How To Use Lemongrass

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How To Use Lemongrass

 

Lemongrass

 (Cymopogon citratus, C.flexuosus)

Have you ever grown lemongrass? Have you ever harvested your plants? It is definitely a labor of love to dig up your lemongrass plants when it is time. You only need one or two plants in the spring because they will grow to gigantic proportions by the end of the summer. Seriously!!! Look -

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I have been giving it away as friends, students and family come over in hopes that come harvest time – now, it will be easier to get it out of the ground. I wish we had someone taking pictures today at the UGarden where I volunteer with my friend Noelle, of A Fuller Life. We dug up A SINGLE lemongrass plant together, it took awhile and then tried to split it into two plants – HA!!!

We chopped and pulled and pulled and at one point her and I pulled the plant apart with all of our might and she landed on her booty. We laughed so hard – it was awesome! So I get home and think, hmmmm that frost is coming and it really is time to stop slacking and go out and get those lemongrass plants up. Here I go :)

I started with the small one.

I started with the small one.

The whole plant

The whole plant

AND THEN…..

The BIG one!!

The BIG one!!

Still trying to get it...

Still trying to get it…

Still smiling but don't think it is going to happen

Still smiling but don’t think it is going to happen

I chopped away and left the rest for another day! :)

I chopped away and left the rest for another day! :)

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Beautiful leaves and stalks.

And bundles and bundles!!!

Stalks for cooking and bundles of leaves for tea.

Stalks for cooking and bundles of leaves for tea.

Now you asking, what do WE do with it????

Lemongrass is used in many Asian dishes. You can peel off the rough, papery covering of the lower stalk to reveal a white stem. Slice this into small pieces for cooking in stir fry or you can,as I do, keep it in larger pieces and add to soups. Just remove the stalk before eating if it is a larger piece. There are some recipes below and the Tom Kha Soup is delicious, nutritious and a must for an immune boosting soup this winter.

The leaves can be cut into small pieces and dried for teas. ***Be careful, the leaves when fresh are a bit sharp to handle!***

Benefits of Lemongrass:

#1 – Insect repellent – the essential oil is excellent as a repellent to mosquitos.

#2 – The essential oils are relaxing and uplifting at the same time so use it topically as an infused oil or drink a cup of this aromatic tea. *I blend this with other lemony herbs, see below.

#3 – Add the essential oil to skin salves as an analgesic and an antibacterial property.

#4 – Good for clear skin with its astingent properties – use in acne formulas.

#5 – Helpful for headaches and nervousness.

#6 – In Ayurvedic medicine a preparation of lemon grass with pepper has been used for relief of menstrual troubles and nausea.

#7 – Lemon grass is a mild diuretic and a digestive stimulant that promotes digestion of fats.

#8 – And because it just tastes so darn good. :)

 

To Grow – Ahem – easiest plant in the world besides mint!

Cymbopogon citratus is a perennial grass that can be grown either in the garden or as an indoor (or outdoor) potted plant. It thrives in warm weather (it does not do well in extremely cold climates), grows from two to four feet tall, and — when used as a background for other plants — can add a tropical touch to the garden. Lemongrass seldom bears seeds and is almost always propagated from a section of root. That propagation, however, is easy: The plant thrives on nothing more than a sunny spot, rich soil, and plenty of water.
Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/lemongrass-tea-zmaz78sozraw.aspx#ixzz3HjH5YSA9

If you don’t have any growing you can get some here.

Tea Recipes:

Lemony Goodness

2 parts lemongrass

1 part lemon balm

1 part lemon verbena

Mix this up in a jar. Parts can be tablespoons, teaspoons, cups depending on how much you wish to store.

Take two teaspoons of this mixture and add boling water, steep covered 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink, add honey for a more sweeter taste. Also great cold!

Spices and lemongrass dinner tea

Ingredients: Equal parts:

  • Fennel seed
  • lemongrass
  • fresh sliced ginger root
  • and a sprinkle of cardamom
  • Instructions as above.

Alfalfa-nettle daily tonic

Alfalfa and Nettle leaf contain a broad spectrum of nutrients, including considerable quantities of protein, trace mineral and vitamins, dietary fiber and chlorophyll. This blend is great for reducing stress too.

Ingredients: Equal Parts of the cut and dried leaf:

  • Alfalfa
  • Stinging Nettle

Lemongrass to taste

Tom Kha Immune Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 32 fluid oz bone broth soup (learn how to make yours here)
  • 3 cans regular coconut milk (look for BPA free coconut milk)
  • 2 big stalks lemongrass, sliced in large pieces
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pack skinless chicken thighs, cubed in very small pieces (sometimes we use salmon in­stead)
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green thai curry paste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (leave the stems in!)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the bone broth and coconut milk in a large, heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Once the liquids are heated, add the fish sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, ginger and garlic.
  3. Bring broth to a slow simmer, make sure it doesn’t boil, and do not cover it during cooking.
  4. When the broth is simmering, add the chicken, mushrooms, bok choy, kale, green onions, carrots and green curry paste.
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked and the carrots are tender, add the cilantro. After a minute, taste the soup and add some lime juice if desired.
  6. It’s ready to serve! A cilantro and red pepper garnish is a nice touch.

 

The Creative Herbalist – Rosalee de la Foret – Learning Herbs

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Anne-Marie

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting my Bella Vista Farm.

Recipe For Tarragon Parsley Pesto

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Recipe For Tarragon Parsley Pesto

Have you ever had a tarragon pesto before? I FINALLY tried fresh tarragon for the first time last month while volunteering at the UGarden(University of GA Garden). Tarragon is simply amazing! I looked up a few recipes and tweaked one to my liking. You can eat it on crackers, veggies, mix with pasta or serve over grilled salmon – my favorite way. :)

First go pick some pretty looking tarragon and flat leaf parsley -

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Next get your nuts, I used almonds and garlic, rough chop them.

Almonds - raw, garlic and lemon

Almonds – raw, garlic and lemon

Put everything – the herbs, the nuts, garlic, olive oil, water, butter(YES I said butter), lemon juice, salt & pepper in the food processor and pulse it until it is to your liking.

Keep it chunky or make it super smooth! – I like mine still with a lot of texture if I am using over fish otherwise  more chunky for crackers. :)

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Tarragon & Parsley Pesto

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup cashews, walnuts or almonds.
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Get ready to eat!!!!

Grilled salmon topped with a good spoonful of pesto with a side of acorn mashed squash, carrots and broccoli.

Grilled salmon topped with a good spoonful of pesto with a side of acorn mashed squash, carrots and broccoli.

Delish! Let me know what your favorite kind of pesto is?

Have a beautiful day today,

Anne-Marie

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting my Bella Vista Farm.

Recipe For Homemade Pizza Rolls

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Recipe For Homemade Pizza Rolls

It is raining today, has been raining ALL DAY LONG and not just little rain, big fat stormy, windy rain. What do you do when you can’t play outside?

I usually cook because I hate cleaning, although I could clean…but my house is neat, not spotless…I’d rather cook anyday. :) Last night we had raviolis so I had leftover sauce, mozzarella cheese and there is always pepperoni in the fridge. I know, don’t scream!!! Pepperoni is one of those foods that is always kept because the kid loves it. Recently I bought a package of wonton wrappers so I made homemade pizza rolls!

Easy peasy – I swear, even the kids can make them and they are a million times better than their frozen counterparts with a gazillon ingredients that cannot be pronounced. Even with the pepperoni, the ingredients can be counted and you know what they are. Feel free to switch out the pepperoni for sausage, chicken or just a bunch of chopped veggies.

Step 1: Gather your ingredients – recipe follows tutorial.

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Chop up your pepperoni into little pieces

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Mix together the mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese(I used pecorino romano instead), garlic powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning and homemade tomato sauce.

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Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture onto a wonton square. I added the pepperoni to the square first, then the cheesy mixture because some will be just cheese.

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Keep a small bowl of water nearby, wet your fingers with the water and run your finger along two edges of the wonton. Fold over the top of the filling and press edges to seal. The water acts like the glue to hold everything together otherwise you will have open face pizzas!!!

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Next, place them all on a lightly grease sheet pan – I used my vegetable spray. I then sprayed the tops lightly too. Put in the 450o oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Mine took exactly 10 minutes.

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Oh my goodness, aren’t they scrumptious looking?? Oh and the ones with the folded in tops – those have just the cheesy mixture. :)

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Homemade Pizza Rolls

24 wonton wrappers – natural or organic

1/2-2/3 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce

12-15 pepperoni slices

1/8 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of pepper

Preheat oven to 450o. Lightly spray a half sheet pan – approximate size 12×15

Mix up the cheeses, sauce and spices together. Chop the pepperoni and add to the cheesy mix OR keep it separate if making some pepperoni and some just cheese.

Take a square of wonton, place about 1-2 teaspoons of filling on each, you don’t want to overfill. Wet finger with a small bowl of water, and swipe wet finger along two edges of the square. Fold over the wonton, like a triangle and press edges firmly.

Place on the greased sheet pan. Lightly spray tops with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them the last 5 minutes until they are as brown as you like them. Eat ‘em up!

Hope you enjoy!

Anne-Marie

These posts may contain affiliate links that help support the site. Please feel free to visit the links that I post. Sometimes I receive a small commission from these links at no cost to you. Thank you for visiting my blog. :)

What’s Happening At The Farm

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What’s Happening At The Farm

It has been awhile since I updated what is growing in the garden and the woods and any critter news so I went out and took some new pictures to SHOW you what’s happening! :)

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I tried a few new medicinal plants this years, some worked and some not so good. I am not the best grower, it really has to be able to survive without pampering. I mean, I can’t help it, I just FORGET to water or weed sometimes. I realized tomatoes just do ok for me so I grow just a few plants now and trade for the rest. Hot peppers, easy but I have no idea what happened to the bell pepper plants…they were there but they didn’t make it. The okra….w–e-l-l I wasn’t sure when to pick it being the first year so they got a mind of their own, overnight I might add and they grew to like 4″ long. Oh well not so good to eat at that stage. So someone gave me this fabulous idea to let them dry on the plant, paint them and make santa Christmas ornaments – woohoo!!!

dried okra pods

dried okra pods

I CAN grow lemon balm, lemon grass, oregano, sweet basil, holy basil, stevia, chamomile, butterfly bushes, anise hyssop, comfrey, sorrel, lettuce, cabbage, stinging nettle, collards, burdock and oh yeah sunflowers BUT the darn squirrels came and took ALL OF THE FLOWER HEADS when they were going to the seed stage. UGGHHHHHH.

burdock, lemon balm, holy basil

burdock, lemon balm, holy basil

butterfly bush & anise hyssop

butterfly bush & anise hyssop

lemongrass

lemongrass

lettuce and napa cabbage

lettuce and napa cabbage

This week, I will be harvesting all of the nettle, basils and lemon balm – big work a head for me.

lemon balm

lemon balm

holy basil

holy basil

stinging nettle

stinging nettle

Here are my shiitakes! LOVE them – again easy peasy to grow.

Shiitake logs

Shiitake logs

Mmmmm shiitakes!!

Mmmmm shiitakes!!

We did lose our beloved dog, Lightning earlier this month at the ripe old age of 14. It is very sad losing one of our critters especially one we have had since a pup. 20140528_063549

She was loved by all and is missed very much by us and her furry companions Luke, our boxer/lab mix and our two cats. Critters must get along on our homestead, it is the way it always was here and always will be. Not quite sure how it happens that way but it really is cool to see all of them coexist, hanging out together. Like a regular land of Dr. Doolittle. :)

Socks kitty, Luke and Zoey(visiting)

Socks kitty, Luke and Zoey(visiting)

Currently we have 8 chickens and none, I mean non are laying eggs. What happened? I go out everyday to check, sometimes I get one, just one and we used to get 5-6 a day. Two hens are young so they aren’t ready yet and the others went through the molting stage, when they lose feathers everywhere and I do know they don’t lay during that time. Hopefully I can get some eggs soon or they won’t get anymore pizza scraps, veggies, sourdough bread or spaghetti. You ever see chickens eat spaghetti or pizza – they go nuts!

2 of the Brady girls.

2 of the Brady girls.

Herbal classes each month with Herb Walks and Making Medicines -

Backyard Medicinal Workshop June

Backyard Medicinal Workshop June

Backyard Medicinal Workshop September

Backyard Medicinal Workshop September

Well that’s what is happening on the farm!

Have a wonderful day,

Anne-Marie

Where To Forage & Wildcraft

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Where To Forage & Wildcraft

This topic comes up quite a bit among people. Where do you forage? Where can you pick plants for medicine? How do you know it is safe?

I hear all kinds of weird sayings, like “oh it is ok to pick by that road, just go 8 feet off the shoulder”, or 15 feet or in the ditch or “I found some plants by the railroad tracks.” Uuugghhhh!

Here are some basic rules to follow when you are hunting for some plants or mushrooms. 

Absolutely, 100%, without a doubt,
know you are harvesting the plant you think you are harvesting!

#1 Have a good field guide to assist you with plant id

- although this should just be to help not your sole source of id.

petersons filed guide

I like the Peterson Field Guides - this one   Peterson’s has quite a few guides for medicinal plants, edible plants, bird watching etc…

#2 Have a plan -

Know where you are going to harvest and what you are going to harvest before you leave. Of course you may find a few surprises to get get that you didn’t plan on. :)

#3 Pack a backpack with supplies -

Some supplies you may need include – small trowel, pruners, knife, small paper bags for collecting, a sharpie to write what is in the bags(you won’t remember after it starts wilting), field guide, little notebook for recording what is growing, what was collected and the area, a small bottle of vodka or 100% grain/cane alcohol & bottle of water for tincturing on the spot(this is necessary with a few plants that will not make it home, for example, Indian Pipe must be processed asap), small brush for cleaning roots and dirt off anything to be tinctured right away, natural insect repellent, a hat, rain gear(you never know), a magnifying glass and water for you. Compass may be a good idea too if you are going off in a new place – I recently checked mine and it must have gotten wet – it was cheap so in the trash it goes!!

#4 Dress Appropriately -

Long pants, good boots(snakes are in them there woods and fields!!!! :D), a hat, long sleeves if working where there is poison ivy.

#5 Tell SOMEONE Where You Will Be -

Just in case! Of course bring a cell phone.

#6 Where

If you intend on going on private land – get permission from the owner. They don’t want strangers just popping over a fence to collect berries, other fruits, nuts or digging up plants. This also goes for land that is for sale because you never know if the owners are harvesting their own plants and the last thing they want to see when they go harvest their blueberries is an empty bush.

Public Parks – usually you cannot harvest anything from a public park, check the rules in your area. If you just want clippings of flowers, leaves, mushrooms, you may be ok.

Railroad Tracks – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. I don’t care if there are tons of elderberries there or not, the ground in which they grow is poisoned and toxic from the chemicals in the railroad ties, the train fumes, leakage from containers on the trains, fuel etc…..

In general, stay 50-100 yards from roadsides, railroad tracks, golf courses, and other areas that have been sprayed with chemicals. Avoid areas around old houses and barns where lead paint may have been used. Old orchards may also be problematic, as arsenic and other contaminants were routinely sprayed as pesticides.

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#7 Look at TheEcosystem

Look around where you are harvesting that the plants all look healthy and that there are PLENTY of the plant you are looking to harvest. Make sure what you are looking for is not on the endangered species list. Watch where you step – make it like you were never there, meaning pick a few plants from each stand instead of wiping out an entire area. If digging, fill in the holes and replace the mulch around the area.

#8 Consideration For The Plants, The Animals and Others

Pick only what you need, save some for the wildlife and for other people. USE what you pick. When possible, if harvesting a plant that has seeds or berries – replant some of them in the area that you take it from. Keep the plants going.

Elderberries -

Elderberries -

#9 – Repeating Above

BUT absolutely know the plant you are taking before taking it because there are some plant families that have deadly lookalikes. We don’t want any dead folks here!!! Not trying to be funny. The Apiaceae Family is one of the toughest. Queen Anne’s Lace a beautiful, wonderful plant is harmless but Poison Hemlock, well you get it. THEY LOOK ALIKE to a beginner.

harvesting lemongrass, goldenrod and sumac

harvesting lemongrass, goldenrod and sumac

Enjoy the Wildcrafting!!!

Anne-Marie

 

What’s Growing in the Woods

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What’s Growing in the Woods

It is so amazing to me that I have lived here for 24 years and there is always something new that pops up in the fields or in the woods or down by the creek. OK so the first 19 years I didn’t really care what was growing as long as there was grass for the horses and tomatoes in my garden! :D

So it’s Early September here in GA, still hot but at least we had some good rain this week. Well of course it rained – the days I watered my gardens, flower beds, mushroom logs. That is always the way.

It was fairly cool this morning and I took Luke, my cute dog, for a walk in the woods to see if anything new was growing.

Luke at the creek

Luke at the creek

I am such a plant geek, I do this every couple of days. You never know!!! There all kinds of these teeny, tiny almost clear white mushrooms everywhere – they dotted logs, the ground and they were pretty cool looking. Not sure what they were and I don’t mess with any that I am not positively sure that they aren’t going to kill me or make me hallucinate.

What I did find were 3 logs, right next to each other with fresh turkey tail mushrooms, covering them completely!!! Yee Ha!

Wanna know more about turkey tails? I am fairly new to these and have just started my first tincture with them but only had a small handful, now I can make a good bit. Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) can be found on dead logs all throught the United States. I have mistaken a few others for turkey tails but they weren’t. Luckily I know a mushroom expert – Megan Burry of My Quality Mushrooms.

The mushrooms do kind of look like the tail of a turkey with the variety of colors – but tend to stay in the buff, brown, cinnamon, and reddish brown range. The mushrooms are strikingly “zonate” with sharply contrasting concentric zones of color, and the surface of the cap is finely fuzzy or velvety. Often the zones represent contrasts in texture as well as color, so that fuzzy zones alternate with smoother ones.

The turkey tails look like they grow in a rosette pattern on the log unlike the parchment mushrooms.

4 different mushrooms found but the top right is the parchment mushroom(I think) - not a turkey tail.

4 different mushrooms found but the top right is the parchment mushroom(I think) – not a turkey tail.

turkey tails

This was the logs that I found – sweet! Before going into the id, I thought I would tell you what they are good for. Like most medicinal mushrooms turkey tails help the immune system due to the polysaccharides like beta glucans – boosting it, giving strength to a sluggish immune system and making it stronger. Also it has been used for cancer treatments in Asia. If I remember correctly this mushroom is part of Paul Stamets Mushroom Supplements.

Here is a test to determine if it is a true Turkey Tail from Mushroom Expert.com

Totally True Turkey Tail Test

1) Is the pore surface a real pore surface? Like, can you see actual pores?

Yes: Continue.

No: See Stereum ostrea and other crust fungi

    .

2) Squint real hard. Would you say there are about 1-3 pores per millimeter (which would make them fairly easy to see), or about 3-8 pores per millimeter (which would make them very tiny)?

3-8 per mm: Continue.

1-3 per mm: See several other species of Trametes

    .

3) Is the cap conspicuously fuzzy, velvety, or finely hairy (use a magnifying glass or rub it with your thumb)?

Yes: Continue.

No: See several other species of Trametes

    .

4) Is the fresh cap whitish to grayish?

Yes: See Trametes hirsuta

No:

        Continue.

 

5) Does the cap lack starkly contrasting color zones (are the zones merely textural, or do they represent subtle shades of the same color)?

Yes: See Trametes pubescens

No: 

        Continue.

 

6) Is the fresh mushroom rigid and hard, or thin and flexible?

Rigid and hard:

        See

Trametes ochracea

Thin and flexible:

    Totally True Turkey Tail.

Description:

Ecology: Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods, or rarely on the wood of conifers; annual; causing a white rot of the sapwood; growing in dense, overlapping clusters or rosettes on logs and stumps; year-round; very widely distributed and common in North America.

Cap: Up to 10 cm across; only a few mm thick; flexible when fresh; circular, semicircular, bracket-shaped, or kidney-shaped; often fused with other caps; densely hairy or velvety, often with alternating zones of texture; with concentric zones of white, brown, cinnamon, and reddish brown (but highly variable in color and sometimes with other shades, including blue, green, and orange).

Pore Surface: Whitish to pale grayish; not bruising; with 4 or more tiny pores per mm; tubes up to 3 mm deep.

Flesh: Insubstantial; whitish; tough and leathery.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative to yellowish on flesh.

Spore Print: Whitish.

Now I am no mushroom expert so some of the questions above are still beyond my realm. I did attempt my first spore print today from a mushroom I was not sure of but still can’t id it – hee hee! For now I will stick with Chanterelles, Shiitakes and Turkey Tails.

So I will be clipping away to fill a jar of turkey tails for my tincture. Also mushroom tinctures are a bit different from regular herbal tinctures because they require two processes.

The Double Extraction Process – from Goldroot Botanical Medicine – a couple good recipes on there too.

Tincturing Medicinal Mushrooms: The Double Extraction Process

Mushroom tinctures are made using a double-extraction technique. First, the alcohol extracts the constituents that are not soluble in water, like sterols & terpenes. After the mushrooms have been extracted in alcohol, it goes through a hot water extraction or decoction process to extract the beta-glucans, proteoglycans, and other immune-supporting polysaccharides. The below steps outline the double extraction process using the folk method of tincturing. (For more detailed recipes and ratios, see references below.)

Part 1: Alcohol extraction

Break the fruitbodies up into the smallest pieces possible. This makes for a larger surface area and thorough extraction. It’s easier to do this while they’re still fresh before drying.

  1. Fill a quart or half-gallon canning jar halfway with the dried mushroom.
  2. Add the vodka, filling the jar to the top. Label it!
  3. Cap the jar and keep it in a warm, dark place. Agitate daily.
  4. After about a month, strain.

Part 2: Hot water extraction

  1. Take the alcohol-soaked mushroom pieces that are left over after straining (called the marc) and put them in a pot. Cover them with water.
  2. Simmer for 2 hours. The water will evaporate throughout this time.
  3. Allow the tea to cool before you strain it. Discard all the solids but save the water.
  4. Add this water to an equal amount of the alcohol extract. This gives you an extract that’s 25% alcohol, as the vodka was 100 proof to begin with (50% water/50% alcohol).

You may need to do some measuring before you boil the water to make sure you have enough. Gauge the amount of liquid used in your first alcohol tincture and boil at least triple that amount of water for the hot water extraction. It may seem like a lot but it will reduce (you can always keep boiling if it doesn’t).

Suggested use varies depending on the size of the person and the strength of the tincture. A good standard amount is 1/2 of a teaspoon taken 2–3x a day. It should keep for about 2 years. And as always, store in a cool place in dark-colored bottles away from direct sunlight.

I will continue on this in the next couple days and let you know what else is growing in the woods.

Nighty, night ya’ll,

Anne-Marie

 

Herbs For Healthy Hair

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Sometimes I just come across something really wonderful and think, “I have to share that on the blog!!!” Well I was scanning through my emails and came across a newsletter from Herbal Academy of New England. They have boocoos of herbal info on there!

It brought to this post  – Herbs For Healthy Hair which you can find the full article here.

5 Herbs for Healthy Hair

Grace Sutherland and her six sisters were famous for their long hair. Date ca. 1890. -

Grace Sutherland and her six sisters were famous for their long hair. Date ca. 1890. -

Ok now while most of us do not have that long of hair, I still thought it was the epitome of healthy beautiful hair.

If you purchase your herbs, make sure they come from a sustainable, organic, and ethical source. ***From AM – I like Mountain Rose Herbs , also check out their blog – tons of recipes. I like this one – 

Homemade shampoo is not as thick or lathering as store-bought varieties, but it will effectively clean hair with nourishing ingredients and botanicals. Because this shampoo is so much gentler, you can expect that your hair will not feel as squeaky-clean after washing. This is because it will not be stripped of its natural oils!

8 oz water
3 oz Liquid Castille Soap
1-2 TBSP dried organic herbs of choice (see list on link above)
20-60 drops essential oil (see list on link above)
1/4 tsp organic Jojoba or Olive oil (adjust as needed – use more for dry hair or may omit for oily hair)

Make an herbal infusion by pouring boiling water over the herbs, cover, and allow them to steep for at least 4 hours. Strain the herbs out and pour the reserved liquid into a bottle, then add Castille soap and oils. Your herbal shampoo is now ready to use! Always shake well before use since the contents will naturally separate.

 

herbalshampoo

or you can check in with a fantastic Organic Farm in NC for some fresh and dried herbs – Gentle Harmony Farm.

Nettle (Urtica dioica) – This wonderful herb not only is chock full of protein, vitamins, and minerals but may also help to stimulate blood flow within the scalp, aiding in hair growth and shine. Nettle is used to prevent dandruff as well as to stimulate blood flow to the scalp.

 *** I personally have been growing and harvesting my own nettle. It is so exciting when you can grow something yourself AND make your medicine, tea and salves from it. From what I understand, Nettle is also beneficial to hair loss in promoting growth. We shall see!!! Also in Ga it is super easy to grow , just wear your gloves – no joke and long sleeves when harvesting unless you want some nasty stings***

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) – High in antioxidants as well as containing some trace vitamins and minerals, green tea is another popular stimulant for the scalp.

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) – Horsetail, a grassy smelling and astringent herb, has been used in many traditions for hair health and maintenance. There are some claims that this benefit is due to the herb’s silica content, but in fact, most forms of silica are not water soluble. The benefits of this herb for your hair are likely due to its ability as a vulnerary, which when used externally, helps to heal skin wounds and inflammation.

Oatstraw (Avena sativa) – Just like horsetail, oatstraw contains B vitamins and minerals. Oatstraw, the dried milky tops from oats, has all of the anti-inflammatory properties that oats do, helping to aid in healing itchy or raw scalps, and even dandruff. Oatstraw adds softness and shine to your hair due to its rich silica content and soothing properties.

***I LOVE Oatstraw since it is so nourishing and soothing to the whole body.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) – This tasty herb, used frequently in our kitchens, is very good at helping to stimulate the scalp which may potentially aid in growth. Rinsing with rosemary can also help to relieve the scalp of product buildup and close the hair follicles making your hair appear softer and shinier. 

Hair care: Rosemary oil and rosemary teas are widely used for hair care in shampoos and lotions. Regular use of rosemary oil helps to stimulate follicles, making hair grow longer and stronger. It is also believed that rosemary oil slows down premature hair loss and graying of the hair. Therefore, it is an excellent tonic for bald people or those who are beginning to show signs on male pattern baldness.

Rosemary essential oil is also beneficial for dry and flaky scalps. Regular massaging of the scalp with rosemary oil nourishes the scalp and removes dandruff. Furthermore, it is often mixed with tea tree oil and basil oil to alternately treat scalp problems. For many years, rosemary has been combined with olive oil as a way to darken and strengthen hair by using hot oil treatments.

Coconut Oil – OK not an herb but natural as it gets and as good outside as it for you inside! Use it for dry, damaged hair and flaky scalp. Wet your hair and coat it in coconut oil, wrap in a towel for 15 minutes or if you are in the shower, do all your other business and then wash out the coconut oil with shampoo. Silky soft!!!

Calendula – If you have light hair, use calendula petals infused in water as a hair rinse or added to your castille soap/shampoo.  Use the strong tea as a hair rinse to bring out blonde and brunette highlights. It also makes your hair soft and shiny. Recipe – How to make calendula tea -
Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons dried calendula petals. (double for fresh petals) Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. To make a strong infusion, let the calendula steep for an hour or even overnight.

Sage – Known for its darkening effect on hair so for those of you that are naturally brunnette or black headed and are getting to that age…ahem…distinguished look…try this to cover those greys. :) Use same recipe above replacing calendula with sage.

The old Apple Cider Vinegar rinse – for soft and shiny hair. Diluted with water, it also invigorates the scalp and helps to eliminate dandruff. 

Here  is a cool recipe from Herbal Academy of NE – I HAVE to make this tomorrow!!!! If you try it let me know what ya think or if you have any favorite herbal recipes that work for you.

Healthy Hair Tea & Rinse

 

Ingredients

2 parts green tea
1 parts nettle leaf
1 part horsetail
1 part oatstraw
1 part rosemary (optional for hair rinse tea)

Directions

Tea

  • In a bowl, gently mix tea ingredients together with a spoon and keep in an air-tight container.
  • Steep 1-3 tablespoons of loose leaf tea in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes.
  • Strain tea and  enjoy! You can make this in bulk and keep it in the fridge to drink all week.

Hair Rinse

  • In a bowl, gently mix tea ingredients together with a spoon and keep in an air-tight container.
  • Steep 1/4 cup of loose leaf tea in 2 cups water for 20+ minutes. You can leave tea steeping overnight for an even stronger infusion.
  • Strain tea and let cool.
  • After cleansing your hair, rinse with your healthy hair tea. You can simply pour over your head or put cooled tea in a spray bottle and spray onto hair and comb through. There is no need to rinse your hair after using this herbal tea hair rinse.
  • For more recipes, check out this fabulous book by Dina Falconi – Earthly Bodies, Heavenly Hair

Have a great night – 

Anne-Marie