Tag Archives: herbal medicine

8 Reasons to Grow Edible Flowers

As most of the garden is put to bed for the season and the new catalogs are coming out it’s time to start planning for spring. Deciding on which varieties to select is always a tough choice. But whether you enjoy cottage style gardens or more “market style” gardens with tidy rows you should include a few edible flowers on your list.

They’ll help you avoid food dyes. 

Edible flowers are perfect for dressing up baked goods without using processed food dyes and preservatives. Any cake or cupcake will look just as instagram worthy with bachelor’s buttons petals instead of blue frosting.

You can make your own medicine.

Many edible flowers are also helpful medicinal herbs. This year add some echinacea, feverfew, or chamomile to your garden to create helpful herbal teas. Try growing a patch of calendula to concoct your own skin soothing lotions and balms.

Birds will enjoy your flowers too.

Many birds will enjoy the seeds from sunflowers, coneflowers, poppies and other flowers once they’ve finished blooming. If you love seeing birds in your yard they’re a great way to attract them without hanging a bird feeder.

They do double duty in a garden space.

If you’ve got a small garden you want to maximize every square foot. Growing edible flowers brings you beauty and a harvest for your table. Nasturtiums are a great choice because they can be trellised to save space and their leaves and flowers are excellent for salads. Though most people just enjoy the seeds, sunflowers are actually entirely edible and can be used as a trellis for runner beans.

You can make cute cocktails.

Edible flowers are an excellent way to make cocktails or even just an iced tea or lemonade feel extra special for your next summer gathering. Small flowers like Johnny-Jump-Ups are perfect for freezing into ice cubes. Edible flowers also make awesome garnishes especially paired with fresh herbs.

They’re perfect for homemade candy recipes.

Candied flowers and flower petals were a sweet treat long before the advent of modern candy brands. They’re also easy to make and beautiful. You can also try using flower petals in lollipop, hard candy, or even popsicle recipes.

Flowers attract beneficial insects.

One recent study showed that having flower strips planted in croplands can decrease the amount of insect damage to crops. This is because they attract beneficial insects like wasps and ladybugs which feed on harmful pests like aphids. While this obviously doesn’t just apply to edible flowers it is another one of their many qualities. Adding a few patches may help make your whole garden more productive.

Flowers attract pollinators.

Obviously, flowers are also a great way to attract pollinators such as bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other species. Having a patch of edible flowers benefits both you and local wildlife!

Growing and using edible flowers is a lot of fun! To find more information on edible flowers we carry visit our old post, 12 Edible & Medicinal Flowers to Add to Your Garden.

5 Ways to Use and Preserve Herbs this Summer

Summer is the season of abundance and Maple Land Works has a great variety of herbs for your garden.  It’s easy to get busy weeding, harvesting, and putting up vegetables but it’s also the time to think about herbs. Other than this some herbal plant can grow in summer, like most euphoric kratom. Summer is the time to use and preserve herbs for the rest of the year. But in summer, most of the cases we face the problem of water shortage. Hence to fufill this requirement  we used  Reliable Irrigation System for your garden. Here are a few ways to put up an herbal harvest.

We’re gardeners, not doctors, please contact a tree arborist you can trust to manage your garden. Please consult a physician about using herbal remedies especially if you’re nursing, pregnant, or on any medications.

Kratom is a much sought after and commonly used herb that is found in almost all the tropical forests of Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and surrounding areas. It is an herb that belongs to the coffee plant, Mitragyna Speciosa. However, like all other plants and trees, it needs the right climate, the right soil and other conditions to grow properly, have a peek at these guys here to know more details about kratom.

Herbal Teas

One of the easiest ways to preserve herbs is to dry them for tea. For best results check out our guide to harvesting & preserving herbs which you can find here. Here are just a few of the easy to grow herbs you can use for tea and their properties. For more ideas check out our medicinal herbs section.

Herb Part of plant Traditional Uses/Properties
Lemon Balm Leaves  Sedative, calmative, carminative, anti-viral
Echinacea Leaves, flowers, roots Immuno-stimulant, anti-viral, bacteriostatic
Calendula Flowers  Anti-inflammatory, soothes sore throats, soothes skin irritations when applied topically or added to a bath
Valerian Roots  Tranquilizer, calmative
Lavender Flowers Carminative, antidepressant, calming tonic for the nervous system
Roselle  Calyx Lowering blood pressure, anitmicrobial, diuretic, high in vitamin C
Skullcap Leaves, stems, flowers Nervine tonic, sedative, anti-spasmodic, used to revivify, calm, and nourish the nervous system
Chamomile Flowers Soothing, carminative, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, can be used internally or for skin irritations
Mint Leaves Calming, spasmolytic, carminative, expectorant properties, used externally for skin irritations

Tinctures

Preparation

Many herbs can be easily processed into effective tinctures. Add clean chopped herbs (roots, leaves, stems, berries, and even bark depending on the plant) to a glass jar. Depending on the species, part of the plant, and whether it’s fresh you should fill the jar anywhere from 1/3 to 3/4 of the way full.

Cover with high-proof alcohol. Any will do but many people prefer vodka so the flavor of the herbs comes through. The jar should be fairly full of herbs but they should move freely when you shake it. Remember that dried material will expand once you add the alcohol.

Set the jar somewhere dark, cool, and dry for 6-8 weeks. Every few days give the jar a shake and check for evaporation. You may need to top off your jar to keep your herbs covered and prevent mold growth. After you can strain and bottle your tincture. It will last a long time as long as you keep it in a cool, dry, place. It’s a good idea to use a brown glass bottle to keep sunlight out.

This article from Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source for making tinctures.

Using Your Tincture

Many people take tinctures plain using an eyedropper. However, they can also be added to teas, seltzer water, or cocktails. When using tinctures it’s important to note that they’re more concentrated than an herbal tea.

Popsicles

Some herbal teas also make excellent popsicles. Try mixing lavender, lemon balm, mint, or roselle tea with honey or maple syrup and small pieces of fresh fruit to freeze for a refreshing treat.

You can use paper cups and popsicle sticks or find reusable molds at your grocery store or online. Some places carry stainless steel molds for those looking to avoid plastic.

 

 

 

 

Vinegars

Making herbal vinegars is a lot like making tinctures. They can be used medicinally and are excellent for homemade dressings and marinades. Garlic, chives, thyme, ginger, sage, hot peppers, turmeric, and nasturtiums are all excellent choices but you can use a variety of herbs, plants, and fruit to create your own unique flavor. You can also use a variety of kinds of vinegar like apple cider, champagne, rice, or red wine vinegar.

In a glass jar, mix about 1 cup of herbs to every 2 cups of vinegar. Don’t use a metal lid as the vinegar may corrode it. Leave in a cool, dry, dark place for up to a month for strong flavors, shaking it every few days. When the mixture has reached its desired flavor you can strain and bottle it.

Incense

Culturally incense is sometimes used for ceremonies or cleansing spaces and the mind. Even if incense isn’t part of your culture it can be a great way to make your home smell nice. Making your own incense can also allow you to enjoy the fragrances of your garden right through the winter!

This article by Rosalee de la Forêt at Learning Herbs has a wonderful tutorial to walk you through the process. You’ll need fragrant dried powdered herbs (like rosemary, lavender, or sage), a botanical gum (to glue the herbs together), and water.

Summer is a busy time for everyone but if you want to make the most of the herbs you grew it’s time to put up the harvest. Try one of these 5 awesome ways to use your herbs and let us know how it goes on Facebook. We’d love to see how your projects turn out!

9 Herbs to Grow for Digestive Health

Recent studies have pointed out just how important our digestive health is. Did you know that your digestion can affect not just your physical health but your mental health as well? The gut influences the amount of serotonin (a hormone that regulates feelings of happiness) the body produces. While there are many components to a healthy digestive system, the following herbs all have a history of being used to support digestive health. Consider adding a couple to your garden and diet this year.

Fennel

Native to the Mediterranean, fennel has been used as a carminative  (to treat flatulence and related discomfort) for centuries. Medicinally, it’s typically consumed in tea and was sometimes used in “gripe water” once commonly used for infants.

Chamomile

While today many think of chamomile tea as being good for relaxation it’s also excellent for digestion. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties which can help soothe upset stomachs and reduce gas.

Sage

For most, sage is now thought of as solely a culinary herb but it has long been used as a digestive tonic. It’s astringent and antibacterial and is believed to help treat diarrhea and calm gastritis.

Anise Hyssop

A tasty tea made with anise hyssop can be enjoyed with a meal to help promote digestion and reduce gas and bloating. It’s great for bees too!

Mint 

Drinking mint tea is a tasty way to aid your digestion and reduce nausea. In some studies taking peppermint oil has been shown to decrease symptoms related to IBS.

Dandelion

Odds are this one is probably already growing in your garden. It may seem like a nuisance but dandelion is a very tasty and helpful plant! Full of nutrients, all parts of the dandelion are edible and some studies have shown consuming dandelion to help with digestion and reduce constipation.

Ginger

It has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia as a culinary and medicinal herb. Ginger is excellent for treating nausea, heartburn, and morning sickness. It can be made into tea or candied for on-the-go relief.

Goldenseal

Though research into goldenseal is ongoing, gastroenterologist Theodore A. DaCosta mentions that, it has a long history of being used to treat gastrointestinal issues and is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, antibacterial properties. Largely due to overharvesting this North American native is endangered. Planting goldenseal in your woodland can help ensure its survival.

Turmeric

Its anti-inflammatory properties have lent turmeric to a number of medicinal uses including treating arthritis but it is also excellent at supporting digestive health. Turmeric is traditionally used in a number of Indian dishes. It’s what gives curry that bright yellow color! You can also make it into tea or golden milk for a warm, relaxing drink.

If you often struggle with digestive issues or are simply interested in herbalism you may want to make room in your garden for a couple of these wonderful plants.

Another great way to support your digestive health is by eating plenty of probiotics. Pick up some cabbage seeds and check out our easy instructions for fermenting your own sauerkraut.

***We’re not doctors, always check with your physician before attempting to diagnose or treat any condition.

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