Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids in a row.

My garden grows with lots and lots of hard work and I wish I had a few maids to help me from time to time. Many woman hours have been clocked to keep my gardens producing food and medicine.

My herb garden is my Medicine Garden. With all of the talk on Health Care and whether or not it will be a government run program, in my opinion it is important for all of us to have the knowledge we need to care for ourselves. And now is the time to formulate a plan for you and your family.

My Medicine Garden is filled with all kinds of medicinal plants that I think everyone ought to own if they want to grow their own medicine. It’s taken me a couple years to get all the plants I have. Some I’ve managed to grow from seed, but frankly they just don’t do very well. The only seed plant that survived this summer was my Elecampane. I chose this beauty for it’s healing properties for colds and coughs. It’s the root that is used and is it BITTER! I made a honey syrup with it a few years ago for some asthma issues I was having. Mullein is another favorite of mine for nourishing lung health.

Elecampane

Elecampane

I placed an order with Horizon Herbs for the last remaining essential herbs that I need for my Medicine Garden. We’ve had Richo Cech as a guest on The Herb Mentor and I knew that I could trust his plants to be hardy and survive a fall planting. Included in this order was, Stinging Nettle, St John’s Wort, Motherwort and Russian Comfrey.

Common Comfrey

Common Comfrey

Stinging Nettle

St John's Wort

Motherwort

Most of these herbs are in my daily diet. Using them as infusions gives me the vitamins and nutrients I need as a menopausal woman. Susun S Weed recommends drinking daily infusions of Nettle and Oatstraw for women in my stage of life and throwing in Red Clover once a week. (it is not recommended drinking Red Clover daily due to the high estrogen, but to drink it weekly) I use Motherwort as a tincture for hotflashes and other menopausal symptoms including anxiety and sleep. The Russian Comfrey is for my bovine girls mostly, but also for oil infusions for salves. And who wouldn’t be without St John’s Wort? I told you I’m constantly learning….when I was posting the picture of the beloved St John’s Wort, Hypericum…aha! I’ve been using Hypericum in a homeopathic remedy that I rub into soar joints and I’ve given it to my cow! I know Hypericum very well! Anyway, I can’t wait to infuse it’s lovely yellow flowers for a beautiful golden oil!

(As a side note on Susun S Weed. Susun is a very knowledgeable herbalist, however I do not embrace her spiritual beliefs and practices. I do however feel that I can sift out the information I need and leave the rest behind.)

A lot of the herb plants I ordered are very invasive so finding just the right spot for them to spread out and grow will be important. The Russian Comfrey is non invasive however. We have an overgrown hedge row of trees between us and our neighbor that is probably a good spot to put some of these plants. Your Medicine Garden doesn’t have to be all in one spot. Just so you know where to find the plants when you need them. We also grow Poke Weed…who doesn’t? The birds kindly drop seeds everywhere especially in our White Pines. You can harvest the berries and dry them for a serious immune boost. It’s the seeds that are poisonous, so as long as you don’t chew them, they will pass right out of you as they do with the birds! The young leaves are often sauteed and eaten as greens and I’ve heard that some use the big stems as you would rhubarb. Poke oil is recommended by Horizon Herbs as a treatment for Mastitis in livestock.

I’ve been using Tea Tree Oil on Josie for Mastitis, but I’d really like to find an oil that I can infuse myself. I’ll have to give Poke Oil a try.

There are so many “weeds” that are wonderful Herbal Friends. Take a walk around your property or nearby woodland and you will be surprised at what you already have right at your finger tips.

Scripture says that God gave us everything we need for life and godliness.

Seek and you will find!

(as I was writing this post I remembered one more that I MUST have….ARNICA! It is one of my most used herbs)

Arnica montana

Arnica montana

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