Yellow Bedstraw (Galium verum)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

MortarEdibleDyetea kettle

Our Lady’s Bedstraw

Also known as: Catchstraw, Cheese Rennet,  Lady’s Bedstraw, Maid’s Hair, Our Lady’s Bedstraw, Petty Mugget, Yellow Bedstraw, Yellow Cleavers

Uses:  Culinary, Dye, Herbal, Tea, Medicinal, Poultice, Topical Skin Products

Parts used:  Flowers, Leaves & Roots

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

Photo credit:,_Heartwood_Forest_(28529823823).jpg

  • Symbolizes:  Love, Rejoicing, Rudeness
  • Associated with: New hope, ideas and grace. Freedom from the past, vulnerability, and release of grief and sorrow.
  • Element:  Water
  • Governed by:  Venus

Yellow Bed-straw was once used to stuff mattress. It has been written that Mary stuffed the bed for Baby Jesus with Yellow Bed-straw.  It has a fresh fragrance of vanilla and cut grass.


  • The seeds are edible and can be roasted and ground into a caffeine-free, coffee substitute.
  • The young shoots can be boiled for ten to fifteen minutes as a veggie topped with butter or  added to a salad.
  • The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • The leaves and stems can be used as a curdling agent in cheese making.
  • The flowers infused in water creates a refreshing beverage.

Health and Wellness

Lady’s Bed-straw has been used for treating cancer, epilepsy, hysteria, spasms, tumors, loss of appetite, gravel, stone or urinary disorders, and chest and lung ailments. It is also used to increase urine output (as a diuretic) for relieving water retention, especially swollen ankles. It soothes reddened skin, reduces inflammation making it useful in  a poultice for cuts, skin infections, slow-healing wounds etc.

Well known Herbalist Culpepper suggested the juice from this plant for earaches.

The leaves, stems and flowering shoots are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, and high in C making them good for spring tonic and scurvy.  As a wash or lotion, it is said to fade freckles and sunburn and great for psoriasis.

Dye Plant

A yellow dye is made from the flowering stems and used as food colouring and hair dye, and red dyes are extracted from its roots. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowering tops.

Buy Lady Bedstraw Seeds  


Recent research by Schmidt et al (2014) has supported Galium verums traditional use as an anticancer remedy, as it demonstrated DNA protection against benzapyrene, a toxic compound in cigarette smoke.

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

Save time & money by making yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese & kefir & whey on 1-4 litres of milk

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles


Fermenting Kefir Grains & Milk


One 4 liter container of milk now costs just under $5.00 before taxes here in #yyj’s Greater Victoria Region.  With this 4 liters I have cultured yogurt, separating the yogurt and whey creating cream cheese, adding home-made apple cider vinegar creating cottage cheese and fermenting Kefir grains creating kefir.  At the store yogurt, cream cheese and cottage cheese prices start at $4.00 to $5.00 while Kefir and whey is more!  For $5.00 plus tax I am able to make over $20.00 worth of dairy and whey products

I see many bakery items being donated to local food banks and wonder if foods that improve health and well-being are also being donated.  Foods considered perishable can make a larger impact in the mental, emotional and physical health of those needs assistance.

I wonder too if there are programs for the low-income citizens to learn how to easily create their own products using simple recipes to be more cost effectively.  Are recipes included in the groceries being handed out to stretch food and dollars further?  It’s healthier with no additives and fresher with a higher nutritional impact and no added equipment costs.  It can be done with existing kitchen utensils like pots, jars, bowls, strainers, cotton, cheesecloth or coffee filters.

Read simple recipes to stretch your dollars and experience a higher impact of nutritional value:

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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

Sacral Chakra Stones

Sacral Chakra

Sacral Chakra


Amber:  Amber is a fossilized resin from Evergreen Trees that are in the hundreds of thousands years old.  Amber is an old planet energy and reflects ancient natural world wisdom.  It is a soft and warm nurturing stone called upon to develop ones creativity.

Orange Calcite:  Orange Calcite reflects balance in creativity and sexuality.  It is called upon to energize and balance one’s life force.

Carnelian: Carnelian is a stabilizing energy that is grounding and anchors one into present moment reality.  It is called upon to restore vitality and for courage.  Carnelian promotes healthy life choices.

Hematite:  Hematite is called upon for grounding, balancing and removing confusion to be actively engaged in the present moment of your day-to-day activities.  It brings consciousness down through ones chakras in a centering and stabilizing way.  Hematite is also used for blocking negativity.


9 Ways to Balance 7 Chakras with Crystals, Gemstones, Minerals & Stones

Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for 7 Chakras:

  1. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Root Chakra
  2. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Sacral Chakra
  3. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Solar Plexus Chakra
  4. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Heart Chakra
  5. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Throat Chakra
  6. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Brow Chakra
  7. Crystals, Minerals & Stone choices for Crown Chakra

Integrate Chakra Lifestyle:  

Chanting sounds & symbols for each of the 7 Chakra Energy Centers

Music is a popular way for one to express sound for pleasure, healing and connection, and to share  meaningful messages that can be passed down through the ages.  Some early faith based tones had sound vibrations that have been used in sound healing.  Sound vibration for healing and transformation is in the traditions of many cultures and can range from songs, chants, instruments, tuning forks, brass singing bowls, crystal bowls and mantras.

One mantra or chant considered in some cultures to be the sound of creation is Om, pronounced “Aum or Um. ” It has been shared that this sound can be heard underneath all other sounds by some in the stillness of meditation.  Mono syllable seed sounds or “Bija Mantras,” such as Om have been experienced as creating balance and harmony in the human body, mind and soul.  This one is associated with the 6th chakra that represents one’s third eye.

The translation of chakra is “wheel,” or “center.”  It is generally recognized that there are seven subtle centers of refined energy in the human body.  Each of these centers resonate with a specific sound vibration.  These seven well-known centers are:

chakras 02


1st –  Root Chakra Center

2nd – Sacral Chakra Center 

3rd –  Solar Plexus Chakra Center

5th –  Throat Chakra Center

6th –  3rd Eye Chakra Center

7th –  Crown Chakra Center

Read more on each chakra @  7 Chakra Subtle Energy Centers



Chanting Mono Syllables

For the purpose of this article it is our belief based upon experience that chanting the following mantras in song or meditation restores function and vibrancy to these energy centers.  chakras 03One can enjoy chanting one mantra in mindfulness of that chakra, or for all seven.  Chanting patterns of 9 times are favoured with 108 the most sacred number.


Another way one can integrate balance in their chakra energy centers is by mindfully drawing each of the symbols for the seven chakra Mono syllables.



Chakra Mono Syllables & Symbols

chakras 06Listed below are the  Mono syllables and symbols for each of the 7 Chakra Centers starting with the foundation and moving up to mind and spirit:

1st Chakra – Root 


Root Chakra

Sanskrit translation:  Mula – “root”Adhara – “support or base

  • Located:  basal end of the spine, the pelvic floor &  first three vertebrae
  • Mantra:


Pronounced “lum”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance

2nd Chakra – Sacral


Sacral Chakra

Translation:  “dwelling place of self”

Located:  between pubic bone and belly button



Pronounced “vum”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance

Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura

Solar Plexus Chakra

Translation:  “lustrous gem”

Located:  navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone



Pronounced “Rum”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance

Heart Chakra – Anahata

Heart Chakra

Translation:  “unstuck” or “unhurt”

Location:  center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system



Pronounced  “Yum”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance

Throat Chakra – Vishuddha

Throat Chakra

Translates:  “especially pure”

Location:  Throat



Pronounced “hum”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance

3rd Eye Chakra – Ajna

Third Eye Chakra

Translates:  “Beyond Wisdom”

Location:  Slightly above and between eyebrows



Pronounced “Aum”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance

Crown Chakra – Sahasrara

crown chakra

Crown Chakra

Translation – “thousand-petaled”



Pronounced “u”

Social, Emotional & Physical Trait in and out of balance



Read more from Natures Love – Integrating Chakra Lifestyle:  

Red Jasper

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

Grounding, Nurturing, Energizing

Red Jasper is found around the world and is a micro-crystalline variety of Quartz.  It has been known as a stone for protection, birth and re-birth.  It is associated with vibrancy, endurance and fertility.

Physical Benefits:

Red Jasper stimulates life force, physical strength, energy, stamina, focus and determination.

Emotional Benefits:

It calms emotions creating a lasting, stable energy for improving health and overcoming illness.

Chakra Benefits:

This stone activates the Base Chakra and stimulates the rise of the kundalini energy throughout the chakras, cleansing and strengthening the aura.

Creative Benefits:

It is used in setting and accomplishing goals and manifesting creative ideas.  A stone of passion, Red Jasper is useful for restoring and rejuvenating the libido.

Dreams Benefits:

Red Jasper provides vivid dream recall,

Read more @ Natures Love


Red Cracked Bolete (Boletus chrysenteron)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles



This afternoon I discovered these mushrooms in my backyard garden.   A pleasant surprise that began another search to discover what type it was and to find out if it was edible of course.  Fortunately there are a number of great Facebook pages devoted to identifying mushrooms that show great pictures as does google images.  It turned out these mushroom are Red Cracking Bolete also known as Porcini in Italy, and the sponge mushroom in the Northeastern States of the US.  Yes they are edible.

Bolete Mushrooms are avidly sought after for food.  However if you are foraging for Bolete Mushrooms, always take precautions.  Boletes with a red or orange
pore surface, especially those that bruise blue, are not recommended (National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff).

I washed them, cut them up and gave them a quick stir fry in olive oil.  I was astonished at how wonderful they tasted.  These wild mushrooms are one of the nicest tasting mushrooms I have ever eaten.  I will possibly not be able to leave any to dry!

More about the mushroom characteristics

The first thing I noticed about this mushroom is the pores on the underside of the cap.  I was curious on discovering whether this mushroom was safe when I noticed the absence of familiar gills under the cap and the striking green colour of the pours instead.  There was also the bright red on the stems.  Reading up on this species I discovered that these qualities do not fit in the category of dangerous types.  They are edible and safe.

Growing Conditions

In the research I read these mushroom like to grow under certain trees, however I do not have these trees close by.  I have a Privet tree 6 feet away along with a Birch Tree 10 feet away.  Earlier in the year our neighbour cut down a Douglas Fir that was about 15 feet away.  Another surprise mushroom visitor, The Prince, that came earlier in August grew next to a 12 foot  Cedar hedge.  These Bolete are growing 20 feet away from this hedge.  What I have done is edge this bed with old wood cuttings that I hoped to grow succulents on.

Read more on another surprise backyard mushroom visitor called the “Prince’

More on growing mushrooms from Living in Natures Love 

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Information on foraging mushrooms, their uses and properties are for educational purposes only.   Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed.  If foraging for mushrooms ensure you consult an experienced mushroom forager for information on your mushrooms or for mentoring on what mushrooms are safe and which ones are poisonous.  Be smart.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

tea kettleEdibleMortarDyedeer

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) Photo by Renee Lindstrom

Also known as:  Evening Star,  Butter Rose, Cowslip, Fever Plant & King’s Cure-all, Sun Cup

Uses: Culinary, Medicinal, Tea

Parts used: Seeds, Flowers, Leaves, Stems, Roots

Preparation:  Cosmetics, Essential Oil, Flower Essence, Infused Honey & Oils, Recipes, Tinctures









  • Symbolizes:   Life of Fulfillment
  • Language of Flowers: Fickleness, faithlessness, sweet memories
  • Associated with: Protection, Love & Luck
  • Chakras:  Root, Sacral & Heart
  • Element:  Water
  • Governed by:  Moon
This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee


All parts of the evening Primrose can be integrated into ones diet.  The roots can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable.  They grow large and are similar in appearance to parsnips and can be cooked like potatoes, carrots or parsnips.  One can add them fresh or dried to soups and , stews.  The leaves can be added to salad or steamed if tough and flowers can be added to salads and used as garnish or decoration on cakes, custards and puddings.

The seed pods can be roasted or when dried the seeds inside can be ground and added to smoothies, shakes, cereals, breads, muffins, etc.

Health & Wellness

“A study by the Highland Psychiatric Research Group at the Draig Dunain Hospital, Inverness, Scotland, found that evening primrose encouraged regeneration of liver cells damaged by alcohol consumption. Other researchers think it may also prevent alcoholic poisoning, hangovers, postdrink depression and alcohol withdrawal. It is thought to stop alcohol from damaging brain cells by bolstering them with unsaturated fats”  Herbalpedia

  • Evening Primrose has:
    • protein
    • carbohydrates
    • beta carotene
    • calcium
    • potassium
    • vitamin B3
    • Omega-6
    • amino acid tryptophan
    • bioflavonoid quercetin
  • Herbal Actions:
    • Gentle Sedative & Mood Enhancer – relaxing, grounding and uplifting
    • Anti-spasmodic – PMS cramping
    • Endocrine System  – relaxing
    • First Aid – bruised cuts, scratches, bug bites & stings
    • Digestion – stimulant, cooling & healing inflammation
    • Eczema & Rosacea – used topically
    • Hair Growth – used topically
  • Nutrition (per 1/2 cup):
    • Protein: 2.4 g
    • Carbs 7.3 g
    • Calcium 140 mg
    • Potassium 410 mg
    • Beta Carotene 4000 ug
    • Niacin 700  ug
  • Early North American uses:
    • Ojibwa – poultice for bruises
    • Cherokee – root tea to lose weight
    • Shakers – poultice for wounds & leave or root tea for upset stomach
  • Folklore:
    • increase desirably to potential lovers & friends – infuse into bath for encouraging inner beauty to shine through
    • Magical use in spells for increasing success in achieving ones goals


Growing Evening Primrose

The flower of the Evening Primrose may open before dusk, however the scent of the flower is not released until evening.  It is Native to Canada and the United States.  It is a self seeder so it can be found growing in full sun along rocky roads, in meadows, on dunes and beaches.  It has been naturalized in parts of Europe by Early Settlers transporting seeds back as early as 1614.  I have started mine by seed in the Spring as starters and transplanted them.  They seem to be hardy and though they enjoy full sun, these pictured above are growing in partial shade and are 1 year bloomers (unusual).  I would consider now starting them later in summer or early fall to have them come up as second year plants in spring.

Buy Canadian Evening Primrose Seeds

More Edible Garden Plants 



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.

Sun Powered Natural Plant Dye Explorations: ’18

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

I have been spoiled by the Butterfly Tree (Buddleia davidii) dye baths.  They have been easy with good results and  no complications.  The plant dye was absorbed evenly into the material in the tops pictured below even though they were not treated in a soda or alum bath.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Tops dyed with Butterfly Tree

Here is a picture below of a top that was prepared for dyeing ahead of time with soda ash and alum baths.  It is a top sourced second-hand with a fluorescent image that was too bright for my taste.  I wondered how dyeing it would calm it down.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Top after a Butterfly Tree Flower dye bath

It completely calmed the image colours, however the picture is not showing the depth of colour the dyed outcome actually is.  The material itself is patterned and the coloured material from the dye differentiates this pattern.  It dyed the raised pattern  more quickly that is darker of the lower pattern which dyed more slowly.

The ease and colour consistency of the earlier Butterfly Tree flower dye bathes was misleading.  I came away thinking, “Wow, this is easy!”  However I am discovering that not all plant dye baths will have the same outcomes.  This is defiantly a learning experience as I go.

Just below are some sample patches of some exciting new and surprising plant colours.  I am noticing that the plant parts that are making the darker colours I enjoy are actually considered invasive species here in #yyj’s Greater Victoria Region.

pic by Renee Lindstrom

Natural Plant Dyes

In this photo it shows the dye water after two days in the sun and clothes after a day in the sun.  Had I taken the clothes out at this point the second sample from the left would be a light green and the third a bright green.  Both nice colours.  From left to right the plants are:

  1.  Saint John’s Wort – Landscaping scrub variety
  2.  Butterbur Leaves
  3.  Dried Feverfew branch with spent flower cuttings
  4.  Dried Butterfly Tree Flower cuttings

Here are two samples of Feverfew and Saint John’s Wort dye bath samples that were left for in for 3 days.  The Feverfew stayed bright and deepened in colour while the Saint John’s Wort in the photo above is dove grey while now it darken into a stronger colour with black tones.


Had I taken the top out of the Feverfew pot at 2 days it would have been an even and perfect dye absorption.  Unfortunately, I left the clothing in the pot with the plant matter to darken in the sun.  The plant material against the material created dark spots.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Top dyed with Feverfew – spotted after leaving in pot too long with plant material

I can type in the same for the Butterbur plant parts.  This plant is extreme in it colour variations and even having the material bunched up causes differences in the absorption of the colour.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Butterbur Plant Dye – clothing left in pot with plant material

I have just learned that when dyeing clothes to soak the plant material in the sun until reaching desire dye colour.  Then filter out the plant material before putting in the articles to dye.   I have come away now understanding that dyeing wool and clothing articles have differences.  Experiential learning!

A oberservation I had that I did not pay attention to at the time, is that when I first put in the clothing to absorb the colour they absorbed colour immediately.  I had my mind-set on slow-colouring and now realize that had I followed a similar pattern of moving the articles through the dye bath evenly the results may have been different.  Next time!

Now I am off to change the steps in my post about Dyeing cotton using Natural Plant Dyes! 

Read more on Natural Dye Plants, Dyeing with Butterfly Tree Parts

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

Recommended Reading:

Moringa Seeds & Leaves

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

Moringa Seeds & Dried Leaves

Early in the year I received some Moringa Seeds as a gift.  Attempts to germinate them was a challenge and unsuccessful.  Though somewhat depressed about not being able to grow them this year I have become enamored by the potential of this plant.  By all accounts it can contribute to the health and wellness on the planet from purifying water, to purifying ones body and supporting nations food and nutritional shortages.

Knowing that the seeds could be eaten, I tossed one in my mouth, chewed and swallowed it.  Later reaching for a glass of water I had the shock of my life.  My mouth exploded with sweetness.  I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  Was it the water, or was it the glass?   I had to retrace what I had eaten.  Researching this  I received validation when reading it was in fact a common reaction with the Moringa Seed.   I had to smile reading the seed was described as being able to sweeten waters in its ability to purify water.  In some countries that lack potable water the seeds are crushed and added to dirty water.  Any substance in the water sinks to the bottom with the seeds leaving the top water clean and clear.  I am inspired and impressed with this possibility.  I mentioned it to a client whose own brother has developed an industrial water cleaning system and it wasn’t long before I got a message asking what that seed was again!

The Moringa Tree leaves are used fresh, dried as tea or ground into powder to put into capsules for a health supplement.  The pods of the Moringa Tree are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.

I am now drinking 2 small cups of Moringa tea a day made from dried leaves.  It has a nice flavour and I would love to drink more yet want to wait and see how it works with my digestion and elimination system.  I have noticed a change in my hair.  It feels and appears healthier however I am also eating more fermented foods and drinking Beet Kvass.   It will take some time to decide if it is the Moringa or not.

I discovered through Amazon that the Body Shop makes a bar soap using the Moringa Plant.  There is a Body Shop a block away so I stopped in and now trying a bar out.  The immediate effect on my skin is that it is hydrating, it tightens and the skin is softer.  Even with a gardeners hands!   Would I recommend it?  Yes 100%.  However my aim would be to grow it myself and make my soap.  It’s a good thing that one of the new batch of seeds is sprouting!

I have started to use Moringa Oil and find it lighter.  This oil can be used to cook or used for skin, hair and massage products.

Read more on the benefits of Moringa 

#yyj Moringa Seeds & Dried Leaf available for order & pick up

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Recommended Moringa Product Ideas:

Recommended Reading:

Traditional uses and properties of Moringa is based upon historical and current information available.  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.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.

Happy with glass weights for topping fermenting foods!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

The glass weights I ordered to put on top of the foods I was fermenting arrived!  They arrived just in time to add to two of the jars I had started pictured below.  I am impressed with the difference they made immediately.

Creating natural probiotics

Glass Weights for Fermenting Foods

Adding this weight to the jar shown with carrots pushed the carrots down so much that they are now submerged in the brine.  This will support better fermenting and slow any molds from growing.  Here is an after shot below.

Carrots weighted down with glass weights

Searching around my own local community I could not find anyone who carried weights so I went on-line to purchase.  Receiving the order there was a pleasant surprise upon opening the box.  There was a note from the supplier that explained my purchase had just supported a small family run business.  Reading this was joyful and pleasing for me.  The details of purchasing these through Amazon are below as I would like to continue supporting this family enterprise.

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4-Pack of Fermentation Glass Weights with Easy Grip Handle for Wide Mouth Mason Jar