Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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The Tansy Fairy

??? The Tansy FairyWaste areas, roadsides, and meadows...my gardens, that's where you'll see the Tansy Fairy. My common 'vulgare' friend and her petal-less humble yellow buttons with tattered leaves and pungent humor have adorned many of my gardens and roaming paths since I could remember. And she always will. Because she's immortal. She's tall, strong, feisty and youthful.....and sometimes very pushy.  She goes where she wants. She spreads out and leaves a trail.  She tells it like it is. She magical and likes to mingle....and her clean, camphorous scent has followed me to all of my gardens. And to my neighbors.

I must say, Ol' Bitter Buttons is one of my favorite plant fairies to have around, as she likes to live amongst the humorous Cucurbits, you know, the cucumbers the squash, those juicy melons and those gourds. Oh and the feisty bramble: those roses and the berries because of course she gets along well with the thorns and the prickles. They are best of friends. Companions really. She likes to play with the bees and the caterpillars and tell them all her stories, but if you watch, she's quite snotty to the ants and beetles and squash bugs, oh and the flies....oh well. We cant get along well with everybody now can we? 

Tansy

Be Well
~Jessica Morgan


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Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, 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.
 
 

Morgan Botanicals is on Pinterest!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.I've been slowly adding photos to Pinterest....and learning a bit. It's all brand spankin new for me over here, but fun is happening!  I'll be adding it to my new website too, so go on over and let me know what you think.

 

I've pinned lots of goodies that I like, so here's a way to get to know me a bit better. Check out my pins and boards and likes and such!

 

 

You can find me here:

Pinterest~ Jessica Morgan, Morgan Botanicals


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

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Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, 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, Herbalist

 

 

 
 

Oh Goodie! New Herbal Additions


Jessica Morgan, M.H.I'm thrilled to finally be adding some new herbals to the website that I spent all Spring, Summer and Fall growing, loving, tickling, singing too, harvesting and now are ready to be shared! 

 

Even though I had to leave behind my ever so loved food and medicine garden in California, I was able to harvest a little bit from almost everything before setting off on this new journey. And now, as I cozy up for the Winter I'm busy planning out my new garden space where there is sure to be an abundance of herbals in the years to come.

 

So here's a peek at some of the newly added herbal goodies below: garlic mullein flower oil, fire cider and a few new tinctures here on local harvest as well as my website.... natural medicines made with love from me and my gardens. ?

 

Garlic Mullein Flower Oil

Fire Cider Tonic

Artichoke Leaf Tincture

Black Walnut TIncture

Calendula Tincture

California Poppy Tincture 

Dandelion Tincture

Feverfew Tincture

Hops Tincture

Mullein Root Tincture

Nettles Tincture


 

 

 

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.

 

 
 

My Herbal Journey Is Just Beginning

Jessica Morgan, M.H.It's good to be home! They say one of the most stressful events in ones' life is moving, and I must say those are some very real words.  It's been scary, exciting, nerve-racking, silly, gorgeous...you name it. From California to Colorado. I'm so excited about my new little herb shop though and I'm diving right back into it. This long awaited move and journey of a lifetime is just beginning.

 

As for now, I'm just about to begin my new studies at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism where I plan to expand my herbal knowledge and meet some amazing herbalists along my path. The last couple of years, (since my time at The East West School of Herbology) I have wondered where my journey was going to take me, and here I am. It feels good.


And then there's the land..... I feel inspired and blessed to get to feel out this new land. The plants, the trees, the water, the mountains, all of it. I can't wait to see where the plants take me and my herbal medicines. The abundance of pine and spruce, the garden space waiting for me, the secret land I have yet to find.


But as you can see I'm settling in and here's a little peek into the back half of my new Herby Dungeon as I like to call it.  Morgan Botanicals apothecary/ herb shop/ classroom/ medicine makin love-nest....is slowly coming together. I just need a liitle bit of paint here and there, hanging of the drying racks, a new work station and it will feel complete again.  If you're local, come by and say Hi, I'd love to meet you!

New Herby Dungeon 

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.

 

 

 
 

There’s Just Something About Clary

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Clary sage was once thought to make people immortal and many believed that it could clarify the brain, the eyes and even the “inner eye”, and that those who drank a tea of the leaves and flowers could see the future. Today, clary sage is used as a flavoring in everything from cigarettes and omelets to muscatel wine, but it does have many medicinal properties too. In fact, it has a medicinal pedigree going back to the ancient Greeks, but it's probably not the first herb you think of to treat complaints like hot flashes, indigestion and anxiety.

The young tops of Clary were used in soups and as pot herbs. It gives a new lift to omelets, and was used to flavor jellies. The leaves were chopped into salads. Culpeper recommended a 17th century sage dish where the fresh leaves were first dipped in a batter of flour, eggs and a little milk, fried in butter and served as a side dish. The flowers have an aromatic flavor and make a lovely contrast in salads. All sage flowers are edible after removing all greenery and stems.

The Romans called it sclarea, from claurus, or “clear,” because they used it as an eyewash. The practice of German merchants of adding clary and elder flowers to Rhine wine to make it imitate a good Muscatel was so common that Germans still call the herb Muskateller Salbei and the English know it as Muscatel Sage. Clary sometimes replaced hops in beer to produce an enhanced state of intoxication and exhilaration, although this reportedly was often followed by a severe headache. It was considered a 12 th-century aphrodisiac and still today, the essential oil is said to give you dramatic dreams or make you feel euphoric. Clary Sage has a beautifully herbaceous, sweet, flowery scent. Some people also characterize it as “nutty.” I lke to call it the Clary Sage buzz. It's dreamy, relaxing and intoxicating. Simply one of my favorite smells.

 

Susan Weed says, that like its relative sage, clary tea, the leaf juice in ale or beer, was recommended for many types of women’s problems, including delayed or painful menstruation. It was once used to stop night sweating in tuberculosis patients. An astringent is gargled, douched and poured over skin wounds. It is combined with other herbs for kidney problems. The clary seeds form a thick mucilage when soaked for a few minutes and placed in the eye, helps to removed, small irritating particles. A tea of the leaves is also used as an eyewash. Clary is also used to reduce muscle spasms. It is used today mainly to treat digestive problems such as gas and indigestion. It is also regarded as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve premenstrual problems. Because of its estrogen-stimulating action, clary sage is most effective when levels of this hormone are low. The plant can therefore be a valuable remedy for complaints associated with menopause, particularly hot flashes.

Clary sage is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial,  astringent, sedative and antidepressant, and may lower blood pressure, aid indigestion and relax both muscles and nerves.


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.


 

 
 

More Mullein Please!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Since antiquity, mankind has used the velvety mullein plant for many purposes. From Roman times, the stem- stripped of the leaves and flowers and dipped in tallow- was carried as a torch in religious processions. Why not make a giant torch eh? Well, they are smoky, stinky, and tend to drip hot flaming bits everywhere ...... Perfect for a cave? Maybe.

Mullein was known in Greek as Flego and Fluma, that is, "to set on fire." According to one writer, "it served as a wick to put into lamps to burn." The leaves were rolled and dried and used as wicks for oil lamps and candles, and made excellent tinder. John Parkinson, a seventeenth-century herbalist, "used the stalks dipped in suet whether to burn at funerals or otherwise, and so likewise the English name High Taper, used in the same manner as a taper or torch."

To me, mullein is an awkwardly beautiful, tall fuzzy plant with sweet smelling yellow flowers and typically blooms from March to November. The flowers are fragrant and taste sweet, and the leaves, even though a bit bitter, are still wonderfully useful. Apart from its medicinal use, I love mullein for its ornamental purpose in the garden; it attracts a wide variety of pollinators, including bees, flies, and butterflies. Mullein is widely available in the wild, and is easily identified by its spike of yellow flowers and huge, sometimes over a foot long, leaves. When you find them - the leaves, flowers, and roots of this plant are edible and easy to dry, and may be used to make your own herbal medicines.

Mullein has long been valued as a superior medicinal herb and the Greek physician-herbalist Dioscorides was one of the first to recommend its use in curing diseases of the lungs, and it remained thus employed for more than 1,800 years. The leaves, root, and the flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, nervine, and vulnerary. What an amazingly useful plant...right? Well, Mullein leaf is a good respiratory remedy and traditionally used as a tea for treating a wide range of chest complaint including cough. When combined with water, the fiber in mullein produces a slippery substance called mucilage, which coats and soothes the throat and intestines. It combines well with other expectorants such as coltsfoot and thyme. Mullein helps reduce inflammation while stimulating fluid production and thus facilitating expectoration. It is considered a specific in bronchitis where there is a hard cough with soreness. Its anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties indicate its use in inflammation of the trachea and associated conditions.

 

The dried leaves are sometimes smoked to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes an will ease the hacking cough of consumption. In our own country, several native American tribes used Mullein to cure chest diseases. Since the plant was not native to America, this usage was probably received by them (no doubt along with the lung ailments it was said to cure) from the early settlers. The Navajos called Mullein "big tobacco." They mixed it with regular tobacco and smoked the combination to relieve coughing spasms. It was also believed that this remedy would cure simple mental diseases, the use of evil language, and the thinking of evil thoughts.

But for me....I like it in tea. I like to steep a couple teaspoons of dried mullein in a cup of hot water for an infusion to treat cough, congestion, or diarrhea. You can drink three cups of hot mullein tea a day until symptoms disappear, or store the tea in the refrigerator.

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.

 
 

Absinthe: It's Just A Pretty Way Of Saying Wormwood

Jessica Morgan, M.H.“A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world, what difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset.” - Oscar Wilde


I tend to have interest in anything historical and/or herb related and I'm a great fan of herbal liqures, wines, beers, sodas etc. I’ve made beer, I’ve made wine, I’m working on sodas and I’m intrigued by liquors. I’ll probably never make this but non-the-less very interested by the medicinal history. I’m also deeply intrigued by some of our most controversial and self-impoverished artists, writers, poets, musicians, free-thinkers, and the like and find it fascinating that this herbal drink was the "beaverage du jour" or drink of choice among these great thinkers in the mid to late 19th century. It inspired many and appeared in works by Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh, it was drank by the scandalous playwright Oscar Wilde, the eccentric Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the poets Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allen Poe, and the famous 20th century author Ernest Hemingway, just to mention a few....intriguing right? I’d say so.


In French, the word "absinthe" simply means "wormwood" and was considered a vivifying elixir long before it could be ordered in a cafe. When Madame de Coulanges, one of the leading ladies of the seventeenth-century French court, became ill, she was prescribed a preparation containing wormwood. When it calmed her stomach, she wrote to Madame de Sevigne, " My little absinthe is the remedy for all diseases."

But, well before all of that, Hippocrates was prescribing wormwood elixors for jaundice, rheumatism, anemia, and menstrual pains. Pythagoras recommended wormwood soaked in wine to aid labor in childbirth. The Roman scholar Pliny the Elder called it apsinthium in the first century A.D. and noted that it was customary for the champion in chariot races to drink a cup of absinthe leaves soaked in wine to remind him that even glory has its bitter side. He also recommended it as an elixir of youth and as a cure for bad breath.


Over the centuries, however, wormwood elixors moved away from being just bitter medicine to quickly becaming a highly sought after social drink and a global phenomenon, to social poison. Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor living in Switzerland, distilled the wormwood plant in alcohol with anise, hyssop, lemon balm, and other local herbs. By 1905, there were hundreds of distilleries in all corners of France producing absinthe, with over 40 distilleries operating across the Swiss border. It’s  progress from medicine to social poison started with the military. It is said that the demand for absinthe rose dramatically after the Algerian War when the soldiers were given rations of absinthe along with their drinking water as a bacterial deterrent. The soldiers, now hooked on absinthe, began drinking it in peace time France, thus starting the first surge in absinthe popularity, and the popularity of this herbal liqueur lasted just over 100 years before falling into prohibition and then being resurrected again. Now, wormwood, not only an ingredient in absinthe, but is also used for flavouring in some other spirits and wines, including bitters, spice meads, vermouth and pelinkovac. 

 

"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano. The woodworms are so bad and eat hell out of all furniture that you can always claim the woodworms did it." ~Ernest Hemingway

For more history and information:

The Wormwood Society

A non-profit educational and consumer advocacy organization focused on providing current, historically and scientifically accurate information about absinthe, the most maligned and misunderstood drink in history. http://wormwoodsociety.org/

La Fee Verte

The largest absinthe site on the web, very active forum, detailed buyers guide and FAQ.


The Virtual Absinthe Museum

The history and lore of absinthe, virtual museum of absinthe art and antiques, comprehensive absinthe historical FAQ. THE reference site for absinthe research.

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.



 
 

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.

 

 
 

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.

 

 
 

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.

 
 

Chaparral: 11,000 Years of Skin Protection?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Chaparral is one of the most widespread plants found on the desert floor, and some of them are noted to be the oldest living plants in the world. Expansive areas of these shrubs are found growing throughout the desert in western San Bernardino County, and some near Ridgecrest Ca are estimated to be 11,000 years old. Botanists believe that many of surrounding plants are clones of these original plants. Chaparral is regarded as one of the most adaptable desert plants in the world; as it was one of the first to grow back in Yucca Flats after the 1962 nuclear bomb tests done there.

Also known as the "creosote bush," Larrea tridentata is a flowering evergreen shrub that's native to Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. One interesting characteristic of this plant is that it produces a sap that prevents competing species from growing near it. So this is why we usually see just this plant species in Chaparral populated ares. Also, its extremely bitter taste keeps it safe from animals that would otherwise graze upon it. The common name Chaparral derives from the Spanish chaparro, meaning "evergreen oak," and the name "creosote bush" comes from the smell that the plant exudes when it rains.

As a medicinal herb, Indians of the Southwestern desert regions used the sap as a sunscreen, as the sticky resin is known to screen against ultraviolet radiation. The dried herb, when brewed in tea has been used for numerous aliments and appears to help the body rid itself of parasites as well as chemical toxins. Internal use is not recommended unless under the care of a qualified health care professional. Chaparral contains saponins and medicinal qualities that are especially beneficial to the skin. Applied to the skin, chaparral can have a remarkable healing effect on dandruff, eczema, herpes, cold sores, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis.

I know most people don't consider the creosote/turpentine aroma of the Chaparral pleasant, but non the less, I like to recommend Chaparral for use in herbal shampoos, salves and skin washes as it really is a miracle worker on the skin. Looking for Chaparral Leaf? Find it here in my Local Harvest Store.

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

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

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.

 
 

Do These Pants Make My Rosehips Look Big?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Rosehips are a wonderful food and vitamin source.  Historically, Native Americans used rosehips in their stews and soups after using them for tea. I enjoy using them to make jams, jellies, marmalade's and wine, as well as a delicious tea. 

This nutrient rich herb boosts your health and helps shed pounds in so many ways. As a tea and wine, rosehips strengthen the body, reinforce digestive function, help flush the kidneys and urinary tract, plus stimulate the appetite and increase blood flow and circulation.

I find Rosehip tea to be deliciously tart, refreshing and yummy, plus I love that they contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K, pectin and organic acids. Pectin has the amazing ability to bind waste in our intestines; bonding with fats and cholesterol before they can be absorbed into the blood, aiding in removal of unwanted fats from the body. Rosehips can help lower cholesterol and gently regulate elimination. This gentle diuretic also helps the body eliminate accumulations of water in the tissues.  How can you go wrong?

So let us stop worrying about how our hips look in jeans, and just enjoy our rosehips!

For Yummy Tea: Simmer 4 tablespoons of rosehips for 30 minutes in 1 quart of water and strain. Drink 2 cups of the tea daily.

For Yummy Wine: Steep 3 1/2 ounces of dried rose hips in 1 quart of strong, dry red wine for 2 weeks. Filter the wine. Drink 2 small glasses per day.

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

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

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.

 

 

 
 

Crazy About Chia!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Chia is often found growing on sunny hillsides, disturbed fields, prairies, and plains throughout the West and often after fires. This member of the sage family (Salvia columbariae) is very aromatic and worth growing. Chia will grow anywhere from 6- 24 inches tall and will have as many as 5 flower heads per stalk. The leaves are opposite, mostly basal and up to 4 inches long.

Seeds of this plant and the related species, S. mexicana, were an important food to the Indians and early settlers. These seeds are not only nutritious but easily digested. Some Indian tribes believed that a tablespoon of chia seed would give a warrior enough energy to go on a 24-hour forced march. When moistened, the seeds become mucilaginous and can be used to calm an upset stomach or made into poultices for topical wounds. If placed under the eyelid before retiring, this will help clean dirt from the eyes.

I think chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods known to man, and besides providing an enormous amount of energy, they are high in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and calcium.  These seeds are a good option for a child or adolescent, the pregnant women, vegetarian, or athletes and weight lifters who need that extra protein in their diet.

So what to do with all these Chia seeds you wonder? Well, Chia can be eaten raw, sprouted, roasted, or ground as a mush or as flour for bread. I mix them into meat loaf, breads and smoothies. One of my favorite ways to use them though is as a popular drink in Mexico called Agua de chia or Chia Seed Water. Here a great recipe to try at home.

Agua de Chia

  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 2 quarts pure water
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste
  • A sprinkling of powdered cinnamon

1. Soak chia seeds in water until they soften and take on a spongy consistency.

2. Sweeten the 2 quarts of water with the sugar, stirring to dissolve, and add the chia seeds and citrus juice.

2. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve chilled.

 -Enjoy!

Find Chia seeds 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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