Tag Archives: herbs

15 Best Herb Titles for Your Home Herbal Library

Books

I am not just a plant addict.
I am a book addict. A big one.

I am that person who you’ll find rummaging through Goodwill and other thrift stores, hoping to find a lost treasure. Especially an herbal lost treasure.

The most common question I am asked is: What is your favorite herb book?

I can tell you it isn’t anything by Rosemary Gladstar. (Sorry Rosemary, you aren’t my cup of tea. I find your methods outdated and overly complicated for no reason.)

Most herb books are just lifeless or so full of stoic, outdated recipes. Rare does the author even seem like they’ve worked with the herb, let alone even touched one. Listed below are my absolute favorite books that I refer to time and time, again. I treasure the authors and I’m happy to introduce them to you.

Healing Wise: (Wise Woman Herbal) by Susan Weed. Susan is probably one of the biggest influences on my own herbal roots besides my Grandmother. Her books are written in a lovely manner, as if you were sitting next to her. The information in every book she’s ever written is just spot on. Anything by her is a lovely addition to your herbal library.

Native American Medicinal Plants by Daniel Moerman. This book is the epitome of herbal history. It is an anthropological treasure of information for anyone who wants to understand how herbs were used in the past to see how they are now used. It is most interesting to witness herbs that we are told are *dangerous* to use were once used often and successfully.

Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel Moerman. The author lists 4000 plants and some 44,000 uses in Native American culture. It is a treasure. Sometimes I just find myself getting lost in it kind of like you get lost on Facebook. Except with this book, you learn something ~and~ avoid drama. (ha!)

Fermentation for Beginners by Drake Press. You may be asking yourself why this is here since it’s not an herb book, but you must understand: Total health begins in the gut. Until you know how to ferment your own foods and reach proper gut health levels, you’ll never have total health.

Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism by Donald Yance. Adaptogens are the magic herbs that are still not fully understood. Knowing and utilizing two or three adaptogenic herbs in your regimen can add incredible health and healing.

Johnny's B&B Hotel

A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions by Alan Gaby. This is probably the book I have used the most. I always double check contraindications before I recommend or even mention an herb to someone in my family or a client. This needs to be in every library. People who teach herbs NEED to teach contraindications or they shouldn’t be teaching. It is irresponsible to leave out such important information.

A Peterson Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Christopher Hobbs. If foraging is something you want to add to your herbal skills, then this is the book you’ll wear out. Take it with you on hikes and identify all the medicine around you. (Here’s the Eastern and Central Version)

Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman. If you ever decide to take a clinical course of herbal medicine, this is one of the text books that you’ll get to know very well. It is an incredible source of information and inspiration.

Herbal Antibiotics by Stephan Buhner. I still have the first edition and use it still today. To help yourself heal through any infection, this is the guide you want.

Herbal Antivirals by Stephan Buhner. I bought this one simply because there aren’t many books based on antivirals. In fact, most people believe there is nothing we can do for viruses, except let them run their course. I’m telling you, that is simply not the case. Get familiar with a few anti-virals (even coconut oil is one), and you’ll have a powerful apothecary.

The Earthwise Herbal Volumes I and II by Matthew Wood. Matthew Wood is an old friend to my library. I have seen him lecture. Every book he has written is a treasure but these two stand out as the best.

Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra. There is no doubt that Michael and Leslie Tierra are herbal masters (if there were such a thing). They have both dedicated their lives to teaching herbs and this book is a wonderful, wonderful text on energetics of plants. If you ever wonder why plants do what they do, this is the book for you.

And my all time favorite book on plants:
The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins. If you haven’t read this book, it is simply a must read. This book has changed people’s perspective of plants since 1989. It will not disappoint.

Learn Herbs
Tea, Infusion, & Juice Recipes (my ebook on Kindle, free to unlimited subscribers)

Learn more about herbs and their actions in our Beginner’s herbal course for only $65!

3 Herbal Teas for Youthful, Beautiful Skin in Days

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For each recipe, use equal parts and steep for 8-9 minutes.
I like to use a french press or infuser pot to make teas from loose herbs. Check out the unpaid review I did of this pot with a stainless steel infuser. Glass Tea Pot with Stainless Steel Infuser
Youthful Skin Tea for Oily Skin
For oily skin, use the following cleansing and cooling herbs.
Yarrow
Tulsi
Youthful Skin Tea for Dry Skin
For dry skin externally, add juicy herbs to help support the skin.
3 Herbal Teas for Youthful, Beautiful Skin
Youthful Skin Tea for Combination Skin
For combination skin, focus on nutrients and minerals to feed the skin.

 

Learn Herbs
Tea, Infusion, & Juice Recipes (my ebook on Kindle, free to unlimited subscribers)

Learn more about herbs and their actions in our Beginner’s herbal course for only $65!

30 Herbs to Balance Hormones Naturally

hormones

Are your hormones out of whack? Have you been diagnosed with having a hormone imbalance? If you have stubborn belly fat or your weight is just uncontrollable, even with a plant based diet, your hormones may need some attention. (*Remember to seek medical advice and diagnosing from your health care provider.)

Natural herbs and foods that help balance hormones are everywhere. Here’s a comprehensive list to choose your natural method of healing from:

1. Vitex or Chaste Tree:  The most popular herbal remedy for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It does not supply hormones but acts directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Vitex increases luteinizing hormone (LH) and modulates prolactin, resulting in a balance of estrogen and progesterone levels.

2. Maca:  Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. It is also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function, especially in men.

3. Red Raspberry Leaf:  Raspberry leaf has historically been used to strengthen uterine muscles, and there’s some scientific evidence to back the claim that the herb can have a powerful effect on hormones.

4. Shatavari: Shatavari is a well known herb in the management of women’s hormonal health fertility and pregnancy.

5. Milk Thistle: Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) supports hormonal balance

6. Barrenwort:  Improved circulation can deliver more growth and repair hormones.

7. Puncture Vine:  Significant in improving hot flashes, sweating, depression, insomnia and anxiety.

ginseng

8. American Ginseng: Supports the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, helping maintain correct hormonal balance. However, it does not overstimulate the endocrine system.

9. Suma Root: In North American herbal medicine, suma root is used as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many systems of the body; as an immunostimulant; to treat exhaustion and chronic fatigue, impotence, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors, mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause, and hormonal imbalances.

10. Black Cohosh: Black cohosh root seems to have some effects similar to the female hormone, estrogen. In some parts of the body, black cohosh might increase the effects of estrogen. It is more accurate to think of it as an herb that acts similar to estrogen in some people.

11. Saw Palmetto:  Saw palmetto is of significance to both men and women because it has an effect on estrogen. Saw palmetto has the ability to block the overproduction of testosterone.

12. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a popular herb used in Ayurveda, for medicinal purposes. It helps in balancing the hormones as it acts as an adaptogen and reduces cortisol.

Brew Your Own Beer!

13. Dong Quai:  Dong Quai has been used for centuries by Asian healers to promote balance of female hormones and emotional health during menopause and perimenopause.

13. Rhodiola: Rhodiola has a calming effect on our body and mental state because of an ability to reduce cortisol, one of our major stress hormones.

redclover

14. Red Clover: Some women use red clover for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes; for breast pain or tenderness (mastalgia); and for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

15. Kudzu:  Kudzu possesses plant steroid hormones called phytoestrogens that are very similar to the estrogen post-menopausal women are deficient in.

16. Wild Yam: Offering women a way to safely and naturally support hormonal balance and manage symptoms of Menopause, Perimenopause and PMS.

17. Oatstraw: The abundance of calcium, magnesium and silica in oatstraw make it extremely beneficial to regulate blood sugar levels and hormone production.

18. Goji Berries: Goji berry benefits include fighting disease and balancing yin and restoring hormonal health.

19. Astragalus: Adaptogenic herbs like astragalus help the body maintain hormonal balance by making it more adaptive to stress.

20. Longan Fruit: This herb cleanses the blood, harmonizes hormones and enriches the skin.

21. Cacao: Contains substances that are used in the brain to create the hormones that are responsible for euphoria and happiness.

22. Pau D’Arco: This powerful herb has a beneficial effect on the entire body and assists in detoxifying the blood of toxic substances. It also helps to balance hormone levels (especially estrogen).

23. White Peony RootWhite Peony promotes circulation to the reproductive organs which helps to reduce uterine stagnation, ovarian cysts and painful menstruation.

24. Lotus Seed: Lotus seeds have astringent properties that have specific benefits to the kidneys, helping to restore vital energy within the body.

25. Chinese Red Dates: Promotes the healthy development of bones, muscles, skin, hair, enzymes, hormones.

26. Black Sesame Seeds:  Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds support the natural balance and production of hormones in the body.

reishi

27. Reishi Mushrooms: Reishi mushrooms or ganoderma lucidum have been shown to help lower testosterone levels ad are considered an anti-androgen. A study in 2006 showed that ganoderma contains oils called triterpenoids which can reduce the production of 5-alpha-reductase, a hormone that can increase testosterone production!

28. Blue Green Algae: Many of these substance found in blue-green algae are the substances needed to regulate and synthesize important biological hormones.

29. Evening Primrose: Important for regulating hormones, improving nerve function, and have a balancing hormone effect that contributes to a healthy reproductive system and nervous system.

30. Turmeric: This spice assists in alleviating symptoms of imbalanced hormones such as breakouts, depression, menstrual cramps, and irregular periods.

Learn Herbs
Tea, Infusion, & Juice Recipes (my ebook on Kindle, free to unlimited subscribers)

Learn more about herbs and their actions in our Beginner’s herbal course for only $65!

Learn Herbs: Tea, Infusion, & Juice Recipes

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I am so excited to announce our first Plants Are My Medicine eBook available now on Amazon Kindle. You can download your copy here:
Learn Herbs
Tea, Infusion, & Juice Recipes

This eBook is very personal for me. I share my own recipes and methods that work in my own healing and my family’s health.

There are 25 recipes of tea, infusion, and juice; all present to give you the needed boost for whatever your challenge is.

Right now, our promotional period is July 30 and 31st for 2017; where you can download my work for free. Please remember to give it a good rating so we can reach more people.

Thank you for being on this journey with me!
Wendy

Learn How to Make Herbal Extracts and Tinctures at Home

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A tincture or extract, is simply an alcohol or non-alcohol based liquid medicine using a cold infusion process. Cold infusion means that no heat is applied to making the medicine.

To make a tincture, you simply place your clean herbs, roots, spices of choice in a jar and cover with liquid of choice, then shake daily until done (which is a minimum of 2 weeks). Recipes and amounts vary depending on the plant and its properties.

The solvent draws out the healing properties of the plant and stores them in the solvent molecules.

Tincture Solvent Substances

Vodka

Apple Cider Vinegar

Glycerin

Everclear (very popular)

Or any alcohol that does not have sugar added like rum, etc.

Choose the solvent that works for you. Many herbalists will insist you use a 100 proof alcohol, but this isn’t about being the perfect herbalist. Your medicine is for you. Make your medicine with the solvent that works for you!

When using apple cider vinegar, make sure to not let the vinegar touch any kind of metal, or you will end up the gunkiest, black goo you could ever imagine. It will look like a sci fi experiment gone wrong. When I use apple cider vinegar, I cover the solvent with plastic wrap before adding my lid.

When straining the material out, you’ll want to use cheesecloth or muslin. (No metal strainers!)

Pour into amber glass bottles and enjoy.

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Is There Really an Herbal Birth Control?

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You aren’t alone if you didn’t know there were natural alternatives to Birth Control.

~~~Birth Control Fact~~~: Did you know that if you suffer from migraines where you lose part of your vision, that the birth control pill puts you at a large risk for having a stroke? The aura that can accompany migraines can mean there is a specific defect with the heart. Always mention a migraine aura to your doctor.

HERBAL BIRTH CONTROL RECIPE

There are only two ingredients. Queen Anne’s Lace seeds & vodka.

Be careful that you identify the hairy stems of the Queen Anne’s Lace seeds if you are harvesting yourself. Hemlock, which is a comparable plant can be easily mistaken for Queen Anne’s Lace. Hemlock is poisonous. If you are unsure, find someone who can identify with 100% certainty or purchase your seeds from a retailer.

Queen Anne’s Lace Seed Pods, turn brown and curl up into a ball. These seed pods are what you want for your natural herbal birth control recipe. I personally use the flowers, green seed pods before they dry, and dried seed pods in my tincture. Harvest until you have a small jar full, then fill with vodka. Cover, and shake it every day for 2 weeks. Your extract or tincture is complete.

If you choose to purchase your seeds, pour the seeds in a small jar then fill with vodka. You will cover it, shake it daily for 2 weeks, and your extract is done.

Strain your medicine and store out of sunlight. I pour mine into brown amber bottles with droppers, but you can store in the same jar just as easily.

You will only need a small, pint size jar.

Now how do you use it?

Pay attention to your cycle. From ovulation on, take one dropper full (or a teaspoon) daily until your period arrives. It tastes pretty awful on its own, so I mix mine with orange juice. The acidity of the orange juice masks the flavor.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Queen Anne’s Lace makes the uterine wall slippery. If an egg is fertilized, it simply will not stick or be implanted in the uterine lining. I have not heard of any side effects, but do you own research to make sure it is a safe option for you. I highly recommend Susan Weed’s series of books on women’s health.

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