Hey guys and gals.
Thanks to your feedback, this week we will try a more brief format with more bulletpoints and less daunting sea of texts.
Also many of you asked me to create some kind of a guide that helps beginner herbalists start their journey, so I did just that. And if you’d like to give it a try you can check it out here: Master Your First Herbs Guide
Let’s get to it, are you ready?
Dandelion, The Hero Of The Liver
One of the most common weeds everyone knows since childhood. But many don’t know a lot of things about her. Like how she improves the soil, or how she supports your liver. In a word how awesome dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is.
You may know a few things about her. Or maybe you already mastered dandelion as your herbal ally.
Whichever the case is Candace and Sue of The Practical Herbalist wrote a thorough guide of dandelion last week and it is a great reminder for all herbalists to take another look at her.
How dandelion benefits your health
- Diuretic (increases urine flow)
- Contains high amounts of potassium, calcium and other vitamins (This counteracts the loss of minerals that leaves you with your urine)
- Cholagogue (Stimulates bile flow)
- Liver tonic (clears obstructions, stimulates and aids the liver)
- Lowers blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Bitter (Aids your digestive system)
How you can grow dandelion
By not weeding her out when she starts growing in your garden every spring. But you can also sow seeds if you’re unlucky.
How you can prepare dandelion for use
You can and should use the leaves and roots of this hero.
- Leaf: Diuretic, bitter and choleric
- Root: Bitter, cholagogue and mild laxative
Of the dried parts you can best create tinctures with whiskey. Also dandelion root tea (infusion) is a great coffee alternative due to its bitter taste.
For beginner herbalists maybe it’s best to make a glycerite The ratios of plant weight to glycerine and water weight is about 1:5. Mix 2/3 glycerine and 1/3 water with the weighed plant.
An awesome herb!
Snippets Of Herbalism
Sweet. Herb syrups are easy to make. They are also great to ease those cravings for something sweet, while enjoying the benefits of herbs. LaVonne Roberts just wrote a guide on how you can make them at home.
Turkey. The country of Turkey has a deep history of herbal remedies. And Leyla Yvonne Ergil picked out the 10 most useful of them. Like Kiraz sapı (cherry stems), yea you read that right… cherry stems, or Sığla yağı (resin of oriental sweet gum tree).
Covid. A Taiwanese research team found a compound that prevents Covid infection. In cell experiments at least. The results are preliminary and there are still more research ahead, though the compounds from Taiwan’s endemic medicinal mushrooms antcins shows promise.
More mushrooms. Foraging for mushrooms is fun. Especially if you know what you are doing. This guide of Sam Schipani is great for any beginner mushroom foragers.
Herbal vs. Synthetic. The pros and cons of both kinds of medication should be considered when you want to aid yourself and Dr. Nicola Williams has some great thoughts about this.
How People Misinterpret Detoxification And How That Hurts Their Health
People use herbs the wrong way. Sajah Popham of Evolutionary Herbalism brought up this important topic. And just like always, he shared invaluable knowledge with us.
Takeaways for you
- The traditional perspectives of the concept of detoxification or purifying the blood and our tissues is different from the way people look at it today in our modern world.
- Traditionally herbal detox agents were used to cure damp heat patterns, when we see stagnation and congestion in the tissues.
- There are many types of alterative (detox) herbs. Like diaphoretic, bitter, laxative and respiratory alteratives. (There isn’t a one for all)
- People say that these plants will detox the body of pesticides, herbicides, and environmental pollutants, or other genetically modified organisms. But it’s not at all proven.
- What alteratives really do is purge your body of metabolic waste products
- Alteratives are cold, draining, drying, eliminative plants, so if you use them for a long time they will imbalance your body.
- Constant detox will lead to profound levels of weakness, emaciation and malnourishment.
- You need to consider the timing of detoxification, what kind of person wants to detox and even the season.
- Doing it the right way, detoxification can really revitalize and rejuvenate a person, though it’s not for everyone
For Courage And A Strong Heart Call Motherwort
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a majestic herb. Last week Kira Merrick of The Herbal Academy wrote about the benefits of motherwort.
If you haven’t met her before, motherwort is majestic not just in her herbal actions, but also in her size. She can grow as big as 1.5 meters (5 feet). Being very hardy she is considered a weed in hardiness zones 4-8.
How motherwort benefits your health?
- Stimulates stagnant menstrual cycles. (When tension and anxiety suppresses it)
- Helps to calm false labor pains, and soothing menopausal changes
- Calms the nervous and cardiovascular system, thus strengthens the physical and energetic heart
- Have anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- She is a bitter, so she helps the digestive fluids flowing.
How you can grow motherwort
To grow motherwort you should stratify the seeds for a few weeks, then sew them outdoors in early spring.
You can harvest the aerial parts of motherwort just as she starts blooming. And after drying them they will be ready to use. Beware of her stingy sepals though.
How should you take motherwort?
Courage honey recipe
- 1 cup dried motherwort aerial parts
- ⅔ cup honey
- Pulverize dried motherwort in a blender
- Remove the tough fibers and grind the herb into a powder
- Mix with the honey and allow to macerate for 48 hours.
And you can take it by the teaspoon when you need it.
Another Herbal Pioneer
Jess Madsen is another pioneer and a great herbalist.
She’s a designer and photographer. What makes him special is that she designs and photographs for other herbalists and their companies.
Being an herbalist herself makes it much easier for her to understand the nature of other herbal brands, to connect with them so she can create work that really resonates with them and their audience.
„Learning about herbalism inspired me to be more attentive to the plants around me. Every morning I walk my dog around our neighborhood and now I know where a mature hawthorn tree is and anticipate the blooms every year… …It brings me much joy to have mugwort slowly taking over my yard, yarrow in full bloom, and calendula brightly bursting with different shades of orange.” she said in an interview with The Herbal Academy.
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