elderberries

Forest Allies Syrup

An Elderberry syrup with a twist: medicinal mushrooms!

I have developed a delicious immune-boosting syrup, and have gotten rave reviews from everyone who has tried it, including my kids. They just can’t get enough! The syrup is based on a simple elderberry syrup recipe, with the addition of some medicinal mushrooms and other herbs that support immune function. This syrup is great for fighting colds and influenza, as well as supporting healthy immune function. It is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, and as long as you don’t have a sensitivity to fungi, you are good to go!

I will put the recipe instructions below, but first I would like to talk about the ingredients and why I chose to use each one specifically.

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chickweed

Herbal Medicine Chest : Herbs in your backyard!

*THIS IS AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY SUSUN WEED, WRITTEN FOR HER E-ZINE: WEED WANDERINGS*

***I have sent emails asking permission to post this here, and have not heard back as of yet. I am not intending to step on anyone’s toes, or claim this work as my own. I simply desire to share the work of an herbalist and plant-ally whom I admire greatly and have a deep personal respect for. If I am contacted and asked to take this down, I will. Please note that NONE of the following words are my own, and I do not take any credit for them. The following article was written by Susun Weed. Thank you. ***

“Don’t kill, spray, tear up, or destroy the weeds in your garden, yard, and fence rows. Many of them are actually highly-regarded, widely-used, and extremely-valuable medicinal herbs! What could be easier than growing an herb garden with no effort? Of course, you’ll have to harvest your weeds, but you would do that anyhow: it’s called weeding.

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oatstraw

Herb of the Month: Oatstraw (Avena sativa)

Oatstraw, Avena sativa, a blessing and gift to the endocrine system, full of calcium, and nourishing to the skin, we thank you!

Oatstraw is an herb that once grew wild, but is among the oldest cultivated grains. Oatstraw is from the same plan as oats themselves, but is the whole flowering top of the plant, not just the ripened grain. The flowering tops and grassy leaves are harvested in what is called “the milky stage” of the plant’s development, when the seeds are begining to swell and ripen, but are not fully ripe. This results is a lovely, grassy, green herb as you can see in the picture below. Oats are a grass, growing in meadows, banksides and grainfields.

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Chaga bursting out of a Birch tree.

Herb Focus : Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

Last week, I was given an amazing gift: a large piece of Chaga that my dear friend harvested while on a retreat in Northern Ontario. The following day I prepared some for myself and had the most incredible burst of energy that kept me going all day. I was really surprised because I didn’t know what to really expect. I did some research and found out why it had such a profound impact on my day.

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stjswort

Herb of the Month: Saint Joan’s/John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

June 24th is known in the Christian Tradition as Saint John the Baptist’s Day. The plant, Hypericum perforatum, was named after St John because it was used to “chase demons away”.

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dandelion

Herb of the Month: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

In May, we who live in Southern Ontario, have lots of sunny days, the warm south winds carrying the warm air that opens the blooms of Spring. One of my favourites of these is Dandelion.

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colts-foot

Herb of the Month: Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara)

Coltsfoot : April Herbal Focus

So, as we walk through the woods in April and early may, we can see small yellow flowers that look like dandelions, but have a scaly, reddish-brown stem, and no leaves present. This amazing flower, that likes moist, shady places like the edge of a forest, is called Coltsfoot, or it’s Latin name, Tusilago Farfara.

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eastern-white-cedar-1

Herb of the Month: Cedar

Cedar – March Herbal Focus

An Elder describes the power of Cedar

This month I would like to share the Wisdom of my friend Cedar.

Cedar is a very powerful, beautiful medicine. In the Indigenous Tribes across North America, cedar is highly valued for its healing properties.  On the medicine wheel, cedar is in the west.  It is used to open us to healing our past, forgiving ourselves for “mistakes” and opening to new energies and experiences.

The cedar I am familiar with is classified as white cedar.  Some people also use red cedar (which is another name for a species of juniper) and that is not the cedar I am referring to.

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