Sage

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.

Antimicrobial

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.

Bitter

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.

Carminative

In short? Got the farts? Yeah, carminative properties help with flatulence.

Diuretic

Increases urine flow. This can help with water retention and high blood pressure.

Astringent

If you have oily skin, applying a sage infusion (especially if your skin is sensitive) can help because it tightens the skin.

In Ayurveda

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.

Interested in continuing your education or career as an herbalist? Check out the Herbal Academy.
Whether you are just getting started in herbalism or have been exploring this natural path for some time, you might realize that there are several directions to take as an herbalist! Perhaps you are interested in opening up an herb shop or selling your own natural body care products. Maybe your passion is for people, and therefore your desire is to become a community herbalist. Or maybe you wish to study herbalism to benefit your own family’s health and wellbeing.
Follow your calling, and match up your personal or career goals with the Herbal Academy’s unique Herbalist Paths. These discounted training packages are designed to help guide you in your journey and your educational needs! Infuse your life with your herbal education when choosing the Family Herbalist Path, prepare for a business start-up in the Entrepreneur Herbalist Path, or learn how to work with clients professionally through the Clinical Herbalist Path.
All Herbalist Paths are offered at a discount and with a payment plan option! Learn more about the Herbal Academy’s programs and paths here.

 

 

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Lemon Sherry Chicken and Potatoes

Hi, everyone!

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.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

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).

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

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.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

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.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

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?

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • oregano
  • tarragon
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup sherry

Instructions

  1. Brine the night before (1/2 cup salt and garlic powder).
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425F.
  3. Add the chicken to a baking dish. Cut the lemon in half and prick it. Put the lemon and garlic cloves in the cavity.
  4. Mix butter, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Cover the chicken in buttered mixture.
  5. Pour chicken broth in dish with chicken.
  6. Roast covered for 45 minutes.
  7. Chop fresh oregano and tarragon to add to cream, sherry, and potatoes.
  8. When 45 minutes are up, take chicken out and add potato and cream mixture to the dish.
  9. Roast for an additional 45 minutes uncovered.
  10. Monitor chicken temperature. Must read 165F for safe consumption.

 

 

Calendula

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Calendula. It’s looking really pretty this time of year. I love how fiery that orange can get. Everyday, I have at least one ready flower to harvest. I’m not one for the mundane, and living on a homestead is far from it, but there’s something very connecting and exceptional about checking my plant babies everyday to see how they grow and progress, despite how repetitive it may seem. I especially love to visit them after a rain. My animals despise the rain (minus the waterfowl), but my plants thrive in it. And contrasting the very vocal protests of my herd, the plants have been celebrating the rain, as evident by their lush green leaves, brightly colored flowers, and towering heights.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Looking like a daisy–which makes sense because it’s part of the same family–Calendula has bright yellow/orange flowers. The flowers are what’s used for medicinal properties.

This flower is very multipurposed as it is used for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes. That and it really is just really pretty.

Culinary

You don’t see it a lot anymore, but this was a popular flower to add to salads and stews. It is completely edible and its consumption won’t hurt you.

Anti-Inflammatory

Linoleic acid is found in high concentrations in Calendula. Calendula is a helpful remedy for:

  1. diaper rash
  2. dermatitis
  3. ear infections
  4. ulcers
  5. sore throats

Cosmetic

Calendula can improve skin firmness and hydration. A strong rinse/tea can be made to apply topically.

Wound Care

Calendula increases blood flow and oxygen to wounds, which can result in a faster healing process as new tissue is grown. When taken internally in tea form, it can help with ulcers.

Menstruation

Calendula can help induce a menstrual cycle (do not take when pregnant as it can lead to early labor). This herb can also treat cramping.

Antimicrobial and Antiviral

The oils and acids found within this plant can fight pathogens, candida symptoms, and even some antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Calendula is used in a few antiseptic topical remedies because of this.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

I have one plant that is blooming and has enough to harvest daily. I harvest the flowers and dry them then store them. Once I have enough I infuse them in an oil for future salves and any additional teas I could use.

Thanks for reading about one of the herbs we have in our medicinal garden. If you want to see more, click here

Interested in continuing your education or career as an herbalist? Check out the Herbal Academy.
Whether you are just getting started in herbalism or have been exploring this natural path for some time, you might realize that there are several directions to take as an herbalist! Perhaps you are interested in opening up an herb shop or selling your own natural body care products. Maybe your passion is for people, and therefore your desire is to become a community herbalist. Or maybe you wish to study herbalism to benefit your own family’s health and wellbeing.
Follow your calling, and match up your personal or career goals with the Herbal Academy’s unique Herbalist Paths. These discounted training packages are designed to help guide you in your journey and your educational needs! Infuse your life with your herbal education when choosing the Family Herbalist Path, prepare for a business start-up in the Entrepreneur Herbalist Path, or learn how to work with clients professionally through the Clinical Herbalist Path.
All Herbalist Paths are offered at a discount and with a payment plan option! Learn more about the Herbal Academy’s programs and paths here.

Yarrow

We recently added yarrow to our medicinal garden and it’s finally blooming. It is a unique plant in that the leaves and flowers can both be used topically and internally. It’s very versatile, treating many ailments and improving health.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Yarrow is actually quite pretty and I find the pungent scent intoxicating. I love harvesting the flowers because they smell so lovely. Which I find funny because pests hate it. This plant is virtually pest free and even when I found caterpillars trying to devour the neighboring comfrey, the yarrow remained untouched. Another funny note off of that fact, yarrow attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and those creepy parasitic wasps. If you have not seen a clip of what those things do, you need to take the time to find a video. As long as you’re not squeamish. Anyways, these beneficial insects help with the nasty little buggers you want out of your garden, so plant plenty of yarrow.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

The colors I see most often in yarrow flowers that people grow in their gardens are white and pink.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

The leaves are soft and feather-like in both appearance and texture. Both flowers and leaves are used for their medicinal properties. An all around, pretty plant. This herb is actually my daughter’s favorite. She will harvest them with me and sneak off with one. I have seen them stashed in her dresser from time to time.

One medicinal trait yarrow has that many other plants do not have is that it’s styptic. This means that it can stop bleeding when used as a poultice, or powder form. Seek medical attention for severe wounds, but yarrow can aid in minor wounds where it is difficult to stop bleeding. Another nice feature of this herb is that it is also antiseptic, vulnerary, and anti-inflammatory; all great properties to assist with infection prevention and healing.

When ingested, yarrow is diaphoretic, expectorant, antispasmodic, hemostatic, and analgesic.

Being diaphoretic, yarrow induces sweating. This sounds more like a nasty side effect rather than something helpful, but this can help cool the body when it’s needed, like a bad fever. Sweating–though unpleasant–is our body’s natural way of cooling off. When we’re sick, sometimes our bodies do a horrible job at this, so inducing a good sweat without wasting our body’s energy on a vigorous run can help break that fever. Yay to the gross ways our bodies adapt and regulate–homeostasis, baby!

Yarrow, much like mullein, is an expectorant. This means that yarrow can assist in getting rid of sputum (a fancy word for that lovely spit and mucus mixture you get when you’re sick and congested) in airway passages. Although I prefer using mullein for nasty coughs and colds, yarrow does help with knocking that congestion out if you’re already taking it for a fever.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Yarrow is antispasmodic, which can help with treating some cases of IBS, along with other dietary changes. An antispasmodic aids in relieving involuntarily muscle spasms, which is why this herb can help. Being that it is an antispasmodic, it can also help with menstrual cramping. Never use while pregnant though because it is a uterine stimulant. However, it is awesome to use after giving birth as it helps tone the uterus and helps with any hemorrhaging. Breastfeeding? You should be fine in lower doses. If you are your baby have an allergy to any plants in the aster family (this includes flowers like sunflowers and daisies) then just avoid it altogether.

If your goal is to use yarrow for its hemostatic properties, I do advise that you consult with a physician if it’s because you believe you have internal bleeding. I am all for natural healing and I can see yarrow’s use in something like excessive menstrual cycles, or symptoms caused by uterine fibroids. Those are chronic ailments that are not as life threatening as a head injury, or an abdominal injury from a car accident. If you ever suspect internal bleeding, seek medical attention to see the underlying cause, then go about educated treatment from there. Don’t just consume a bunch of yarrow without a diagnosis. Please. Ever. With any herb or medication.

Yarrow is technically analgesic, but it’s really for minor pains. If you’re already taking it for a fever or cold, chances are it will aid in any pain you may be feeling as long as it’s mild. There are stronger herbs out there if pain is your main concern.

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

So, there you have it. Yarrow in a nutshell. I could write individual blog posts, both small and large, about just the individual ways I can use this. Powder form for profuse bleeding out of small wounds, poultices for cuts and scrapes, teas for all the glories of being born female, pest control, teas for fever breaking, it is endless. This was not one of my first medicinal herbs, but it really should have been because it is amazing. I’m very excited my plant is blooming because I don’t have to buy them from an unknown source!

Do you use yarrow? Will you now that you know more about it? Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

Want to see what else we grow in our medicinal garden on the farm? Click here to see what we’ve got going on. I will update our medicinal herb page as we add new cool stuff. Thanks for reading!

Interested in continuing your education or career as an herbalist? Check out the Herbal Academy.
Whether you are just getting started in herbalism or have been exploring this natural path for some time, you might realize that there are several directions to take as an herbalist! Perhaps you are interested in opening up an herb shop or selling your own natural body care products. Maybe your passion is for people, and therefore your desire is to become a community herbalist. Or maybe you wish to study herbalism to benefit your own family’s health and wellbeing.
Follow your calling, and match up your personal or career goals with the Herbal Academy’s unique Herbalist Paths. These discounted training packages are designed to help guide you in your journey and your educational needs! Infuse your life with your herbal education when choosing the Family Herbalist Path, prepare for a business start-up in the Entrepreneur Herbalist Path, or learn how to work with clients professionally through the Clinical Herbalist Path.
All Herbalist Paths are offered at a discount and with a payment plan option! Learn more about the Herbal Academy’s programs and paths here.