Fibers That Won’t Choke The World

With the little one on its way…I’ve been obsessing about fabrics, textiles, and yarns.  As an herbalist and plant-worker, I’ve always been drawn to natural fibers and plant dyes, but this nesting season has taken it to a whole new level. In addition to this, my increasing awareness of microplastics has deepened my commitment to … Continue reading

Hearty Homemade Crackers

When I moved away from San Francisco in 2009, I was sure to take with me a small binder of recipes my nutritionist friend had given me.  She was the one that had exposed me to whole foods, traditional food ways, and the Weston A Price Foundation (which focuses on food, farming, and the healing … Continue reading

Tasty Quinoa Pancakes

I came up with recipe some time ago when I bought food in rather large bulk quantities.  At that time in my life, I had purchased a 25 lb bag of quinoa…  Needless to say, I figured out ways to be creative and inventive with it. For those of you that have had quinoa before, … Continue reading

A Fascination with Ochres

There are some creeks near my old home-town in Mississippi that I like to visit and walk when I am in the area.  One creek in particular has various shades of ochres that I wanted to share with a friend of mine who uses natural pigments for her watercolor paintings and natural pigment workshops. On … Continue reading

Damiana: inner sunshine from our neighbors in the South

Common Name:  Damiana Latin name:  Turnera diffusa Family:  Turneraceae or Passifloraceae (I’ve seen both) Parts used:  leaves Tissue or system affinity:  Nervous system, Circulatory system Taste:  Pungent Energetics:  warming, slightly drying Actions:  anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, anxiolytic, nervine and metabolic stimulant Uses:  A native plant of southern Texas, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, this … Continue reading

Peach: there’s more to it than the fruit!

Common Name:  Peach tree Latin name:  Prunus persica Family:  Rosaceae Parts used:  fresh leaves, fully dried leaves (((NOT wilted leaves, which contain higher levels of cyanide))) Tissue or system affinity:  digestive system, nervous system Taste:  Slightly sweet, aromatic Energetics:  cooling & moistening Actions:  relaxing nervine, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic Uses:  a traditional Southern Folk Medicine herb; … Continue reading

Milky Oats: the herb that soothes and coats

Common Name:  Oats Latin name:  Avena sativa Family:  Poaceae (Grass family) Parts used:  fresh milky green seed heads, dried stalk, dried seeds Tissue or system affinity:  nervous system, mucous membranes, skin Taste:  slightly sweet Energetics:  neutral & moistening Actions:  nervine, nutritive, mineralizer Uses:  Oats are really overlooked as an herb.  Milky oats (tincture of the … Continue reading

Peppermint: cool down & perk up

Common Name: Peppermint Latin name: Mentha peperita Family: Lamiaceae Parts used: leaves Tissue or system affinity: digestive system, nervous system Taste: pungent Energetics: cooling & drying Actions: mild analgesic, antinauseous, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive Uses: This herb is so commonly known and so legendary, that we know it is safe and effective (and a key herb … Continue reading

Yarrow: herb of the battlefield (or just an amazing first aid herb)

Common Name:  Yarrow Latin name:  Achillea millefolium Family:  Asteraceae Parts used:  leaves, flowers Tissue or system affinity:  skin, uterus, urinary tract, throat, mucous membranes Taste:  bitter, astringent Energetics:  cooling & drying Actions:  anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, antiviral, diaphoretic, styptic, hemostatic, febrifuge, antibacterial, aromatic Uses:  One of the best first aid herbs I know of.  You can … Continue reading

Agrimony: uncurling fists since the beginning of time

Common Name:  Agrimony Latin name:  Agrimonia eupatoria (pictured above); we also have two natives species, one I find often along trails…however, I haven’t worked with them medicinally yet as I cultivate A. eupatoria in my garden ( the two wild species are A. parviflora and A. rostellata) Family:  Rosaceae Parts used:  leaves (collected before flowering), … Continue reading