Green Goddess Vinegar

This blend was inspired by all the green “weeds” that pop up from mama earth in the cool, wet springtime. 

img_1977.jpg

The thing about these often overlooked and sometimes grumbled over plants is that they offer us not only their powerhouse of nutrients, but also their strength and tenacity. 

20180502_101756

There’s a reason they are hard to get rid of and spread easily and abundantly; part of  why they’re here is because we need them. Some of them have long, strong roots that tap mineral resources from deep underground, pulling those minerals up into their leaves making them available for our (and other animal’s) bodies.  They can carpet disturbed areas quickly, helping increase the biomass of fallow fields and growing on land (and cracks!) where many other plants cannot survive, preparing the soil for future growth.

IMG_1419
Chickweed! (Stellaria media)
IMG_1414
Stinging nettles! (Urtica dioica)

All of these green wonders are mildly cleansing, helping to flush the body of toxins and build-up by supporting the liver and lymph system. They are just what our bodies are asking for after a winter of rich foods and cozy inactivity.  They are also super high in vitamins and minerals, like drinking a multi-vitamin. The raw apple cider vinegar has its own health benefits: normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol, aiding in digestion and elimination, and helping manage fatigue.  So wake up! It’s time to move, cleanse and revitalize our bodies!

IMG_1409
Cleavers! (Galium aparine)

 

 

Suggested Use

Use up to 1 Tbsp 3-5 times per day. It’s delicious in warm water with honey as a way to wake up the belly in the morning. I put a splash in my water bottle for the day. Mix it in salad dressing, sprinkle it on rice and beans, add it to anything. And Shake Well!

nettles* dandelion leaf and flower* cleavers* chickweed* violet leaf and flower* in raw apple cider vinegar+

10oz. $15

*Grown and harvested in RI with love and without chemicals        +certified organic

img_1461-1.jpg

B. Glorious

img_1975.jpg

This blend was born out of the lovely calm that comes with harvesting flowers.  Their colors, their smell and those pollinators(!) all create a dreamy haze of beauty.  The bees were covering the lavender bushes as I carefully gathered a few bundles, they were hiding in the beach roses while we harvested on the summer solstice and they were zooming through the meadows as my kids and I got to meander through Hidden Meadows Farm this year with our friend Heidi, leisuring picking red clover.

20180609_163354E6E8BB95-B5F4-4C28-916B-15857FFC0254.jpg

IMG_20180603_155824

 

The chamomile is a self-seeding hedge of volunteer blossoms at Cathy and George’s land where I garden. We are so blessed by its abundance! I try to plant it in my garden beds, but it remains straggly and rarely self-seeds. Then a few feet away, mixed with clover and grass it carpets the ground, coming back every year.

 

 

 

20180711_162025

 

 

For summer blends I like to use mint and lemon-scented herbs because of their cooling and uplifting properties. The mint this year came from the orchards at Earth Care Farm and the garden of my friend Jeanne who lets it send out its copious runners wherever it pleases. 

As for lemon, I added every lemony herb that I grow. They are all uplifting as well as anti-viral.  I started growing lemon verbena last year and its smell is tied in first place as my favorite scent ever.  And I finally have thriving lemon balm, thanks to my friend Sara K who brought me her volunteer lemon balm that was taking over. I’m so happy to have it taking over my garden! 

To all these lovely beginnings, I added deeply nourishing, calcium-rich oatstraw and oat tops. Plus some nervous system support with skullcap and chamomile. The result is a cooling and uplifting yet calming walk through a flower garden. Imagine how it feels to deeply smell a beach rose: that inner peace, contented smile, refreshing beauty….that’s what I’m going for here. Let’s all be glorious this summer. You can choose with or without a dash of freshly dried stevia.

Suggested Use:

Steep 1 Tbsp. per cup of boiling water for at least 20 minutes with a lid. The longer you steep it, the more minerals will be infused into the water, and I think the taste improves. You can even steep it overnight for the full nutrient value. And try it with cold water as a sun tea!

Ingredients:

mint* lemon balm* oatstraw+ lemongrass* red clover* lemon verbena* chamomile* skullcap* rose petals* oat tops+ lavender* stevia*

16oz. $13

*Grown and harvested in RI with love and without chemicals        +certified organic

 

 

Astragalus

Astragalus

20180714_124811-3

Astragalus is one of the premier herbal remedies for Lyme disease support.  It enhances immune system function in such a way that it assists the body in getting rid of the Lyme infection.  Stephen Buhner has done extensive research on Lyme treatment and has developed an herbal protocol to address acute Lyme as well as chronic Lyme.  He also suggests using astragalus as a preventative because of its positive effect on the immune system.  He actually recommends taking it every day, all year round if living in a Lyme disease area.  Another important detail is that with chronic Lyme, sometimes astragalus can make symptoms worse. But Buhner notes that sometimes that is not the case. So I recommend avoiding it in cases of chronic Lyme.

Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body deal with symptoms of stress.  Besides being one of the best herbs for building immune system strength, it is also energizing to the entire body, improving athletic endurance. It also promotes circulatory health and stimulates regular metabolism of dietary sugars (often used by diabetics).  Here’s more info than you ever wanted to know about astragalus.

I make my astragalus tincture as a strong water decoction, meaning I boil the fresh or dried root in water.  Water is the best extractor of the active constituents in astragalus. Because it is water soluble and has a mild flavor, astragalus makes a fine addition to food.  You can add astragalus powder to anything: smoothies, grains, soups.  Some folks put the sliced dry root (sometimes called a tongue depressor because of its shape) into their pot of soup, grains, or beans so that the simmering action extracts the medicinal properties.  I also make astragalus ice cubes by making a strong decoction and then freezing it in an ice cube tray. This makes an easy dosing for my family.  I add it to any of our drinks, smoothies or soup.

Suggested Use:

3-4 dropperfuls (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) once daily for prevention. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons a day after a tick bite or when dealing with acute Lyme symptoms. **Not for use in chronic Lyme**

Ingredients:

fresh and dried astragalus root, water, grain alcohol (20% for preservation)

B. Radiant

B. Radiant

9B1DCBA5-F9F6-4FCC-8FCC-365A8F1B7030

This is a blend of cooling and nourishing herbs, providing extra vitamins and minerals for these active months, helping you shine to your full radiant potential.  Especially now, we all need a little more nourishment and a little more light in our lives.  Coronavirus time has been so demanding in so many ways: all the decisions we have to make to keep ourselves and our communities safe, all the time stuck at home away from our friends and support networks, and possibily even battling the virus itself in all its forms.  Plus, now we have an enormous upsurge of unrest as we once again are confronted with the realities of racism in this country.  Even if you haven’t been to a protest or read much about this pivotal time in our history, I think every person is feeling the heightened energy and intense vibration of this movment.  And if you haven’t engaged yet, I highly recommend starting with self-education by checking out this link. We can all do our part in creating a world of peace, harmony and compassion for every living thing.

With all of this unpredictable shifting and accelerated momentum in our world, we need extra vitamins and minerals to support our movement into our new paradigm. 

Raspberry leaf is in incredible abundance this year, lushiously covering our grape arbor and poking its spiky head in between the planks of my friend’s deck.  Whenever a plant is particularly abundant in your life, it usually means that you can benefit from its healing properties or energetics.  Raspberry leaf is one of the richest sources of iron, supporting a body that is anemic and low energy.  It is also one of the highest herbal sources of niacin as well as manganese, which supports connective tissue health.  Raspeberry leaf is used as a female reproductive tonic, supporting the healthy functioning of the entire genitourinary system. It is a superior herb during pregnancy and its astringency helps with diarrhea, dysentery and excessive menstruation.   

IMG-4324

 

Red clover is also more abundant this year than I’ve ever seen it.  The patch we pick from at Hidden Meadow Farm in West Greenwich is thickly covered in pink puffs of color, buzzing with pollinators.  This flower and its leaves are also rich in minerals, especially calcium, nitrogen and iron. Something new I learned this year is that it it is helpful in promoting healthy lung health and helping soothe various lung complaints.  It is also wonderful at helping to detox and purify the blood, aiding in all manner of skin conditions.

 

The spearmint, lemongrass, lemon balm, hibiscus and orange peel give this blend a cool and fruity energy that’s delicious as an iced tea.  Plus the hibiscus and orange peel add another important vitamin: Vitamin C!  As for the cooling properties of this tea, it’s pretty well established that mint is cooling. Just think of sucking on a candy cane or a breath mint: with each breath you can feel the cold air in your mouth.  It’s also uplifting, as is lemon balm. They have a cheerful quality that lifts the mood and helps your spirits soar. Plus, those lemon-flavored herbs are all powerful anti-virals that keep your body healthy.

  I added just a pinch of freshly dried stevia leaves for a subtle sweetness. Even folks who don’t like the taste of concentrated stevia do like this tea.  

20180714_123944

Suggested Use:

Steep 1 Tbsp. per cup of boiling water for at least 20 minutes with a lid. The longer you steep it, the more minerals will be infused into the water, and I think the taste improves. You can even steep it overnight for the full nutrient value. And try it with cold water as a sun tea!

Ingredients:

spearmint*  raspberry leaves*  lemon balm*  alfalfa+  orange peel^ red clover*  hibiscus+  stevia*

*grown and harvested in RI with love and without chemicals

^organic and hand-dried in RI with love          +certified organic

38g of loose leaf tea blend.   $12

 

Mint Syrup

Mint and Lemon balm Sweet Summer Syrup

20180714_124811-2

This syrup turned out even more delicious than I thought it would be.  I spent a lovely day at three different gardens harvesting six different kinds of mint.  It was fascinating how different they all look, smell and taste: from fuzzy, light green apple mint to shiny, dark green/purplish chocolate mint to variegated white and green pineapple mint to a curly leaf spearmint. I was infused with mint!  The cooling properties of mint are strong and easily recognizable: that icy cold feeling of menthol in an altoid or candy cane.  And many know about the common household remedy of a cup of mint tea for indigestion or stomach upset.  I mixed in some lemon balm for its sunny smile that lifts the spirits, as well as its digestive support.  I used half the amount of sugar of a traditional simple syrup, making it lightly sweet and very minty (and also not shelf stable, so keep it in the fridge!).  Enjoy some in sparkling water with ice and a squeeze of lime. It’s divine.

20180711_193436-e1547501584838.jpg
Five different types of mint!

Suggested Use: 1-3 teaspoons, as often as you want it! **Keep Refrigerated**

Ingredients:

peppermint, chocolate mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, spearmint, lemon balm, fresh organic lemon peel, water, raw organic sugar

Mama Balance

Mama’s Beautiful Balance

IMG_1982.JPG

For all the women out there: whether you are a mother of small children, grown children or no children at all! We all are caregivers in some way and we all have the magical creative force of women, whether we birth children, ideas, art, projects or inspiration.  This blend is intended to bring balance to female hormones and reproductive system whether during menstruation, menopause or post-menopause. It is also a blend for balancing our busy lives, bringing a sense of calm, grounded strength. What follows is specific information about some of the herbs in the blend.  

Lady’s mantle is the beautiful low-lying perennial with wide, soft, ruffled leaves that collect morning dew and raindrops in perfect jewels. She’s magical just to look at.  Lady’s mantle has a strengthening and astringent effect on the female reproductive system and is an excellent uterine tonic. It helps regulate menstruation and control excessive bleeding.  It also has a toning and firming effect on the breasts, helping with lumpy, swollen, achy or saggy breast tissue.

Blessed thistle helps to increase milk supply in nursing mothers and helps with hormone imbalance. It increases circulation, supplying more oxygen to the brain and thus enhancing memory.

20180627_170752
Motherwort! (Leonurus cardiaca)

Motherwort is an incredible ally for women in all stages of life: it helps smooth the way for girls going through puberty, helps relieve menstrual cramping and bring on late periods, and helps moderate hormone levels, mood swings and hot flashes associated with menopause.  Motherwort is an emmenagogue and can encourage uterine contractions and labor, so is useful at the end of pregnancy. Magically, motherwort is an herb for protection. Gail Faith Edwards says that it “gives a sense of purpose and joy, an expectation that all will succeed. It brings the gifts of inner growth and trust.”

 

 

All together, these herbs bring balance, beauty, and support for the female body. I hope you enjoy it as I have. ❤

Suggested Use: 1-3 dropperfuls, one to three times per day or as needed.

 *not for use during pregnancy*

Ingredients:

lady’s mantle* motherwort* blessed thistle* evening primrose* tulsi* rose* and violet leaf and flower* in grain alcohol, filtered water, raw RI honey, vegetable glycerin and love.   

1oz. $14

*grown and harvested in RI with love and without chemicals

Long Life Elixir

Long Life Elixir

20180714_124811

This blend is inspired by the lovely Vermont-based herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar. The herbs in this blend are appropriate for any gender, but are specific for the male system.  They offer support to systems and organs that most often suffer imbalance in men: the heart and circulatory system, the liver, the endocrine system and the prostate.  Plus, it tastes a little bit like root beer and is incredibly delicious added to bubbly water.

Hawthorn is one of the best heart and circulatory tonics available, gently stimulating or depressing the heart’s activity as needed. It also strengthens the lining of the blood vessels, clearing plaque build-up that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.  Sarsaparilla and sassafras are cleansing for the entire system, especially the liver and gallbladder, and the former is valued as a sexual tonic, increasing libido and sexual performance.  Saw palmetto is also a sexual tonic for both sexes, plus it’s one of the best tonics to prevent problems of the reproductive organs, tone the prostate gland, reduce inflammation and enlargement. Wild yam is excellent for toning the liver and relieving liver congestion and inflammation. It also (along with saw palmetto and sarsaparilla) provides the building blocks for steroid hormone production, helping tone and build muscles and regulate reproductive system function.  Last but definitely not least, tulsi (aka holy basil) offers us the gift of balance: reducing stress, increasing energy and vitality and promoting longevity. Rosemary writes “the daily use of this herb is believed to help maintain the balance of the chakras and to bring out the goodness, virtue, and joy in humans.” Here’s to a long, balanced, joyful life!

Suggested Use: 1-2 teaspoons, one to three times per day.

Ingredients:

hawthorn berries, sarsaparilla, tulsi, sassafras, saw palmetto, wild yam, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods in vodka with black cherry juice concentrate