Food as Medicine: Anise (Pimpinella anisum, Apiaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Anise or aniseed (Pimpinella anisum, Apiaceae) is an herbaceous annual that grows to almost a meter (3.3 feet) in height.1,2 The lower leaves of the plant are dark green, heart-shaped, and shallowly lobed, while the upper leaves are feathery. In the summer, the plant produces small, white flowers in an umbrella-shaped head, and, in the fall, these flowers produce aromatic fruits that are three to four millimeters in length. These fruits, called “anise seeds” in the market and referred to in the rest of this article as “seeds,” are the medicinal and culinary portion of the plant.

The cultivation of anise, which is native to the Anatolian peninsula, Greece, and Egypt, has spread to other countries. The plant grows well in warm, frost-free climates.3,4 Anise should not be confused with fennel(Foeniculum vulgare, Apiaceae), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Fabaceae), or star anise (Illicium verum, Schisandraceae), which have…

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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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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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The Fifth Season: Herbs for Wildfire Season

Ancestral Apothecary

Guest student post by third year Cecemanna student Beth Sachnoff.

Here in California a fifth season has emerged. As we move from the warm months of summer into the dry winds of autumn we enter what has been the peak time for California wildfires.  In this era marked by extreme drought, years of fire suppression and climate change, fires have raged up and down California and the Pacific Northwest. This year alone, 1,258,880 acres have burned in California[1].

Driving up north to the mountains last month I was met with gray skies and smoky hazy air. The land is on fire. There was a heaviness in my heart and a deep sense of grief for the lives, homes and livelihoods lost. Back home in the Bay Area the air hung heavy with pollution carried from fires miles and miles away. Schools were instructed to keep children in-doors, and air…

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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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BACOPA MONNIERA: Brain Health and Nervous System Restorer

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The Bacopa monniera herb, also known as Brahmi, has been used as a traditional Ayurvedic treatment for mental issues, epilepsy, and asthma. In fact, its documented medicinal uses can be traced back to the 6th century A.D.

A classic brain and nerve tonic, Bacopa is a medicinal herb that has been used effectively for several thousand years as a brain and nervous system restorer. The herb is known to increase mental clarity and promote improved memory and intelligence. It also assists in heightening mental acuity and supports the physiological processes involved in relaxation. In other words, it can keep you feeling relaxed while also boosting mental clarity, your focus, and mood. In fact, Bacopa is thought to help nourish neurons as it restores depleted synaptic activity.

Bacopa Monniera for Improved Memory

A 2006 double-blind, randomized study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry showed that the control group taking 125…

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Food as Medicine: Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica, Urticaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Urtica dioica (Urticaceae) is commonly known as nettle, common nettle, or stinging nettle. The species is an herbaceous perennial with a spreading growth habit. Growing 4-6 feet tall, stinging nettle produces numerous erect and wiry stems that hold up its opposite, roughly textured, serrated leaves.1-4 It produces small, inconspicuous greenish-brownish flowers that emerge as axillary inflorescences.The stems and undersides of leaves are covered with hairs called trichomes. When touched, these stinging trichomes inject a chemical cocktail that typically causes localized skin irritation as well as a painful, tingling sting from which the species has derived its most common name, stinging nettle.1,5

The Urticaceae family contains about 500 known species, distributed mainly in tropical areas.1 The genus Urtica, whose name comes from the Latin uro (to burn) and urere (to sting), consists of both annual and perennial herbaceous plants known for the burning properties of the…

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Herbal Healthwatch, September 2018

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Rhodiola Relieves Stress

Rhodiola {Rhodiola rosea} is a perennial groundcover that grows in some of the harshest conditions on Earth; the Arctic regions, from Scandinavia to Siberia. For centuries in Russia, Rhodiola enjoyed a folk reputation as a while-body strengthener or tonic. After World War II, Russian researchers added it to the short list of “adaptogens,” plants such as ginseng that strengthen the entire body. But during the Cold War, the Russian military seized Rhodiola supplies and suppressed information about the herb, convinced that it could give Soviet troops an edge in potential battle. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian Rhodiola research was published in the West and the herb became available in the U.S. and Europe.

More recent research shows it has several health benefits, particularly in the realm of coping with physical and emotional stress, and a new study shows that it helps prevent…

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Our Pantry Profile: Rosemary

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

The name Rosmarinus loosely translates to “dew of the sea,” given to rosemary because of its affinity for the wind-swept cliffs of the Mediterranean coast, where it originates. Beloved for centuries for its aroma and health benefits, this strongly aromatic member of the mint family is now cultivated worldwide.

Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary to improve their memory and concentration, and many ancient herbalists recommended rosemary for failing mental acuity. During the Middle Ages, some would wear it around the neck to protect from the plague. Thirteenth-century Queen Elisabeth of Hungary claimed at 72 years of age, crippled with gout and rheumatism, that she had regained her beauty and strength by using “Hungary Water” {largely rosemary-infused}, compelling the King of Poland to propose marriage to her. Along with juniper, rosemary was frequently burned by the tub-full to disinfect the air from disease, from ancient times through…

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