Cascara sagrada is a cooling drying stimulating laxative. Cascara sagrada is very–very–strong. Much stronger than yellow dock. This should be avoided unless the need is dire. And, of course, as long as you’re not leaving the house.
Because this herb is so strong, it is advised to use on a situational basis rather than an ongoing one. This is not a herb to use for the longterm. It is advised to take cascara sagrada with a carminative like cardamom or fennel. This can help prevent griping.
The bark needs to cure for 1-3 years. Fresh bark is dangerously potent.
The active constituents in cascara sagrada are hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides called cascarosides. Cascarosides induce peristalsis, which promotes a bowel movement.
Cascara sagrada improves the flow of secretions from the pancreas, stomach, and liver to promote digestion and aid in elimination.
Cascara sagrada also increases bile secretion from the gallbladder. This can be helpful if you have gallstones, or as a preventative from gallstones.
The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons of dried bark per 8 ounces of water. Decoct for 20 minutes. If you’re using a tincture, use .5-2 mL once a day. Again, this stuff is dangerously strong. You really need to be sure this is what you need before using it.
I have never had a need to use this powerful herb, but heard it is very effective. Have you ever used cascara sagrada?
This herb is easy to grow if you’re growing it and is pretty easy to find while wildcrafting, too. Yellow dock root is cooling, bitter, laxative, and cholagogue.
Herbs and food with a bitter taste stimulate the vagus nerve. This helps kick-start digestion.
Herbs that have a laxative property help aid in expelling your guts. Great to use if you’re constipated.
Yellow dock has diuretic properties. This means it can increase urine flow. Both the laxative and diuretic properties make it a great cleanser.Toxins can be flushed out of the system through urine and stool.
Yellow dock root’s cholagogue property promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum.
Yellow dock root may be helpful for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Iron and Anemia
Yellow dock contains high amounts of iron and can aid in cases of anemia.
Use as a Poultice
Yellow dock, used as a poultice, can be a natural remedy for boils and burns on the skin.
Rumicin is an antibacterial compound found in yellow dock. This can potentially help with bacterial infections such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus.
Glycosides are found in yellow dock. Glycosides help stimulate the liver, which helps with the poor absorption of nutrients.
I have not had the pleasure of actually using yellow dock personally, but it is a herb I would love to keep handy to aid in digestive blends in the future. Have you ever used yellow dock? How do you like to use it?
Marshmallow root is a great addition to blends to aid in digestive needs. The root actually supports the flora found in the gut, making it a wonderful prebiotic. The prebiotic content of the root is highest during the fall and should be harvested after its second year of growth.
Marshmallow is a cooling demulcent. This property aids in the irritation and inflammation of the GI tract. This means you can add marshmallow root for aid in gastric ulcers, reflux, colitis, and IBS. Even though marshmallow root is well known for its digestive properties, being a demulcent also makes this herb helpful for irritation in the bladder and lungs.
Diarrhea and Constipation
Marshmallow has such a modulating effect on the gut that it is useful for both diarrhea and constipation. If using marshmallow to aid in diarrhea, soak powdered marshmallow root in a small amount of water. The soaking can last an hour, or even overnight. It’s going to look, taste, and feel gross. Gobble–er–drink? it up after soaking. When marshmallow is soaked in a small amount of water it still has the capacity to absorb more water once it reaches the gut. For constipation, soak about a teaspoon of marshmallow powder in 8 ounces of water then drink. The bulking fiber in marshmallow will help you expel that which has taken up residence for too long in your gut.
Marshmallow is an overall safe herb to use, but always do your own independent research. In this world, you never know what new things can be found about any herb after this post is written. Do realize, like with many other herbs, marshmallow root can inhibit other drugs and herbs you may be taking. Consult your physician or professional herbalist if you’re taking other medications.
Sage. Antimicrobial, bitter, carminative, diuretic, and astringent. There’s a lot going on with this herb, so it’s a great addition for many dishes to help get the benefits. You can also use this herb in medicinal recipes.
Something that is antimicrobial kills microorganisms, or stops their growth. Natural or synthetic antimicrobials are grouped based on the microorganisms they act against. So that means, something that is antibiotic is antimicrobial; something that is antifungal is antimicrobial. But something can be antimicrobial, but not necessarily antibiotic or antifungal. And the antimicrobial is then further categorized based on which strain of bacteria, fungi, etc. they fight against. There are TONS of herbs that are antimicrobial, but their microorganism fighting speciality differs. Sage fights against Bacillus Cereus. Bacillus Cereus is a bacteria that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Sage can also fight against minor skin infections/acne.
Fun fact, bitter-tasting herbs aid in digestion, strictly because of the bitter taste. If you have chronic stomach issues with bloat or gas, or you want to give your digestive system a good kick-start, drink an herbal tea that is bitter about 20 minutes before eating. If you’re taking sage for an illness this bitter taste can be beneficial. 75% of your immune system is in the gut and keeping your digestive system healthy and running smoothly, especially when you’re sick, is important. You want your immune system to be focused on fixing you and not working extra hard on an ill functioning digestive system. How does this work? As soon as your taste receptors detect the bitter taste, your vagus nerve gets going, meaning all the digestive organs responsible for secretions begin as well as other functions involved in getting food from point A to point B.
In short? Got the farts? Yeah, carminative properties help with flatulence.
Increases urine flow. This can help with water retention and high blood pressure.
If you have oily skin, applying a sage infusion (especially if your skin is sensitive) can help because it tightens the skin.
Sage is classified as a drying and slightly heating herb, which makes it great for colds with lots of phlegm. It’s not something I would recommend by itself for a fever, but you can use it in combination with other herbs that are diaphoretic and fever breaking. Since sage is drying, avoid use in dry coughs.
So, that’s sage! I could actually do a second post in sage for culinary use to maintain good health as well. I can even write a third post on its history in different cultures. This herb is awesome and so easy to grow. Mine is going nuts.
Curious about other medicinal/culinary herbs we have on the farm? Click here and check it out.
So, we processed some chickens on our farm recently and I kept some from market for our family. As always, we used whatever we already had on the farm. Anything else was purchased from local markets.
The first step many people skip is the brining. We always brine the chickens we sell at market. The chicken is juicier and tastes amazing. When we keep some for the house I actually request mine not to be brined because I like to use different brines for different recipes. Brining on top of an already brined bird isn’t going to hurt it. We just have the option of just pulling what we want from the rest of the processing.
The brine I like to use for this chicken is simple. I mix enough water to cover two inches above the bird with 1/2 cup of salt and garlic powder in a large pot. I cover the pot and put it in the fridge the night before cooking (I did add more water in my above photograph).
The next day, when I’m ready to start cooking I preheat the oven to 425F. I put the chicken in my deep casserole/roasting stoneware. I cut a lemon in half and prick it and add it to the chicken’s cavity. I also add 8 garlic cloves (some always fall out).
Next, I mix homemade butter we purchase locally from another farm (raw Jersey cow milk with a small amount of raw, local honey) with salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
Then I slather the chicken with this butter. After slathering, I add 2 cups of chicken broth to the dish and put in the oven covered for 45 minutes.
While the chicken is roasting, I harvest fresh cuban oregano and tarragon. I harvest a good handful of the oregano and about ten tarragon leaves. I chop the fresh herbs.
The next ingredient is a bit trickier to obtain. I use two cups of cream. I’ll be honest. I didn’t have two cups this time around. I had about a cup. I made it work because I didn’t want to go to the store. See the picture of the mason jar above? The cream has separated from the raw goat milk. I just scoop this off a few jars and I have cream for the meal.
I mix the cream with the herbs, five quartered red potatoes, and 1/2 cup of sherry.
When the 45 minutes are up, I remove the chicken from the oven and add the potatoes and cream mixture. I then roast for another 45 minutes uncovered.
This is the result. This chicken was almost 5 pounds. No matter what, check the temperature of your chicken. You want it to be 165F.
What are some of your favorite chicken recipes?
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 cloves of garlic
2 cups chicken broth
5 red potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup sherry
Brine the night before (1/2 cup salt and garlic powder).
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425F.
Add the chicken to a baking dish. Cut the lemon in half and prick it. Put the lemon and garlic cloves in the cavity.
Mix butter, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Cover the chicken in buttered mixture.
Pour chicken broth in dish with chicken.
Roast covered for 45 minutes.
Chop fresh oregano and tarragon to add to cream, sherry, and potatoes.
When 45 minutes are up, take chicken out and add potato and cream mixture to the dish.
Roast for an additional 45 minutes uncovered.
Monitor chicken temperature. Must read 165F for safe consumption.