‘Hen’s n’ Chicks’

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

Edible Mortar

by Renee Lindstrom

Being Creative with Hens n’ chicks – taken July ‘l7

by Renee Lindstrom

Hens n’ Chicks – taken 2016

Sempervivum tectorum

Family:   Crassulaceae

Common Names:  Houseleek, Stonecrop Houseleek, Wallpepper, Kidneywort and Water Houseleek, Thor’s Beard, Aaron’s Rod

Origin:  Native of Central & Southern Europe, Greek Islands and Africa

History:  A common site in Central and Southern Europe covering the roofs of local Cottages.  It was believed to ward off sorcery, storms, lightening and fire!  In Sweden it was used to preserve thatched roofs.

Art of Placement Tips:  

Fondly called Hens and Chicks in North America, due to their pattern of spreading.  Starting with one plant it sends out shoots quickly creating a circle of them.  For this reason the placement of this plant in Western Feng Shui gardening is in the Helpful People corner of the Baqua!  The circular pattern reflects the element of metal which also supports this area of the Baqua.

Two Hen’s and Chicks circle arrangement are used for protection and luck at one’s front door! The herbaceous leaves symbolizes water in Feng Shui which translates to luck and wealth.

Folklore suggested that having this plant at the door would increase the sexual prowess of husbands returning home from the fields at the end of the day!  Hens and Chicks Pic courtesy Renee Lindstrom

Growing Conditions:

Hens and Chicks are hardy and easy to grow.  They usually have one large root topped with a rosette of leaves that are robust and fleshy.  The leaves are filled with water enabling the plant to withstand drought like conditions.

These plants enjoy full sun and well draining soil conditions.  They are great for rock walls and fences! They can be grown indoors.

When the plant reaches 3 to 5 years it will grow a tall central stem of unique flowers.  As the flower dies so will the original plant, which will have re-seeded itself.

Edible:

The leaves of the Sempervivum tectorum are edible and commonly used as an Aloe Vera replacement.  Crunchy like a cucumber and similar in taste.  It can be juiced, added to smoothies and made into a tea.

Beneficial Uses of the Leaves

  • Skin Re-freshener & Lightener

I have put the leaves in the blender to chop them and then placed the chunky juice on my face as a re-freshener and to lighten age spots!

  • Medicinal   

I have used the leaves for nosebleeds by breaking it and holding it to my nostril to smell.  The nosebleed will usually stop immediately.  if not, it reduces the blood flow where I usually put a small piece of leave in my nostril until it comes to a complete stop.

The leaves are fleshy like Aloe Vera and have a saline, astringent and acid taste.  In large doses the juice is emetic and purgative.

The juice is used in the  treatment of ulcers, inflammation, burns and scalds, skin conditions, earache, corns and wart.  It improves sleep, immunity, headaches, asthma, gout, heart disease, the circulatory system and increases blood pressure.  It can be used for  common flu conditions.

Freshly crushed leaves or pure juice can be put on wounds, ulcers, sores, blisters and sun spots. Freshly picked leaves prepared as tea can be used for Herpes Zoster, malignant skin conditions, inflammation of the gums and throat, chapped skin, hemorrhoids and worms.

 

Culpepper informs us that:

‘Our ordinary Houseleek is good for all inward heats, as well as outward, and in the eyes or other parts of the body: a posset made of the juice is singularly good in all hot agues, for it cooleth and tempereth the blood and spirits and quencheth the thirst; and is also good to stay all defluction or sharp and salt rheums in the eyes, the juice being dropped into them. If the juice be dropped into the ears, it easeth pain…. It cooleth and restraineth all hot inflammations St. Anthony’s fire (Erysipelas), scaldings and burnings, the shingles, fretting ulcers, ringworms and the like; and much easeth the pain and the gout.’
After describing the use of the leaves in the cure of corns, he goes on to say:
‘it easeth also the headache, and the distempered heat of the brain in frenzies, or through want of sleep, being applied to the temples and forehead. The leaves bruised and laid upon the crown or seam of the head, stayeth bleeding at the nose very quickly. The distilled water of the herb is profitable for all the purposes aforesaid. The leaves being gently rubbed on any place stung with nettles or bees, doth quickly take away the pain.’

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Sunflower Seeds – from Garden to Sprouts

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Sprouting Sunflower Seeds

I enjoyed sprouting sunflower seeds from last year’s, 2016’s, harvest.  The fresh seeds took 15 days to sprout and are slow growing compared to flax and alfalfa seeds.  However, a nice addition to our daily diets!  this was more enjoyable using seeds grown in our own garden and now using the same seeds to plant a new crop!

How:

  • soak seeds overnight
  • place on shelf with holes for draining (or in jar covered with cheesecloth)
  • rinse each day at least once with fresh water and drain

Buy Canadian Sunflower Seeds


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouting Flax Seeds

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP
Pic courtesy of Renee Lindstrom

Pic Courtesy of Renee Lindstrom

Flax seed must be ground or sprouted to receive any benefits because our system cannot digest them whole. They are eliminated whole if eaten whole.  Sprouting is the best way to get the greatest benefits as soaking and sprouting eliminates phytic acid that may increase mineral absorption.

If you are like me, the sprouts are eaten in the morning after their first rinse.  I am stimulated by the sprouts and unable to resist eating them immediately!  Fortunately we grow them for personal use only!  Flax seed sprouts have an unusual taste that I am pretty sure it is an acquired one!  For this reason I have experimented  with mixing in other seeds that have the same quick sprouting time.  Currently I am trying alfalfa.  Alfalfa has a stronger flavor and mixed together with the flax it makes eating them more pleasant.

Flax and Alfalfa seeds practically sprout  the day after soaking them overnight!  They are ready to start eating within 3 days.

Buy Canadian Flax Seed

How to sprout

  • soak seeds overnight
  • place on tray with holes to drain water (or in jar covered with cheesecloth)
  • rinse seeds each day at least once with fresh water

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Daisy: symbolizes ‘childhood, innocence and purity’

 

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

 

Daisies can be used for sprains, bruises, aches and pains. Daisies are anti-inflammatory, a wound-healer, and reduce pain.  An effective application for healing wounds and serving as compresses, encourage exceptional repair in skin tissue. Their  extract provides antiseptic properties that can remove bacteria from the surface of the skin, keeping it healthy.  They were once used to treat grey hair and return it to its original colour.

Oil made with the flower can be used to brighten skin and prevent hyperpigmentation.  It  has organic acids that are valuable for lightening and exfoliating properties.  It is an effective, powerful alternative to Hydroquinone and Kojic Acid.  It is safe for most sensitive skin types, including pregnant women.

Pic courtesy of Renee Lindstrom26,000 seeds per plant

Associated with:  Solar Plexus and Sacral  Chakra’s

 


Oil of Daisy

Ingredients:

  • Daisies
  • Olive Oil
  • Jar
  • Love & Patience
  1.  Gather Daisy flower tops – to fill your jar
  2.  Rinse lightly or sit out to let critters escape
  3. Cover with olive oil  plus some as flowers will absorb oil and you want to make sure they stay covered!
  4. Put in cool place to infuse for up to 6 weeks.
  5. Turn jar each day.
  6. After infused, filter oil with strainer and cheese cloth.
  7. Re-bottle oil.

Use oil as is for first aid or massage, or as an ingredient for salves!


Oil of Daisy Salve

Making an oil based salve with daisies requires two steps if you are using what’s in your own backyard!

  1. Make a daisy infused oil.
  2. Once oil is infused, turn it into a salve.

Salve ingredients:

  • 4 parts Daisy oil to
  • 1 part Beeswax
  • Any other infused oils or essential oils you may wish to add to your recipe.

Equipment:

  • Double Boiler
  • Wooden/Plastic Spoon

Remember if you are adding other infused oils, adjust 4 to 1 combination of the daisy oil.

If you are adding essential oil – add 10 drops after oil and wax is combined,  just before you are read to pour.

  1.  Gently melt beeswax while combining the oil.
  2.  Stir until completely melted.
  3.  Pour into clean pots, and let them cool.
  4.  Once cool, cover tightly.

Good for a year or more

Remember when making salve you can check the consistency of finished product.  Pour small amount and put into the freezer.  After 2 mins take out and see if it is the desired soft/hardness.  to increase softness add more oil, to increase hardness add more beeswax!


Read more on the Language of Daisies


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


 

7 Steps to infuse natures Wild Flower, Leaf & Root Oils

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

 

A  flower oil is a remedy that has infused the properties of fresh plants preserving and concentrating their qualities in liquid form.  I believe flower oils can be effective and that energetically they are in alignment with our own bodies electrical system.  Have you ever considered that any product you use on your skin and hair is absorbed into your internal organs?

Infused Oils

Infused oils can be used in recipes, as massage oils and in skin & hair products.

Picking Fresh Ingredients

In making my oils, I use fresh ingredients.  This makes it a seasonal activity.  I pick the flowers and leaves during their growing season ensuring to leave a greater amount growing than I take.  Here is a list of fresh plants that have been explored:

  • Bamboo
  • Basil
  • Bay Flower
  • Calendula
  • Cedar
  • Chickweed
  • Comphrey
  • Dandelion
  • English Daisey
  • Feverfew
  • Forsythia
  • Gingko
  • Gumweed
  • Hollyhock
  • Lavendar
  • Lilac
  • Mullein Flower
  • Mullein Leaf
  • Mullein Root
  • Oregon Grape
  • Parsley
  • Rose
  • Rosemary Flower
  • Rue
  • Self Heal
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Tea Tree
  • White Birch
  • Wild Violet
  • Yellow Dock
More on plants foraged for oils  in the Pacific Northwest visit Inventory of a Backyard Forager.

 


Materials 

  • Any size mason or recycled Jars with lids
  • Oil
    • Almond, Coconut, Olive
  • Plant Material – enough to fill jar 3/4’s full

7 Steps to infuse natural oils

1st Step – Jars

Sterilize the jars by boiling them in a large pot or canning pot for 5 minutes to create steam. Let dry and cool to room temperature.

2nd Step – Plants

Fill dried jars 3/4’s full with your  fresh flowers or leaves.

Currently I do not combine different species of plants.  My interest is in exploring and learning about one plant at a time.  I do combine the oils however when making products that I use.

3rd Step – Oil

Pour to cover plant material completely and continue to fill to the top of the jar.  Filling your jar with oil leaves less room for oxygen which  reduces the chances of mold growing.

I have noticed that to begin with the plant material expands as it absorbs the liquid and then shrinks down in size.

4th Step – Setting

Some suggest letting the plant and oil set for 5 to 6 weeks in a sunny window before filtering and decanting, while others suggest a warm place out of the sun.

I have set it in a sunny window (except through record heat waves), in a window that receives the morning sun and on a counter out of the sun.  I believe that the sun’s solar heat speeds up the process and adds it’s own benefits to the oil and plant mixture, however it also heats the oil up which could speed the process up to just a few weeks. I prefer a window with morning sun as I love having the oil where I can see it and my choice is to not have it get as hot as in the full sun.  

5th Step – Jostling

It is recommended to lightly jostle them each day to move the material about.

This step is my favorite! I love jostling the jars each day as I can observe the changes inside.

6th Step – Filtering

Use cheesecloth and/or a coffee filter to strain the oil and *plant material into a sterilized mason jar.  If necessary strain the oil a couple of times to remove any fine dust like material.

*Filtered plant material – I use the filtered plant material as a skin or hair oil before discarding.

7th Step – Storing

Store the oil in a cool cupboard or fridge until ready to use making salves and creams.  I have had oil stored for up to a year with no complaints.

This post may contain Affiliate Links, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

Recommended Reading:


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

‘8 Backyard Tea plants’

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

 

One of the first wildflower’s I began gathering for creating tea was Mullein.  Mullein introduced herself to me by popping up in our landscape on her own.  Curiosity transitioned into a relationship with her.  During her growing and flowering season I included her abundant flowers and leaves into my daily water infusions while drying some for tea for the fall and winter.

The flavor of Mullein is pleasant and unique.  Her flowers are sweet and can be added to the leaf and root teas. The leaves have small hairs that need to be strained off, or gently scrubbed off when fresh, and the roots are easier to cut when they are fresh.  When they dry they become hard and are more difficult to cut.  A strong pair of indoor garden cutting scissors is a must!

I recommend starting making your own natural teas.  Some of my favorites are:

More on Drying Plants


When using a new plant for  water or tea I recommend using only one type at a time so you can easily focus on what you are noticing.  Check in over a few days to see if can sense any change and try to identify what they are. Ask yourself if you are feeling any  differences physically, mentally or emotionally.  For example, Mullein is a relaxant, clears the mind, lessens incontinence, cleans out ones lungs and more.


Recommended Reading:

 


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


Copyright 2014 – 2020  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Falling in love with Mullein

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

 

 

Also known as:  Aaron’s Rod, Adam’s Flannel, Beggar’s Blanket, Blanket Herb, Blanket Leaf, Candleflower, Candlewick, Clown’s Lungwort, Cuddy’s Lungs, , Feltwort, Flannelflower, Fleur de Grand

Uses:  Culinary, Medicinal, Poultice, Tea, Tincture, Skin Relief

Parts used:  Flowers, Leaves & Roots

Preparation:   Flower Essence, Infused Water, Vinegar, Lotions, Oil, Ointments, Skin Care, Soap-making, Tea, Tinctures

Recipes


  • Symbolizes:   Protection and returning (lost to found)
  • Language of Flowers meaning:  Health
  • Associated with:  Throat and Sacral Chakra
  • Element:  It has been suggested to be both a Fire and Metal Element due to the metal content in leaves as well as used medicinally as a smoke
  • Governed by:  Suggested to be either Mercury, Mars or Saturn due to its uses

 

Mullein flowers in it’s second season from June to September

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is not native to North America, however you will find it growing freely in disturbed soil and rocky roadways, in fields and sometimes as welcome and uninvited garden companions!  Mullein was brought over with *Eastern Trekkers.  With the quantity of seeds on one plant its quick spread across North America is not a surprise!  The seeds in the picture below represent about 1/4 of the seeds from the 8 foot  dried mullein stalk that happily appeared in my garden.  It flowered this year while in its second season.  From the pictures above you will view small star-shaped yellow flowers.  Each one develops a seed pod filled with seeds once the flower has finished blossoming!  The stalk begins to form early in the season and continues to grow in height even as it blooms.  Each yellow star-shaped flower will only bloom for one day leaving a seed pod to develop.

*Mullein is native to Europe, West and Central Asia, and North Africa

 

 

 

Mullein is apart of the Snapdragon (Scrophulariaceae) family.  2016-08-27-08-46-03However in appearance, the only resemblance I view are the flowers on one stalk.  The flower shapes are distinctly different as are the height and textures of the leaves and stalks.  This picture is of a Snapdragon that also showed up uninvited, however welcomed!

First year Mullein Plants

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Mullein plants explode through the soil in a furry rosette. The outer leaves quickly grow up to a foot long and this new growth is completely covered in white/silver hair that gives it a soft texture and appearance.  These leaves have often been called ‘bunnies ear.’  The first year Mullein leaves are softer, thicker and seem more furry than second year growth.


Second year Mullein Plants

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In the second spring, the Mullein will develop a towering stalk that will have alternating leaves before it gives way to a long spike of flowers.  The leaves lengthen, thin out  compared to the  first year growth and become more upright.  These upright leaves are positioned to catch water.  As the upper leaves become wet they softly fall open and away from the stalk to position the water to fall down to the next leaf.  This continues down to the root!  The fur on the plant causes the water to bead.  It is a pleasure to watch! Once the Mullein has finished flowering in late August, it dries up and dies.  It has been called a biannual, however, mine have not come back after its second year.


Mullein’s Contribution to My Garden

“Both in Europe and Asia the power of driving away evil spirits was ascribed to the Mullein. In India it has the reputation among the natives that the St. John’s Wort once had here, being considered a sure safeguard against evil spirits and magic, and from the ancient classics we learn that it was this plant which Ulysses took to protect himself against the wiles of Circe.“

Maude Grieve

2016-08-07-16-37-07

Moving into our current place and bringing all our plants in pots from a previous location we found ourselves digging up weedy patches of sparsely planted grass.  In that first year a soft textured Mullein rosette appeared.  In the second year this Mullein grew to 8 feet tall and flowered all summer long.  It disappeared for two years until we dug up a sunny patch that had been neglected for years. In this patch one Mullein rosette appeared in the fall  and the following spring it grew a stalk and flowered all summer.  Luckily five more rosettes have appeared in the same patch of garden which means we will enjoy blooms all next summer!

The soil in our garden has been neglected for years and of poor quality.  In late spring and early summer the soil is wet and hard to turn, however under the summer’s sun it turns quickly to powder.  Any new compost and manures added to it is absorbed as the soil dries out.  The latest patch of ground dug up has the worst soil yet and this is the ground that the Mullein has graced us with her presence.

Observing the Mullein plants from my garden and comparing it to others that I have seen growing wild in construction sites, I notice the tended ones did not die back as early in the summer as the wild ones. Their leaves stayed more hydrated than the wild plants therefore extending the season for us.

Buy Canadian Mullein Seeds


All Parts of the Mullein Plant offer Healing Benefits

Mullein is an old-timer. I don’t think there is any ailment that Mullein wouldn’t give some relief. Everyone should have dried mullein leaves or roots in their medicine cabinet at all times.

Tommie Bass

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Buy Canadian Mullein Seeds

Mullein is a wonderful plant to start your foraging journey with.  All parts of the plant are beneficial and can be used.  With the luxury of it growing in my garden it was a daily addition to our diets throughout the spring and summer.  Beginning each summer morning picking her flowers that bloomed to infuse in water for the day.  The abundance of her flowers  that spiral up as her stalk heightens meant setting some aside for later use.  This would include drying for teas to drink over the fall and winter and to create Mullein tinctures and oils for salves and creams.

Mullein makes a very appropriate first herbal ally for many children or beginners in herbcraft. Its safe, wise and grounding presence helps take us deeper into not just this its own medicine, but into all herbal medicines. This plant provides itself as a guiding light and guardian for all healers who live within its range.

Kiva Rose


Connection and  Placement

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I found pleasure in the daily garden visits to the Mullein to pick her flowers and leaves to add to my daily waters. After a short time I noticed a significant change in my well-being.  I began to notice that  my mind was more alert and focused , my energy was balanced, and more vital, I was calmer, happier and felt more connected to all living things.  I began to feel more connection with the plants and trees growing in the landscape along our block.  The interest I had in exploring nature elements transitioned from researching nature to experiencing it.  For me, this was getting off the computer to read others research and getting out to forage myself to try the real flowers, leaves, branches, barks, etc., first hand.  Integrating nature on my block has increased my sense of “being and belonging.”  I feel more confident and safe with the connection that has developed.  Mullein has guided me deeper along the path of  my journey and it has inspired me to listen more deeply using my senses.

I experience my femininity more since beginning my relationships with the Mullein growing in my garden, therefore I refer to Mullein as being feminine.  However, I recognize the symbology of the stock.  For me, however, the stock reflects the Feldenkrais body work I do in relationship with the spine and the horizontal leafy grow on the stock reflect the folds of tissue and skin at the base of our pelvis between our hips.  The similar’s is the spine, bladder, and muscles and in my research and own use I have found Mullein to increase spine health and wellness and as way to tone the muscles for incontinence.  Though I have not found any research on this, I have found it promotes healthier bowel movements possibly by increasing the felt senses in the lazy muscles in this area.  .

In my practice as a Feldenkrais Practitioner and Empathy Relationship Mentor, Mullein has become a wonderful ally for inspiring curiosity in others about what is around us in our own landscape and to develop a deeper connection to integrating natures bounty into our lifestyle.  For me, this exploration aligns one with nature and appreciation for it and oneself blossoms.   Feelings of disconnection, abandonment, discouragement and so on disappear and are replaced with a soft, assured confidence  allowing an inner voice to emerge.  While this inner voice is emerging there is an inner knowing that is aligned with nature also developing.


Historical Native American Medicinal uses of Mullein

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  • Roots

The Creek made a tea/infusion out of the roots for coughs while other groups smoked the roots to treat asthma.

  • Leaves

Dried leaves were also smoked to treat asthma. The Cherokee rubbed mullein leaves in their armpits to treat “prickly rash.” Leaf poultices were used to treat bruises, tumors, rheumatic pains and hemorrhoids.

  • Seeds

The seeds were used for fishing.  They would be thrown into the water to knock the fish out so they could be easily gathered when they floated to the surface.


Historical Old World Medicinal Uses of Mullein

  • Flowers

Since Roman times the flowers have been used to make a yellow dye to dye cloth and as a rinse for hair.  It has also been infused with oil for treating hemorrhoids and earache.

  • Dried Stalks

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Historically the  dried flower stalks were dipped in bee’s wax and used for torches, hence the names ‘candlewick plant’ or ‘torches.’  Using Mullein stalks for torches date back to Roman times. These mullein stalks and stems will soon be dipped by local beeswax candle maker and turned into candles and torches!


Current Healing Uses for Mullein

Roots

Herbalists have been known to use Mullein Root for:

  • Lymphatic system
  • Bladder toning agent
  • Diuretic-reduce inflammation
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bladder infections
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Benign pro-static hypertrophy
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Spinal Injuries

Leaves

 

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Herbalists have been known to use Mullein Leaves for:

  • Lungs & Coughing
  • Lymphatic System & glandular Swelling
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antispasmodic
  • Blood Cleanser
  • Blood in Lungs and Bowel
  • asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. It is also effective in treating sore throats and coughs

Flowers

Herbalists have been known to use Mullein Leaves for:

  • Ear infection
  • Pain
  • Clean wax from ears
  • Treat ear mites in animals
  • Swelling
  • Relaxant

Buy Canadian Mullein Seeds


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


Recommended Reading:

  • Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992
  • Book Review:  Wonderful Book, everyone should have a copy
    • on June 24, 1997 – I have every single one of this authors books. The information in them is terrific, including this one. It covers the different types of herbal philosophies. Mainly the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems. He integrates them both with western herbs, and makes it work. I won’t say his book has everything and every herb but it has a lot, and some of the more unusual herbs you usually can’t find in the regular every day herb books. It’s wonderful, and worth every penny you pay for it

References

Maude Grieve, Author, A Modern herbal

Jim MacDonald, Herbalist 

The Medicine Woman’s Roots

Christa Sinadinos, Medical Herbalism

Jim MacDonald, Herbcraft

 

5 Fun & easy steps to create your own Tinctures

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Mullein, Feverfew & Gumweek Tinctures

Mullein, Feverfew & Gumweed Tinctures

Foraging for Gumweed and Feverfew along the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island and picking Mullein from my garden has become a favorite activity.  Picking the flowers, leaves and digging the roots to make remedies is a creative passion!  It is also a way to connect with the live ingredients that go into the healing remedies I will have on hand to take for acute and preventive care.  I believe that handling the plants that one will take as a tincture will increase the benefits of it.  One immediate benefit is the cost.  It is cheaper to make tinctures than it is to buy them.  For more on plants foraged from one’s backyard and along  the Pacific Northwest visit Inventory of a Backyard Forager.

A tincture is a remedy that has integrated the healing properties of fresh plants preserving and concentrating these qualities in liquid form.  I believe, tinctures can be effective and that energetically they are more in alignment with our own bodies electrical system.

This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

Materials:

  • Sterilized Mason or recycled jars & lids (any size)
  • Sterilized 1 oz. or 1/2 oz.  bottles & lids or droppers
  • Plant material; leaves, flowers or roots
  • Vodka (80% higher alcohol content) or apple cider vinegar
  • Cheesecloth or filters

I  personally do not combine flowers or leaves with the roots in tinctures or combine plants.  I purchase Vodka with a highest grade of alcohol content (80 and above) or use apple cider vinegar to pour over the plant material in the mason jar.


Steps for Creating Tinctures

Step #1 – Picking Fresh Ingredients

In making my tinctures, I use fresh ingredients making this a seasonal activity.  I pick the flowers and leaves throughout the growing season.  Occasionally I dig the roots ensuring  it doesn’t negatively affect the patch that is growing by leaving a greater amount growing than I take.  Read more backyard garden plant ideas.  Dry plant materials can be used as well.  Here are a few popular plants:


Step #2  – Process

Use sterilized dry Mason jars and fill them 3/4’s full with the  fresh flowers, leaves, or roots individually or  a combination of leaves and flowers.  Remember the size of jar will determine the amount of material and liquid needed.

Pour enough liquid to cover the plant material and  fill the jar remembering it reduces the amount of oxygen in the jar.  This is important to stop the material from molding.  To begin with the plant material expands while it absorbs the liquid before it shrinks.

Step #3 – Setting

Some suggest letting this sit for 5 to 6 weeks in a sunny window before filtering and decanting.  Jostle the jars each day to provide some liquid movement through the plant materials.

I have set it mine in a sunny window and one that gets the early morning sun and not the bright full day sun.  I prefer to set it in the early morning sun.

Step #4 – Filtering 

Use cheesecloth and/or a coffee filter to strain the plant material and pour the liquid into a sterilized mason jar and/or  1 oz and 1/2 oz bottles with droppers.  On occasion you may have to strain more than once to remove any  fine dust like material.

Step #5 – Storing

Store the alcohol based tincture in a cool cupboard and the apple cider vinegar in the fridge.  The alcohol based tincture can be kept and used for a few years.  The apple cider vinegar  has a shorter life of 3 to 6 months.


Usage 

Adults – 5 to 10 drops or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon – 3 times a day

Children – 1/2 the adult dosage

*Alcohol tinctures can be added to hot water to evaporate the alcohol before drinking

 

 


Recommended Reading:

The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook – A Home Manual by Author
James Green

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by North Atlantic Books, 2016, by Thomas Easley (Author), Steven Horne (Author)

 


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


 

Natural Remedies with Gumweed

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

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Decanting infusions after a six week immersion of gumweed in honey, gumweed in oil and gumweed in vodka!

Grindelia squarrosa – Commonly known as Gumweed

Grindelia’s gummy balsamic resin was historically used as an expectorant, antitussive in cough remedies and in ointments, field dressings for rashes, poison ivy, burns, and insect bites.

Grindelia contains diterpenes (including grindelic acid), resins, and flavonoids.

 

Every day for six weeks the infusion of gumweed and honey has been jostled, along with gumweed in oil, and gumweed in vodka.   All three jar were filtered through 3 layers of cheesecloth and a strainer into new sterilized jars.

Tasting each one was a surprise.  Gumweed has a strong smelling resin that I expected  to be mouth puckering, yet it turned out to be a milder and nicer tasting flavour. It did remind me of ouzo.

This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

 

Gumweed a natural medicinal

Gumweed  is used medicinally for supporting a healthy respiratory tract naturally.  It will get at dry, unproductive coughs, and aid in the normal production and elimination of mucous.  It can be used to make natural remedies such as; cough syrup and tinctures.

Recipe for creating infused honey

Recipe for creating tinctures

Buy Canadian Gumweed Seeds

Gumweed infused in Oil

Can be used as a topical remedy for many skin disorders, including; herpes, roseola,  itching,  burns, rashes, poison ivy rash,  dermatitis, eczema, ulcers and  skin eruptions.

Recipe for creating infused oils

Buy Canadian Gumweed Seeds


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


 

Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

 

Docks: Broad Leaf & Curly

Dock Plants can have up to 80,000 seeds that have been found to be viable for 80 years

Broad Leaf  Dock

Broad Leaf Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) & Yellow Dock (Curly Dock)  (Rumex crispus)

Curly (Yellow Dock) is the dock variety used more in making remedies however, both are edible.  Dock leaves are used in salads and cooked like spinach.

Yellow Dock is associated with the Sacral Chakra

Dock is a great herb for transition and transformation! Physically it supports cleansing that can reflect cutting ties to what binds one and stops them from moving on. Emotionally it can help release anxiety and pain from the past.  It supports clearing the boundaries between inner and outer space and supports moving into a new phase in life.

It has been used:

  • as a spring tonic
  • to help increase the intestines absorption of minerals
  • invigorate the colon
  • appetite enhancer
  • in remedies for:
    • herpes,
    • syphilis,
    • vaginitis,
    • ovarian cysts and fibroids,
    • tumors,
    • boils,
    • acne,
    • thrush,
    • ulcers,
    • dysentery,
    • hemorrhoids,
    • urinary tract infections,
    • kidney and gallstones,
    • acidosis,
    • worms
    • adjunctive support for diabetics
    • Crohn’s disease,
    • food allergies,
    • gout,
    • certain skin diseases,
    • congestive dysmennorhea,
    • jaundice
    • chronic constipation
    • regulate menstrual bleeding
  • in  Magic for:
    • new business ventures
    • drawing in business success &  financial abundance
    • drawing in personal love

Leaves

The leaves are known to be high in beta-carotene, vitamin C  and contain chlorophyll, vitamins A and  oxalic acid and the best time to pick them is when they are just unfurling.

Roots

Most commonly used portion of Dock for medicinal remedies.  The roots contain tannins, chrysophanic acid, rumicin and minerals.  The roots can be harvested in the fall with a stick  which is sometimes a better tool to get the long tap root.  Once taking off the outer layer of the root it is bright yellow and cutting into the root you will see that it has growth rings.

Dye

Yellow Dock got it’s name from these yellow roots that fade as they dry.  Fresh roots make yellow die.

Seeds

The seeds are a rich source of calcium, riboflavin and fiber while low in protein and fat and can help the body absorb Vitamin C.  They can be eaten raw or cooked once they are brown.  They turn brown late August into September. When you collect the seeds, remove all leaves and stems grind them or store them whole. You can grind the seeds in a blender, with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Once ground store in an air-tight jar. Whole seeds can be stored in a paper bag.

 

Magic & Folklore

Dock imparts courage, strength and opens one to  magical will.  It is considered a lucky plant and is used for new business ventures and  to increase success, finances and finding love.


Leaf Recipes

I pick the leaves on occasion to use medicinally to flavor a picture of the days drinking water, to infuse in olive oil for salves and creams and to infuse in alcohol for tinctures.  I add fresh leaves to salads, sauté in olive oil and garlic and add to; egg dishes, stir fries, sauce for pasta and bean dishes.

Be Aware:  The leaves contain oxalic acid as does other foods such as spinach.  In small quantities they can be eaten raw however eating large quantities means that the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be greatly reduced if the plant is cooked. If you have any medical conditions, consult a health professional before you eat the leaves.


Root Recipes

Dock Tea – Blood Builder & Mild Laxative

  • quart of water
  • one cup of fresh or dried Yellow Dock Roots
  • Honey or Stevia as sweeten

Boil one quart of water, reduce the heat and add  one cup of fresh or dried yellow Dock Root and cover.  Simmer for 12 minutes, uncover and simmer for another 90 minutes.    Add honey or stevia as a sweetener and drink up to four cups a day.

*When liquid is cooled, may be used as a wash for skin conditions.

Dock Vinegar Infusion – Blood Builder & Digestive Aid

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Fresh or Dried yellow Dock Roots

The amount will depend upon the size of  jar you use.  Once you have filled the jar 2/4 full with Yellow Dock Root cover with vinegar and add a slight bit more.

  1. Cover Roots with (apple cider) vinegar  and close container.
  2. Let sit for for six weeks shaking  daily.
  3. Strain after six weeks and pour into clean container.

Use 1 to 2 tablespoons a day (use at meals with oil for salad dressing!)

Dock Syrup

  • 1/2 pound of Yellow Dock Root
  • Pint of Water
  • 1/2 cup Dark Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 Tsp Pure Maple Syrup

Boil half pound of dock root in a pint of water. Leave it until the liquid that remains is only a cupful. Filter the liquid and add half a cup dark honey, half a cup blackstrap molasses and one teaspoon of pure maple syrup.  Add a pinch of vanilla to it for essence.

Blend everything by hand till you produce a smooth thick sweet sticky liquid or syrup.

  • Take one teaspoon at a time to heal bronchitis, asthma as well as cease tickling or scratching commotion in the throat or the lungs,
  • Take one tablespoon a day to increase iron in the blood!

Seed Recipes

Flour

  • Grind dock seeds find and use as flour

 

Coffee Substitute

  • Grind dock seeds and use as coffee substitute

 

Crackers

  • Ingredients
    • 1 cup ground (flour) dock seed
    • 1 cup flour of your choice
    • 1 tsp. sea salt
    • Water
  • Instructions
    • Mix brown crushed dock seed, flour and salt.  Add water slowly until the dough is pliable (not sticky). On a well-floured surface roll dough thinly. Cut into shapes. Then transfer them onto a well-greased baking sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°F or until crisp.

Folk Lore & Magic Recipes

Dock Tea for Drawing in Wealth & New Business

Make a tea from Dock and wash door knobs, telephones and cash registers in your business to draw in  wealth and new business.

Dock Tea for Drawing in Love

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Make a tea from Dock and splash on your hands and face prior to seeing your love interest.


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


Copyright 2014 – 2020  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000