Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Wanna See What I Do Behind The Scenes?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.If you'd like to take a peek at some of the stuff I do, like my garden, wild-crafting, my workshop, product making, or keep up on sales and updates for Morgan Botanicals, you can find it all on facebook. This is where I post all my pictures~ Come check it out!

I also participate in a community page called Herbal Pantry. It's a collaboration of herbal sisters to have a page where we as well as fans can share our work, passions and pantries. There are lots of goodies on there like great photos of what we are drying, tincturing, infusing, topics on medicine making, recipes, videos etc. Come over and share your work, questions and photos.

I look forward to meeting you!


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As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Papaya: More Than Just A Digestive Enzyme

 Jessica Morgan, M.H.The papaya has been regarded as one of the most valuable of tropical fruits and was first cultivated in Mexico several centuries before the emergence of the Mesoamerian classic cultures, but is native to the tropics of the Americas. Christopher Columbus reportedly called Carica papaya "the fruit of the angels" because they are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients, minerals and fiber.

It is now known that the papaya fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, C and E and also contains small amount of calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin as well as being rich in antioxidant nutrients, flavonoids and carotenes, plus it's low in calories and sodium.

But, beyond the fruit, did you know that the whole papaya plant is usable. Papaya can be used as a food, a cooking aid, and in medicine. The black seeds are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste and have been used as a substitute for black pepper, plus the roots are also used to make salt. In some parts of Asia, the young leaves of papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach and in some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for malaria. The stem and bark are also used in rope production.

Papaya is mostly marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems and is cultivated for its milky juice or latex (obtained from the fruit), which is the source of the proteolytic enzyme papain., but papain is also applied topically (in countries where it grows) for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh, and is applied as a gel-like paste.

Papaya leaf, latex, and fruit contain several digestive enzymes, which account for the herb's action as a digestive aid and its ability to tenderize, that is, predigest meat. The latex contains the most enzymes, followed by the leaves, and lastly the fruit, though the fruit still contains enough to aid digestion. The most important digestive enzyme in papaya is papain, similar to the human digestive enzyme pepsin, which helps break down proteins.  In fact, papain is sometime called vegetable pepsin.  The herb's other enzymes include one similar to human rennin, which breaks down milk proteins, and another similar topectase, which helps digest starches. 

The effectiveness of the papaya as a medicinal herb has been known since the 1750's but it wasn't until the 1870's that its source of enzymes were recognized. Papain is by far the most widely studied enzyme of the papaya and has been used for wounds in hospitals, clotting milk, for contraception and abortion and as treatment for all kinds of digestive problems.

"Women in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries have long used green papaya as a remedy for contraception and abortion. Enslaved women in the West Indies were noted for consuming papaya to prevent pregnancies and thus preventing their children from being born into slavery. Medical research in animals has confirmed the contraceptive and abortifacient capability of papaya, and also found that papaya seeds have contraceptive effects in adult male langur monkeys, and possibly in adult male humans, as well. Ripe papaya is not teratogenic and will not cause miscarriage in small amounts but the Phytochemicals in papaya may suppress the effects of progesterone."

In tropical folk medicine, the fresh latex is smeared on boils, warts and freckles and given as a vermifuge.  A root decoction is claimed to expel roundworms. The leaf also functions as a primitive soap substitute in laundering. Dried leaves have been smoked to relieve asthma or as a tobacco substitute. The sap is used topically to cure inflammation and itchy skin. It is used to clarify beer, also to treat wool and silk before dyeing, to de-hair hides before tanning, and it serves as an adjunct in rubber manufacturing. You can find it in toothpastes, cosmetics and detergents, as well as many pharmaceutical preparations to aid in digestion.

But, to support digestive health, eat up and drink up! ~Place a teaspoon or so of papaya leaf in cup of boiling water. Allow to steep 3-5 minutes. Strain, serve, and enjoy. Steep time and amount of tea used can be adjusted to suit your taste.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Seaweed: "perfectly balanced natural food"

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Humans have been eating seaweed for ever. Many early communities lived close to the shore because the seas offered a constant and dependable food source. Neolithic communities in Britain for example clustered around coastal lands where rich and diverse foodstuffs were readily available.  The farmers of those times would certainly have supplemented their shellfish and seafood diets with some of the local seaweeds.

Sprinkling a little on your food (about a teaspoonful twice a day) will provide both salt and vital trace minerals. It is also a good source of protein and a rich source of iodine and iron, iodine is important for the proper functioning of thyroid and iron is important for blood cell function.

There are many different types with different benefits but most contain iron, calcium, vitamin A, E, K,  B-complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12) & folic acid. Essential fatty acids, nucleic acids like RNA and DNA, phyto-chemicals as carotenoids. Rich in fiber and natural polysaccharides. This unique mixture of vitamins, minerals/trace elements, anti-oxidants and phyto-nutrients are rarely found in land plants. 

 Typical Nutritive Value of Seaweeds : Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin A : 2 I.U.
  • Niacin : 5.7 mg.
  • Calcium : 1,093 mg.
  • Iron : 100 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 240 gm.
  • Fat : 1.1 gm.
  • Carbohydrates : 40.2 gm.
  • Protein : 7.5 gm

Here on the left is Sea Palm, and on the right Spring Nori, both wild-harvested in Norther California in Spring of '10. Look for both of these on my website www.morganbotanicals.com and here on Local Harvest as well. Both the Spring Nori and Sea Palm that I carry were locally and ethically wild harvested with permission.


 

Described as "perfectly balanced natural food" certain seaweeds, like certain land plants have been used for centuries by different cultures for medicinal and nutritional purposes from everything from warding off and treating several types of cancer, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, to preventing ulcers, killing bacteria and treating thyroid disorders.

Check out this great recipe for a simple seaweed soup. I like to add chicken and other seasonal veggies as well. This is really delicious and nutritious.

Simple Seaweed Soup

1 oz seaweed

1/4 package of Enoki mushrooms
2 inches green onion (sliced length wise into strips)
2 cups Chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
1 tsp. soy sauce
 

1. Cut seaweed into bite size pieces. Wash Enoki mushrooms, cut off and discard root. Cut mushroom across into half.

2. Add pepper, soy sauce, salt (if needed), mushroom, seaweed to chicken broth. In small pot, heat to boiling. Garnish with green onion and serve.

 

 So, have you ever given any thought to seaweed? You should.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Milk Thistle: Food and Medicine

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Milk thistle is one of my favorite plants, but then again I am drawn to any of the thistles.

Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterized by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the Asteraceae family. These prickles often occur all over the plant - on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves. These prickly spines protect the plant against herbivorous animals, discouraging them from feeding on the plant. 

The term thistle is sometimes taken to mean exactly those plants in the genus Cynareae, especially the genera Carduus, Cirsium and Onopordum.  However, plants outside this genus are sometimes called thistles too. Some in the family include burdock, artichoke, cardoon, and some not in the family but are included in the thistles are salt wort and tumbleweed.

But, why do I love milk thistle so? Well because it's amazing.

Did you know, around the 16th century milk thistle became quite popular and almost all parts of it were eaten. The roots can be eaten raw, boiled or roasted. The young shoots in spring can be cut down to the root and cooked. The spiny bracts on the flower head can be eaten like globe artichokes, and the stems can be soaked overnight to remove bitterness and then cooked up like asparagus. The leaves can be trimmed of prickles and make a good spinach substitute, and can also be added raw to salads.This is another one of those eat your weeds kinda plants! This plant has been grown both as an ornamental and a vegetable, and virtually all parts of the plant have been used as food with no reports of toxicity.

Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean region, and is now found throughout the world. This stout thistle usually grows in dry, sunny areas. The spiny stems branch at the top, and reach a height of 4 to 10 feet. The leaves are wide, with white blotches or veins. Milk thistle gets its name from the milky white fluid that comes from the leaves when they are crushed. The flowers are red-purple. The small, hard-skinned fruit is brown, spotted, and shiny. Milk thistle spreads quickly (it is considered a weed in some parts of the world), and it matures quickly, in less than a year.


But one can't stop at just the edible plant, it's medicinal too! The seeds of the milk thistle have been used for over 2000 years to treat chronic liver disease and protect the liver against toxins. It has been used for all liver diseases, hepatitis, cancer, mushroom poisoning and liver detox. By far the most famous herb for liver health, milk thistle contains antioxidant flavonoids, which protect liver cells from damage by preventing toxin absorption and enhancing regeneration.

Here a link to Dr. Christopher's run down on milk thistle.

HISTORY OF MILK THISTLE: THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF MILK THISTLE IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS

http://www.herballegacy.com/McCorrie_History.html 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Gotu Kola: What is it

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Gotu Kola is an herb native to India & Sri Lanka. Its reputation is almost mythical as it's famous for its rumored link to the long life span of elephants as well as the Chinese herbalist Li Ching Yun, who supposedly lived for 256 years. In traditional medicine, it was often prepared as a tea or a tincture, but can also be mixed with oil (AKA Brahmi Oil) and makes a very good massage medium.

 

Brahmi oil is used topically in Ayurvedic, TCM and Japanese medicine to treat skin problems, eczema, psoriasis etc. It strengthens the hair roots, relieve itchy scalp, dandruff and hair loss. Massaging it into the scalp is said to be a fantastic application for nervous aggravation and insomnia as well.

Recipe Below:

Brahmi Oil is made by sauteing 1 ounce Gotu Kola with 1 pint sesame oil until crisp. Sometimes Gotu Kola is combined with Calamus root, which are both herbs beneficial for the nervous system.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Beauty and the Beet

Jessica Morgan, M.H.The beet (Beta vulgaris);  is probably the best known and most popular beet. Most have seen or grown the basic red or purple root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet, but there are other varieties such as sugar beets, sea beets, and spinach beets. All are valuable.

Beet remains have been excavated in Egypt, and have a long history of cultivation stretching way back to the second millennium BC where they were domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean. They later spread to Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far east as China by 850 AD. Beets have been a stable food for thousands of years due to their many important minerals and micro-nutrients They are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C as well as calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. The roots contain significant amounts of vitamin C, while the leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A, and are also high in folate, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and antioxidants. Beets offer a wealth of carbohydrates and are one of the best energetic foods. They are among the sweetest of vegetables as well, containing more sugar even than carrots or sweet corn.

One of my favorite food uses of beets is to toss a chunk in the juicer with other fruits and greens.  It's not one of my favorite veggies but non-the-less I know it's a valuable one. During each of my four pregnancies, I made sure to juice a piece of beet and it's greens daily for the iron and folate. I also really like the puree mixed in ranch dressing over a giant crispy salad.

Beets have been utilized for their medicinal properties since ancient times.  The roots and leaves of the beet have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments, as they are considered beneficial to the blood (high in iron), heart, and digestive system. They have been regarded as a laxative; a cure for bad breath, coughs and headaches; and even as aphrodisiac. Recently beet root has been regarded as a cancer preventative and strengthener to the immune system, as well as a remedy for indigestion, acidity, gastritis and heartburn and is known to relieve other problems of food toxicity (improper diet and incomplete digestion), including skin problems, headaches and lethargy.

Medicinally, I recommend beet root both fresh and dried in powdered form to anyone including pregnant women and children for anemia, fatigue, those with high blood pressure, as a juice for fasting and detoxing, digestive aid, liver and kidney illnesses, cancer, and the skin and scalp.

Used externally, beetroot  is also considered a cleanser that removes accumulated toxins from the body through the skin and has been used in poultices to draw poisons. It is also said to be good for glandular swelling and sore throat.

Remember, beets have long been known for their amazing health benefits for almost every part of the body and you can grow them or you can buy them it doesn't matter.....just as long as you eat them!

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Eat The Clay: Bentonite

Jessica Morgan, M.H.The use of medicinal clay in folk medicine goes way back to prehistoric times and was first recorded in ancient Mesopotamia. The indigenous peoples around the world still use a wide variety of clays for medicinal purposes - primarily for external applications, such as the clay baths, but also internally. Clay is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available to us and has been used for hundreds of years by native tribes around the globe. Among the clays most commonly used for medicinal purposes are kaolin and the smectite clays such as bentonite, montmorillonite, and Fuller's earth.

The Native Americans called Bentonite "Ee-Wah-Kee," meaning  "The-Mud-That-Heals". The Amargosians (predecessors to the Aztecs ), the Aborigines, and natives of Mexico and South America all recognized the benefit of clays. They knew that the healing mud not only drew toxic material out of the body if taken internally, but also reduced pain and infection in open wounds on both humans and animals. Animals in the wild are drawn to clay deposits by instinct, most people have observed some animal licking rocks and clay as part of their everyday diet as well as rolling in it to get relief from injuries. 

The reason Bentonite clay is so effective is because it has a negative charge, and most toxins in our body have a positive charge. So this makes Bentonite clay so useful for absorbing toxins, impurities, heavy metals and other internal contaminants. Bentonite clay's structure assists it in attracting and soaking up poisons on its exterior wall and then slowly draws them into the interior center of the clay where it is held until passed through the body.  Bentonite is a swelling clay so when it is mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound. However, it is important to ingest clays with a soluble fiber such as Psyllium.

Clay provides an impressive assortment of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, manganese, and silica as well as trace elements—those appearing in very tiny amounts. Without the basic minerals, life cannot exist; without the trace minerals, major deficiencies will develop. The lack of either will make it impossible for the body to maintain good health.

Knishinsky writes, from "The Clay Cure" that clay is part of his diet and he never skip a day without eating clay. He writes "When clay is consumed, its vital force is released into the physical body and mingles with the vital energy of the body, creating a stronger, more powerful energy in the host. The natural magnetic action transmits a remarkable power to the organism and helps to rebuild vital potential through the liberation of latent energy. When the immune system does not function at its best, the clay stimulates the body's inner resources to awaken the stagnant energy. It supplies the body with the available magnetism to run well. Clay is said to propel the immune system to find a new healthy balance and strengthens the body to a point of higher resistance."  

Because its naturally absorbent and extremely gentle on the system, clay can treat ailments affecting digestion, circulation, menstruation, and the liver, skin, and prostate. 

Pregnant women in many indigenous and traditional cultures very commonly consume clay, especially to reduce nausea. Since clays contain a very large amount of trace minerals of all sorts, this most likely contributes to the development of a healthy fetus. Scientific analyses of clays selected by pregnant women in Nigeria show that eating as little as 500 mg (about the equivalent of two Tylenol capsules) per day can satisfy nearly 80 percent of a pregnant woman's calcium needs.

 

Many types of skin infections have been healed by topical applications of medicinal clay as well. Bentonite is often used as a therapeutic face pack for the treatment of acne/oily skin. Clearasil, for example, uses Bentonite as an agent to absorb excess sebum, clearing pores.

But clay also remedies symptoms of arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, psoriasis, gum diseases, migraines, the list just goes on and on. Healing clay packs work energetically with the human system. By actually pulling contaminants through the skin and stimulates the immune system. An energy exchange that occurs in a strong clay action is so evident that it can be visually measured.  

In his article "True Carpal Tunnel Syndrome"  Paul Martin writes "Anything which will promote circulation, help to relieve inflammation, aid in removal of local toxins, and soothe irritated muscles and tendons will help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome." He recommends hydrated Bentonite clay wraps properly heated and applied completely around the wrists (about 1/2 inch thick), covered, and left on overnight have a tremendous impact upon Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually within forty-eight hours. Some people have reported increased localized pain and stiffness after the first night's application. However, these same people then have reported a lessening of pain after 48 hours, and complete relief after 72 hours. 

How can clay possibly accomplish all of this? The answer is as simple as it is mysterious.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

David Winston's Revitalizing Ginseng Soup


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I'm Gonna Do It......Free Shipping!!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.It's Christmas time and I'm offering Free Shipping on everything through the Holidays! Visit my site to cash in on the great deal.

 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

 

Morgan Botanicals - www.morganbotanicals.com

 


 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

A Bit Of Bee Help

Jessica Morgan, M.H.This is a bit of bee info I came across a few months back and wanted to re-share it now that the weather has turned. I had previously posted it on my facebook page and was really happy to have gotten an email from an herbalist friend of mine who used this advice and was able to help a stranded bee.

The changeable weather catches bees out, leaves them cold and away from home which often kills them.


BUT YOU CAN HELP. If you see a grounded or struggling bee just pick it up with a piece of paper and put them in a warm sheltered spot. Feed them some honey water, 1 part honey (local) to 2 parts water, using a pipette onto a suitable surface near by. It will fly away when it is ready. If it is getting dark or the weather is unsuitable you can hang on to it for a while. They will appreciate your kindness and pay you back.

Remember, if a queen is saved it may save a whole colony or generation. It only takes a minute and will directly help to reverse bee decline.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.


 

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Know Your Weeds: Common Mallow

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Mallow is one of the earliest cited plants in recorded literature. Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae" ("As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance")

Know your weeds: Look down, because Common Mallow (Malva neglecta) probably grows around you. The flowers, leaves, young shoots and roots are edible, either raw or cooked and are very nutritious. The seeds alone contain 21% protein and 15.2% fat.

A number of different Mallow species have medicinal properties and are good for soothing coughs and healing wounds. Look in your garden because one could easily substitute Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) with Common Mallow or Common Hollyhock for use as an emollient and demulcent. 


As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.


 

 
 

Fall is Time To Harvest Herb Roots

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Here's a great list of herbs I found that are ready to be harvested now. Some general guidelines to use for herb harvesting:

Harvest herbs grown for seeds as the seed pods change in color from green to brown to gray but before they shatter (open). Collect herb flowers, such as borage and chamomile, just before full flower. Harvest herb roots, such as bloodroot, chicory, ginseng, and goldenseal, in the fall after the foliage fades.

Herb roots ready for fall harvesting include:

Angelica: Collect the root in the autumn of its first year.

Barberry: Collect roots by November.

Bayberry: Collect root, remove and dry root bark.

Beth Root: Harvest root and roostalk in early autumn.

Bistort: Collect root and rootstalk in autumn.

Black Cohosh: Dig up root and rootstalk in autumn after the fruits have ripened.

Black Haw: Collect the bark from the roots in the autumn.

Black Root: Unearth the root in the autumn and store for a year before use.

Blood Root: Harvest the rootstalk in the autumn when the leaves have dried.

Blue Cohosh: Collect the roots and rootstalks in the autumn.

Blue Flag: Dig up the rootstalk in the fall.

Burdock: Harvest the roots and rootstalks between September and October.

Calamus: Collect the rootstalk between September and October.

Carline Thistle: Unearth the root in the autumn.

Comfrey: harvest the roots in fall when allantoin levels are highest.

Couchgrass: Harvest the rootstalk in early autumn.

Cranesbill: Collect rootstalk between September and October.

Elecampane: Dig up the rootstalk between September and October.

False Unicorn Root: Collect the root and rootstalk in autumn.

Fringetree: Harvest the root and peel the bark in the fall.

Garlic: Unearth the bulb in September when the leaves begin to die.

Gentian: Root and rootstalk should be dug up in autumn.

Ginger: Dig up roostalk in fall after leaves have dried.

Ginseng: Harvest root in the fall.

Golden Seal: Root and rootstalk from three-year-old plants should be harvested in fall.

Gravel Root: Root and rootstalk should be harvested in autumn once plant has stopped flowering.

Greater Celandine: Unearth root in autumn.

Hydrangea: Harvest roots in fall.

Liquorice: Collect roots in late autumn.

Marshmallow: Dig up root in late autumn.

Mountain Grape: Collect root and rootstalk in autumn.

Parsley: Collect the root in the fall from two-year-old plants.

Poke Root: Harvest root in late autumn.

Senega (Snake Root): Collect roots and rootbark in September and October.

Skunk Cabbage: Unearth root and rootstalk in fall.

Soapwort: Harvest between September and October.

Stone Root: Dig up the root and rootstalk in the fall.

Tormentil: Collect the rootstalk in the autumn.

Valerian: Unearth the roots in late autumn.

Virginia Snakeroot: Collect the underground parts in the fall.

Wahoo: Harvest the root and strip bark in fall.

Wild Indigo: Unearth the root in fall after end of flowering.

Yellow Dock: Collect the roots between August and October.

Once the herb roots are dug up, they must be thoroughly washed and dried. After scrubbing off all residual dirt, spread the roots out on shelves or tie them on strings and hang to dry. Some extra-thick roots, like Licorice and Burdock, should be cut vertically to speed drying time.

Drying can take several weeks and is complete when the roots are brittle. Roots that are fully dry can then be stored in glazed ceramic, dark glass or metal containers with air-tight lids. Keep the containers away from direct sunlight or heat.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 

 

 
 

The Pumpkin Is More Than an Oversized Vegetable

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

To me, the pumpkin is more than just an oversized vegetable. In fact, it has a very long history-once considered a symbol of the whole world, a container of everything ever created. Early societies saw symbolism and spiritual significance in many round objects, from rocks to seeds and, yes, the pumpkin. If you look at the pumpkin you know it mean business: it's big, it's round, it's heavy and it's food, usually a lot of it. It's the whole world in a neat little package, so what else can it mean? Just that: the world. And that is exactly what it meant in the Old World. As the largest fruit of creation and full of seeds, it became a symbol of plenty. Pumpkins, together with corn (maize) and beans were an important foodstuff in the early Americas. The cultivation of pumpkins spread throughout the world when the European explorers, returning from their journeys, brought back many of the agricultural treasures of the New World. Pumpkins, and their seeds, were celebrated for a long time, both for their dietary and medicinal properties. 

But things have changed a little bit with this famous Cucurbit as its means as an important food source has declined and has fallen to the holidays merely for its ability to be a rather yummy pie and the traditional face of Halloween. And as we excitedly scoop out the endless supply of pumpkin seeds from our pumpkin patch pumpkins, we have lost sight of the value of these mere seeds. Maybe they're saved, maybe not. If lucky, they get salted and roasted and devoured. Maybe they get glued on to craft time projects or strung into kiddy necklaces. But, these seeds shouldn't be forgotten as they are one of Natures almost perfect foods and truly deserve a place in the everyday diet and medicine cabinet.

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, contain a wide range of traditional nutrients. Our food ranking system qualified them as a very good source of the minerals magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, and a good source of iron, copper, protein and zinc. Snack on a quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds and you will receive 46.1% of the daily value for magnesium, 28.7% of the DV for iron, 52.0% of the DV for manganese, 24.0% of the DV for copper, 16.9% of the DV for protein, and 17.1% of the DV for zinc.

In addition to their above-listed health benefits, pumpkin seeds have been associated with Prostatitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoporosis, kidney/bladder disorders, elevated blood lipids and cholesterol, help with depression, learning disabilities, and elimination of parasites from the body.

Pumpkin seeds also make a nutritious culinary oil as well as a highly nourishing and lubricating oil that is useful for all skin types. It is especially good if used to combat fine lines and superficial dryness and to prevent moisture loss.

Not bad for a seed.

As it is the time of year where most of us will be scooping seeds of plenty from our Jack-O-Lanterns, don't forget to save those seeds as they are so important to our history and health.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Oh My.....Tomatillo

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Tomatillos are perhaps one of my favorite and most prized fruits. They're not only fun to grow (as they are incredibly beautiful plants) but they are rich in flavor and yummy to eat.

This native of Mexico, which is much like a tomato, dates back to at least 800 B.C. and has for a long time been cultivated there, but has never really caught on elsewhere. For a plant which is so rich in flavor, productive and easy to grow, this is surprising. In Mexican cuisine the tomatillo is important, replacing tomatoes which have come to be used in their place in other countries, particularly in salsa or other sauces for meat. I love how they impart a unique tanginess which tomatoes never quite attain.

The tomatillo is a member of the Solanaceae family (the nightshades: tomato, potato, eggplant, etc.) and should be taken into account for your crop rotation plan. Physalis ixocarpa and phladelphica are the most common varieties grown but there are several. Most nurseries sell Physalis ixocara as the principal Tomatillo species. But, you can find many varieties of seeds which may include large yellow or green fruits as well small purple ones.

If you have never grown tomatillos before just remember that they are sun loving, warm weather crops and love the heat. You'll want to choose a site that gets full sun and has well-drained soil that’s not too rich. A pH reading that’s close to neutral (7.0) is good for them. Simply water and feed while fruits are forming. I pick my tomatillos as soon as they are large enough to be useful and continue picking until frost.

So for those of us who are picking our tomatillos right now (and I say this in pure excitement!) thank goodness there are so many ways to use this abundance of fruit. I myself enjoy salsas, verdes, fried, or any where I want some tang.

Here is a simple and delicious recipe for Tomatillo Jam - Enjoy!

 Tomatillo Jam

  • 3 cups cleaned tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 7 1/2 cups organic sugar, measured into separate bowl
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic butter (optional)
  • 2 pouches of powdered fruit pectin
  1. Follow basic instructions for Jam making. (cleaning jars and preparing canner)
  2. Finely chop or grind tomatillos. Measure exactly three cups into sauce pot and add lemon juice.
  3. Stir in sugar, add butter if desired, (this reduces foaming) and bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in pectin and return to full rolling boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any excess foam.
  5. Ladle jam quickly into clean jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe, seal and place into canner. Water must cover jam jars by at least and inch.
  6. Cover and bring to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to completely cool. After cooling, check for proper seal, if lid springs back refrigeration is necessary.

This is the perfect spread across Chili Scones or homemade Corn Tortillas.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Medicinal Apples From The Farm?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

It is apple season at the Morgan Family farm "Apple of the Earth Farm" and since the trees are spilling their medicine, now is the time to stock up.  Apples are such an amazing food medicine and actually have tremendous medicinal value. A fresh apple is not only an ideal snack, but it's easy to carry, flavorful, filling, and a good source of fiber. Of course we all know this, but, did you know that apples have medicinal value?

Everyone has heard the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."  Well it's true, apples are good preventative medicine. Whether internally, externally, fresh or cooked, apples not only maintain health, but help detoxify the body. In fact, they're so good for us that we should eat them everyday! Apples are rich in fiber, tons of vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, which is a big part of the electrolyte balancing process, and are relatively low in calories.

A raw apple is one of the easiest of foods for the stomach to deal with, the whole process of its digestion is completed within hours. The acids of the apple itself are helpful in digesting other foods as well. The sugar of a sweet apple, like most fruit sugars, is practically a predigested food, and is quickly passed through the bloodstream to provide energy and warmth for the whole body. Applesauce is even gentler on the stomach than a whole apple, and can be used for a variety of stomach problems. Apple tea is a great way to get a quick concentration into your body, and dried apples are not only yummy but are a substitute for fresh ones.  Even the bark has been used in decoction for fevers.

Apples are great for both constipation and diarrhea. The fiber in apples is gentler than wheat fiber, and in general, apples help normalize the digestive system. Another great use for apples is as part of a detox or cleansing regimen. Since they are rich in soluble fiber, it makes them a good choice while undergoing fruit and juice fasts. Apples, as food and tea,  are also used to help with blood pressure. Cooked apples make a good local application for sore throats,  fevers, and eye inflammation.

Apples have long been called nature's toothbrush as they are an excellent dentifrice. This perfect food not only cleanses the teeth with its juices, but it also pushes back the gums so that the borders are cleared of food deposits.

Everybody can get fresh medicinal apples - we just need to eat them more. Hooray for the coming apple season!

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.comherbalist@morganbotanicals.comherbalist@morganbotanicals.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 
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