Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Update & Holiday Plans

Just a quick note to let everyone know I have been ill with morning, afternoon and evening sickness most of the time. If I do have moments when I feel OK I find myself having to play catch up on things, leaving little time for the blog. I have also hosted Thanksgiving and Ella's 1st Birthday party. Both events went great to spite my nausea and having to excuse myself to the restroom at 1 hour intervals. Ella is doing great, walking and growing like a weed!
Relatives will be coming in from the East Coast for the holidays soon, I will be busy with family and friends and getting as much rest as I can fit in. I have spent very little time on the computer, taking time to grade student assignments and check email only. The blog posting will be much more regular after the holidays and hopefully I will be feeling better soon (fingers crossed that this is only first trimester).

In the mean time warm tea & bland warm foods have been my friend. The weather has been very cold making it easy to crawl under the covers at every opportunity and just rest when I have a chance. When dizziness, exhaustion, and nausea set in & I feel like just laying around I watch Star Trek reruns, forensic shows, old movies, or listen to Harry Potter books on CD (when Tony is home to watch Ella of course) :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Strengthening autumn Foods Thyme thymus vulgaris

During the last stages of autumn the air gets crisp, cold season approaches and we crave warming comfort foods. I love to eat with the seasons, it is a shock for the body to drink colds sodas and eat cold foods when the weather is cool outside. Many herbs that are used everyday in cooking that were recently harvested from your garden also have healing properties, I love to fresh freeze herbs in ice cube trays, remove when frozen, store in a container (in the freezer) & label;use through the winter for soups, stews, and other recipes. It is also great to add your dried herbs to recipes and use year round for healing teas. Thyme is warming & spicy~ as a medicine thyme is a great respiratory herb, stimulating to the immune system, & is used to clear up phlegm and stop coughing (antispasmodic properties) Thyme is also great combined with other culinary herbs such as sage for sore throats, horseradish for head colds, and combined with echinacea it is great for the immune system.Thyme also is great to add to syrups for colds, Henriette has some great recipes here, herbal Honey's check it out on Rebecca's site, and Kiva writes about using Thyme as a substitute for Monarda in her mountain medicine chest post. Thyme is indicated for acute and chronic respiratory problems. coughs, gas, indigestion, diarrhea, whooping cough, bronchitis, spasmodic respiratory and urinary tract conditions, urinary tract infections. Legends say that if you sleep on a bed of thyme and inhale the fragrance you will never have nightmares, it will cure depression and you will wake rested and exhilarated. In ancient Greece the herb represented courage and bravery, it was often burned as incense to clear the air of illness and disease. In the middle ages women would wear embroidered scarves with a design of a honey bee and a sprig of thyme to protect the solders knights that were going into battle.
Culinary Pleasure~ I love to add thyme to fish and poultry dishes, it combines well with parsley and bay. You can drink thyme alone or with other herbs. Here is a great warming, roasted vegetable recipe from Healing secrets of the seasons by Judith Hurley
Thyme Roasted Vegetables
4 carrots, sliced
2 onions, quartered
2 cups whole button mushrooms
2 medium potatoes, cut into 2 inch chuncks
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
In a large cast iron roaster, or other roasting pan, combine all of the ingredients and cover. Roast until the vegetables are almost tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the cover, stir, and continue to roast, uncovered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes more. Serve warm as a lunch or dinner entree.
Makes 4 servings
Resource Healing Secrets of the Seasons By Judith Benn Hurley
Healing with the herbs of life Tierra
The Magic Teaspoon By Victoria Zac
Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal
Picture used with permission http://www.florahealth.com

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another way to get free plants

Writing the recent blog party Local Herbs post got me to thinking about ways you can get local herbs/ wild foods for free without having to know where to wildcraft and if it is legal. I have talked about asking the land owners permission in the past to gather plants. You may think it is a little embarrassing to ask someone you do not know to gather weeds off of their property. One thing I found this year was people are giving away herbs for free! Many people re landscape their gardens, check the paper and craig's list, often people give the plants away to make room for new ones! Also I would post something yourself on craig's list, simply offer to come to someone's property to collect "weeds" or post "looking to collect your weeds for free" and see how many responses you get! Also, if you see new construction about to go on, ask to talk to the foreman, if you are nice the will probably have no problem with you collecting plants before they break ground (they may think you are a little nutty but o well!) I am sure there are many more ways to collect, including word of mouth, you would be surprised just mentioning you collect plants, someone may know someone who owns private property. My husband and Dad both go to private property sites to hunt and fish, I just ask if I can tag along to collect plants, they always have some teasing remark, but I get my plants!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kiva's Blog Party Local Herbs

Have you ever read Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West and Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Coast by Michael Moore? Well if you have you see the difficulty I have narrowing this down to my 100 mile radius~ I do however have some plants I really want to focus on, these of course will not be the only plants I work with and there will be barter and trade going on. Some of these are old friends that I cannot be without and others I want to get to know better. This was so hard to narrow down! No real order, I kept adding herbs as I thought of them. Honestly, my list was much smaller, but I kept adding plants LOL! I may not get to all of these, or I may work with others I run across, but I think this is a good start!


Aster, chokecherry, Yarrow, mullein, nettles, false solomon's seal,sage, crains bill, self heal, osha, angelica, goldenrod,usnea, violet, red root, mallow, California poppy, cow parsnip, skullcap, Devil's club, Ground Ivy, maidenhair (& other) ferns, plantain, Hawthorn, Salal, yellow dock, wild ginger, red root, mints (& work more with bee balm monarda fistulosa, henbit Lamium amplexicaule), licorice, horehound, evening primrose, Coptis, coltsfoot, currant (ribes species), cleavers, elder berry, evening primrose, Rosemary, catnip, burdock, bunchberry (cornus canadensis), chickweed , chicory, red clover, dandelion, wild rose, wood betony, uva ursi, valarian, St Johns Wort, red raspberry, motherwort, echinacea, horsetail, Hound's Tongue, Huckleberry leaf, knapweed, meadowsweet, Oregon grape, Pearly Everlasting, pyrola, serviceberry, sheep sorrel, sweetroot Osmorrhiza occidentalis, Thistle, Wild Mustards Brassica nigra Capsella bursa-pastoris and Lepidium perfoliatum, Black Walnut Hulls, Wild strawberry root and leaves.

Trees (OK give me a break I have to list these separate, so many!)

Ash (fraxinus)
Red Cedar
Douglas fir

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pregnancy Tea and getting back in the swing of things

Well as you can see it has been a while since my last post. Don't worry, I am beginning to get back in the swing of things. I decided to take a break from the computer, now tackling my literally hundreds of emails on my return. You see I have not been feeling well, nausea, head aches, exhausted, crampy.......anyway we are expecting again! I am enjoying my Pregnancy tea Rose hips, Dandelion root, Raspberry leaf, nettles, spearmint, oats, and Alfalfa. I have a history of high risk/ early miscarriage and complications. I also made a tincture of False Unicorn, wild yam, partridge berry and a little cramp bark- I have a separate cramp bark and wild yam tincture I take when I feel the cramping coming on. I am also taking my pre natal, extra calcium magnesium, vit D, and fish oil, my diet is great - ironically I am craving steamed vegetables, soups & salads, not anything weird like ice cream or pickles. My husband insists I go the high tech hospital way at least until the the pregnancy has been shown to be "normal" and not high risk~ at that time I would like to switch to a midwife and try water birth if possible. We had an early scare because they did not see anything on the first ultra sound, the fear was an ecotopic pregnancy may be possible because of my past history. That was ruled out however when 2 days later a gestational sac was there and normal HCG level increases. I go back next week to confirm normal development has continued. The whole thing has taken an emotional tole coupled with exhaustion, and trying to talk myself out of fear of the past repeating itself. Going the high tech way also has a rigid, cold feel about it that I don't particularity like, although I do really like my Doctor, she does take the time to talk with me, is very understanding and warm, and is not anti herbal remedies.
Look forward to some new posts in the next few days including Kiva's blog party (late sorry about that)