Working in the still room today- putting my newest order from Mountain Rose Herbs in glass jars. In the photo I've tucked the label from the bag the herbs were shipped in into the jar until I got them all in their new homes. Now they have a proper label on the lid with the name of the herb and the date they were packed.
The course is free through the month of January, so don't delay if you are interested in creating your own Materia Medica. There is a companion journal which is not free but is optional for the course.
I am just getting started myself, but I will be posting photos and such as I go through the course.
I'd love to have some fellow companions along the way, please let me know if you sign up so we can compare notes!
These are my favorite winter flowers. Violas, viola tricolor, also known in the herbal world as Heart's Ease or sometimes by another common name- I've seen them called Heartsease, Johnny Jump Up, and Wild Pansy to name a few, are delightful.
They grow and bloom all winter in my area, often reseeding in the herb garden and out in the yard.
The flowers make lovely decorations for baked goods, a bright addition to the salad bowl, and when pressed and dried are beautiful added to a handmade card or bookmark or some other creation.
They have quite a reputation as a herbal healer as well. If you'd like to read more about their medicinal uses, here's a link to a wealth of information at Botanical.com. Just the cheerful look of their flowers is enough to earn them the name Heart's Ease in my book!
Do you have a favorite herb that thrives in your area in the winter?
I love lavender. It has become one of my favorite herbs. It is beautiful, fragrant, and oh so helpful to the herbalist. It is iffy in growth in my area, and I never have enough blossoms for all the things I want to make with lavender so I purchase it dried in bulk.
Lavender essential oil is definitely essential to my still room. I find myself reaching frequently for the bottle of lavender essential oil.
I use it almost daily-
in the diffuser to freshen the air
for soothing a headache or stress
to stop the itch of an insect bite
in the bath
in lotions and other diy bath and beauty concoctions
I carry a bottle in my bag whenever I leave home. You never know when lavender essential oil may be just the thing you need!
Don't forget: The Back to School Sale at The Herbal Academy is almost over. Sale ends September 18th, so don't delay if you plan to sign up for one of their excellent courses!
You can preview a lesson from the Introductory Course here if you'd like to see what you can expect from the courses.
How do you use lavender essential oil? Blessings, Catherine
Our friends at the Herbal Academy have curated a fantastic list of 25 Free Herbal Resources.
From online herb books, printable e-books, free webinars, free magazine samples, to printable flower planting guides, aromatherapy guides and more- there's something (or several somethings) for everyone. I love the variety and quality of the resources listed, and I especially love that they are all completely free!
I've been crafting herbal skin care items lately. I stirred up a batch of herbal cleansing scrub last week. The original recipe for Miracle Grains is found in Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar, which just happens to be my all-time favorite herb book. I've had it for many years and it has seen a lot of use.
I adjusted the recipe to suit me and came up with the following:
Simple Herbal Cleansing Scrub
1 cup finely ground oats
1 1/2 cups rhassoul clay
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/8 cup finely ground lavender
1/8 cup finely ground rose petals
a few drops of lavender, rose geranium, and rose otto essential oils
The oats and herbs should be ground in a coffee grinder (one just for herbs if you don't want coffee scented herbs and herb flavored coffee!). Then just stir everything together and add in essential oils if you are using those. I added just a couple of drops of each oil to mine.
Store in a covered container to keep out moisture.
When ready to use, add just enough water or rosewater to make a paste and massage into skin. Rinse thoroughly with water. I like to follow with a spritz of rosewater.
When packaged in a pretty jar with a shell or tiny wooden scoop and tied up with a ribbon, these make a lovely gift.
I wrote about returning to my herbal roots not too long ago in an article for The Essential Herbal magazine. Sometimes I wander away from what I know is good and healthy, choosing what is quick and convenient instead; then one day I look around and find I'm not living the life I want to live and not feeling as well as I could.
That's when I know I need a return to my roots.
I've done just that in several ways recently:
Rereading those herbal books that gave me my start on the path of herbalism.
Reconnecting with the plants themselves. Tending the garden, noticing what wild herbs are growing around me.
Adding herbal teas and tonics back in to my daily routine, not just when I need their medicine, but as a daily practice.
Adding to my essential oil cabinet and practicing the art of aromatherapy.
Planning to expand the herb garden. A wish list of plants and seeds is growing quickly!
Making a list of herbal gifts to create for the upcoming holidays.
... along with a few other things that I'm not quite ready to share just yet ;) .
How about you?
Do you sometimes need to return to your roots?
What helps you accomplish this?
What is one practice you are focusing on this season?
I ask all these questions because I really am interested in learning how others live the herbal life, please share your story, tips, recipes, ideas... whatever!
If you want to study herbs in a more formal setting, the Herbal Academy of New England has a great Back to School Sale going on through September 18th, click the graphic below to get 15% off!
Ready or not, it's Back to School season. For some of us that means back to home school or maybe back to 'mom school'.
I want to share a great deal for those of you who may be wanting to pursue your own education this season. The Herbal Academy of New England is having a Back to School Sale from August 17th through September 18th! Register now and save 15% off any of their courses.
One of my home educated girls is seriously considering beginning her formal herbal training with the Introductory Herbal Course this fall. And I have the Entrepreneur Course on my birthday wish list (Usually I ask for seeds and herb plants, this year I've expanded that a bit). Why not join the adventure and sign up for whichever of these courses best fits your particular path today? If you do, please let me know, I'd love to know which one you chose!
See the information below for info. on each of their courses.
No matter where you are at in your herbal studies, the Herbal Academy has a training program for you!
The Introductory Herbal Course is a good place to start if you are new to herbal medicine. It’s a beginner’s course filled with easy training guides, recipes, downloadable flipping books and charts to get you well on your way to becoming an herbalist. The course begins with the basics of medicine making and wildcrafting, anatomy, introduces you to many many plants, covers common discomforts for adults and children, and discusses the overarching holistic approach of herbalism.
The Intermediate Herbal Course begins with an introductory unit as a review, and then quickly advances into more complex topics. The program dives in deeper, working through each body system and discussing the herbs; their actions and energetics; their safety and side effects; in-depth coverage of anatomy and physiology; and guidance for herbal formulation.
The Entrepreneur Herbal Courseis geared towards herbalists who have already studied at the beginner and intermediate levels, who want to make and sell their own herbal products. Lessons on sourcing herbs, Good Manufacturing Practices, labeling requirements, writing a business plan, and creating a brand are some of the many lessons included in this fast track program!
The Advanced Herbal Course is an in-depth program geared towards students interested in becoming clinical herbalists. This program picks up on the body systems not fully covered in the Intermediate Course, and covers more complex topics including herbal wisdom traditions, health and wellness of men, women, and elderly, assessment and herbal therapeutics, and steps to becoming a clinical herbalist; as well as regulatory and legal obstacles facing professional herbalists and herbal products businesses.
Hope this encourages some of you to invest in your own education and sign up for a course today!
The view from my back door- the plant table, overloaded with newly purchased herbs in 4" pots awaiting new homes in containers or yet-to-be-built raised beds:
3 varieties of echinacea
It seems that spring fever hit later than usual this year. I pretty much ignored the thought of new herbs or gardens until a week or two ago. But then my daughter mentioned a medicinal herb garden for herself and that's all it took. Off to Austin we went and collected everything on her list that we could find. Now we're trying to wait patiently for her dad to help us with raised beds. If it doesn't happen soon we will have to baby the plants through the summer in containers and plant them in the fall. Summer is not a good time for planting here. Too much heat for newly planted herbs to tolerate.
There are also some hummingbird flowers I couldn't resist at the garden center on the table-
Mexican honeysuckle and two others whose names escape me at present.
And then there's the hoodia that is very happy, yet lanky and unwieldy to deal with (I think that is the correct name for the plant at the front right. It was a gift and when I researched it online that's what I came up with. Let me know if you think otherwise.).
Also on the table are a patchouli that survived our mild winter, scented geraniums, medicinal aloe, and a pair of socks left by one of my daughters.
Underneath the table we have a stray terracotta pot, an empty aquarium, an overturned watering can, and a dog toy. Lovely.
I applaud those of you who manage neat and tidy gardens and porches. Controlled chaos is the best I can manage. And sometimes the chaos gets totally out of control. But it's okay. As long as the herbs and family are happy, life is good.
So, planting and some much needed pruning are on my list for June at the Still Room. What's new in your garden these days? Are you growing a new herb or variety of herb? What tasks are on your to do list these days?