Don’t Mow the Grass Please

By the time August and September roll around in this household, every cup hook, doorknob, drawer pull and curtain rod to name a few are loaded up with bundles of herbs from the garden & the wild. Jars line the counter tops with tinctures and liniment preparations of assorted shapes and colors. Not to mention the screens strewn across any surface that will hold them flat for drying dandelion leaves, grasses and others. To the normal person this behavior may seem quite odd but it’s pretty common around here.

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Wild and Free

Wild and Free

What if I told you that you have a free pharmacy at your fingertips? What if you could have fresh healthy leafy greens without going to the grocery store? What if somebody magically showed up voluntarily to amend your soil? It would seem rather magical wouldn’t it? What if I told you it’s entirely possible and all you need to do is stop doing one thing, and start doing another that is far less labor intensive.

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Sweet Betrayal Part 2

Sugar was first introduced to this country in 1751 by the Jesuits who brought sugar cane to New Orleans from Haiti. By 1791 commercial production was in full swing. Today, sugar is obtained from sugar cane or sugar beets and those beets are almost predominantly GMO.

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Sweet Betrayal Part 1

One of the main aspects of an herbal education is nutrition believe it or not. Although doctors get very little nutritional training in their education, herbalists are inundated with it. We start with nutrition and end with nutrition because after all, you truly are what you eat.

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Some like it HOT!

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Water is Life

During this giving season, I recall the greatest gifts I ever received from my herb teachers were the lessons of mindfulness and gratitude. Mindfulness and gratitude go hand in hand. One inevitably leads to the other. To think and feel deeply in the understanding of how our actions or inaction affect other people as well as all living beings on this planet is mindfulness. Once this is understood, the connection between ourselves and Nature become apparent. So deeply ingrained into our psyche was this lesson that we found every outing in Nature to be an experience in gratitude. We gave thanks to the trees for giving us oxygen and medicine. We gave thanks to the plants for giving us food and medicine. We gave thanks to everything from the pollinators to the minute organisms living in the soil that help our food and medicine to grow. Most of all we gave thanks to the waters that sustain us all. Water is life. It’s one of the first vital things we come to know as human beings in the womb.

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Duped

Did you ever wake up one day to find that a belief you’ve held strongly over decades was a complete and total lie? That’s exactly what happened to me. I’ll never forget the day I walked into herb school for nutrition class and seeing my somewhat eccentric teacher sporting a white stripe over his top lip. Without a second thought I knew exactly what the subject of class was going to be about. Who doesn’t recognize the white stripe over the top of the lip as the well-known “got milk?” logo. Those were the first words to leap from his lips as he peered suspiciously through slanted eyes at my classmates. “Well, do you?” We all looked at each other wondering what the right answer would be at this point. This seemed like a setup, we had no idea what was coming.

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What are essential oils and are they safe?

The Thymekeeper

What are essential oils and are they safe?

by Mari Marques

Essential oils are highly concentrated and extremely potent substances containing the aromatic compounds from plants. There is really nothing essential about them and they aren’t necessarily oily in the fatty sense of the word. They are extracted from different parts of plants and have been used extensively by the food, beverage, and cosmetics industries to name a few. Essential oils are nothing new and not just a passing fad.

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The Migration of the Thistle

The Migration of the Thistle

As hundreds of thousands of refugees pour into other countries from the Middle East, I would suggest that plants are very much the same as people. Plants thrive under certain conditions and when those conditions become unfriendly or uninhabitable, they move or migrate. Weeds as we call them, are just plants and the fact of the matter is people could not survive without them. Weeds are the pioneer plants that typically show up first in disturbed areas getting the ground ready for other plants. They are the ones that thrive under the harshest conditions and they’ve mastered every survival skill known to man. Wild plants show an amazing resilience to obstacles that defy explanation. They change the fastest, proliferate the most and adapt very rapidly. It seems to me if we are what we eat, I want to be a weed. Read More…

Herbal Supplements, Buyer Beware

If you’ve ever taken an herbal supplement and felt you didn’t get the desired results, it’s quite possible you didn’t get the actual product you thought you purchased. How do you know what you’re getting when you buy herbal supplements? As Cydney McQueen, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy states on webmd.com, “Go for supplements made by big companies.” She goes on to suggest, “Major store brands or manufacturers of FDA-regulated drugs are the most likely to adhere to quality standards.” Sounds like a credible statement right? Wrong! It would be credible if the herbal supplements on many large retail store shelves actually contained the herbs they claim to. Recently there have been studies that indicate you may not be getting what you think you are, which could explain a lot; and this is just one reason why they may not have worked for you.

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