Sign Up Now!

Of Interest

Of Interest

Sign up to receive updates on upcoming classes, courses and workshops!

Archives

Herbal Healing

CANADIAN HERB CONFERENCE, November 5-8

I am happy and excited to be joining over 25 fellow herbal practitioners in this three day event. The event provides incredible opportunities to learn from some of Canada’s leading herbalists.

SAVE $20 off registration fees by entering my code: gudrun20

For workshop details and registration information go to: https://herbconference.com/

Hope to “see” you there!

Green Blessings,

Gudrun

WEEDS FOR WELLNESS – DANDELION

Finally the bright yellow flowers are brightening the landscape – a sure sign that spring is here to stay.

Hard to believe that herbalists have great appreciation for this marvelous creation of nature? We use flowers, buds, leaves and roots as food and medicine. My grand kids nibble on the flowers and young leaves.

Last year I made a crown out of Dandelion flowers for my then 4 year old grand daughter. She was wearing it proudly as we walked into Canadian Tire. With great joy I observed the reactions of customers especially when we were wandering around the Round-up shelf. So much fun!

Be creative and “brave” – eat flowers and young leaves, add both to salads, make a Dandelion flower cold infusion. decorate ice creams and cakes … and most of all, have fun and be grateful for the gift of this plant that most consider to be a pesky weed.

DANDELION – Taraxacum off. – Asteraceae famly
PARTS USED: Roots, stems, leaves and flowers
HARVEST TIME
Roots: Spring before flowering or fall after first frost
Leaves: Early spring, throughout summer (leaves increase in bitter taste with age)
Flowers: When in full bloom
NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, and zinc. Vitamins A, B complex, C and D.
Carotenoids, fatty acids, flavenoids and phytosterols.
NOTE: The roots are exceptionally high in vitamin A

THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS
Leaf: Diuretic (high in potassium) – Choleretic (stimulates bile production by liver) – Aperient (mild laxative)
Root: Bitter digestive tonic; nutritive – Choleretic, cholagogue – Aperient, laxative – Anti-rheumatic, anit-inflammatory (animal studies)
Sap: Keratolytic (breaks down outer layer of skin)
INDICATIONS
Leaf: Water retention
Root: Inadequate bile production, gallstones, liver/gall bladder insufficiency, congestive jaundice, Dyspepsia, lack of appetite
Sap of stalks, roots, or leaves: Warts, cankers
FORM OF PREPARATION
Infusions (leaves; flowers) – Decoctions (root) – Tinctures – Vinegars (roots, leaves, flowers) – Infused Oils – Salves – Food (leaves, petals, young roots)
CONTRA-INDICATIONS
No reported toxicity; however some people experience sensitivity reactions

PLAGUED BY A PERSISTENT COUGH?

Here are some tips and simple home remedies to support the body in overcoming this affliction regardless of what causes the cough.

1. Cut out all mucous forming foods, especially dairy and wheat as well as all foods you know you are sensitive to.

2. Change your diet to at least 70% raw and drink lots of carrot juice and green smoothies.

3. Drink lots of good water – city water is typically full of chemicals and not recommended for consumption on a regular basis.

4. Keep the chest warm with appropriate clothing.

5. Apply poultices to the chest, i.e. onion poultice or castor oil pack (see DVD “Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone”, Disc 2 for instructions)

6. Cough Syrup – homemade, simple yet effective:
Cut up an onion, place in glass jar and cover with honey (honey can be hard; the juice of the onion will liquefy the honey).
Let sit for several hours to several days and strain. Take 1 tsp. as needed.

7. Herbs to use are the ones with anti-microbial properties such as Garlic and Thyme and expectorants for example Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum).

You can find good combination teas for the support of the respiratory system at the health food stores.

CORONA VIRUS

Tired hearing about it? Worried about it?…

CORONA VIRUS - Tired hearing about it? Worried about it?...

The best defense against any so-called invading organisms is a strong immune system. Keep the terrain, your body, strong and it will ward off potential dis-ease causing critters. Tend to your body like you would to a garden, nurture it with the nutrients it requires to grow and stay strong and healthy. Eat organic foods, stay away from fast foods and processed foods, eliminate sugar etc. See below for more information. Please contact me, should you be interested in herbal remedies or a consultation.

It is hard to understand, why there has been no mention in the media about some common sense measures, that are simple and effective.

A few days ago, I listened to a medical doctor on the German news. He said, that he would be more afraid of the regular flu than the Corona virus.

EXAMPLES OF LIFESTYLE CHOICES TO KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTIONING AT TOP PERFORMANCE LEVEL

  • Ensure adequate rest and sleep
  • Eat a diet of high nutritional value (no junk foods, avoiding allergens and toxins)
  • Reduce/eliminate all refined sugar (refined sugar suppresses the immune system instantly and long-term – it really is an addictive substance that messes with our brain and overall health!)
  • Eat (local) honey; honey has antibacterial properties and can be a good source of antioxidants
  • Garlic: chop up a clove at night and swallow after supper
  • Add the JUNGLE JUICE to your daily routine
  • Follow a regular exercise regime
  • Spend time outside even if it is for short periods
  • Minimize/eliminate stress factors as much as possible
  • Dress according to the weather
  • Be conscious of bringing joy into your life – whatever this may be for you
  • If available, make use of an infrared sauna frequently (one of my favorites)

Even if you should get sick, following the above guidelines will allow your body to bounce back more easily.

ELDERBERRY SYRUP

Elderberry syrup is a delicious and healthy way to support your IMMUNE SYSTEM. One of its additional great benefits is its ANTI-CATARRHAL action. This means it helps to prevent mucous formation and aids in the removal of excess mucous. This is especially useful at this time of the year, when so many of us are dealing with colds, runny noses and coughs, all of which are accompanied by an excess of mucous production.

Elderberry syrup is safe for children and can be taken straight, added to soda water, smoothies, beverages, ice cream, yogurt etc.

There are still a few bottles of high quality Elderberry syrup (some with added Ginger) available at my office.

ACTIONS:
               Immune System Support/Stimulant – Anti-Viral – Anti-catarrhal – Anti-Inflammatory

INDICATIONS:
               Colds – Flu – Fever (reduces symptoms and duration) – Upper Respiratory Infections – Allergies – Urinary Tract Infections

SPROUTING PART 2 – HOW TO SPROUT YOUR OWN SEEDS

For an actual demonstration on how to sprout check out my DVD, “Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone” visit http://herbalinstructions.com/

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

➣ A glass jar, any size from about 1 litre to 4 litres will do; wide mouth jars are the most practical
➣ Nylon mosquito screen, big enough to cover the opening of the jar and rubber band to secure it
➣ Fresh water
➣ Seeds for sprouting
a. I suggest you begin, using only one type of seed per jar. Once you have gained some experience, have fun experimenting, creating your own special mixes.
b. How many seeds to use? As the seeds absorb the water and begin to sprout, they will expand; different seeds will expand to different degrees. For example, radish seeds will expand more than sunflower seeds.

As a rule, fill the jar up to 1-2 cm with dried seeds. Using too few or too many, does not matter. You will learn quickly the proper amounts for the different types of seed you use.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. CLEANING

A. Place seeds in (wide mouth) glass jar; when using larger seeds like peas use more seeds
B. Cover jar with mesh and secure with rubber band
C. Rinse by adding water, swirl and drain

2. SOAKING

A. Add cool water, 5 – 10 cm above seeds and let sit 4 – 8 hours or over-night;
NOTE: The length of time for soaking the seeds depends on the type of seed used; check internet for soaking charts or refer to my next post.
B. Drain water, rinse and drain water again. Seeds should be damp but not “swimming” in water.

3. GROWING

A. Invert and prop jar at an angle in a bowl so that excess water can drain; preferably keep in dark place.
B. Twice a day rinse seeds with cool/room temperature water, swirl jar gently, drain and repeat step 3A.
C. Depending on the seeds, it will take 2 – 5 days for the seeds to sprout to a length of ½ – 5 cm when they are ready to be enjoyed.

4. EATING & STORING

Eat sprouts right away or store them in the fridge in a glass container or plastic bag. Treat them like you would any other food that can spoil.

Meal Suggestions

Sprouts can be added to salads, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, soups (just before serving), spaghetti sauce, omelets, green drinks and baking (1/2 cup of sprouts per loaf; add to liquid ingredients). Sprouted seeds may also be sautéed, blanched or steamed.

Sprouting beans will soften them enough, making them suitable for creating spreads such as hummus.

BE CREATIVE and most of all ENJOY!

To order the DVD “Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone – A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating You Own Herbal Preparations”, visit http://herbalinstructions.com/order-dvd/

HEMP HEARTS – BEST SOURCE OF PROTEIN

Hemp Hearts (shelled hemp seeds) are the best source of protein, essential fats — rich in Omega — vitamins and enzymes on the Earth. Rocky Mountain Hemp Hearts contain twice as much protein compared to other kinds.

Rocky Mountain Hemp Hearts are grown without herbicides or pesticides. The products are made fresh daily, priced to sell quickly and shipped in small lots. They contain a natural antioxidant (Vitamin E) that keeps them fresh for many months at room temperature. Nothing has been added to the Hemp Hearts from Rocky Mountain. Nothing has been removed but the shell. The list of health benefits is almost endless – both for healthy individuals and those dealing with (chronic) health issues.

Hemp Hearts compared to other foods:

– contain more amino acids than milk, eggs or meat
– complete source of protein
– contain about 47% oil, 86% of which is omega 3, 6 and 9
– contain all essential fatty acids required for health
– provide plenty of energy without the use of sugar, caffeine etc.
– suitable for anyone unable to digest gluten, dairy, nuts, meat and sugar
– perfect for those avoiding carbohydrates
– supports and encourages proper bowel function

Hemp Hearts can be enjoyed in cereal, salads, baked goods, added to sauces, mixed with yogurt and fruit…

I strongly recommend to make Hemp Hearts part of your daily health giving regime!

Green Blessings,

Gudrun

The Magic of Mother Earth

The abundance and beauty of the Earth at this time of the year in the Peace Country is amazing. I encourage you to bring some of the magic of Mother Earth into your home by adding the wild greens to your food, preparing a cup of tea with fresh plants or harvesting and drying herbs for later use. Goldenrod is one of those amazing herbs you can see everywhere right now.

Goldenrod is a fairly tall plant with beautiful, vibrant golden-yellow flowers. You will find it in dry woodlands, forest clearings and roadsides.

The Latin name Solidago originates from “solidus” & “ago,” Solidus, meaning “healthy and strong,” and ago meaning “to make whole.” Both of these terms refer to the plant’s ability to heal wounds.

Some common names for Goldenrod from various cultures also give an indication for its medicinal use as a wound healing herb, for example in Germany the herb is often called “Fastening Herb”. In fact in ancient German history Goldenrod was gathered as a wound herb before engaging in battle, just in case it was needed.

However, the focus today for its use has shifted from a wound healing aid, to a very reliable herb to support the kidneys. It promotes the elimination of urine and is applied for acute as well as chronic conditions of the kidneys and bladder including inflammation. In addition, it has been found to support the body during times of upper respiratory infections, especially when dealing with a chronic situation.

For medicinal purposes the leaves and flowers (early flowering stage) are being harvested and may be used fresh or dried. The fresh leaves and flowers can be used for wound healing or made into a tea, which can also be used as a wound wash. The dried herb may be used in the form of a tea as well but also as a tincture. A tincture is an alcoholic extract of a plant and is more concentrated than an herbal tea. The “crafty” person might want to try to use the flowers as a natural dye.

This summer Goldenrod has been brightening up the landscape in so many places and the quality of it has been superb. Many times you will find it being “infested” with many small bugs, but this year the only insects I have watched enjoying the bright, yellow flowers are butterflies and bees!

If you are not sure how to prepare the herbs, remember that the DVD Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone provides clear and easy to follow instructions, teaching a great variety of herbal preparations. Check my website www.herbalinstructions.com for more information.

Disclaimer

This information is not intended for the use of diagnosing any disease, condition or prescribing any treatment whatsoever. The use of any of the herbs and preparations is the sole responsibility of each individual and does not replace the services and advice of a medical practitioner and qualified healthcare provider. Consult a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your individual medical situation. No responsibility is assumed should the information be used in place of a licensed medical practitioner’s services.

WEEDS FOR WELLNESS – A GUIDE TO YOUR BACKYARD PHARMACY FIREWEED

Epilobium/Chamerion Angustifolium

The pale purple, pinkish flowers of Fireweed are lavishly decorating our landscape right now. You can watch bees swarming around the plants, they love the flowers. Fireweed is apparently the only plant in the world that has purple pollen. It is the first plant to grow after a fire, preparing the soil for other plants and trees to follow. Fireweed provides both food and medicine for us. Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” How true this is.

The FLOWERS, UNOPENED BUDS and YOUNG LEAVES of Fireweed make a great addition to any salad, and of course, I add any of them to my Jungle Juice. The young shoots can be prepared like asparagus. A tea made from the LEAVES may simply be enjoyed as a beverage or used for medicinal purposes in cases of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH). Note: Some sources suggest that Fireweed tea has a slight laxative effect whereas others say it is being used for certain forms of diarrhea. Therefore, be your own judge and enjoy the tea in moderation until you know how it affects you – this, of course, holds true for anything you ingest or put on your skin.

As mentioned in an earlier post, a SPIT POULTICE made from the leaves, just like Plantain, will provide great relief from insect bites – numbing the pain as well as reducing swelling and allergic reactions. I have heard from numerous people this year who have made use of this knowledge and were able to avoid hospital trips while watching the magic of the plant world unfold in front of their eyes. The gifts of nature are all around us. The poultice can also be used to minimize bruising and help draw slivers.

The FLOWERS, some sources include the leaves as well, provide effective relief for hemorrhoids. For this purpose, make an infused oil which can be used as is or made into suppositories. It is advisable to look at diet, lifestyle and liver function when dealing with hemorrhoids.

A decoction made from the WHOLE HERB, including the ROOT, has traditionally been used as an anti-spasmodic in the treatment of (whooping) cough and asthma. The preparation was allowed to cool before taken internally.

Fireweed can be considered a survival food with anti-inflammatory properties. It is relatively high in nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotenes, calcium and magnesium. Always remember though, that the nutrient content (and flavour) of a plant varies greatly with the soil it is grown in.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

1. Add leaves, flowers and/or buds in any salad
2. Slightly steam young shoots until just tender. Melt butter, add lime juice, pour over Fireweed. Sprinkle with seeds/and or nuts on top (almonds, hemp hearts…)
Adjust proportions to your own liking. Remember, I consider myself a “free-flowing cook”. No recipe will ever turn out the same.

RESOURCE – QUESTION: Not sure how to prepare infusions, decoctions, infused oils etc? You find all these and many more preparations in my instructional DVD (over three hours of hands-on instructions): Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone – A Practical Guide to Creating Your Own Herbal Preparations. www.herbalinstructions.com. Subtitles in English, German, French and Spanish included as well as an appendix with all the recipes – just like a book.

WILD ROSE – My Favourite Recipes for this time of the year

Have you noticed the abundance and colour variations of the Wild Rose flowers this year?

They are so bountiful and a delight to all of our senses. You might have noticed that a lot of different insects use the flowers as their home or resting place.

Wild Rose is also a Bach Flower essence, opening the heart and bringing joy into a person’s life.

Here are two of my all time favorite recipes.

1. WILD ROSE FLOWER WATER

Pick some flower petals and put them in a glass filled with spring water. Let sit in the sun to allow the essence of the flower to infuse into the water. Let sit for 1/2 hour to several hours depending on your taste preference.

Enjoy as is or with some ice. If you wish, you may eat the flower petals.

2. WILD ROSE FLOWER HONEY

Pick the flower petals and place on the honey. Honey that has not been processed is typically hard so you need to soften it slowly at low temperature. You can soften it first and then mix the petals into it, or what I do, I add the petals and let them do “their job” while the honey is softening.

Once the honey is soft, I like to stir the petals in with a wooden chop stick only to watch them come up to the surface again after a while. You can pick out the flower petals if you wish but you can also leave them in the honey.

Enjoy as a spread on a rice cake, on pancakes or with ice cream, or just straight from the spoon – whatever your heart desires.