Friday, March 28, 2008
These last few weeks, I have been pouring love all over these wonderful beings. They have been daily misted and weekly soaked. I have shifted the trays around so that they receive even light. Their domes have been off for a while and on for a while. I've changed the temperature in the room from very warm through very cool (50F).
Here is a photo taken this morning. Note the tall and lanky dwarf nasturtium in the front. He is being re-potted today as are many of them.
Some of the herbs have come up and some have not. This is a list of what has happened:
These have come up:
Betony -very sparse
Catnip -very sparse
Motherwort -very sparse
These have not come up, at all:
These have come up:
These have not come up, at all:
It's always up to nature, which plants grow well from seed in these conditions and which ones won't. I have decided to go ahead and order live plants from Richters Herbs, which will be here between May 15 to June 15, to complete my herb garden, as follows:
I have also ordered several plants that will deter critters (cats, dogs, rabbits) from eating my herbs. Oddly, the name of it is the "Piss Off Plant". I've also order a couple of "Vicks Plants" for inside my home. They are just what they sound like - plants that can be processed for respiratory conditions.
All-in-all, I'm very happy with my experience so far.
I've also have my usual culinary herbs planted:
St Johns Wort
A friend of mine named Elizabeth gave me several plants, as well. It's going to be a huge garden this year. I'll keep you posted on the progess.
Friday, March 14, 2008
2 parts Echinacea - great for viral and bacterial infections in the respiratory system
1 part Osha Root - has an affinity for the digestive, respiratory, and immune systems. It can be used as a liniment for sore muscles and is indicated for colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, and sore throats. Its main action is anti-microbial.
2 parts Usnea lichen - is useful for chest infections and respiratory complaints. It is anti-microbial and antifungal. It is a hardy immune system ally.
1/4 part Glycerin - used as a sweetener
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I wanted to have a variety of plants for each body system growing right in my own backyard. We live in a small space and there is no grass at the back, so we have decided to do container gardening. All of the herbs are organic and grown without the use of chemicals.
The following information comes from my own experience as well as a variety of external sources. Our list of herbs includes:
Ashwagandha Withania somnifera – adaptogen, tonic, used to increase vitality, energy, endurance, stamina, promote longevity, and strengthen the immune system without using the body’s resources
Betony Stachys officianalis – general tonic, relieves headaches, sedative, calms kids, astringent, and antiseptic
Calendula Calendula officianalis – heals wounds, treats chronic infection, great for all skin conditions, good for kids, calming to the digestive system, detoxifying, crush a live flower to place over bee sting
Catnip Nepeta cataria – helps control fever, colic, pain, great for kids, chronic bronchitis, diarrhea, sedative
Dusty Miller Senecio cineraria – is useful in clearing cataracts
German Chamomile Matricaria recutita – tummy issues, irritable bowel, reduces inflammation, antispasmodic, sedative
English Daisy Bellis perennis – gentle laxative, helps with inflammations and burns, strengthening to stomach and intestines
Gotu Kola Hydrocotyle asiatica – revitalizes brain cells and helps to retard the aging process, great for wounds, scars, helpful with connective tissue issues. Leaves are edible in salads.
Heartsease Viola tricolor – helpful for epilepsy, eczema, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, rheumatism, and cystitis. Flowers are edible in salads.
Wild Indigo Baptisia tinctoria – roots are antiseptic so good for mouth sores, sore throat, respiratory system, and skin issues
English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia – helps with stress headaches, relieves gas, calms muscle spasms, gentle for kids, stimulates blood flow, antiseptic, antibacterial, depression
Goldenseal Hydrasis Canadensis – fights infection, heals gastro-intestinal tract, tonic to spleen, cleanses urinary system, heals bruises and wounds
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria – useful for gout, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, contains salicylic acid, anti-inflammatory
Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca – strengthens the heart, calms palpitation, good for circulation, helpful for PMS symptoms and menstrual pain, calms the entire nervous system
Marshmallow Althaea officinalis – soothes irritations and inflammations of the skin, oral cavity, throat, digestive and intestinal systems, calms the respiratory system
Dwarf Nasturtium Tropaeolum minus – the whole plant is antibiotic, antiseptic, diuretic and expectorant; useful in chest conditions as it breaks us congestion in the respiratory system, promotes the formation of blood cells
California Poppy Eschscholzia californica – used to help toothaches, bronchitis, colds, coughs, insomnia
Passionflower Passiflora incarnate L. – reduces anxiety and relieves depression, great for kids, expels worms, lowers blood pressure, increase urine output, allays pain, enhances libido
Rosemary Rosemary officinalis – refreshes the mind, good for memory, stimulates blood flow, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral
Sage Salvia officinalis – relieves excess mucus, astringent, lowers blood sugar in diabetics, eases mental exhaustion, soothes the nerves, good for sores, sweating, styptic
Skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora – good for headache, neuralgia, insomnia, restlessness, great for kids, hysteria, and convulsions.
American Senna Cassia marilandica – expels worms; taken with coriander or ginger, it is an effective and immediate laxative
Sheep Sorrel Rumex acetosella – anti-cancer, fever, inflammation, diarrhea, expels worms, astringent, good for proper liver function
Soapwort Saponaria officinalis – rinse for skin irritations or itchiness, shampoo, rinse for delicate clothing
St John’s Wort Hypericum perforatum – used to treat nerve pain, neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, trauma, concussions, bruises, and shingles. Use caution when employing this herb especially if you are taking MOA inhibitors. Check out the contra-indications for yourself regarding any drugs you are using.
Stevia Stevia rebaudiana – herbal sweetener, free of calories, does not affect the blood sugar adversely, inhibits dental caries and plaque, useful in the treatment of diabetes, candida, obesity, high blood pressure, reduces tobacco/alcohol/carbohydrate cravings, useful with kids
Speedwell Veronica officinalis – useful for coughs, catarrh, slow-healing wounds, and skin eruptions, relieves itching
Sweet Violet Viola odorata – leaves reduce swelling and sooth irritation, some anti-cancer properties, laxative, arthritis, gum disease.
Vicks Plant Plectranthus purpuratus – the leaves smell like this beloved remedy for chest colds and are used to make ointment that decongests
White Yarrow Achillea millefolium – useful to reduce fevers, helps respiratory/digestive/nervous system, enhances liver/gallbladder/kidney functions
Zhi Mu Anemarrhena asphodeloides – useful in bronchitis, fever, irritability, pneumonia, insomnia, infections, anti-diabetic, antibacterial
Zuta Levana Micromeria fruticosa – useful in the treatment of stomach ulcers, wonderful minty tea. Do not take this herb if you are trying to conceive.
As usual, before using any of these or other herbs, do your research especially in regards to the contra-indications. There are several herbs that you should not take if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are lactating, or have major organ damage or disease. Please use caution and common sense.
12March2008 One week after planting, half the seedlings have sprouted and sent up little shoots. I am excited beyond words. I’ll keep you posted as to how it is going over the next few months and on into blooming.
Monday, March 10, 2008
In the fall of 2007, I began mull it over again. A few months later, I received some wonderful news from a dear friend about her new herbalist degree but she could not recommend the local college she studied with. Her news lit a fire in my heart once again. I dug in and spent an entire day reading every word on eleven herbal websites. I found a file in my documents and was reminded of Heart of Herbs. There was a link, which took me to the Master Herbalist page. I read every word on that website and then I called Demetria Clark (I had already spoken to five teachers from the other websites I'd visited in the morning) and when I got off the phone I knew I'd found my teacher-someone who knew their stuff and with whom I could connect and share. I prayed about it and left it for overnight. The next day, I ordered the course. This course was disappointing to say the least. When I sent in my homework, I never heard back from her. When I asked questions, there was no one answering me back. After spending a year trying to get some feedback,
I moved on and found Rosemary Gladstar. Her course through Sage Mountain is the one I recommend to anyone who emails me about it.
I already have thirty-five years of experience of ‘personal, family, and friends’ in the use of herbal remedies. I want to become certified through formal learning so I can help more people in a deeper way. I've earned a Ph.D. in Energy Healing and have worked with the body systems for years. I have taken courses in Aromatherapy, and I’m a Natural Perfumer. I adore plant life and work with Gaia and my Spirit Guides when I collect herbs. I am grateful for all that the earth provides. Over that weekend, I came up with a plan of learning. To me, it seems very comprehensive and covers all angles.
Enroll in a comprehensive program. Done
Order a DVD course on herbal preparations. Done
I have ordered the Herbal Preparations and Natural Therapies DVD course and will proceed with that. This way I have a pseudo-instructor to make sure I’m in line with the generally accepted protocol for creating product. I have been making my own product for years and have never had a problem. That being said, I heartily advocate the ‘checks and balances’ system.
Herb Identification DVD. Done
http://www.learta.com/index.php?id_category=8&controller=category I've also read 49 books on Herbalism and love living from this point of view. See the book list down the right.
What is a Master Herbalist?
A Master Herbalist is trained in every aspect of herbalism including plant identification, wildcrafting, herb gardening, botany, human anatomy & physiology, preparing herbal remedies, referring, combining herbal formulations, and suggesting protocols for sound health. There is a lengthy Intake Process to get the full picture. Often adjunct therapies are suggested, as well, to assist in overall wellbeing.
Dream Seeds Herbal Project Interview
I was asked to participate in this project by way of an interview with Kristena at: http://www.dreamseeds.org/
Do you remember what was going on in your life that lead you to herbs?
Can you share some of the work that has most influenced you? Such as books, blogs, video, and lectures.
Until I enrolled in the Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist course http://www.heartofherbs.com/ , I had no formal education. I’d just been growing and using the herbs I always had such as: Rosemary, Sage, Marjorum, Thyme, Basil, Fennel, Bay, Calendula, Chamomile, Cleavers, Dandelion, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Spearmint, Raspberry leaf, Red Clover, and Yarrow.
I’d also read many books on the subject of herbs and anatomy, as follows, and all of them helped educate me and made me want to learn more:
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs by Jiri Stodola and Jan Volak
The New Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman
The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines by Michael Murry
The Botanical Pharmacy by Heather Boon
The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines by Charles Fetrow & Juan Avila
The Healing Spirit of Plants by Clare Harvey & Amanda Cochrane
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B. White and Steven Foster
The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier
Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars
Healing with the Herbs of Life by Lesley Tierra
Atlas of Anatomy-Know Your Body by Emmett Keffee, MD
Traditional Herbal Remedies by Michael Howard
When making plant medicine, are you drawn to any particular method?
By learning more about herbs, going deeper into the botany, chemistry, wild crafting, human anatomy & physiology, and increasing my knowledge and experience of other certified organic herbs that I have not grown myself, I hope to be able to help myself even more so I will be really healthy. Eventually, I want to have a consulting practice and help people physically as well as energetically.
What career opportunities will be available to you after you complete this course?
There are many ‘jobs’ that I could be suited for: growing and distributing herbs; teaching about herbs; taking interested folks on herb walks, lecturing about herbs, writing about herbs; owning/running a herb store; doing herbal consultations; and working in a herb store. There may be others that I haven’t thought of yet.
My plan is to do what I always do with that which I learn and that is to write, teach, and help others via consultations. My husband has come on board with me and will be expanding our herb garden this year. We have a good-sized order pending for live plants and organic seeds. We are always interested in seeing where Spirit will lead us next.
What I would like to convey is to be ever-curious; find out all you can about the herbs you are interested in. Don’t skim over the contra-indications, rather fully learn those, too. Herbalism is the world of possibilities: to overcome chronic health situations, for health maintenance, for safe bath and beauty products, for a clean home environment, and for a nutritious way to eat. The possibilities are indeed endless.