Raspberry, Herb of the Year and Herb of the Month: History and Lore

The Herb Society of America Blog

HOM Brambles

By Pat Greathead

Raspberry, Rubus spp., is the International Herb Association’s Herb of the YearTM for 2020 and The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for January (Brambles). The genus Rubus includes both the red and black raspberry and the blackberry as well as almost 700 other species. Rubus is in the Rosacea family.

My Wisconsin Unit of The Herb Society each year examines the IHA Herb of the Year.TM In this blog post, I have mainly focused on red raspberry leaf and have used information from many websites in writing this article. I hope you enjoy reading it as this is the year of the raspberry!

Raspberry leaves are among the most pleasant tasting of all the herbal remedies, with a taste much like black tea, without the caffeine. Raspberries are native to Asia and arrived in North America via prehistoric people, with the first…

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Herbs for Natural Detox – Traditional Medicinals – Herbal Wellness

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

As we shift from the holiday season, it is an excellent time to take a few days to simplify, clear and pave the way to receive the bounty of the new year. This can mean making space for creativity, resetting intentions, or cultivating healthy habits that support the body and mind. Symbolically, it is no surprise people gravitate towards “cleansing” and “detoxifying” during this time of year.

While “detoxing” may appear to be a modern-day answer to what seems like an increasingly toxic world, our ancestors have long incorporated bitter, nutritive herbs and roots into their diets. Modern science has revealed that many of these herbs – such as dandelion, burdock, nettle, Schisandra, and red clover, have a special affinity to support the natural function of our inherent detoxification systems.* Honoring this age-old wisdom, herbalists continue to utilize these herbs to support and nurture these processes rather than encouraging harsh…

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Create Your Own Personal Haven—Anywhere

Good Witches Homestead

Stress! It’s the scourge of our contemporary society. And the thought of retiring to a safe haven where you can banish stress, repair your nerves, and renew your life is a concept whose time has come. Creating a personal sanctuary, whether it be in a bedroom, bathroom, patio, garden, or the Great Outdoors, seems to be a cherished goal for many of us stressed-out people.

But how to go about fashioning such a retreat? What elements are required, and can you do it in a limited space and on a tight budget? These questions and many others form the contents of my book, A Sanctuary of Your Own. Perhaps you’ve read books, visited websites, and watched TV programs dedicated to this subject. With wild enthusiasm, you’ve started designing your space, and you’re halfway there. But, somehow things aren’t quite gelling. So in this short article, I’ll distill some of…

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Baba Yaga’s Wild Spiced Honey Cookies — Gather Victoria

Ever since I called upon Baba Yaga to be my winter baking muse this season – I’ve had nothing but trouble. Which should have been no surprise, Baba Yaga is renowned for testing your mettle with endless impossible tasks which determine whether she will help you- or hinder you – according to her liking! And…

via Baba Yaga’s Wild Spiced Honey Cookies — Gather Victoria

How to Grow and Use Hibiscus, Plus a Fire Cider Recipe

Written by Juliet Blankespoor with Meghan Gemma
Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

How to Grow & Use Hibiscus Plus a Fire Cider Recipe

I try not to foster any regrets in life, but I must confess that I waited too many years to plant hibiscus, thinking the temperate climate unsuitable for its success—and for that, I am sorry. It is, in fact, easy to grow and harvest if you have the right variety and get a head start on the season.

The hibiscus we use medicinally—also called roselle—is made from the calyces (aka sepals) of Hibiscus sabdariffa in the Mallow family (Malvaceae). These deep red calyces are often mistaken for flowers, and may be sold as such. Other notable members of the mallow family include cotton (Gossypium spp.), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), and marshmallow (Althaea officinalis).

There are other species of hibiscus with edible flowers, but no other species has a similar medicinal and edible calyx. When the petals fall off, the receptacle (flower base) and calyx (sepals) remain as fleshy red crowns. See the picture below of the flower with the petals intact (on the left) and the remaining calyx (on the right).

Ready to keep reading about hibiscus? We discuss its medicinal benefits (heart-healing!), culinary qualities, and cultivation below. We also divulge the recipe for our lusciously red Hibiscus Pomegranate Fire Cider. This is truly one of my must-have healing herbs!

Read complete article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ How To Grow and Use Hibiscus, Plus A Fire Cider Recipes

Christmas-Solstice EO blend: bring the forest inside — Good Witches Homestead

Originally posted on Inner Journey Events Blog: Oringinal image by Free-Photos from Pixabay ? I love the scent of evergreens… perhaps this is why I walk so often in the nearby forests. In winter, I like to bring those scents indoors to freshen up the indoor air — especially if it’s just too cold to…

via Christmas-Solstice EO blend: bring the forest inside — Good Witches Homestead

The Medicine of Pine

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

 

 

My kindergarten school picture is the first evidence of a lifelong love affair with trees, and pine in particular. My dad had planted a little grove of white pines (Pinus strobus, Pinaceae) in our backyard. I spent my afternoons playing in their whorled branches, unwittingly collecting resin in my locks while leaning my head against their sturdy trunks. My mom cut out the sticky parts, resulting in a hairstyle that could only be rivaled by the likes of Pippi Longstocking.

There are over one hundred species of pine worldwide, and most have recorded medicinal uses. Cultures around the globe have used the needles, inner bark, and resin for similar ailments.1,2,3 Internally, pine is a traditional remedy for coughs, colds, allergies, and urinary tract and sinus infections. Topically, pine is used to address skin infections and to lessen joint inflammation in arthritic conditions.4 Native people across the continent—including the Cherokee, Chippewa, Iroquois, Apache, Hopi and countless other groups—have used over twenty species of pine in a similar medicinal fashion.1

Along with its myriad medicinal applications, pine is a source of lumber, food, essential oil production, and incense. There are a few species of pine in North America and a handful of species in Eurasia that yield the familiar edible pine nuts. Pine is essential commercially for its lumber and pulp, which is used to make paper and related products.

Many species of pine are considered cornerstone species, playing a central role in their ecological community. See my article on longleaf pine here. Finally, many species are planted ornamentally for their evergreen foliage and winter beauty.

Read complete article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ The Medicine of Pine

 

Herbal Recipes for Thanksgiving – Urban Moonshine

Good Witches Homestead

It’s the time of year when many of the simple joys of life become the heart and center of this season; spending time with family and friends, the coziness of winter, warm fires, mugs of mulled wine, and lovingly prepared meals.

So much of herbalism is about celebrating the life and benefits of the plants, and the way they support us throughout the seasons. Autumn, especially around Thanksgiving, is our time to enjoy the gifts of this year’s harvest.

Classic holiday meals can be enhanced by adding herbs to support your health. These dishes are sure to be crowd-pleasers with your nearest and dearest.

Enjoy, and cheers to good health!

MEDICINAL HERBAL STUFFING 

A classic holiday stuffing recipe made with rye bread and medicinal herbs and mushrooms.

Servings: fills two casserole dishes, about 15 servings. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 loaf of good dark rye bread
  • 1/2 cup sage, minced
  • 1/2 cup rosemary,

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Roselle Hibiscus– An Herb with Many Names — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Originally posted on The Herb Society of America Blog: By Maryann Readal With its bright red calyces, green leaves, and okra-like flowers, Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as red zinger, red sorrel, sour tea, Florida cranberry, and roselle, makes an unusual and striking accent plant in the garden. On a recent trip to Montreal, I was…

via Roselle Hibiscus– An Herb with Many Names — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

How to Make Herbal Dream Pillows

Good Witches Homestead

In the modern world, it can be challenging to get a good night’s rest. Keeping a healthy daytime lifestyle as well as a calming nighttime ritual are excellent ways to prepare the body for restful sleep filled with exciting and inspiring dreams! There are even traditions in which herbs are used during sleep, not only to bring about peaceful snoozing, but also to create vivid, lucid dreaming landscapes sure to bring happiness, rather than grogginess, to your waking state.

The practice of placing herbs under one’s pillow dates back centuries and was originally thought to protect against evil, bring good dreams, calm bad dreams, foresee the future, or even conjure a lover into one’s life! No matter the reason, herbal pillows are an easy way to help promote peaceful sleep and encourage dreaming. These pillows are simple to prepare and make a wonderful “crafternoon” with your friends or family. The first step is to…

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