Featured Plants


We grow the plants that we love and use, and always try to provide links to studies and reliable information so you can make informed decisions about your own health.  If you have a trusted source then please discuss your herbal protocol with them.  Tulsi and Gotu Kola are considered to be tonic adaptogenic herbs.

Tulsi

Have you purchased a tulsi plant from me at the market? You can download an information and care guide here

History and Medicinal Properties

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a species of basil (Ocimum sanctum) that is native to India and which has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It has an important role as an adaptogen in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, where it is believed to help maintain energetic balance in the body, to combat stress, and to prevent illness. Tulsi has a complex phytochemistry and is rich in essential oils. The species is now being studied extensively for its possible benefits in many diverse medical applications; see here for an excellent overview of ongoing research.

Tulsi at Laine Herbals

Tulsi in full bloom

Tulsi in full bloom, August 13, 2014

Tulsi is an amazing aromatic herb.   Simply working with it in the garden – weeding and harvesting – is an uplifting experience.  We’ve been growing tulsi since 2013, and it has become one of our most beloved medicinals.   During the growing season we drink fresh tulsi tea everyday, and I regularly eat the tops as I pinch away the flowers.  I dry it by the kilogram and then blend it with mints and other herbs to make tea blends to last the rest of the year; I feel that this is highly beneficial to family’s health.
Also we regularly distill tulsi during the season, and enjoy the hydrosol.
Our dried organic hand-harvested tulsi is available for purchase here.

The Living Plants

Living plants are rewarding in so many ways. To me, caring for tulsi is a devotional practice. Tulsi needs human interaction, and thrives with the proper care. In exchange, the plant gives back many rewards, including fresh tea and plant material available at anytime. These aromatic plants stimulate the senses and are wonderful to have around.

Caring for Tulsi

Tulsi requires that all forming flowers be pruned, at least until you are ready to collect seeds. This stimulates leaf growth and extends the life of the plant. The way to prune is to take the shooting flower stalks away just above the next two sets of forming leaves. Also, water regularly, but don’t overwater. The plant requires 6-8 hours of light to thrive so it may be necessary to supplement with plant lights in the winter.

Tulsi Holy Basil

Tulsi Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), July 15, 2014

Arnica montana

History and Medicinal Properties

Arnica montana

Arnica montana

Arnica is a genus in the Asteraceae (sunflower) family. Arnica has been used medicinally for centuries in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and today arnica preparations represent one of the most well-known herbal medicine types. The primary use of medicinal arnica is as a topical anti-inflammatory. An extract or infusion is made from plant material and then applied to the skin, usually as an oil or gel. Arnica is renowned for its ability to reduce pain and swelling, and modern research (for example see here) continues to discover new chemical properties and pathways within the plant which contribute to these effects. It is important to note that some of the compounds that are so effective topically are quite toxic if taken internally. So remember to never ingest arnica oils or gels.

Arnica at Laine Herbals

We are cultivating Arnica montana, the most widely-used medicinal species, and Arnica chamissonis, which is native to North America and very similar to Arnica montana. The flowers bloom in June and continue throughout the summer, so I am able to harvest regularly. Our Arnica Body Oil is one of our most popular products, and is available for purchase here.

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is widely used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. The plant contains many unique triterpenoids, and modern laboratory studies have confirmed the effectiveness of many of its historical applications. A good discussion of the current state of research can be found here.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica),

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica), June 27, 2016

Spilanthes acmella

History and Medicinal Properties

Spilanthes is an amazing plant, one that we’ve grown and used daily for a long time. Each year we use it to make very effective mouthwashes for the whole family. It’s known as the “toothache plant”, and has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. An excellent review of current research into the medicinal properties of spilanthes can be found here.

Spilanthes at Laine Herbals

We grow spilanthes from our own seed each year. Please contact us at mail@laineherbals.com if you are interested in purchasing fresh plant material as food or for tincturing, to make your own mouthwash, etc.

Spilanthes acmella

Spilanthes acmella, June 22, 2016