Google+

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 24 – Five easy to identify herbs that are in your backyard

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22nd, 2014 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

5-easy-to-id-herbs-in-your-backyard

Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.

-John Muir

One of the biggest concerns (understandably so) I hear when embarking on the herbal journey with children is the fear of them eating a poisonous plant. I am working on a post on how to ease those fears and wildcraft safely but for today, I wanted to touch on something a bit simpler, starting identification with 5 plants that grow just about everywhere. There is a lot to be learned with just these 5 plants, they are versatile and offer many healing actions while building plant identification confidence.

 

dandyflower

Plant #1 – Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
The most cursed weed of the manicured lawn, Dandelion grows all around the world! He is one of the most nutritious plants found, offering more vitamins and minerals than just about any plant on this great planet of ours. 1 cup of dandelion leaves contains 1 1 / 2 times the recommended USDA daily requirements for vitamin A alone! It also contains vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D plus biotin, inositol, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. It’s like taking a multi-vitamin every time you eat a salad full of dandelion greens! This alone is enough for anyone to love Dandelion but his virtues don’t stop there.

All parts of Dandelion can be used medicinally. The leaves are an alterative, anodyne, antacid, antioxidant, aperient, astringent, bitter, decongestant, depurative, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, galactagogue, hypotensive, immune stimulant, laxative, lithotriptic, nutritive, restorative, stomachic, tonic, and vulnerary. Roots are alterative, anodyne, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, aperient, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, depurative, digestive, diuretic, galactagogue, hepatic, hypnotic, immune stimulant, laxative, lithotriptic, nutritive, purgative, sedative, stomachic, and tonic. The flowers are anodyne, cardiotonic, emollient, hepatic and vulnerary. Even the sap of the flower stem is used, being an anodyne, antifungal and discutient.

Learn more about Dandelion in the May 2009 issue of Herbal Roots zine.

 

p.major

Plant #2 – Plantain (Plantago spp.)
Though Plantain is native to Europe, this plant has popped up just about everywhere on the planet. In my back yard I have 3 species: Plantago major, P. lanceolata and P. rugelii. They can all be used interchangeably. This is the first plant most my children learned to identify because of it’s great uses for all things first aid: bee stings, bleeding, inflammation, allergies, bruises and more. Plantain is easy to identify by his “ribs”, the many veins that run through each leaf, giving him the nickname of Ribwort. When you harvest a leaf, you will see “strings” hanging from the end of the stem.

Plantain can also be eaten and contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and cobalt and vitamins A, C, and K. Medicinally, Plantain is alterative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anthelmintic, antivenomous, astringent, expectorant, decongestant, demulcent, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hemostatic, kidney tonic, ophthalmic, mucilaginous, refrigerant, restorative and vulnerary.

Learn more about Plantain in the June 2009 issue of Herbal Roots zine.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Plant #3 – Violet (Viola spp.)
This harbinger of spring grows abundantly throughout the world. The best time to spot her is in the spring when a carpet of deep purple covers the yard. Her heart shaped leaves are easy to find as well.

Violet is very nutritious. She has lots of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin A, rutin and iron. In fact, 1 oz. of Violet contains almost double the amount of the RDA for vitamin A and C. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and can be added to salads. Medicinally, Violet is alterative, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiscorbutic, astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, nutritive, pectoral, restorative and vulnerary.

Learn more about Violet in the April 2009 issue of Herbal Roots zine.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Plant #4 – Chickweed (Stellaria spp.)
Chickweed is a cool weather plant. She prefers to make her appearance during the fall, winter and spring months, disappearing back into the ground during the heat of summer. It’s not uncommon to find a lush patch of Chickweed growing under leaf cover with a blanket of snow overhead. Find your Chickweed patches before the snow flies and mark them for easy location during the winter months.

Chickweed is another salad favorite, giving a mild spinach flavor to them. Chickweed can also be added in place of lettuce on sandwiches. Chickweed contains vitamins A, C, thiamine (B1), riboflavine (B2), niacin (B3), aluminum, calcium, chlorophyll, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum (an essential element), phosphorus, potassium, protein, silicon, sodium and zinc. Medicinally, Chickweed is alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, liver cleansing, mucolytic, nutritive, pectoral, refrigerant and vulnerary.

Learn more about Chickweed in the March 2009 issue of Herbal Roots zine.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Plant #5 – Pine (Pinus spp.)
One cup of Pine needle tea contains as much vitamin C as 5 – 6 lemons. That’s a lot of vitamin C! Pine trees grow all around the world and are often a popular landscaping tree due to being evergreen and making a great natural privacy shield. Spruce and Fir trees all have similar properties to Pine and can be used interchangeably.

Besides being high in vitamin C, Pine is used medicinally as well. Generally the needles and pitch are used though the inner bark can be used as well. Pine is analgesic, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, antiviral, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic. The bark can be powdered and used in a tea and is antioxidant, demulcent, diuretic and expectorant.

Learn more about Pine in the December 2009 issue of Herbal Roots zine.

All 5 of these plants are in the 2009 archive, which is given free when you purchase an annual subscription to Herbal Roots zine!

How many of these plants do you have growing in your back yard?

Giveaway Monday – Hawthorn Package from Mountain Rose Herbs

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20th, 2014 by kristine — 28 Comments

mrh-logo
This week, we are giving away a package all about Hawthorn, our herb for November! This package will get you started on exploring this wonderful medicinal herb.

This packages contains:

hawthorn_berry

4 oz organic Hawthorn berries

hawthorn_berry_powder

4 oz organic Hawthorn berry powder

hawthorn_leaf_and_flower

4 oz organic Hawthorn leaf and flower

tincture-display

1 oz wildcrafted Hawthorn berry extract

With all this Hawthorn, you’ll have a great stock of Hawthorn remedies at the ready for all your heartfelt needs! We’ll have plenty of recipes in the November issue of Herbal Roots zine to highlight how these can be used!

Mountain Rose Herbs is a certified organic processor through Oregon Tilth which is fully accredited with the USDA National Organic Program. Since 1987 they have continuously worked for the advancement of sustainable organic agriculture and state they will continue this lifelong passion into the future. They wholeheartedly recommend discovering the joys to be found in organic food products and the best place to start is right here at Mountain Rose Herbs. From the herbs they offer, to the teas they process and the oils they have distilled.

M0untain Rose also has a great YouTube Channel which offers an amazing amount of tutorials and educational videos, many created by John Gallagher and Rosalee de la Foret of Learningherbs.com.

You can also follow them on their Blog for more information and great Giveaway offers!

Love Mountain Rose Herbs? You can show your support by ‘liking’ them on Facebook. Tell them Herbal Roots zine sent you!

Want a chance to win this awesome package from Mountain Rose Herbs? Leave a comment! For more chances to win, leave a separate comment every time you do one of the following:

-if you’re a kid, tell me how old you are and what your favorite Herbal Roots zine activities are

-Check out MRH’s website and tell me some of your favorite things

-Blog about it (leave reference link)

-Follow Mountain Rose Herbs on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Become a follower of Mountain Rose Herbs on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

-Facebook/Myspace/Tweet about it (leave reference link)

-Sign up for the Herbal Roots zine monthly newsletter (and receive an issue for free!)

-Post some pictures of your October activities using Herbal Roots and Reishi on the Flickr Group Page (Be sure to tell us about it!)

-Become a follower of Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Follow Herbal Roots zine on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end on and I’ll draw the winner on Monday, October 27, 2014. Thanks for entering and good luck!

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 23 – Natural Outdoor Play is a Gateway to Herbal Learning

Posted in Uncategorized on October 8th, 2014 by kristine — 1 Comment so far

Untitled 5

Our Children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience, or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water come from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.” – Wendell Barry

There’s a rule in our house. No electronics until several things are done for the day. They include daily schoolwork finished, chores finished, any practices finished (dance, instrument, sport) and I’ve recently added one more item: until you’ve played outside for 1 hour.

This subtle change to the rule has been magic. There are days they don’t play on the computer at all. They get so absorbed in their outdoor play that they don’t want to come in except to refuel. This is wonderful except for the days that they decide to do this first before all their other required daily activities but that’s the beauty of homeschooling, our days are flexible. I’d rather they miss a day of reading and writing and arithmetic if it means they spend the day breathing fresh air and getting dirty. The benefits far outweigh the consequences: healthier immune systems, healthier appetites (less eating from boredom and more eating to nourish), deeper sleep and quieter minds. Plus, there’s great learning to be had in play, kids just don’t get enough natural play in our modern world.

natural-play-as-a-gateway-to-herbal-learning

While this doesn’t directly tie into learning about the medicinal uses of herbs, it teaches children to enjoy the outdoors, to the point that they prefer it to being indoors, and they are fully immersed in the plants themselves. Poke berries become pretend food for their dolls, or paint for them or juice in their cups. From previous uses, my kids know to respect Poke berries and know that Poke is a powerful healing plant that is not to be taken lightly so they respect the plant and never try to ingest it. They use Plantain for blankets and Oak bark for building furniture. And though they may not consciously know what each plant is used for medicinally, the plants are imprinting on their subconscious in many ways that will retain awareness in the years to come. Through sensory play, touch, sight, smell, sound and sometimes taste (who can resist when those Mulberries are juicy and ripe?) they are learning about the plants and becoming familiar with them.

Natural Play as a Gateway to Herbal Learning

As my children grow and learn, their play becomes more sophisticated. They play “doctor” and use a Plantain leaf as a band-aid for a wound or a Burdock leaf to cover and bandage a burn. They mix up concoctions of herbs to feed to their “patients” as they work to heal their imaginary wounds. They make quick spit poultices to apply to wounds and mix imaginary salves from their plants to spread on the wounds. A natural role playing game automatically starts to summon their sense of herbal knowledge and awareness the more they play.

Natural Play as a Gateway to Herbal Learning

I am currently putting together a unit study for our school work based on My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George as I have found the currently available lesson plans a bit lacking in the nature department (and more heavily on the 3 ‘r’s of learning). A favorite book of mine from my youth, I hope to engage their senses of wonder even more with this book. One of their chosen subjects this year was survival skills and what better book to raise awareness than this gem? Though the book doesn’t touch on the medicinal uses of plants, Sam uses many in the book for food such as Solomon’s Seal which is a wonderful medicinal plant. A companion book, Pocket Guide to the Outdoors that she published many, many years later does provide about 30 pages of information on edible, poisonous and medicinal plants, making it a great supplement to her trilogy. I’m afraid my version of this “unit” will turn into a year long (or better yet, lifetime,) study! My kids love to build their own survival shelters and try to start fires with only flint, steel and found tinder. I visualize many hours of outdoor play re-enacting Sam and Alice (his younger sister who appears in the sequel) along with some herbal remedies thrown in for good measure.

Sometimes, the best way to get kids interested in the medicinal uses of herbs is by encouraging their love of the outdoors. By creating electronic free time (or even days), kids soon discover just how wonderful it is to be outdoors and will soon be choosing it over electronic play on a daily basis.

Natural Play as a Gateway to Herbal Learning

How do you get your kids outside to play? Do you plant ideas to get them started? What games have you seen your children entwining with their herbal and natural plant knowledge? Please share with us in the comments!

Herbal Blessings,
signature1

Giveaway Monday – Reishi Package from Emery Herbals

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6th, 2014 by kristine — 59 Comments

***Congratulations to Marion Doss! She is the winner of this wonderful giveaway!***OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today I am thrilled to be offering this amazing herbal package from Emery Herbals! Emery Herbals is run by Canadian Herbalist Colleen Emery. One lucky person is going to receive this beautiful package in their mailbox!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Giveaway details: 

Dual Extracted Reishi Tincture 50 ml

Reishi Hot Chocolate Kit: contains 50 grams of Reishi Slices and 70 grams of raw Cacao Powder

Raw Chocolate Making Kit: contains 50 grams of steam extracted Reishi mushroom powder, 70 grams of raw cacao powder and 100 grams of raw cacao butter plus instructions on how to make your own reishi mushroom raw chocolates.

colleen-emery-1

About Colleen:

Colleen Emery is the Master Herbalist and creative vision behind Emery Herbals. Formally trained through the Wild Rose College, Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy and East West School of Planetary Herbology, Colleen has developed an integrative practice bridging the principles of Western Eclecticism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Indigenous Herbal Medicine. Passionate about providing access to herbal medicine Colleen offers empowering workshops for Adults and Children as well as a comprehensive Apprenticeship program. When not concocting potions in her studio she can be found spending quiet time connecting with nature along side her daughter, husband and feline friend.

emery-herbals

About Emery Herbals: 

Emery Herbals, located in the heart of Winlaw in the West Kootenays of BC, is dedicated to providing open access to the highest quality, ethically sourced herbal medicine available. Offering dispensing services for local as well as distant practitioners and clients our dispensary carries an integrative inventory of Western, Chinese and Aruvedic herbs. Our healing suites offer the services of a Chiropractor, Naturopathic Doctor, Registered Massage Therapist, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, Master Herbalist, Iridologist, Clinical Aromatherapist as well as Energy Healers and Counselors. We offer a variety of workshops for adults and children as well as an Herbal CSA program.

Love Emery Herbals? You can show your support by ‘liking’ them on Facebook. Tell them Herbal Roots zine sent you!

Want a chance to win this awesome package from Emery Herbals? Leave a comment! For more chances to win, leave a separate comment every time you do one of the following:

-if you’re a kid, tell me how old you are and what your favorite Herbal Roots zine activities are

-Check out Emery Herbal’s website and tell me some of your favorite things

-Blog about it (leave reference link)

-Facebook/Myspace/Tweet about it (leave reference link)

-Sign up for the Herbal Roots zine monthly newsletter (and receive an issue for free!)

-Post some pictures of your October activities using Herbal Roots and Reishi on the Flickr Group Page (Be sure to tell us about it!)

-Become a follower of Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #emeryherbals #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Follow Herbal Roots zine on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #emeryherbals #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end on and I’ll draw the winner on Monday, October 13, 2014. Thanks for entering and good luck!

 

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 22 – Autumn Herbal Activities

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2014 by kristine — 2 Comments

As I write this, there is a chill in the air and the leaves are falling from the trees. As the season starts to wind down, it can start to get harder to get kids outside and exploring herbs. Though most plants are dying back for the winter, there is plenty to do!

pink-hair

Paint with Pokeberries. In the herbal world, Poke is a low dose botanical, not one to mess around with internally. But externally, the berries can be a lot of fun! Mash them up, strain out the seeds (which are the toxic part of the berry) and go to town with it. Use them to dye your hair magenta, paint your body or use as ink for writing notes and painting pictures. The dye is not color fast, it will wash out with the slightest bit of water so it’s a fun temporary way to play. Traditionally, Appalachian herbalists have used Poke berries to make Pink Water, a remedy for flushing out the body after a drawn out illness.

dye-4

Dye with Walnut hulls. Walnut hulls make a gorgeous color fast dye that ranges from army green to golden bronze. They are one of the easiest plants to dye with. Simply chop up those green hulls (wear gloves or you’ll see just how easy of a dye it is), fill a half gallon or gallon jar with them then fill the jar with water. Cover and let that sit out for several days then strain off the liquid, compost the hulls and return the liquid to the jar. This time, add play silks, handkerchiefs, cotton or wool socks or other natural fiber and completely immerse it in the dye bath. Cover and let it sit in the sun for a few days up to a week. Rinse a portion and see if it’s as dark as you want it.  When you’ve reached the desired color, rinse in cold water then hang on the line to dry. The dye water can also be used as an ink, put it in a stock pot and cook the liquid down until it is thick. Store in a jar. Medicinally, Black Walnut is used for a variety of issues including ringworm, hypothyroidism and worms. Learn more about Black Walnut.

bark10

Harvest Cherry bark and twigs for making syrup. This is the time of year to harvest bark since all the sap is running back down the tree. I like to prune my Wild Cherry trees for twigs that I chop up and simmer in water for a bit. I then let it steep for an hour, strain off the liquid, return it to the saucepan and add an equal amount of honey. I reheat gently to slightly thin the honey, stir and pour into a bottle. For extra preservation, add about 1/4 of the volume in brandy. Store in the refrigerator. Wild Cherry is excellent for coughs, congestion, sore throats, anxiety and lots more. Learn more about Wild Cherry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Go mushroom hunting. Look for Reishi, Maitake and Chicken of the Woods. All are easy to identify and have lots of medicinal benefits. Though Reishi cannot be cooked up, they can be added to broths and soups to extract their benefits while the liquid is simmering. Just remove them before serving. Maitake and Chicken of the Woods can be sautéed, added to casseroles, or dried for using throughout the winter. Medicinal mushrooms all have immunity benefits, anticancer properties and are nourishing to the body. Learn more about Reishi.

What other Autumn Herbal Activities can you think of? Which ones are your children attracted to? Please share with us on our Facebook page!

Herbal Blessings,
signature1

October 2014 – Radical Reishi

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2014 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

Radical Reishi at Herbal Roots zine

There’s a crispness in the air that promises the end of summer. Some areas of North America may already be experiencing autumn while others are still only dreaming about it but one thing’s for sure, Reishi is sprouting and growing!

Radical Reishi at Herbal Roots zine

One of the most revered mushrooms in many traditions of herbal healing, Reishi has been used for centuries. Though most widely used in China in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi is becoming popular in all traditions. Reishi grows around the world and can most often be found on hardwood trees though some species do like to grow on Firs and Hemlocks.

Radical Reishi at Herbal Roots zine

Explore this fantastic medicinal mushroom in this month’s issue of Herbal Roots zine.

Radical Reishi Table of Contents:

Note to Parents
Supply List
Calendar
Herb Spirit
All About Reishi
Herbal Glossary
Scramble, Search and More: Circle the Energetics, List the Vitamins & Minerals,Word Search,  Word Scramble, Spore
Herbal Botany
Herbal Lore: The Birth of Reishi
Songs and Poems: Reishi is Ganoderma, Reishi Grows on a Tree
Herbal Recipes: Reishi Extract, Reishi Tea, Reishi Oil, Reishi Syrup
Coloring Page
Herbal Crafts: Spore print/drawing of Reishi, , Harvesting & Preparing Reishi, Artist’s Conk Drawings, Sew a Reishi Pillow
Maze: Find Your Way Through the Reishi
Journal: Write your thoughts, medicine making notes and other information about your month with Reishi
Crossword Puzzle
Resources

50 pages from Cover to Cover. This month only, $3.99. After October 31, 2014, the price will go up to $7.99.

Add to Cart
View Cart
Or, you can subscribe for an entire year of Herbal Roots zine for just $34.99.
Not ready to purchase yet? Sign up for our free monthly newsletter and receive an issue of Herbal Roots zine for free! The link is on the left hand column.

Giveaway Monday – Reishi Package from Mountain Rose Herbs

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22nd, 2014 by kristine — 33 Comments

***CONGRATULATIONS TO SAGE! SAGE IS THE WINNER OF THIS GIVEAWAY!***

mrh-logo

This week, we are giving away a package all about Reishi, our herb for October! This package will get you started on exploring this wonderful medicinal mushroom.

This packages contains:

reishi_slices

1 pound of dried, sliced organic Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom, a $20 value

With this much Reishi, you can make your own tincture, grind it up to sprinkle into foods, add to soups and broths, and even make your own Reishi tea. We’ll have plenty of recipes in the October issue of Herbal Roots zine to highlight how these can be used!

Mountain Rose Herbs is a certified organic processor through Oregon Tilth which is fully accredited with the USDA National Organic Program. Since 1987 they have continuously worked for the advancement of sustainable organic agriculture and state they will continue this lifelong passion into the future. They wholeheartedly recommend discovering the joys to be found in organic food products and the best place to start is right here at Mountain Rose Herbs. From the herbs they offer, to the teas they process and the oils they have distilled.

M0untain Rose also has a great YouTube Channel which offers an amazing amount of tutorials and educational videos, many created by John Gallagher and Rosalee de la Foret of Learningherbs.com.

You can also follow them on their Blog for more information and great Giveaway offers!

Love Mountain Rose Herbs? You can show your support by ‘liking’ them on Facebook. Tell them Herbal Roots zine sent you!

Want a chance to win this awesome package from Mountain Rose Herbs? Leave a comment! For more chances to win, leave a separate comment every time you do one of the following:

-if you’re a kid, tell me how old you are and what your favorite Herbal Roots zine activities are

-Check out MRH’s website and tell me some of your favorite things

-Blog about it (leave reference link)

-Follow Mountain Rose Herbs on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Become a follower of Mountain Rose Herbs on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

-Facebook/Myspace/Tweet about it (leave reference link)

-Sign up for the Herbal Roots zine monthly newsletter (and receive an issue for free!)

-Post some pictures of your September activities using Herbal Roots and Yellow Dock on the Flickr Group Page (Be sure to tell us about it!)

-Become a follower of Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Follow Herbal Roots zine on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end on and I’ll draw the winner on Monday, October 6, 2014. Thanks for entering and good luck!

 

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 21 – Learning to Identify Plants

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11th, 2014 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

I’d like to welcome all the new subscribers in the past few weeks and to those who were able to take a moment and respond to my questions, I’d like to say thank you! I know your time is valuable and I appreciated every response I get. I am sorry I have not been able to answer each one personally but I am taking note of what you are asking for and I hope to be able to offer up suggestions and tips in upcoming newsletters.

One of the reoccurring themes in your responses is “how can I learn and/or teach my child to identify plants, both for medicine and food? What kid-friendly sources are available?”

There are some really great books on the subject, both geared to children and more adult oriented. Having a variety available will help your child to learn and a few more in depth options will be her go to resource once she’s found a plant she really wants to learn about.

I have quite an extensive book list on my website that is growing every day. If you have any suggestions for books to add, please email me!

Today I’d like to highlight a few that kids will particularly enjoy.

Shanleyas_Quest

One of the first books I can recommend is Shanleya’s Quest: A Botany Adventure For Kids Ages 9 to 99 (book and card deck) by Thomas J. ElpelI just adore this story and card set! The set teaches children how to learn to identify plant families in a fun way. There are 8 plant families taught in this book: Mint, Parsley, Mustard, Pea, Lily, Grass, Rose and Aster. Once the key patterns are learned, children can identify 45,000 species of plants. With this knowledge also comes basic knowledge of the plant’s healing capabilities. For instance, the majority of the Mint family plants are carminatives. The card deck is a fun way to reinforce the patterns learned in the book. It’s truly a story your children will ask to read again and again.

biad

Tom does a great job of following this set up with his ‘adult’ version, Botany in a DayThis is a wonderful book for learning plant families in more depth than Shanleya’s Quest teaches. His newest edition is in color and is absolutely gorgeous to look at, drawing children into the book with their colorful renderings.

newcombs_wildflower_guide

Keying out plants can become a fun game using guides. For flowers, I love using Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb. Kids love learning the ‘code’ of the flowers through this book. The only downside to keying out plants this way is they have to be in flower.

forest-trees-of-illiois

Try to search out a tree guide book for your region or state. In Illinois, we are lucky to have the Forest Trees of Illinois book which is put out by Illinois Department of Natural Resources. I believe a lot of states publish these books and they can be used in the same manner as the Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide for keying out trees in your neighborhood.

peterson

Peterson Field Guides are quite handy to have around as well. They are based on region such as Western, Eastern/Central and Southwestern & Texas. There are wildflower and medicinal plants and herbs books available for the regions, with color photographs, descriptions and uses of plants.

My_Side_of_the_Mountain  pocket-guide-msotm

For children who enjoy story books, check out Jean Craighead George’s books, such as My Side of the Mountain. This story is my most read book from childhood and will spark children’s interests in learning about plants as they watch Sam learn about them for his survival in the woods. Though it’s not specifically a field identification book, it might spark the interest in learning more about plants.

As your child is learning to identify plants, have her create a herbarium for storing a pressing of each plant she learns to identify. She can write the plant family, the botanical name, any characteristics that stick out, the main uses of the plant along with the date and location found. Then, the next time she finds the same plant in another location, she can look it up in her own plant ID book. It won’t take long for that herbarium to fill up and her knowledge to grow.

What are your favorite herbal identification books? Which ones are your children attracted to? Please share with us on our Facebook page!

Herbal Blessings,
signature1

Free Printable from Ancient Amber

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9th, 2014 by kristine — 1 Comment so far

This week, we have a sweet little autumn coloring page to offer up to our readers! This darling coloring page is from The Sunchildren, a new seasonal story book by Ancient Amber. We’ll be sharing more about this book in the near future but today, click on the picture for a downloadable PDF of the picture.

Coloring Page

Giveaway Monday – Passionflower Pendant from Mulberry Mudd

Posted in Uncategorized on September 2nd, 2014 by kristine — 9 Comments

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO REBECCA RATTE, SHE IS THE WINNER OF THIS LOVELY PENDANT!***

mulberrymudd

August is over but we’re still celebrating Passionflower! This week we are giving away this beautiful Passionflower pendant which will arrive strung on hemp twine with a button closure. This one of a kind ceramic pendant is hand sculpted and carved and once fired, is painted with acrylic paint.

passionflower1

This beautiful pendant is about 1 1/2″ wide by 3″ long.

passionflower2

About Rebekah:

rebekah-dawn-profile

Artist and herbalist Rebekah Dawn has been walking with the plants for as long as she can remember. A life long love has translated into passionate study of herbal lore that has deepened and grown through the years. She currently lives with her family at Labyrinth Gardens, a United Plant Saver Botanical Sanctuary, where she gives monthly plant walks and medicine making workshops. When she is not in the garden or wild-crafting she is most likely in her ceramic studio. Rebekah is the Teen Camp Coordinator for the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference.

Be sure to stop by to check out her other items in her store. She makes beautiful Herbal Faeries, pendants, birdhouses, mugs and more! She also does custom orders so if you have a special ally or idea, convo her with questions! There may be a few other one-of-a-kind pendants featuring past Herbal Roots herbs as well! Rebekah uses naturally found elements in nature combined with clay to create these amazing pieces. Her sculptures are amazing, incredibly original and just plain wonderful. I fall in love with each one she creates.

Each piece in Rebekah’s store is original in every way, she uses no molds or reproductions ever. A percentage of her profits go to Tree Sisters and Radical Joy for Hard Times each month, and the rest builds her own Botanical Sanctuary at Labyrinth Gardens.

You can become a fan of Mulberry Mudd on Facebook if you would like to do so.

If you’d like a chance to win this one of a kind Passionflower pendant, leave a comment below. For more chances to win, you can leave a separate comment each time you advertise this giveaway by:

-Kids, you get 1 extra point for being a kid! Leave a comment telling me how old you are and what you like best about Herbal Roots zine.

-blogging about it

-tell us which herb you’re most excited to be learning about this year with Herbal Roots zine

-telling me your favorite item in her store

-follow Mulberry Mudd on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-share this giveaway on your Facebook page

-follow Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-follow Herbal Roots on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-follow Herbal Roots zine on Instagram (user name HerbalRootszine) and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your instagram name in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, September 15, 2014. Good luck!