Drying Herbs and Tea Blends

Drying Herbs and Tea Blends

Drying herbs, and keeping their flavor and medicine intact, is a bit tricky in the damp Pacific Northwest. Herbs need to be dried as quickly as possible with low heat. 90 – 95 degrees F. is perfect. Too high heat and you run the risk of quickly drying the outside of the plant with the inside still containing moisture. This means plant material that will decompose and mold from ...

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Devil’s Club

Devil’s Club ~ Oplopanax horridum
The following, while weighty in information, is in no way complete in the actions and uses of Devil’s Club. It’s a plant worth studying in depth.

Smooth muscle relaxant –
Smooth muscles are located in the walls of hollow internal structures of the body. Lymphatic vessels, urinary, uterus, reproductive tracts, gastrointestinal, respiratory, iris ciliary muscle are examples of smooth muscles. Smooth muscles do their thing independent of conscious thought. Spasms can occur due to a ...

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Hawthorn ~ Hope and faith that everything will be ok!

herbofthemonthHawthorn ~ Crataegus spp. is the “hope and faith that everything will be ok” plant. A tall shrub in the rose family, hawthorn grows in open meadows, on roadsides, along streams and forest edges at low to mid elevations. In my area, the conservation district people planted scores of hawthorn trees in wet areas. They’ve since replaced hawthorn with more effective water drinking plants, but us regular folk get to reap the benefits of ...

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Fresh Herb Salts!

When I’m teaching my apprentices, a thread that continues throughout the programs is to get the medicine to the people in a way that they will enjoy taking. There are times when an alcohol tincture can’t or won’t be ingested for a variety of reasons. Alcoholism, religious beliefs, taste, etc. are among the many reasons that people may shy away from alcohol. People may not like the taste of herbal teas if they’re used to coffee, soda, energy drinks and such. ...

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Nervous System, Anxiety, and Stress Relief

The nervous system is the control center of the body. It interprets what the body senses and directs responses via movement and glandular activity. It governs the running of our systems such as heart rate, immunity, digestion, and respiration without us having to think about it. The nervous system is responsible for our moods and thoughts. Emotional health, therefore, is a function of nerve health.

neuronThe nerves are made up of cells called ...

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There's fungus among us!

In the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been enjoying a relatively warm and very wet winter. Nettles are up, wild mustard is flourishing, I’m hearing bird song that I haven’t heard in a long time. Oregon grape has flower buds on it already. As I nibble on plant bits, I can taste their strong medicine, which means sap is flowing. What I can tell you is that it’s going to be an early spring and there is a lot of mold and ...

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Salix ~ Willow

 

Willow

Willow – 90 species of Salix here in the Pacific Northwest and all work the same as far as their medicinal content goes. The bark of the willow canes is what is used.

Willow works so well to relieve the pain and inflammation of toothaches, spasming muscles, tension headaches, strains, sprains, arthritis, and back pain, and a veritable ...

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The Truth About Elderberries

elder
Elder is probably the most well-known antiviral herb on the market at present. It can assist in reducing inflammation in the sinuses to relieve congestion, eliminate metabolic waste products, stimulate sweating to remediate fevers, and reduce flu and cold symptoms. Elderberries contain shikimic acid, an antiviral compound that is used to create Tamiflu.

The Truth About Elderberries:
While the anti-inflammatory and elimination effects of tannins, vitamin A, cyanogenic glycoside, viburnic and shikimic ...

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Winter Herbal Remedies

clusterdockIt was a dark and stormy night. That’s how all exciting stories begin, isn’t it? Our story begins with the advent of the cold and flu season. Dark and stormy days turn to dark and stormy nights, with us fragile folk heading indoors for warmth and comfort. As we breathe in the warm inside air, we also breathe in each other’s colds and flu viruses. What to do? What to do? Come with ...

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Cottonwood and Willow: Nature's Pain Relievers

Cottonwood, Populus balsamifera, is the largest broadleaf tree in the Pacific Northwest. It is a member of the Salicacea family, which makes it willow’s cousin. Cottonwood trees exist where there is abundant fresh water. On the west side of the Cascade Range, we can find cottonwood along rivers and lakes. It’s the tallest deciduous tree among its neighbors, towering above the others. You’ll also find alder and willow growing among the cottonwoods. Alder grows about ...

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