Herbal Household Remedies: Mint

Most plants of the mint family have a wonderful fragrance and can be used in various ways. Check out this link to find out more.

Here is an interesting article on the OFA‘s website about mint and its uses.  If you have some in your yard, you know just how prolific all the mint family plants are.  Make use of them instead of fighting them as ‘weeds’!

12 USES FOR MINT LEAVES FROM HEALTH TO HOME

How do you use extra mint leaves? Here are 12 marvelous uses for mint around the home and garden—from culinary to medicinal to mouthwash to bug repellent!

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All images on this post are straight from the article we are linking to, only slightly edited

Herbal Household Remedies: Dandelion

“Dandelions are Nature’s way of giving dignity to weeds!”

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) grows in abundance all over the fruited plains.  It’s a perennial with deeply cut leaves forming a basal rosette in the spring and flower heads born on long, hollow, milk-sapped stalks.  Both leaves and flower stems grow directly from the rootstock.  The root itself is surprisingly long, going straight into the ground.  Its root is one of the reasons why dandelion leaves are so healthy: The plant pulls its nutrients from deep in the soil and thus is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc.

dandelion

Dandelion tea is for good for hypertension (high blood pressure):  In the spring, dandelion leaves and roots produce mannitol which is used in the treatment of high blood pressure and a weak heart.  A tea made from dandelion roots and leaves is good to take during this period, from about mid-March to mid-May.  In this tea, both root and leaves should be used fresh.

Dandelion tea also helps reduce fever during childhood infections like mumps, measles and chicken pox, and is excellent for upper respiratory infections like chronic bronchitis and even pneumonia.  For this tea, dried roots and leaves are used.

Below are the two tea recipes, the first for high blood pressure, the second for childhood infections.

Dandelion Tea for Hypertension

For dandelion tea, bring one quart of water to a boil, reduce heat and add about 2 Tbl cleaned and chopped fresh roots.  Simmer for 1 minute, covered, then remove from heat and add 2 Tbl chopped, freshly picked leaves.  Steep for 40 minutes.  Strain and drink 2 cups per day.

Dandelion Tea for Childhood Infections and Upper Respiratory Infections

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil.  Reduce heat and add 2 1/2 Tbl dried, cut dandelion root and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 3 tsp dried, cut leaves.  Steep for half an hour.  Strain and sweeten with 1 tsp of pure maple syrup or 1 tsp of blackstrap molasses per cup of tea and give to the child, lukewarm, every 5 hours or so until the fever breaks and the lung congestion clears up.


 

Disclaimer: The author is not an medical professional, nutritionist, or dietitian. Content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for legal or medical advice, or medical treatment or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms and before using any herbal product or beginning a new health regimen. When wildcrafting or foraging for plants, do so ethically and always have absolute certainty of plant identification before using or consuming any herbs. By using any or all of this information, you do so at your own risk. Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and is his or her sole responsibility.

Herbal Household Remedies: Rose Hip

Did you know that rose hip is richer in Vitamin C than oranges?

If you have roses in a sunny spot in your yard, even the rather invasive Rosa multiflora, you surely have rose hip on them this time of year.  When they have reached their mature color, and possibly right after the first frost of the year is the right time to harvest them, if you haven’t deadheaded your roses.

Good medicine, good food

A rose hip forms below the flower and ripens to a shiny, hard, round or elongated red or orange seed container, with the remains of the flower persisting on the end opposite the stem.  Hips can be very different in size, anything from 1/4 inch or less across to about an inch across.

Rose hips are full of seeds and pulp, the latter being used for food and medicine.  They contain twenty times as much vitamin C as an orange of the same volume!  With the season for colds, coughs and the flu coming up, the rose hips from your yard can help keep your immune system strong, probably better than the sugary gummies from the drug store that promise to do the same.

Besides, rose hip has been used to treat digestive disorders.  When I was a child, Mother made us rose hip tea when we had stomach issues.

Here’s how you harvest and process rose hip:

Gathering rose hips for food
Rose hips are ready to pick as soon as they have their mature color.  They become sweeter when light frosts convert some of the starches to sugar, but don’t let them freeze solid and then thaw and soften as it will make them bitter.  Avoid rose hips that grow next to busy streets or that have been sprayed with chemicals.

Processing rose hips
You can stew, dry or freeze rose hips:

As soon as possible after picking them, wash the hips and cut off the stems and blossoms.   The precious vitamin C will get lost if you don’t process the while they are fresh.

Then either cook them, covered, in a nonreactive (that is, not aluminum) pot over low heat, or freeze fresh hips in plastic bags after washing them and cutting off the ends.

To extract the juice of rose hips for use in jams and jellies, simmer the washed and cleaned hips in water to cover for 15 minutes. Steep, covered, for 24 hours, then strain and use the strained juice immediately or freeze it for as long as a year.

To dry rose hips, wash and clean large hips, cut them in half, remove the seeds and spread the not seedless hips on trays.  Dry in an oven or dehydrator set at 110°F until the hips are hard and brittle.  Small hips can be dried whole or sliced but without removing the seeds.

When ready to use, cover hips with water and simmer until soft, then strain out any seeds and use the pulp to make jam or jelly.

rosehip

Here is a list of rose hip recipes from Mother Earth Living, where we found the above information online, which was adapted from Carla Emery’s The Encyclopedia of Country Living, which is a great resource for any number of things.

Shortcut to Mushrooms

Foraging is fun.

Today we discovered ample amounts of Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) right in our backyard!  Here’s today’s harvest, minus the batch we brought home earlier today and already devoured.  Said Donald when we were on our way back home swinging our mushroom baskets: “I feel like a hobbit!”  I felt just the same.

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