Weekly Herb Review #23 – Valerian

‘Men who begin to fight and when you wish to stop them, give to them the juice of Amantilla id est Valeriana and peace will be made immediately.’ – Annonymus, 14th Century

Common Names: Valerian (all-heal, set-well, English valerian, Belgian valerian, common valerian, German valerian, wild valerian, heliotrope, garden heliotrope, fragrant valerian, vandal root, phu (Galen), amantilla, capon’s tail)

Scientific Name: Valeriana officinalis

Family: Valerianaceae Continue reading »

Weekly Herb Review #19 – Mullein

‘Husbandmen of Kent do give it their cattle against the cough of the lungs, and I, therefore, mention it because cattle are also in some sort to be provided for in their diseases.’ Coles, 1657, in “Adam in Eden”

Common Names: Mullein, Natures Toilet Paper, Candlewick Plant, Velvet Dock, and many more

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort family)


Parts Used: Leaf (Astringent) and Flower (the flower is more specific for the nervous system, and are more demulcent) Continue reading »

Weekly Herb Review #17 – Hyssop

I know, I am so far behind!! But, I am writing up some materia medica for a class. So, here is a new one…

“Purge me with Hyssop and I shall be clean”
psalm 51, verse 7

Common Names: Hyssop, Garden Hyssop

Scientific Name: Hyssopus officinalis (meaning “holy herb” “of the apothecary”)

Family: Lamiaceae (mint)

hyssop Continue reading »

Weekly Herb Review #12 – Rue

If your hound by hap should bite his master
With honey, rue, and onion make a plaster
– Sir John Harrington, 1608

Common Names: Rue – from the Greek word reuo meaning, .. set free..ainly free from disease (also called Herb-of-Grace, Common Rue, Garden Rue, Herbygrass, Countryman.?Treacle)

Scientific Name: Ruta graveolens (graveolens means ..avy scented..r

Continue reading »

catch up

Sorry I’ve been falling behind on my herb reviews. It’s been really busy around here and that was one of the things I let go of. I hope to start again next week. We are having lots of visiting friends during November, so right now I am enjoying my socializing!

We have gone out to do some land searches, but haven’t found anything that’s right, yet. There have been a few beautiful pieces, but they were way too far out, and those that are closer to town are too expensive, or too trashed.

Our house in Chapel Hill is set to close in one week! (yeah!) And we just sold one of our cars (the gas powered one. Now we are left with two bio-diesels). All of that will help ease financial woes a bit! Toby and I don’t lead an extravagent lifestyle by any means!! So, it’s very frustrating when you always feel like you are barely making ends meet. I guess the one place we really do spend money is food. I buy mostly organic foods and preferrably local, so, it bumps the price up.

Speaking of foods, I have been thinking about adding meats back to my diet. I have always felt better when I am eating animal protein as opposed to soy or bean or grain proteins. I am also learning a lot in school about nutrition and diet and how so many people have reactions to grains because we eat such a high carb. diet, that our bodies are reacting to it. (It’s much more indepth than that.) But, I feel like, if I am a part of the cycle of birth, life, and death, and I have known the animal, or atleast know the people who have raised it, and the animals have been treated well, and are not fattened up with hormones, or over loaded with antibiotics, then maybe I could feel better about eating meat. I have been eating poultry since I got pregnant with K, and it’s only hormone/antibiotic free and free range. It’s hard though, ’cause Toby is still vegetarian, and I don’t want to have to cook two meals. I am the type of cook who throws everything into one dish anyway, so it’s not like there would be side dishes for him to eat. So, I don’t know. I’m just thinking about it…. I did order 5 pounds of hemp seed, though, so that will help add some protein and Essential Fatty Acids back to our diet!


Hey! Sorry most of my posts have just been my herb reviews lately. Things have been really busy around here and I haven’t had much chance to catch up on the blogging. I did, however, have time to try to make a little chocolate! I ordered cocoa nibs from Chocolate Alchemy and roasted them Sat. morning. Then I put them through my champion juicer to try to make a liquor, but it just seemed to be grinding it up and making them into a paste. Then, the juicer started to smoke, so I thought it might be a good idea to move on to another appliance. So, I put it all in my Vita-mix blender and added a little grain alchohol and maple syrup (thinking I could make a tincture for “chocolate medicine!”). Then, I poured it all into a bottle. But, when I checked it this morning, most of the cocoa seed pieces have expanded to take on the liquid and now it is a thick paste stuck in the bottle!! SO, I am going to let it soak there for a few weeks and then either try to scrape it out (it’s a narrow neck liter bottle!), or cut the glass in half!! I am not throwing my chocolate away!!!

I still have a pound and a half of the nibs left. I don’t know what I am going to do with those yet.

roasted nibs

ground nibs