Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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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.

 
 

Plants Used As Dyes

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 My mother taught me how to sew when I was a little girl. To this day I still make a lot of my own clothes, quilts, and anything else I have time for. With my love of plants it just seemed natural that I learn to dye my own cloth and yarn.

Dyeing with plants isn't a new thing though, it's an ancient craft and the techniques are well established. Textiles have been livened up with natural plant and animal pigments for centuries. It is amazing to think that some of these are still around today like antique tapestries, brocades, and embroideries- still rich with color.

My goal isn't to teach you how to dye, just to inform those who save twigs, spent flowers, seeds and other plant stuff, that you can do more with them then toss them into the compost heap. Color is one of the most beautiful attributes of a plant and using dyes from them is a great way to "save" their colors when the seasons change, whether it's in cloth or a basket of natural yarns. And if done right, it is possible to create a full spectrum of colors.

Some of my favorite plants include black walnut, marigold, hollyhocks, purple basil, elderberries, coreopsis, goldenrod, ivy, nettle, onion, wallflower, oh and the list just goes on and on. Basically plants that grow around me. I have used lichen as well, but as a botanist with respect for these fragile plants, I have only collected certain species. With plants you can achieve some of the most beautiful natural colors in nature.

Gardeners always find room in their gardens to grow new plants that catch their attention. I hope you make some space for a little dye garden and enjoy the colors all year long.

Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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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.

 

 
 

Herbal Diaper Wipes For Your Herbal Baby

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Washable herbal wipes are a super green and economical way to wash baby’s bottom, plus, it’s a great chemical-free rinse! The diaper service here in Tehachapi suggests that by using natural products like your own diaper wipes and natural herbal baby balms such as Sweet Cheeks Baby Balm and baby powders such as Happy Hiney Herbal Powder that the diapers last longer.

We suggest at least a couple dozen or more if you go longer than 2 days between washings. You can store your wipes in a container and simply toss used ones into the diaper pail and wash with your diapers.

I have found that these herbal recipes are best to use with cloth wipes. These will clean baby's bottom or face without any unnecessary chemicals.  During outbreaks of rash you will find these useful recipes may come in handy. Try these great baby tested recipes:

Basic Recipe for Baby Wipes (For Every Day Cleansing)
  • 2 tablespoons unscented baby Castile wash
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as olive oil or sunflower oil)
  • 2 cups distilled water

  Antimicrobial Tea Tree Baby Wipes

  • 2 tablespoons Infused Calendula oil or other pure vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unscented baby Castile
  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 4 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Anti-Fungal Herbal Baby Wipes

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1-2 cup Aloe Vera Gel (fresh if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon infused Calendula Oil
  • 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

Soothing Aloe Vera Baby Wipes

  • 2 cups hot distilled water
  • 1/2 cup Aloe Vera Gel (fresh if possible)
  • 4 drops Tea Tree Oil

For all of these herbal wipes recipes, mix in a jar and then pour over your contained cloth wipes (do enough for a couple days at a time).  Store any extra solution in the fridge.  You and your herbal baby are going to love diaper changes!

 

Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Copyright 2007. 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.

 
 

Soap Nuts? For Psoriasis?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Soap nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry tree (Sapindus Mukorossi), found primarily in India, Indonesia, and Nepal.  The outer shell of the soap nut contains saponin, a natural substance known for its ability to cleanse. But its no secret, this fruit has been used to clean fabric for centuries. Now with the "Green" movement this plant is gaining popularity here in America and Europe as a natural alternative to modern soaps and detergents.

These nuts are incredibly gentle on clothes and skin, especially those with sensitive skin; including babies and those that suffer from allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.  Because soap nuts are biodegradable, they’re a better choice than regular detergent. They’re safe for the environment and even safe for septic and greywater systems.

Soap nuts are a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic shampoos and cleansers. They are often used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema and  psoriasis. These nuts have gentle insecticidal properties and are traditionally used for removing lice from the scalp as well.

I use soap nut most often to do laundry, but I also recommend using this soap alternative to clients with skin issues. If you suffer from psoriasis or eczema then this is an option for you. A new cleansing regimen combined with herbs; internal and external can offer relief. Soap nuts can be found in many online stores, and some health food stores. Look for the Skin Clarity Line in my store Morgan Botanicals here at Local Harvest. I have a tea, bath, and salve. This is one of my best sellers for skin complaints.

Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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.

 


 
 

Red Clover: Herb, Plant, Food

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Trifolium pratense, or red clover is one of the most useful remedies for children and adults alike, not to mention the tasty treats you can make. If your lucky enough to find this clover growing you’ll want to pick them in the morning just after the dew has dried off. Be sure to select only the fresh, newly opened flowers, and avoid any that look withered or brown. Carefully remove the stems and spread them out on trays. Try not to crowd the blossoms and allow to dry in an airy place, away from direct sunlight. When thoroughly dry, they will be crisp to the touch. Store them away from the light, in tightly closed jars.

This herb is a source of many valuable nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. Red clover is also considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones.

These beautiful edible flowers are slightly sweet. You can pull the petals from the flower head and add them to many dishes throughout the summer. A few tiny florets are a delightful addition to a summer iced tea: try serving your summer guests a cup of iced alfalfa mint tea with a slice of lemon and five to ten tiny clover florets floating on top- delicious! Or press the fresh florets into the icing on a summer birthday cake. The raw greens of this plant are very nutritious and can be enjoyed fresh or dried to get the nutrients.

Some of my favorite recipes can be whipped up in a flash.

Red Clover Tea
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 Tbsp fresh or dried red clover herb. Let steep about 5 minutes, strain, and serve with honey.

Red Clover Lemonade

  • 4 cups fresh Red Clover blossoms
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 cups Red Clover honey
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice

Gently simmer Clover blossoms in a covered pot for 10 minutes. Add honey, stirring until it dissolves. Cover and let steep and cool for several hours or overnight. Then add lemon juice and chill in the fridge.

Red Clover Syrup

  • 1-quart fresh Red Clover blossoms
  • 2 cups Red Clover honey
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Crush blossoms gently, then combine all ingredients. Over low heat, bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. Strain and bottle. This syrup is soothing for coughs and sore throats and makes a pleasant flavoring for tea or pancakes. I hope everyone enjoys these recipes as much as I do. Look for fresh red clover herb and red clover seeds in my Local Harvest Store : Morgan Botanicals.

Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.;

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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