Updated: Jan 30
A tropical rainforest in Minnesota? That's what it feels like as I'm sitting in my back screen porch, listening to the rain dripping, watching the squirrels (not monkeys) chase each other through the trees, listening to the birds (and the sound of construction at Greenvale School...). One can almost see and hear the seeds sprouting and plants growing. There have even been hummingbirds humming about - one of my favorite memories of a trip to Costa Rica years ago when our daughter spent a semester there.
I'm excited to get back out to the You Pick Garden in a few days. I haven't been there much the past couple weeks, due to possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus as the driver for our son to urgent care clinic and then a hospital stay to remove his gallbladder. He's doing fine now and no one has gotten sick yet, so all is well. I'm back in herbalist mode again!
Things to note moving ahead:
I'll update the "What's Available" list next week after I get back to a regular schedule at the garden.
Ready to Gather (after it dries out):
Cleavers - I have lots in my yard and woods - let me know if you can't find some to gather. Why bother with cleavers? Stephen Harrod Buhner, a highly regarded herbalist, has updated his protocol for COVID-19 and has switched from red root to cleavers for keeping the lymph system moving and working well, as cleavers does not stimulate clotting as red root may. (He also suggests Salvia miltiorrhiza, which just-so-happens is growing in the You Pick Garden. Just sayin')
I use a tincture of cleavers, but others also make infused oil and other preparations.
Check out this post by Herbal Academy for some interesting tips about cleavers.
Plantain - if you've taken a class from me, you know it is a favorite of mine. One of the reasons for summertime use is to take away the itch of mosquito bites, as well as other insect bites. Be sure to make an oil for that purpose, but a tincture can also be very useful. Check my website for more information about making herbal preparations or do an online search.
Elder leaf - several herbalists advocate elder leaf for use during COVID-19. If you want some on hand, this would be a good time to make some up.
Stinging Nettle - one of the most, if not the most, nutritious plant on our planet! Make and freeze some pesto. Saute it up to add to quiche. Dry for making tea. At the very least, make a tincture to have it ready available. It has many many uses.
I could write pages about each of each plant, but just search my website for more information or do an online search and you'll find lots of great research. Please contact me with any questions or concerns, of course.
Remember - some of the medicinal properties of plants are sound on their surfaces and those properties are diluted with rain. Be sure to wait at least 2 days after rain to gather any herbs for full medicinal benefit. Only gather from dry plants to avoid mold on your oils and to avoid diluting your tinctures.
Anna, a good friend, has been encouraging me to listen to Aviva Romm - thanks Anna, for the great tip! She is a highly respected doctor and herbalist and explains herbal information so well. I've been listening to a recent webinar about adaptogens. Very very good. Might be a nice way to spend some time while we wait for plants to dry up over the next couple days!