July was a crazy month. I’ve been trying to take the time to write about my pick up and the herbs I received before I forget what we did. Our pick up was on July 13th, so it’s only taken me almost three weeks to write about it.
The Pick Up
Again, I couldn’t be happier with this situation. Grady had some meadowsweet tea ready for us, and invited us to try it before telling us what it was. (After warning us that if we had an aspirin allergy, we should avoid it.) He thought it came out pretty bland, but I thought it was delicious. It had a mild sweet flavor.
Then he showed us around his South East Portland garden. He showed us some of the plants we received that week, and also talked about harvesting. That was fantastic for me, because I still am very self conscious about my gardening abilities. I like knowing the basic rules. And it was great to see what an established herb garden looked like.
The meadowsweet was already tinctured for us this week. But as I mentioned about, we got to try some tea as well.
St. John’s Wort
I’ve been waiting for this one. Partially because I had a very strange experience trying to run a percolation tincture with some dried St. John’s Wort a few months back. I am going to write about that at some point. I did bring my tincture with me, so we could compare it to the tincture they had. It tasted slightly different (Grady said almost chalky) but looked and tasted similar enough, that I am confident that the medicinal qualities where there. It was bright red, which it’s supposed to be.
St. John’s Wort is good for nerves and can even be used topically for nerve pain. It also can help with depression (as everyone who was around in the ’90’s remembers.)
I am looking forward to finishing the maceration tincture I have going on right now. I have been blending all my maceration tinctures since I tried it the first time with the california poppy. So this tincture, even though it started out with yellow flowers, turned red in the blender. And that’s what it’s supposed to do, so that’s a good. thing. I also have a jar of hemp seed oil infusing in the window. It’s cool seeing how after several days it also turned bright red. I am opening the jar every couple days and wiping out the condensation. So far so good. I really like the way it smells too. I can’t really describe it, but somewhat floral.
We were supposed to get milky oat tops, but they weren’t quite ready, so we got Chamomile instead this week. Fresh chamomile is so pretty and also smells amazing. I decided to tincture all of it, since I can get get dried chamomile fairly easily. We received German chamomile. Chamomile is also a nervine and good for helping to sleep. The tincture is a really pretty yellowy-green color. It makes me happy to look at it.
I went to the Plant Medicine Gathering last November in Portland. It was pretty awesome and there were so many amazing classes and workshops. I had several planned out that I wanted to take, but then the election happened. (The gathering was the weekend after the 2016 presidential election.) I was so scared and broken-hearted that I ended up in all classes about nervines and ones called healing the heart, and such. We learned about Blue Vervain in one of the classes and it was described as helping with depression… but in such a way that when you are so down that you can’t even see the tunnel, let alone the end of it. Blue Vervain helps you see the tunnel and will get you moving. Grady and Sue Ellen also described it this way during the pick up. Grady also said it was really good for seasonal depression.
After the class in November, I picked up a tincture of it from Mountain Rose Herbs. I am excited to see how mine compares once it is done. One thing I think is really cool, is that the tincture actually has a bluish tint to it. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it’s really pretty.
Garlic is good for all sorts of things. It’s anti-inflammatory, good for your heart, etc. I hadn’t realized before that there were two types of garlic: hard neck and soft-neck. Hard necks produce scapes, and soft necks don’t. We had some garlic growing in our back yard that produced scapes, so now I know that is hard neck garlic. The people in the group who got half shares got hard neck garlic and I got soft neck, because I get a full share. Sue Ellen braided it, and it is so pretty. I am letting it dry for a little while longer, then I plan to use it to make some fire cider. 🙂
That’s it for July! I have plans for a couple other blog posts that I will try to get up in the next several days.