Holiday Spice Cider

It is getting cooler, might one even say colder…..okay down right fridged! Winter is ready to rear its ugly head and freeze your little tootsies off. It even snowed here yesterday evening and while we were all outside wandering the streets catching flakes our bodies metabolism was slowing down. Why do we care about our…

Monk’s Pepper: Vitex

I have always found this herb to be fascinating. The folk lore alone should invite you to read about it. Vitex agnus-castus has a few different common names and they all tell a story. Monk’s pepper is one of the more common, common names. The fruit of this plant, what is used medicinally, is similar…

White Willow

White willow, or Salix alba, is a tree you might have even seen growing before. For medicine the bark is what is used but as with most trees be sure to harvest it properly from fallen branches rather than from the living tree, and especially the main trunk. This bark is most often used as…

Chamomile

German chamomile, or Matricaria recutita, is often an underutilized herb. There are two different species of chamomile but we will be discussing the German one today, not the Roman. The flowers from this plant are commonly used in tea as a relaxing nervine but there are many other uses for chamomile that you may not…

What’s That Plant?

Learning to identify plants is one of the first thing any botanist, herbalist, or naturalist will need to learn to do. Once you have the right book it is as easy as picking between two options and you will find your plant. Is it really that easy? Once you learn the vocabulary necessary to understand…

Tips for Preserving and Storing Herbs, part 2

Keeping herbs fresh and of high quality is important for getting the medicinal benefits each herb has to offer. Be sure to read part 1 for additional tips on drying and storing herbs. Size of Herb Pieces When drying your herbs it is important to cut your herbs small enough that they dry quickly but…

Tips for Preserving and Storing Herbs, part 1

Once you have your herbs harvested what do you do to keep them fresh and usable year round? Drying Herbs Drying your herbs is the first key step to preserving them to use later. You can choose to make a fresh plant tincture but this does need to be done right after harvesting to prevent…

My First Harvest, part 2

There are many things to consider when harvesting herbs. Be sure to read up on part 1 for the first things to keep in mind when harvesting and after you know what you are going to do with your herbs and how much you need: What part of the plant do you plan to use…

My First Harvest, part 1

Excellent! You have grown an herb or found one that you have properly identified in the wild. Now it is time to harvest it. There are many things to consider before harvesting an herb. Do you need the herb? If you do not have a use for the herb its simple! DO NOT HARVEST IT!…

When is it Time to Work with a Professional Herbalist?

How long should you be exploring herbs on your own or at the suggestion of friends before you should be heading to work with a professional herbalist? This is a question that a lot of people never even ask themselves because they are unaware that professional herbalists even exist. For the sake of this article,…

Herbal Product Shelf Life

I always get worried when I am seeing people post about making a tea, decoction, or other herbal infusions and then them using them a week later. AH! If there is just water in there and no preservatives that is bad, bad, bad! Lets talk about the shelf life of different herbal products today and…

Celebrate Herb Day: Herb Walk Part 6

May 26: Wood Sorrell Clue:  I may look like clover but I am not even related. Take a bite and you may enjoy the sour flavor of my leaves which contain oxalic acid. I have a yellow flower and you will often find me growing on the side of the road as I try to bring…