02 Jun Herbs and Health: Advice from Herbalist Margi Flint
Herbalist Margi Flint recently came to ifarm to give a walking herb tour. Margi fascinated us with information on food, herbs, and health while foraging for lunch in ifarm’s permaculture garden. Below are ten herb tips and a recipe for natural tick repellant from the workshop.
- Chickweed (Stellaria medica) is an herb that supports the thyroid. It is an amphoteric herb, meaning it can be helpful whether there is an issue of hyper- or hypo-thyroidism. It can also help to dissolve kidney stones.
- Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) rhizome is an athlete’s friend. It is useful for healing damage done to connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, and joints.) It can be eaten as a food and can be used daily as a preventative.
- “All headaches start in the liver.” Headaches are a symptom of an overwhelmed liver that is not processing toxins in the body. Address headaches over the long-term by using herbs to support the liver, like Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root.
- Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is one of nature’s best anti-allergy remedies. It supports the liver, kidneys and lymph systems in clearing irritants and inflammation from the body.
- Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) has one of the most complete nutrient and mineral profiles of any food. It even includes bioavailable (easily metabolized) iron and the rare Vitamin K. It is possible to survive solely on Nettle and it is amazing when sautéed with butter.
- Plantain (Plantago major..this is not the banana-like fruit) is GREAT for bee stings, and grows just about everywhere. Just mash some up, place it over a sting, and feel the pain melt away.
- Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is full of silica, which helps keep our bones, skin, hair, nails and teeth healthy. It is best to harvest early in the season, when the branches are still upright. As the growing season goes on the plant develops a high mineral concentration that is too high to digest. When the branches are horizontal or begin to droop, it is best to wait until the next season.
- Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a tonic for the sexual organs in men and women. The most potent raspberry leaves are those harvested early in summer. You can also harvest when the plant is fruiting; there will always be one branch that has fruit and another nearby that is bare. Choose the leaves from the branch without fruit, because the nutrients of that branch will have stayed in the leaves, instead of traveling into the berries.
- Almost all essential oils are too potent for direct application to the skin. They should be diluted with carrier oils. Exceptions to this rule are Lavender, Rose and Tea Tree Essential Oils.
- Always wash your gardening tools with warm soapy water. If there is disease in an area of the garden, you can spread it to others if your tools are not cleaned.
Natural Tick Repellant
20 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
20 drops of Atlas Cedar Essential Oil
.5 oz jojoba oil (or other carrier oil like olive oil)
1oz white vinegar
1 oz water
Instructions: Mix the oils together first. Then add all other ingredients. Place the solution in an atomizer to create a spray. Spray liberally on clothes or pets (cats may not like the smell).
Join us for Margi’s next workshop in Making Healthful Tinctures and Infused Oils on July 24th!
We are also running many other gardening and herbalism events this summer.