Motherwort

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Motherwort is a cool and dry bitter tonic. It’s part of the mint family and it’s used frequently for indigestion and to aid the body in complete digestion. It likes open disturbed land and is very easy to grow and reseeds itself.

Antispasmodic

A herb with antispasmodic actions means it can aid in muscle spasms. This can also be useful for digestive issues since this motherwort already has actions that aid in digestion.

Emmenagogue

Along with its antispasmodic properties, motherwort also has emmenagogue properties. This aids in uterine cramping during menstruation and can help induce a cycle (especially helpful if you’re irregular).

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Hypotensive

Motherwort is hypotensive, which means it can aid in lowering blood pressure.

Nervine, Sedative and Heart Tonic

One of the most fascinating bits of information found on motherwort is that it’s a nervine. It’s extremely helpful for anxiety that leads to heart palpitations as it’s also a heart tonic. Motherwort can be used to increase blood flow through the coronary artery and improve microcirculation throughout the body. Motherwort can stabilize heart rate and prevent blood platelet agglutination (without thinning the blood). Motherwort can also be used for angina (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart).

Safety

Motherwort should not be taken by pregnant women or people taking cardiac medications.

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

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Gentian Root

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Gentian root is a strong bitter and serves in aid for quite a list of digestive ailments; dyspepsia, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, gas, anorexia, and inflammatory bowel disease. Gentian root contains the chemical glycosilated iridoids. This chemical contributes to its bitter taste and properties and its strength is what aids in this root’s amazing digestive properties. Up to 10% of the root’s weight can contain this chemical. If harvesting, do so during the spring time to get the most of its bitter properties.

Gentian has also been used to rid the intestines of parasites.

The root can also be used in colds with fevers where throat relief is needed. It can also be added in blends used for muscle spasms and headaches.

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The herb can be used topically for wound treatment.

Gentian root can also assist with kidney health. It helps eliminate harmful substances due to its antiseptic properties.

Gentian has a long list of uses, which makes it a great addition to many blends geared toward many different ailments. I absolutely love its versatility.

Do you use gentian root? What are your favorite blends and uses?

Many gentian species are threatened and should not be wild harvested. Although this herb can be decocted into a tea, many people prefer a tincture due to its taste.

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

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King of the Grill 2018

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Today’s post is going to be a relatively quick one, to give an update on what we’ve been up to. This year Harman Farms paired with Anchor Group in participating in King of the Grill in Ormond Beach. This is our first year ever participating in it so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect.

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We made a special four cheese blend of chicken sausage to enter the challenge. A lot of time, research, and resources went into this blend. Those black things you see skewered with the sausage? Those are grapes. I know it sounds strange, but with the ingredients used, this paired quite well.

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Everyone worked as a team and had a blast doing it, start to finish. It lasted a lot longer than expected, too. It came time to judge and…

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we got third place! Not too shabby for having never done this before. We’re even briefly mentioned in this article (our team name was Grillin’ Anchors).

All in all, we had a lot of fun and were very happy to have created another food product that people can enjoy.

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Halloween 2018

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Halloween/Samhain is my favorite time of the year, celebrated simultaneously in this family. Many of the traditions we participate in can relate to both Halloween and Samhain. While I do take the time to talk with my children about honoring those we have lost, they do not quite grasp the meaning behind the words as they have not lost anyone yet.

The Sunday before Halloween celebrations, we carved pumpkins with the kids.

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They had a blast. Lewis carved a skull and Fiona and I carved a witch’s familiar (a cat in this case).

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We also smoked the pumpkin seeds. Yum!

On Halloween night, we went to my aunt and uncle’s house. They have such a large turnout every year. We run out of totes of candy.

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Lewis has been into Minecraft. So he was that Minecraft guy.

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Fiona has been into anything Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride) and Vampirina. So, she just had to be a vampire this year and decided to go as Vampirina herself. Don’t let the photo fool you. She was quite thrilled.

There are two hilarious things about this year. One was after about five quick houses my children wanted to go back to our aunt’s house and eat the actual food and hang out with family (their great-grandmother and great-great aunt were visiting). And they asked for no candy. We gave them some candy, but they didn’t ask for any. It’s after Halloween and they still haven’t asked for candy. Fiona and Lewis loved helping hand out candy though.

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I also spent time remembering my family, particularly my nana. I really wish my kids could have had the opportunity to really know what an amazing woman she was. I also took the time to be thankful for the fact that my children have the great opportunity to have a lot of great family close by who they get to love and interact with frequently.

How did you celebrate Halloween? Do you take time to recognize Samhain?

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Rosemary

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This is a very popular herb to grow for culinary purposes. It’s great with several chicken dishes. It’s a strong taste and the smell is exhilarating.

It has several benefits other than culinary though.

Rosemary is often used for colds and sore throats. Because of its bitter taste, it can also be used as a tea 15-20 minutes before eating to aid in digestion. I don’t personally use rosemary by itself when I have a cold. I normally mix it with other herbs with similar and stronger benefits. The smell itself is very comforting and anything to boost morale when you’re ill is important as well. Illnesses are easier to get through if your spirit is at least a little less than foul.

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Rosemary is awesome for hair. In our house, our shampoos normally have SOME rosemary in it, along with tea tree. Rosemary helps with an itchy scalp and improves circulation. This is great for hair follicles because the blood supply is needed to actually keep the hair not only healthy, but keep the hair period. If there’s not enough blood there, the hair will fall out. It also aids in premature greying. I have personally been growing grey since I was 23. Before I began actually dying my whole head I did use several herbal rinses that included rosemary. It is effective. I stopped because I was blond and wanted to be a redhead. I use henna for that, but that’s another topic.

Its abilities on memory are what got me hooked on rosemary though (other than the amazing flavor). I’m a teacher and I have this going in my diffuser during longer than 10 minute lectures.

And bees love the blooms. I love providing enough plants for our bees. It’s so easy to grow and you can easily clip a branch or two to share with a friend.

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.

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