So, Time to Stay at Home, Minnesota...

It's here. Governor Walz's stay-at-home order for the next two weeks is in effect. I was fascinated by the data he presented, showing that this likely won't reduce the number of cases of COVID-19 statewide, but will simply extend the time until that will occur, giving our medical staff/facilities time to prepare. I won't go any further on this as we have all been inundated with all the news...

A bright spot - even more signs of spring and herbal-helpers popping up at the you-pick medicinal herb garden. Boneset is just showing, Yerba del Lobo is lovely. Lots of St. John's wort already greening up and spread quite a bit. Thanks to those of you that have offered to help at the garden this year. There is not much to do at this point - just spring clean up and some seeding in the hoop house. And I have plenty of time to do all of that at this point. Hopefully by the time it comes for weeding, dividing and transplanting, managing the growing herbs, and gathering we'll know more about COVID-19 and it's spread to know how you can help and still keep you, me, and the growers at Open Hands Farm safe and healthy. For now, I prefer to work alone and share pictures and updates with y'all!

Thanks to everyone who have posted comments to my posts or contacted me otherwise. I very much appreciate it. Gonna answer a couple questions here so everyone can benefit.

Is dandelion root ready to be dug and how to use it?

Yes, it is very ready to be dug up at this point. The good news is it is very plentiful, of course, and the roots are very plump and easier to wash at this time of year. Most herbalists consider fall to be the best time to harvest the roots for medicine as the have a higher concentration of inulin (insoluble fiber), a prebiotic that encourages the health of the beneficial, good microbes in your gut. Our hardy Minnesota winter temperatures convert that inulin into fructose, which actually makes the spring roots a bit more palatable, yet plenty bitter yet and very helpful to your liver and bile production. Those are good things even in the best of time, but now with the COVID-19 threat, supporting our liver is even more crucial - so get out there and dig those dandelion roots! They may be a bit tougher to dig in the spring, but that's OK as every little piece of dandelion root left in the group will grow a new plant - a perfect renewable resource!

My mushroom tea with dandelion root - delicious!

How to use dandelion root? I made a tincture out of some of mine, as I am almost out and love to use it as a bitter spray before eating to assist digestion. I also added some to my ongoing medicinal mushroom tea that I mentioned in my March 19 post.

Search online for how to use dandelion root.

Here is one of my favorite websites.

Please let us know of recipes/uses you find.

Elderberry safety with COVID-19: I've had several questions about the ongoing debate about using elderberry with COVID-19. For myself, I am still taking and elderberry/elderflower 50/50 blend several times a day and will continue until the point that the threat is over or I've come down with the virus. I have yet to learn of a better option in any healing modality for inhibiting the spiking mechanism of a virus from attaching to healthy cells. If I do come down with COVID-19, I will cut back on my use of elderberry and use other herbs, as indicated in earlier blogs (start reading in February blogs) and in the forum area.

That said, I know of two persons who have autoimmune disorders who are also very in tune with their body's reactions, who don't use elderberry as they "feel odd" when using it. Listen to your body, everyone. There is no one herb that is good/right for every person!

However, for me, elderberry has proven to be very beneficial and I will continue to have it in my protocol.

This was going to be a short post - so much for that. Thanks to several of you who have trusted me to provide some herbal tinctures and supplies, I have sold enough products in the past couple months to cover the cost of the Southwestern Conference on Botanical Medicines - a conference I have heard much good about over the years but could never rationalize the cost of going to Arizona to attend. With the virus, they have gone virtual this year, so I'm "going". Starts at noon. I'll likely have more to "report" later this weekend.

Have a great Saturday at home everyone. Get out there and dig some dandelion roots!