Makrut Lime – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

thai lime fruitThe Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for August is the makrut lime, Citrus hystrix, a member of the Rutaceae family. This lime is also known as kaffir lime or Thai lime, and also wild lime. You may have spotted it in a produce market or Asian supermarket and wondered what makes it different from an ordinary lime. It certainly looks different, in that it has a gnarly, bumpy skin. The very aromatic leaves are different, too, because they look as though they are two leaves attached to each other. The juice is sour and bitter, and so is not usually used in cooking because it can overwhelm other flavors.

This lime has been widely grown in Asia for so long that it has become naturalized in many countries. Therefore, no one is certain of its origin. It is a staple ingredient in Thai…

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Medicinal Herb Gardening for Beginners

Written and Photographed by Mary Plantwalker

I love herbal medicine but I’ve never grown herbs—how do I begin an herb garden?


Have you or someone you know been asking this question lately? Then read on for inspirational and empowering steps for growing medicinal herbs at home—we give even the brownest thumb enough fertilizer to succeed in medicinal herb gardening! We’ll help feed the roots for a DIY herb garden that will leave both you and your plants grounded. If you want more tips, see Juliet’s article on growing the herb garden of your dreams.

The Time Is Now to Start Your First Herb Garden

I’ve grown vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, berries, and ornamentals, but my favorite thing across the board is growing medicinal herbs. They are so satisfying—once you have them established they will generously give you medicine year after year after year. When you are able to fill your own apothecary, you’ll feel a sense of sovereignty that can’t be bought. Take this opportunity to get your own medicine growing now as the harvest doesn’t happen overnight! You will also be able to better apply the in-depth knowledge found in Juliet’s forthcoming book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating & Handcrafting Herbal Remedies.

In this present time of COVID-19, and the food and herb shortages we have already experienced, growing your own medicine becomes even more essential.

Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Medicinal Herb Gardening for Beginners

Spicebush to the Rescue

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kaila Blevins

Author Volunteer TripWhile on a volunteer trip in Orlando, Florida, I was desperate for bug spray. In the middle of December, the mosquitoes nibbled on any exposed skin they could find, leaving me and the rest of the unprepared Maryland native participants with patches of red swollen bumps on our ankles and arms. Our guides, a retired couple who volunteers with the state parks, became our heroes on the second day of the trip. During our lunch break, the husband saunters over to us, carrying a branch from a nearby shrub and states, “This is spicebush. Crush its leaves and rub it onto your arms. Keeps the bugs away and helps the itch.” Immediately, we passed the branch around, ripped the leaves off the branch, crumpled them, and rubbed the lemon-peppery scented oil onto our skin.

A couple years later, I would learn that spicebush (Lindera benzoin)…

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Lift Your Personal Power, Health, and Success with Herbs of the Sun | Guest Contributor

Good Witches Homestead

Herbs of the Sun: angelica, ash, bay, calendula, chamomile, celandine, eyebright, frankincense, juniper, mistletoe, rosemary, saffron, safflower, Saint-John’swort, sunflower, tormentilla, walnuts

THEIR PROPERTIES:

Colors: gold, orange
Energies: self-confidence, success, vitality, courage, authority, dignity, fame, self-knowledge
Number: 1
Metal: gold
Stones/materials: diamond, citrine, yellow jasper, topaz
Deities: Ra, Apollo, Helios, Lugh, Isis, Diana, Brigit

In Astrology, the Sun and Moon are called “Planets” for ease of interpretation, but they are obviously not Planets in the scientific sense. In medicinal terms, the Sun could be considered the great restorative. Even as the returning Sun allows plant life to flourish on the Earth, the herbs attributed to the Sun act to restore health and vitality. They stimulate and balance the human health system that suffers from either excess or deficiency.

Many of the plants attributed to the Sun may be considered Solar simply on the…

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A Day In the Garden – Urban Moonshine

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

GO INTO THE GARDEN EVERY DAY, NO MATTER WHAT.

That’s the promise I made at the start of the season. It will be a daily ritual, a practice to keep me in tune with the growth and health of the garden, and a sure way not to miss a bit of garden gossip. Like a bustling city full of honking horns, buses whizzing by, and street conversations half-heard, there is endless activity to observe. Cucumber beetles rapidly working to destroy the cucumber crop. Birds ravishing the cherry tree singing loudly to their friends to join in on the feast. Earthworms patiently turning the soil underfoot. Never a dull moment, but you need to go to the garden every day to keep up.

That has been my biggest lesson gardening this year. If you’re not there to enjoy the first ripe strawberries, the squirrels will be happy to take on that…

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Herbalism: A new era (Coronavirus – an Invitation) — John J Slattery Bioregional Herbalist, Forager, Author

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

A bioregional herbalist’s look at the Coronavirus (CoV 2019) and important herbs to consider prior to and during exposure

So I thought I’d take some time to write about some of the herbs that I feel will be important upon exposure to CoV-2, but first, to help put some of this in perspective.

Mexican elder leaf (Sambucus mexicana, syn. S. cerulea subsp. mexicana, syn. S. cerulea, etc.)

Elder s one that is often brought up in any discussion of viruses. Not only does elder help prevent attachment through inhibition of neuraminidase, but it also protects ACE-2 making it exceptionally important at the early stages of prevention and limiting the initial impact of the virus. Another aspect of the elder’s effect on humoral immunity is to increase T cell production. This is important due to the virus’ effects on the dendritic cells of the lungs as the progression advances. This hinders…

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Amazing Anise Hyssop

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Belsinger

Agastache foeniculum

——————–Agastache foeniculum——————-

While commonly called anise hyssop, the odor is more similar to French tarragon, though sweeter, with a hint of basil. The foliage and flowers taste similar to the aroma—sweet, with the licorice of tarragon and basil—and just a bit floral.

All of the thirty or so Agastache species are good for honey production and make great ornamental perennials. The flowering plants go well with the silver-leaved species of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum), which flower about the same time in the July garden and also provide good bee forage. The young, broad, dark green leaves of A. foeniculum, tinged purple in cool weather, are attractive with spring bulbs such as yellow daffodils.

Agastache species do not have GRAS status, even though the leaves of many species have been used for centuries as a substitute for French tarragon, infused in syrups…

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Crafting Herbal Extracts…. – My Herbal Adventures…

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

I shared Anne’s email with you and a bit of her website for she is my herbalist, my go-to for tinctures, extracts, balms, etc. I have complete trust in her expertise, the products she endeavors to create, her passion, and drive. I am honored and pleased to introduce you to Anne, my herbalist, and friend.

By the way, here is the link to Anne’s shop…

https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnesBackyardHerbal

by aspiringherbalist

I have now been crafting herbal extracts, mainly; Tinctures, Glycerites, Vinegars & Skincare Oil infusions, for 4 years now. Even though I am no expert and consider myself a novice, I have learned a new lesson every year. As I learn and read and discover new ways of determining how to best create a plant extract that is both effective & well-rounded, I also have to consider its flavor, consistency and taste. I have experimented with different combinations of solvents over the…

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Peppermint – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

Most of us, gardeners or not, are familiar with mint. But how many of us know that there is a distinctive difference between spearmint and peppermint? The difference between these two mints may be important depending on how you want to use them.

Peppermint, Mentha × piperita, is The Herb Society’s Herb of the Month for July.  Peppermint is really a hybrid of two mints, water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). . Being a hybrid, peppermint does not produce seeds. If you want to propagate it, you must either take cuttings or divide the plant. Like other mints, peppermint is a vigorous grower, so must be contained if you don’t want it growing everywhere in your garden.  It favors growing in rich, moist soil. Peppermint has a narrow, coarse leaf and flowers that are pink-lavender.  Spearmint, on the other hand, is…

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Cooking with Monarda

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Belsinger

(Blogmaster’s note: With Monarda currently in its full glory here in zone 7, we’re posting this recipe so you can take advantage of its unique flavors while it’s still in bloom. Serve these tasty treats at your next summer celebration!)

—————————–Monarda didyma—————————-

Monarda (commonly called bee balm or bergamot) is a native American herb named after a Spanish physician and botanist, N. Monardez, of Seville. Its unusual and ornamental flowers possess a distinctly architectural character with their rather bristly, shaggy-headed colorful appearance. All species attract bees and are good honey plants. Right now, my stands of the various bee balms are abuzz with activity from dawn until dusk. The twelve species of Monarda, all native to North America, offer a wide assortment of flavors and fragrances—from lemon to thyme to pungent oregano to tealike and rose—produced on annual or perennial plants. So sniff and…

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