Violet Springtime Fairy Vinegar: A Mineral-Rich Spring Tonic

Written by Juliet Blankespoor with Meghan Gemma
Photography by Juliet Blankespoor

When violets begin to pop up in the spring landscape, it’s our cue that a vernal promenade of mineral-rich, cleansing herbs is in full swing. Violet keeps excellent company—look for herbs like chickweed, cleavers, dandelion, plantain, and stinging nettles when violet’s heart-shaped leaves and purple blooms appear on the scene.

These nourishing spring beauties all fall into the category of tonic alterative herbs. Many herbalists call them “blood cleansers” and indeed they can help to optimize the quality of the blood by affecting cellular metabolism. They also work their magic by supporting the elimination of wastes by improving liver, kidney, digestive, and lymphatic function.

Alterative herbs can be helpful for:

  • Spring fasting and cleansing
  • Low immunity
  • Skin conditions like acne and eczema
  • Cancer prevention
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Rheumatic conditions*

Violet is one of my choice herbal alteratives as its tender young leaves are optimally delicious for infused vinegars, spring salads, and pestos. In addition to being a classic cleansing herb, violet is rich in soluble fiber and is a traditional lymphatic and respiratory remedy; helping to bolster us through the last weeks of cold-season coughs and colds. You can read more about violet’s medicinal uses here.

*Please consult with an experienced herbalist before using herbs for any of these conditions or for cleansing.

Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Violet Springtime Fairy Vinegar:  A Mineral Rich Spring Tonic

The Flavours of Viriditas: My 30 Day Diary of Glorious Green Eating — Gather Victoria

O most honored Greening Force, You who roots in the Sun; You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel that earthly excellence fails to comprehend. You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries. You redden like the dawn and you burn: flame of the Sun. – Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae…

via The Flavours of Viriditas: My 30 Day Diary of Glorious Green Eating — Gather Victoria

Ramps

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Paris Wolfe

When Jeremy Umansky was at culinary school in 2006, a professor took him foraging in the Hudson Valley. They were looking for fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms, and ramps. Umansky –a James Beard award semi-finalist, and owner of Larder Deli in Cleveland – was converted. He has been harvesting that harbinger of spring, ramps, ever since. 

For those who haven’t yet heard, Foraged.Ramps 14the ramp – also called a wild leek — is a species of wild onion (Allium tricoccum) that is native to North America. The bulbs resemble a scallion, but the leaves are wide and flat. They cover Appalachian forest floors before trees fully leaf out. The flavor is a mix of garlic and onion. And, if you eat too many raw, you will sweat that aroma.

Ramps are high in vitamins A and C, and in lore, they are considered a blood cleanser and part of…

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In Praise Of Wood Frogs

Greetings,

In my neck of the woods, signs of spring abound — from the blooming of Snow Trillium and Sharp-Lobed Hepatica, to the reappearance of the Eastern Phoebe and warmer days.

Among the indications that winter has predictably expired and tipped its hat to another growing season is the emergence of the wood frog.

The wood frog is one of nature’s most resilient and adaptable creatures, occupying a range that — at the species level — spans thousands of miles of varied habitats.  Perhaps most interesting of all is that this hardy frog has the amazing ability to freeze solid when temperatures plummet… and survive the experience!

The wood frog has been patronizing the local pools lately, allowing itself to be observed and filmed by anyone with any interest in these sorts of things.

As it turns out, I do have a deep interest in these sorts of things, and I recently visited a nearby floodplain to document and film the seasonal manners of this libidinous amphibian.

If you are interested in learning more about the wood frog — and also about vernal pools, cryoprotectants, and holistic approaches to conservation — check out the brand new video!

 

Have you ever seen something that looks like this?  Though it resembles a pinecone, this structure is not produced by any conifer tree.  Instead, this pyramidal growth is produced in response to an insect that feeds on a particular flowering shrub.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!

 

Thanks for reading and watching… and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

Wild Spring Greens: A Superfood Recipe Round-up! — Gather Victoria

Today there is a huge demand for antiviral and immune-supportive herbs amid growing concern over COVID-19. Many are sold right out as herbalists scramble to get packages out. But don’t worry – I’ve got good news – the wild spring greens are here! Jam-packed with “nutraceuticals” known to have antiviral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, immune supportive and…

via Wild Spring Greens: A Superfood Recipe Round-up! — Gather Victoria

Food as Medicine: Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra, Adoxaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Plants commonly known as elder belong to the genus Sambucus and consist of 20-30 species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the Adoxaceae, or moschatel, family.1-3 Sambucus species are native to forested temperate and subtropical climates and grow to an average height of 32 feet (10 m).1,3 Elder shrubs have light brown or gray stippled bark and narrow, dark green pinnately compound leaves with five to nine toothed leaflets.2,4 In early summer, elder plants produce flat to roundish clusters of tiny, cream-white, saucer-shaped flowers. Depending on the species, the clusters of small fruits, botanically characterized as drupes, are blue-black, black, or red (and rarely, yellow or white).2,3 The only elder species with a history of culinary use are those that produce blue-black or black fruits. Elder species are highly adaptable and readily naturalize in an area, making them potentially invasive outside their native range.3 This…

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Health Benefits of Chaga Mushroom

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Chaga mushrooms contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
The Chaga mushroom grows on birch trees throughout the northern hemisphere. It resembles a dark clump of dirt more than a mushroom but is distinguished from other growths by its orange tissue.

Doctors, alternative medicine advocates, and researchers are increasingly interested in the potential health benefits of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus). Some studies on Chaga mushrooms have yielded promising results.

chaga

Nine potential benefits

In this article, we look at the potential health benefits of Chaga mushrooms and the research behind the claims.

1. Nutrient-dense superfood

Chaga mushrooms are rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including:

  • B-complex vitamins
  • vitamin D
  • potassium
  • rubidium
  • cesium
  • amino acids
  • fiber
  • copper
  • selenium
  • zinc
  • iron
  • manganese
  • magnesium
  • calcium

2. Preventing and fighting cancer

Some studies suggest that Chaga mushrooms may slow the growth of certain cancer cells.

Increasingly, researchers are taking…

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Early Season Scouting For Morel Mushrooms

Greetings!

Few sights are more enticing to the spring mushroom hunter than a morel mushroom.

So beloved is this iconic fungus that annual festivals are held in its honor, earrings are crafted in its image, and two babies per one million born are given its name.

Morels, more so than any other fungus, and for reasons both known and unknown, have come to epitomize spring mushroom hunting.

In anticipation of the long-awaited morel mushroom season, I thought I would head to the woods early to scout out potential hot-spots.  While doing so, I decided to document the experience and discuss some of the conditions I’ll be looking for in a few weeks.

If you are interested in tagging along with me as I explore several different habitats for these highly prized — yet oftentimes elusive — fungi, check out the brand new video!

 

 

I was a recent guest on the Publicly Challenged podcast hosted by Lucas Oswald.  In this conversation, we discuss foraging for mushrooms, hunting for meat, the value of older mentors, what’s going on behind the camera, and much more.  Here are a few ways to listen:

Thanks for reading and watching… and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

How to Make Elderberry Syrup — Richo’s Blog

According to herbalists, Elderberry syrup is a great preventive for colds and flus, an antiviral (helps prevent viruses from replicating) and immune stimulant. European Black Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are the best type to use. Here is a simple recipe for making the syrup at home: 1) Use one cup (appx 100g) of dried black elderberries.…

via How to Make Elderberry Syrup — Richo’s Blog

The Mushroom Course Giveaway – Herbal Academy

Good Witches Homestead

PRE-REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 17TH

Take a journey into the hidden kingdom of fungi with The Mushroom Course by Herbal Academy! Discover what makes a mushroom a mushroom and the ways that fungi interact with other living beings. The Mushroom Course will teach you how to discover, differentiate, and forage for mushrooms safely, but that’s not all! These lessons are jam-packed with wisdom on using and preparing mushrooms as both foods and herbs, whether foraged, cultivated, or purchased, to promote wellness.

  • Explore the visual characteristics of mushrooms and learn how to use identification keys.
  • Learn tips and tools for identifying mushrooms, and when it is appropriate and safer to leave identification to the experts.
  • Get up-close and personal with fungi in our mushroom walk videos. We’ll even get you started cultivating useful mushrooms in your own backyard!
  • Dive into the ethics, safety, and techniques of mushroom foraging.
  • Get familiar with…

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