Herbs

IT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE EACH NEW DAY’S POSTING!

What are Herbs?

In general, herbs are food.

 Genesis 1:29 says that God gave us herbs for food.

Some are common such as garlic and cayenne pepper.

All use some part of the plant such as the root, leaves, fruit, or bark.

Over 100 herbs are mentioned in the Bible.

-Trinity School of Natural Health

Join me every day in August as I introduce you to a new herb. You will learn how do identify many in the wild, different methods of preparation of herbs along with emergency uses. There is so much to learn about these wonderful plants God gave us.

87752F5F-0286-4B98-8124-16204B323B99

Welcome to my basic herbal introduction class:

31 Days of Herbs

Here, I will give you a closer look at 31 of my favorite herbs. We will discuss the basic history of herbs, different delivery methods, and then different herbal actions. This class is to inform only and all material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

All information is for the sole purpose of education and is to be kept within the organization of The Fit Farmacy’s clientele. Only sharing through sharing buttons is allowed.  NO copying or distribution of class outside of original form is allowed.

Everyday we will discuss a new herb with a few highlighted actions. This doesn’t mean that the actions listed are the only actions the herb has. Herbology is very intricate and detailed. If you wish to dive further into herbs, I recommend being added as a client so we can discuss personally how different herbs and methods can help support you, your family, or farm best.

Become a client today!

Let’s Get Started…

What are herbs?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary: a type of plant with soft stem, used in cooking and medicine.

According to Merriam-Webster:  a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities.

In general, herbs are plants that can be used for flavoring, food, medicine, or fragrance.

Ayurveda, the world’s oldest recorded healing system along with TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) both have thousands of years of recorded study using herbs.

Delivery Methods…

DE9D1575-3DE8-4D13-A87A-337F518233A7

 

  • TEAS (INFUSION)
    • internal use
    • weakest form
    • can help a weakened immune system accept the herbal support
    • easily absorbed
    • can be made as an infusion or decoction
    • when brewed, herbal properties are released
  • CAPSULE
    • internal use
    • preferred delivery method for taking dried or liquid herbs without any ‘taste’
    • convenient
    • capsules can be animal or vegetable gelatin and popular sizes are 0 or 00
  • EXTRACTS (DECOCTION)
    • internal use
    • concentration of plant by pulling out or drawing from raw material accomplished by using a solvent like ethanol or water
    • sold as tincture or powdered form
    • powered extract can be 10x as potent as original raw material
    •  can be made by any, or combination of: expression, absorption, maceration, distillation, or spray dried
    • can be incapsulated
  • TINCTURES
    • internal use
    • preferred method for fast action
    • potent liquid extract made from single or combination of herbs
    • easily preserved
    • concentrated
    • effective in drawing out essential compounds of herbs
  • HERBAL BATHS
    • external use
    • diluted medicinal tea that you soak in
    • allows skin to absorb healing properties in contrast to oral intake which moves through the digestive tract
    • enjoyable process, aids in relaxation
  • OINTMENTS and SALVES
    • external use
    • used for healing, disinfecting softening, burns, scrapes, and drawing
    • convenient and portable
    • have a collection in your herbal medicine cabinet
  • COMPRESS, POULTICES, and PLASTERS
    • external use
    • used to draw toxins through the skin for cysts, abscesses, splinters, bites, and fatty deposits

For more help with delivery methods, reach out to me for personalized instruction.  Correct amounts, methods, storage, and application can be tricky.  The procedures can be simple and effective.  However, no ones needs to play doctor with herbs.

Herbal Action Terminology

  • Analgesic- nervine (calms nerves, helps with pain)
  • Antacid- neutralizes stomach acid
  • Antibiotic- inhibits the growth of microbes
  • Antipyretic- counteracts fever
  • Antiscorbutic- has high vitamin C content
  • Antiseptic- destroys microbes topically
  • Antispasmodic- relaxes muscles
  • Antiemetic- sooths nausea or and vomiting
  • Astringent- tones tissue and is naturally drying
  • Bitter- digestive
  • Demulcent- soothes tissue by making them slick
  • Diuretic- increases urine flow
  • Emetic- induces vomiting
  • Expectorant- expels mucus from lungs and throat
  • Galactogogue- increases milk production
  • Hemostatic- stops bleeding
  • Laxative- stimulates bowels
  • Lithotriptic- breaks stones
  • Nervine- calms nervous tension
  • Vulnerary- wound healing

I will discuss these actions in relation to the herb of the day.  This is a good list to go back to and check to see if the action you are needing is listed.

NOW, LET’S GET TO THE HERBS!

For those of you who need help identifying herbs, I highly recommend getting this app “PLANTSNAP”.

You can take your phone with you anywhere and with one snapshot of the plant, you will have the name of the plant within seconds.

Day One

1B505329-8D70-45C5-BF9C-E352718B3F53

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusion)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Herbal Baths

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Compresses, Poultices, Plasters

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet for wounds, burns, and sleep aid

Of course I would start with lavender.  This herb has so many uses.  It’s pretty much the kitchen sink of herbs.  Lavender has been used for centuries and has become popular for its calming and soothing action.  Studies have shown that lavender is nervine which helps in promoting relaxation, eases emotions, and can improve the quality of sleep.   Lavender can have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which gives it analgesic actions that can help to heal minor burns and bug bites.

PLANT PARTS USE

The flowers 🌼

TO HARVEST

Lavender is a hardy plant, able to grow in many regions, that blooms typically from June through September.  Harvest the flowers when they have just bloomed.  This is when they are most fragrant.  By harvesting them early, this also allows time for a second harvest if your climate permits.  Gather a bunch (as much as you can hold in one hand) and then cut about 2” above the woody part of the stem where it is still green.  Remove any dead parts of the plant or weeds that might have joined the party prior to drying.

  • TIP* usually…..you should always cut herbs in the morning after the morning dew has dried. I could go into depth about energy and charging but that’s for another day 🙂

DRYING

There are many ways to dry your herbs.  You can hang them, place on screens, use ovens, and even dehydrators.  I prefer the old-fashioned way of hanging them.  For more info on drying herbs:

Dry Your Own Herbs

With your freshly dried lavender, you can now make soaps, tea, tinctures, herbal baths, ointments, salves, compresses, poultices, and plasters.

🌱FOR PERSONALIZED HELP, SET UP AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CONSOLATION🌱

Holistic living is a decision you will never regret. Let me help you get started! 

Day Two

82271BD7-C989-4783-8CAC-51FDC48056BF

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusion)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Compresses, Poultices, Plasters

✔️Smoked

Travel to any rural area and you will see these towering plants along open pastures, ditches, and fences.  I grew up knowing how these ‘weeds’ could take over a pasture very quickly so we were quick to mow them down in early summer to keep the seeds from spreading.  I had no idea all of the actions this one plant was capable of.

I highly recommend to those of you who love research to spend a little time reading the history behind this herb.  It is amazing the diversity in which it has been used and through many different cultures, too.  Historically, this herb has been known to man for its remarkable narcotic properties.  The positive to this plant verses others is that it has these narcotic qualities without being poisonous or harmful (which that’s plus ;)) Dr. John Christopher states, “It is a great herbal pain killer and nervous soporific, calming and quieting all inflamed and irritated nerves.”

It has also been shown to strengthen the bowels and renal system, supports mucus membranes, and helps to eliminate toxins.

PLANT PARTS USED

Leaves 🌿

Flowers 🌼

Root 🥔 fresh or dried

TO HARVEST

Collect the leaves mid-summer before they turn brown.  Dry in shade.

Collect the flowers just after opening during dry weather. (Flowers can turn brown with moisture which can make them ineffective.

Collect roots and use either fresh or dry.

ACTIONS

Expectorant, demulcent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, nervine, anti-spasmodic, astringent, antiseptic, hemostatic, narcotic, anti-asthmatic, and many more.

The bodily systems that have been shown to benefit from mullein are the lungs and respiratory system, glands, lymphatic system, nervous system, urinary system, intestinal system, and the skin. The most popular preparations are teas, capsules, poultices, and believe it or not, smoking (although personally, I would not choose that method).

📌 For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Three

EDBCDDFC-B6FB-424A-94F1-CE16D7748F15

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusion)

✔️Baths

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Compresses

✔️Infusions

✔️Urtication

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet for pain relief

Nettles (Urtica dioica) also known as stinging nettle is a beautiful, green perennial that is so well known it usually needs no discription.  Once you brush up against it, you will know you came into contact with it. The “stinging hairs” which covers this plant consist of sharp, tiny, hollow barbs that contain venom. When the barb pierces the skin, the venom is instantly expressed causing some pain and inflammation.

*The nettles completely loses its stinging effect once cooked or dried.

So why bother with this nuisance of a plant? Besides its nutritional value, just a few indications for the use of Nettles are: diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages, febrile affections, gravel, nephritic complaints, chronic diseases of the colon, eczematous affections, eczema, arthritis, and chronic cystitis.

When cooked, it makes a very healthy vegetable which has a cleansing effect and is easy to digest. Some people even have a plant that they grow inside for the purpose of “Urtication”, a lashing with nettles formerly used to treat a paralyzed part of the body but now people use it for arthritis.

If you know anything about homeopathy then you know that Urtica is one of the most popular remedies in regards to astringents.  It can be used both internally and externally for so many issues and is useful even is very small doses.

*FUN FACT: Nettles beer has been used as a remedy for gouty and rheumatic pains (according to country folk)

PLANT PARTS USED

Flowering tops 🌼

Leaves🌿

Roots 🥔

TO HARVEST

To Cook:

With long gloves, harvest young tops when they reach 6-8” high.  Wash throughly with running water (again wearing gloves or with a long wooden spoon). Place in dry pot while still dripping wet and cook with lid on for about 20 minutes on low heat.

To Dry:

Collect flowers in full bloom in the morning after dew has dried.  Cut plants (wearing gloves) just above the roots.  Discard any dead or diseased parts of the plant and tie in loose bunches to hang dry. When stems and leaves are dried and crisp, cull and store in airtight container.

ACTIONS

Astringent, diuretic, tonic, nutritive, hemostatic and are shown to benefit the lungs, kidneys, bladder, blood, GI tract, and the skin. The most popular preparations are infusion, tincture, capsule, and urtication.

Nutritionally, Nettles is a good source of vitamin C, A, Calcium, silicon, potassium chloride, and has protein and dietary fiber.

📌 For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Four

B8471EA1-7CAC-45E0-B7BD-6AEBF34E4C41

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusion)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Poultice

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet for wounds and to stop minor bleeding

 

This feathery, fern-like plant is common here on Colorado’s plains.  With practicing just a bit, it’s easy to spot in most pastures.  Standing anywhere from 12-30 inches tall, Yarrow blooms mid-summer and tops off late fall with small clusters of white flowers.

Historically, Yarrow was popular for being used as a hemostatic.  It was used widely in old wars as a way to stop minor bleeding such as small wounds and nose bleeds. When used in cold preparations, this can help stimulate the appetite and can clean up those digestive organs.  This can be beneficial at the first stages of acute fevers (not all fevers are bad), colds, respiratory issues, diarrhea and even intestinal bleeding.

When used as a diaphoretic, you use hot preparations and copiously (in large quantities) which can raise the heat of the body.  This increases circulation and perspiration and helps to stimulate sweat glands that help flush out toxins. Yarrow can regulate the liver and it tones many digestive mucus membranes starting at the stomach and ending in the bowels.

PLANT PARTS USED

Stem 🌱

Leaves 🌿

Flower🌼

TO HARVEST

Gather the whole plant (above ground) in bunches when plant is in full bloom.  Tie in loose bundles and hang to dry in the shade.

ACTIONS

Diaphoretic, astringent, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and bitter and can benefit circulation, lungs, skin, mucus membranes, and urinary system.  The most popular preparations are decoctions, infusions, tinctures, extracts, ointments, and poultices.

Nutritionally, Yarrow has good amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, silicon, and vitamin C.

*FUN FACT  It is very hard to produce powdered form of Yarrow.  It is best to be used as extracts.

📌 For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Five

DD16502B-81C6-4579-9359-C9AEEEFF7CCA

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusion)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Compress

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet for fever, headaches, and nausea

Oh, peppermint, how I love thee! First of all, this is one of the easiest perennials to grow and a bottle of peppermint essential oil can be used as an emergency remedy for dozens of conditions.  It literally is a medicine cabinet in your pocket.

There are many members of the mint family so identifying peppermint can be tricky.  Luckily, most of the actions of the mint family are the same so if you mixed them up, it would come with little to no harm.  Peppermint leaves are smooth on top and bottom but their edges are finely toothed.  The stems are generally purple.  Reddish-purplish flowers bloom on the upper clusters of the plant forming long spikes.  The plant gives off a wonderful fragrance and when you chew the leaves, it produces a nice, hot taste that quickly changes to a cool sensation because of the menthol in the plant.

Historically, this herb was used primarily for digestion health.  It stimulates digestion, curbs nausea, stays hiccups and supports the liver. It is nervine and analgesic so it works great for any localized pain.  More up to date research shows the herb having significant antiseptic and antiviral properties too.  Especially popular in essential oil form, this plant has a huge range of medicinal and culinary uses. This is my go-to oil for tension headaches and a bottle of essential oil goes with me everywhere.  At any sign of nausea, a few deep breaths of peppermint EO and you will be able to manage through.

PLANT PARTS USED

Aerial parts (any part of the plant that is completely exposed to air) fresh or dried

TO HARVEST

Harvest above ground parts just before flowering in the morning after morning dew has dried.

To Dry: Tie in small, loose bundles and hang to dry in the shade.

ACTIONS

Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, aromatic, diaphorectic, anti-emetic, nervine, anti-microbial, analgesic, and a stimulant and can benefit the stomach, intestines, liver, muscles, nervous system, and circulation.  The most popular preparations are infusions, essential oils, tincture, capsules, and compresses.

 

*FUN FACT  Place a few springs of peppermint in your picnic basket or pantry to make a natural deterrent for ants.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Six

C3412573-ED39-4E8F-8518-6F2ABF5D85E5

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Plasters

Red Clover is found in many pastures and meadows in North America.  I grew up with the common recognition of this plant because we put up 100s of acres of hay every year. We made sure that the clover was sparse.  However, it would make it into one or two of my famous, childhood bouquets of wildflowers.

Red Clover grows in independent clumps and can reach 1 to 2 feet tall.  Each stalk has three leaflets and tops off with a majestic, purplish blossom.  The blooms can grow as wide as an inch in diameter.

Not a lot is known historically on Red Clover.  Most of the information we have is from the past 100 years and from the Eclectic Materia Medica of 1922. What we know of it from there is that Red Clover is known to be an alterative (blood purifier) and an antispasmodic.  It is popular with many respiratory issues and helps relieve dry, irritable, and spasmodic coughs.  The topic of it being used as an anti-cancer agent is growing.  It is a key ingredient in many cancer formulas such as Jason Winter’s Tea, The Hoxsey Cancer Formula, Essiac Tea, and Christopher’s Anti-Cancer Remedy.  Many people have used with ointments and plasters for ulcers, boil, and abscesses as well.

PLANT PARTS USED

Flower 🌼

TO HARVEST

Gather flowers in full bloom and can be used fresh or dried.

To Dry: Cut blooms and dry on screen in the shade.

ACTIONS

Alterative, expectorant, anti-spasmodic, depurant, and alkalizer and can benefit the nerves, lungs, blood, liver, and lymph. The most popular preparations are extracts, infusions, capsules, tinctures, ointments, and plasters.

Nutritionally,  the plant is a good source or calcium, niacin, and tin.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Seven

499A8D1B-3E60-4C14-AD77-2F18C7F0EE34

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

We have arrived at one of my absolute favorite herbs.  The Red Raspberry, members of the bramble fruit family, grow wonderfully in the wild and are cultivated in our zone here in Colorado.  These beauties can grow to become troublesome.  If not maintained, they will quickly become unpenetratable thickets.  The have deep green, toothed leaves on the upper side and lighter green leaves underneath. Flowers will appear early summer and then quickly fall off leaving the fruits to cluster and form juicy, bright red berries. The canes are well armed with thorns and do not root.  Rather, they have runners that take root.  

Historically, the roots and leaves were used as astringents along with helpful remedies  for digestion issues, specifically diarrhea. Also popular for the use during labor to increase the activity of uterine contractions and useful with the afterpains of labor. 

A quote from Henry Box, a renowned Quaker herbalist, “A tea from Red Raspberry leaves is the best gift God ever gave to women.” The many uses of the wonderful herb before, during, and after child birth is be taken under special considerations and direction.

Dr. Christopher states, “When taken regularly in pregnancy, the infusion will quiet inappropriate premature pains and produce a safe, speedy, and easy delivery. Red Raspberry leaves stimulate, tone, and regulate before and during childbearing, assisting contractions and checking hemorrhage during labor, relieving after-pains, then strengthening, cleansing, and enriching the milk of the mother in the post-delivery period.”

Just a few of the other uses are for canker sores and mouth ulcers (use as mouth wash), indigestion, morning sickness, nausea, thrush, wounds, and burns.

PLANTS PARTS USED

Fruit 🍓

Leaves 🌿

Roots 🥔

TO HARVEST

Fruit are to be gathered when fully ripe.

The leaves can be collected throughout the growing season, dried slowly on a screen.  Turn often to avoid molding and discoloration.

Dig up roots when plant is dormant, fall or early spring. Wash and lay on screens to dry in warm ventilated room.

ACTIONS

Astringent, tonic, alterative, anti-emetic, antiseptic, hemostatic, anti-abortive, parturient (assists in labor-leaves) and benefits urinary systems, mucus membranes, stomach, intestines, blood, and all soft tissue. The most popular preparations are infusions, decoctions, tinctures, capsules, and ointments.

Nutritionally, leaves and fruit are very high in iron and calcium.  Fruits are high in soluble fiber.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Eight

B3AE3251-A87E-4ECC-AA24-A1EA420D566F

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)- and STRONG Decoctions

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Plasters, Poultice, and Compress

When we first purchased our land and began the homesteading process, the ground surrounding the old existing structures was covered with burdock.  Of course, my dogs decided to investigate the property only to come back covered in burrs.  Sometimes I wonder if this plant is worth it….

When first growing, the plant reminds me of wild rhubarb but then quickly shows itself for what it truly is.  A biennial plant, that forms large, green leaves at the bottom and narrows out at the top where it forms blossoms that are covered in stiff hairs (burrs).  It can grow to be 3-4 feet tall.

Historically, the plant along with old wine was used for serpent bites.  Bruised leaves mixed with egg whites were also applied to burns (from heat) for sudden comfort and healing.  The seeds have also been said to break stones.

More recently, burdock has been used for removing waste products in the body such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, boils, carbuncles, styes, sores, rheumatism, gout, and sciatica.  Seeds have been used as a diuretic and have actions impacting the urinary tract.  It is mostly used for skin issues, fever, kidney health, and a detox for mercury.

PLANT PARTS USED

Root 🥔

Fruits (Seeds) 🌾

Leaves 🌿

TO HARVEST

Harvest roots in late fall of first year.

Fruits (Seeds) develop in second year plants.

Leaves- collect fresh or to be dried, generally in second year plants.

ACTIONS

Root- Alterative, diuretic, diaphoretic, bitter, anti-psoriatic, and demulcent.

Seeds- All the same plus nervine and tonic.

Burdock can benefit the skin, liver, lungs, and digestive tract.  The most popular preparations are decoctions, capsules, tinctures, ointment and poultices.

Nutritionally, burdock provides good amounts of chromium, copper, iron, and magnesium.

*FUN FACT  Burdock Root is a popular vegetable in Japan.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Nine

D86306C9-C1BC-4834-99AA-DB4EB0B4A9E4

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Poultice

Sage is one of the easier herbs to spot in a garden.  It grows to be a foot or so tall and has woody stems.  They leaves are paired on the stems and rounded at the ends.  They have a beautiful, grayish tint to them and are velvety to the touch.  Sage blooms in late summer and the blooms have lipped whorls, a bit like a snapdragon’s whorl.  The dominant fragrance is very strong and is easily provoked when bruised.

Historically, Sage has held its own in regards to the opinion of Hippocrates himself who said, “Why should a man die while Sage grows in this garden?” Sage has been used for hundreds of years as a way to relieve joint and head pain, to help memory and awaken the senses.  Tea has been used for high fevers and nervous excitement.  The Chinese has put a high value on its ability to be a stimulating tonic for the digestive system. It was even listed as a useful medicine during the typhoid fever epidemic. When fresh leaves were rubbed on teeth, it would clean them along with strengthening the gums.

Modern day herbalists have found Sage to have tremendous anti-fever properties when taken hot and helps in all troubles in the mouth and throat.  When taken hot, it can help break a fever by stimulating a fever sweat and when taken cold or in capsules, it can dry up breast milk and reduce mucus congestion.

It is very popular to grow as a culinary herb to flavor chicken, turkey, and many fall vegetables.

Burning dried herbs is a ritual that is common to many different cultures.  From Frankincense to Sage, the reasons and methods are a bit different.  Burning Sage is one of the oldest methods in ways people would cleanse a person, group, or space….. and, some people just like the way it smells.

PLANT PARTS USED

Leaves 🌿 fresh or dried and in EO form

TO HARVEST

Gather leaves before flowering begins in sunny, dry weather.  Dry on screens or loose bunches and dry and shady area.

ACTIONS

Aromatic, digestive, diaphoretic, stimulant, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, antioxidant, expectorant, hypotension, astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal and can benefit the lungs, sinuses, mucus membranes, bowel, bladder, stomach, brain, heart, nerves, skin, and hair.  The most popular preparations are infusions, capsules, tinctures, poultices, and even mouth washes and syrups.

*Fun Fact-  It is said that the wife rules where Sage grows by the garden gate.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

Day Ten

E360D092-2B9C-4033-A009-DEA4BF4489D6

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Poultices

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet for wounds and burns

The Calendula blossom, also knows as the Pot Marigold, is one of my favorite flowers to grow. This little annual packs a punch and continues to grow all summer long. The mighty Calendula can stand up to two feet tall with yellow-to-orange ray flowers topping it off. The leaves are thin and smooth with finely toothed edges. My gardens are always surrounded by a row of Calendulas because of the repelling effect it has on insects. I also LOVE to use goat’s milk soap that has been infused with Calendula blossoms.

Historically, Calendula has been used for wound healing and ulcer treatments. Others have used it for varicose veins and severe burns. This has carried on throughout time and is still used very much for a wide range of skin issues such as fungal conditions, eczema, psoriasis, sunburns, burns, scalds, and wounds. It truly is one of the best herbs for treating local skin problems…..as why I love it in my goat’s milk soap.

PLANT PARTS USED

Flower heads and petals 🌼

TO HARVEST

Harvest flower heads when fully opened on dry morning after morning dew has dried. Dry on screens in the shade.

ACTIONS

Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, astringent, vulenary, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, lymphatic, and diaphoretic and can benefit the blood, mucus membranes, skin, and gastro-intestinal tract. The most popular preparations are extracts, infusions, capsules, tinctures, poultices, and salves.

*Fun Fact- Don’t mistake the Calendula with the garden marigold, French marigold, or targets. Look for Calendula. Also, make sure to save a few blossoms so they go to seed for next year’s crop.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

Day Eleven

2DD26C4C-711A-4DA5-B759-77C5010257D8

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Poultice

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet to help stop external bleeding.

Also known as Cayenne, Chili, or Chili Pepper, the great Capsicum Frutescens needs no introduction.  This culinary favorite has been used in dishes all around the world.  Its magic doesn’t stop there.  Applied topically, Capsicum can relieve pain by confusing the body’s chemical pain messenger, a lot like peppermint EO does.

*Note, this doesn’t repair the damage, just gives relief from pain.

Historically, Samuel Thomson first brought about its medicinal uses in the early 1800’s.  He is quoted as saying, “I have made use of Cayenne in all kinds of disease, and have given it to patients of all ages and under every circumstance that has come under my practice; and can assure the public that it is perfectly harmless, never having  known it to produce any bad effects whatsoever.”

Today, its greatest influence lies over the circulatory system.  It has shown great results in removing congestion, by its actions, upon the nerves and circulation.  Poor circulation,  sore and tired muscles, and stiff joints can be improved by Capsicum. Used as a first aid, it can help control or to stop external bleeding.

PLANT PARTS USED

Fruit 🌶

TO HARVEST

Harvest fruit when fully ripe.  Dry on screens in shade or strung on ropes.

ACTIONS

Stimulant, astringent, hemostatic, anti-tumor, counter-irritant, analgesic, anti-ulcer, anti-microbial, thermogenic and can benefit the circulatory system, nervous system, digestive system, skin, and mucus membranes.  The most popular preparations are infusions, capsules, tinctures, extracts, and poultice.

Nutritionally, Capsicum is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, potassium, and molybdenum.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Twelve

72612485-A0E7-42AB-AD71-594C2BF6DEA1

✔️ Internal* and External

FDA advises taking Comfrey internally due to trace amounts of purrolizidine alkaloids (PA’s) but studies show that Comfrey taken internally is less toxic than an equal amount of beer.

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Poultice

✔️ Have in your herbal medicine cabinet to help with rapid healing of wounds.

Comfrey is a perennial that is grown throughout North America.  Standing up to three feet tall, the thick-stemmed, hairy plant has earned its way to my 31 Days of Herbs class because of its anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and deep healing actions. If you own any livestock, you will want this on hand!

Its leaves, large and hairy, grow from a very strong, hairy stem that makes it very difficult to pick.  The leaves form rosettes from where beautiful, bell-shaped, purple flowers emerge.  The roots are most importantly identifiable.  Comfrey (first year plants) look similar to the Foxglove, which is toxic.  The roots of the two plants are completely different.  Comfrey’s roots are thick, often hollow and will take over an area if not thinned properly.  On the outside the roots appear to be brownish-black, but once cut open you will find them to be a tannish-white and slimy if smashed.

Historically, Comfrey was known as a wonderful healer; helping all inward hurts, bruises, and wounds.  Our historical herbalists have given us specific indications for coughs and colds, gastric and duodenal ulcers, GI inflammation, bruised and damaged joints, hurt muscles and tendons, and fractures.  It is also recommended for almost all respiratory issues.

PLANT PARTS USED

Root🥔 (fresh or dried)

Leaves 🌿 (fresh or dried)

TO HARVEST

Leaves can be collected throughout the growing season and dried in shade.

Roots should be collected in the spring or autumn.  Split roots down the middle and dry in temps between 120-145*F

ACTIONS

Vulnerary, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant, anti-tumor, nutritive, and hemostatic and can benefit the structural system, respiratory system, mucus membranes, stomach and digestive system, and skin.  Most popular preparations are extracts, infusions, capsules, tinctures, ointments, and poultices.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Thirteen

EF3D04B1-4EA9-4F64-B172-A323F3A14617

✔️ Internal and External

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments and Salves

✔️Poultice

This woody perennial is a culinary favorite that can grow up to 8” tall.  The plant is procumbent and likes to spread around on the ground.  The leaves are petite and generally a grayish-blue to dark green color.  Small flowers follow the whorls and when the plant is snipped, you have a wonderful earthy fragrance.

Historically, Thyme was said to deliver great courage to the knights and the ladies would embroider a sprig of Thyme on their scarves and hand it to their “knights”.

We recognize Thyme for its proper place in the culinary field however, ancients believed it for medicinal powers.  It was commonly used for whooping cough and to help the body purge phlegm.  Ointments were made to rid the body of warts, reduce pain, and internally, it showed great help to ease the stomach.

Today, herbalists use Thyme as an expectorant and for its antibacterial properties.  In EO form, it is a great disinfectant and a natural preservative that is favorable when making skincare products.

PLANT PARTS USED

Flowering tops 🌼 (fresh or dried) and EO form

TO HARVEST

Cut back the top third of plant once it is in full bloom.  Use fresh or dry on a screen in the shade.

ACTIONS
Aromatic, anti-septic, anti-viral, expectorant, astringent, antioxidant, and preservative and can benefit the lungs, throat, stomach, intestines, and skin.  The most popular preparations are EO, infusions, capsules, tinctures, and poultices.

*FUN FACT- Thymol, the main, active ingredient in Listerine Antiseptic, is the same element found in Thyme’s oil….without all the other…not so positive… ingredients.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Fourteen

C5B0B7CF-06A3-473A-AAA6-4209C7AE05B5

✔️Internal (Dandelion is not commonly used externally)

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

Okay, would any intro to herbs class be complete without the mighty Dandelion? This hollow stalked, bright yellow flower needs very little discription. Almost everyone knows what a Dandelion is.  Most people see it as a pesky weed that takes over a lawn very quickly. However, this little “weed” is one of the most effective, natural diuretics in contrast to the diuretic drugs that produce nasty side effects and mineral depletion.

Historically, the Dandelion is known as a “bitter” herb that aided in digestion, helped relieve a stressed-out liver, and was a wonderful cleansing agent. Its historical actions are carried over to today and is used in powerful cleanses and in removal of blockages in the liver, gall, and spleen.

PLANT PARTS USED

Root 🥔

Leaves 🌿

Flowers 🌼

(fresh or dried)

TO HARVEST

Harvest tender leaves in early spring (great for tea…dried and salads….fresh). Dry leaves on screens or hang to dry.

Roots are harvested mid-summer for high bitter actions.

ACTIONS

Diuretic, bitter, digestive, laxative, tonic, and nutritive and benefits the urinary system, circulatory system, digestive system, liver, kidneys, stomach, spleen, and skin. The most popular preparations are extracts, tinctures, capsules, and infusions.

Nutritionally, the Dandelion is a good source of lecithin, helenin, choline, Vitamins A and B-2 (riboflavin).

*FUN FACT- The root of a Dandelion, roasted, makes a great coffee substitute.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Day Fifteen

A377D7A1-3115-4AB5-867C-F3D1A49E40FB

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

Willow grows rapidly where I live.  We are lucky enough to live close to many creeks that are lined with Willow.  The entire Willow family have comparable medicinal actions but the White Willow is the one I will go into depth on.  The bark covering a thick trunk of the Willow is deeply grooved and gray in color.  Most of the branches are slender that gives way to long but petite leaves.  The tree blooms in early spring, after the leaves have budded out, producing soft catkins.

Historically, the Willow is known for its source of Salicin (precursor to aspirin).  Willow has strong abilities to reduce fever and to subside pain and has been used for centuries for these issues.

Current herbalists like to use Willow bark as a mild analgesic for a aspirin substitute.  It can also be used for many issues such as digestive conditions, anti-aging, to warts.

PLANT PARTS USED

Inner Bark 🌴

TO HARVEST

Gather large branches throughout summer when the tree is in leaf.  At this time the bark can easily be stripped from the wood.  Separate the inner bark from the outer bark and dry in strips in the shade.

ACTIONS

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, bitter, astringent, antiseptic, and diuretic and can benefit the stomach, kidney, bowels, nerves, and circulation.  The most population preparations are tinctures, capsules, and extracts.

Note* Willow can lead to a similar response if one has an aspirin allergy.

*FUN FACT- Activated charcoal is made from White Willow.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Sixteen

B53043D6-2180-49A4-B183-5EE2F39A5138

✔️Internal and external

✔️Teas (infusions)

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Poultices

These purple beauties are a garden favorite not only for their medicinal actions but for their appearance too. Their high cone sits on top of slender, purple petals and a strong, slender stem with minimal leaves supports it.

Historically, Dakota and Sioux Indians would use the root to treat hydrophobia, snake bites, and blood poisoning. The Kiowa and Cheyenne would chew the fresh root for coughs, sore throats, and ulcers in the mouth. To say the least, Echinacea was widely esteemed among the plains’ tribes. The flower wasn’t discovered by conventional doctors until after the Civil War. It was known to be an antispasmodic and used in cases of blood poisoning. Many doctors along with professors have studied in wonder how Echinacea seems to be the antagonist to many abnormal changes in bodily fluids.

If there is an herb to really study for its history and actions, Echinacea has to be one of the top choices. Applied to open wounds or swelling, it can give off a burning sensation that is quickly followed by relief. It is also used for an antiseptic and a local anesthetic.

PLANT PARTS USED

Root 🥔 (fresh or dried)

Leaves 🌿

Flowers🌼

TO HARVEST

Harvest aerial parts during any time of its growing season from second year plant. Cut stem above the lowest pair of leaves. Strip leaves and flower buds and lay flat to dry.

Harvest roots of 2-3 year old plant in spring of fall. Dig up root ball, clean , cut up, and dry on screen.

ACTIONS
Anti-microbial, anti-viral, immune-stimulant, diaphoretic, and alterative and can benefit the entire body for microbial infections or inflammation, respiratory, mucous membranes, skin, and the blood. Most popular preparations are extracts, infusions, capsules, tinctures, and poultices.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Seventeen

0A33586A-4414-4292-90F9-27D034C1E3AB

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Poultices

✔️Ointments

Yellow Dock is a perennial that does not need to be cultivated.  It grows EVERYWHERE!  It grows to be around three feet tall and has long, think leaves that are slightly curled around the edges.  The flower and seed stalk is what sticks out on this plant.  When mature, the seed cells turn a reddish-brown color.  The root, a tap root, is very long and yellow on the inside.

Historically, Yellow Dock was used for blood cleansing.  It was also used in cases of constipation.  It works in a different way than most laxatives because it doesn’t  just stimulate the bowel to move.  It actually promotes the flow of bile.  Many skin issues such a s eczema, psoriasis, and hemorrhoids have been helped with the use of Yellow Dock.  Modern herbalists continue to use in blood cleansing formulas and have found that it is one of the richest sources of iron.

PLANT PARTS USED 

Root 🥔

TO HARVEST

Dig up roots after seed heads have matured and begin to die off.  Clean well, slice, and dry in shade.

ACTIONS

Alterative, astringent, laxative, tonic, and nutritive and can benefit the blood, liver, spleen, gall bladder, and skin.  The most popular preparations are extracts, capsules, tinctures, ointments, and poultices.

*FUN FACT- Yellow Dock, like Rhubarb, contains high levels of oxalates in the leaves.  That part of the plant is generally NOT consumed.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Eighteen

17E932DD-74F0-4CAE-97D8-0591594D9EDE

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Ointments

✔️Juice and syrups

Where do I begin with such a dynamic herb?  This shrubby tree has some of the most popular universal uses of any other herb that I know of.  All parts of the tree from the root, the deep grooved, gray bark, the slender branches, the grouped leaflets, the fragrant white blossoms, to the dark purple, juicy berries have been famous for their medicinal properties.

Historically, the flowers were used for bronchial, and pulmonary distress, scarlet fever, and measles. The berries were used as an aperient and an alterative.  Leaf buds were used as a purgative.

Today, many people like to make homemade wine with the berries.  Infusions are made for allergies, colds, flu, constipation, and fever.  Ointments made from the leaves are made for bruises, frostbite, sprains, and tumors.  Tinctures made from the flowers help with allergies, sinusitis, and sore throat.

Dr. Martin Blockwich wrote of 230 medicinal uses in his book, The Anatomie of the Elder, where he states that nearly every part of the tree is medicinal, so every ailment of the body was curable from a toothache to the plague.

PLANT PARTS USED

Root 🥔

Bark 🌴

Leaves 🌿

Flowers🌼

Berries 🍇

TO HARVEST

Collect flowers by cutting clusters when in full bloom.  Set on canvas in open sun for 2-3 hours and then shake off flowers from stems.  Dry quickly on fine screen.

Collect berries when fully ripe and sweet.  Preserve according to preservation preference.

Harvest roots and bark anytime after plant has set and matured and in off-growing seasons.

Harvest leaves before flowers are formed and dry on screen.

ACTIONS

The bark: purgative, emetic, diuretic

The leaves: vulnerary, purgative, expectorant, diuretic

The flowers: diaphoretic, anti-spsamodic, anti-inflammatory

The berries: diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative, aperient, anti-rheumatic

They can benefit the respiratory system, glandular system, and the skin.

The most popular preparations are teas, juice, tinctures, extracts,  and ointments.

ALL MEMBERS AND CLIENTS OF THE FIT FARMACY, INC RECEIVE MY ELDERBERRY SYRUP RECIPE.  

MESSAGE ME FOR IT✌🏼

NOT A MEMBER YET?

FIND OUT HOW HERE

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Nineteen

4021084D-87A8-4B2D-9099-DB795B9FCEF9

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Ointments

If you’re looking for a nutritive super herb then your search has ended.  Alfalfa pretty much has it all.  Most people think of green hay pastures with purple blooms peeking out when they think of alfalfa.  It’s no surprise why so many people give their farm animals alfalfa.  The nutrition is off the charts.  Or maybe you had a super-food mom who made you drink green smoothies.  You could just smell the alfalfa coming from those smoothies.

Historically, in Ayurvedic texts, it shows the uses of alfalfa seeds and sprouts improving blood cell production and the leaves and stems were used as a nutritive as it was a good source of protein and minerals.

Current uses range from high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, diabetes, to upset stomach.  Tea is often used medicinally to help promote appetite and weight gain, and is also a diutetic and coagulant.  This herb is super high in chlorophyll and nutrients which promotes alkalinity in the body along with detoxifying actions.  If you researched this herb long enough, you would find that this super food could almost be used for anything.  However, in some cases, alfalfa has been shown to aggravate auto-immune problems.

PLANT PARTS USED

Leaves 🌿

Spouts 🌱

Flowers 🌼

TO HARVEST

Harvest when flowers are almost peaked (this happens fast so don’t wait too long).  Cut 2” from crown.  Hang to dry and remove from stem once dried.

ACTIONS

Alterative, diuretic, appetite stimulate, and hemostatic and can benefit THE WHOLE BODY!  Most popular preparations are capsules and teas.

Nutritionally, this super food is high in chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, along with almost every known vitamin!

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Twenty

833C0035-BED8-4D66-AF23-D2A9BE11DB7A

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Poultices

✔️Juice, oil, and syrup

✔️Raw

Garlic is a plant most people need little introduction to.  Most popular for its presence in the culinary world, it also has a rightful stake to claim in the medicinal world.  Garlic, a member of the onion family, grows and produces bulbs which is the edible and medicinal part of the plant.  The unforgettable odor when the cloves are bruised is undeniable.  It forms a single stem that is topped with white to purplish flowers.

Historically, garlic is a controversial plant, medicinally speaking.  Some herbalist rave about its profound antiviral and antibacterial actions while some are still on the fence.   John Heinerman is quoted in his book, Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices, “The role of garlic as an antiviral and anti-bacterial agent is unsurpassed.  There is no…repeat…NO…. modern antibiotic drugs in the entire arsenal of medical science that even come close to doing what garlic can do.”

Garlic is well known today for being a beneficial healer.  It is used on wounds to prevent infections, helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and strengthen the immune system,  Even laboratory studies have shown garlic having equivalent actions to many antibiotic drugs. Infused oils work great on ear infections, burns, and parasites too!

PLANT PARTS USED

The bulb (cloves)

TO HARVEST

Harvest when tops of plant begin to wither.  Store in cold, dry area.

ACTIONS

Antibiotic, anti-fungal, immuno-stimulant, anti-oxidant, diaphoretic, hypotensive, expectorant, and anti-diabetic and can benefit all bodily systems especially the circulatory, respiratory, intestinal, and immune.  The most popular preparations are juices, oils, capsules, raw, tinctures, and poultices.

*FUN FACT- Garlic was one of the ingredients in the famous “Vinegar of Four Thieves” that protected the thieves from the Plague when robbing  homes and bodies of the Plague victims.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Day Twenty-One

697A0A49-2994-4FE5-B198-AAE964693E8F

✔️Internal and external

✔️Infusions

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Capsules

✔️Tinctures

✔️Poultices

✔️Salves and ointments

This low growing perinneal is recognized as one of the oldest ‘favorites’ among garden herbs.  It grows about a foot tall and has fibrous roots.  The stems are hairy and are covered with segmented leaves which gives the whole plant a feathery appearance. The bloom tops off the plant in late summer with one single bloom with white florets and yellow-domed centers, much like a daisy.  The bloom seems to be too heavy for the stem and will droop ever so slightly because of its weight.

Historically, the plant was mostly used for an aromatic for its likeness to the scent of apples.  In Egypt, it was used in cases of fever and rubbed on the skin as a cosmetic.  The Romans used Chamomile to flavor drinks was well as a medicinal herb.  Teas have been used for years as a soothing sedative without harmful effects. It has also been shown beneficial in relieving colic and a teething baby, heartburn, and headaches.  Tinctures have been found to help diarrhea in children.  Poultices and plaster are used in cases of swelling, inflammation, and even abscesses.

PLANT PARTS USED 

Flowers 🌼

TO HARVEST

Harvest flowers in the morning after morning dew has dried.  Select the flowers that are nearly open.  Cut or pinch flower head off right below head.

Dry in cool area on screens and store in sealed glass jar.

ACTIONS

Tonic,  sedative, stomachic, antispasmodic, and anodyne and can benefit the digestive system, the skin, muscular system, nervous system and aids in sleep.  The most popular preparations are teas, tinctures, capsules, and poultices.

 

* FACT- Today, the Roman Chamomile wasn’t discovered by the Romans,  rather it was discovered by an English botanist.  He found it in the Coliseum growing wild.  He carried it back to England where it is now cultivated throughout the world.

 

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Day Twenty-Two

A5195CAB-7C30-417F-AB69-D3D7E7790036

✔️Internal and external

✔️Infusions

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Capsules

✔️Tinctures

✔️Poultices

✔️Syrup

 

This beautiful shrubby-tree is not only ornamental but also medicinally functional.  The thorny tree sprouts off stems that generate about 5 lobed leaves that then bloom white flower clusters.  They bloom in early summer and then the deep red “Haws” follow in late summer.

Historically and pure legend says that this was the plant that supplied Jesus his famous “Crown of Thorns” during his crucifixion.  It also is the plant that gave the Pilgrim’s ship its name, The Mayflower.  Culpeper regarded the plant as one to have a ‘drawing out’ capability.  So if one had sprinters or thorns, applying cloths soaked in an infusion would draw them out.  He stated that even the thorn provided a solution to its problem.

Today, Hawthorn has been widely researched as a heart tonic.  Historical and modern studies have shown this plant to be very heart-friendly, aiding in congestive heart failure, preventing heart attack, normalizing blood pressure, regulating heart beat, and heart stress.  In China, it is even used to treat stomach and ovarian cancer.

Externally, it can draw out sprinters with a use of a poultice and the syrup can sooth a sore throat.

PLANT PARTS USED

Flowers 🌼

Berries 🍇

TO HARVEST

Harvest flowers when they are about 40% open and dry on screens in the shade.

Harvest berries when fully ripe with low heat.

ACTIONS 

Cardio-tonic, diuretic, astringent, hypotensive, anti-sclerotic and can benefit the cardio-vascular system and the heart.  The most popular preparations are teas, capsules, tinctures, extracts, syrups, and poultices.

*NOTE- Always seek the advice of a health practitioner when dealing with heart-related issues.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Day Twenty-Three

3847A850-8137-43EF-A822-86E59BC1CE0A

✔️Internal and external

✔️Infusions

✔️Extracts (decoction)

✔️Capsules

✔️Raw

✔️Juice

The famous Lily of the Desert needs little introduction.  It commonly is in every home, perched in direct sunlight, and seems to grow all on its own.  This stemless plant grows long, toothed leaves right out of the soil and will even bloom for you under good care.  Once the leaves are pinched off, a gooey sap called, aloin, awaits you.  It takes up to four years for the plant to reach maturity and can reach up to 30” tall!

Historically, ancient Chinese and Egyptians used aloe vera to treat burns, wounds, and reduce fever.  Legend also has it that Cleopatra herself used Aloe Vera in her daily beauty treatments.  The great Aloe is the oldest recorded plant that has medicinal properties and health benefits.  It is also said that those who were treated with Aloe Vera after being exposed to the A-Bomb in 1944, showed quicker healing than those who were not treated with the plant.

Today, people have many uses for Aloe Vera.  They use it to help in healthy digestion, body care products, alkilinizer, and support for dry skin, burns, and wounds.  In regards to wounds, it just doesn’t sooth the skin, it helps to speed up recovery time.

PLANT PARTS USED

Leaves 🌿

TO HARVEST

It is best to cut a mature leaf off the parent plant with sharp knife.  Often pinching leaves can damage plant.  Wash, and lay flat to filet the leaf.  With sharp knife, filet the gel from the flesh.

ACTIONS

Anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, laxative, and antiseptic and can benefit the skin and digestion.  The most popular preparations are juice, raw, extracts, oil, and capsules.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Twenty-Four

FAD95825-55E3-469E-86F5-4C40265596B3

✔️Internal and external

✔️Teas (Infusions)

✔️Extracts (Decoction)

✔️Capsules

✔️Poultices

✔️Cooked with food.

Today we are going off-land, to the sea where we find the mineral-rich, Kelp. These brown, seaweed forests like to grow in cool, shallow waters and predominantly on the Pacific Coast.

Historically, many studies have shown that rich animal life was sustained by the ‘Kelp Highway’.  This turned many scientist’s and nutritionist’s attention to see how Kelp could be used in our diet but it’s rich history dates back thousands of years.

Since the fifth century, China has been using Kelp as food.  The Greeks and Romans used it as medicine, and for thousands of years, farmers have been using it as a natural fertilizer.

Today we have found uses for Kelp in wound-healing, cardiac tonic, musculoskeletal tonics, and thyroid trophorestorative actions.  It probably is used most in thyroid therapy, where it nourishes the gland with rich iodine which the gland needs to productivity function.  If the thyroid has poor function, it effects other functions of the body, too.   The heart, adrenals, bones, and blood can all be affected by fluctuations in thyroid activity.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 18 years ago and was one of the many reasons why I went into holistic health.  I won’t go into detail here on my journey how I successfully got off synthetic drugs to “treat” my thyroid.  This would be discussed with clients privately.  But, Kelp played one of the roles in nourishing my thyroid back to health.

PLANT PARTS USED 

Leaves 🌿 or Fronds

TO HARVEST 

If you are ever so lucky to live off the coast to be able to harvest your own Kelp, you are probably aware of the techniques.  I, personally, have never harvested Kelp intentionally so I gave you a wonderful source on how to do it.

How To Harvest Kelp

ACTIONS 

Vulnerary,  nutritive, analgesic, antiscorbutic, appetitive depressant, and laxitive, and can benefit the endocrine system, digestive system, and skin.  Most popular preparations are capsules and poultices.

Nutritionally, Kelp is rich in potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, chloride, sulfur, phosphorous, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, selenium, bromine, iodine, arsenic, iron, and fluorine and B vitamins. Ancient Hawaiians would grow Kelp gardens for medicine, ceremonies and even their leis.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Day Twenty-Five

83293AD5-5572-4DD5-93A1-23C7BA2261A9

✔️Internal and external

✔️Teas (Infusions)

✔️Extracts (Decoction)

✔️Capsules

Native to Europe and Asia, the plant known as Glycyrrhiza glabra is considered a weed to its origin.  The root from the plant is where we get the term ‘Licorice Root’. Talk about the original ‘sweet tea’, this sweet root is used to sweeten up many things from candy to drinks and recent studies are showing more and more favorable outcomes for medicinal uses.

Historically, The Egyptians used the root in a ‘cure-all’ tea.  It has been said that large quantities were found in the tomb of King Tut.  The king apparently liked to take large quantities with him in his travels so he could have a ‘sweet tea’ when he arrived.  The Chinese later had it imported where it has been used in TCM.

Today, the root is used holistically to support the adrenals.  Overworked adrenals, caused by stress, can send out an abundant amount on cortisol. This exhausts the adrenals.   Licorice Root has been shown to stimulate the glands to work effectively again, along with stress reducing practices. It also has anti-bacterial properties which works great on skin conditions like eczema and tooth decay.

Licorice root has also been recommended to treat respiratory conditions.  It helps the body produce healthy mucus which helps to expel the old, sticky mucus from the body.

PLANT PARTS USED

Root 🥔

TO HARVEST

Harvest at least two year old plants in fall.  Use sharp knife and extract the horizontal roots; stay away from the main trunk line to preserve plant.  Wash and dry roots.

ACTIONS

Demulcent, expectorant,  stimulates mucous secretions, and anti-inflammatory and can benefit the adrenals, skin, respiratory, and digestive system.  The most popular preparations are teas, capsules, and extracts.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Twenty-Six

6E2EFA87-196C-477A-A144-6371D2D70D88

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (Decoction)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Poultices

On my farm, one of my pastures is covered in Purslane.  Luckily, this annual can be controlled with mowing before it takes over.  It is a low-crawling plant, reddish-brown stems, and if left to bloom has yellow flower clusters that produce black seeds to insure the plants survival.

Historically, Purslane has been used medicinally and nutritively for over 2,000 years.  It was said that in ancient times Purslane was used to ward off evil spirits.  Ancient Romans used the plant to treat internal parasites, headaches, and stomachache.  Many Asian and European cultures use it as a food source.  It is high in Omega 3s, vitamins, and minerals.

Today, it is used primary as an antioxidant.  Clinical studies have shown purslane to be proactive in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.  In other tests, Purslane showed favorable results in pulmonary function in asthma patients.  Extracts, made from seeds, can help liver function and when leaves are applied topically, it has shown to speed up wound healing.  The juice of the leaves is an antidote for wasp stings and snake bites.  Making a poultice can soothe sunburn or even a headache.

PLANT PARTS USED

🌱 Stem

🌿 Leaves

🍇 Seeds

TO HARVEST

Cut leaves to be used in fresh salads or to be dried. Harvest young plants by cutting stem close to base in the morning.  Clean and hang to dry.

ACTIONS

Antiviral, anti-fungal,  nutritive, bitter, anti inflammatory, alterative, and diuretic and can benefit the digestive, nervous, respiratory system,  and skin.  Most popular preparations are extracts, capsules, and poultices.

Nutritionally, Purslane is a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and E and is high in beta-carotene. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, folate, lithium, and melatonin.

*FUN FACT- A common looking plant, Hairy-Stemmed Spurge is poisonous. Squeeze the stem to check for a milky sap. Always make sure that purslane isn’t this poisonous plant by breaking its stem and squeezing it with your fingers. If the plant produces a milky sap, it is poisonous and should not be eaten.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

Day Twenty-Seven

4D4E8F54-9D72-41DD-9C0D-A4781EFFC3CB

✔️Internal and external

✔️Extracts (Decoction)

✔️Infusions (Teas)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Poultices

✔️Salves

✔️First Aid

This common “weed” is not to be confused with the cooking banana, Plantain.  They are completely different.  This deep green, ground hugging plant has made an appearance in one or two of my garden beds.  It grows a bit like a hosta where a rosette of long and slender leaves grows right out of the dirt.  Later, long flower stalks emerge where it produces the seeds.

Historically, Native Americans used the plant as a remedy to rattlesnake bites.  It had also been used for epilepsy, dropsy, and jaundice.  It is said to be able to open blockages of the liver, spleen, and veins.  Seeds ground to powder has said to be an anti-emetic and used as a poultice, it can bring relief from gout.

As of recently, the Plantain has been used mostly in relief of  bee stings, insect and spider bites, and poison ivy and nettles rashes.  Dr. Christopher referred to the Plantain as “Nature’s erasers”.  He said that you would always see a Plantain standing close by other troublesome plants.  He also said it was God’s way of coming to your aid, if you should need it.

PLANT PARTS USED

Leaves 🌿

Root 🥔

Seeds 🍇

TO HARVEST

Gather the whole herb (free of any sprayed areas), anytime during the flowering.  Dry very quickly (in warm oven is great). The leaves will lose their effectiveness if dried improperly.  Store seeds for later use.

ACTIONS

Vulnerary, expectorant, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, alterative, anti-venomous, deobstruant, diuretic, and laxative and can benefit the kidneys, lungs, veins, digestive system, intestinal system, and skin.  Most popular preparations are extract, infusion, capsules, tincture, poultice, and ointment.

*Fun Fact- The Plantain is nicknamed the “First Aid” plant because fresh leaves, chewed or crushed, can be used quickly to stop the bleeding of an open wound, stop pain of bites and stings, relieve itching from poison ivy, and a chewed leaf placed next to the gum of a toothache will soothe the pain.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Day Twenty-Eight

D1289115-78B7-49F4-9604-D7FB398E52A1

✔️Internal and external

✔️Infusions (Teas)

✔️Tinctures

✔️Capsules

✔️Poultice

A close cousin to mint, it’s no wonder how people can confuse the two.  Heart-shaped, toothed leaves grow from square stems that can reach up to two feet tall.  The key in distinction is the fragrance that the  bruised leaves omit.  When the leaves are bruised or crushed, it gives off a strong lemon fragrance and taste.  Small white flowers emerge in late summer and re-seeds itself every year.  Surprisingly, the root is not a perennial.

Historically, Lemon Balm has been appreciated by bee keepers for the longest time.  It has the ability to attract and nurture bee swarms AND is a remedy for bee stings.

John Evelyn wrote, “Balm is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy.” Other uses of Balm have been used to close wounds, leaves steeped in wine, when applied externally, can take away the sting of venomous creatures and a warm tea can ease painful menstruation.

PLANT PARTS USED

All ablove ground part 🌱🌿🌼

TO HARVEST

Harest throughout the growing year by cutting young shoots (around 12” high) before the flowering process.  Wash and hang to dry in shade.

ACTIONS

Carminative, nervine, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressive, hypotensive, diaphoretic, anti-microbial, and anti-vital and can benefit the nervous system, immune system, liver, skin, and circulation.  The most popular preparations are infusions, capsules, and tinctures.

📌For more info on drying herbs and setting up consultations, see Day One’s posting.

 

 

Extra research:

Fritchev, Philip, MD, ND, CNHP. (2004). Practical Herbalism. Retrieved August 3, 2018

Disclaimer
All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

All information is for the sole purpose of education and is to be kept within the organization of The Fit Farmacy’s clientele. No reproduction of material is permitted without authorization.  Sharing buttons is allowed.  NO altered text is allowed. 

There are always special considerations with using herbs, particularly if too much is consumed for too long.  Attempting to use an herb for an isolated effect is potentially an unhealthy approach.  We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.