Clippings by herb_lover_grower

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RE: menstrual cramps (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: daisyduckworth on 05.05.2006 at 05:29 pm in Herbalism Forum

My dear, I truly sympathise! Menopause was SUCH a welcome to me, after a life-time of severe menstrual pain! Babies did NOT solve the problem! A hot-water bottle (wrapped to prevent burning) applied to the tummy offers great relief. And try not to double-over - keep straight and the pain passes more quickly. If you are passing large clots you need to have a thorough check-up with your doctor. (Calendula, Amaranth and Raspberry can help with that.) Also remember that some of the herbs mentioned below may also produce unwanted side-effects - herbs are drugs, too. Try one remedy at a time to see which suits you best - don't mix and match.

Drink a tea of Red Raspberry leaves daily to prevent and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.

Take a cup of Black Cohosh tea.

Drink double-strength Chamomile tea, with 3-4 Cloves or a little Ginger added if needed. This tea can also be used as a bath or as a compress applied to the lower abdomen.

Eat 2-3 leaves of Feverfew between bread, or make a tea of the leaves and drink it to reduce pain.

Drink a cup or two of Chickweed leaf tea a day to ease pain and cramping.

Eat Blueberries.

The following herbs alleviate the symptoms of cramps, leg, back, and headaches: Hops, False Unicorn, Blessed Thistle, and Blue Cohosh.

Drink a tea made from the leaves, seeds or roots of Lovage.

Drink a tea made from any of the following: Meadowsweet leaf, Motherwort leaf, Oregano leaf, Pineapple leaf, Rasperry leaf, Sage leaf, Sweet Joe Pye root, Valerian root, Vervain leaf or Wild Yam root.

Drink 2-3 cups of Lemon Balm tea during the day, or put a few Lemon Balm leaves into a cup of ordinary tea.

Soak 30g crushed Caraway seeds in 600ml cold water and leave overnight. Take 2 tablespoons of the strained water as required.

Boil 2 teaspoons dried Cramp Bark in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes. Add a little grated or powdered Ginger if desired. Drink 1-2 cups per day. A few Angelica leaves and/or Chamomile flowers may also be added.

Combine 4 drops Clary Sage oil with 2 teaspoons of a carrier oil (eg Almond oil) and use to massage the lower abdomen, directly above the pubic hair line.

Take a cup of Hops tea.

Take a cup of Valerian tea.

Combine equal parts of Ginger, Valerian, and Cramp Bark tinctures, to be taken in half-teaspoon doses every twenty minutes until the symptoms subside.

Add 1-2 teaspoons powdered Raspberry leaves and 1 teaspoon powdered Meadowsweet leaves to 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes and strain. Add honey or Lemon juice to taste. Take up to 3 cups per day.

Drink Calendula, Chamomile or Peppermint tea regularly for two weeks before menstruation to avoid tension building up.


clipped on: 12.01.2006 at 03:02 am    last updated on: 12.01.2006 at 03:02 am

RE: How to make your own shampoo? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: AdrianaG on 02.07.2005 at 07:39 pm in Herbalism Forum

Here's a gformula from one of my books, The Herbal Home Spa, by Greta Breedlove:


2 TBSP. (30 ml) liquid castille soap
1 cup (250 ml) spring water
1/4 cup n(50 ml) fresh herbs
1 tsp. (5 ml) almondor apricot kernel oil
2 drops esential iol

1. Place herbs in a clean 10-oz (284 g.) glass jar with a lid.
2. Boil the spring water and pour over the herbs.
3. Cover and let steep for 10-20 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid from the herbs into a bowl.
5. Add the liquid castille soap and almond or apricot kernel oil and mix thoroughly.
6. Scent with essential oil and mix again.
7. Bottle in a clean plastic container with a spout or a clean recycled shampoo bottle.

They also recommend specific herbs for differnet hair colors.


clipped on: 12.01.2006 at 02:58 am    last updated on: 12.01.2006 at 02:59 am

RE: How to make your own shampoo? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: drlubnazubair on 02.08.2005 at 04:24 pm in Herbalism Forum






clipped on: 12.01.2006 at 02:58 am    last updated on: 12.01.2006 at 02:58 am

RE: Please help with most useful herb tips! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: jules7ky on 03.11.2006 at 11:28 am in Herbs Forum

Hi, Pedalpusher - here are a few general tips I've found helpful:
1. Most herbs don't require a lot of pampering; in fact, it's usually easier to kill them with kindness (overwatering, too much fertilizer) than through neglect!
2. To treat pests, be very careful what treatment you use. I never recommend anything more toxic than dish soap & water.
3. Herb gardening, like other types of gardening, needs a "Let's Experiment!" sort of attitude!
4. Cilantro & coriander are the same plant. This gets a lot of folk - greenhouses seem to label it "Coriander", and what we all mostly use is the leafy part (cilantro).
5. I second Granite on having some herb snippets or small plants along for a "scratch & sniff"! It engages the audience more than a simple talk or slide show. Try to label them so that people can make notes on what they like. I like to pass around plants in 3" pots - a baggie over the bottom of each pot keeps the dirt where it belongs. ;')
6. A one or two-page handout of growing tips is helpful, and gives everyone something to take notes on.

1. For best flavor/quality, harvest herbs in the morning, after the dew has dried but before the sun is full on them (but they'll taste good even if you get them at midnight).
2. Never, never, NEVER eat a plant unless you're completely sure what it is and that it won't hurt you. This holds as true for adults as it does when we tell our 3-year-olds.
3. Don't assume that something is safe just because it's "herbal". After all, we could technically consider Poison Ivy to be an herb. (Well, sortof. It makes the point, any way.)
4. If you want to see if you'll like the taste of an herb, mix a little of the chopped herb (fresh or dry) with some plain cream cheese. Let it sit at room temp for 15-30 minutes to bring out the flavor, then try on a plain cracker.
5. If you do bring goodies from the kitchen, be sure to have a simple handout of recipes for everyone.

There are reams and reams of stuff we all could tell you - you might want to check out some books on the subject and just immerse yourself! If someone asks a question that you don't know the answer to (which happens to every speaker), don't be afraid to say "I don't know - but let me find out for you".

But probably my best tip is to simply let your enthusiasm show! If the audience can see that you love these little plants, they will automatically tend to be more interested.

Hope this helps... it sure has gotten me stirred up!!!



clipped on: 11.20.2006 at 01:52 pm    last updated on: 11.20.2006 at 01:53 pm

RE: what to do with lemongrass? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: daisyduckworth on 05.11.2006 at 09:56 pm in Herbs Forum

You can divide lemongrass clumps as much and as often as you want! If you leave just one stem with roots on it, it will start another clump, or you can leave many together. It's as tough as old nails.

Lots of uses for it. It freezes well, for starters, so you don't have to dig every time you want some. It goes really well in stirfries, and you can even make lemony desserts with it.

Make up bundles of the green leaves and toss a bundle into a warm bath after you've run a marathon or dug ditches all day. Very relaxing to the muscles. Add a few sprigs of rosemary if you like.

An infusion of the leaves is antiseptic and will help improve acne. It is used to treat tuberculosis, coughs, fever, colds and flu, gingivitis, headache, leprosy and pneumonia. It is a natural anti-fungal agent, so useful for treating tinea. Chewing on the stalks will help clean the teeth. A cream preparation with 2.5% essential oil is an effective treatment for ringworm.

Used mainly in Asian cookery. Use in any recipe where the flavour of lemon is desired. It is used to flavour teas, soups, stews, marinades and curries. When using it fresh, strip off the tough outer leaves and cut off the bottom root portion. Slice into rings or strips and bruise the pieces to release the flavor before adding to dishes.

Here are some recipes.

Lemongrass Lamb Chop on Sauteed Choy Sum
For each lamb chop:
1 teaspoon lemongrass, finely chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
salt to taste

Mix ingredients to create dry rub for each lamb chop. Marinate lamb chop overnight. Pan fry to desired taste. [Use spinach or other greens if you can't get the soy sum.]

Curry Paste
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 jalapeno chillies
2 lemongrass stems (fresh or dried)
5-8 garlic cloves, very finely minced
3-5 shallots or onions, very finely diced
1 teaspoon galangal, finely chopped
small amount of water if required

Roast coriander and cumin seeds for a few minutes in a dry frypan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, cool. Place remaining ingredients in a blender and puree for a few seconds. Add water if necessary and blend a few seconds longer. When using the paste in cooking, fry it over high heat a few minutes before adding other ingredients.

Lemongrass Chicken (1)
750g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 stalks fresh lemongrass (2 tablespoons minced)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons fresh coriander for garnish

Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Combine chicken, honey and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and marinade 10 minutes. Trim the green leaves and root end off the lemongrass stalk and remove the outside leaves. What remains will be a greenish cream-colored core about 12cm long. Mince finely. Just before serving, heat a large non-stick frypan or wok over high heat and swirl in the oil. Add the garlic and lemongrass and stir fry until fragrant but not brown, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken and stirfry until the pieces turn white. Move the chicken to the sides and add the onion. Stirfry until the onion is tender about 1 minute. Mix the chicken back in the centre, add remaining fish sauce, continue frying until the chicken is cooked, 2-3 minutes. Add more honey or fish sauce to taste. Sprinkle with coriander to serve. Makes 4 servings.

Lemongrass Chicken (2)
1kg whole chicken
1 1/4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
6-8 lemongrass leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cornflour

Place the chicken on a saucer in a saucepan. Add the water, sprinkle salt and pepper over and heap the lemongrass onto the breast. Cover and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, basting occasionally with the liquid. To eat hot, remove chicken and keep warm. Strain the liquid into a small saucepan and stir in a tablespoon cornflour blended to a smooth paste with a little milk. Stir until thickened and pour over the chicken. To eat the chicken cold, put it into a deep bowl and pour the strained liquid over it. Cool, then chill overnight. The liquid will have jelled and there will be a layer of fat which should be removed.

Lemongrass Coconut Sorbet
10 stalks lemongrass
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk (stir before measuring)

Peel the tough outer layers from the lemongrass and discard them. Cut the remainder into 1cm lengths. In a saucepan over high heat, combine lemongrass, sugar, salt and 2 1/2 cups water. Stir until liquid comes to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 20 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids to extract moisture. Discard solids. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir syrup until cool, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Whisk in t he coconut milk. If mixture is lumpy, pour through a fine strainer. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze. Or freeze in a suitable dish until just firm , 2-4 hours. Scoop into bowls, or scrape with a large form to form a slushy ice. Serve immediately.

Lemongrass Ice Cream
3 cups milk
4 stalks chopped lemongrass, white part only
250g sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
3/4 cup egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream

In a saucepan, simmer milk with lemongrass and reduce by one-third. Steep several hours or overnight. Strain out lemongrass and heat with sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to scalding. Whisk the yolks. Temper the yolks by adding only a ladle of hot milk to the yolks. Mix well then add tempered yolks back to the saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat for 2 minutes. Strain and cool in an ice bath. When mixture is cooled add cream. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. If desired serve with chopped pineapple mixed with chopped mint leaves, and coconut macaroons.

Lemongrass Syllabub
4 stems lemongrass, chopped finely
20g chopped fresh ginger
120g castor sugar
200ml water
300ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon brandy
2 tablespoons lime juice

Place the lemongrass, ginger, castor sugar and water in a saucepan, stir over heat until sugar has dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes, then leave to cool. Strain. May be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Delicious spooned over ice cream. To make the syllabub, add the syrup, brandy, and lime juice to the cream and whisk together until soft peaks form. Serve in glass dishes with a few gratings of lime zest if desired.

The syllabub can also be used as a filling for Pavlova. Fill a pavlova case with the syllabub, sprinkle over some cubed mango. Sweeten some passionfruit pulp with a little sugar, then drizzle over the mango.

Minted Lemongrass Sorbet
3 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves discarded
3 cups water
3/4 cups fresh mint leaves
3/4 cups sugar

Thinly slice as much of lemongrass stalks as possible, discarding dried thin upper portion. In a saucepan simmer water with lemongrass, covered, 5 minutes. Add mint and simmer, uncovered, 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and add sugar, stirring until dissolved. In a blender, puree mixture and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids. Chill syrup, covered, until cold and freeze in an ice-cream maker. Sorbet may be made 1 week ahead. A piece of ginger root may be used instead of the mint, if desired.

Lemongrass Syrup
sliced lemongrass
lemongrass stalks

Combine equal parts of sugar and water and a generous amount of sliced lemongrass core in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool. Fill a jar with a few lemon grass stalks. Strain syrup into jar. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. Use to poach pears and apricots, or brush over a basic cake, or drizzle some over cold mango and pawpaw.

Stirfried Beef
3 zucchini, cut in half crosswise, then into quarters lengthwise
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 onion, cut in half lengthwise and then into slices lengthwise
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
2 small red chillies, finely sliced
200g rump steak, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons shredded mint leaves
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Steam the zucchini for 5 minutes or microwave on high for 40-60 seconds. Heat a frypan. Add oil and swirl to coat the sides. Add onion, ginger and garlic, stirfry until just coloured, about 30 seconds. Add lemongrass and chillies. Stirfry for 10 seconds, add beef and stirfry until it browns Add tomatoes and zucchini, cook for 1 minute. Stir in the mint and soy sauce. Serve immediately with rice.

Thai Green Chicken Curry
90g coriander leaves
1 stem lemongrass, white part only, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 green chillies
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons oil
6 curry leaves
1 2/3 cups coconut milk
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into thick strips
3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
coriander leaves for garnish

Put the coriander, lemon grass, fish sauce, chillies and sesame oil in a food process and process for 3 minutes or until mixture forms a smooth paste. Heat remaining oil in a frypan, add paste and curry leaves, cook for 3 minutes. Pour in coconut milk and 1 cup water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in the eggs and cook for 3-4 minutes until heated through. Spoon onto a bed of steamed rice or noodles and garnish with the coriander leaves.

Tomato Lemongrass Salsa
2 stalks lemongrass
2 green or red chilles, finely chopped
1 large tomato, coarsely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for about one hour, then refrigerate. Use within one day.

Lemongrass and Tomato Sauce
3-4 lemongrass stalks
3-4 chopped tomatoes
1 capsicum, cut into chunks
sprig thyme
1-2 chillies, or to taste, chopped
3-4 Kaffir lime leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon-flavoured olive oil (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

Use only the base of the lemongrass stalks for best flavour. Squash them flat to soften, then slice finely. Put the tomatoes, capsicum, thyme, chillies, onions, Kaffir lime leaves and garlic into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over with the lemon olive oil and olive oil, season to taste and stir in the sugar. Bake in a hot oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then put through a blender, then strain through a sieve if desired. Delicious served with chicken, steak, vegetables or over a herb omelette.


Herbs for Winter Sowing

This is a list of plant suggestions for an herb garden. As I do more research I will add names to it as I find them, so do check the list frequently for new additions.

Plant zones are SUGGESTED, in your garden a plant may be less or more hardy so it important that you research all herbs before growing them to understand their individual needs, and to see if your garden suits them and that they will thrive in your planting zone.

In general most herbs will grow well in poor soil. Fertilize with a just shovelful of compost as a top-dressing during Spring and Autumn. Water established plants only during excessive drought.

Herb List

Achillea ageratum - SWEET NANCY Z3-10

Achillea millefolium - COMMON YARROW Z3-10

Achillea millefolium - PINK-FLOWERED COMMON YARROW Z3-10

Aconitum napellus - GARDEN MONKSHOOD Z3-7

Agastache rugosa - GIANT HYSSOP Z6-10

Agrimonia eupatoria - AGRIMONY Z6-9

Agrimonia pilosa - CHINESE AGRIMONY Z5-9

Alcea rosea - HOLLYHOCK Z3-9

Alchemilla alpina - ALPINE LADY'S-MANTLE Z3-9

Alchemilla mollis - LADY"S MANTLE Z3-9

Alkanna tinctoria - ALKANET Z4-9 (biennial)

Allium cepa - EGYPTIAN ONION Z4-10

Allium sativum - GARLIC Z4-10

Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon - SERPENT GARLIC Z4-10

Allium schoenoprasum - PROFUSION CHIVES Z4-10

Althaea officinalis - MARSH MALLOW Z3-9

Anemone tomentosa - GRAPE LEAF ANEMONE Z4-8

Angelica atropurpurea - GREAT ANGELICA Z4-9

Anthemis tinctoria - DYER'S CHAMOMILE Z4-9

Apocynum androsaemifolium - INDIAN HEMP Z3-9

Armoracia rusticana - HORSERADISH Z3-8

Arnica chamissonis - AMERICAN ARNICA Z7-9

Artemisia abrotanum - LEMON-SCENTED SOUTHERNWOOD Z3-9

Artemisia absinthium - WORMWOOD Z3-9

Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa - FRENCH TARRAGON Z3-9

Artemisia vulgaris - MUGWORT Z3-9

Asclepias tuberosa - BUTTERFLY WEED Z3-9

Astilbe - PLUME FLOWER Z5-8

Bellis perennis - ENGLISH DAISY Z4-8

Berlandiera lyrata - CHOCOLATE FLOWER Z7-9

Campanula rapunculus - RAMPION Z4-7

Campanula rotundifolia - BLUEBELL Z4-7

Chamaemelum nobile - ROMAN CHAMOMILE Z4-8

Chelidonium majus - CELANDINE Z4-8

Chenopodium bonus-henricus- GOOD-KING-HENRY (annual)

Clinopodium vulgare - WILD BASIL Z6-9

Convallaria majalis - LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY Z2-7

Dianthus gratianopolitanus - CHEDDAR PINK Z3-8

Dianthus plumarius - COTTAGE PINK Z3-9

Digitalis lanata - GRECIAN FOXGLOVE Z4-8

Echinacea pallida - CONEFLOWER Z3-10

Echinacea purpurea - PURPLE CONEFLOWER Z3-8

Elymus glaucus - BLUE WILD RYE Z3-8

Foeniculum vulgare - FENNEL (annual)

Galium odoratum - SWEET WOODRUFF Z4-8

Galium verum - YELLOW BEDSTRAW Z4-8

Geranium maculatum - WILD GERANIUM Z3-8

Geranium pratense - CRANESBILL Z3-8

Helenium autumnale - SNEEZEWEED Z3-8

Humulus lupulus - COMMON HOPS Z3-8

Hypericum perforatum - ST. JOHN'S WORT Z3-8

Iris versicolor - WILD IRIS Z3-9

Iris x germanica - ORRIS Z3-8

Lavandula angustifolia - ENGLISH LAVENDER Z5-9

Marrubium vulgare - COMMON HOREHOUND Z4-8

Melissa officinalis - Lemon BALM Z4-8

Mentha - MINT Z4-9

Mentha pulegium - PENNYROYAL Z4-9

Mentha spicata - SPEARMINT Z4-9

Mentha x gracilis - DOUBLEMINT Z4-9

Mentha x piperita - PEPPERMINT Z4-9

Monarda didyma - BEE BALM Z4-9

Monarda fistulosa - OSWEGO TEA Z3-9

Monarda menthifolia - MINT-LEAVED BERGAMOT Z4-9

Nepeta cataria - CATMINT Z3-8

Origanum laevigatum - OREGANO Z5-10

Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum - GREEK OREGANO Z5-10

Ocimum basilicum - BASIL, assorted varieties (annual)

Perovskia artemesioides - RUSSIAN SAGE Z5-9

Persicaria polymorpha - FLEECE PLANT Z4-7

Pycnanthemum muticum - MOUNTAIN MINT Z4-8

Pycnanthemum pilosum - HAIRY MOUNTAIN MINT Z4-8

Rheum palmatum var. tanguticum - ORNAMENTAL RHUBARB Z5-8

Rubia tinctorium - MADDER Z6-10

Rumex sanguineus - BLOODY DOCK Z3-9

Salvia lyrata - CANCER WEED Z5-8

Salvia officinalis - COMMON SAGE Z6-9

Salvia pratensis - MEADOW CLARY Z4-8

Sanguisorba officinalis - GREAT BURNET Z4-8

Solidago canadensis - GOLDENROD Z3-8

Stachys byzantina - LAMB'S EARS Z4-8

Stachys officinalis - BETONY Z4-8

Symphytum officinale - COMMON COMFREY Z4-9

Tanacetum cinerariifolium - PYRETHRUM Z4-9

Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum' - GOLDEN FEVERFEW Z4-9

Teucrium chamaedrys - GERMANDER Z5-9

Teucrium scorodonia - WOOD SAGE Z5-9

Thymus - THYME Z4-8

Thymus herba-barona - CARAWAY THYME Z4-8

Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus - WOOLLY THYME Z4-8

Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus 'Minor' - CREEPING WOOLLY THYME Z4-8

Thymus vulgaris - GARDEN THYME Z4-8

Thymus x citriodorus - LEMON THYME Z4-8

Trifolium pratense - RED CLOVER Z4-9

Valeriana officinalis - COMMON VALERIAN Zz5-9

Veronicastrum virginicum - CULVER'S ROOT Z4-8

Viola odorata - SWEET VIOLET Z3-7

Entered by Trudi_d

clipped on: 11.01.2006 at 05:27 pm    last updated on: 11.15.2006 at 01:19 pm