I hope you are all enjoying our Botanical Bingo for National Herb Day. We celebrate this all month long by posting about different herbs on our social media platforms. If you have not yet had a chance to play there is still time to catch up. Find more details on how to play and what prizes you can win here. Now let’s look at some of the herbs in our bingo game.
May 6: Jasmine
This absolutly lovely fragrant plant is one you cannot escape. When walking through the woods and this plant is there you will know when you are at least 20 feet away. When this plant is blooming its fragrance spreads wide to attract its pollinators. Jasmine has long been used as a perfume plant and is a lovely aromatic addition in small amounts to a light tea. Its flavor is just as lovely as it’s perfume.
May 7: Witch Hazel
This lovely, bizarre looking flower is witch hazel. Most individuals are used to using a distilled witch hazel extract. To make this, a tincture of witch hazel is made using the bark. This is then distilled, usually through steam distillation similar to how essential oils are extracted from a plant. The distillation process removes the color as well as other impurities of the extract leaving you with a light fragrant extract that is brilliant at cleansing the body and environment.
May 8: St. John’s Wort
One of my favorite herbs, St. John’s Wort is most known for its use in treating depression. I personally use this plant more topically as an infused oil. It is supportive for regenerating damaged nerve tissue. As such it may be beneficial for those with physical injury or for those experiencing sciatica symptoms. St. John’s wort is also found in The Dancing Herbalist’s Arnica Cream. Here it is great for supporting the microscopic damage that can occur to nerve tissue with acute inflammation.
May 9: Camellia
This lovely flower is camellia, the plant that tea comes from. This plant with different processing gives us classic white, green, and black teas. The processing of each of these is what gives each kind of tea its unique taste and caffeine content. This plant is lovely to grow as a flower and can grow in many different climates. It has a lovely flower that can vary in color. While tea is a lovely beverage, do not forget that it can also be used to give you more energy and increase blood pressure. It’s natural tannins may cause digestive upset if drunk in large quantities, the same as coffee.
May 10: Milkweed
When it comes to ecology, this plant is one people care about these days. Milkweed is the primary source of food for monarch butterfly larva. With out this plant, the butterflies would not be able to migrate each year and the decline in milkweed is already contributing to the decline in monarch butterfly populations. This plant has not so much been used in medicine but has been important as a fiber and latex source. When a seed pod is open a latex fluid will come out and the fiber of the pod has been used for insulation as well as a traditional method of collecting menstrual fluid.
Be sure to continue on this year’s botanical walk and play bingo with us before time runs out at the end of the month.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.