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

LEGAL ALERT: FDA sends warns 15 companies for allegedly selling CBD products that violate the FD&C Act (FDA)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

FDA sent warning letters to 15 companies for allegedly selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). In a press release, the FDA stated that based on the lack of scientific information supporting the safety of CBD in food, it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Previously, the FDA had primarily maintained that CBD was prohibited in conventional food products because substantial clinical investigations were initiated and made public on a drug containing CBD. FDA continues to explore potential pathways for various types of CBD products to be lawfully marketed and plans to provide an update on its progress in the coming weeks.
FDA highlighted specific concerns in the warning letters, including:
  • Products intended to treat a disease or otherwise have a therapeutic or medical use, and any product (other than food) that is intended to…

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The Herbs and Spices of Thanksgiving! — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Originally posted on The Herb Society of America Blog: By Susan Leigh Anthony If we are lucky enough, most, if not all, of us have sat down to an annual Thanksgiving feast with our loved ones in late November. The house is filled with familiar aromas of the season that evoke a sense of warmth,…

via The Herbs and Spices of Thanksgiving! — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

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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Cultivating Woodland Herbs: Planning a Medicinal Forest Garden

Written by Meghan Gemma with Juliet Blankespoor
Photography by Juliet Blankespoor (except where credited) with Contributions from Steven Foster

If asked to imagine a garden, I’d bet that most of us would call to mind a sunny patch interplanted with some array of food, flowers, and herbs—the traditional household and homestead arrangement. Yet Indigenous peoples around the world have long understood that any ecosystem can be gently tended as a garden. For those of us fortunate enough to live near forests, the woodland—with its watery seeps, shady hollows, and part-sun edges—presents us with a fertile opportunity to grow a bounty of food and medicine.

Forests, by their own right and design, tend to be inherently rich in medicine—from groundcover plants and understory herbs to overstory canopy trees. Ginseng (Panax ginseng, P. quinquefolius), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), and elderberry (Sambucus nigraS. canadensis) are just a few of the herbs that can be cultivated within the forest and on its edge.

Woodland cultivation is a way for us to nurture new plant communities as many of our wild forests are being logged, poached, paved, grazed, and otherwise fragmented. By growing woodland herbs, we might add precious medicines to our home apothecaries, but we’re also in service to wild plants—especially those that have been overharvested to supply domestic and foreign markets. Cultivated forest herbs are a sustainable and ethical way for us to both increase woodland diversity and partake of medicines that are otherwise increasingly rare.

Read complete article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Cultivating Woodland Herbs, Planning a Medicinal Forest Garden

Baneful Herbs in Magical Practice | Coby Michael Ward

Good Witches Homestead

Using Baneful Herbs in Magic

With their infamous reputations and prominent place in myth and folklore, the Baneful herbs begin to seem more like mischievous magical creatures appearing throughout history in folktales and first-hand accounts.  They are powerful in their chemistry and in their occult power, but they are still plants.  The deadly nightshade grows in the same soil as the mint and the lavender.  They get light and water from the same sky.  It is important to remember this when incorporating baneful plant spirits into your magical practice.  People often ask how these herbs can benefit one magically, and how to use them.  The answer is, that they all have their own unique powers and applications, and other than ingesting, they can be used magically like any other herb.

In magic, herbs, woods and/or resins are used in pretty much everything.  They can be incorporated into spells in so…

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