Daily Archives: July 26, 2016

Anti-oxidant salve for the skin and the blessings of a wild lawn

I am so thankful for all the wonderful herbalists who share their knowledge with the world and many do it completely for free. Rosalee de la Floret writes practical posts packed with information and I highly recommend reading her blog. She is also the education director for Learning Herbs.com, which is another great herbal resource. Their Wildcraft board game for kids, and also the Herb Fairies series of books are excellent to read, listen to, and to share and learn with children about the many uses of herbs.

I originally learned about the properties of the self-heal plant (Prunella vulgaris) from Rosalee, and the research is there, just as she says.

We have a lot of self-heal growing wild all around our wild lawn (read more below) so all i have to do is let it grow!  I waited to pick it when it has some flowers opening and then warm infused it together with plantain into safflower oil over a 24 hour period, a very mindful process.  To complete the salve, I added calendula oil (sun infused), cocoa butter, local beeswax, and geranium essential oil (also known for its skin healing properties).  This is NOT a sunscreen but just think of it as immunity boosting for the skin, helping the body to correct any damage that’s been done.  Gotta love it.  Smells good too!

Self Heal in the wild lawn

Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris, Brunört) in the wild lawn.

We try not to mow our lawn.  We let it go to flower over and over; in fact, the lawn is mostly cute little flowers everywhere. Last year it became a haven for all types of wild birds, bees and other insects which we gladly welcomed because the biodiversity breeds a healthy balance in the garden.  This beautiful green woodpecker was happy to come and literally tear apart the hidden ant nests and we were happy to have it.

Gray headed Woodpecker eating ants. Gråspett

Young Green Woodpecker (Picus Viridis, Gröngöling) eating ants.

2016-07-26 Family time, lots of harvesting and a couple of distillations

The kids don’t always participate in garden work but today was a blessing as they were all about it.  Harvesting is their favorite; they can see, touch and taste the many things we have.  We even get help with research when needed, like today when I didn’t really know what to do with the stevia plant that I picked up this year at the garden show in Stockholm, and my son read all about it and helped us to decide how to process it.

Here is a list of what we did this morning together and then afterward we continued to distill and process herbs for the entire day.  At this time of year, we do this several times a week with various plants and crops.

  • Two kinds of mint were harvested and put on the drying racks.
  • Lemon Balm was harvested and put on the drying racks.
  • Lemon verbena was harvested and some put on drying racks and some in a 5 liter distillation. A Lemony Fresh stress buster!!
  • Stevia harvested and will become a tincture tomorrow.
  • Roman Chamomile harvested and into a small distillation.  This Roman Chamomile hydrosol is very special; yes it’s relaxing but the aroma is soothing, almost smooth like butter.  We might end up with 10 or so bottles for sale.
  • Gotu Kola harvested from the greenhouse plants that are for sale.  My own crop lives indoors and takes up half of the sunny south side window sharing that space with the Rose Geraniums.

Tomorrow I will get up first thing and harvest Tulsi.  She really likes the attention.

The day before yesterday I blended new batches of Garden Herb Tea and a Relax/Peace tea to clear the drying racks.

my daughter harvesting from the pots of gotu kola. A great way to snack.

My daughter harvesting from the pots of gotu kola.  A great way to snack.

One of the larger pots of Gotu Kola after the harvest and the bounty.

One of the larger pots of Gotu Kola after the harvest and the bounty.