Tuesday, October 30, 2007

container herbs

last week i dug up and brought in several herbs: rose geranium, eucalyptys, etc. i think my eucalyptus didn't make it. :( yesterday, i planted 7 seeds in each pot. here's hoping they will sprout and grow.

this winter i also hope to start indoors:
holy basil
saw palmetto
tea tree

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Herbal Focus

i've created my preliminary list of herbs i want to focus on in the next year. i may narrow the list down a bit, add a few more and what not, but for now, here are the 40-ish herbs i've selected. i grow all on my property, either through the woods or my gardens. a few are container herbs that come inside every winter. these are in no special order:

peppermint & wild mint
st. john's wort
wild cherry
self heal
chamomile & pineapple weed
echinacea (augustifolia and purpurea)
golden rod
rose geranium
red clover
yellow dock
gotu kola
wood betony

eta: i skipped some common garden herbs and decided to add them as well:
basil, possibly holy basil

that makes 52 i think. an herb a week for 52 weeks!

i have a lot of other things growing in my garden as well that i may use here and there (horehound, hyssop, eucalyptus, spearmint, rue, horse radish and valerian to name a few) but there are herbs that are either tried and true for me or herbs that i want to get to know better and be more comfortable with. several i am already familiar with but don't know well enough. i think by narrowing my focus and using just these herbs to treat whatever crops up will help to deepen my knowledge of them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

honey heals what ails ya!

one of the classes i took at the conference was healing with honey. i had already read up about about its ability to kill the mrsa infection and knew of its power to heal cuts but i was still amazed after taking this class. lately, intuitively, i've been eating raw honey and feeding it to my 3 year old. turns out, taking 1 teaspoon 3 times a day 30 minutes before eating will kill candida, something that i'm always battling and i suspect my 3 year old is too.

studies have been done in new zealand using honey to treat 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns, gangrene, diabetes and many other diseases, testing honey against huge name drugs and honey blew the socks off of them all.

when treating a deep wound, there is no need to clean the site first as the honey will draw out all the debris. it is recommended to fully pack the wound with honey, soak a gauze pad with more and tape over the wound. unless it is oozing a lot of fluid, the bandage only needs changing once a day. honey will pull the debris out, remove the necroses from the site, heal the skin from the inside out and offer some pain relief.

research has been done to prove using honey effective in many types of wounds including surgery incisions (which are healed w/o the use of sutures) and perineal tears just to name a few.

placing a drop of honey in each eye once a day can help with night vision, improve eyesight and dryness. i am currently testing this out myself. as the herbalist who taught it stated, it burns like the dickens for about a minute but then starts to feel good. i have even noticed the severity lessening with each treatment. i'll be updating on this trial after doing it for a month.

i have also successfully treated sore throats with turmeric and honey and used it when i and my three youngest children had whooping cough this summer. honey has been proven to kill strep and staph infections so any time there's a sore throat, you can bet it will be part of the artillery.

from now on, i'll be reaching for honey whenever there's a wound in sight. i may start making a few herbal honeys just for future use (st. john's wort would be a great one!).

eta: here are some great links from the waikato institute in new zealand on their honey research:

general contents page
research on using honey to treat mrsa

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


i've just returned from the greatest learning experience that i've had in a long time! i spent 3 days in beautiful north carolina meeting and hearing awesome herbalists such as rosemary gladstar, kathleen maier and patricia k. howell and spending time with fellow herbalist blogger maria.

i am more inspired and very moved by this experience. rosemary is such a lively sprite, her laughter and ability to laugh at herself contagious. i am honored to meet the first formal teacher i gained knowledge from through a correspondence course. she is a treat. sadly, i will not be able to study with her in the future as she is hanging up her teaching hat.

kathleen is my new mentor. unfortunately, she does not offer correspondence courses. i feel deeply drawn to her though and attended 3 classes with her including an intensive and wished i could have spent the rest of the time learning from her as her style is very resonant with how i feel.

patricia is very down to earth and has a great dry sense of humor. she and i kept running into each other in the same area of the camp as i hauled my little ones to/from childcare between classes and meals.

all these herbalists recognized me by my 'two little ones.' nice to know that i stuck out in a crowd of 400 women.

and now, i have a huge list of books i must order and read immediately!

maria was just as i imagined her. i look forward to meeting her again someday. her husband and daughter were great too. kaia made us fruit pizzas for our return to her house after the conference.

now i must go through my notes, order books and make sense of the tidbits i recorded from the classes.
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