Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tiptoeing through patch!

We seriously have the largest mint patch I have ever seen in our backyard! It's so awesome. This pic was from a few weeks ago so it is much more overgrown now as well!

Now to try to utilize it beyond year round tea supply (which we take full advantage of). We have made ice cream, chocolate dipped mint leaves, mint choco cookies, syrup and more! But I also know there is more we could do with it! I am thinking foot scrub, shampoo,foot soak, foot butter, foot mask, lip balm, chest rub, toner..hmmmm..the possibilities are endless and I really just want to roll around in mint today! :)

Herb Tuesday- Week #4

Just a few things from this week..

-studying materia medica

-made insect repellant in class

-worked on garden master plans & medicine wheel

-map of community garden

-contacted a local herbalist in my town. hoping to connect soon!

-tulsi is the shit!

-we had our herbal ally feast! it was so awesome!

-birthday cake! yay!

-tea, infusions, tisanes,etc. on the brain..i'm a little obsessed and have many jars brewing and icing, etc. LOVE it! Next up, water kefir and ginger beer..(again!!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Herb Tuesday- Week 3

This week was long. Tuesday's are definitely like my little haven of serenity! Sorry I have no pictures this week.

What I did;

-Worked in the gardens a little everyday. I have been working on digging new flower beds and herb beds and I've also decided I want to make a medicine wheel with herbs. I can't wait, but alas it will have to wait until next summer, but I will get the spot ready now.

-Made a list of activities to do with my plant ally (Lady's Mantle) . Still looking for more ideas.

-I'm putting together herbal baskets for my clients (new moms) & Etsy shop. So I've been rying to figure out what I want to make and then will be experimenting with concoctions and finding testers to try them. (Are you a new mom? Want to try some herbal goodies for free in exchange for feedback on my products? Email me at )

-Restocked my menstruum supply and quickly used it all up making more things!

-Harvested st johns wort and processed oats in class today.

There's more but I'm exhausted tonight! I will add more tomorrow if I remember anything!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Herbal Tuesdays- Week 2

This week I spent more time in my gardens..planning..dreaming..getting to know the plants even more that are already there.

Otherwise I feel I could have gotten more done this week. Had a little accident involving a broken plate. (I'm ok just cut up!) But it slowed me down this weekend for sure.

Things I did this week;

-Harvested & dried more plants

-Planted tulsi, tea tree and wormwood. (Thanks Tony!)

-Made Kava Honey, next up is chamomile honey!

-Made a list of all the plants I want to grow. Next a list of growing and start times, then where in the gardens I want them. I seem to have alot of seed that needs cold stratification..

-Bee Balm is starting to bloom and I have a tray of bee balm seedlings going in 3 colors!

-Calendula is growing and meadowsweet and scullcap are sprouting up.

-Found a patch of lavender mint up in the herb hill beside my house and transplanted some into the lower gardens. Heavenly! Also transplanted 15 lemon balm babies!

-Made various tinctures and elixirs- I'm also experimenting with using vodka, whiskey and brandy.

-Dug up plants to share with my class (more lemon balm babies!)

-Researched my ally some more

-Spent too much time on Steepster (my vice!)

Otherwise I had a lemon balm roundup publishing but it was all wonky so I had to revert it back to draft for now until I get a chance to fix it. My html is also major rusty and for some reason that is the editor on my blog, so that's coming soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Herbal Tuesdays- Week 1

I've decided to start writing more about my personal herb week on Tuesdays in honor of my apprenticeship!! (It will be a simple and completely random bullet list.)

My hope is by posting weekly I will update here more often as I often cycle out of touch with my blog and I really want to post more consistently!

So, I'm really enjoying my apprenticeship thus far! It's been really awesome and I am learning a lot. I am feeling much more connection with my surroundings as well. Looking forward to whats to come!

Things I've learned & done herbal related this past week;

-There are many, MANY umbel shaped white flowers.

-Lemon balm continues to be my favorite plant in my personal garden for the second year in a row. We have a huge stand of it in the herb garden and I've been harvesting and drying it daily and trying to find as many ways as I can to use it! Thus far I've made tea, lemon balm pasta with a cheese sauce, vinegar, pesto, lemon balm berry pie, elixir & honey! Plus there is more to make. My next post will be a roundup of lemon balm recipes I've collected!

-Rose honey is addictive. So is handmade cocoa/rose lip balm!

-Plants I discovered in my yard this week; rosa rugosa, valerian (lots!), evening primrose, wild indigo, mugwort, a hidden red raspberry leaf patch, cinquefoil, goutweed and wood betony.

-Plants I harvested and processed this week. Rose, oregano, lemon balm, sage, thyme & lady's mantle.

- I long for more gardens and specifically a women's health and wellness themed garden, a garden for nervines and also an immunity and children's section. But I am just not there yet. Doing a little at a time though. I'm so glad I have the space here!!

-I started an herb blog for kids. Well really for MY kids but I thought it would be fun to share. They are really into "helping" so we might as well make it into a learning experience just for them & maybe share ideas, right? I am just starting it really, so stay tuned!

-Planted some more seeds. Yes, even though it is late June. Crazymaking I tell ya! ;)

- I'm wishing for a greenhouse this fall. Hoping to pull that together money and time permitting.

-Registering for Botany 1 this fall.

-Made a list of herbal & food galactagogues.

-Harvested and in the midst drying a small batch of red clover.

-Studied marshmallow, elder, elecampane, meadowsweet & vitex.

-Tried my first herbal Ghee! MMMM!! (Putting on the must make list!)

-Made a supply list. Need to buy a stash of alcohol, bulk honey, containers, etc. as I have used up every last drop of menstruum's in the house this past weeked! Of course there's much, MUCH more potions and goody making to be had this summer! I also need a couple of random things like another blender, large glass jars and a new cutting board. A sun hat and a harvesting basket for treks through meadows & woods is also on the list among other random items!

-Made a reading list of herb related books I want to read for the duration of my apprenticeship.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

25 Medicinal Uses for Lemon Balm

I really can't get enough of lemon balm these days! I'm so thankful to have a huge stand of it in the garden! It's really such a versatile plant and there are so many ways to use it.

Here are 25 uses for lemon balm medicinally;

1- Anxiety
2- Mild depression
3- Colic
4- As a facial steam for dry skin & stubborn acne
5- As a galactogogue to increase a nursing Mother's milk supply
6- Hyperthyroidism
7-Promotes menstruation(good for bringing on a cycle)
8- Analgesic (good for painful periods, headaches, general aches and pains)
9- Nourishing
10- Allergies
11- Fatigue
12- Relieves stress & hypertension
13- Nightmares
14- Indigestion & digestive issues caused by stress
15- Heart palpitations
16- Mildly sedative (good for sleep issues)
17- Herpes sores (both oral and genital)
18- Nausea
19- Has memory improving qualities
20- Wound repair and insect bites
21- Stimulates the appetite
22- Flatulence
23- Coughs, colds, flu, bronchitis, laryngitis asthma (antiviral)
24- Fevers (promotes sweating)
25- Grief

Monday, June 11, 2012


I've been sort of MIA these last few weeks. I am trying to finish up one class before another begins and my herbal apprenticeship at Blazing Star Herbal School started as well! It's been so fun and Tuesdays are quite literally the highlight of my week these days! I'll write more soon but wanted to give a quick update!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Tonic Syrup

Elderberry (Sambucus) is known as an immune boosting flu remedy but did you know it purifies the blood and circulatory system? Making it a a great (and tasty) spring tonic, but is often overlooked as one. This little berry can do wonders helping us transition from one season to the next.

Here's a syrup I just made the other day for my family to use as a spring tonic. You can put this on pancakes, ice cream or just take a couple of tsp everyday. My kids like to mix it in with their water to make tea in a roundabout way. Hey, whatever works, right?!

~Spring Tonic Syrup~

1c. dried elderberries 
1/2 c. dried rose hips
1/8 c. dried licorice
1/8 c. dried ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 c. honey
4 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a soup pot. Bring to an almost a boil and reduce to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Strain into a clean glass jar or bottle, using a mesh strainer. Add in honey and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Next time I make this I am going to play around with the recipe more and maybe add some dandelion, nettles and violets to this for the next batch.  (We'll have all three in abundance by the time we run out of our current supply!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Cleansing "Roots" Soup

This nourishing soup boosts immunity and is also a wonderful spring tonic. Spring tonics help add vitamins and minerals to your diet and gently cleanse the lymphatic system. They can be taken for a week or so as you acclimate to the warmer weather and need a boost and cleanse from higher fat and starchy winter diets. This "root soup" is good for strengthening the lungs, purifying the blood and cleansing to the liver and gallbladder. It is also useful for treating colds, sinus infections, arthritis and gout.

Here's a quick lowdown on how these roots cleanse and tone the vital organ systems;

Dandelion root- Liver tonic. Promotes bile flow.

Burdock root-Cleanses the digestive system as well as the lymphatic system. It is immune boosting to boot!

Astragalus- Increases the production of white blood cells and strengthens the immune system. Is a great energy tonic.

Ginger- Ginger is a wonderful circulatory and digestive stimulant.

Garlic & Onions- Are good immune boosters.

You can find fresh burdock, dandelion, astragalus, sea veggies and the shitake mushrooms at your local co-op or health food store. Dried can be substituted for fresh but fresh is optimal. You can reconstitute dried roots by soaking them in water for a bit. Slice thinly.

1 ounce dried astragalus root
4 ounces fresh dandelion root
4 ounces fresh burdock root
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon dried kelp, dulse, or other sea vegetable
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
7 medium-size fresh shiitake mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
herbs and seasonings to taste
1/2 cup miso paste

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and reduce heat. Add astragalus, dandelion, burdock, ginger, and sea vegetable; cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain, return broth to pot, and keep over medium heat. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and mushrooms, and saute until tender. Add garlic; saute for a few more minutes. Add entire mixture to broth. Turn off heat, and stir in miso paste. Season to taste.

This makes 3 qts of soup.

(This post was originally posted on April 4th, 2009. Reposting to kick off my spring tonic week!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Self Care Sunday - April's Bliss Sugar Scrub Glow

This is a series devoted to easy to make body care recipes for self care! I hope you enjoy!

~April's Bliss Sugar Scrub Glow~

1 c. organic raw sugar
1 c. powdered organic rose petals
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp. organic carrier oil (olive/almond/avocado/jojoba)

Combine all ingredients and mix well with a fork. Store in a glass jar with a lid and let sit overnight to let the vanilla infuse into the dried mixture..

When your ready to mix up an application in a separate dish, you can add  2-4 Tbsp. of oil to 1/2 cup of salt per application. (You can basically play with the consistency..) You want it to be thick enough to scoop up with your hand or a spoon.

To use; scoop or spoon some into the palm of your hand and rub generously over elbows, knees, arms, legs, feet & hands and rinse well. Your skin will be silky soft! If you want to make the scrub extra aromatic you could add a few drops of rose otto and/ chamomile essential oil  or infuse the carrier oil with a vanilla bean. Mmmmm!!!

Mine are adorned with some whole roses just for prettyness sake.. If you choose to do this, just scoop these out of your bath/shower so they don't clog up the drain!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Week of Spring Tonics

I'm definitely feeling like spring has sprung here in Southern Vermont! Despite the snow flurries and cold snap we are having right now we've been having an unusually warm spring and almost no snow this winter. It's been a weird year for sure!

I'd really love to take the coming week to look at different spring tonics. So every day this upcoming week (Mon-Friday) I'll be posting about different plants, foods, simples & herbal tonics that can be used in cleansing and nourishing yourself. I will be including lots of links and recipes as well as some historical folklore, so you won't want to miss it!

In the meantime check this video I found about ground ivy. I have a lot of this springing up & growing in my gardens and on the property we live on right now. I'm betting you too also have some growing nearby!

Friday, March 30, 2012


I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I've decided to un-monetize this blog. It just feels weird to be sharing info. on herbs and then getting paid for clicks. In fact I feel more inspired to blog when there is no money involved. Not to mention the point of my blog is not to make money, but to share info and keep a scrapbook of my personal herbal adventures. It's as simple as that! So there you go, why I UN-monetize!

I reserve the right to share links to shops or folks I feel are reputable but I won't be hosting affiliate links and such.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Kitchen Apothecary!

I am busy stocking my herb supplies and rearranging my kitchen. I think I need to get some more shelving though. Currently I use an old jelly cupboard/pie safe but my baby is starting to show interest in getting into it! Not to mention it is beyond overflowing. Maybe I can put a lock on it somehow, but it seems like I need much more space.

My choices are to move all my herb stuff into the sewing/art room or redorganize the kitchen! So I am choosing the latter. But what a pain! I just got several cases of bottles too and I have no idea where to store them! I also need more gallon amber jars for storing herbs and making infused oils. (expensive!) I wish I had not gotten rid of all my medicine making stuff when I moved across country! Ackk.

I am off to search Pinterest for ideas!