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Giveaway Monday – Mulberry Tea Cup from Mulberry Mudd

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20th, 2015 by kristine — 55 Comments

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO 12 YEAR OLD MARY HELLEN, SHE IS THIS WEEK’S WINNER!***

mulberrymudd

This week I am delighted to give away this beautiful Mulberry teacup from Mulberry Mudd. This one of a kind handmade ceramic teacup features Mulberry on both sides and is perfect for serving up your favorite cup of herbal tea or steaming cup of nourishing bone broth.

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This beautiful teacup is handleless and rests comfortably in your hands. The  clay, natural green glaze and acrylic accents make this a work of art that is as beautiful as it is practical!

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This teacup holds approximately 16 oz. They fit comfortably in your hands, warming them as the hot beverage contained within it warms your insides!  What would be your favorite drink in this cup?

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About Rebekah:

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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 Mulberry tea cup, leave a comment below, telling me what your favorite beverage would be to sip in it. 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

-share this giveaway on your Facebook page

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

-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)

Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 27, 2015. Good luck!

[Herbal Rootlets] No. 48 – Garden Tools for Kids

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16th, 2015 by kristine — 1 Comment so far

garden tools for kids

One of the most important resources that a garden makes available for use, is the gardener’s own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.

-Wendell Berry

The sky is sunny, temperatures have risen to comfortable levels and the back yard is calling but you’ve got small (or maybe not so small) kids to keep an eye on. How can you garden with them around? Bring them out with you and provide them with a bit of space for them to work with! Kids love to dig in the dirt and given the opportunity, they will dig and weed and plant right along side of you.

I have taught enough kids classes to see how parents often forget that kids learn best by doing. Just as you can’t expect a child to create a beautiful masterpiece the first time they hold a paint brush in their hand, you can’t expect them to be perfect in the garden their first try. But given time, kids learn quickly and can be quite helpful with weeding, pruning, planting and harvesting once they’ve been shown the way.

How do you get them started? Give them their own child-sized tools.

But not cheap plastic ones. Invest in some nice wooden handled, metal tools. These are some of our favorite tools to have on hand for the garden…

spade

A spade or hand trowel
Small shovels can be handy for digging small holes in the ground for planting plants or helping with digging up weeds.

hoe

A hoe
Sometimes you just need to hoe a row. Kids love to use hoes for weeding and even if you’re practicing permaculture gardening techniques, sometimes a patch gets away from you and the necessity to weed is there. Having a kid sized hoe makes this a fun chore for kids to do.

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A wooden dibble
These tools are great for punching a hole in the ground to plant seedlings, bulbs and seeds. Kids will love having one and if yours are like mine, they’ll love doing this to help plant!

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Gloves
Though they probably won’t care about getting their hands dirty, they may need a pair if you’re working with tenacious plants such as Nettles, Thistle and Poison Ivy.

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Wheel barrow
If there’s going to be hauling involved, a child sized wheel barrow is another great tool to have. My kids love being able to haul their own debris to the compost pile.

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A pot maker
If you are starting your own seeds, this handy tool converts newspapers into plantable pots!

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A garden tote
These are great for teaching your kids responsibility…a place for everything and everything in its place. They can stash their tools in this handy tote to carry to/from the garden. A garden tote should be large enough that they can stash a journal, plant markers, a writing instrument, gloves and the seeds they are planting in addition to their garden tools.

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Hori knife
As an adult, one of my favorite tools is the hori knife. I haven’t found a kid-sized one but my kids have learned to use mine safely in the garden.

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A Garden journal
Keeping track of what you plant, when you planted it, and care instructions are best kept in their own journal. It’s great to be able to look back on it over the years, and for this reason, I love the Lee Valley 10 year garden journal.

Besides tools, what else can help kids to enjoy working in the garden?

Give them their own garden plot.
Mark off a space for them to garden. Let them choose what to plant and where to plant it in their space. The first couple of years the garden may be a mess but over time, they will learn proper spacing and companion planting.

Give them their own seeds.
Let them pick out 3 – 5 seeds to grow. Younger kids might enjoy watching sunflowers and squash plants while older kids will enjoy growing their own herbs. Some great sources for gmo-free heirloom seeds are:

Thyme Garden
Horizon Herbs
Botanical Interests
Baker Creek Seeds

Learning through doing.
Younger kids like to mimic adult activities. Bringing your toddler to the garden may sound like a disaster but if you start off working in hardier locations, you can start teaching them what to pull and what to keep. At the same time, they can start identifying those ‘weeds’ that you might not want growing in your garden patch that are good medicinal and edibles. Weeding the garden becomes harvesting dinner.

Books and resources for gardening with kids.
Want more inspiration for gardening with kids? Check out these books!

Activities for Gardening
Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars by Sharon Lovejoy
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy
Sunflower Houses: Inspiration From the Garden – A Book for Children and Their Grown-Ups by Sharon Lovejoy
Project Garden: A Month-by-Month Guide to Planting, Growing, and Enjoying ALL Your Backyard Has to Offer by Stacy Tornio

Storybooks about Seeds and Gardens
How a Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan
The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow by Joanna Cole
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals

Do your kids enjoy working in the garden? What tools do your kids like in the garden? Do they get their own patch to work in? If so, what do they like to plant?

P.S. As a Reminder…This week we are giving away a $50 gift certificate to For Small Hands to one lucky winner! Be sure to sign up for this awesome giveaway, and if you win, you’ll get to choose some awesome tools for kids.

Monday Giveaway – Gift Certificate from ForSmallHands.com

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13th, 2015 by kristine — 39 Comments

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO LIZ, SHE IS THIS WEEK’S WINNER.**

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Spring is here and it’s time to get the kids out into the garden, helping with the cleaning, preparing and planting of the spring garden. And to celebrate that, we are giving away a $50 gift certificate to the website www.forsmallhands.com.

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I just love this website for all things small! Kids love to have ownership in their own tools for whatever job they are doing and this website gives parents access to tools for every job, whether it be in the kitchen, in the garden, in the laundry room, cleaning house, in the wood shop or craft activities.

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It can be hard to find well made tools for kids, most often they are made of plastic that breaks. www.forsmallhands.com has quality tools that have wood or bamboo handles and metal parts so kids can actually do grown-up work along side their parents.

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This is one of the best gifts you can give your child, the ability to mimic your daily work with appropriate tools that make work easy and fun for them. From the beginning I have brought my kids into the daily activities of cooking, cleaning and gardening and having small tools made it safer and more enjoyable for all of us.

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About For Small Hands:

Since 1976, Montessori Services has focused on bringing hard-to-find, child-size Practical Life materials into the classroom. Although our School Catalog focus has expanded to include materials across the curriculum, materials for the exercises of Practical Life remain our specialty.

Founded in Pennsylvania by Jane Mills Campbell, an AMI-trained Primary Montessori teacher, the original Montessori Services School Catalog was created with a simple goal: make it easy and cost-effective to find the specialized items used in the Montessori classroom.

In 2004 our family resource catalog was created at the request of Montessori teachers. For Small Hands gives parents access to many of the same child-size items children use at school, enabling children to participate in the home environment with the same ease and success they enjoy in the classroom.

Jane’s “kitchen table” business grew steadily, moving cross-country by school bus (yes, by school bus) to the Campbell’s California garage, from the garage to a small storefront, and eventually to our current location in downtown Santa Rosa, about one hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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You can become a fan of For Small Hands on Facebook if you would like to do so. Tell them Herbal Roots zine sent you!

If you’d like a chance to win this gift certificate, leave a comment below, telling us what you would buy with it if you won it. 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

-checking out For Small Hands’s shop and telling me your favorite item(s)

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

-telling me your favorite section(s) of Herbal Roots zine

-share this giveaway on your Facebook page

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

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

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

Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 20, 2015. Good luck!

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 47 – Eat Something Wild Every Day Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8th, 2015 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

Eating-Wild

Once we have tasted wildness, we begin to hunger for a food long denied us, and the more we eat the more we will awaken.

– Stephen Harrod Buhner

It's always exciting when the first Blackberries are ready for picking! Caution is needed as the prickles are vicious.

It’s always exciting when the first Blackberries are ready for picking! Caution is needed as the prickles are vicious.

This is a little challenge that I like to take every year. Add something wild to one meal a day. Some days I succeed in adding to all my meals, and some days I’m lucky if I remember to run out and eat a wild flower. Bringing my kids on board with this challenge is a great help in reminding me to eat wild every day, they love this sort of thing! Each year I try to push it further into the season. My goal is to eventually practice this daily year round. 

Harvesting Maitake mushrooms on an autumn walk. We harvest enough to enjoy them fresh and dry them for using throughout the winter in soups, stews and other dishes.

Harvesting Maitake mushrooms on an autumn walk. We harvest enough to enjoy them fresh and dry them for using throughout the winter in soups, stews and other dishes.

What is wild?

Wild foods grow all around us. They come in many forms. The more you learn about wild foods, the more you’ll discover all around you. They can be simple like the Dandelions, Violets, Chickweed and Plantain that grow in our backyard, providing greens and flowers for our salads, or roots, such as Chicory and Dandelion for roasting and drinking as our morning beverage. Local trees such as Mulberry, Wild Cherry, Apple, Peach, Plum and Pear are often planted as landscape trees and then abandoned, offering a multitude of wild fruits at our reach. Berries grow in pockets of wild as well: Blackberries, Raspberries, Wineberries, Dewberries, Currants, Gooseberries, Elderberries, Grapes and Blueberries often can be found. Don’t forget the nuts! Acorns, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Beechnuts, Hickory nuts are just a few that can often be found in neighborhood parks and woods.

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My forage for today…Dandelion flowers and Nettles to add to fritters and Violet flowers and Chickweed for our daily salad.

Why eat wild?
There are countless reasons, here are a few…

Eating wild speaks to the feral child inside of us. It returns us to our roots, grounding us in nature.

It helps us to weed our gardens. Suddenly, all those Dandelions have value. Violets add color and nutrition to our salads. Chickweed adds variety to the ho-hum salad or grilled cheese sandwich.

Wild foods often have more vitamins and minerals than garden grown foods because they choose to grow where the most nutrients are available.

Wild foods are not treated with fungicides, herbicides, pesticides and such. They do not get waxed as produce in the grocery store often is.

Eating wild gives us confidence. We can learn to provide food for ourselves and not rely on the grocery stores to feed us.

Wild food is sacred. It connects us to the divine sacred. Eating wild food is honoring the divine sacred inside all of us.

With the drought in California, food prices are going up. Adding local, wild food to our diets gives us a healthy variety without worrying about the cost.

It forces us to slow down and be aware. By taking 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour a day to walk to the wild places, we learn to observe. What is growing and available now? What is almost ready? What is finished growing? Where do the most lush wild foods grow?

It fuels a desire to learn and remember. Discovering wild foods in your area can inspire you to keep a nature journal of what grows where and when it’s ready to harvest. It can inspire you to want to learn more about that plant. Yep, I love to eat Nettles. Besides the nutrition, what health benefits can I gain from it? Will my allergies really go away? These questions are best answered through experience and keeping a journal helps to keep track of those experiences.

Maitakes, known as Hen of the Woods, and Laetiporus, known as Chicken of the Woods, getting prepared for a dinner sauté.

Maitakes, known as Hen of the Woods, and Laetiporus, known as Chicken of the Woods, getting prepared for a dinner sauté.

How to get started eating wild?
Take a walk through your neighborhood. Look for wild areas. Even cities have abandoned lots which sprout wild foods. Make a list of what you find and where you found it. Search your backyard. Have you made a list of what’s growing in it yet? Look up those plants and see what makes a great edible plant as well (there are lots of resources at the end of this article).

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A few of my favorite foraging books.

Resources and recipes for eating wild
The following are a few of my favorite resources for identifying wild edibles and recipe inspiration.

Foraging and Feasting by Dina Falconi

The Forager’s Harvest and Nature’s Garden by Samuel Thayer

A City Herbal by Maida Silverman

The Wild, Wild Cookbook by Jean Craighead George

The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes by Connie Green

Mushrooming without Fear by Alexander Schwab

The Complete Mushroom Hunter: An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff

Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. Don’t have a wild patch of earth nearby? Check out this book to see how you can eat on the wild side with every day produce.

Harvesting wild Persimmons. This little monkey loves to climb in the trees to reach the juicy sweet ones high up.

Harvesting wild Persimmons. This little monkey loves to climb in the trees to reach the juicy sweet ones high up.

Online articles and inspiration, food for thought
Wanting a little more inspiration? These articles and websites are my go to inspiration to eat wild.

Why you should eat like a gorilla

Nourishing the wild self: wild food and community

Foraging in the winter

Return to Nature

Wildy Nourished

Wild Food Girl

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Nettles and Dandelion flowers chopped up and ready to add into the fritter base.

A wild recipe for you
This is a versatile recipe that changes as the seasons go by. Carrots or zucchini can be added as a base if your family gives you the hairy eyeball over it being filled completely with wild greens.

Combine together:

3 beaten eggs

1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic or 2 cloves freshly minced

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Add in:

2 – 4 cups of chopped wild foods such as Nettles, Dandelion leaves and/or flowers, Lamb’s Quarters, Chickweed, Purslane, etc.

If only adding 2 cups of wild edibles, add in another 2 cups of grated zucchini or carrot

Stir together until combined.

Fry in a cast iron skillet in bacon grease, butter or coconut oil until brown on one side. Flip and cook on the other side until brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Sprouted acorns ready for processing. Some will be ground into flour and some will be used in a wild chai blend.

Sprouted acorns ready for processing. Some will be ground into flour and some will be used in a wild chai blend.

Wild is all around us! Do you harvest wild foods to add to your meals? What are your favorite wild edibles? Will you take the wild food challenge this year? How do you think it will help you and your kids to learn about the plants that grow around you?

Giveaway Monday – Winding Road Studio Ceramic Mug

Posted in Uncategorized on April 6th, 2015 by kristine — 42 Comments

*** THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO 6 YEAR OLD CIARA, SHE IS THE WINNER!***front

This week I am excited to share a new artist with you! Winding Road Studio has beautiful offerings in pottery, stained glass, paper and brooms.  This beautiful ceramic mug proudly displays Mulberry’s berries and leaf with vibrant glazing and intricate leaf detail.

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About Winding Road Studio:

“I have been asked many times why I do so many different things, my best answer is that I am a restless soul, with too much in my mind that wants release. I am always trying to find the best medium to express the journey, the connection and find that inner balance.

The things I make resonate with my passion for the inner and outer worlds. I strive to imbue everything I do with an energy, be it whimsy or wisdom that others can connect with and enjoy.

I have been  doing pottery since 1992. My pottery can be found throughout the U.S. and in 8 countries around the globe. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t painting or piddling in some form of art.
Mostly I divide my time between the many different forms of art that call to me. In the winter I can be found painting, quilting, weaving and teaching classes. In the spring I segue back into pottery, stained glass and broom making. During the summer months I add soap making, jewelry and whatever new form catches me.”

 

You can become a fan of Winding Road Studio on Facebook if you would like to do so. Tell her Herbal Roots zine sent you!

If you’d like a chance to win this beautiful mug, 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.

-can you tell me what hidden treasure is on the Winding Road Studio website?

-blogging about it

-checking out Winding Road Studio’s shop and telling me your favorite item(s)

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

-telling me your favorite section(s) of Herbal Roots zine

-share this giveaway on your Facebook page

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

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

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

Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 13, 2015. Good luck!

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 46 – Creating Your Herbal First Aid Kit

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3rd, 2015 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

Creating Your Herbal First Aid Kit

Long before people bought medicine or food at a store, they learned to use the wild plants growing all around them. They watched animals to see which plants were good to eat and which plants were poisonous. They experimented and learned which plants could heal people when they were hurt or sick. People passed their knowledge on to their children and grandchildren for generations.”

-Ellen Evert Hopman, Walking the World of Wonder

This is a travel version herbal first aid kit. It fits into a plastic case or a small back pack. This is quick and easy to assemble and will help you to learn first aid first hand. I’ve listed some books at the end of this article for further information on first aid and herbs.

A Carrying Case

The first thing you’ll need is a sturdy carrying case for your kit. Either a shoebox sized plastic tub or a small kid’s back pack will do the trick. If you are using a tub, you can write on it with a sharpie “First Aid Kit” or buy a vinyl sticker to place on top of it. I prefer the universal green background with white cross. You can also purchase a sew on patch for your backpack. Anyone needing to find your kit should be able to see the decal or patch.

Basic First Aid Supplies

Next you’ll want to assemble the basic first aid needs. This may vary a bit depending on your family’s needs but this is a good starting point. Add or subtract as needed:

Assorted sizes band-aids, including some butterfly or wound closure strips
Tweezers
Scissors
Travel sewing kit which contains needle, thread, safety pins
Fingernail clippers
Plastic eye cup
Extra safety pins
Small Ace bandage
Disposable lighter
Small tube super glue – for gluing together gaping cuts
Alcohol swab pads
Blister pads
Various tape – I like to use a piece of plastic to wrap duck tape and bandage tape around
Small bottle hydrogen peroxide
Small bottle saline – good for cleaning wounds and the focused stream can be used to flush out a dirty wound
Cotton swabs
Cotton balls
Gauze pads
Contact lens case and spare contacts – if there is a wearer of them, especially the driver, it’s not fun to lose a contact and try to drive without it!
Instant Hand warmers – for applying heat to an injury
A piece of flannel fabric or a wash cloth – Use to soak tea in for a compress or to wash wounds
A bottle of water – for washing wounds, using to make tea, etc.
A sliver of soap in a ziplock bag

Herbal Additions

Now it’s time to assemble some herbs to go along with your kit!

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Herbal salve – see the previous tutorial for making your own individual salve packs.

-All purpose salve – A good all purpose green salve with Chickweed, Comfrey, and/or Plantain is perfect for all sorts of cuts and scrapes.

-Antibacterial salve – A more antibacterial based salve using herbs such as Goldenseal, Usnea or Echinacea.

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Lip balm – this can be used for chapped lips and in a pinch, as a salve substitute if you are out of salve. It can also be rubbed onto cracked heels and other dry skin patches.

Natural Peppermint candies – These are good for nausea, motion sickness and upset stomachs

Ginger chew candies – Same as the Peppermint candies, offers a variety in case Peppermint isn’t liked or doesn’t work

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Herbal extracts 1/2 or 1 ounce plastic bottles are best so the bottles won’t break.

Peach Extract – Bee stings, coughs

Plantain Extract – Bee stings, bleeding, allergies, to help draw out splinters

-Osha Extract – Allergic reactions (pet dander, stings, pollen)

Crampbark Extract – Cramping of any kind, muscle spasms, tension

Wild Cherry Extract – Stress, anxiety, coughs

Willow or Meadowsweet Extract – Headaches, inflammation

St. John’s Wort Extract – nerve pain, nervous tension

Dandelion Extract – Digestive issues

Echinacea Extract – Boosts the immune system, good for venomous stings and bites

-YET Blend (2 oz)Yarrow, Echinacea and Thyme extract combination for use with food poisoning; Use 1 dropperful every 30 minutes until symptoms subside then continue hourly

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Homeopathic tabs – There are many homeopathic tabs available, I find these to be most useful with kids.

  -Arnica – anytime anyone gets a cut, bump, bruise, scrape, etc. 4 of these tabs go under the tongue
  -Rhus toxicodendron – this is a great defense against poison ivy
  -Apis mellifica – for bee stings

Flower essences – I like to keep Bach’s Rescue Remedy on hand for emergency situations when trauma happens. I find it good for soothing and calming kids who are hysterical and uncontrollable with fright, trauma and/or pain. It works great on animals too (rub a few drops on the inside of their ear.

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Powdered herbs – Though extracts are handy, sometimes powdered are good to have on hand too.

Cayenne – Packaged in tiny baggies in 1 teaspoon measurements. Useful for pouring onto a wound that won’t stop bleeding and can also be used to save someone’s life during a heart attack (mix 1 teaspoon with 1 cup water, preferrably warm) and have them drink it. If they are unconscious, rub directly on their gums. CAUTION: This will sting (obviously) so use with caution on children. It’s a good last resort, gotta stop the bleeding, kind of herb.

-Wound blend – a combination of powdered herbs such as Goldenseal, Echinacea, Usnea, Plantain, Comfrey and Yarrow blended together to pour onto wounds to stop bleeding, protect from infection and encourage healing.

-Activated charcoal – though this is not an actual herb, no first aid kit should be without this. Activated charcoal can be used for a myriad of things from making into a poultice (I like to use Plantain and Echinacea for applying to venomous bites or Plantain to help draw out splinters), applied to weepy wounds to help dry up and heal, or taken internally for intestinal distress including diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning and other toxins

Essential oils – Be careful with essential oils, they are extremely potent. Most essential oils should be diluted in an oil before using, the ones listed below are okay to use full strength as listed.

Rosemary – the traveller’s friend. I sniff the bottle if I’m driving and get weary, it’s a great pick me up. It’s also great for calming down cranky kids, they can sniff the bottle too or a few drops can be added to a cotton ball and stuck in an air vent. It’s also great for opening stuffy sinuses.

-Tea Tree – a drop can be applied to a mosquito bite for instant relief

Lavender – Calming for most people, can be sniffed or placed on a cotton ball in the vent. Soothing for burns, bug bites

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Tea bags – Tea bags are a handy way to bring along dried herbs in pre-packaged dispensers.

Chamomile – great for upset stomachs, nausea, sleepy kids who are wired (as a tea) and great for applying to sore, tired inflamed eyes (soak the bags in hot water, gently squeeze out excess liquid and apply to the eyes after it has cooled a bit). The tea can also be used in an eye cup to wash an irritated, inflamed eye.

Peppermint – great for indigestion, nausea, digestive headaches and for a pick me up. Peppermint is cooling so drinking Peppermint tea can help to cool down someone who is overheated.

Herbal First Aid Books

Having a reference guide can be helpful but only if you have read it a few times to become familiar with it.

first-aid1The Herbal Medic: Practical, clinical herbalism & first aid: for home, remote and post-disaster environments by Sam Coffman – Sam has a bit of everything in his book, including beautiful color photographs to help with plant identification.

Pocket Guide to Herbal First Aid by Nancy Evelyn – this tiny pocket manual has a soft spot in my heart as it is one of the first herbal books I purchased.

First Aid with Herbs by John Heinemann – This is a nice thin booklet that tucks nicely into a car first aid kit.

Herbal First Aid and Health Care: Medicine for a New Millennium by Kyle D. Christensen

Herbs to the Rescue: Herbal First Aid Handbook by Kurt King – I love this book as a quick reference. It is easy to read and section three contains lists of herbal sources for vitamins and minerals.

Kid’s First Aid Books

Most are not herbally oriented but they are good for starting conversations on what to do in an emergency. They are a great learning tool for asking “what type of herbs would we use for this scenario?”

The Mary Frances First Aid Book 100th Anniversary Edition: A Children’s Story-Instruction First Aid Book with Home Remedies plus Bonus Patterns for Child’s Nurse Cap and Apron by Jane Eayre Fryer – This is a delightful book written in the early 1900’s that was republished in 2011. Though some of the first aid techniques are outdated, it’s a great starter book for kids and even lists herbal remedies for use.

The Kids’ Guide to First Aid: All about Bruises, Burns, Stings, Sprains & Other Ouches  by Karen Buhler Gale

The Safety Book for Active Kids: Teaching Your Child How to Avoid Everyday Dangers by Linda Schwartz

Kids to the Rescue!: First Aid Techniques for Kids by Marybeth Boelts

Herbal Games to Reinforce First Aid Skills

Games are a great way to help reinforce first aid skills while having fun. Kids learn best through play, so follow up some herbal first aid learning sessions with some games.

Wildcraft_Game

Wildcraft! by LearningHerbs.com is a great game to help reinforce how to use herbs for first aid.

Do you have a herbal first aid kit? What is in your herbal first aid kit?

Free Printable – Herbal Bloom Chart

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2nd, 2015 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

Herbal Bloom Wheel Spring

Print off this seasonal bloom chart to keep track of when your herbs bloom each year. Includes a section to log the season weather. It’s located in the freebies section of Herbal Roots zine!

April 2015 – Mulling Over Mulberry

Posted in Uncategorized on April 1st, 2015 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

apr15

This month’s issue is now available for purchase! Click on the cover to go directly to the order page for more information and how to purchase.

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 45 – Honeysuckle is a Great Healing Herb! (Part of the Plants-to-Teach-Your-Kids-to-Identify Series)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 27th, 2015 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

honeysuckle

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

Honeysuckle is a plant that has divided opinions about her. Though North America has many native species, there is an invasive, Lonicera japonica, that grows rampant, especially here in the midwest, choking out everything in her reach.

Friend and herbalist Rebekah Dawn has observed that Honeysuckle seems to come to areas that have been disturbed, rooting firmly in the poor soil, almost impossible to pull up. However, when that area has been healed, and balance restored, Honeysuckle freely gives up her hold and can be easily removed from her stronghold.

Indeed, Honeysuckle, in my own observation, is an edge dweller, often hovering between the tree line and farm field, generally farm fields that are over worked and under nourished, offering a protective barrier between the earth that is being depleted of all its value and the woods which hold onto their nourishment until the last tree is removed. In the small wooded lots behind my farm, Honeysuckle is thick, forcing us to crawl to reach the wood’s interior, giving away finally to the shaded vegetation that grows untouched.

When we first moved to our property back in early 2005, Honeysuckle was everywhere. We had both L. japonica and L. maackii to contend with, she had taken over the edges of the yard, the pasture and into the woods. We fought diligently to remove her before we began to understand the lessons and medicine she offered. Now, we live a lively dance with her, as she provides nourishment for our goats, medicine for ourselves and healing for our land.

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There are 4 species which are considered invasive to North America and New Zealand: Lonicera japonica, L. maackii, L. morrowii, and L. tatarica. We have both L. japonica and L. maackii growing in our area. Ironically, L. maackii is an endangered species in her native land (Japan).

Generally, the flowers are used for medicine though some herbalists use the leaves and/or the stems as medicine as well. The leaves make a nice beverage tea and have some actions which are stronger than the flowers. The flowers should be picked before or right as they open. Though some species of Honeysuckle have pretty pink or orange blossoms, L. japonica, L. maackii and L. morrowii all have white flowers which turn yellow as they age. Skip over the yellowed flowers, they have been open too long and won’t offer much medicine. If you harvest right as the flowers start to open for the first time in the spring, it is easy to simply pinch off the bunches on each stem, collecting the flower buds and leaves together to make a nice blend. If you have bush Honeysuckle, it is easy to break off a branch and strip the leaves and flower buds off by closing your fingers around the branch and running it down the length of the branch.

Some of the berries are edible but do not eat any of the berries unless you receive verification that the species that grows in your backyard is a non-toxic species. Most of the invasive species are toxic to some degree so it’s best to remain on the side of caution with them.

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Have you ever picked a Honeysuckle flower and sucked the nectar from the stem? The next time you have a chance, pick a flower and nibble on it to see if you can notice her energetics. When you do so, you will notice that she is sweet and bitter, cooling and drying. We use Honeysuckle especially for hot, damp conditions. I’ll talk about this a bit later.

Nutritionally, Honeysuckle contains calcium, phosphorus and protein.

Medicinally, those fragrant and delicious flowers and leaves have a lot to offer us. Honeysuckle is alterative, antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, antiviral, astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive, laxative, nervine, refrigerant, and vulnerary in action. Let’s take a closer look…

Honeysuckle has an affinity for the lungs, stomach and large intestine with the stem also having an affinity for the limbs and joints of the body.

Honeysuckle is most often known for her medicinal use in treating colds and the flu, especially when there is a lot of heat and moistness involved. Respiratory conditions with fever, lots of phlegm are Honeysuckle’s calling card. This is because Honeysuckle is antiviral, antibacterial, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge and astringent. She combines these actions to help wipe out illness quickly. In China, Honeysuckle is used extensively for treating pneumonia, influenza, colds and asthma.

As an antimicrobial, Honeysuckle can be useful to help treat salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus as well as urinary tract infections, ulcers and acute hepatitis. Honeysuckle helps to flush toxins from the body with her depurative actions.

Her pleasant taste makes her an easy medicine to swallow, making her a favorite for kids everywhere. She is also very gentle for kids but also tough enough to work on big illnesses without batting a stamen. In fact, she is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (flowers, leaves and stems) for the treatment of lung and breast cancer.

Honeysuckle is often combined with Forsythia for inflammatory issues and cancer or Elderflower for fevers, influenza and respiratory infections.

As a refrigerant, Honeysuckle is a great cooling herb, making her a perfect sipping tea for summertime when you’re overheated. You’ll find the taste to be pleasant and mild.

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Katherine Weber-Turcotte uses the flower essence for helping to gain perspective on the past. Edward Bach, the person who made flower essences popular, states that a person in a negative Honeysuckle state is physically in the present but mentally stuck in the past.

As a nervine, Honeysuckle is relaxing to the nervous system. Herbalist Emily Allen CH & LMT of Gypsy Garden Herbs has found it to be effective for a client suffering from homesickness (being lost in the past), panic attacks and anxiety, combining both leaves and flowers in her elixir.

Over and over I see Honeysuckle working similarly to Elderflower in her actions. She is not only wonderful for feverish conditions but also for soothing and healing skin afflictions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne. In fact, Honeysuckle works wonders for all types of skin afflictions, including rashes, poison ivy and oak, abscesses, swelling (especially where heat is involved), wounds and boils. Honeysuckle poultices sooth burns, helping to draw out the heat while using her vulnerary action to help heal.

The Native Americans traditionally used Honeysuckle flowers, leaves, bark and roots. Though the root is not commonly used today (probably because of the difficulty in digging the plant combined with the abundance of plant material above the ground), the root was used often as a tea to be a cure for senility, lung problems, worms in pregnant women, and urinary problems.

While I do not recommend anyone plant Honeysuckle in their garden (unless it is a native species), I do recommend harvesting the plant as much as possible in the wild to use her benefits. The leaves and flowers can be used in large quantities for some many ailments, they should be a part of every herbalist’s (and budding herbalist’s) apothecary.

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Honeysuckle Infused honey is one of my favorite Honeysuckle remedies. Here is my recipe for it. This honey is good for soothing burning, sore throats and moist, hot coughs.

You will need:

Fresh Honeysuckle flowers
Raw honey

Jar with lid

Butter knife or chopstick

Label

Fill your jar loosely with flowers. Fill with honey and stir with the knife or chopstick. Add more honey and stir again. Repeat until the jar is full.

After 2 – 3 weeks, your honey is ready to use. Add a spoonful to tea or hot lemonade or eat as is for easing sore throats and coughs.

This is an excerpt from this month’s issue of Herbal Roots zine, titled “Heady Honeysuckle“. You can grab this issue for only $3.99 through the end of this month. We are also giving away this issue to 3 lucky winners on Monday, March 30, 2015, see our blog for details!

March2015

Giveaway Monday – Honeysuckle Issue of Herbal Roots zine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23rd, 2015 by kristine — 30 Comments

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.***

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS WEEK’S WINNERS:

COMMENT 2. LISA IMERMAN

COMMENT 17.SHERYL

COMMENT 14. TERESAMarch2015

This week we are giving away a copy of the March issue of Herbal Roots zine, Heady Honeysuckle to 3 lucky people!

This month’s issue will have you looking at Honeysuckle in a whole new way, making the saying “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” take on a whole new meaning. Why not use the plants that grow all around…the trees, the bushes, the fences, the walls, the ground…and put them to good use healing?!

Heady Honeysuckle Table of Contents:

Note to Parents
Supply List
Calendar
Herb Spirit
All About Honeysuckle
Herbal Glossary
Scramble, Search and More: Word Search, Circle the Energetics, List the Vitamins and Minerals,  Word Scramble, Multiple Choise
Herbal Botany
Herbal Lore: How Honeysuckle Got Her Flame Red Flowers
Songs and Poems: Honeysuckle, Honeysuckle Haiku
Herbal Recipes: Honeysuckle Extract, Honeysuckle Elixir, Honeysuckle Tea, Honeysuckle Infusion, Honeysuckle Infused Oil, Honeysuckle Salve, Honeysuckle Poultice, Honeysuckle Flower Essence
Coloring Page
Herbal Crafts: Pressing/rubbing/drawing of Honeysuckle, Honeysuckle Vine Crafts, Preparing Honeysuckle Vines, Honeysuckle Vine Bracelet
*NEW* Herbal Jokes and Puns
Maze: Which Path Should The Hummingbird Moth Take to Find the Honeysuckle?
Journal: Write your thoughts, medicine making notes and other information about your month with Honeysuckle
Crossword Puzzle
Resources

54 pages from Cover to Cover

You can become a fan of Herbal Roots zine on Facebook if you would like to do so.

If you’d like a chance to win this month’s issue, leave a comment below, telling us who this issue would benefit (yourself, your kids, your grandkids, etc). 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 section(s) of Herbal Roots zine

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Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, March 30, 2015. Good luck!