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Getting to Know an Herb

Getting familiar with herbs should be fun and interactive. Herbalism isn’t all about memorizing facts — it’s a lifestyle. So today we’re going to talk about ways to increase your personal relationship with herbs! Here are the steps I want you to follow. Choose your herb — any herb, but preferably one you don’t know …

Lobelia

Lobelia inflata Parts used: above ground Lobelia is an herb that is not often used, but when you need it, it’s a great herb to have it around! I always have my students taste a little lobelia infusion, just so they can become familiar with its action and feel it for themselves. It’s very relaxing …

An Herbal First Aid Kit

Building a first aid kit for your home and travel is super important. I know we don’t like to think about anything bad happening, but it’s better to think ahead and prepare than to not have the things you need when an accident happens! So what should be in a first aid kit? Anything you …

Nervine Hypnotics

When you think about nervines, most of the time, you don’t think about differentiating between actions. However, different types of nervines serve different purposes. There are several types of actions: hypnotics relaxants trophorestoratives stimulants Hypnotics have the ability to induce a much stronger level of calm than nervine relaxants. These are generally used in more …

Mullein

Verbascum thapsus Common Name: mullein Other Names: cowboy’s toilet paper (wipe with the grain), great mullein, Aaron’s rod, candlewick plant, cow lungwort, velvet dock, flannel plant, feltwort, shepherd’s staff, torches, our lady’s flannel, blanket herb, rag paper, wild ice leaf, clown’s lungwort, Peter’s staff, Jacob’s staff, shepherd’s club, beggar’s stalk, Adam’s flannel, beggar’s blanket, fluffweed, …

Botany: Leaf Types

When I first started learning botany, the vocabulary was a little confusing. Not only was I having to memorize unfamiliar words and definitions, but I found that different books used different terms to describe the same thing. Here’s a hint: choose a descriptive word you like and stick to using that one. Becoming familiar with …

Health Benefits of Star Anise

Star anise (Illicium verum), not a very popularly used or thought-about spice, but darn it, I love the taste it imparts to recipes! This spice is NOT the same as anise seed; it’s beautifully star shaped and pleasantly fragrant. In our home, we use it in two of our favorite recipes: chai spice blend (also …

Harvesting Roots

Fall, winter and early spring bring opportunities for harvesting roots (as long as you don’t mind digging through the snow!) The Basics Make sure you’ve positively identified your plant and understand what you are looking for. Always collect from clean areas, as plants absorb toxic materials into their roots and leaves. Don’t be an “herb …

Growing Garlic

We love growing garlic in our gardens. It adds some beauty, medicinal value, edible bulbs (as well as the scapes), plus it makes a great companion plant! Garlic has a strong, pungent smell, and many garden pests really don’t like it – thank you secondary metabolites! Plants that do better with garlic near or around …