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Jess
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Herbs for healing

Any of you interested in this subject?
I dabble some but am in no way a qualified herbalist. Herbs are very powerful and if used in the wrong way can do a lot of damage but for day to day ailments and general well being they are easy to use and very effective.
What do you use and how?
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

pete28
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Hi Jess I am huge into oriental herbal remedies. I have several books and other reading materials dedcated to the subject. I havent been able to use much as of lately do to financial restraints but will begin again soon. Was there a specific thing you were looking for?
Begin again before you end and start the process over again.

praying mantis
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Except for mint tea brewed in the sun that makes me feel light and refreshed and aloe vera on damaged skin, I have not used my herbs for medicinal purposes.

This is a silly story about a cooky roommate. She had a sore and was adding ointment from some plant in our front yard but the sore was not healing and even looked worse. The plants in the front yard are cactus but none are aloe vera. She finally caved and asked to use my triantibiotic ointment before it got worse. She is high-minded about technology and science but seems to me to be fairly ignorant about effective natural alternatives.

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Jess
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pete28 wrote: Was there a specific thing you were looking for?
No nothing in particular Pete. I was just interested as to whether anyone else on THG used the herbs they grew for medicinal purposes.
Chinese/Oriental herbalism is a whole other ball game!
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

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Jess
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praying mantis wrote:Except for mint tea brewed in the sun that makes me feel light and refreshed and aloe vera on damaged skin, I have not used my herbs for medicinal purposes.
If you are a regular mint tea drinker then perhaps you have noticed that you are less hairy now! :shock:
Actually it has to be spearmint, no other mint does this. It was in a report recently that it was believed regularly drinking spearmint tea made you less hairy. I think trials are still continuing. The question is whether you want to be less hairy I suppose.
This is a silly story about a cooky roommate. She had a sore and was adding ointment from some plant in our front yard but the sore was not healing and even looked worse. The plants in the front yard are cactus but none are aloe vera. She finally caved and asked to use my triantibiotic ointment before it got worse. She is high-minded about technology and science but seems to me to be fairly ignorant about effective natural alternatives.

:lol: It still surprises me how intelligent people can do the silliest things![/quote]
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

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JennyC
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Very simple things here -- mint tea for an upset stomach, rosewater which I distill from wild roses for a facial cleanser (more a cosmetic than a medicine). I do plan to dye some of the *ahem* distinguished streaks in my hair once the black walnuts are ripe (yes, I know I'll probably dye my skin, too, but I want to try).

A friend of mine is a bona fide herbalist in this area, so I buy some of her products.
Jenny C

cheshirekat
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Epazote reduces flatulence - I'm growing and using that. I didn't think it had much taste so I tried it in tea one day. (For the hubby.) and I don't think it works in extreme cases. Wish I had heated up the beans I had the other day with some epazote - I was miserable for two days.

Mint - yes I probably use this one for upset stomach regularly.

Elderberry, although more of a fruit than a herb. Last summer I made tonic and while it tasted okay, I thought it was better in my tea, I made a lot of tonic of this last fall and froze it in my freezer. During the winter months I melted chunks in tea. I haven't had a cold or flu in almost a year and a half now. It's the very first winter that I didn't get sick once.

Feverfew, I use when I don't feel too well and my allergies are kicking in or the hot flashes get to me. My poor plants are withering in this heat so I hope to get them back to life so I can dry some for the winter. Horehound for sore throats. I use this each time I make tea with my herbs just in case.

I have other herbs I am growing for medicinal purposes, but haven't used them yet. I'd really like to make eye drops of my clary sage, but the plant is too small now. With my allergies, my eyes bother me the most. I will harvest some of the valerian root in the fall to help with insomnia. Other herbs I am growing and interested in medicinally include St. John's wort, skullcap, betony, mullein, bee balm, borage, and chinese wolfberry.

The herbs I'm most interested in are those that are for overall well being. If my echinacea grows more quickly, I will use it a lot. Also the rose hips from the rosa rugosa I planted this spring.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

wolfie
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I used to put tea bags in a glass gallon bottle and leave in the sun to make sun tea.

Along those same lines, can I put spearmint leaves in the water and leave in the sun will that make sun tea and do I need to use glass or will plastic work? thanks!
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Jess
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JennyC wrote:Very simple things here -- mint tea for an upset stomach, rosewater which I distill from wild roses for a facial cleanser (more a cosmetic than a medicine). I do plan to dye some of the *ahem* distinguished streaks in my hair once the black walnuts are ripe (yes, I know I'll probably dye my skin, too, but I want to try).

A friend of mine is a bona fide herbalist in this area, so I buy some of her products.
Oooh, I bet the rosewater cleanser is lovely. How do you distill the petals?
I have made rosemary and sage hair rinse. Not exactly a dye but adds a lovely lustre to dark hair. The recipe I have came from a gypsy by all accounts.
I have also used chamomile and lemon for my hair which smells delicious and lightens. Let me know how you get on with the walnut when you try it and if it does cover the distinguished streaks. :D
Epazote reduces flatulence - I'm growing and using that.
Not a herb I am familiar with cheshire. I don't think we have it here or at least I have never come across it.
I have made elderflower juice, not for any medicinal purposes, just because it tastes lovely, but I have not tried elderberry tonic. Sounds like marvellous stuff and a good idea to freeze it. If I have time I might try that.
Is the clary sage a recent purchase? I have this and it selfseeds so readily you should not have a problem in future years with quantity. How do you make the eyedrops? Would they be useful for hayfever sufferers?
The herbs I'm most interested in are those that are for overall well being.
I tend to graze for this. Whenever I am walking around weeding, deadheading etc. I pick whatever is near to me and eat it. I try to work near things I like the taste of!

The one thing I use more than anything else out of my herb garden is the lavender. I have just harvested from one plant yesterday. I am now tying some of it into bunches to dry. These will mainly be used for bath salts. Fresh will be used for making oil which is a wonderful antiseptic and I also rub it on to anything that aches or sprains. Brilliant for my boys who always seem to be complaining of this or that hurting from all the sports they do.

For headaches I use equal parts dried lavender and cloves in a muslin bag. Inhale the fragrance when you feel a headache coming on.
I make slightly larger bags as sleep inducers, usually as Christmas presents, adding any other dried herb that helps relaxation...lemon balm, rosemary etc.
Used as a tea lavender is helpful for depression (great to sip on in the winter if you suffer from SADS) tension headaches and indigestion. Basically if you feel out of sorts drink lavender tea.

It is one of the herbs that has been extensively tested and has some amazing properties...
[In studies, lavender oil inhibits and destroys the growth of numerous harmful disease-causing bacteria, including typhoid, pneumonia, T.B. and diptheria. It is also used successfully in dentistry and veterinary medicine. French scientist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse is credited with discovering lavender's amazing healing properties on burns when he was severely burnt during a laboratory accident. He went on to treat serious burns and war injuries while he was a surgeon in the French armyThis powerful oil is a strong antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic agent, an important ally against infectious diseases. Lavender stimulates the formation of white blood cells which strengthens the body's defenses. Preventative as well as an effective remedy for most respiratory complaints, it also eases aches and pains, rheumatism, muscle spasms, nausea, cystitis, migraines and stress headaches. You may find lavender helpful if you have high blood pressure or a nervous heart disorder, or if you are prone to fainting.
This oil promotes growth of new cells, thus encouraging the development of new skin tissue, and balances sebum, so every skin can benefit from a rejuvenating treatment with lavender oil. It is particularly useful for a variety of skin irritations and disorders, including dryness, acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, bruises, dandruff, athletes foot, wounds and abscesses. Especially healing, cleansing and soothing for burns, including sunburn, it can also ease the pain of insect and snake bites. You may find it helpful to add lavender to your hair products if you are experiencing alopecia or hair loss, expressly if it is of a nervous origin.]
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cheshirekat
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Lot of good information, Jess.

I love lavender but every attempt to grow it has failed. I've bought them from Home Depot and Walmart - bad sources I know. But I've also bought a few from a local nursery within a mile of my house.

I currently have two still alive. One has been used as a football by the squirrels. After rescuing it from the ground many times, it finally looked totally dead. But I decided to give it a little water every few days and now the top leaves are growing back. The other is a ticker plant but also still very small. I haven't planted it in the ground yet because I always lose them when I do. This one actually looks very healthy though small.

If I can get them to stay alive, I'd love to grow a lot of lavender. Since I haven't had much luck with the lavender, I've recently started collecting sage plants - they appear to be hardy so far. But they don't have the same aroma or medicinal properties I want in the lavender.

My rosa rugosa I planted this spring has been flowering. I was looking at the bushes yesterday and wondering if I should collect the hips this year, when, and how. Also, the petals drop to the ground two days after blooming. Can I use the rosa rugosa petals for facial cleansing or just other roses? I wanted to grow the rugosa specifically for the hips. But I plan to grow other roses in my backyard next year if other petals are preferred.

I haven't made eyedrops with the clary sage yet. I got the plant just this spring specifically because I read online that this sage is useful in making eyedrops but I don't recall the recipe. I'd planned to look it up again when the plant is bigger. I transplanted it to a bigger pot twice and think it is ready to go in the ground - in the front yard near my other sage.
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Jess wrote: Oooh, I bet the rosewater cleanser is lovely. How do you distill the petals?
I put a cup or two of petals in the bottom of my water bath canner and cover with water an inch or so above the level of the petals. Then I put in the rack to create an elevated platform above the water and set a bowl on top to catch the distillate (I use a Pyrex mixing bowl because of the heat). My canner has a dome-shaped lid, so I invert it on top and put some ice inside the lid to keep it cold. Then I simmer petals and all, and as the petals simmer, the water that evaporates recondenses on the lid, flows to the center (the lowest point) and drips into the bowl.

You can use just about any large pot with a dome-shaped lid; I've seen people online say they use a brick for the elevating platform. You can just make an infusion from the petals for a cleanser, if you prefer; the distilling is required if you're going to cook with the rosewater, and it's the only way to get clear rosewater (an infusion is often brownish).

Cheshirekat: I don't see why you couldn't do this with Rosa rugosa; I made this last batch with multiflora! If you did an infusion instead, you'd probably get a faint pink color. Just use petals, no flower centers or stems if you want to cook with it. You can also drink it as tea, but I recommend infusion for this; you don't get enough by distilling.
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Now you have me convinced to try distilling my rose petals this week.

I've been using mint as a foot soak - forgot to mention that. The curly mint is wonderful for this, the texture feels good when you rub your feet together. I am growing cinnamon basil that is supposed to be relaxing as a foot soak, but it has been growing incredibly slowly compared to my other basils. I think the cinnamon basil and rose will be lovely together.
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wolfie
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Jess, after reading all about lavendar, I think I want to try it LOL
Does it take a long time to grow, should i do it from seed or try and find some plants and is it pretty hardy or easily destroyed?
Thanks!
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Jess
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Shan do you know your plant zone? Most lavenders are not that hardy so will not survive very cold winters especially if wet.

If you have not grown them before I would start with a plant. They do grow from seed but it will take a while to get enough flowers to do anything with them. Some are more hardy than others so check which ones would grow best in your area.
The soil needs to be very free draining and quite poor. No good if you are on heavy clay but clay with lots of grit/gravel and compost added can work. Watering is the most important thing with lavenders when getting them established. Too little they curl up and die, too much they curl up and die...bit of a balancing act...and loads of sun!
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I'm not currently growing anything medicinal, but am interested in the subject. I would love to grow rosa rugosa for the hips, too!

CheshireCat: if you have allergies regularly, try taking turmeric. You can get it very cheap in capsules or just add the powdered herb to a tea. I take 1-2 capsules/day and while I used to have severe allergies, now I have little to none! It's wonderful. Yerba Mate is also good for allergies. I drink that as a tea.

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Jess
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Thanks for the information on home distilling Jenny. I grow the apothecary's rose
https://woodlandrosegarden.netfirms.com/american%20gardens/Tufton_Farms2/Rosa_gallica_officinalis.jpg
which was originally used for rose water. I have always wanted to use it but had no idea how.
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Jess
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cheshirekat wrote:My rosa rugosa I planted this spring has been flowering. I was looking at the bushes yesterday and wondering if I should collect the hips this year, when, and how. Also, the petals drop to the ground two days after blooming. Can I use the rosa rugosa petals for facial cleansing or just other roses? I wanted to grow the rugosa specifically for the hips. But I plan to grow other roses in my backyard next year if other petals are preferred.
What are you planning to make with the hips? I have made rosehip syrup but that was years ago.

I think you can use any rose petals for any of the preparations. some just smell or taste better than others.
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henry09
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Although not really a herb, but [url=https://www.sfbsc.com/bath-salt]bathing in sea salts[/url] is one of the best ways of healing yourself. It heals your body and soothes your soul.
Where to find bath salts and dead sea salts?

cheshirekat
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Well, my favorite use of herbs is in teas. I just don't know when the hips are "ready" to be harvested. Are they bitter if they are picked too soon after the flower blossoms? Or do they get more bitter if you wait too long to pick them? I always like to use fresh herbs - I can always dry some later, but experimenting with homegrown herbs is so new and fun that I'd like to do everything fresh.

Rose hip syrup really sounds good. I'll look for a recipe online. Oh, here's some interesting stuff about rose hips, including making syrup. https://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blrosehips.htm

Mmmm.
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Jess
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Well there is your answer as to when to pick cheshire. The link says after the first frost.
I made syrup so long ago I couldn't remember when I picked them.

I made bottles of syrup as Christmas presents one year. Everybody seemed to be coming down with coughs and cold so it seemed like a good idea. It is packed with vitamin C. and is very tasty.
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petalfuzz
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Jess wrote: What are you planning to make with the hips? I have made rosehip syrup but that was years ago.

I think you can use any rose petals for any of the preparations. some just smell or taste better than others.
I've been collecting recipes in anticipation of planting a bush, so I have nearly 4 pages of rose hip recipes. PM me if you want, and I'll send them along! They include syrup, jam, tea, applesauce, soup, bread, and pudding.

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JennyC
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Jess, your apothecary rose is beautiful! Looks like it would be easy to separate petals from centers, too -- that was a problem for me with the multiflora (why I'm not cooking with the result).

I wonder what the advantage of waiting until after frost to clooect the hips is? The hips I see** are beginning to turn color now, and I think i'd lost them all to the birds if I waited that long (late October or even early November is likely first frost here).


** I'm seeing a complete lack of hips on a lot of the brambles that I know were blooming prolifically this spring. I'm thinking that's another sign of the missing honeybee problem.
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I may have another explanation for the lack of rose hips -- Japanese Beetles, which I didn't ID until yesterday. :oops: We're swarmed. I have noticed there are more hips on the bushed up on the hill where the blackberries grow. Apparently, blackberries are even yummier than rose hips in beetle world.
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Jess
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JennyC wrote:I may have another explanation for the lack of rose hips -- Japanese Beetles, which I didn't ID until yesterday. :oops: We're swarmed. I have noticed there are more hips on the bushed up on the hill where the blackberries grow. Apparently, blackberries are even yummier than rose hips in beetle world.
No Jenny! Not you too. :shock:
Hopefully they should be coming to an end soon. Thankfully the flying season is very short. If you want to protect the hiops next year you could always guesstimate time of JBs arrival and cover the rose(s) in fleece. Not sure if you call it that there. :?

I have nearly 4 pages of rose hip recipes. PM me if you want, and I'll send them along!
Thanks petalfuzz but I no longer have any hips I can collect (my apothecary rose does not get very big) The wild roses I used to collect hips from were bulldozed a couple of years ago to make way for new houses. :cry:
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wolfie
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Hi Jess, sorry just got back to this thread. Regarding the lavendar and my zone, I am in central virginia, not sure of my zone? our winters get down to about 20 fahr. not sure if thats good or bad?
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Jess
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So around -7C. Not ideal for lavender growing but you should be able to grow the hardier species in a sheltered area of your garden.
The main killer of lavender is winter wet rather than cold. As long as the soil is very free draining they will survive the winter.
The hardiest species is Lavender angustifolia which includes 'Hidcote' and 'Munstead', both of which I grow. There are a couple of newer varieties called 'Madeline Marie' and 'Rebecca Kay' that you could have a go at growing too.
The first year is the hardest. Once you get them through their first winter you can relax as long as you prune properly they will last for years.
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Recovering Rose Oil

I have a book on old fashioned gardening that someone gave as a gift a few years ago. It's called '1,001 Old-Time Garden Tips with Roger Yepsen as the editor. This is a fabulous book with quotes from old magazines, gadgets and herbal remedies and other neat ideas. I love reading it.
For recovering Rose Oil, it suggests to take a large jar and fill it with clean flowers of roses. Cover them with pure water and sit it in the sun in the day time and take in at night for seven days or when the oil will float on the top. It suggest to take the oil off with some cotton tied on a stick and squeeze in a vial and stop it up close. Use either pure spring water or rain water and remember to cover the crock it it looks like rain. The oil or attar looks like a yellowish oily scum and should be removed daily.
Recipe Book, 1859
The Editor's note below this says that the oily scum may sound unappealing, but it's the rose essence used in perfumes, sachets, and potpourris. What amazed me is that it takes 60,000 roses (yes you read right) to produce 1 ounce of pure essential oil, which is why rose oil is so expensive to buy. You can make a cheaper version by soaking rose petals in vegetable oil.
8)
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Jess
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Hi snippy :D Don't believe we have met so welcome to the forum.
Wonderful description of how to do things. I love all the olde books too.
They have practical ways of doing everything unlike the modern ones that tell you you need to go out and buy this or that gadget. A bit of cotton on a stick sounds good to me. :lol:
I knew it took a lot of roses but not that many!
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sid
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hiya jess just doing a herbalisum course at the moment its really interesting and im loving it. :lol:
sidders, somerset :)

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The wife is big into herbs and alternative medicine, although she never hesitates to use conventional medicine. She just tries her stuff first. Eucalyptus in heated water for stuffed-up noses, aloe vera for burns and cuts. She uses a lot of essential oils. I can't remember the one she uses as an anti-biotic, I'll have to check with her. Hold it, she just got up. Lavender is an anti-biotic, anti-bacterial. She also puts it on strips of cloth and hangs them near door entrances to discourage flies and other insects from coming into the house.

Aloe Vera is technically not a cactus. Although I'm positive I've come across it in my desert travels, according to Wikiepedia, its a succulent native to Africa. Cactus are strictly American (South and North), although you can find Opuntia Ficus Indica all over Italy and North Africa, these days.

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sid
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Hiya david ,its good to hear that people are still using plants to heal ect, nature has a wonderful way of putting things there for us if only we just looked :shock: heres a good tip if your ever feeling low or down use bergamont in an essentail oil burner its great for lifting your spirts and focusing your mind. Aloe vera yes,is a succulent and a wonderful plant with skin many healing qualites, as well as helping treat acid reflux,helping brain activity as it contains choline,dentail problems and even can help lower diabetes ,don't you just love nature :)
sidders, somerset :)

David Taylor
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You mentioned several unfamiliar uses for Aloe Vera that I wouldn't mind hearing more about. How would you apply it for brain activity, for instance.

As an aside, before we were married, the wife found an aloe vera plant on the 'death rack' at the local K-Mart. She bought it, and that plant is still growing in a pot on the front porch. Its about thirty years old now. Mind you, its spawned so many off-springs that for awhile we were posting them at a 'free-or-nearly free' site, just telling people to come by our house and take them. That went on for a couple months, and then they babies went un-adopted. We'd glutted the free market.

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I like Sage, Mint, Rosemary, and Basil very much. I started growing herbs and liked it so much I got a hobby farm and am trying to make honey from the herbs.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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Sage Hermit
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Found a wonderful basic growing data reference just now. https://www.veggieharvest.com/herb-garden/sage.html


Thxs and I love Sage tea with rosewater.
Last edited by Sage Hermit on Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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See whether www.horizonherbs.com has the info you're looking for.

They're quite comprehensive!

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NT
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It's our tendency to think of the garden herbs for medicine but even our weeds are beneficial...

My best trick is chewing up a poultice of plantain weed leaves when someone gets a bug bite, even a bee sting. SO was completely grossed out at first, but quickly changed her tune as the sting went away. Never fails to impress... :wink:

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Jess wrote:
praying mantis wrote:If you are a regular mint tea drinker then perhaps you have noticed that you are less hairy now! :shock:
Actually it has to be spearmint, no other mint does this. It was in a report recently that it was believed regularly drinking spearmint tea made you less hairy. I think trials are still continuing. The question is whether you want to be less hairy I suppose
:shock: Does this include ALL hair?? My hubby is already bald but I don't think I have the head for it so I would prefer to keep mine!! He has been bald since his early 20's. Hummm I wonder if he has ever been fond of Spearmint??
Wow I had no idea!!
It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

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