Be sure and drop by Tootsie time for Fertilizer Friday - and go on a garden walk with all the great gardeners. It will make you want to go and dig in the dirt!
I am so happy that spring has come to our house. I haven't felt well for a couple of years and haven't done a whole lot in the yard. I am feeling so much better and the yard is a couple of years behind...so I am working through it one project at a time. I am going to journal my work this spring - more for myself than anyone.
First project - planning a medicinal herb garden. I did a bunch of studying this winter which continues about herbs and their medicinal properties. There are some amazing herbalists out there I really have a lot of respect for their knowledge. I was getting pretty overwhelmed with it all and realized I needed to focus on the things that grow in our area and learn about them. When I decided to do that - this project has become delightful!
I tracked down all the seeds I need for my medicinal garden and have started many of them in my little room where I start seeds. They are all happy and growing so well.
The plants I am putting in my medicinal herb garden are: Licorice Root, Lavendar, Valerian, ST Johns Wort, Yarrow, Lobelia, Lemon Balm, Fenugreek, Marshmallow, Chammomile, Horehound, Skullcap, Fennel, Chickweed, Rue, Red Clover, Plantain and Catnip. (These don't include the Cullinary Herbs, flowering herbs, herbs that grow freely in our yard or other wild crafted herbs that can be used for medicinal - those will each have their own post.)
I haven't started on the spot yet, but will post pix when I do!
These are some of the notes from my research this past winter on Medicinal Herbs that grow in my area. I know for advanced herbalogists this is really simple...I am a beginner!
Medicinal Herbs Name Specialty Notes
Arnica Arnica montana
Use the infused oil (externally)
bruises, joint inflammation, muscles strain, soreness
antiinflammatory, useful immediately after injury to speed
recovery. For internal (caution, use drop-doses) and external use. For soft tissue
injures such as sprains
Black Cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa
skeletal muscle relaxant. Useful for strains, back pain,
voluntary muscle pain, and some headaches.Relieves menopausal hot flashes, relieves menstrual cramps, helps circulatory and cardiovascular disorders, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, useful for nervousness and stress.
Note: Do not use during pregnancy.
Catnip Nepeta cataria
Perennial herb that is native to North America. Wherever you are planting this medicinal plant, let it be in a sunny area with a little shade. It is best to grow it in well drained soil and it is also best to plant the seeds in the spring time. 2-3 feet tall, agressive grower. Pinch shoots to encourage bushy growth. bring down a fever, calming and sedative/ digestive aid Helps - tea is a good medicinal remedy for children with colic, headaches, as well as symptoms of cold.
If this herb is strewn around the house it can keep away mice and rats.
This medicinal plant may be used as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice. It may also be seen as a culinary herb because it cab be used in cooking.
How to use - The infusion of one ounces to a pint of boiling water may be taken by adults in doses of 2 tablespoonfuls. Children may be given in 2 or 3 teaspoonfuls frequently to alleviate pain and flatulence.
Steeped one tablespoon in a pint of water and used as an enema to soothe and quiet babies. It is also effective in convulsions, fevers, and for expelling worms in children
*COMFREY (Symphytum officinalis)
(Perrenial)Comfrey should be grown as a house plant in every home May be one of the most important herbs you can grow for survival, especially in promoting recovery from severe wounds, including bone breaks. Helps––Use as a poultice for bites and stings, bedsores, burns, skin ulcers, bleeding hemorrhoids, sunburn, nosebleeds, psoriasis. It is a natural herbal bandaid, useful for cuts, scrapes and burns it helps heal bone fractures and deep wounds.. It will stop bleeding. Commonly known as "knit-bone and bone-set”as it stimulates tissue regeneration Recovery rate is accelerated with use of this fresh plant poultice on muscle, tendon and ligamentous injuries. Thoroughly cleanse the wound with an antiseptic first,because Comfrey is so quick to regenerate the tissue that it will seal over the wound with the bacteria inside Not recommended for internal use, can cause liver damage.
How To Use: Use leaves and roots. Apply poultice made from leaves to cleaned wound. Will heal quickly, even better when combined with plantain. Plantain removes toxins while comfrey heals. Also used as compost activator and soil conditioner.
Fenugreek Increases milk, lowers fever, lowers blood suage, digestion, healing, exectorant, diuretic, Seeds and fresh leave are used Seeds ground for use in curry powder The main part used is the seed. The seeds are used as a tea to treat tuberculosis, bronchitis and various kinds of mucous congestion. It is very effective in the treatment of asthma. This herb possesses benefits similarly to cod liver oil and are generally utilized as an alternative remedy.
The leaves are used as vegetables and steaming the leaves is the best way of cooking them since with this process the vitamins are contained within them. It gives good flavor as a seasoning and one of the main ingredients in this season is curry powder.
It will calm the stomach as well as the digestive system and works as a natural expectorant for lungs and sinus problems. It is also used for painful menstruation, labor pains, and it will stimulate and increase breast milk production.
In China, a tea made of fenugreek seeds are used for bladder irritations and as a tonic for the reproductive organs, especially for enlarged testes. Also as.
How to Use - Young children - use only one and a half cup of tea. Also, adding one teaspoonful of the seeds to one cup of water and drinking it two times per day, one in the morning and one in the evening will eventually help in lowering high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol
A poultice the powdered seeds are placed on boils, skin inflammations, eczema, cellulite, sores and swellings to pull out toxins and promote healing
***Don’t use if pregnant or hypoglycemic
This climbing vine plant The medicinal properties are febrifuge, tonic, nervine, diuretic, anodyne, hypnotic, anthelmintic as well as sedative Good cure in support of toothache, earache, neuralgia, and other similar disorders. It can also improve appetite Excellent in illnesses of the chest as well as throat. If used correctly it will generate a good relaxation and sleep. Two or three cups should be taken hot.. The main parts used are the flowers and this can be steamed and eaten as vegetable or salad.
However, it is said that a pillow filled with the warm dried flowers has been used to promote sleep, will relieve toothache and also earache, alleviate snoring and it will also ease anxiety.
How to Use
Poultices of this medicinal plant work well pertaining to inflammation, boils, growths, painful swellings and also old sores. Tea - Put a tablespoon in a pint of water and simmer for ten minutes. Drink half pint morning time as well as evening.
For tincture combine one ounces of the dry herb and eight ounces one hundred proof vodka. Cover and let it stand for two weeks, shaking it daily, then bottle and store hops tincture and used accordingly.
Horehound the mint or Lamiaciae family
Horehound is a hardy perennial herb that is good in zones 4 to 8 (or zone 3 with snow cover). Growing 18 inches high with a spread of about 12 inches, once its established you will have lots of herb for your needs from 4 plants. The leaves are green and wrinkled with a downy underside, and it has small clusters of white flowers that are not showy, growing up the stems in the leaf bracts. It can be propagated from seed in Spring or from soft cuttings taken in summer. Established clumps benefit from division in the Spring. It can also be grown in a container, in a sunny position.
Coughs , diuretic , respiratory
An is an easy to grow herb that is targeted for sore throats, coughs, and chest congestion. Suck a horehound cough drop and you’’ll get rid of the tickle and the cough will ease. It is a targeted herb for bronchitis and also helps with irregular heart, and has been used in the treatment of malaria, and to reduce fever. It is calming.
horehound candy - sore throats
This medicinal herb can generate excess sweat once consumed incredibly hot. Consumed in high doses it will become a laxative and when consumed cold, it is good in support of indigestion, jaundice, asthma, panic, and can expel worms making it a worms remedy. It is extremely beneficial in recurring sore throat, coughs, consumption, as well as every pulmonary infections. Generally if the menstruation abnormality occurs, it will bring it on once again.
It really should remain in just about every house reserved for urgent utilization. The syrup is superb in support of coughs, colds, asthma, as well as other respiratory conditions. To make this cough syrup steep a heaping tablespoonful in a pint of boiling water for twenty minutes, strain add honey and let children drink it freely who suffer with cold as well as croup.
It can be made into a beer or ale which is flavored with mainly herbs and free of alcohol. One of the herbs use with horehound beverage is hops and sweetened with sugar made from the sugar cane.
Harvest the stems during flowering, bundle, and dry away from sun and heat. Once totally dry, strip the leaves and flowers from the stems and store in a glass jar with a lid, in a cool, dark place. Use the leaves and flowers for medicine.
Horehound is expectorant, anti-spasmodic, digestive, bitter, vulnerary, diaphoretic, and pectoral.
To use horehound you can make a strong tea, sweeten with honey and drink several times a day. But when you are on the go or if you are treating children you sometimes want the medicine in a dry, and easy to carry form. Horehound cough drops and lozenges fit the bill.
Cough drops are made like candy. The herb is extracted in water and then a candy is made by boiling a sugar mixture to the hard crack stage. Lozenges are made using an edible gum like Tragacanth or Acacia and sugar along with the dried and powdered herb. Other herbs can be added to cough drops and lozenges as well to increase the effectiveness, or essential oils can be added. The traditional Canadian remedy ““Fisherman’’s Friend”” is a lozenge with licorice essential oil or anise essential oil added, for coughs and sore throat.
Horsetail -Equisetum arvense
Please note that when growing Horsetails, they should never be allowed to dry out. diuretic, anti-inflammatory,.promotes healthy skin, bone, hair and nails. Used for arthritis, gout, cardiovascular disease, gallbladder disorders, bronchial and lung problems.
Poultice to curb bleeding and assist healing of wounds. Use stems.
Helps disorders of the connective tissue include arthritis, cardiovascular and neurological disease. Keeping your connective tissue strong is also a critical way to prevent cancer from spreading throughout the body.
No herb contains as much of the mineral Silicon (the key deficiency in such disorders) than Horsetail.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
exceptionally easy to grow. Little fertilizers. Avoid over-watering. Vigorous growth and elegant silver-frosted foliage.
Heat Tolerant Drought Tolerant
8 - 12 Inches Part Sun to Sun
Annual in zone 4. Used primarily in containers Helps -
has immune-boosting and throat-soothing properties that make it an excellent addition to cough and cold formulas.
How to use: For coughs, make a tea that combines mullein leaf with a pinch of licorice.
***Safety note: People who have high blood pressure should avoid this herb or use the deglycyrrhizinated form (look for "DGL" on packaging).
Mint it is very easy to grow in zone 3 and higher and 4 plants will give you an abundance of mint for year round use. When looking for varieties to grow, true peppermint is stronger than spearmint. You will want to begin with root cuttings or plants, as it doesn’’t grow true from seed. Mint has a long list of maladies that it is the recommended treatment: indigestion, colic, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, depressed appetite, menstrual cramps, abdominal and gall bladder pain, sinus congestion. Peppermint is strongly antibacterial and it helps in reducing inflammation of the gums and mouth. It is cooling. Use it dried in tea, or in steam to clear sinus passages and relieve chest congestion during a cold.
Peppermint essential oil is an inexpensive essential oil to have on hand for making organic cleaning products. It fills the room with the heady, cheerful, stimulating aroma of peppermint and is antibacterial, too.
Peppermint, along with Rosemary and balm of Gilead makes a good massage oil for the relief of arthritis in the feet, and hands. Keep it away from your eyes.
Osha Ligusticum porteri
Spider, Altitude sickness, congestion Spiderbites - expecialy brown recluse and hobo, Altitude Sickness antibacterial for sore throats, respiratory viruses and allergies.
Wide range of antimicrobial uses. Useful in combination with other
Honey - Heat honey - add Osha roots - let sit for several weeks good for coughs colds flu’s
Tea - Add roots to mug, cover with boiling sater, steep, strain, sweeten
Tincture - Alcohol or vinegar
Not a good oil infustion
Passiflora incarnata anxiety , insomnia one of the best herbal nerve tonic. relieves stress and tension and cures headaches related to stress. It improves the circulation of the blood and will lower high blood pressure. Used as menopause treatment The ripe passion fruits may be eaten raw and the fruits also can be made into jams, jellies, wines and fruit drinks. Fruit Jusice used like the flower Juice of passion fruit, which is also called granadilla is loved by everyone, especially the children. It is a very refreshing drink and it is even more delicous when it is mixed with other fruits as well as ginger. It is packed potent amounts of minerals, vitamins and also antioxidants. Just writing about this fruit makes me want to drink some of its juice right away.
Dosage For convenience and easy access, it is available in stores as an infusion, liquid extract, tea, as well as tincture. The dosage for adults who will be taking an infusion is 3 grams of dried herb three times per day.
***Do not consume passionflower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Peppermint mentha piperita
Mint is a hearty perennial that grows in nearly any condition, and whose oils are also anti-fungal, regenerative and can be used to ward off insects as well
Put it in a place in your garden where it can be allowed to spread. Avoid putting several varieties of mint in the same garden bed. If you have several varieties, spread them away from each other, to keep the flavours distinct. My favourite mint is a very strong ““chocolate mint”” that moved with me from the coast.,
Peppermint tea for nausea, relaxation digestion, stomach cramps, nausea, stimulant herb. Indigestion, headache
It is analgesic, and antibacterial. It dilates the nasal passages and this makes it a good adjunct for cold symptoms, like stuffy nose. It is also an appetite stimulant, and it helps with the digestion of fats. It is also cheering and elevates mood. The herb books describe its actions as: ““carminative, anti-spasmodic aromatic, diaphoretic, anti-emetic, nervine, analgesic, anti-catarrhal, anti-microbial, emmanagogue, rubefacient, stimulant.
Great to mix sith Chammomile
Nutrients –– calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, E. increases stomach acids aiding digestion. . Slightly anesthetizes mucous membranes. . It is a soothing herb that provides a nice pick-me-up for fatigue. It is highly calming to the digestive system and especially good for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease because of its natural calming properties. relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. \
How to Use - Peppermint oil can be used topically for bug bites, breathe in vapors for congestion. Can use Leaves, flowering tops
medicinal herb leaves and flowering tops may be used for medicinal purposes. They are collected as soon as the flowers begin to open and they are then carefully dried.
Infusion - Peppermint is one of the tastier herbs, and makes a perfect infusion with a little raw honey. Chills, colic, fevers, dizziness, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, heart trouble, palpitation of the heart, influenza, la gripe, hysteria, rheumatism, neuralgia, headache, coughs, cholera and colon troubles.
Strengthens the heart muscle and also strengthens the nerves.. It strengthens and cleanses the entire body.
It relaxes the gastroesophageal sphincter, thus promoting belching. Many Caribbean people can relate to this fact as this is one of the oldest household remedies of all times to get rid of this gas in the stomach. It is good to allay fainting and dizziness and to give a natural strength and calm to the stomach after eating irritating foods. It is a good herbal remedy to treat bad breath
Two to three drops of the oil in quarter cup of warm water and taken three times per day will alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The oil is just as potent as the plant itself and it possesses the same herbal remedies.
This medicinal herb should not be avoided. Use one ounce of it in a pint of boiling water then sweeten with honey if so desired. It makes a delicious aromatic tea.
For gas pain or flatulence boil two tablespoon of the dried leaves in one glass of water for five minutes. Adults can take one glass every four hours and children seven to twelve can take one cup every four hours. Six chopped fresh leaves of this medicinal herb can also be used with the above instructions.
Peppermint is favoured for its cooking flavour and carminative use. It is also used to season mutton and pork.
Harvest the branches before flowering. It will continue to grow and you may get several harvests in a summer. Tie in bundles and dry in a warm, shaded spot. Strip the leaves from the stocks and store in glass jars, in a cool, dark room. To use brew 1 tsp. of leaves in a tea pot. Drink while tea is hot.
Pepper-mint Peppermint is an easy herb to cultivate Peppermint, rosemary, thyme and fennel are equally powerful medicinal herbs rich in healing and regenerative properties, and should be included in your medicinal garden.
Prepolis Not a plant - resin from plants and tres - mainly found in beehives Tincture - in alcohol - great for sore throats, strep etc, gum infections, bandaid, small amounts go a LONG WAY
ST. JOHN'S WORT
(Hypericum perforatum) is perennial and an herb of pastures and waste places. You can find it growing wild and it is hardy to zone 3. It prefers dappled sun and you may find it on the edges of woods and in clearings, or along paths. Harvest just the flowers when they open in late June or Early July. Its called St. John’’s Wort because in Europe, where it is native, it opens on June 24th, St. John the Baptist’’s saints day St. John's Wort for depression.
The extract and oil are used externally for bruises, strains, sprains, contusions and wounds. The extract is used internally as an immune system stimulant, for retro-viral infections, as an expectorant and antibacterial. It speeds the healing of wounds and burns and aids the regeneration of damaged nerve tissue. It is used as an anti-de¬¬ pressant and to treat bed wetting and children's nightmares. It is also known as Klamath weed a common pasture plant Antidepressant and restorative nerve tonic; Immunity; incontinence; neurlgia,neuritis/strains,sprains Plants and Flowers
The medicinal properties are aromatic, astringent, resolvent, expectorant as well as nervine.
. You may have read about it being used as a treatment for depression. It is very effective against seasonal depression. But it is also useful as an analgesic, to heal nerve pain and accelerate nerve healing. It is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. It is also sedative and helps with sleeplessness and nervous anxiety and reduces fever.
There is some concern about sensitivity to sunlight for those taking St. John’’s Wort and all the herbal literature warns against exposure to sunlight. But we have used this herb regularly for over a decade and find that we are less sensitive to sunlight, probably due to the strong antioxidant properties of using the whole herb.
It is widely used in the Caribbean and extracts can be gotten in tablet or capsule form, as well as in teabags and tinctures.
Oil Infustion To make the oil simply infuse the flowers in olive oil and the preparation dosage should be one ounce of st johns wort to be infused in a pint of water then take one tablespoonful taken as a dose.
Infusion Cover it with vodka to use it internally in a tincture. Tincture does is 1 tsp. in a cup of water at bedtime.
Harvest - We harvest just the flower heads, leaving the plant to continue growing for next year’’s harvest. It will spread from the roots. Put the flower heads in a glass jar and cover with olive oil, if you intend to use it for joint relief and in a salve.
Silk Tassel Garrya spp
cramps of smooth muscles (involuntary muscles) Bushy plant - use root bark, leaves, bark (all inner bark - not heartwood) Strong plant -
tincutre in alcholo - use one drop if crams cease give 5 drops in water to sip. Great for cramps, gall baldder, kidney stones
Skull cap is a perennial herb that grows near streams and creeks. It prefers wet ground. It is useful for calming, and helps with seisures, and nervousness.
Zone 3 Nervous System is a nerve tonic, sedative, analgesic, hypnotic, and anti-spasmodic .Helps - The Native-Americans even used skullcap as a mild sedative.
Aids sleep, circulation, relieves muscle cramps, spasms, pain. Aids anxiety, nervous disorders, headache, cardiovascular health. Use leaves, roots.
Nutrients –– calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, C.
Harvest - cut the above ground parts late in the flowering period. Dry it in bundles in a warm, airy place in the shade.
Tea Use the dry herb as a tea.***not for children under 6.
Capsella bursa-pastoris bleeding, kidney problems Helps - One of its health benefits is to stop any kind of bleeding, both internal and external bleeding. It is excellent to treat hemorrhage after child birth as well as all other internald or bleeding hemorrhoids of the the stomach, the lungs, or the uterus, as well as the kidneys. It is also good to treat piles, kidney conditions, diarrhea, as well as fever. Shepherd's purse herb is a very good medicinal herb to be kept in the kitchen cupboards.
How To Use - For dosage it is ideal to steep one teaspoonful of the dry herb to one cup of boiling water for thirty minutes. It is best to consume shepherd's purse cold by taking it it two times per day by cup and drinking a mouthful at a time.
medicinal herb is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia nervine, sedative, mild pain relieving properties, stress, anxiety and restless insomnia. It has also been used for intestinal colic, menstrual cramps, migraine headache, and rheumatic pain. The extract and tea are both reccomended
The medicinal properties are aromatic, tonic, stimulant, antispasmodic, anodyne, emmenagogue as well as nervine.
It is used as a nerve healer, sedative and as a painkiller and it is also effectively used as a treatment for insomnia. It blooms small, fragrant, white to pink or lavender flowers and they are also used in medicine. It is also excellent for dysmenorrhea, rheumatic pains, epilepsy, and high blood pressure, colic, heart palpitaion as well as hysteria. It is a remedy for colds and fever as well as gravel in the bladder.
Anxiety helped by balancing th esystem
Roots - Herbal tea and tinctures are made from the dried roots. The root is one of the strongest herbal nervine. The root should never be boiled and do not take for more than two weeks at a time because it is possible that poisoning may occur if taken in large amount for a period of time.
To make a cold tea use one teaspoonful of the root soaked in one cup of cold water. Cover the cup and place it in the refrigerator for twelve to twenty-four hours. Then strain and taken about one hour before retiring to bed The tea may also be used externally by applying it to acne, pimples and sores to cure, heal, soothe and calm these ailments.
Wild Yam Hot flashes & PMS Still researching how and where this grow.