Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Horsetail -The Healing Stems

 

Jessica Morgan, M.H.I am particularly lucky to have Horsetail growing in abundance in my area. It's rarely cultivated since it is difficult to eradicate once established, but if you plant it in buckets to prevent it from spreading, you can successfully grow a small crop. Horsetail certainly makes a stunning presence in any garden, and is a useful addition to say the least. If you want to grow your own Equisetum arvense, it is best propagated in fall by division of mature plants. Horsetail has been declared a noxious weed in some areas, but I am always excited to see it prospering in the wild. 

Horsetail, or Shavegrass as it is often called, is a primitive spore bearing, grass-like perennial with hollow stems that seem to be impregnated with silica.  Today's horsetail is a shiny grass growing 4-18 inches in height, but in prehistoric times it grew as big as trees. According to myth, if you find horsetail growing in a field, it means there is underground water or a spring below.

Because the stems contain such a large amount of silica, (which is used by the body in the production and repair of connective tissues and accelerates the healing of broken bones) it is a great choice for tissue repair. Other than a fantastic wound healer it is a valuable astringent, diuretic, styptic and tonic.

I find it interesting to know that Horsetail is not only a rich source of Silica and Calcuim, but also Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E, Selenium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron, Manganese, Sodium, Chlorine, Zinc, Cobalt, Gold, Silver, Platinum, Rhodium- Alkaloids (including Nicotine), Saponins, Tannins, Flavonoids, and Phytosterols. There's alot going on in this herb!

One of my favorite herbal tea blends that  provides minerals for strong bone growth for the entire body is simple and tasty. All of these herbs are nutritious and are a good sources of absorabable calcium, magnesium, iron, and other important trace minerals. I recommend two to three cups a day as a gentle bone-building tonic. You can find all of these loose leaf herbs in my Local Harvest Store.

2 parts oatstraw

2 part nettle

1 part horsetail

1 part red clover

1 part rosehips

1 part violet leaves

Horsetail is not only a great medicinal herb for tissue repair, but also nosebleeds, lung weakness, kidney health, eyelid swelling, bleeding gums and prostate and urinary tract health.

It's also a good tea for postmenopausal women to keep their hair, skin, and nails in fit shape as the Silica and Calcium strengthen brittle nails; give life to dull, dry hair, and restore skin tissue.

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

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. 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.

 
 

Are You Excited About Damiana

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Damiana is a native of the Gulf of Mexico and regions of southern California and is also found in the wild throughout Mexico, Central and South America, the West Indies and Africa.

Turnera diffusa is a relatively small shrub reaching a height of 3-6 feet, and produces small, aromatic yellow blossoms and sweet smelling serrated leaves. It blossoms in early to late summer and is followed by fig like fruits with a similar taste. Damiana leaves smell alot like chamomile but is best blended with other herbs for tea, as the taste is rather bitter.

 

If this beauty is chosen to grow in your landscape, Damiana is best positioned in the back of borders. You'll want to choose a sunny spot where the plant will get from 8 to 10 hours of sun a day. It prefers the heat of the southern growing regions and is not frost hardy. It can be grown farther north provided it gets adequate sun and is protected from the cold. I've seen it successfully grown indoors as a house plant as well. When the roots get large enough, it can survive a winter freeze even though everything above ground will die back.

Damiana is very hardy but requires good drainage in whatever soil it grows in, so build up your soil with extra sand or compost. It's important to prune back the straggly shoots if you want to keep the plant in bush form. Don't forget to save the leaves to dry for tea. If you live in an area where the winters are too cold, keep the plant in a pot in the ground so you can easily pull it up and bring it indoors to a sunny room or a greenhouse.

 

As for its uses, Damiana has been popularly used as an aphrodisiac and for asthma, bronchitis, neurosis, diabetes, dysentery, dyspepsia, headaches, paralysis, nephrosis, spermatorrhea, stomachache, and syphilis.

Damiana is often associated with impotence and other sexual dysfunctions. This herb brings circulation to the sex organs helping to increase the libido. While men have traditionally used this herb for this purpose, women may find it a usefull herb as well. Women can also benefit from using damiana during their menses as it helps relieve painful periods and other symptoms such as back pain and irritability.

For those who suffer from mild depression, you may want to consider Damiana as an option. It works to help relieve stress and anxiety. And unlike many pharmaceutical antidepressants, it won’t decrease your sex drive. Look for dried Damiana in my Local Harvest store.

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

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. 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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My Mutated Calendula

Jessica Morgan, M.H.I have one mutated Calendula plant. You can imagine my excitement! It's silly, but I always get excited when I grow something that takes on its own weird form: something different than what it should be. I told my husband I was going to call her my "Special Mutant" and that no one can have her-she's mine! Of course he laughed at me, but understands my quirky ways.

So, this particular plant is of normal size and goes to flower like normal and even sets its seeds. But then, the seeds sprout into new flowers right on the seed head. Each mutated flower has ten or more tiny flowers growing right out of it, and they have seeds. Its just amazing to me. I've grown Calendula for years and have never seen this. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has seen this, or is as excited as me to see it growing.

I grow these perennials for use in tea, oils, salves and loose herb. I won't be selling these seeds as I would imagine those of you who want to grow Calendula probably want a normal plant. But I do have Calendula in 1 ounce, 2 ounce, and powdered form here in my Local Harvest store.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula flowers have a multitude of uses including amenorrhea, cramps, toothaches, fever, flu, and stomach aches.

Internally it acts as a general tonic and can aid digestion.

Use externally as an antiseptic wash on irritated skin such as sores, cuts, bruises, burns and rashes.

For a little something unusual, try adding some petals to your soups, stews, and poultry dishes.

Morgan Botanicals calendula petals are grown organically without the use of pesticides. We harvest our blossoms spring through summer in full bloom before carefully drying and storing.

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

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. 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 Our Farm?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.I've been spending the last couple of weeks thinning the three acre apple orchard from the Morgan Family Farm. 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. Or 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.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. 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.


 
 

I'm In Love With My Herbal Pantry!

Jessica Morgan, M.H. I'm absolutely in love with my herbal pantry. This cupboard is probably my favorite place in the house. It's silly, but I find solitude here. I just can't stop myself from peeking in, reorganizing or smelling it everyday.

I find and save jars, bottles, and tins so I can fill them with my beautiful herbs. Every one has a story, and I can remember where I found each and every herb and the bottle. Every year my pantry grows - it' like my sweet little child.

 When I first started working with herbs in the early 90's I had a half dozen jars of the basics, just a few simple herbs to play around with. But now, I just can't get enough. I love learning about, growing, drying and using new plants. So, my pantry keeps growing and now shes almost 20 years old.

The best way to store your herbs is in airtight glass jars, away from direct light, in a cool storage area. I like finding unique jars. In fact, the local German bakery gives away their 1 gallon pickle and sauerkraut jars. What a steel. Needless to say, I'm there weekly. It is important when using herbs that they are of high quality. The best way to insure good quality herbs is to grow your own. Most of mine are just tucked away in my vegetable and flower gardens- they are just part of the landscape and are free to pick. But, if you can't grow them yourself, look for the best. Dried herbs should be vibrant in color and have a strong smell. Of course they all won't smell good, but they should be strong.

If your interested in using herbs medicinally, the best place to start is to read, learn about, and acquire those herbs your excited about. I recommend starting with a few and learn them well. As, I said earlier, my herbal pantry took years to grow. You can always expand your studies and your herbal pantry as you grow more familiar with the practice. Take your time to fall in love with each herb and get to know everything about it from, how it works to what it looks like growing.So go ahead, empty a small cabinet and start your own herbal pantry, I guarantee you'll fall in love too.

Here's a shot of my own personal herbal pantry.

 

Looking to start your own herbal pantry? Check my Local Harvest store for beautiful, fresh, and organically grown herbs. I sell my herbs in 1/2 ounce to 2 ounce bags. Some good herbs to start with:

Dandelion
Chamomile
Comfrey
Echinacea
Nettle
Peppermint

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

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. 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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