What to plant this spring? Here are some MUST haves for the budding Herbalist.

 

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An old herb garden looking alive and potent.

 

When I first started learning about herbal medicine, I had NO idea about how much medicine we have at our fingertips. I also had no idea how medicinal our food could be if we ate things that weren’t necessarily found on our grocers shelves. Trying to incorporate a little bit of herbalism into your every day, or even better – into your kitchen, helps your body to stay healed and grow stronger as you age. Eventually, your body will be chock full of vitamins, minerals and virus fighting medicines without much effort at all.

Of course, not all plant types are going to be found or thrive in every environment SO take some time to get to know these easy growing fellows below. If you find them to be easy to care for, spread your wings and try growing your own at home.

It’s only February BUT looking forward to spring and looking into my seed stores gets me excited to start planting and reaping the benefits of home-grown medicine. I look forward to adding nettles to my ferments, drying herbs in my dehydrator and making skin salves to pass out to my friends and family. I certainly miss all of the classes and students I had in Vancouver, I might have time to squeeze some teaching in again this spring in Calgary.

As always, when using any type of medication, make sure that you consult with your GP and do your research before ingesting unconsciously. Your body deserves a little curious research before undertaking a new regime.

 

Aloe Vera

You can purchase this plant at nearly every home garden supply store. Even Home Depot. Because you aren’t going to be ingesting this plant I feel that you are ok to be a little less questioning of it’s origin.

Why do you want to keep Aloe Vera around? Simply, there are so many topical benefits that there isn’t a reason NOT to. Snap a sample of a well-grown leaf off and you are on your way to healing cuts, wounds, burns, eczema and inflammation.

Marsh Mallow

You can find seeds or starters for this plant at select growers. I order my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds or Vesey’s. These are pretty hardy plants – but watch out for wet feet!

There are a number of great uses for marshmallow both inside and out. You can take the root internally to help treat inflammation and UT irritations, gastritis or peptic ulcers. Topically, you can use a poultice, salve or cream to treat bruises, sprains, muscle aches, insect bites, slivers or skin inflammation.

Fun food fact: The leaves of the marshmallow plant are edible! Add to salads, boil or fry.

Pot Marigold

These hardy ladies will grown in almost any soil condition. Use a tea consisting of marigold petals to increase circulation and ease varicose viens. A poultice of marigold stems will aid in removing corns and warts.

Camomile

You probably know this as a great fruity tea! Camomile works well in aiding digestive issues and also has a soothing effect in its aroma. This helps reduce stress and induce sleep.

Echinacea

 If you’re living without it, you probably shouldn’t be. This beautiful flower has amazing antibiotic properties that relieve allergies and help prevent viral and bacterial infections. The roots, beneficial in treating sores, wounds and burns when applied as a poultice, salve or cream. She grows well in well-drained soil with a lot of sunlight.

Lemon Balm

By far, the easiest herb I have ever unintentionally grown. The leaves give off a lovely lemony mint scent that cannot be mistaken. Crushed leaves used as a poultice help relieve pain from herpes, sores, gout and bug bites. The leaves infused with hot water can treat colds, fevers, indigestion, depression, headaches and insomnia.

I grew this herb for years in the wet wet wetness that is Vancouver BC!

Peppermint

Nearly another weed, as easy to grown and impossible to kill as Lemon Balm. peppermint is high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Leaves ground into a salve or cream help to sooth and relax muscles.

Sage

Another herb that is nearly impossible to kill is Sage. When consumed it can help to ease indigestion, flatulence, anxiety and excessive sweating.

 

Here’s to spring, and happy plantings. Stay tuned for my inevitable posts containing the trials and tribulations of trying to sustain plant life in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Sasha

 

 

 

Adventure – 27 reasons why you need it.

A little Cabo.
A little Cabo.

Thank you to Elephant Journal for posting some top notch bloggers from time to time. While I don’t love ALL their stuff, amazing quotes that inspire are always welcome in my life.

1. “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” ~ Lewis Carroll

2. “Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes’, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.” ~ Ian Fleming

3. “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” ~ Judith Thurman

4. “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin

5. “Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” ~ J.K. Rowling

6. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

7. “Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson

8. “If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.” ~ Drew Barrymore

9. “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” ~ Barry Finlay

10. “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

11. “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” ~ Jack Kerouac

12. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” ~ C.S. Lewis

13. “Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” ~ Ray Bradbury

14. “Not all those who wander are lost.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

15. “Life is for deep kisses, strange adventures, midnight swims and rambling conversations.” ~ Author Unknown

16. “You belong among the wildflowers, you belong in a boat out at sea…You belong with your love on your arm, you belong somewhere you feel free.” ~ Tom Petty

17. “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” ~ Oliver Goldsmith

18. “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” ~ John Green

19. “Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.” ~ Roman Payne

20. “I think people spend too much time staring into screens and not enough time drinking wine, tongue kissing, and dancing under the moon.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

21. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” ~ Paulo Coelho

22. “There is your car and the open road, the fabled lure of random adventure. You stand at the verge, and you could become anything.” ~ Dan Chaon

23. “The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.” ~ Mama Indigo

24. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”~ Roald Dahl

25. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

26. “And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” ~ Shanti

27. “Stop contemplating and start celebrating…Yeah, you gotta live before you die.” ~ Mike Ness