• Herbs & Ingredients

    Love essential oils? Or Avoid them?

    Talking with a friend who’s just beginning to use essential oils has me reflecting on my own journey with these remarkable (and occasionally controversial) oils. It was an interest in aromatherapy that put me on the path to herbalism, so I’m curious about how others view and use these plant treasures. Do you love essential oils? Do you use them individually, or make your own blends? How do you use them? Or do you choose not to use them? Some people consider them “unnatural” because they are distilled. I remember being a bit surprised when my friend Melissa of Naturally Good Soaps posted in the Herbal Pantry that her herbal…

  • Recipes & How-To's

    Autumn chill? Add a little spice!

    Autumn seems to have started early for me! I’ve been cold and craving spicy teas like this awesome Herbal Chai for a couple of weeks already! Ingredients: 1 part Star Anise 1 part Ginger (1 part if dried, 2 parts if fresh) 1 part Cardamom (whole pods or crushed) 1 part Cinnamon 1 part Black Pepper 1 part Licorice root Directions: To prepare this tea combine herbs with water in a medium saucepan. Use 1 Tbs. tea for every cup of water. With the lid on, heat the water and herbs gently until steam or small bubbles begin to emerge, do not let it boil. Continue to let it steam/…

  • In the Herb Garden

    Is it Garden or Micro-Farm?

    Rescued this old post from my original (now completely lost) blog. I was glad to find it, so thought I’d repost it even though the timing is off- it was written in the Springtime 🙂 Here’s my husband Hawkeye just before he heads to the Co-op with a fresh harvest of Welsh Onions. This is our second “cash crop” this year, the first being pussy willow stems sold to a local florist earlier this spring. Seems that it’s taken me awhile to realize what everyone else already knew: My herban garden has become a micro-farm. Hawkeye always kept a vegetable garden and did canning. But for me, the garden was…

  • In the Herb Garden

    Seeds of Hope

    This is a difficult story of rape survivors in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The current statistic is every hour in the day 48 women are raped. So in addition to the horrible death toll of war, thousands of woman and children are left injured, abandoned, despised by their families and society, and with no hope for a future. But one woman named Masika, herself a rape survivor, is helping other women recover and rebuild their lives by learning to grow their own food. Bean and corn seeds, farmed communally with other women, are not only feeding their hunger but acting as balm for deep psychological wounds. I cried…

  • Herbs & Ingredients,  Recipes & How-To's

    Do you Drink or Wear your tea?

    I’ve been growing Holy Basil in the garden for three years and only fall deeper in love with each passing season! When you meet this plant, you understand instantly why it is so revered; its fragrance is truly heavenly! Being so useful medicinally while being so pleasant to consume really does seem a kind of miracle….. Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) is also commonly called Tulsi (which is Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”) and is worshipped by Hindus throughout India. In Ayurveda, it’s used as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee for the common cold, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, poisoning, and malaria. Essential oil can…