Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let's Grow Herbs At Home! Pt. 4

G'day all!

Today's post will wrap up our herbal reference chart A-Z.....

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you!

St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum)

Also Known As: Scare devil, goat's weed

Uses: Taken as tea, St. John's Wort i known for its ability to ease depression and this use has come back into the public eye in recent years. I t can also help to treat viral infections. As a tincture it is good for treating mild burns and scalds, and helps wounds to heal more quickly.

Part Used:  Leaves

Taken As: Tea, infusion

Harvested: Use fresh as needed, if drying in mid to late summer

Shelf Life: 1-3 years

Sweet Violet (viola odorata)

Also Known As: English violet, garden violet, or blue violet

Uses: As a decoction or syrup, it eases respiratory infections and has a gentle sedative effect. Apply as a poultice to relieve hangover headaches to help sore or cracked nipples.

Taken As: Poultice, decoction or in cough syrup. The flowrs can also be made into sweets.

Harvested: Harvest in the spring of te year after planting.

Shelf Life: When dried and kept properly, the herb will last from 1-3 years

Wild Thyme (thymus polytrichus)

Also Known As: No other common names

Uses: Drink as a tea for headaches and mild pain relief. It is also thought that a tea made from wild thyme can prevent nightmares. Take as a tincture for congested chests. A strong infusion of this herb will help ease flatulence and other digestive complaints.

Part Used: Flowering herb.

Taken As: Tincture, tea, infusion

Harvested: When the flowrs are in full bloom-from May to October. If drying , toward the end of summer

Shelf Life: 1-3 years

Valerian (valeriana officinalis)

Also Known As: All-heal, cat's valerian, garden heliotrope

Uses: Make into a tea or chew the dried root as a sedative to ease insomnia and  help with the relief of stress and anxiety. Regular use of the tea also helps to ease irritable bowel syndrome. The herb has strong antispasmodic properties that help alleviate menstrual cramps and other stomach complaints.

Part Used: Leaves, roots

Taken As: Tea, tincture, dried root.

Harvested: Leaves and roots in fall

Shelf Life: 1-3 years

Vervain (verbena officinalis)

Also Known As: Verbena, holy herb

Uses: Taken as a tea or dcoction, vervain can help with insomnia, treat anxiety, aid lactation in mothers, and act as a good mouthwash to help treat infected gums. Vervain is also one of the original 12 of the Bach Flower Remedies.

Part Used: Leaves, flowers and stems

Taken As: Tea, decoction

Harvested: Before flowering, dry promptly

Shelf Life: 1-3 years

****Warning! Should not be taken during pregnancy!****

Wormwood (artemisia absinthium)

Also Known As: Absinthe, old woman

Uses: Taken as an infusion, it is a powerful, bitter, digestive stimulant and a treatment for intestinal worms. Can be applied as a poultice to ease bruises, skin inflammations, and acne

Part Used: Flowers, leaves

Taken As: Infusion, tincture, poultice

Harvested: Flowers in August and September. Strip leaves and flowers from stem before drying

Shelf Life: 1-3 years

*****Warning! Should not be used during pregnancy!*****

Yellow Dock (rumex crispus)

Also Known As: Curled dock, narrow-leafed dock, common weed

Uses: As a tea it can help hemorrhoids and act as a laxative. It can be used in a poultice to treat ringworm. Young leaves can be eaten in a salad, like spinach, and are a good source of the vitamins A and C.

Part Used: Leaves and roots

Taken As: Tea, decoction, poultice. The leaves can be eaten raw as part of a salad.

Harvested: The leaves and roots should be gathered in early spring, the year after planting

Shelf Life: 1-3 years

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