Dandelions: 31+ Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the King of Weeds

Click here to view the original post.

This article is part of a series on weed gardens and identifying and using the plants you’ll often find there. For other articles in the series, please click here.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

As you can see, the weed garden is really starting to come to life. I’ve got henbit, sedges, dayflowers, wood sorrel, pokeweed, and a few other visitors. But one weed I would gladly welcome has yet to show up. Dandelions!

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

Dandelions are pretty much the unofficial mascots for foraging and herbal medicine. They can be found on every continent (except Antarctica) and have tremendous value as food and medicine. They invade lawns, fields, and waste spaces despite every effort to control, contain, and kill them.

Dandelions are survivors, and they pass on a little of that to us when we consume them.

Identifying Dandelions

While dandelions do have a few look-alikes, none of them are toxic. Among the common fakers, you’ll find cat’s ear, chicory, shepherd’s purse, and hawksbeard. Here’s your guide to telling the real thing from the fakers.

Dandelions are perennials1)Perennial: Any plant that lives for more than 2 years. that grow in a basal rosette.2)Basal Rosette: A circular arrangement of leaves at ground level. You’ll never find leaves growing from the stem. Leaves are anywhere from 2 inches to over a foot (5 to 40 centimeters) long and have jagged teeth.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

The jagged pattern of the leaves can vary quite a bit. On some plants, the indentations will go nearly to the midline of the leaf, while others will have fairly shallow teeth. The tips of the teeth tend to point backward, toward the center of the plant. Leaves are virtually hairless at all stages of growth.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

By the way, the name “dandelion” is said to come from “dent de lion” or “teeth of the lion.” And depending on who you ask, this either refers to the jagged leaves or the flower petals.

The scientific name, Taraxacum officinale, could be translated as “the official cure for every disorder.”

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

The yellow blooms are composite flowers. That is, they look like one flower, but are technically a cluster of tiny flowers. The ends of the petals tend to be flat, rather than tapering to a point, and they overlap all the way to the center of the flower. Blooming happens mostly in spring, and again in fall, with sporadic blooming at any time.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

These flowers turn into the puffballs that kids love to blow on to make wishes. A single dandelion plant may produce many stems and flowers, but each stem will have only a single flower. The stems are hollow and can range in length from 2 to 18 inches (5 to 45 centimeters).

All parts of the plant contain a white, milky sap. This would normally be a warning sign, but dandelions are an exception to the rule.

Read More: “How to Not Die While Wildcrafting: 15 Rules for Foraging Safely”

There are even some rather useful applications for this sap, which we’ll get into below. Be aware that dandelion sap has occasionally been reported to cause contact dermatitis in some individuals.

Dandelions can be found throughout the U.S., Canada, and most of the rest of the world, especially around people. This is another plant that loves us and wants to be near us. You can find them in lawns, fields, pastures, waste spaces, and disturbed ground. They seem to survive everything from drought, to over-picking, to digging, to mowing, to herbicides. But why would you want to get rid of these happy little guys? They’re beautiful, and they’re trying so hard to help us.

Edible Uses and Dandelion Recipes

If you do an Internet search for dandelion recipes, you’ll find page after page of preparations for this versatile vegetation. Recipes abound!

I, myself, have only scratched the surface of dandelion delicacies. There are just so many!

Nutritional Value

And why shouldn’t there be? Every part of the plant is edible, raw or cooked. And not only are dandelions plentiful, they’re very nearly a perfect food. Dandelions are rich in potassium; magnesium; manganese; phosphorus; sodium; copper; choline; calcium; iron; lecithin; biotin; inositol; chlorophyll; fiber; and vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, and E.3)Foster, Steven, James A. Duke, and Steven Foster. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.,4)Peterson, Lee Allen, and Roger Tory Peterson. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.,5)Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: DK/Penguin Random House, 2016.,6)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.,7)Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012.,8)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.

That’s quite a mouthful. Literally.

They have more vitamin A than any other green plant—six times more than carrots—and a single cup of fresh greens will meet your daily requirement of beta-carotene, iron, calcium, and potassium!9)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.

That tap root really reaches down to bring up the good stuff. You can see why I call them the king of weeds.

Furthermore, when eaten as a whole (roots to flowers/seeds), the dandelion forms a complete protein, with all 9 essential amino acids.10)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014. That’s a pretty good trick for a plant.

Dandelion also seems to help with the absorption and balance of minerals.11)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Overcoming the Bitter Taste

But let’s address the elephant in the room. Dandelions are bitter. Very bitter. Involuntarily-spit-them-out-and-go-wash-your-mouth-out-with-ice-cream bitter.

Perhaps I exaggerate. But how is one to get past the bitterness to access those amazing nutrients? I’ve got you covered.

First, you should select the best dandelions. The best-tasting leaves have had the easiest life. Don’t pick any sunbaked, twice-stepped-on leaves. Harvest from a plant in a shady, well-watered location. Harvest younger greens, earlier in the year. Leaves toward the center of the rosette also tend to be less bitter.

Next, choose the right preparation. It’s the rare individual who enjoys eating a handful of dandelion greens raw. It’s a lot easier to moderate their taste by chopping them up and mixing them with other greens. They also pair well with savory dishes.

Of all the cooking methods, boiling does the best job of reducing bitterness. Drop the leaves into boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. If you’ve picked a good plant, it shouldn’t take much more than this. If not, you can always boil them longer. Use plenty of water so the bitterness has someplace to go.

Eating the Roots: Stir-fried, Pickled, and as a Coffee Substitute

The root can be eaten raw, but tastes better when cooked. Try them sliced and stir-fried with other veggies. Cooking breaks down the root’s inulin into fructose, bringing out a much sweeter taste. They’re also a fine addition to soups and stews, and—although I’ve never tried it—they are reportedly quite tasty when pickled.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

Dandelion Coffee Recipe

The root is typically harvested from late fall to early spring. Second-year roots are preferred, but good luck on guessing how old a dandelion is by looking at it. If it’s too old and woody to eat, you can still use it to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute. Slice up the root and slow-roast it in your oven until it turns dark brown and becomes brittle. This should take about 30 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Let it cool, and then grind it up to use like coffee grounds. I’m usually not a fan of coffee substitutes, but this is one I really enjoy.

Dandelion Mocha Recipe

If you’d like to take your dandelion coffee to the next level (and who wouldn’t?), you can turn it into a dandelion mocha. This recipe comes from Rosemary Gladstar, and it is delightful.

Use 1 tbsp each of dandelion coffee grounds and cacao nibs. Simmer in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Then strain and add ½ cup milk (or milk substitute), ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. honey (or other sweetener), and a dash of ground nutmeg or cloves.

It’s excellent. I highly recommend you try it.

Eating the Flowers: Sautéed, Fried, and Infused

The flowers make a colorful addition to salads, soups, ice creams, or just about anything else. Two of my favorite ways to eat them are sautéed in butter and as an ingredient in dandelion lemonade.

  • Sautéed blooms are easy. Just melt some butter and sauté away. (Alternately, you could make a simple egg-and-flour batter and fry them. Yum!)
  • To make dandelion lemonade, just add about a quart of dandelion flowers to a half gallon of lemonade. Let the mixture infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain out the blossoms and enjoy.

The less green you have from the base of the blossoms, the less bitter they will taste. Here’s a brief clip demonstrating a super easy way to separate the petals from the bitter greens:

https://youtu.be/fWyA35Cs5e0

The last way to get past the bitterness is simply to build up an appreciation for it. Sure, it’s not the most popular option, but you really can develop a taste for a food by consistently consuming small portions of it. Gradually, your aversion turns into tolerance. And then tolerance can even become a craving. It really works. Try it!

Medicinal Uses for Dandelions

Dandelion’s medicinal effects are not limited to its impressive nutritional profile. It sports a bevy of benefits. Let’s dive in!

As a Digestive Aid

Dandelion’s bitter taste is likely also its best-known medicinal property. It’s a bitter. Bitters are plants that encourage optimal digestion by stimulating the secretion of enzymes and digestive juices.12)Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012.,13)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Dandelion stimulates appetite, aids the liver in its detoxification duties, helps to regulate the release of pancreatic hormone, is stimulating to the spleen, supports correct bile duct function, and even helps to repair the gut wall.14)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,15)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.,16)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It may even help to resist the progression of cirrhosis of the liver.17)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

Dandelion is a remarkable plant!

To Treat Colitis

In one experiment, participants with non-specific colitis were given dandelion along with calendula, lemon balm, and St. John’s wort. Complete relief from spontaneous and palpable pains was reported by 96% of participants, and stools were normalized in those with diarrhea symptoms.18)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

As a Spring Tonic and Diuretic

Dandelion is also well-known as a spring tonic. It helps to flush and tone the body after enduring the rigors of winter.

The entire plant is diuretic, flushing excess water from the body and generally giving us a good cleansing. The leaf is more powerful than the root, and is comparable to the drug furosemide in terms of strength.19)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003. Don’t take it right before bed or you’ll be up all night. Trust me. I know.

Dandelion’s diuretic properties help to relieve fluid retention.20)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It is also used to dissolve calcium stones and to prevent new ones from forming, and can be used safely over long periods.21)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,22)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

Dandelion’s diuretic nature may also help to explain its effectiveness in relieving arthritic complaints.23)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

With conventional pharmaceuticals, as the body flushes out water, it’s also flushing out our supply of potassium. This can be rough on your heart and cause problems for anyone with a heart condition.24)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003. Dandelion, on the other hand, is so rich in potassium that even while it flushes out the body, it still provides a net gain in potassium.25)Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: DK/Penguin Random House, 2016. This makes it an ideal diuretic herb for people with heart issues.26)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

For Skin Health

The natural latex in its sap is helpful in getting rid of warts.27)Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012. However, this is not a quick process. The sap must be applied several times a day for 2 to 3 weeks. Direct application of the sap can also help with moles, pimples, canker sores, and other skin blemishes.28)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014., 29)Grossberg, George T., and Barry Fox. The Essential Herb-drug-vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

To Fight Cancer and Harmful Bacteria

Dandelion may have anti-tumor/anti-cancer properties, though it is not clear whether this would be from a direct action or indirectly through its ability to cleanse and support normal body function.30)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.,31)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. Dandelion also appears to have selective antimicrobial properties, supporting healthy gut bacteria while discouraging unhealthy ones.32)Foster, Steven, James A. Duke, and Steven Foster. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.,33)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.,34)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It even helps prevent plaque buildup on teeth.35)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.

Other Medicinal Uses

Dandelion is also cooling and drying, and can be used as a fever reducer.36)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It’s a mild laxative and has an alkalizing effect on the body.37)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,38)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.,39)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. Dandelion may also help some people with allergies and food intolerances.40)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

In animal studies, dandelion has been shown to have hypoglycemic activities.41)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003. This may make it a helpful plant for those with diabetes, but could be a contraindication for those with hypoglycemia.42)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,43)Grossberg, George T., and Barry Fox. The Essential Herb-drug-vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

Medicinal Formats and Dosages

You can use dandelion via any of the normal methods: fresh, dried, tincture, decoction, infusion, etc. The dried leaves make an excellent addition to green powders.

Outside of some very specific circumstances, dandelion is widely considered to be safe. Recommendations vary from herbalist to herbalist as to how much you should take.

I will present some amounts that I think are reasonable, but you should view them as suggestions, rather than rules. Other quantities/frequencies could be equally valid, depending on your situation.

Root Tincture

1:5 ratio in 60% alcohol. Use 2.5–5 ml, 3 times daily.

Root Decoction

Use 2–3 tsp of root material in 1 cup of water. Simmer for 10–15 minutes. Drink this 3 times a day.

Leaf Tincture

1:5 ratio in 40% alcohol. Use 5–10 ml, 3 times daily.

Leaf Infusion

Pour boiling water over ½ tsp of dried leaf and allow to steep for 10–15 minutes. Drink this 3 times a day.

Long Live the King!

Dandelions are so impressively versatile that I could never fit everything into a single article.

For example, did you know that the sap can be used as glue, or that the stem can be fashioned into a working flute?

What else did I leave out? What’s your favorite recipe or medicinal use? Do you have any dandelion stories (or horror stories about the bitter flavor)? Are dandelions really the king of weeds, or should that title belong to a different plant? Let me know in the comments!

Subscribe to TGN's bi-weekly newsletter

_______________________________________________________

Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.

_______________________________________________________

 

References   [ + ]

1. Perennial: Any plant that lives for more than 2 years.
2. Basal Rosette: A circular arrangement of leaves at ground level.
3, 32. Foster, Steven, James A. Duke, and Steven Foster. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
4. Peterson, Lee Allen, and Roger Tory Peterson. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.
5, 25. Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: DK/Penguin Random House, 2016.
6, 9, 10, 28, 33, 35. Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.
7, 12, 27. Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012.
8, 14, 21, 37, 42. Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.
11, 13, 15, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, 38, 41. Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.
16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 31, 34, 36, 39, 40. Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.
29, 43. Grossberg, George T., and Barry Fox. The Essential Herb-drug-vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

The post Dandelions: 31+ Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the King of Weeds appeared first on The Grow Network.

How To Build An Herb Spiral

Click here to view the original post.

How To Build An Herb Spiral Spring is just around the corner and winter is starting to wind down, for some of us anyway. Build one of these beauties and have plenty herbs for the rest of the year. I found an article that shows you how to construct these simple herb gardens in a …

Continue reading

The post How To Build An Herb Spiral appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

The Heal-Everything Herb That Doubles As Bandages … And Toilet Paper

Click here to view the original post.
The Heal-Everything Herb That Also Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Wikimedia

It was brought to the Americas by European settlers and is now considered to be naturalized to North America. The settlers, in fact, had good reason to carry it with them: It has a long list of medicinal qualities.

It is mullein, which grows all over the forests of North America and is also known by several other names: flannel leaf, bunny ears, beggar’s blanket, Quaker rouge, hag’s taper, donkey ears and tinder plant.

Traditional folk medicine praised mullein as a remedy for asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The plant is also said to be a natural painkiller and a cure for earaches and headaches. It also can act as an expectorant and decongestant. As a result, for centuries the plant’s leaves and its flowers have been made into teas and tinctures, and ingested. They even smoked it (which isn’t ideal for health).

Need All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effect?

Mullein is known to affect the respiratory and lymphatic systems. A study performed at Clemson University in 2002 found that the plant also has strong antibacterial properties.[1] Its high mucilage content is likely responsible for its medicinal properties. Astringent tannins and saponins, which help protect the plant when it is injured in nature, give the plant its soothing effect on the respiratory system. It also contains high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.[2]

The Heal-Everything Herb That Also Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Wikimedia

Even though mullein has been used for centuries, the Western medical community disputes the actual effectiveness of this plant, claiming “a lack of therapeutic validation.”[3] However, the herb has been evaluated and approved by the German (and government-funded) Commission E, which was established to evaluate and approve of substances that were traditionally used in folk medicine — such as mullein.

Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning that it takes two years for it to reach maturity. It is preferable to harvest the flowers and leaves in the plant’s second year of growth.[4] Both the honey-scented flowers of the plant and its soft, fuzzy leaves are used to treat ailments. The flowers are usually extracted in oil and also used to make tea, while, the dried leaves are typically reserved for making steam tents, poultice application and smoking. [5]

Across the centuries, people have used mullein as toilet paper, bandages, torches and to pad in the soles of their shoes. It should be a staple herb in every herbal medicine cabinet.

Mullein is a relatively safe herb to consume, its primary side-effect being it can cause contact dermatitis or irritate the throat when consumed, due to the fine velvety hairs that cover its leaves. It also has been known to interact with antidiabetic drugs and prescription diuretics in a negative way.[6] The seeds of some species of mullein contain high amounts of coumarin and rotenone, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. The seeds of the mullein plant should never be consumed under any circumstance.[7]

Have you ever foraged for or eaten mullein? Do you use it for health? Share your tips in the section below:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12241986

[2] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 124)

[3] Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (pg. 270)

[4] Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore (pg. 112)

[5] Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal by Michael J. Balick (pg. 300)

[6] http://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/plants/plants/mullein

[7] Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford (pg. 102)

hydrogen peroxide report

How To Build A Herb Spiral

Click here to view the original post.

How To Build A Herb Spiral Spring is just around the corner and winter is starting to wind down, for some of us anyway. Build one of these beauties and have plenty herbs for the rest of the year. I found an article that shows you how to construct these simple herb gardens in a …

Continue reading »

The post How To Build A Herb Spiral appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Medicine Growing Your Own!

Click here to view the original post.

Medicine Growing Your Own Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! It’s almost spring, and that means it’s that time of year to get planting your medicinal herb garden. The question is, what herbs are the most important herbs to grow? In this episode of Herbal Prepper Live, we will cover a wide variety … Continue reading Medicine Growing Your Own!

The post Medicine Growing Your Own! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Herbal Salve making Basics

Click here to view the original post.



Herbal Salve Recipe Basics

Did you ever wonder why salves are so good for everyday use for example how about a bee pollen salve is so powerful for the skin,  where bee pollen is cold infused into the oils used in your salve recipe. Bee pollen is a powerful skin care aid in cell regeneration because of the flavanoids,antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids but particularly because of its pure form of b complex vitamins . Domestic Bee pollen due to the bees cross pollination process(s) allow this. providing a new and powerful source of cell regeneration of the skin.

Herbal healing salves are great for everyday use and are very powerful in healing Wounds, Cuts, Sores, Bug Bites with little or no scaring They are also used for sore muscles and actually extracting infections and  poisons from a wound. and a good black salve can over time pull a small splinter out of a wound or hard to get area.
Follow this category to get the recipes for many salves
Below is a simple recipe for a general healing salve to help you understand how salves are made and to be used as a base recipe for other salves you desire.
There are many different types of salve used for different purposes. E.G.  
  • To draw out a poison or infection of some sort one can use a black salve. 
  • For Burns of all degrees one can use a good burn salve.
  • For. Cuts and bruised one can use a general healing salve
  • For Injuries one can use a  sprain salve
  • For poor Circulation, reumatory arthritis, and or joint pain or even to help stimulate blood circulation in specific ares of the body through a topical process one can use a circulation Salve
  • For inflammation one may use an powerful anti-inflammatory salve.
  • For Eczema use a lavender tea tree, oregano,plantain salve
  • and these are just a few salves 

Making The Salve:
What You Will Need:
  • 1 ounce of pure Beeswax
  • 8 ounces of herbal infused oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • tea tree essential oil
  • vitamin e liquid capsules ( to use as a preserver to get more of a shelf life of the salve)
  • stainless or enamel pot
  • potato ricer or cheese cloth for pressing the oil soaked herb(s)
  • Glass jar for storage ( Small baby food jars work great)
  • 2 cup pyrex measure cup (for transferring liquid salve into containers or tins)
I.  First you will need to make an infused oil:
Cold infused oils: ( better quality salves and longer shelf life)
Take 6 ounces of your herb or her combination (in total) and place in a quart size mason or glass jar.
Add a Good quality olive oil and stir very well.
Let sit for a min. of 4 weeks to achieve a good quality infusion. Some say 2 weeks (I go 4 weeks and try to make extra so I always have some ready to make a batch of salves
after the 4 weeks strain and press herbs back into the stained oil.
Warm infused oils: ( Quicker good for quick needs but has a shorter shelf life)
 In a  stainless steel or enamel pot add 1 1/2 cups of good quality olive oil  and bring to a very low simmer once you reach the simmer point back off the heat
Add  6 ounces of your herb or her combination (in total) .
stay on low or warm for 1 hour.
After one hour take off stove and let oil cool. Once cool stain and press
II. Making the salve liquid to pour into your containers:

  1. Add once ounce of pure beeswax and slowly melt it completely
  2. Once completely melted, add infused oil to the melted beeswax.
  3. You will notice it will solidify at this point just let it all remelt together as one liquid.
  4. Once completely a warm liquid add to pyrex measure cup and quickly pour into your containers.
  5.  While still in liquid form break and add vitamin E liquid of one capsule and then add essential oils 2-3 drops of each per container. 
  6. Let harden and use as needed

The 1800s Pain-Relief Plant That Doctors Used

Click here to view the original post.

The 1800s Pain-Relief Plant That Doctors Used

Every time we are afflicted with a headache, hangnail or even the common cold, most of us simply pop down to the local drugstore and pick up an over-the-counter remedy. But chemical-induced drugs aren’t always best for us, and we also should consider: What if the drugstore is closed – or we can’t make it there – next time?

Trust our ancestors to have the answers. While we can’t really ask the pioneers what they used, they left records of their commonly used herbs and home remedies to guide us.

One herb that has been all but forgotten in today’s modern age is feverfew. This plant was very valuable to the Native American tribes as well as to the 1800s-era pioneers.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

Let’s take a look at how it was used and how you might be able to grow your own for an unlimited supply.

What is Feverfew?

Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium) is a perennial flowering herb that is sometimes called “bachelor’s buttons.” In certain areas, it can grow 24 inches tall and equally as wide. It also is one of the oldest herbs known to man. While no one is sure when it started being used, it was first mentioned during the first century by Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides.

Feverfew can cause allergic reactions, so it is best to try a small amount first. It is related to chrysanthanims, so if you are allergic to those, steer clear!

Also, even though this plant is pretty to look at, do not put fresh leaves or flowers in your mouth, as it has a natural irritant. While it may not actually harm you, it can cause a burning sensation and even mouth sores.

How Did Our Ancestors Use It?

This plant has a pretty impressive background in that not only has it been used for centuries, but modern research has backed up quite a few of these folk remedy uses.

The name, obviously, implies that it can reduce fevers, and that is perhaps what it is best known for. However, it can be used for much more.

Feverfew is a terrific way to stop migraine headaches (when consumed at the onset) as well as other types of headaches and muscle tension. It is also a general pain reliever.

It is a natural anti-inflammatory herb, which makes it perfect for healing and reducing the pain of twisted ankles, arthritis and even menstrual cramps. In the case of arthritis and cramps, one needs to consume it on a regular basis. Women should start consuming feverfew a week before their cycle is to start and continue until the second day of their period.

The 1800s Pain-Relief Plant That Doctors Used

Image source: Pixabay.com

Prior to the discovery of willow bark and aspirin, it was feverfew that midwives and doctors turned to for pain relief, fever reducing, and most types of muscle cramps.

Like chamomile, feverfew will calm most muscle spasms, which makes it not only a good pain reliever for general muscle pain due to overuse, but it causes the muscles to relax.

How To Use It

As mentioned earlier, don’t put fresh leaves or flowers in your mouth. You can certainly buy feverfew capsules, but why not grow your own?

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

Feverfew leaves and flowers can be washed and then used in either a tea or a tincture form. Many people find that two or three cups of tea each day works best to stop pain, inflammation and persistent headaches.

Grow It Yourself

This pretty flowering plant is hardy to zone 5. Don’t cover the seeds completely with soil, as they must have sunlight to sprout; sprinkle lightly with water each day until they sprout. You can thin them to 15 inches apart when they are about five inches tall.

They aren’t fussy plants, but they do need sunlight, so try to find a spot where they get a  minimum of six hours each day. Harvest and dry the flowers and leaves as they grow. It will reseed itself if you allow a few plants to go to seed. Any remaining plants should be cut to the ground with the first frost. It will grow back again in the spring and generally produces flowers between July and October.

Good to Know

Doctors in the days of the pioneers used to suggest feverfew for “women who are a bit giddy in the head.” They didn’t mean giddy the way we do today, but rather for those who suffer from what we today call migraines.

In the Middle Ages, feverfew was believed to clean the air of germs and stop rabies.

Bugs of all kinds do not like this plant — including bees!

Have you ever grown or used feverfew? Share your tips in the section below:

hydrogen peroxide report

Pine Bark and Needle Benefits

Click here to view the original post.
Pine Bark and Needles

Pine bark is a powerful antiseptic loaded with flavanoids and  50 time the amount of antioxidants of vitamin c and e.  this natural solution is similar to the potency of grape seed mother powerhouse of a herb loaded with antioxidants and more. The opc’s found in the pine bark /needles are great for microcirulatory problems such as varicose veins and macular degeneration and to chronic venous insufficiency as well as diabetic retinopathy. opc’s ale help strengthen and maintain overall healthiness of the molecular structure of the venous’ .

Primarily it acts as a inhibitory to oxidation through the enzymes within but also being not limited and as oxidation diminishes its anti inflammatory properties go to work . The pine needle possess near 100 times more of the antiseptic properties than the bark.
Secondly, a cooled tea can be used as a powerful antiseptic wash for wound management and infection prevention as well as rashes and eczema
Secondly, it is good for the Circulatory system thus producing more healthier red blood cells and oxygenation all the main systems more effectively.

Pine Needles and bark also possess high levels of vitamin C to help aid the immune system and other main systems that require a healthy immune system for optimal performance such as the adrenal glands.

A few good uses of pine needles and bark are: (but not limited to)

  • Cold
  • Flus
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinus infection
  • Fever
  • External wound infection
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Gout
  • Ulcers
  • Veracious veins
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Improves eye health
  • Boosts imune system
  • Asthma

NOTES:

1.A few words of caution: while there are over 100 different varieties of pine, the Ponderosa, Norfolk Island and Yew needles should be avoided, as brewing can prove toxic.
2. Do not use if pregnant!
Pine Needle tea Recipe:

  • Gather about a handful of healthy pine needles
  • Chop or break up into 4th’s 
  • Bring 10 ounces of water to a hard boil 
  • Add pine needles and low simmer for 5-10 minutes 
  • For a more stronger tea dimer for 15 minutes

Drink 2 times daily drinking the resin and oils are important.

The power of herbs for preppers “Astragalus Root”

Click here to view the original post.
The Power of Herbs for Preppers Series “Astragalus”
Astragalus is a powerful herb mainly focusing on the immune system but not limited to this herb packs a potent punch in the delivery of enzymes to aid in many aliments. This herb also works similar to echinacea but with more outreaching enzymes. Furthermore, it through maintaining and supercharging your immune system keeps the adrenal gland working optimally. This is all vital for diabetics. 
This herb Like Echinacea, has powerful ahi bacterial properties with a bit of a kick. Astragalus work well with other herbs such as elderberry, dandelion and rose hips (to name a few adding additional flavanoids and powerhouse of vitamin C herbs puts this herb in a new class of “Super antioxidants. This is a Diabetics Heaven for it pro vides healthy immune system support, a surcharge of vitamin C and detox all in one herbal combination thus cleansing the system from free radicals an toxins that cause stress on the main systems. 
Finally, this type of combination of herbs is not only limited to diabetes but other aliments like the common cold, flus’ and other bacterial and respiratory infections. 

A few good uses for Astragalus root would be:
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Common Cold
  • Flu’s
  • Diabetes
  • auto imune disorders
  • side effects of chemotherapy
  • fatigue
  • heart problems
  • kidney problems
  • ulcers
  • viral hepatitis
  • infertility
  • high blood pressure



A Simple herbal combination tonic would be to take 1 part astragals root, 3 parts dandelion root, 2 parts elderberry, 2 parts rose hips. add to 2 cups of boiling water bring to a low simmer and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes  or until reduced by half. Press and strain the concoction well.


Dosing: (ADULTS)
 and take daily for 10 days and 2 days off. (if not sick) as a daily health tonic

Take 2-3  times daily (if sick)

Herbal Save making Basics

Click here to view the original post.



Herbal Salve Recipe Basics

Did you ever wonder why salves are so good for everyday use for example how about a bee pollen salve is so powerful for the skin,  where bee pollen is cold infused into the oils used in your salve recipe. Bee pollen is a powerful skin care aid in cell regeneration because of the flavanoids,antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids but particularly because of its pure form of b complex vitamins . Domestic Bee pollen due to the bees cross pollination process(s) allow this. providing a new and powerful source of cell regeneration of the skin.

Herbal healing salves are great for everyday use and are very powerful in healing Wounds, Cuts, Sores, Bug Bites with little or no scaring They are also used for sore muscles and actually extracting infections and  poisons from a wound. and a good black salve can over time pull a small splinter out of a wound or hard to get area.
Follow this category to get the recipes for many salves
Below is a simple recipe for a general healing salve to help you understand how salves are made and to be used as a base recipe for other salves you desire.
There are many different types of salve used for different purposes. E.G.  
  • To draw out a poison or infection of some sort one can use a black salve. 
  • For Burns of all degrees one can use a good burn salve.
  • For. Cuts and bruised one can use a general healing salve
  • For Injuries one can use a  sprain salve
  • For poor Circulation, reumatory arthritis, and or joint pain or even to help stimulate blood circulation in specific ares of the body through a topical process one can use a circulation Salve
  • For inflammation one may use an powerful anti-inflammatory salve.
  • For Eczema use a lavender tea tree, oregano,plantain salve
  • and these are just a few salves 

Making The Salve:
What You Will Need:
  • 1 ounce of pure Beeswax
  • 8 ounces of herbal infused oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • tea tree essential oil
  • vitamin e liquid capsules ( to use as a preserver to get more of a shelf life of the salve)
  • stainless or enamel pot
  • potato ricer or cheese cloth for pressing the oil soaked herb(s)
  • Glass jar for storage ( Small baby food jars work great)
  • 2 cup pyrex measure cup (for transferring liquid salve into containers or tins)
I.  First you will need to make an infused oil:
Cold infused oils: ( better quality salves and longer shelf life)
Take 6 ounces of your herb or her combination (in total) and place in a quart size mason or glass jar.
Add a Good quality olive oil and stir very well.
Let sit for a min. of 4 weeks to achieve a good quality infusion. Some say 2 weeks (I go 4 weeks and try to make extra so I always have some ready to make a batch of salves
after the 4 weeks strain and press herbs back into the stained oil.
Warm infused oils: ( Quicker good for quick needs but has a shorter shelf life)
 In a  stainless steel or enamel pot add 1 1/2 cups of good quality olive oil  and bring to a very low simmer once you reach the simmer point back off the heat
Add  6 ounces of your herb or her combination (in total) .
stay on low or warm for 1 hour.
After one hour take off stove and let oil cool. Once cool stain and press
II. Making the salve liquid to pour into your containers:

  1. Add once ounce of pure beeswax and slowly melt it completely
  2. Once completely melted, add infused oil to the melted beeswax.
  3. You will notice it will solidify at this point just let it all remelt together as one liquid.
  4. Once completely a warm liquid add to pyrex measure cup and quickly pour into your containers.
  5.  While still in liquid form break and add vitamin E liquid of one capsule and then add essential oils 2-3 drops of each per container. 
  6. Let harden and use as needed