be more effective but also safe and risk-free.

Apart from using spices like garlic, I recommend you try essential oils derived from herbs like thyme oil. Not only do they have antibacterial properties, but they also provide a number of health benefits. Before I go into thyme oil’s antimicrobial functions, let me share some information on the essential oil.

What Is Thyme Oil?

Oil of thyme is derived from thyme, also known as Thymus vulgaris. The perennial herb, a member of the mint family, is used in aromatherapy, cooking, potpourri, mouthwashes, and elixirs, as well as added to ointments. Thyme also has a number of medicinal properties, which is due to the herb’s essential…

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Plants, Ritual tools, Spiritual Toolbox

Spring Cleaning! The Magical Besom — Gather Victoria

Happy Spring Equinox! Blue skies and blossoms, what a day to welcome the official coming of spring! I was up bright and early today with a mission. To craft one of the most hallowed objects of spring cleaning – the Besom. I’ve been so busy with my cookbook and creating rewards for Patrons, my home…

via Spring Cleaning! The Magical Besom — Gather Victoria

Gardens, Plants, Wild Foodism

Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the Shy Violet

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

While violets’ delicate blossoms are a treat only for the observant, the plant has enjoyed a long history of medicinal and culinary use.

Leigh Hunt, an English Romantic essayist, and poet is the first known author of the phrase “shrinking violet.” In 1820, he published a passage describing a bit of woodland in The Indicator, a poetry magazine: “There was the buttercup, struggling from a white to a dirty yellow; and a faint-colored poppy; and here and there by the thorny underwood a shrinking violet.”

Hunt was almost certainly referring to the native English, or sweet, violet (Viola odorata). This shy plant can often go unremarked underfoot, and it carries its small, slightly recurved flowers level with or just below its leaves. The phrase “shrinking violet” took a few decades to catch on — but when it did, it spread rapidly, much as its parent plant does…

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Herbals, Plants

The Plant Medicine Summit March 18-22, 2019

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Free Online Event
The Plant Medicine Summit
March 18-22, 2019

Plant Medicine Summit 2019

In our fast-paced culture, we’re becoming increasingly disconnected from nature.

And in doing so, we’re losing touch with our symbiotic relationship with the plant kingdom… a vast life-giving resource for healing our bodies, balancing our emotions, and awakening our consciousness.

Our environment is suffering too. As a result of our failure to recognize our biological and spiritual connection with the natural world, destructive agricultural practices, and climate change are destroying the Earth’s ecosystems.

However, as you’ll discover during the eye-opening sessions in The Plant Medicine Summit, by honoring plants as our sacred evolutionary allies, we have great potential to heal not only ourselves but our beautiful planet as well.

Esteemed speakers joining for this life-changing, 5-day event include our host, David Crow, plus, Mark Blumenthal, K.P. Khalsa, Lupo Passero, Pam Fischer, Sara Crow, Nicholas Schnell, and many others.

Here’s just a small…

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Food, Plants

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The “Noah’s Ark of Plant Diversity” protecting the world’s seed resources

Life & Soul Magazine

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, otherwise known as the “Noah’s Ark of Plant Diversity”, is home to what is quite possibly the world’s most important treasures – seeds.

Deep inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, lies the Global Seed Vault. The Global Seed Vault isn’t just a large storage facility for seeds from around the world, but it is protecting the world’s agricultural genetic diversity and protecting future food supply in case of built to stand the test of time and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters.

The Svalbard archipelago, the furthest north reachable on a scheduled flight, was chosen for the vault’s location because it is remote, there are no volcanoes or earthquakes, and the permafrost keeps the seeds in deep-freeze. Svalbard Global Seed Vault’s remote location is 130 metres above sea level, and benefits from permafrost…

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Health, Herbals, Plants

The Sleeping Giant of Mediterranean Herbal Medicine: Helichrysum italicum

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Helichrysum italicum (Roth.) Don. (Asteraceae) is an iconic plant of the Mediterranean area (Figure 1), but the use of its essential oil in glamorous perfumes and personal care products has turned it into a veritable icon of luxury. However, just like the geographical distribution of Helichrysum species extends beyond the Mediterranean region, the properties of H. italicum are not limited to fragrance as they can benefit human health as well. In this context, H. italicum can be viewed as the sleeping giant of Mediterranean herbal medicine, and its extracts have the potential to be developed as dietary supplement ingredients just like its essential oil has been used successfully in perfumery and aromatherapy. Waking this giant will not be simple, but recent studies have provided the basis for a Helichrysum renaissance. This article outlines the fascinating ethnopharmacology of H. italicum in the light of modern molecular investigations of its…

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Food, Gardens, Plants

The Bee Friendly Trust transforming station platforms into habitats for honeybees to thrive

Life & Soul Magazine

The Bee Friendly Trust is transforming railway station platforms and other neglected sites in the UK into forage-full habitats in which honey bees and other pollinators can thrive.

The Bee Friendly Trust works with railway authorities, volunteers and schools to provide a network of flowering habitats for honeybees. They build planters and create mini orchards on railway station platforms, solar farms and other land – filling the planters with bee-friendly flowers to form pollinator corridors across urban centres and beyond.

Honeybee numbers have been steadily declining in the UK, mainly due to habitat loss, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease. Yet without them, around a third of the food people eat wouldn’t exist.

The Bee Friendly Trust say: “We want to create a world where honeybees and other pollinators have the habitats they need in order to thrive, and in which individuals and communities feel inspired and empowered to nurture…

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Herbals, Plants

Little Lavenders in the Landscape

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

As spring approaches we get anxious to start planting our garden!  In March, we have time to plan which lavenders we want to add or replace in our garden.  In late March and into April and May, after the weather and the ground have warmed up, we can usually tell which lavenders need to be replaced. After we do spring garden pruning and clean up, we have a better idea of how much space we have to plant.  There are also more lavender plants available from local growers at that time of the year.
English lavenders, Lavandula angustifolia cultivars, are the hardiest lavender plants to grow, but eventually, they do need to be replaced with new plants.  Some lavender plants that are over 10 to 15 years old are very woody and parts of these plants may no longer produce new leaves or flowers. As long as a garden space…

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Health, Herbals, Plants

The Skin You’re In (#herbs, #IBS & #skincare)….

My Herbal Adventures...

My skin has been a nemesis of mine since I was a teenager. Yet, the worst years were in my early twenties for breakouts and trial after trial of trying to fix what seemed to only get worse. As I tried to figure out how to fix it from the outside, without being willing to change my eating habits, it only got better when my alcohol consumption and relationship with nutrition & food changed in my mid-twenties. To this day I still struggle with my skin more than anything else in my lifestyle routine; due to a few reasons I will discuss below.

IBS! This has been a new discovery for me in the past few years. My sensitive stomach is really what has now been defined and given a name; Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Here are the list of symptoms in case you are unfamiliar:

  • Changes in normal bowel movements…

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Gardens, Plants

Seed Libraries where library members can “borrow” fruit and veg seeds for free

Life & Soul Magazine

Public libraries across the US are offering library members free fruit and vegetable seeds to promote sustainability.

Known as seed libraries, these collections of complimentary seed packets are being made available in hundreds of libraries across the country. While some institutions simply give the packets away to library card holders, others allow them to be “checked out” with the understanding that the seeds of any future plants will be returned to the library.

A seed library is a place where community members can get seeds for free or for a nominal fee and is run for the public benefit. Many seed libraries are open in public libraries and community centres, and are run by nonprofits, clubs, or school groups.

The Seed Library Social Network, an online resource for anyone wanting to set up their own seed library, said: “For some communities, getting folks to garden and grow some of their own food…

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