Medicine Chest: Herbal First Aid Kit

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Topical Herbal First Aid Kit

As you delve into the world of herbal medicine, at some point or another you take a look at your medicine cabinet and think, “What kinds of natural remedies should I stock in my first aid kit?” Many herbs offer topical applications for a variety of everyday woes, including aches and bruises, cuts and scrapes, bug bites and rashes. And conveniently, you can cultivate or wildcraft most of these herbs or find them easily at natural food stores and online herb shops. Here are a few basics to consider stocking:

Plantain {Plantago major} leaf, a ubiquitous and easily recognizable weed, is readily available in most lawns, woodland path edges, and pavement cracks. You can apply the freshly chewed or mashed leaves directly to bug bites, bee stings, poison ivy, rashes, and splinters to quickly draw out inflammation, irritation, venom, and foreign objects. How…

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Caring With Calendula

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

This vibrant orange blossom pops in the garden add a burst of color to cuisine and is a powerhouse in the medicine cabinet. Learn more about this amazing, autumn-loving species.

Brilliantly striking, calendula’s gorgeous yellow and deep-orange blossoms bring a smile to both gardener and herbalist alike. In the fall, you’ll find this plant gracing many doorways, a staple among other autumn harbingers that herald the colder weather to come. But this dazzling ornamental’s long, storied history and powerful medicine make it a must-have for the home.

Sunshine in the Yard

Visually delightful, sun-loving Calendula officinalis is also commonly called marigold, but don’t confuse it with Mexican marigold {Tagetes erecta}, which is another species entirely. A member of the Asteraceae family along with chamomile, dandelion, and Echinacea, calendula is native to southern Europe and parts of the Middle East, but now grows in temperate climates throughout the world…

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How to Know If A CBD Oil Is Genuine or Not? — TheJointBlog

After the legalization of cannabis in most states, the use of CBD has greatly increased. As a result, you will realize the use of CBD in many places such as health stores, and coffee shops, among other places. Additionally, the CBD is currently being mixed with drinks, lotions, and cocktails. For this reason, it is […]

via How to Know If A CBD Oil Is Genuine or Not? — TheJointBlog

Sunflower Lore — Good Witches Homestead

COMMON NAME: sunflower GENUS: Helianthus SPECIES: H. annuus-grown for seed and flower FAMILY: Compositae BLOOMS: summer TYPE: annual DESCRIPTION: Characterized by its height and size of the flower, the sunflower has earned a welcome place in the summer garden. Many varieties on the market now offer diversity in color {even a white sunflower!}, size of the flower, and plant […]

via Sunflower Lore — Good Witches Homestead

A Joyful Cup — Good Witches Homestead

With our non-stop, busy lives, it’s hard to find a quiet moment to relax and recharge. But even the practice of pouring a cup of tea can bring peace of mind – especially with the right herbs. Whether you take your tea at high noon or prefer a bedtime brew, these garden herbs provide the […]

via A Joyful Cup — Good Witches Homestead

Sage Varieties: Growing Tips and Recipes

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The genus Salvia contains a staggering range of species suitable for every garden use under the sun—and in the shade. But for cooking, none can rival common garden sage (Salvia officinalis) and its cultivars. Sage has long been valued for its contributions to the cook’s palette of flavors. Its robust piney aroma and earthy flavor complement many ingredients. Sage is also an attractive garden plant, particularly in its fancy-leaved forms. Plus, it prospers under a wide range of conditions and adds striking bold texture to mixed plantings.

Growing Info For Sage

• Light: Full sun
• Height: 18 to 24 inches
• Width: 24 to 36 inches
• Bloom time: Late spring, although valued most for its evergreen foliage.
• Soil: Well-drained, tolerant of a wide range of soil types.

What’s the Difference Between Types of Sage?

S. officinalis vary widely in the size and shape of its leaves. Sharp-eyed herbalists…

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Create Your Own Apothecary

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Herbal Tinctures for Health and Well-Being

They may be small, but these extracts pack a powerful herbal punch. Discover the multiple benefits of tinctures, and how to make and use them to stay healthy.

Crafting stellar herbal remedies in your kitchen that surpass anything you can buy in stores is easy and fun. The basic method simply entails packing herbs in a jar, covering them with something, such as alcohol, vinegar, or honey and then straining them after a few weeks. Alternatively, they can be simmered on the stove and then strained.

Herbal Courses from beginner to advanced

Here, we’re going to talk about tinctures, a liquid extract made with alcohol. Alcohol is as good as water, and sometimes better, for extracting most plant constituents, and it makes a far more concentrated product. Instead of drinking a whole cup of tea, you take just 1/5 to 1 teaspoon of the tincture. Dilute your tincture in a…

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Origins Of Aloe Vera

There in Misali, I was discovering my own circular route, from childhood familiarity with Aloe vera in America, to the splendid diversity found in Africa, and eventually… back home again.

RICHO CECH

The popular story goes that long ago, somewhere in North Africa, grew a smallish yet handsome, robust and edible aloe, plump of leaf and yellow of flower.  This unique plant was taken from a wild stand which has since been extirpated, leaving no parent population to be found.  In the process of domestication, the plant lost its ability to reproduce from seeds, and is thus currently propagated by pups (lateral offshoots) only.  This aloe became known as  “Aloe vera,” a common name that eventually came to be accepted as the scientific name.  Lovely Latin, it means “True aloe.”

Aloe vera Plants

However, the story makes little botanical sense, and although charming, has always left me with a number of questions unanswered.  How true is this true aloe? If true, then I’d like to know where it is from, and why it is more true than the rest? If Aloe vera came originally from the wild, then why has it lost its ability to reproduce from seed?  Because the ability to reproduce from seed is one of the main earmarks of a wild-derived species aloe.  And, why is common Aloe vera so very consistent in form?  Wild aloes are not like that–they show some variability in form, and indeed require pollination with plants of different parentage in  order to make viable seed.  Finally, why is the plant so very vigorous? One can hardly keep up with transplanting all the pups. This trait looks a lot like hybrid vigor.  All these questions are satisfied by this one hypothesis: Aloe vera is a hybrid!

Overview:  The Aloe family (the Aloaceae) is represented by about 550 species growing in mainland Africa and Arabia as well as the islands of Socotra, Zanzibar, the Mascarenes  and Madagascar.  Aloes are in general rosette-forming, polycarpic, drought-tolerant succulents.[1] Their leaves are toothed on the margin, boat-shaped in cross-section, non-fibrous and filled with gel. The vascular bundles that occur just beneath the epidermis of the leaf are filled with a bitter, yellow latex. The flowers are drooping, tubular and brightly colored; arranged in terminal, sometimes branched, racemes.  The seeds are dark-colored, occur in capsules, and are winged to encourage dispersal by wind. Beyond these commonalities, aloes come in a fantastic array of forms.  There are tree aloes, single-stemmed aloes, multistemmed aloes, bushy aloes, stemless aloes, dwarf aloes, creeping aloes…[2] Aloes are the most common medicinal herb in Africa.[3] Many African mothers living in the bush know to use aloe leaf for treating conjunctivitis, a use that has rarely been understood by Western practitioners.  Aloe in Africa is also used for treating burns and wounds, as a bitter tonic to the digestion, as an antiparasitic, for treating malarial fever, HIV/AIDS, jaundice, yellow fever, hepatitis, high blood pressure, etc.  Ethnobotanical uses range from snuff ingredient (Aloe marlothii) to harborage of ancestral spirits (Aloe dichotoma).  Aloe vera itself is a clumping aloe that will make a woody stem with age.  The leaves are filled with mucopolysaccharide-rich gel that is used topically to treat burns or other skin injuries, promotes fibroblastic activity and speeds healing–a soothing and antiinflammatory emollient.   The mucilage contains acemannan which is anti-tumor and beneficial against HIV. The skin of the leaves contains anthroquinone glycosides that are hydrolyzed in the intestines, speeding peristalsis and producing a stomachic and laxative effect. [4] [5]

Read the full article at: Richo’s Blog ~ Origins of Aloe Vera

Summer Wellbeing: Summer, The Season of Becoming

Good Witches Homestead

Summer has arrived, filled with a joyful abundance of all the sweetest of things. It makes me want to run barefoot and wild, as I listen to the sounds of the forest: the chirping birds and crickets, the rush of leaves when a gentle breeze comes to play. I fill my lungs as long and as wide as I can, dancing upon the warm winds of this season of flourishing.

$50 off the Botanical Skin Care Course for a limited time!

Here we are met with the season of being alive — of letting go of all fears. Of letting the sun heal us with her gentle glow: restoring our hopes and our dreams. By now we are full-grown, in full bloom, but are also all still children with dirty feet and sparkling eyes. Summer is the season of starlight, of hikes through the forest, of a mountain lake, swims, bursts of laughter, long books of poetry, long days by the…

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Health Benefits of Slippery Elm

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Slippery Elm is a perennial tree native to the central and eastern United States and Ontario, Canada, and can reach a height of 60-80 feet. They can live up to 200 years. Slippery Elm is also called Red Elm or Indian Elm. Native Americans used the inner bark for its soothing effect on the digestive tract and to heal wounds. Today, Herbalists use Slippery Elm for its mucilaginous and nutritive properties, for a sore throat, and for soothing the mucous membranes lining the stomach and intestines. The inner bark is the only part used for therapeutic purposes. When it is moistened, the gummy mucilaginous substance surrounding its fibers swell, producing a soothing softening remedy.  This gooey ingredient is very similar to Flaxseed. Slippery Elm is known by Herbalists for its soothing effect on whatever part of your body it comes into contact with. Slippery Elm has also been used during times of stress. Given that our mental…

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