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Herbs!
Mon 28-Dec-09
8:05 am
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homojoe
Christchurch NZ

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I thought it was about time I put my .02 in here as far as herbs go.

I've just finished harvesting a whole lot of my summer herbs, and waiting for the rest of the autumn harvest ones to mature.

This weekend I harvested fennel, lavender, ginger, thyme, sage, coriander, meadowsweet, black cohosh, dandelion root, lemon balm, calendula, juniper berries, blackcurrant leaves, raspberries and leaves, nasturtium, rocket, st john's wort, comfrey, cleavers, and peppermint.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a herby person. I've done my training as a herbalist and as a result my herb garden is HUGE and completely chaotic. I know my stuff when it comes to herbs, and am happy to offer any advice on growing, preserving methods, medicinal uses, culinary uses etc. Hit me up! The New Zealand climate probably isn't identical to other places but I'm sure a lot of the same things apply 🙂

Joe

Mon 28-Dec-09
10:06 am
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Wow Joe, that is some herb garden you have there, I'm impressed.  I have a question for you, how would you heal my current problem which is a heck of a lot of catarrh that is driving me bananas right now?  It's the legacy of a heavy cold.

I'll try that again!

Mon 28-Dec-09
11:21 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Hey, Joe, thank you very much for volunteering your expert advice on matters herbal. A bit like an earlier discussion elsewhere on the forum about how we treat / kill livestock for food, I think Herbalism is something that we have lost sight of and something I would love to know more about in general.

I am also interested in hearing your thoughts in response to TA's question.

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 28-Dec-09
5:23 pm
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homojoe
Christchurch NZ

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Ugh! Colds are hard to get rid of completely!

I have a few suggestions, hopefully one of them works!

Thyme is probably your best bet, it really is fantastic and everyone has it, or can get it. Make an infusion of 1tsp of dried or 2tsp of fresh herbs per cup of water and drink three times a day. Fresh is always best if you can get it.

Or you could try a 50/50 blend of german chamomile (the common one that grows everywhere) and thyme. That works better for some people. 

If you have someone nice to rub your chest for you, I highly recommend a blend of thyme and eucalyptus oils in a base carrier oil, rubbed into the chest twice a day. It's no fun if you have to do it for yourself though.

One of the most effective herbs for catarrh, bronchitis etc is elecampane. It's absolutely fantastic but I'm not sure how readily available it is here - I have trouble getting it sometimes. If you can though, definitely try it first. You need to make decoction (where you boil the roots in with the water for about ten minutes). You will probably need to add something to it to make it palatable though, it's pretty vile. Licorice is always a good option as that's good for coughs too.

Good luck!

Mon 28-Dec-09
10:55 pm
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KateUK
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OOOH Licorice, good for coughs- at last, a justification for eating my favourite licorice fudge ( sounds vile, but is DELICIOUS).Ok

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 29-Dec-09
10:59 am
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fn
Newmarket
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Hello Homojoe

Thanks so much for those tips. I drank thyme tea years ago and loved it. I'd forgotten all about it until I saw your post.

Hi KateUK

It sounds vile. Any chance of the recipe?

Tue 29-Dec-09
12:37 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Thank you very much Joe.  I have Thyme in the garden so will go and get some shortly.  I can get Elecampane from https://www.yourhealthfoodstore.co.uk/search/search.php so will place my order soon.  I can state that I have used this company for some time and they are very good in all respects.  I take it that you mean Liquorice root rather than the commercial confectionery?

I'll try that again!

Tue 29-Dec-09
5:21 pm
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homojoe
Christchurch NZ

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Hmmmmm, I think that elecampane with a side dish of liquorice allsorts would fix just about anything. If you like liquorice, that is (I don't, so the thought of adding it to anything to make it more palatable amuses me). Come to think of it, most herbs taste like 50 kinds of bum to me...but they do their job and that's the main thing.

As an aside, try a tea made of lavender and lemon balm. It's to die for and is fantastic for stress, which is always good around this time of year. And it's BLUE.

Joe

Tue 29-Dec-09
5:50 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Bassetts Allsorts it is then, thanks, I love them.  The tea sounds  great though I'm not stressed at all, guess you like blue?Cool


I'll try that again!

Wed 30-Dec-09
10:33 pm
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KateUK
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We get the licorice fudge in Denmark  when my husband goes there for work- not come across a recipe for it  but Lakeland had boxes of it from Denmark this Christmas- it's really surprisingly delicious, unlike Drop which the Dutch love, but I just never got used to its vileness in the years I lived in Holland. Salty licorice...no, just not right!

Blue tea...very Star Trek.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Thu 31-Dec-09
7:54 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Oh I remember salty liquorice from my three years in Denmark, one of my son's likes it but not me.Confused

Mon 4-Jan-10
7:52 pm
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SOL
UK

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So Joe, what herbs, should everyone have in their garden and what would you use them for?

Lol, makes me laugh thinking about it, that my gran asked "why have you bought Lavender?  Do you have a witch problem?"  LMAOMonster

Wed 13-Jan-10
2:17 pm
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SOL
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I have just been catching up on the Greening of Gavin site,  he has link to you FN were you tak about a broody caage.

Anyways, as I strive forward with my not trying to eat and drink stimulants that are deemed bad for your body, mind and sleep pattern.  I am finding that my loved tipple of decaf yorkshire tea is an extreme luxury.

then having seen this post by Gavin  http://www.greeningofgavin.com/2010/01/tea-for-two.html  I am most intrugued and I think I might try this in the summer, by growing or purchasing some camomile plants.  This would be most welcome when home of the evening.

Does anyone else grow it and what tips do you have please share

Wed 13-Jan-10
4:59 pm
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homojoe
Christchurch NZ

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Camomile is one of the easiest things to grow, so you're in luck! As long as it has ample sunshine and drainage it will just quietly do its own thing without much prompting. Make sure to get German camomile. Although Roman and German have similar medicinal qualities, Roman is really, really wimpy and a bit more bitter.

I'd go with Gavin's note to make sure that you get JUST the flowers. It's a bit of mucking around but you'll be thankful you took the time when you get lovely tea instead of something that tastes like cat wee.

Good luck!

Wed 13-Jan-10
5:22 pm
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homojoe
Christchurch NZ

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S.O.L. said:

So Joe, what herbs, should everyone have in their garden and what would you use them for?

Lol, makes me laugh thinking about it, that my gran asked "why have you bought Lavender?  Do you have a witch problem?"  LMAOMonster


Being that I'm down under and a bit slow sometimes,  I've only just noticed this now.

Aaaaanyway, if you're going to get camomile, I would also recommend these:

Lavender (which variety do you have, incidentally?) - tastes FANTASTIC and good for tension, headaches, and insomnia

Yarrow - it fixes just about every wound you can name (well, within reason). It was apparently used to staunch Achilles' heel wound so there you go. It's good for grazes, small cuts, that sort of thing. It's an antiseptic and coagulant. It's also safe on pets (i have an accident prone cat).

Peppermint (as opposed to normal mint) - great for concentration, headaches, and all sorts of indigestion and stomach problems.

Thyme is a fantastic internal antiseptic, so good for nasty coughs, colds and sore throats and things.

Marigold (calendula) - look pretty and excellent for any skin problems. Great on eczema, random rashes, irritations, chafing, and also good on wounds.

Hope that helps, and have fun!

Joe

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