Fennel is one of my favorite remedies for relieving bloating and gas. I like to eat a pinch of fennel after a meal or anytime I start to feel a little bloated. It tends to work every time! It also can be helpful for relieving pain and menstrual cramps, increasing breast milk and promoting perspiration.
Ginger is all kinds of wonderful as a circulatory herb and heart tonic. It’s good for helping increase peripheral circulation and studies are showing that ginger can lower triglycerides and blood sugar levels. Ginger is great for nausea, bloating, gas, circulation, sore throats, pain relief and so much more. I use fresh ginger liberally as a food and add it to veggies, dressings, sauces, baked goods, soups and just about everything that pairs well with its flavor. It makes a delicious tea and infuses well in honey, vinegar and alcohol. I also like to make a warming circulatory oil for topical use.
Hawthorn is food for the heart. It’s fabulous for supporting, nourishing and protecting the heart and circulatory system. It’s also good for memory, confusion and metabolism. Part of the rose family, hawthorn is a trophorestorative for the cardiovascular system, specifically the heart and circulatory system, but it’s also an important medicine for the emotional heart. I always have some form of hawthorn medicine in remedies to support a broken and wounded heart. Generally speaking, when I formulate for the heart, I’m always holding space and thinking about both the physical and the emotional heart because they often go hand in hand. I harvest the flowers in the spring to dry or make fresh into a flower essence or tincture and the berries in the fall to make into a tincture or dry for teas and syrups. This is a medicine I like to use as a food when possible and take on a regular basis.
Hops is a beautiful vining plant that is so much fun to grow and harvest. I love harvesting this plant in the late summer for our sleep formulas and teas because hops are great for sleep issues, stress and anxiety. I used to love making my own beer, and especially herbal beer. Hops are often the bitter, fruity notes that can be tasted in IPAs and other beers that are made with hops, which is a great digestive bitter. Hops can be helpful when dealing with stress induced digestive issues. You can also enjoy hops in tea blends.
Lady’s mantle lines the edges of our gardens. It’s a magical plant and if you’ve ever spent time with one early in the morning before the dew has had a chance to evaporate, you’d see what I mean. The beautiful leaves hold dew or water from rain in a way that feels like alchemy is at work. And it is. We harvest the leaves and make fresh into a tincture or dry for tea. I like to use lady’s mantle for the female reproductive system as a uterine tonic, to help those who experience excessive bleeding and heavy periods with cramps. It can also be help treat diarrhea and urinary incontinence.
Lavender is an aromatic perennial that makes a gorgeous border that is well loved by the bees and other local pollinators. I harvest the flowering spikes during the summer to dry for tea, baking, elixirs, syrups, oils and herb bundles. There are so many lovely ways to work with lavender. It’s a wonderful herb to use on its own or in formulas for stress induced depression, anxiety, nervous exhaustion, and headaches. I also like adding it to blends for sleep and digestive issues like gas, bloating and nervous stomach issues like IBS.
Lemon balm is an herb that we use a lot of at Herbal Revolution. This is a wonderful plant that is so fabulous for the nervous system. It can be calming, uplifting, focusing and supporting to our digestive, immune and nervous systems. It’s also delicious. What’s not to love? The aromatics always tend to be my favorite rows to weed on the farm, and for good reason. Lemon balm is loaded with volatile essential oils, so just being around and smelling the plant is incredibly medicinal. I use lemon balm for anxiety, stress, immune support and herpes and for uplifting the spirit and clearing the mind.
Lemongrass grows in lovely rows on the edges of our growing plots on the farm. Here in Maine, lemongrass is an annual, but in warmer climates it is a lovely perennial. We harvest it in the fall every year to dry for tea. I love its mild lemon flavor and use it for digestive blends, as it can help with gas, bloating and abdominal pain.
Licorice is an herb I’m trying to grow more of on the farm. We use the roots in our tea and tincture blends. Licorice is a sweet herb, almost too sweet for my taste, but I’ve yet to find another person who feels that way. So it’s a great herb to add to formulas that you want to bring a little sweetness to. Licorice is a wonderful herb that is great for adrenal support and to soothe irritated tissue in the upper respiratory and digestive tracts.
Maitake, also known as hen of the woods, is a well-loved mushroom to wild foragers, and for good reason. It’s tasty. Once you know how to identify it safely, it’s an easy mushroom to find, and you can find large amounts. Once Gus came home with one that was over 40 pounds (18 kg)! I still remember that day clearly; what a find! We had some delicious meals that week and good medicine was made. I like to eat it or dry it for future use in soup stocks and double extractions, and we use it in our award-winning Elderberry Elixir, mushroom elixir and all other sorts of formulas for its immune support. Maitake is a great choice for supporting people with either compromised immune systems due to illness, disease or cancer or an overactive immune system such as autoimmune diseases. It’s also protective to the liver and can help lower cholesterol.
Marshmallow is a beautiful tall perennial that we grow a lot of here on the farm. It tends to like moist areas and so I plant it in the parts of the garden that have a little heavier soil or drain a little slower than other areas. We harvest the leaves, flowers and roots for tinctures, and dry for tea. It’s a soothing and cooling plant to inflamed mucosal tissue in the body. So, I like to use it soothe inflamed digestive and upper respiratory tracts. I use it in digestive tract formulas and blends for the throat and lung, especially for dry coughs.
Oats are often used in farming as a cover crop and it’s one we use on the farm regularly. For medicinal purposes, we harvest the oat tops when they’re in the milky state. You squeeze the oat tops and a thick milky substance comes out. This is the good stuff. If left alone, the seed would continue to grow into an oat groat, where it would be hulled and either kept whole or processed into oats. Oats are an incredible food for our nervous and cardiovascular systems. Oats are high in betaglucan, which helps lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, and it is high in antioxidants and is antiinflammatory. I like to use milky oats to help reduce stress, anxiety and to help support symptoms of withdrawl from certain drugs and cigarettes. It's also a great herb for firing up the libido!