Monday, June 28, 2010

In My Herb Basket

Photo by Grant MacDonald on Flickr
It's pouring buckets here so I thought I would write a little post about what's been going into my harvest basket in the past week.

Roses, roses, roses and more roses!  So beautiful in every shape, size and color.  I even enjoyed a fresh rose petal bath on the weekend - so decadent!!  They smell heavenly in the dehydrator and they are still just as beautiful in their shrivelled form!

Photo by Grant MacDonald on Flickr

I will be adding them to tea blends, epsom salts, milk baths, oils and lotions throughout the coming year so it is nice to replenish my harvest.

Be sure to collect them away from pollution and traffic and don't forget to add a few petals to your next salad!  Yes!  They are edible!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fresh Lavender Sorbet by Jennifer

Fresh Lavender Sorbet by Jennifer
Jennifer at Thimbles, Bobbins, Paper and Ink is sharing how to make a delicious seasonal treat - fresh lavender sorbet!  Here is her picture of it!  Hop on over, check it out and leave her some love!

Thank you, Jennifer!
It's beautiful!
Val :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Got Poppies?

Poppies are in their glory right now! If you have an abundance of poppies, try making this superb simple "lotion" that will leave your skin as soft as silk! The way poppies grow, you'll easily have enough of this beautiful elixer to share with all of your friends - stock up on gift bottles!

Photo by Valerie H. Wilson

Poppy Lotion
1/2 cup fresh poppy flower petals (washed)
1 cup boiling water
1/8 tsp vitamin E oil (e.g. 1 capsule drained)

Place the flower petals in a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and stir in the vitamin E oil. Let the mixture cool completely. Strain and pour the liquid into a clean (sterile is best) container. To use: Splash or spritz the lotion on your face and body and gently massage into your skin. Do not rince. Yield: 8 ounces

Notes: This simple lotion will be very watery and would be close to what you would consider a toner or a body splash. The Vitamin E oil is added as a preservative and is excellent for your skin.  You could substitute a bit of glycerine as a preservative if you don't have Vitamin E on hand.

The Herb Quarterly Magazine
Summer 2010 Issue
Wildflower Beauty, p18
by Janice Cox

Original posting: June 2, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bountiful Yards!

A special treat in my harvest basket this week: gorgeous wild rose buds and blossoms!!!
Such a stunning addition to any herb tea or body product!

In my tea today: fresh clover blossoms (so sweet!!)
Just pour boiling water over the blossoms and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve!

Vinegars I put up today:
  • fresh stinging nettles (shown left)
  • fresh comfrey leaves
  • fresh chives
Just chop the fresh leaves into glass jars and cover with apple cider vinegar. Fold a larger piece of waxed paper into quarters and pace on top of the jar before putting on the lid to keep the lid from rusting. Shake daily for two weeks then strain and bottle. Serve on veggies, use in salad dressings or make delicious mayo with a twist!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Than Just Berries

Astringent red raspberry and blackberry leaves are prime candidates for harvesting right now. They are bright green and full of vitality. The weather and insects have not yet degraded their lush quality.

How to tell them apart.

Red raspberry leaves have a matt finish and grow on "furry" looking stems. Red raspberry leaves are often a lighter shade of green than blackberry leaves.
Red Raspberry Leaf by jessicasays on Flickr

Blackberry leaves have a shiny finish and grow on darker stems with bigger thorns.
Blackberry Leaf by photographphil on Flickr

Why Harvest Them?

Red Raspberry leaves contain beneficial flavonoids (quercetin glycosides), minerals (calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium) and tannins (gallotannin). As a tea, it is a toning tonic for the digestive system, it is useful in the stomach complaints of children and it is definitely a very good/quick remedy for diarrhea... (read more). It also contains fragrine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself....(read more).

Blackberry root and leaves contain tannin and act as an astringent and tonic, proving a valuable remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea, etc. The root is the more astringent but I find that chewing on a leaf provides almost instant relief in a pinch. Half a teacupful of leaf infusion should be taken every hour or two for diarrhoea...(read more).