HSA Webinar: Shedding Light on the Solanaceae: An Exploration of Our Relationship with Nightshades

The Herb Society of America Blog

by Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

20170811_093151The nightshade family of plants sounds ominous  – how could it not with the use of the words night and shade? The official name of this family is Solanaceae, and these plants are characterized by the shape of the flower, which in some cases feature near perfect pentagrams of petals, sepals, and stamens, and in others the petals are fused to form long tubes.

The Solanaceae features nearly 90 genera and 3,000 species, including some of humanity’s most important plants. You may be surprised to learn that many of our everyday foods fall in the nightshade family. These include hot and bell peppers, potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes. To learn more, join HSA on April 13th at 1pm EDT when National Herb Garden gardener, Erin Holden, joins us for “Shedding Light on the Solanaceae: An Exploration of Our Relationship with Nightshades.” 

Lycopersicon_esculentum_Supersweet_100_0zz by David J StangAlthough many…

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Our most popular F R E E Online Herbal Course is back

Birdsong Paula,Is spring singing sweetly in your neck of the woods? Here in the southern Appalachians, we’re sitting on the edge of our garden stools, ready to be fully wooed by the season. There’s nothing like the spectacle put on by vernal green beings, whose soft brightness is the ultimate restorative after months of dark and cold—figuratively and literally.As redbuds swell and daffodils nod their sunny heads, we’re feeling more than an emergence from winter. This past year surpassed seasonal hibernation; it was a chrysalis moment. A time of dissolution, solitude, and soul-searching, and for many of us a test of spirit as we mourned the loss of loved ones and faced unparalleled challenges. As the veil of the past 12 months begins to lift, we’re ravenous for the renewal of apple blossoms and robinsong.Throughout the last year, cascades of folks have found health, connection, and resilience through the study of herbal medicine. People have turned out for herbal classes, learned to make their own medicines, and grown gardens for the first time in profound numbers. Do you want to join the movement?Registration has just opened for our most popular FREE Online Herbal Course.
Our HANDCRAFTED HERBALISM FREE ONLINE MINI-COURSE is a foundational introduction to some of the most important subjects herbalists need to learn:
Sustainable Wild Food + Medicine ForagingHerbal Medicine MakingPlant Identification + Herbal BotanyIf you enroll by March 29th, you can join us for four vibrant videos, three downloadable lessons (yours to keep!), review Q+A’s, and a self-graded quiz (so you can tape your herbal report card to the fridge).
Enroll in the Mini-Course

HSA Webinar: Virtues of Violets

The Herb Society of America Blog

by Jen Munson, Education Chair

Viola_sororia__Freckles__2010A common harbinger of spring is the showy dandelion with its bright yellow flower that pops against newly greening lawns. With dandelion sightings, so the debate begins between those who want the perfectly manicured lawn and environmentalists who see dandelions as an early food source for pollinators and beneficials. The dazzling dandelion outshines another harbinger of spring, and that is the less-assuming violet. 

Join HSA onMarch 23rd at 1pm EDT for the “Virtues of Violets. For guest speaker, Katherine Schlosser, the arrival of violets is one of the happiest times in her garden. While her neighbors are out spraying herbicides on their lawns, you can find her swooning over the tiny botanical treasures, harboring in the joy and knowledge that these plants chose to be present in her yard.

Kathy 2-page-001Little do many of us realize that violets have been sought…

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BIG NEWS: Our newest course is officially here!

Good Witches Homestead

Do you dream of creating your own herbal recipe book? One that’s full ofeffective, original, well-balanced formulasinspired by your unique herbal journey and expertise, and the needs of the people for whom they are intended?Our herbal recipe book would be something environmentally friendly, maybe a wax canvas-bound cover and handwritten interior, with oil stains on the pages and pressed flowers tucked into the spine. Part recipe book, part diary, part scrapbook – it would smell of the garden and be bursting with tried-and-true herbal recipes.

Crafting your own herbal formulations is a beautiful way to develop and share your herbal legacy – a tome of time-tested formulas that your family and clients will treasure for years to come. It’s also how you can start creating personalized formulas based on unique wants, needs, and energetics.  If you’re ready to progress from following other peoples’ herbal formulations to developing your own…

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Florida Herbal Conference

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Though winter snows continue to fall here in the Northeast, we are daring to dream of Spring, flowers, and new gardens filled with beauty and fragrant, healing herbs! For more inspiration, exciting workshops, deepening your understanding of the green world, great music and marvelous fun connecting with herbalists around the world ~ head on over to the Florida Herbal Conference site! Emily Ruff and her amazing team are making this conference available to EVERYONE with the pay-what-you-are-able registration fee.   I so hope you have the time to show up and be a part of this Herbal Celebration!! Enjoy!

Source: Florida Herbal Conference

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HSA Webinar: Weird Herbs

The Herb Society of America Blog

Sponsored by the Baton Rouge Unit
by Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

lambs earGardening has long been a popular pastime. The pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, has only increased gardening’s popularity. Planting perennials and annuals for beauty, texture, and joy, while rewarding, is tame. It is when you cross into the herb gardening world that things get a little weird. 

The Herb Society of America identifies herbs as any plant or fungi that has a use beyond purely ornamental. This includes plants used for botanical dyeing, culinary,yellow skunk cabbage economic, and medicine, among other uses. This is where things can get strange. For example, lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) has been and can be used as a natural bandage or even toilet paper! Still stranger are the leaves of the Western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus), which can be used like parchment paper for wrapping meat and fish prior to cooking. Surprisingly…

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American Botanical Council

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

We are happy to announce the next webinar in the Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) Toolkit Webinar Series: COVID and the Botanical Industry: Perspectives from the Field.

How is the unprecedented growth in the botanical industry impacting producer groups around the world? What can ingredient suppliers, finished product companies, and consumers do to support the work these companies do to source high quality botanicals from their regions?

In this webinar, SHP Director, Ann Armbrecht will speak with Puspa Ghimire, from ANSAB, Nepal; Tarun Prajapati from Cultivator Natural Products, India; and Paulo Barriga from Pebani, Peru about the challenges of the past year in producing and supplying high quality, sustainable, and fairly traded botanicals to the global market.

COVID and the Botanical Industry: Perspectives from the Field
A conversation with Puspa Ghimire, from ANSAB, Nepal; Tarun Prajapati from Cultivator Natural Products, India; and Paulo Barriga from Pebani, Peru
Thursday, January 21…

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Gardening Under Lights with Kids Webinar – KidsGardening

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Do you love gardening with kids, but perhaps feel challenged by space or weather? Gardening indoors under lights might be the perfect solution! Don’t know where to start? We’ll help you.

Join KidsGardening’s senior education specialist, Sarah Pounders, and Leslie Halleck, horticultural expert, and author of “Gardening Under Lights” as they simplify successful indoor gardening with lights and explain how you can engage kids in this fun and educational activity.

Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 7-8pm Eastern

Registration Cost: $8

Learn to garden under lights with kids! This fun webinar with Leslie Halleck will teach you to successfully garden with grow lights.

Source: Gardening Under Lights with Kids Webinar – KidsGardening

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HSA Webinar: A History of Chocolate

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

20190613_150017Chocolate: food or medicine? For centuries, chocolate was consumed primarily as medicine. Cacao, from which chocolate is derived, was the basis for prescriptions promising relief from such ailments as anemia, alopecia, fever, gout, heart disease, kidney and liver disease, along with tuberculosis. Prescriptions from the 16th and 17th centuries would combine cacao with cinnamon, sugar, pepper, cloves, vanilla, and/or anise to ease common complaints. Certainly modern day amoxicillin could benefit from such a delicious concoction.  

It was only in the 19th century that chocolate became more of a food staple and less of a medicine. This was in part because of the expansion of where cacao could be grown. Cacao is a New World food, but the Portuguese brought the cacao tree to the African tropics. The development of machinery made it easier to separate cacao butter from the seeds, and so the making…

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HSA Webinar: Enhancing Brain Health using Natural Botanicals

The Herb Society of America Blog

Sponsored by The Herb Society of America’s Long Island Unit

by Jen Munson, Education Chair

Nootropics is a trending topic. Nootropics (pronounced noh-a-trop-iks) includes drugs, supplements, and plants that may improve brain function. According to Allied Market Research, a market research and advisory company, brain enhancing supplements made up $3.50 billion in sales in 2017 and is projected to grow to $5.81 billion by 2023. Unfortunately, it’s an industry that is rife with misleading ingredients and marketing.

True nootropics should aid natural cognitive function, support and protect brain function, and be non-toxic to the user. The properties and constituents of nootropic herbs have demonstrated numerous benefits. Using medicinal herbs to enhance brain health is nothing new; in fact, many have been used safely and effectively for thousands of years. 

Some brain boosting herbs can be readily found in the garden. Although rosemary has been symbolically used to represent remembrance, it…

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