Herbals

Spring Herb: Sweet Woodruff {Asperula odorata / Galium odoratum}

Good Witches Homestead

Also, Known As:

  • Master of the Woods
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Waldmeister
  • Woodruff
  • Woodward

Sweet woodruff (botanical name Asperula odorata) is a perennially growing plant that spreads into clumps reaching a maximum height of 8 inches to 15 inches (20 cm to 38 cm). The flowers produced by sweet woodruff have a sweet hay aroma, which enhances as they dry out. Sweet woodruff is a much loved small plant that is found growing on its own in the forests and also on hedge banks in shaded areas. It is easy to recognize this plant by its little white flowers that bloom on soft stalks during the period between May and June. Sweet woodruff produces slender, vivid green leaves, which grow in whorls resembling stars in succession something similar to cleavers or goose-grass just beneath the flowers. Each whorl of sweet woodruff comprises approximately 8 leaves. However, dissimilar to goose-grass, the stems of…

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Herbals

Aromatic Herb for March; Spring Herb: Cicely {Myrrhis odorata}

Good Witches Homestead

Also, Known As:

  • Anise Fern
  • British Myrrh
  • Cicely
  • Cow Chervil
  • Garden Myrrh
  • Shepherd’s Needle
  • Smooth Cicely
  • Sweet Bracken
  • Sweet Chervil
  • Sweet Cicely
  • Sweet Myrrh

The plant called the sweet cicely is a hardy and robust herb. The cicely is an aromatic perennial herb indigenous to the mountainous areas of Europe and Asian Russia – growing originally only in these regions. The cicely when fully mature can reach 0.6 to 0.9 m or 2 to 3 feet in height. Sweet cicely is one of the first herbs that come up when spring arrives; the sweet cicely is a pretty plant and makes a beautiful backdrop to a perennial border in mountainous regions where it grows.

In older times, people would usually grow this old cottage garden perennial at a site near the door to the kitchen. The site would be chosen so that the pretty divided fern-like leaves could be easily…

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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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Herbals

Spring Detox for Your Home!

Good Witches Homestead

Spring is the time of year that we start eating lighter and detoxing. It’s time for spring cleaning of body, mind, and home! While there is a lot of focus on what we eat, often not enough attention is paid to how we clean our homes… Making sure that all of your household cleaning products are naturally-derived is extremely important – especially if you have children. The products we use every day may give off toxins that we then breathe in or absorb through our skin. They may also pollute the air in our environment. Studies have shown that environmental toxicity is a contributor to many conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and even cancer(1). The chemicals found in many common household cleaners are carcinogens which mean that they can cause cancer. Bleach and ammonia are highly toxic and, when mixed together, they are a lethal combination(2).  Other chemicals…

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Herbals, Paula Cas

Free Herbalism Project

Good Witches Homestead

We’re just a couple months away from the next Free Herbalism Project: an afternoon of botanically inspired lectures from expert herbalists, live music, and plenty of free organic herbal tea! This spring, we’re proud to invite Maria Noël Groves and KP Khalsa to the stage.

Thanks to popular demand, we’ll be having two plant walks. Space will be limited, so arrive early! Explore Sunday’s schedule to see our entire list of FREE herbal activities.

Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), registered clinical herbalist, runs Wintergreen Botanicals Herbal Clinic and Education Center, nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. She has been working with herbs for more than 20 years, is certified by Michael Moore’s Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, completed studies at Sage Mountain, Heartsong Farm, and Lichenwood Herbals, and is a registered professional herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild.

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, A.D., D.N.-C., R.H., is an herbalist, nutritionist, yoga…

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Food, Herbals

Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections — Gather Victoria

For me, the heady sweet almond-like fragrance of the Ornamental Purple Plum is the very essence of spring. Standing beneath their sensual pink and rose flower-laden branches on a sun-warmed afternoon is an absolutely swoon-worthy experience. Sadly underutilized as a culinary ingredient, plum blossom has a unique scent and flavour which infuses beautifully in cream,…

via Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections — Gather Victoria

Herbals, Wild Foodism

Manzanita Tree Medicine

I love this tree. It’s an all purpose tree with beautiful wood for woodworking and fragrant in campfires and bar-b-ques.

Elder Mountain Dreaming

Arctostaphylos Manzanita is in the family of the Ericaceae. Various names are Greenleaf manzanita; Big berry plant (Navajo); Big Manzanita, Mariposa Manzanita, Whiteleaf Manzanita; Madroño Borracho, Pinguica. They grow along in California, Nevada and Oregon up to the west slopes of the Sierras into the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains. In some areas they are large trees and some are like shrubs, all have a beautiful smooth, matte-finished red bark and a light to medium sage colored evergreen leaves.

Leaves are smooth, wide, dull green and thick as leather. The flowers bloom in little nodding clusters and are pinkish and urn shaped, maturing into red, tart, mealy berries with from 4-10 seeds. It is hardy to zone 8 and has green leaves all year. Flowers from late February to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. The
plant is self-fertile.

Harvest the berries when just ripened and…

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Food, Health, Herbals

11 Coffee Alternatives to Help You Kick the Habit

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

A cup of joe is a key part of many people’s morning routine. Coffee isn’t just aromatic and delicious — it promotes alertness and focus, suppresses appetite, and even aids with digestion.

Coffee acts as a stimulant, which means that it can increase your blood pressure and heart rate; it also gives some people headaches. And while it helps digestion in some people, it can cause stomach pain and indigestion in others, especially people who drink several cups a day.

Maybe your healthcare provider recommended that you reduce your coffee intake or remove it from your diet entirely. Or perhaps you just want to live coffee-free for personal reasons. No matter the reason, we have good news.

Several delicious drinks can ease your transition away from coffee while still providing some or all of the same effects. Many of these coffee substitutes have more natural sugar and no bitter taste, unlike coffee. Here…

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Herbals, Paula Cas

Wychwood: The Earthen Healing of the Elm — Wildling

Good Witches Homestead

Elm specifically excels at lessening inflammation and excitation of the tissues. We often think of soothing herbs as those that are so mild as to verge on useless for any serious condition, and Elm is an excellent plant for correcting that flawed mindset. Elm is gentle enough for interna

Source: Wychwood: The Earthen Healing of the Elm — Wildling

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Health, Herbals

Aromatherapy with Peppermint, Basil, and Helichrysum Essential Oils for Mental Exhaustion and Burnout Relief

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Burnout is characterized by exhaustion related to chronic pressure at work or home. Aromatherapy may help alleviate symptoms of burnout. Lavender aromatherapy may reduce stress by inducing relaxation; however, this may not be optimal for burnout since it may exacerbate symptoms by increasing sedation and the inability to concentrate. Therefore, the authors decided to evaluate 2 stimulating essential oils to address the fatigue, and a balancing essential oil to address anxiety. Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) essential oil has been shown to increase alertness and mental clarity. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) essential oil has been shown to reduce mental fatigue and has antidepressant properties. Helichrysum (curry plant; Helichrysum italicum) essential oil is known for its calming and soothing properties. Rose (Rosa spp.) water, as opposed to rose essential oil, was used as the control because it has a subtle aroma, and it is not known to…

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