Archive for Herbalism

‘Tis the Elderberry Syrup Season!

While the Cold & Flu yells: “It’s our Season.”

Elderberry simply, but firmly, says: “NOPE!”

by Shannyn Caldwell

If you make your way through the Holistic Health Professional, Traditional Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Herbalist  or  Master Herbalist programs at Genesis, you will learn to make tinctures and syrups, teas, tonics, decoctions, poultices, and salves. » Read more


Author: Colin I.H. Perry, TND, MH

Everyone that I have ever met loves lavender. It is not only a beautiful plant, but also a very useful one in the arena of natural medicine. It can be used in tinctures and teas and also externally as a massage oil.

In Latin it is known as Lavendula officinalis and in Ayurveda it is called Dharu. The scented flowers are the part of the plant that is used medicinally.

Ayurvedically, the quality or Guna of lavender is sharp, penetrating, oily and light. It has a pungent taste or Rasa. It’s potency or Virya is a cooling one. The post digestive effect or Vipak is pungent. » Read more

The Experiential Herbalist

In a workshop I listened intently as the herbalist spoke about getting to know the taste, temperature, and actions of herbs on a personal level.  I was both intrigued and challenged. Except for a few herbs that had piqued my interest, much of my knowledge seemed intellectual.  I too wanted to live and breathe herbs.  How did he get to know so many and so much about each herb, and how they synergized with other herbs, and which ones would help people in the best way? He knew them intimately because he used them! » Read more

Calendula and Yarrow

Snip20160811_2Calendula and Yarrow: Herbal Preparation Projects
by Barbara Richey

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

I made a caendula ointment. Calendula is a beautiful golden flower that can be found in eastern Canada, south through New England, west through Pennsylvania and Ohio, north through Michigan and Wisconsin.  In the west, it is cultivated in California.  Calendula features warm gold blossoms. Once they bloom the flowers can be picked throughout the season.

Calendula is an herb that is used to heal the skin. It’s great for scrapes, bruises, insect bites and minor wounds. It can also be used for sore and/or infected gums.  I enjoyed working with this flower because of all of the useful healing properties. I have family members with eczema and varicose veins. I created salves to treat their skin ailments.  PDF – Calendula and Yarrow

Stimulating Senses with Cinnamon

Carla BergStimulating Senses with Cinnamon  
by Carla Berg

There are a variety of ways to use cinnamon spice holistically. Below are just a few examples, along with how they can stimulate our five basic human senses. Within each category, the tincture process is explained, and then a medicinal use is listed as it correlates with our senses.

Sight: The cinnamon bark, derived from being peeled off an evergreen tree, curled into flavorful, long tubes looked delicious with their nice brownish red color. I knew this would be a popular tincture choice to have around this fall!

PDF – Stimulating Senses with Cinnamon

Plantain & Borage

Collin2Herbal Preparation Project:

To complete the first part of this project, we are going to make two fresh herbal tinctures one of Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) leaves and the other Borage (Borago officinalis) flowers and leaves.

Then, to satisfy the second part of the project, we will produce a healing vulnerary salve by simply combining the two tinctures with organic coconut oil thus giving the skin the benefit of all three with their combined synergic effects.

Both tinctures were formulated by picking the fresh leaves, macerating them and covering this with 75 proof alcohol. This was then put aside for two weeks before straining the liquids off their marcs to produce clear filtered herbal preparations. We will discuss the Ayurvedic properties, actions and major indications of these herbs.

PDF – Colin Perry SG31 – Plantain & Borage

Lemon Balm Hydrosol

LemonBalmLemon Balm Hydrosol by Carla Berg

I’ve been enjoying essential oils for only a few years, mostly to make homemade products like soap and toothpaste. My husband, Todd, went shopping for supplies and noticed the price tag on essential oils. He was not very pleased and knowing my interest in herbs was growing, he decided to plant some herbs and make a distiller with an extra pressure cooker that we had. Todd drilled a whole in the pressure cooker lid and installed a fitting in order to attach a copper tube to the condenser, which was a separate copper tube that was coiled and glued to an old tin can. The last step was to drill a hole in the bottom of the can for the copper tube to deliver the final product into the receiver. Todd used copper because it is known for having toxic effects on microorganisms. Since I planned to consume or use the hydrosols externally, I did wash them in a watered down bleach solution, then thoroughly rinsed afterwards.  » Read more

The Zing of Ginger


The Zing of Ginger
by Faith Schwartz

Common name: Ginger (Ginger root)
Botanical name: Zingerber officinale
Family: Zingiberaceae (ginger family)
Genus: Zingiber



Ginger is perhaps the world’s oldest recognized medicinal plant and arguably one of the most important. Native to south-east Asia, ginger is traditionally thought to have been cultivated for its medicinal value for over 5000 years, although the first mention of the plant is found in Chinese writings dating back to about 400 BC.

Both Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalists use the plant extensively; in fact, it’s estimated over half of Chinese herbal formulas include ginger. In Ayurvedic (Indian) herbalism ginger is labeled the “universal medicine” and is touted to have come from the Garden of Eden.

Ginger’s botanical name was derived from the Sanskrit word, singabera, which means “horn-shaped” – an obvious reference to the most coveted part of the plant, its rhizome (root).  » Read more

Red Raspberry Leaf

Red Raspberry Leaf

43608852_sCommon name:
 Red Raspberry (American Raspberry, Black Raspberry, Dewberry, Bramble Fruit, Thimble Berry)
Botanical name: Rubus spp. – Rubus idaeus (cultivated variety), Rubus strigosus (wild variety)
Family: Rosaceae (rose family)
Genus: Rubus



Raspberry is a beautiful plant native to Europe and Asia Minor, though now widely naturalized throughout the world. A member of the rose family, raspberry is in the genus Rubus, meaning “red” and the species idaeus refers to the shrubís historic growing region on Mount Ida near Troy in northwest Turkey. Taken together this botanical name identifies raspberry as the “red bush of Ida”.

Records of domestication of raspberry have been found in writings of Palladius from the 4th century while the therapeutic effects of red raspberry leaves were documented in the writings of Gerard in the late 16th century. The Native Americans prized the fruit, leaves and roots (of the North American variety, Rubus strigosus) as a womenís tonic, as well as a nutritive tea; the Eclectics likewise touted the plant as a great contributor to womenís health. Raspberry was included in the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary until the middle of the 20th century. » Read more

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