Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Juniper Berries: The Forgotten Food and Medicine

 

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Juniper Berries, scientifically called Juniperus communis, come from the Juniper shrub and are widely found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The juniper is an evergreen tree native to Europe, Asia, and the northern parts of North America.

The herbal uses of the juniper berry dates back to early times. The first recorded mention of use is in an Egyptian papyrus from 1500 B.C.E. that tells of its use in treating tapeworms. Throughout history, Juniperus communis has been used by numerous different cultures to treat conditions such as warts, gout, skin growths, upset stomach,  and various urinary tract and kidney diseases.  It's been noted that Greek and Arabian physicians used juniper to treat many ailments as well as the Romans, who used it for all types of stomach disorders. Native Americans of the northeast used the berries as a food and medicinal herb used to relieve infection and ease the pain of arthritis. The Hopi boiled the berries and parts of the tree and consumed it to treat stomach disorders. Historically, juniper berries have been used to treat bladder and kidney infections and were used in tea as a way to disinfect surgeon's tools. The antiseptic properties of juniper berry helps aid in the removal of waste and acidic toxins from the body, and stimulate a fighting action against bacterial and yeast infections. Considered by some to be a useful diuretic, juniper has been used to remove excess water retention, which can help with water weight loss, as well as improving digestion and easing gas and stomach cramping without causing loss of electrolytes. Additionally, the berries are believed by some herbalists to be beneficial for reducing congestion and relieving asthma and colds.

The purple, blue, violet, or blackish-brown fruits are harvested in early autumn for culinary and medicinal use. To prevent loss of essential oil, juniper berries should not be ground, crushed, or rubbed until just before use. When added to food, juniper berries can help prevent gas and heartburn. Find dried Juniper Berries here.

**Continued overdose can cause renal irritation and blood in the urine, so only use in moderation. Since juniper berries can stimulate uterine contractions, avoid use during pregnancy. They should not be used by anyone who has inflammation of the kidneys.

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.

 

 
 

Cornflowers for Crafters

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Blue flowers, what can be prettier? I enjoy these blossoms, in the garden, in arrangements, in yarn dying, on the dessert plate and so on. They are simply stunning. Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are appropriately named as they tend to grow wild in corn fields. But it's not uncommon to see them in the garden or by the roadside either.

Fresh or dried flowers are always popular in floral arrangements. I like to add the flower petals to handmade papers and potpourri because of their beautiful color. Cornflowers are also one of my favorite flowers used to create a natural blue dye for yarn and cloth dyeing. You can achieve a wonderful blue from the petals; just mix with with alum-water. The dye gives a lovely color to linen, but will eventually lose its color if over washed.

An edible blue dye can also be obtained from the flowers. Cornflowers are often used for coloring sugar and confections. Try using lavender infused sugar, tinted ever so slightly blue, in place of plain sugar on your favorite sugar cookie recipe. It's just yummy. Just mix sugar, lavender blossoms,  and cornflower petals in a jar and allow to infuse for a week or two. Then stain away herbs, and store tightly sealed.

Enjoy this simple Spring potpourri recipe for refreshing your home.

Use equal parts of the following dried herbs and flowers:

  • Cornflowers 
  • Rosebuds
  • Rose geranium
  • Lemon balm
  • Lemon verbena
  • Sage
  • Hyssop
  • Sweet Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon thyme
  • Bay leaves
  • Citrus rind
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into smaller lengths
  • 1 tbsp ground orris root

Just mix herbs and flowers, then add orris root fixative and essential oil if desired.

Put in to jar and leave to infuse for four to six weeks

Enjoy!

Look for dried cornflowers and other potpourri herbs in my Local Harvest Store.

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.

 

 
 

Happy Groundhogs Day, Sing With Me!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

Happy Groundhogs Day!  I get a great kick out of this special day not only because I find it to be one of the funnest holidays, but, also because I am ever so lucky to celebrate my Birthday on this awesome day.

So I just wanted to share some fun info and a song with everyone.

 

Phil, the groundhog's, full name is actually "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary." 

 My Favorite Song:

 Little Groundhog

I'm a little groundhog, it's my day. Wake and stretch, go out and play. Down in my burrow, down so deep, Time to wake, from my long winter's sleep. Grumble, grumble, scratch, scratch, Grunt, grunt, yawn. I'll eat my breakfast in your front lawn. I'm a little groundhog, it's my day. Wake and stretch, go out and play.

 

Have a fun Groundhogs Day!!

 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.

 

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