• August 2018 Plant of the Month: Ashwagandha

    August’s Plant of the Month: Ashwagandha Latin name: Withania somnifera, Solanaceae  Common names: Ashwagandha, Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng* Growth: About 2 feet in height, native to India. In Central Florida Ashwagandha is a nice herbaceous garden plant, rarely exceeding 3′ in height. It grows similarly to its cousin, the tomato! The root can be harvest after only one year of growth – a true gift from the plant! Preparation: Root powder used in milk as a nightcap, or in “ninja balls” (2 parts nut or seed butter, 1 part honey or agave, mix with herbal powders), capsules, tincture Ashwagandha is an herb we use in western herbalism in cases of nervous…

  • July 2018 Plant of the Month: Yarrow

    Achillea millefolium Latin name: Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae Common names: Yarrow, Milfoil Growth: In Central Florida can be used as a ground cover, the bipinnate leaves grow low to the ground and appear almost fern like, differing from their growth habit in almost every other location. The composite flowers are showy and require partial to full sun, which shortens the life of the shade loving leaves. The white variety is the only one we use for medicine; you’ll find lovely pink, yellow, orange, and all other colors available at garden centers. Preparation: tea, tincture, potherb, spice, infused oil, salveHistorically used as a leaf vegetable, the young leaves are said to have been…

  • Materia Medica: Elder

    Plants that bring forth pollinators, grow in abundance, and provide food and medicine, are our favorite additions to a garden. One in particular comes to mind and that is Sambucus nigra, commonly known as Elderberry. This small (6-10ft) running tree is quite the eye catcher when it is in full bloom, with its bursts of white flowers and bunches of black berries that makes the branches hang heavy.   The flowers and berries are known to aid in easing the common cold and fevers and an oil infused with the leaves can be amazing in a salve for wounds and bruises. The medicine of this plant is extensive and abounding.…

  • Materia Medica: Aloe

    Summertime and the livin’ is easy, that is until you get an awful sunburn from the scorching Florida sun! One of our favorite herbs to help ease the sting of a sunburn is Aloe vera. Not only does Aloe grow really well here but it will multiply for years to come. This plant is special because has adapted to a variety of climates and terrains. It can grow almost anywhere! (It sure does love Florida though.)   This amazing mucilaginous plant calms down any sort of heat in the body. But isn’t just for burns; the glorious goo of this plant can condition hair, ease bug bites, and soothe upset…

  • Materia Medica: Black Cohosh

    In this week’s blog post we take a visit to Rosemary Gladstar’s Sage Mountain Herbal Center in Vermont from Summer 2015 and visit one of our northern plant allies, Black Cohosh (Cimcifuga racemosa)   More info on Black Cohosh can be found at this Materia Medica monograph from David Hoffmann.   How have you used Black Cohosh? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Materia Medica: Papaya

    Papaya, or Carica papaya, is a commonly known fruit that also offers lots of healing benefits. Check out more at the link above. How have YOU used Papaya? Let us know in the comments below.

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