So, I was in the back hanging out with the donkeys and goats when something yellow caught my eyes behind the enclosure. Swaying in the wind, I found goldenrod. I was ecstatic. What caught my eye was too late to harvest, but it meant more was nearby that would be harvestable.
Behind the animal enclosure is a somewhat thick wooded area.
I did not care though. I was going to get some goldenrod.
I battled thorns, spiderwebs, and a snake to get to my destination. Okay, to be fair, the snake pictured above is a black racer; they’re harmless. This also is not the same snake I ran into–I think. This was taken another day, but I did run into a black racer in the wooded area. I couldn’t snap a picture though, but had to share at least one picture I did have because they’re pretty.
Spiderwebs? They’re not pretty. They suck. I’d rather the thorned plants.
So, I harvested some goldenrod to dry. I dried it and had enough to fill half of a pint mason jar.
And what do you do with that much goldenrod? You make a tincture! I use flowers and leaves (mostly flowers).
I’m not a big drinker, but I do love Copper Bottom’s vodka when I do drink. Since it’s a product I trust, I also use it for making tinctures.
So, we’re going to let this sit for 6 weeks, shaking everyday. After 6 weeks, we’ll have a lovely natural remedy for allergies. Happy Harvesting everyone!
Mint is an easy to grow herb that smells and tastes great. I commonly pull a leaf to chew when I’m outside. It’s a favorite here to use to steep as tea, even just for the flavor. There are several benefits to consuming and using mint, other than its pleasant taste.
We often hear of how ginger is used for any stomach issues, but mint does a pretty decent job in dealing with nausea and other digestive discomforts. I steep it with ginger when my stomach is mildly bothering me. It’s not an instant fix, but it does help.
Another way mint aids us is with headaches. For me, just smelling some essential oil or a fresh cup of tea brings a great deal of comfort when I have a headache.
Believe it or not, this herb’s cooling effects help with congestion. I like to drink it on its own as a tea, but if I’m severely ill, I will mix it with mullein (fantastic herb used to help clear out actual congestion).
If you have chronic issues with minor headaches or stomach problems, you can make a tincture out of mint to take on a consistent basis. Teas are great and I love tea, but tinctures can be a bit stronger if that’s what we need. There are other herbs to use for these problems, but in more severe cases. Mint is also great to use in conjunction with other stronger herbs to help with taste.
Cooling and Pain Relief
But, if I’m being honest, the coolest thing I love about mint are the different body butters, salves, and balms I can make with it. I have a muscle pain salve I make with cayenne. Cayenne does most of the hard work for this task, but the mint provides a nice cooling effect to counter the heat when applied to the skin. Cracked feet? A body butter with shea butter and mint help heal and soothe.
The most common method of using mint is as a tea. I made some with fresh leaves this week for my son’s congestion.
First, you harvest this amazing creature.
If you’re using fresh leaves you do need to chop it. There are many methods to this. This time around, I chose to put some in a small cup and simply cut it.
I like using tea balls for steeping. They’re easy to use and store. I pack two of these full of fresh chopped mint.
I boil water in an electric kettle. Once it is done and the bubbles from boiling disappear, I add the water to my favorite tea kettle with the tea balls. The kettle holds 1 liter of water. To get health benefits from the herb, you cannot just steep it for five minutes. You need to do a good 30-45 minutes.
After that, enjoy!
Want to learn about other herbs we grow and use? Visit this page to learn more! We will be adding more posts about each herb, but if you see a herb you’re curious about and there’s no post, do not hesitate to get a hold of us!