The Secret Meaning of Herbs

I was reading through a beautiful post on the Herbal Academy of New England just now referencing the secret meaning of herbs.

When we look at flowers, we sometimes describe them in how they make us feel or how they look. For example, when I look at a Calendula blossom, I think how sunny this flower is with its bright, cheery disposition and I smile. :)

calendula bvf

Looking at the list from secret meanings post it shows that Calendula means Health. I can see that! Think about it a moment….if a plant makes you happy and cheerful with a sunny disposition, how can you NOT stay healthy!!!

Here is the full article shared from the Herbal Academy. Also if you ARE interested in any of their offerings, please click the link on my side bar, I would greatly appreciate it!

Enjoy – Anne-Marie

Below from the Herbal Academy of New England

A Few Herbs and Their Meanings:

Remembering the secret meaning of herbs and including them in our daily lives as points for contemplation and by giving tussie-mussies are beautiful ways to pay tribute to the ties between plants and humans that have existed for thousands of years. As we seek to connect with others and the natural world around us, it’s delightful to indulge in little “secrets” now and then, and let our desire for a little mystery and whimsy out to play in a time-honored tradition with a modern twist. Here are a few more herbs and their meanings to get you started (Laufner, 1993):

  • Angelica: inspiration
  • Basil: love
  • Bay laurel: success
  • Calendula: health
  • Chamomile: comfort
  • Echinacea: capability
  • Fennel: worthy of praise
  • Hops: mirth
  • Hyssop: cleansing
  • Lady’s mantle: comfort
  • Lavender: devotion
  • Lemon balm: sympathy
  • Lilac: joy of youth
  • Lovage: strength
  • Mint: virtue
  • Oregano: joy
  • Parsley: gratitude
  • Rose: love, desire
  • Rosemary: remembrance
  • Sage: wisdom
  • Thyme: courage
  • Vervain: good fortune
  • Violet: loyalty
  • Yarrow: healing

To read the FULL article: click HERE

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Stress Buster Smoothie For Your Adrenal System

Have you noticed yourself lately in the mode of going, going, doing, doing doing and then crash because you are OVERDOING?

Most women take on more than they possibly can, or at least we THINK we can do it all, and sometimes we can, but realistically we are not superwomen! When we try to do more than we can handle, we start to get stressed, tired, overworked, forgetful OR so hyped up that we cannot rest at night. Sound familiar?

If so, you may be in Adrenal Overdrive or you may have Adrenal Fatigue. The adrenals are tiny organs that sit above the kidneys and they control many hormones, insulin, weight management and stress response. The adrenals release cortisol when needed in a flight or fight response but some people have too much cortisol or not enough then they start feeling hyper to the point of barely sleeping or draggy feeling like you just can’t wake up and you are tired all the time. Stupid little adrenals! :D No really, we can’t be mean to those little organs, it is not their fault…it is our own doing!

So what’s a person to do?

Step one – STOP what you are doing – even reading this, and go outside for 10 minutes. Just go out and sit somewhere under a tree or go for a walk, just YOU and only YOU! I will wait……

Ahhhh do you feel a little better now? I do! OK so I didn’t come right back after going outside. I got distracted doing chores, then making dinner, cleaning up, feeding outside critters and finishing up on a case study.

Step 2  Can you take away one commitment per week? Because if you do not and commit to tooooo much then…this will happen – from Aviva Romm below –

Being in a constant self-push can drive you right into adrenal fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is dangerous. It can disrupt your sleep, hormones, weight, immunity, and memory and concentration. It causes us to have cravings for fat, sugar, and salt. It makes us insulin resistant, and gives us weight around our bellies that causes inflammation and is really hard to take off. It makes us irritable, moody, anxious, and depressed.

If you want to read a whole lot more than I can share with you – check out Aviva Romm’s blog post above in the link.

Meanwhile Step 3 – here is a recipe for an awesome herbal mix to add to a smoothie. It will nourish your adrenals, build stamina and help fight fatigue.

Stress Busting Smoothie Mix

Wonderful mixture of adaptogenic herbs to help your body handle stressful situations, balance emotions and strengthen your adrenals.

  • 3 parts Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
  • 1 part Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
  • 2 parts Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
  • 1 part Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
  • 1/2 part Nettles (Urtica dioica)
  • 1/2 part Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

stress buster smootie mix

Parts can be teaspoons, tablespoons or cups if making a giant jar full. Grind the herbs to a powder and mix all together. You can find all of the above herbs at my favorite place – Mountain Rose Herbs! Click here to find what you need. OR you can just order a jar of the mix from me. :)

To use: Take 1 teaspoon of the mix and add to a smoothie once per day OR add to warm almond milk with a touch of honey or maple syrup.

Enjoy and have a peaceful evening!


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Tumeric Berry Lemonade Recipe


I forgot about this recipe – MUCH needed this time of year! :)
I have blue berries, raspberries and blackberries to make this now.

Originally posted on Bella Vista Farm:

Sometimes I just make up recipes! It may have been inspired from someone else’s recipe or I just see what is around in the kitchen that I can use. Really this may have been inspired from a Trim Healthy Mama drink.

I had a headache from being out in the heat, was thirsty and wanted something refreshing with an anti-inflammatory bonus.  Refreshing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and electrolyte drink. Water, ice, lemons, lime, celtic sea salt, raspberries, coconut oil, tumeric, ginger and stevia. Mmmmm good! So the “Tumeric Berry Lemonade” was born!


I shared it on face book and everyone loved it so here is the recipe! ENJOY :)

Tumeric Berry Lemonade

8-10 oz water – needed for rehydration
Pinch sea salt – electrolyte
Healthy pinch powdered ginger(was too lazy to grate fresh) – anti-inflammatory
About 1/8 tsp tumeric (cucurmin – powerful anti-inflammatory)
1/4 of a lemon 
Wedge of lime
1 tsp…

View original 66 more words

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How To Make A Calendula Oil Infusion

Don’t you just love the Spring? Actually it will be officially Summer in a couple week – wow! I love Spring because I can start picking flowers and herbs to use in my infusions, tinctures and all the beautiful other creations. One of my absolute favorite flowers is calendula – beautiful, sunny calendula!

meander basket 2

This year I am growing two full raised beds with calendula – only one is producing flowers right now. Did you know the more you pick the blossoms, the more they grow? Really. At first I would have 2-3 to pick, then 5-6, then 10, now I am up to about 30 per day on average.

Most of the blossoms come inside to be laid upside down on a clean tray to dry. I do it this way so they don’t shrivel up into a little unidentifiable nothing!


So before I get to the recipe and tutorial, here is a little something for your herbal notebook on Calendula!

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

calendula flower

Calendula is part of the Asteraceae family of plants. It is a ray flower with many petals in orange and yellow with muted green leaves that are about 4-6″ long and rounded at the tip., It is a self seeding annual that can grow to 2′ tall.

Herbal Actions: Vulnerary, Lymphatic, Anti-bacterial, Antiviral, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory and Emmenagogue

Internally, calendula is used for chronic colitis, surgical wounds, ulcers, chronic sores, varicose veins, candida, lymphadema, rinse after tooth extractions, fungal infections.

Externally it is used  for wounds, cuts, rashes, burns, cracked nipples after breast feeding.

Basically Calendula promotes all kinds of wound healing. :)

**As always, check with your medical/herbal practitioner before starting any herbal remedy or do more research to make sure it is right for you.**


Calendula Infused Oil

Take a few cups of calendula blossoms, fresh or dried and add enough coconut and olive oil to cover all the blossoms completely in a crock pot. For 3 cups blossoms, you would need about 4 cups total of oil. I uses half coconut and half olive oil.

Put a thermometer in the pot, do not cover. Heat on low to warm, depending on your personal crock pot since some run very hot. Keep temperature between 110-150o, ideally and definitely below 160o so you don’t get crispy fried calendula!

Heat for about 3 hours, turn off and let cool until you can strain it. Sometimes I will cover the pot with a cooling rack and towel while it is cooling down.

Strain through a muslin or cheesecloth lined mesh strainer into a clean glass bowl. Let this bowl sit covered on your counter overnight and then decant the oil into another bowl or jar. This allows the sediment to go to the bottom of the first bowl(if there is any water or particles) and you will have clear pretty oil.



Now you can use your oil in herbal recipes or put it in the refrigerator(LABELED) where it will keep for up to a year.

So what will you make? Let me know! Please share this post with your friends – thank you :D

Enjoy your lovely day,


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How To Keep Snakes Away

Snakes, some people love them and some people hate them. I am one of the latter.

Seriously, I cannot even think about being anywhere near a snake. I don’t like the looks of them, the feel of them, their slithery way of getting around, none of it!

How do you keep snakes away? I know they NEED to be around to get the mice, rats and the bad snakes but even black snakes have to go when they start eating my chicks and my eggs. Those critters cannot share and co-habitate with my hens – no freaking way!

A few days ago, I purchased some Snake-Be-Gon which is all natural and made with essential oils of clove, geranium and a couple other ingredients. I sprinkled it around the baby house and again after the rain and then part way around the big hen house, especially  under the front where critters can hide.

evidentially, it did not work at keeping them out or it worked too well and kept them in where they could not get. I don’t believe that last part but I have been noticing the last three days we had no eggs in the house and one or two outside in the hen’s yard.

Hmmmmm…. Tonight I go out to close up the trap door on the house and I saw two of the hens looking up to the roof. I look up and lo and behold a big, fat snake!!! Of course I ran to the house and got my hubby. He and the kid came out with a bucket, something to catch the snake(the fireplace tong thingies), a machete(just in case) and a flash light since it was getting dark. Sorry I have no pictures – my phone was in the house!!!

John got them out and in the bucket with a lid(with holes) and tomorrow they will be relocated far, far away from here like in the next town. Ha!

So I go online just to check what else keeps snakes away and I find out that planting lemongrass keeps them away because they don’t like the smell. I do love lemongrass but remember the fiasco from the harvest and digging out the lemongrass? Click here if you want to read it. Just in case you don’t know, lemongrass is an annual here in GA and digging up is a bear to say the least BUT I will take it!


Lemongrass (Cymopogon citratus) from two years ago.

What else keeps snakes away? Wormwood, Garlic, Cinnamon & Clove oil and Andrographis(although I do not know if that can grow here).


Wormwood (Artemisia)

snake be gon

Snake B Gon

Well folks, enough excitement for me tonight! Enjoy your eve, time for night, night. Zzzzzzz


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Just Another Day On The Farm

Today was a productive day! I got a ton done, thanks to the help of my interns and good friends, Andrea and Leila. Three sets of hands definitely make light work!!!

The new Butterfly Garden - passionflower in the back

The new Butterfly Garden – passionflower in the back


We rotated a few mushroom logs, planted passionflower vines, planted a couple cantaloupe and squash plants, weeded , harvested a boatload of comfrey and planted the comfrey roots – well s-o-m-e of them – there are tons!





OH and we planted a row of sunflowers – yay!!! Hopefully the squirrels and the birds don’t get them.

Next we took all of the comfrey leaves and laid them out on the trays to dry. The flowering tops along with some of the leaves and the stems will not go to waste because I will put them in olive oil to infuse for salves.


And a tray of some of the passionflower leaves that we cut off the tops of the vines –



None of the scraps went to waste either – the chickens got them!!!

The gardens are really shaping up – I will post more pictures later. :)

Enjoy your day!


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Beeswax – the block or the pastilles?

One day I will have my own bees – so I can have honey and BEESWAX! Until then I have to buy beeswax in either a giant block or in a more processed pastilles(fancy word for pellets).

Dealing with the pastilles is easy, peasy – you just open the bag and scoop em out. Yeah real convenient….but it does go through extra processing and it costs a bit more. If you want some just go here. So I get the block or should I say the brick because that is exactly what it feels like especially when cutting it up. Yep you gotta cut it up using every muscle in your body and no way can you grate this giant thing. Beeswax is not cooperative. Soooo I could melt the giant brick in a pot that may or may not take a few hours and then pour it into little molds or ice cube trays. Did I do that this time? Nope.

The beeswax brick

The beeswax brick

Here goes – if you want a bit of a workout, you can do it this way or enlist your hubby or your kids, the neighbors kids, well maybe not the kids – not with a big knife like I have.

I took out all of my kitchen tools: the cutting board, the crinkle cutter, the chefs knife, a sledge hammer(no just kidding :D ) –


First I tried using the crinkle cutter, rocking it back and forth and all I got was like an 1/8th of the way through it – using muscle. Whoa baby this – is – hard! So I went to the big chefs knife as I have done before, and tried cutting right where the crinkle cut left off. It took an extreme effort, breaking a sweat and my hands hurt but I did it.




Next I had the cut the hunk it itty bitty pieces – way easier than the chunk.



I swear though, this chore took at least 30 minutes and I only cut 1 pound of the 2 pound block – hahahaha!

Wrapped the rest up!

Wrapped the rest up!

Do you think Pampered Chef realized someone would be using their tools for chopping beeswax instead of veggies? Maybe I should send a picture to them. :D


So to clean these tools, uhhh throw away….no really they can be cleaned! Use a scraper, wet the tools and scrape off all excess before using soap and water.


Next time – I really will melt it down to make it easier. Silly me!!!

Hope you had some laughs on this one. Have a beautiful day!


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