Also known as bee balm and bergamont. It comes in many colors: pink, red, blue, salmon, purple and white. I have the pink, red, and blue, and grow it mainly for the dried flowers. This plant is excellent for bee and butterfly gardens for it attracts both!
During the American Revolution in 1773, the colonists protested the tea tax with the Boston Tea Party-therefore not drinking English Tea. To satisfy their craving for tea, they drank tea made from bee balm leaves. This was introduced to them by the New York Oswego Indians, and is now called Oswego Tea. So, is Osw
ego Tea the same as Earl Grey Tea?–for Earl Grey Tea’s main ingrediant is monarda!
So, what is MONARDA? It is in the mint family with the ‘real’ name of: Monarda Didyma. It grows to be about 2-4 feet tall with corse, kinda hairy leaves. It grows hardy through zone 4, (although has a tendancy for mildew), in full sun to partly shady araes. Being it is in the mint family, some say that it is invasive. I haven’t found this to be so. I just split mine after three years, shared with some friends, and will have a lovely spot this year!
I dried the flowers upside down for later use in floral arrangements, present decorations, swags and wreaths. The leaves can be dried, although they loose some of their flavor, for tea. Serve the flowers in salads, add to floral ice ring molds, or infuse into champange! The tea is used for releiving mentrual cramps, nausea, and gas. A steam bath with monarda will help broncial problems, and sore throats.
Oh, take note!!: If you are in love, NEVER cut parsley, for you will be cutting your LUCK as well! You can eat it, provoking lust and fertility, but remember it is regarded as an evil herb! It is placed on plates protecting the food from contamination. And used in baths for purification and keeping misfortune away.
Although this is the folklore around parsley, it does have a history! It has a diuretic property, so therefore, has been used to treat fluid retention, including edema and obesity.
The Romans and the ancient Greeks used parsley for refreshing the breath of garlic and other odiferous foods. It was woven into wreaths to honor the best athetics. Chaplets of parsley were worn at banquets for it was thought to absorb the fumes of the wine they were drinking.
Parsley is a great cleansing herb! It benefits the lungs, stomach, liver, and thyroid, and has helped in passing all stones, and helps in bladder infections.
It is full of nutrients that help give it the name of one of natures preventitive medicines. It is high in vitamin B and potasium, has high iron, chlorophyll, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A & C.
So eat your parsley for it will help build resistance to infections and diseases. Scientists have found a substance that inhibits the development of certain cancer cells. Some even think that it may yet be proven that parsley is a cancer preventitive!
Pregnant woman should not use parsley for it may bring on an early labor! And nursing moms: it may dry up your milk flow! And if you have kidney problems, omit parsley from your diet. Parsley is a warming herb, so omit it if you are battling an infection, or when any inflamation is present in your body.
Parsley tea can be drank after your meals, or chew on the sprig left on your plate to relieve indigestion and to relieve a urinary complaint. It is also a good remedy for hemorroids! When using fresh parsley, remember the roots are more powerful than the leaves. When making a tea, simply steep a few sprigs in very hot water for a few minutes, and enjoy.
For insect bites you can squeeze parsley juice onto the sting for a quick relief. Infuse parsley into a lotion and use to help fade away those freckles!
So, use your parsley! Chop it up to make a two-cup full, and chop tomatoes and onions and chives, add a little Italian dressing and wa-la, you have a wonderful summer salad! So, enjoy!
The antler-shaped mushroom before you is the most rare and valuable form of Red Reishi. Known in China for over 4000 years as LingZhi, the ancient herbalists called Reishi the herb of spiritual potency and used it to promote longevity. Considered among the most powerful natural healing herbs in Asia, it was very rare and expensive to obtain until recently. Asian cultures have also used Reishi, rendered in jade, as a talisman worn around the neck. Sometimes, whole, dried Reishi are placed in
the home to ward off evil energies.
Red Reishi is rich in active organic compounds such as polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins, triterpenes, ascorbic acid, sterols, lipils, alkaloids, a glucoside, a coumarin glycoside, volatile oil, riboflavin and more.
These compounds are being studied for their positive effects on the immune system, including anti-tumor activity.
How To Prepare Herbal Meditation Tea
Using sharp shears, cut off 3 to 4 inches of Reishi. Snip pieces into small segments (the smaller, the better) or shred in a blender. Caution: when using a blender, never overload. Always cover blender mouth to avoid eye injury.
Soak in 12 to 16 ounces of cold water in the refrigerator overnight or in warm water for one hour. After soaking, cover and simmer for 5 minutes (do not use an aluminium pan). Pour through a strainer or filter. You may wish to add a teaspoon of honey or sugar as the natural taste of Reishi is slightly bitter. Enjoy while relaxing, before bedtime, or just prior to meditation.
Traditional Asian Wine Tonic
In Asia, medicinal formulae are often prepared by soaking herbs in alcohol for long periods. This is thought to allow the active ingredients and healing spirit of the herb to be released into the fluid.
Soak dry Reishi in warm water in its cellulose tube for 15 minutes. Place entire rehydrated Reishi in a 12 ounce bottle. Fill the bottle with vodka or brandy and seal with a cork or other tight fitting closure. Allow to soak in a dark, cool place for no less than 6 week (the longer, the better). Some age their tonics for 10 years! Sip 1 to 2 tablespoons when feeling on the verge of illness or deeply rundown.
Traditional Reishi Soup
If possible, use a Chinese double boiler. If not, clay, Pyrex or stainless steel pans work. Combine 3 one inch sections of Red Reishi with a chicken thigh or your favorite vegetables in 3 cups water. Add a few slices of ginger or mashed garlic cloves. Cover and simmer at a very low heat for 1 to 3 hours.
The Purple Willow is not a widely agnowledged medicinal plant, simply because all of the attention is focused on her close relative, the White Willow. The truth is the Purple Willow contains the same active ingredients that the White does, but in some ways, is even better. The Purple Willow tree, though not as well know for its medicinal value as its close relative the White Willow, helps with the same ailments. The Black Willow can grow as a shrub, up to 10 feet high. The medicinal Willows have been well known for thousands of years for their healing value. The very popular pain reliever Aspirin © is a derivitive of the White Willow. The active ingredient in the formerly noted pain reliever is Salicylic Acid. This is also found in the human body after having ingested any of the
medicinal Willows. The Willow’s active ingredient is called Salicin, which is what is converted to Salicylic Acid when taken inwardly. Though lesser known, the Purple Willow has all of the same healing properties as the White.
Dosage and Medicinal Value
The medicinal Willows have been known to reduce inflamation, to treat articular rheumatism, help with internal bleeding, and it is also good for heartburn and stomach problems. They help with headaches, minor aches and pains, as well as arthritis. The Purple Willow has all of the same healing properties as the White Willow, its better known cousin, except, it can do things that the White can’t. The Purple Willow tree works much better on fevers than its close relative.
The medicinal part of the Willow tree is the bark. There are a few different ways to prepare it. First, it is best to collect the bark in Springtime. One preparation option would be to boil the bark for at least 20 minutes, then either take internally or as a poultice. A decoction can be made by soaking up to three teaspoons of bark in one cup of cold water for up to five hours, and then boil down to a potent formula. To intake this you should take one cup unsweetend, no more than one a day. A decoction of Willow can be used to help with mouth problems, ie. you can gargle with it to help with inflamations of the gums and tonsils. A decoction can also be used externally for sores, burns, and cuts. To make a cold extract, soak one teaspoon of bark in one cup of cold water for up to ten hours and strain. You can make a powder by taking one to one and one-half teaspoons, three times a day. Everything I’ve read about intaking a hot Willow drink says that it is important that it is taken in large gulps, not small sips.
Harvesting and Growing
To see the harvesting and growing instructions for any of the Willows, please see the link to: Willow