Sun Powered Natural Plant Dye Explorations: ’18

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

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.

DSC_2667

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


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Moringa Seeds & Leaves

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

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:

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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 insideawareness.com

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

 

 Growing Shiitake Mushrooms

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

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Shiitake Mushrooms                                                                                           Photo by Renee Lindstrom

After purchasing Shiitake Mushrooms from the grocer I observed the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.

This tin foil was carefully cut into the round circle shape of the gill imprint left on it by the Shiitake spore release.  This would be placed into a substrate to experiment with.  Would it grow?

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Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. At the top of the container place the tin foil circle of mycelium spore side down to encourage it to spread and grow into the substrate.
  4. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.

 

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Recommended

Cleavers (Galium aparine)

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

MortarEdibleDyetea kettle

Also Known as: Goosegrass, Barweed, Catchweed, Clivers, Goosegrass,  Grip Grass,  Sticky-willy,  Zhu Yang

Uses:  Culinary, Pot Herb, Medicinal, Dye, Detox, Coffee Substitute, Love Potion, Weight Control, Anti Aging, Tonic

Parts used:  Seeds, Flowers, Leaves, Roots

Preparation:  Fresh, Dried, Tincture, Tea, Flower Essences,  Tea, Juicing, Poultice, Wash

Recipes


  • Symbolizes:   Finding Love
  • Language of Flowers meaning:  Tenacity, I am determined to win your love.
  • Associated with: Binding Love, Crown Chakra
  • Element:  Water
  • Governed by:  Saturn, Venus, Moon

Culinary

Cleavers are from the Rubiaceae family, the same family as coffee.  The seeds can be dried  ground into a coffee substitute.  Cleavers are valued more as a medicinal than an edible tho’ young shoots can be eaten fresh and added to bulk up soups, eggs and stew type dishes.  The best way to extract this plants nutrients and medicinal values is through cold infusion, making it great for  juicing.  However the pulp may need to be filtered out.

Health and Wellness

Cleavers are highly valued as a medicinal remedy and diuretic in Asia as an internal and external agent.  Externally it is used as a poultice for inflammation and wound care, and a wash for calming for edema inflammation, treating rashes, boils and cysts.   Infusing it as tea can brings down fevers, be calming for sleep and a powerful detox for the lymphatic system and liver.  It has been used to reduce high blood pressure, weight loss and due to its astringent properties to tighten skin.

Dye Plant

The roots of the Cleaver plant is used to make red dye.

Buy Dried  Canadian Cleaver Herb

Buy Canadian Cleaver 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.


Copyright 2014 – 2018  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

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

MortarEdible

2017-03-27 11.20.08

 

Also Knows as:  Lambs CressLand Cress, Flick Weed, Shot Weed, Pepper Weed, Snap Weed & Spring Cress

Uses:  Culinary, Old Medicinal Remedy

Parts used:  Flowers, Leaves & Roots

Preparation:  Flower Essence, Infused Oil, Infused Vinegar

Recipes

 


  • Symbolizes:   Bright mind (clarity & perception), right action, connected to heart

Culinary

The Hairy Bittercress weed is part of the member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae).  Other members of the mustard family include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, horseradish, wasabi  and Sweet Alyssum.  Eating it raw and fresh gives you the best nutrients and it tastes great in salads and sandwiches and with eggs.  It is milder than horseradish and like garden cress it is peppery.

Health and Wellness

I have read that in the past Hairy Bittercress was used as a heart sedative, diuretic and expectorant.  In Greek Cardamine translates to heart subdued.  This plant grows in cool weather and is hearty.  It is a known for being full of Vitamin C and sulphur which increases oxygen to the cells making this a great fresh wild winter green.


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.

‘What garden plants can you use to infuse with honey’

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

Gumweed Infusing in Honey

Infused Honey

Honey is nature’s anti-bacterial and can be enjoyed with meals or as a medicinal. Imagine enjoying infused honey with your favorite flowers and getting the added benefit of nature’s nutrition.

I began creating infused honey with Gumweed, Grindelia squarrosa  to create a natural home-made remedy for colds and coughs.  Researching the benefits and characteristics of different flowers, leaves, stems and roots, I wondered how to increase ways to enjoy them more often as part of my diet simply and easily.  My goal was to not wait until an illness presented itself  but to find new ways of increasing healthy lifestyle changes as a preventative to illness.

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

Here are some of the plants and their medicinal qualities that I have infused with honey and enjoyed.  For more about their nutritional characteristics visit the plant links.

  • Bay Flower – aches & pain, headaches & migraines, stress, sleep aid, colic, flatulence, eyes,  antiseptic, diuretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
  • Dandelion  –  PMS,  depression, fatigue, digestive aid, natural diuretic, blood cleanser, detoxify, tinnitus, tonsillitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, osteoporosis, abscesses, heart health, mammary tumors, warts
  • Gumweed – sedative, antispasmodic, and expectorant, ear & throat infections, muscle relaxer
  • Lilac – worms, malaria, fever

More on how to infuse honey


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.