Valerian

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you, if you click the links and make a purchase.

I was first introduced to valerian as a sleeping aid. I’ve never personally used it as I’ve been functioning as a perfect morning bird/night owl hybrid for years, but we had some family members struggling with sleep and valerian is something that popped up in research. There’s a little more than sleep associated with valerian and the sleep aspect itself is only the tip of the iceberg.

Valerian is a nervine and a muscle relaxant. It’s especially useful for muscle tension caused by, or leading to, anxiety. So, valerian is great for sleep if the lack of sleep is caused by muscle tension (skeletal muscle spasms AND uterine and intestinal cramping).

Although a sedative for most people, there is a handful of people where valerian gives the opposite effect and can act as a stimulant. So if you try this and find that you’re more awake, don’t be too surprised.

The Herbarium Membership for Herbalists

A word of caution, valerian can increase the power of other sedatives you may be taking. So, don’t combine valerian with other sedatives.

It can be useful for headaches as well. Take a teaspoon of valerian tincture, followed by 1/4 teaspoon every 30 minutes until symptoms subside.

Having trouble sleeping from a brain that won’t shut up? Valerian may not be of help, try passionflower.

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

Follow our blog to stay updated. We’re also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Come check us out.

Advertisements

Happy Birthday, Lewis!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you, if you click the links and make a purchase.

Lewis celebrated his eighth birthday on September 9. Although we went to dinner and opened presents as a family, we had his party on September 15.

His biggest request was to have people just come spend time with him. He requested having hamburgers and homemade chicken sausage. He also enjoyed showing the farm and processing equipment. He said he wanted people to “learn about the farm.”

The majority of the day was spent outside. The kids played on a play set, cornhole, and other outside sport/games. His teacher even stopped by to take a look, which made him very proud.

My mother baked and decorated his requested strawberry cake and cupcakes. When it was time to blow out the candles he said he was just going to blow them out; he didn’t need to wish for anything else because he was happy.

Happy birthday, Lewis. You’re such a sweet and caring boy. Never stop thinking of others and being content with what you have.

Herbal Courses To Choose From

Chamomile

I. Love. Chamomile. My favorite characteristic of this herb is its smell, German and Roman variations. The scents are light, floral, and sweet. I love it in soaps, shampoos, and lotions and butters.

Chamomile is harvested when the flowers open. Flowers are commonly dried and used in tea blends. Most people know chamomile for its calming effects. It is also very soothing to the GI tract and can be consumed after dinner to ease digestion. Because it is soothing to the GI tract and a nervine, chamomile is a great addition to a blend targeted toward IBS symptoms (or similar symptoms).

Along as a sleep aid, chamomile can aid individuals suffering from mild anxiety.

I also personally love it as a tea. It’s lightly sweet and has a delicate taste. Many use it in sleep blends to help relax an individual before bed. I know science does not back up the theory that warm milk helps one sleep. I know this. I don’t care though. I find it soothing. What I do with warm milk though is I gently steep it with lavender buds and chamomile flowers. If milk does not irritate you, the warmth and the taste is rather soothing. The fragrance is intoxicating. The milk helps me crave midnight snacks less, too.

Another great property of this herb is that it’s safe for children. When my children were babies I would make chamomile tea to add to their bath water when they had colds. It helps calm down any anxiety or distress and can help with sleep.

Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.

Follow our blog to stay updated. We’re also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Come check us out.

Herbal Academy Courses

Dotted Horsemint

Goods Shop by Herbal Academy – botanically inspired products 

Today, I want to talk about dotted horsemint. Why? Because it’s found pretty easily throughout Florida. There’s a small bike path near my parents’ house that has a plethora of horsemint. Horsemint attracts quite the variety of pollinators ranging from bees to wasps. Dotted horsemint is the only herb in the monarda family that is native to Florida. I can appreciate its attractiveness to pollinators and nativity alone.

This herb is VERY aromatic. It can be overwhelming to some. This herb is also very invasive, so if you ever grow it in your garden regular maintenance is a must.

Also, it’s gorgeous. When you research this herb online, many call it rough  but it captures my attention aesthetically just as much as many other plants and herbs in the garden. I think it’s prettier than lavender and sunflowers even.

One very interesting property of horsemint is its high content of thymol. Thymol has strong antiseptic properties and also gives horsemint (and thyme) its strong flavor. So used topically as a poultice is great. It can be consumed as a tea. It’s a diaphoretic and can help break a fever. Thymol is created synthetically in lab settings and used in modern medicine. Even in its nonsynthetic, natural form it is quite strong.

In a culinary aspect, the herb is still useful. If I go to the supermarket, I’m not going to find this stuff dried next to many other common culinary herbs and spices, but I easily substitute this herb for thyme and oregano. It doesn’t taste like mint at all. It really is a perfect addition to any savory dish.

Curious about what else we have growing on the farm? Check out this page.

If you haven’t done so already, please follow our blog for more updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Tulsi

Some of the links below are affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you, if you click the links and make a purchase.

So, today we’re going to take a look at tulsi. I recently acquired some tulsi from Maggie’s Herb Farm. Tulsi is a nervine and a carminative. Some people know tulsi as holy basil. Tulsi is also antibacterial and immunomodulant. Tulsi is warm and a little drying.

Tulsi is a member of the basil family and spreads just as easily as your common basils. The aerial portion of the plant is harvested when it begins to bloom.

This herb is beneficial for digestive issues like gas, and with colds. Being a nervine, tulsi also helps reduce stress, especially if the stress causes stomach issues.

Tulsi’s calming and over all well-being properties are the reasons I sought this herb out to grow in our garden. Regular consumption of this herb  promotes general well being physically and mentally. It’s added to remedies for colds and influenza and to remedies for calming the nerves.

Tulsi helps maintain a balanced homeostasis. That’s great if we’re ever effected by several stressors or even toxins, including pollutants. Anything that negatively impacts homeostasis, tulsi helps bring back to normal.

Tulsi can also enhances aerobic metabolism. Many are looking into tulsi’s effects on prediabetic individuals. Tulsi can reduce blood glucose aid in correcting abnormal lipid profiles. Tulsi has been shown to reduce type 2 diabetes symptoms. Tulsi also shows some protection of the liver and kidneys.

Being antibacterial, tulsi may help with urinary tract infections, wounds, and fungal infections.

I’m very happy to have added this herb in my garden and look forward to using it in several remedies. It’s so easy to grow and even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, depression, diabetes, or chronic colds, taking this herb healthy is just as important as taking it if you suffer any of these ailments. It helps protect the body from physical and psychological stressors that occur in a day and contributes to the overall wellbeing of your mind and body.

Curious about what else we have growing on the farm? Check out this page.

If you haven’t done so already, please follow our blog for more updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Enroll in the Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course