Watch Webinar on Native Wildflowers

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

ginseng American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) a globally rare plant species

The diversity of the world’s plants has dwindled and/or is threatened. In fact the International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that 54 percent of the 19,000 plant species they have identified are at risk. In New England it is estimated that almost 20 percent of New England’s native plants are on the verge of being lost and  another 5 percent has already disappeared. Native plants are under threat from invasive species, habitat loss, climate changes among other impacts.

The New England Wildflower Society seeks to preserve New England native plants. Based at the Garden in The Woods botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, their mission is, “to conserve and promote the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes.” They secure and preserve seeds from rare plants to protect genetic diversity…

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Remembering Who We Are: Chinese Botanical Guides

Remembering Who We Are …

Ancestral Apothecary

Bekah gets to know the plants of her grandmother’s village in Guangdong, China.

As part of our studies in the Cecemmana program, we as students are encouraged to study our ancestral medicines. We are encouraged to ask questions like: who were the healers in our families? What plant medicine did they use? What healing foods did they eat? What healing songs did they sing? In the first two years of Cecemmana, we as students researched the answers to these and other questions and then presented our findings. In my first year of Cecemmana, I looked forward to learning more about the herbal medicine practices of my Chinese heritage.

I found that before I could get to know the plants, though, I had to better understand my family. Growing up in a mixed race household in a predominantly white community, my sister and I grew up feeling disconnected from our Chinese…

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Power of The Seed

By Ancestral Apothecary

Sustainable Wild Collection Protects People, Plants, and Animals

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Chances are, you’re deeply connected with wild plants and don’t even realize it.

All of us in countless ways, whether we recognize it or not, are deeply connected to wild collecting.

Wild plants, as the term suggests, aren’t grown on farms. Instead, they’re collected in meadows, forests and deserts. Since ancient times, they’ve served as natural and essential ingredients in foods, fibers, dyes, cosmetics and traditional medicines.
Consider the açai berries in your super smoothie. They’re wild collected in the Brazilian Amazon. The pure maple syrup you save for special breakfasts most likely comes from the forests of Canada or the northern regions of the United States. The candelilla wax in your favorite skin care products originates in the deserts of northern Mexico. The licorice root used in candies and lozenges could be wild collected in many places — Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. And at Wildwood Enterprises, more…

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Elderberry’s | Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

Good Witches Homestead

CSCH is thrilled to begin the process of creating an Herbal Healing Center at Elderberry’s, a delightful 4-acre farm in Paonia, Colorado! Experience traditional Nature Cure and Vitalist therapeutics among the gardens, herb beds, fruit trees, and wildlands nearby.

Source: Elderberry’s | Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

Elderberry’s is home to a charming, periwinkle-blue 1908 farmhouse, graced with Peach, Plum, and Apple trees, where chickens free-range among organic vegetable and herb gardens. Our botanical sanctuary is on the edge of town, in a quiet, peaceful, varied landscape with huge Cottonwood trees shading the lawns. It’s the perfect place to shed the chaos of city life and recharge your vitality. Eat fresh food right from local farms and gardens and rest in the camping meadow under brilliant stars or stay in one of our tiny houses. Find yourself at home among healing waters, where the Minnesota creek and mountain snowmelt converge…

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Second Annual Holiday Herb Fair

Ancestral Apothecary

Saturday November 25th from 1 to 6 PM

Studio Grand Oakland, 3234 Grand Ave, Oakland

Join Ancestral Apothecary for our second annual Herbal Fair this holiday season! This a great opportunity to have fun doing holiday shopping and to support your local community of herbalists.  All the vendors are students or teachers from our Cecemmana Herbal Programs.

You’ll find unique, hand-crafted herbal gifts and products like herbal chocolate, tea, flower essences, tinctures, salves, body care, and much more.  We’ll also be offering limpias, Reiki and have a raffle with great gifts.

This event is also a fundraiser for our Herbalism Diversity Fund.  We are raising money for scholarship for our students of color.  If you can’t make this event but still want to donate to this fundraising campaign, check our our Generosity Fundraising Page.

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American Botanical Council Publishes Online Version of The Identification of Medicinal Plants Book

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Online access to identification book provides new quality control resource for herb industry

AUSTIN, Texas (October 19, 2017) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces a new benefit for its members around the world: the online publication of The Identification of Medicinal Plants: A Handbook of the Morphology of Botanicals in Commerce, a manual that addresses the macroscopic assessment of 124 medicinal plants used in North America and Europe.

The book was originally co-published in 2006 by ABC with the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It was written by Wendy Applequist, PhD, associate curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s William L. Brown Center, and illustrated with botanically accurate black-and-white line drawings by artist Barbara Alongi.

Accurate identification of the correct genus and species of botanical raw materials is the first step in quality control of botanical preparations. While several methods of identification are addressed in the…

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Herbs To Have In Your Medicine Cabinet This Fall

Good Witches Homestead

It’s the time of year, where more often than not we are turning to our medicine cupboard to support our bodies and our families. An abundance of tea herbs, honey, and lemon, fresh herbs like ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and garlic are all great to have on hand throughout the winter. A few herbal tinctures also play useful roles and are key ingredients in the medicine cabinet.

elderflowerElderberry | Elderberry is an excellent superfood-like ally safe to take in large quantities. With elderberry and plenty of rest, our body’s natural response kicks in–that’s why elderberry syrups and tea have long been used to help support optimal immune function. All these amazing herbs come in handy when our resources are low: elderberry helps our body maintain its normal immune response. Because it’s so much like food, it’s incredibly safe for kids, and happens to taste divine when combined with honey–hence the elderberry syrup! This one…

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Herbs ~ Harvesting, Drying, Preserving and Storing Your Herbs.

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Good Witches Homestead

 For the heart of the medicinal herbs! Knowing how to properly harvest your medicinal herbs will increase the potency and efficacy of the preparations you create.

Let’s understand the terminology used to describe the parts of herbs {plant parts} when harvesting.

  • Berries and Seeds: These are the fruits of the plant, harvested when they are fully ripe {usually when they have turned a rich, deep color and have softened and matured}. Rub or brush away old flower parts and the remains of calyxes {plant material between the berry and the stem}, and halve larger seeds and berries to speed up their drying time.
  • Buds: This means just the flower in its unopened state. Harvest it without any stem.
  • Flower: Harvest flowers by removing the whole flowering head, with little or no stem attached. The ideal time to harvest is just as the flowers are opening, but you can collect fully open flowers…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Ginseng

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Ginseng – Panax quinquefolius

Parts used: root

Traditional uses: Root used for headache, colic, colds, as an expectorant. Chewed for thrush. Decoction used for palsy and vertigo. Poultice applied to wounds and bleeding cuts. Decoction used as a febrifuge. General tonic.

“In China, both varieties are used particularly for dyspepsia, vomiting and nervous disorders. A decoction of 1/2 oz. of the root, boiled in tea or soup and taken every morning, is commonly held a remedy for consumption and other diseases. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.” ~Grieve MH

*** Cautions: Plant is listed as “vulnerable” and may be illegal to gather in your area outside of a certain season. Ginseng gathering is legal in Arkansas, but the plant is hard to find and has almost been…

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