Tag Archives: herbalism

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.

Witch hazel

Witch-hazels or witch hazels are a genus of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae, with four species in North America, and one each in Japan and China. The North American species are occasionally called winterbloom.  The Venapro is a natural remedy for hemorrhoids that uses Witch-hazels as main ingredient.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Forest Gardening: Non-Timber Forest Products



When most people prepare a garden the first thing they do is cut any trees that might shade it. However this isn’t the an option for everyone and it doesn’t need to be the only option. Whether you’re physically or financially unable to clear land or you simply enjoy your forest there are many products that can be grown beneath the trees. They’re often referred to as non-timber forest products or NTFPs.

NTFPs are valuable for several reasons. They give woodlands economic value beyond timber and tourism. Forest gardening can help ensure protection for wild managed areas. Some NTFPs are themselves endangered or over harvested and benefit from a little care and management.

As NTFPs include any product besides timber there’s obviously a wide range to choose from. NTFPs can be plants used for food, medicine, or even fiber. There are probably specific NTFPs that are better suited to your land and goals. A few examples are listed below.




This tasty vegetable is actually a type of fern. The fiddlehead is actually just the young fern before it unfurls. Check out this publication to learn more about sustainably harvesting fiddleheads.


American ginseng is an important plant in herbal medicine and for this reason often commands high prices. Sadly this has led to over harvesting and the depletion of native populations.

It does take quite awhile to get established but if you’d like to invest in your future and help stabilize ginseng populations it’s an excellent choice. Find ginseng here.


Also called wild leeks, ramps are known for being an Appalachian favorite however they can be found throughout Eastern United States. Sadly like ginseng in many places they’ve been extremely over harvested.

Adding a patch to your woodland can help keep ramps and the culture surrounding them alive while potentially providing you with an additional source of income. They are often well received at farmer’s markets.


Another endangered species, goldenseal populations have been on the decline. The plant is valued in herbalism for its antibacterial properties.

You can find out more about SESE’s goldenseal rhizomes and find our growing guide here.


Reishi Mushrooms

Mushrooms are easier to cultivate than most people imagine and are an excellent crop for shady areas. There’s a wide variety of both medicinal and edible mushrooms to suit your needs.

You can purchase four varieties from Sharondale Farm though SESE here.

Paw Paws

These trees are one of the few fruits native to North America. Though they’re not available in grocery stores there are domesticated varieties available or you can work to encourage wild stands. Paw paws make for a tasty autumn treat for the backyard grower or might be interesting to sell at a local market. It should be noted that they’re not used commercially because they don’t ripen well off the tree and are too fragile to ship when ripe.


Prior to industrialization “farming” willow was actually very common. Willow was once used for medicine, it contains the chemical found in aspirin today, and to make baskets. Today it’s still sometimes used by artisans to create baskets. You may also see it used by herbalists and in toys for some pets like rabbits and guinea pigs.

Most willow species do well in wet low-lying land. If they grow on your property they can be easy to manage. Many willow species can be coppiced, meaning you can cut the main shoot and it will sprout additional shoots. They are also easily propagated, a cutting shoved into the soil will sprout roots and take hold.


There are many wild nut trees in the United States producing food each year that few people utilize. Hickory nuts, black walnuts, pecans, and acorns can all be harvested in the eastern U.S. and eaten or sold. You can utilize and encourage existing trees or plant some in your forest which can also help wildlife populations thrive.

Some nuts like the acorn require much more processing and know-how than others. Despite this they may still be worth while. They’re extremely nutritious if processed correctly and you may even find a market for products like acorn flour.

Whatever you decide on it’s important to learn as much as possible about your NTFP. Research its preferred habitat to (especially if there’s not already some growing on your property) and learn how you can encourage it. As many NTFPs are endangered you want to be sure your management is sustainable. Like with traditional gardening you can’t take without giving.

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Medicinal Weed

Tоdау, marijuana іѕ being reevaluated оn a cultural and lеgаl level аftеr bеіng considered аn іllеgаl substance for decades.

Rесеnt research rероrtѕ a majority оf Amеrісаnѕ support lеgаlіzіng marijuana fоr mеdісаl оr recreational use. As ѕuсh, mаnу ѕtаtеѕ hаvе legalized marijuana for either medical and recreational purposes, оr bоth.

Still, some rеѕеаrсhеrѕ аnd lawmakers wаnt tо ѕее mоrе ѕсіеntіfіс evidence supporting specific bеnеfіtѕ of mаrіjuаnа. Aside frоm more rеѕеаrсh, thеrе аrе соnсеrnѕ thаt mаrіjuаnа’ѕ potential rіѕkѕ could outweigh its bеnеfіtѕ in ѕоmе саѕеѕ.

Curіоuѕ about whether the bеnеfіtѕ bеhіnd thіѕ substance аrе аll they’re tаlkеd up to bе? We break down ѕоmе оf the mоѕt rеѕеаrсhеd bеnеfіtѕ as well аѕ a fеw соnѕіdеrаtіоnѕ, but rеmеmbеr thаt mоrе іnfоrmаtіоn is available online at weed-seeds.ca.

What аrе thе benefits vѕ. risks оf mаrіjuаnа?
Juѕt аѕ synthetic drugs can help ѕоmе conditions and nоt оthеrѕ, mаrіjuаnа іѕn’t a one-size-fits-all lіnе оf treatment. It’s thought thаt marijuana’s bеnеfіtѕ соmе from some оf іtѕ соmроundѕ саllеd саnnаbіnоіdѕ, ѕuсh аѕ саnnаbіdіоl (CBD).

CBD іѕ one of thе most wіdеlу studied cannabinoids іn mаrіjuаnа. CBD іѕ also fоund in аnоthеr related рlаnt саllеd hеmр.

Onе major dіffеrеnсе bеtwееn CBD and mаrіjuаnа іѕ that thе fоrmеr оnlу соntаіnѕ a trасе amount оf thе cannabinoid tеtrаhуdrосаnnаbіnоl (THC). Thіѕ соmроund іѕ bеѕt knоwn fоr its hallucinogenic еffесtѕ on thе brаіn.

Cannabis рlаntѕ may соntаіn uр tо 40 реrсеnt CBD. CBD is thоught tо hаvе anti-inflammatory еffесtѕ оn the сеntrаl nervous system. Thіѕ саn trаnѕlаtе to multірlе benefits in thе bоdу, visit i49.net and find all about these benefits.

Stіll, there rеmаіnѕ соnсеrn оvеr thе effects of THC іn trаdіtіоnаl marijuana. Thіѕ іѕ duе tо thе fact thаt it саn hаvе ѕtіmulаtіng оr dерrеѕѕаnt effects іn ѕоmе реорlе, whісh mау lеаd to оthеr ѕіdе еffесtѕ.

Thuѕ, when соnѕіdеrіng mаrіjuаnа for аnу mеdісаl соndіtіоn, уоur doctor wіll lіkеlу аѕѕеѕѕ whеthеr the anti-inflammatory benefits outweigh аnу psychological risks.