Home Farm Herbery

  (Munfordville, Kentucky)
Home Farm Herbery Blog

Angela B. from Baton Rouge, LA is January’s art contest winner

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Angela B. from Baton Rouge, LA is January’s art contest winner

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Home Farm Herbery LLC

 
 

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 4©

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 4©

By Arlene Wright-Correll


Apple Fiber has been shown to prevent the absorption of cholesterol and many carcinogens. It also aids digestion and is an effective cleanser of pollutants. Apple Fiber is a great way to maintain healthy digestion while on a low-carb, low-fiber diet.

Official Latin Name: Malus sylvestris

Apples are among the world’s most popular fruits and have long been associated with good health. The Apple tree is believed to have originated in an area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying Apples since at least 6500 B.C.

The pilgrims planted the first United States Apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today the world’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. The Apple derives its name from the Latin pomum, meaning fruit in English, and is classified as a pome, a fruit that has many tiny seeds within a core at the center. They belong to the pome group as opposed to the stone group, referring to the type of seeds contained in the fruit.

Apple Fiber helps the body eliminate lead, mercury, and other heavy metals. Apple Fiber can force strontium through the body, without its being absorbed. The use of Apple Fiber also protects the colon from cancer, prevents the absorption of cholesterol, and helps lower blood pressure.

Apple Fiber helps tone the gastro-intestinal system and treat diarrhea, as the intestinal bacteria transforms it into a soothing, protective coating for irritated intestinal linings. Also gives substance to the stool, helping resolve both diarrhea and constipation, and is effective against several diarrhea-causing bacteria. Apple Fiber helps keep cholesterol levels down, guarding against heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Apple Fiber binds certain cancer-causing compounds in the colon, speeding their elimination from the body.


Apple Pectin, in the diets of humans and lab animals, has been shown to increase the excretion of lipids, cholesterol and bile acids, and reduce serum cholesterol levels. Pectin operates by binding with bile acids, thereby decreasing cholesterol and fat absorption.

Official Latin Name: Malus sylvestris

Apple Pectin is a source of water soluble fiber which has a gel-forming effect when mixed with water. As a dietary fiber, Apple Pectin is helpful in maintaining good digestive health. Pectin is defined as any of a group of white, amorphous, complex carbohydrates that occurs in ripe fruits and certain vegetables. Fruits rich in Pectin are the peach, apple, currant, and plum. Protopectin, present in unripe fruits, is converted to Pectin as the fruit ripens.

Pectin forms a colloidal solution in water and gels on cooling. When fruits are cooked with the correct amount of sugar, and when the acidity is optimum and the amount of Pectin present is sufficient, jams and jellies can be made. In overripe fruits, the Pectin becomes pectic acid, which does not form jelly with sugar solutions. An indigestible, soluble fiber, Pectin is a general intestinal regulator that is used in many medicinal preparations, especially as an anti-diarrhea agent.

Our ancestors believed that old proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Today, nutritional scientists research for evidences that verify how Apples are good for our health. Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which is effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Apples work in any form (raw fruit or powder or juice) to maintain good cardiovascular health. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that Apple Pectin acts as an antioxidant against the damaging portion of cholesterol in the blood stream.

Many researchers suggest that people who eat fatty foods should, if possible, wash down this food with apple juice rather than the usual drink. Researchers have found that raw Apples are the richest of fruits in pectin, with the Jonagold variety of Apple leading other varieties. A diet of low fiber, high fat, and animal protein appears to be the leading cause of death in many people. It has been established that a diet rich in Apple Pectin can protect against these diseases.

Research in Japan has found that Apple Pectin can also decrease the chances of colon cancer. Apple Pectin helps maintain intestinal balance by cleansing the intestinal tract with its soluble and insoluble fibers.

Apple Pectin tends to increase acidity in the large intestines, and is advocated for those suffering from ulcer or colitis, and for regulating blood pressure. Pectin is also effective in causing regressions in, and preventing, gallstones. There is also evidence that the regular use of Apple Pectin may lessen the severity of diabetes. Along these lines, it has been suggested that fiber-depleted diets actually help cause diabetes mellitus. Other studies have shown that the regular consumption of Apple Pectin could lead to permanent reductions in insulin requirements (to prevent the possibility of insulin overdose, diabetics should make their physician aware of the dietary change).



Arctic Root is native to Siberia and Europe, and has been used there for the treatment of a multitude of ailments, including anemia, depression, fatigue, impotence, and infections. Arctic Root has been shown to improve cognitive function, athletic performance, and sexual function.

Official Latin Name: Rhodiola rosea

Arctic Root, also known as Golden Root, Rhodiola Root, Roseroot, and Crenulin, is native to the mountainous regions of Asia, Europe, and the Arctic, and is most abundant in Siberia. Its species name, rosea, comes from the fact that the cut root of Arctic has a rose-like odor. Arctic Root has been used in traditional medicine to combat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, infections, and many other ailments.

In Central Asia, Arctic Root was prescribed for tuberculosis, cancer, and influenza. In Siberia, Arctic Root was given to married couples to increase fertility and provide healthy children. The Vikings used Arctic Root to improve endurance and enhance physical strength. In Germany, Arctic Root has been used for pain, headache, hemorrhoids, and as an anti-inflammatory.

In recent times, Arctic Root has been the subject of numerous studies in Scandinavia and the former Soviet Union, where it has been favorably compared to Siberian Ginseng. Those studies show that Arctic Root is effective in improving cognitive function, improving the immune system, enhancing athletic performance, promoting weight loss, and relieving stress.

Arctic Root has also been shown to have aphrodisiac properties, and has been used to treat premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Arctic Root is an adaptogen, similar in effect to Cordyceps, and boosts energy levels without the adverse effects of other stimulants. Arctic Root is now being studied for its positive attributes in fighting depression, Parkinson’s, ADD, and Fibromyalgia.


Arrowroot was used by the Arawaks to withdraw the toxins from poison arrow wounds. Today, this New World plant is used as a natural source of calcium and in the treatment of indigestion, diarrhea, and urinary infections.

Official Latin Name: Maranta arundinacea

Arrowroot is a white powder extracted from the root of a West Indian plant, Marantha arundinacea. Arrowroot is also known as Obedience Plant, Bamban, Bermuda, Bermuda Arrowroot, and Maranta. Arrowroot was first discovered and identified on the island of Dominica in the West Indies.

Arrowroot is indigenous to the West Indies, where native people, the Arawaks, used the powder. The Arawaks used the substance to draw out toxins from people wounded by poison arrows. It is believed that the name Arrowroot is derived from this practice. Native Americans in both North and South America apply Arrowroot as a poultice for snakebites, insect bites, and sores. The common name Arrowroot includes the species Maranta nobilis and Maranta allouya, which are used interchangeably with Maranta arundinacea. It looks and feels like cornstarch.

Arrowroot is most commonly grown in Brazil and Thailand. The Arrowroot plant is an herbaceous perennial, with a creeping rhizome with upward-curving, fleshy, cylindrical tubers covered with large, thin scales. The flowering stem reaches a height of 6 feet, and bears flowers at the ends of the branches that terminate the long peduncles. They grow in pairs. The numerous, ovate, leaves are up to 10 inches in length, with long sheaths often enveloping the stem. The starch is extracted from rhizomes less than a year old. They are washed, pulped in wooded mortars, stirred in clean water, the fibers wrung out by hand, and the milky liquor sieved, allowed to settle, and then drained. Clean water is again added, mixed, and drained, after which the starch is dried.

Arrowroot is an excellent source of carbohydrates and digestible calcium. It is a mild laxative but also helps relieve diarrhea caused by stress. Arrowroot also soothes irritated mucus membranes and is used in the treatment of colic, indigestion, and urinary infections.


Artemesia is perhaps best known because of the use of its oil to prepare certain alcoholic beverages. Artemesia was used by traditional herbalists as a bitter to improve digestion, fight worm infestations, and stimulate menstruation. It was also regarded as a useful remedy for liver & gallbladder problems.

Official Latin Name: Artemisia absinthium

Artemesia is also known by the names Green Ginger, Southernwood, Old Woman, Absinthe, and Absinthium. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, this herb is now cultivated in the United States and elsewhere. The plant grows from 2-4 feet in height. The part of this plant used medicinally is the above ground portion. An Egyptian papyrus dated 1,600 years before Christ describes this bitter herb in detail.

Legend has it that this plant first sprang up on the impressions that marked the serpent's tail as he slithered his way out of the Garden of Eden. Its alternate name Absinthium is Latin for "without sweetness". It got its generic name Artemisia from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana, because she discovered the plant's virtues and gave them to mankind. Another story has it that it is named for Artemisia, Queen of Caria, who gave her name to the plant after she had benefited from its treatments. Wherever its name came from, it is one of the bitterest herbs known, even today. It was used in granaries to drive away weevils & insects, and was used as a strewing herb to drive away fleas. In traditional folk medicine, Artemesia preparations were used internally for gastric insufficiency, intestinal atonia, gastritis, stomach ache, liver disorders, bloating, anemia, irregular menstruation, intermittent fever, loss of appetite, and worm infestations. The primary chemical constituents of Artemesia include essential oil (absinthol, azulenes, camphene, cineol, isovaleric acid, pinene, thujone, sesquiterpene lactones, absinthin), bitters (absinthium), flavonoids (quercetin), and polyacetylenes.

Absinthin is a narcotic analgesic that affects the medullary portion of the brain concerned with pain & anxiety, inducing a dreamy creative state. It gives people a different view of reality. When used in small amounts, the constituent thujone works as a brain stimulant. Artemesia is primarily used as a bitter; it has the effect of stimulating and invigorating the whole of the digestive process. It is used for indigestion, especially when due to a deficient quantity or quality of gastric juice. It is also a powerful remedy in the treatment of worm infestations, especially roundworm and pin worm.

Artemesia may also be used to help the body deal with fever & infections. Artemesia helps increase secretions of the liver and gall bladder. Topical uses of this herb include its use as a liniment or compress for bruises, sore muscles, bites and pain. It is often used as an insect repellent, and made into a spray to deter pests in organic gardening. A sachet of Artemesia can be used to keep moths away from clothes. The common name Artemesia includes the species Artemisia frigida and Artemisia tilesii, which are used interchangeably with Artemisia absinthium.


The flower head of the Globe Artichoke is used as a common food. The Artichoke head root, and leaves contain several active components recognized as important for digestion and for proper liver, kidney, and gall bladder function. The phytochemicals in Artichoke have been well documented and the leaves, rather than the flower, have been found to be higher in medicinal value.

Official Latin Name: Cynara scolymus

Artichoke has been used medicinally since the beginning of the 20th century to improve digestion. Historically, used as a tea, Artichoke is now preferred in the form of standardized extracts for consistent, more predictable results. Traditional uses have included support for sluggish liver, poor digestion and atherosclerosis.

Research on standardized Artichoke extract has focused on the constituent, caffeoylquinic acid, and its ability to increase bile production in the liver. An increase in bile production assists the body in blood fat metabolism, which assists the digestion process. Artichokes also contain cynarin which has been reported to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Artichokes are popular in all sorts of food dishes, where the heart of the plant is the part used. The other parts of this herb, such as the head, roots, and leaves, each have known nutritional benefits. Due to its diuretic activities, Artichoke works well in the treatment of kidney diseases.

“Tread the Earth Lightly” and in the meantime… may your day be filled with….Peace, light and love,

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery LLC


 
 

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 3©

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 3©

By Arlene Wright-Correll


Althea Root is a member of the mallow family, which prefers wet places such as marshes for its habitat. Its high mucilage content makes it an appropriate supplement for the respiratory system. Like Slippery Elm, Althea Root also reduces inflammation and has a calming effect on the body.

Official Latin Name: Althaea officinalis

Althea Root is also known by the names Mallards, Sweet Weed, Hock Herb, Wymote, and Schloss Tea. The genus name Althaea is from the Greek word "althe" and means "to heal".

Althea Root powder has been used as a binding agent to hold other herbs together in making pills, and has been commonly substituted for Slippery Elm in herbal remedies as many Elm trees are becoming endangered due to Dutch Elm Disease.

During times of famine, Althea Root has nourished many people. During the reign of Charlemagne in the 9th century, Althea was promoted as a cultivated vegetable. Althea is a native of most countries of Europe, from Denmark southward, and is found in the western U.S.

It grows in salt marshes, in damp meadows, by the sides of ditches, by the sea, and on the banks of tidal rivers. Served as a vegetable, the plant was considered a delicacy among the Romans. In France, the young tops and leaves are eaten uncooked in salads. Althea Root has been utilized for thousands of years not only as a food during times of famine, but for its healing properties as an herbal remedy. Primary chemical constituents of Althea Root include mucilage, polysaccharides, flavonoids (Quercetin, kaaempferol), asparagines, tannins, lecithin, and pectin.

The great demulcent and emollient properties of Althea Root make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. Recently, Althea Root has been used as an expectorant to treat a variety of upper respiratory problems. Althea Root contains large amounts of Vitamin A, calcium, zinc and significant amounts of iron, sodium, iodine, and B-complex.

Like Slippery Elm, Althea Root reduces inflammation and has a calming effect on the body. The active constituents in Althea Root are large carbohydrate (sugar) molecules, which make up the mucilage. This smooth, slippery substance can soothe and protect irritated mucous membranes. Although Althea Root has primarily been used for the respiratory and digestive tracts, its high mucilage content may also provide some minor relief for urinary tract and skin infections.

Althea Root's mucilage content helps soothe inflamed tissues, often caused by bronchitis and asthma. Althea Root also relieves dryness and irritation in the chest and throat, usually brought on by colds and persistent coughs. Althea Root has been known to relieve indigestion, kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and even external skin wounds such as boils and abscesses.

Alum Root is a North American herb that has been used in traditional Native American medicine for centuries in the treatment of inflammation and hemorrhoids. It is a powerful astringent and is useful in restoring venous health, reducing passive bleeding, and treating diarrhea. Alum Root has also been determined to be active against the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

Official Latin Name: Geranium maculatum

Alum Root, also called Cranesbill’s Root, Storksbill, Wild Geranium, Chocolate Flower, Crowfoot, Dove's-foot, Old Maid's Nightcap, and Shameface, is native to North America. It grows to about 2 feet tall with an erect stem that is unbranched, and with leaves that are deeply divided and toothed.

Alum Root has pinkish-purple flowers that grow in pairs in late spring, giving way to a pod that is divided into five cells with a seed in each. Alum Root is a strong astringent, due to its high tannin content, and was introduced to medicine by the Native American Indians. Knowledgeable American physicians still use it to reduce inflammation of mucous membranes, curb irritation of hemorrhoidal tissue, and to restore venous health.

Alum Root is an especially powerful astringent for passive bleeding, as occurs in hematuria, hemotysis and menorrhagia, and has a potent healing effect on the entire gastrointestinal tract. It has been used in the treatment of ulcers in combination with Agrimony. Like Mullein, Alum Root has been found to be active against tuberculosis bacteria. Alum Root was also relied on by early American Indians to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and leukorrhea, among other conditions.


Angelica Root has been used to treat a diverse array of conditions such as alcoholism, amenorrhea, anemia, arthritis, bronchitis, colic, indigestion, menstrual cramps and migraine.

Official Latin Name: Angelica archangelica

Angelica is also known by the names Archangel Root, Masterwort, Wild Celery, Root of the Holy Ghost, and Dong Quai. In Iceland and Lapland, the stems are cooked as a vegetable. Stems are candied and made into syrups and jellies, added to fruitcake and used to season fish. Leaves are added to salads and soups. Cook leaves with acidic fruits to decrease the amount of sugar needed. Dried leaves are added to baked goods. The oil from seeds and roots is used in Benedictine, chartreuse, vermouth and gin. Leaves have been used to wrap and preserve food when traveling. Angelica is an anti-spasmodic for strong menstrual cramps with minimal flow and an expectorant for coughs. It also aids in alleviating intestinal colic and poor digestion. The drug contains essential oil, coumarin, and coumarin derivatives.

Angelica is used to strengthen the heart and lungs and improve liver and spleen function. Small amounts stimulate digestive secretions. Some find that when Angelica is used, they lose their taste for alcohol. It is believed that this herb obtained the name Angelica, or angelic herb, as it helped protect people from disease and poisoning. It also blooms around May 8th, the feast day of the Archangel Saint Michael. It has also been said that the Archangel Raphael appeared to a monk in a dream and told him that Angelica would cure bubonic plague.

Angelica is said to attract devic forces. The common name Angelica also includes the species Angelica atropurpurea and Angelica officinalis, which are used interchangeably with Angelica archangelica. Angelic contains essential oil (beta-phellandrene, pinene, limonene, caryophyllene, linalool), coumarins, macrocyclic lactones, acids (valerianic, angelic), resins, sterol, and tannin. Many people for the purpose of warding off evil and bringing good luck in health and family matters use Angelica Root. In America, Angelica root is commonly found in African-American mojo bags prepared for protection from evil, for uncrossing, and to break a jinx. In powdered form, it is an ingredient in sachets used for healing and blessing. It is more commonly used for loss of appetite, peptic discomforts such as mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, feeling of fullness, and flatulence.


Anise Seed has been used medicinally in Asia since time immemorial. It is used as an expectorant and to boost the immune system. Anise Seed is most commonly used as a digestive aid.

Official Latin Name: Pimpinella anisum

Anise is native to the Middle East and has been used as a medicine, and as a flavor for medicine, for many centuries. In China, Anise Seed is known as Huei-hsiang. Ancient Romans hung Anise plants near their pillows to prevent bad dreams. They also used Anise to aid digestion and ward off epileptic attacks. Colonists in the New World used it as a medicinal crop as well.

The Anise seed is used as an expectorant, to assist digestion, fight infections and enhance milk production. It is also helpful for menopausal symptoms. Europeans use Anise in cakes, cookies, and sweet breads. Mustaceum is an after dinner digestive cake flavored with Anise. It is often the herb used to flavor licorice candy.

In the Middle East and India, it is used in soups and stews. Its licorice-like flavor is popular in candies and Anise oil is used in liqueurs. A popular domestic spice, Anise seed is used for dry irritable coughs. The tea is also used for infant catarrh, flatulence, colic and griping pains. Fresh leaf can be used in salads. Anise seed improves the taste of other medicines, breads, cakes, cookies, fruit, tomato sauce, and pickles. Anise is added to cattle feed as it increases milk production. Stuff seeds in a sachet or add to sleep pillows to prevent nightmares. In India, Anise water is used as cologne. It is used to flavor unpleasant medicines.

Anise is also used in toothpastes, mouthwashes and soaps. Anise Seed is a gray-brown oval seed from Pimpinella anisum, a plant in the parsley family. It is related to Caraway, Dill, Cumin, and Fennel. The genus name Pimpinella is thought to be derived from the Latin "bipinnula", or bipinnate, as the leaves are arranged symmetrically on both sides. It was first cultivated in ancient Egypt and later by the Greeks. The Shakers grew Anise as an important cash crop. Chemical constituents include essential oil (anethole, estragol, methyl chavicol), furano- coumarins, flavonoid glycosides, fatty acids, phytoestrogens, starch, protein, choline, mucilage. Take Anise Seed after a meal to aid digestion.


Apple Fiber has been shown to prevent the absorption of cholesterol and many carcinogens. It also aids digestion and is an effective cleanser of pollutants. Apple Fiber is a great way to maintain healthy digestion while on a low-carb, low-fiber diet.

Official Latin Name: Malus sylvestris

Apples are among the world’s most popular fruits and have long been associated with good health. The Apple tree is believed to have originated in an area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying Apples since at least 6500 B.C.

The pilgrims planted the first United States Apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today the world’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. The Apple derives its name from the Latin pomum, meaning fruit in English, and is classified as a pome, a fruit that has many tiny seeds within a core at the center. They belong to the pome group as opposed to the stone group, referring to the type of seeds contained in the fruit.

Apple Fiber helps the body eliminate lead, mercury, and other heavy metals. Apple Fiber can force strontium through the body, without its being absorbed. The use of Apple Fiber also protects the colon from cancer, prevents the absorption of cholesterol, and helps lower blood pressure.

Apple Fiber helps tone the gastro-intestinal system and treat diarrhea, as the intestinal bacteria transforms it into a soothing, protective coating for irritated intestinal linings. Also gives substance to the stool, helping resolve both diarrhea and constipation, and is effective against several diarrhea-causing bacteria. Apple Fiber helps keep cholesterol levels down, guarding against heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Apple Fiber binds certain cancer-causing compounds in the colon, speeding their elimination from the body.

“Tread the Earth Lightly” and in the meantime… may your day be filled with….Peace,

light and love,

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery LLC

 
 

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 2 ©

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 2 ©

By Arlene Wright-Correll


Apple Pectin, in the diets of humans and lab animals, has been shown to increase the excretion of lipids, cholesterol and bile acids, and reduce serum cholesterol levels. Pectin operates by binding with bile acids, thereby decreasing cholesterol and fat absorption.

Official Latin Name: Malus sylvestris

Apple Pectin is a source of water soluble fiber which has a gel-forming effect when mixed with water. As a dietary fiber, Apple Pectin is helpful in maintaining good digestive health. Pectin is defined as any of a group of white, amorphous, complex carbohydrates that occurs in ripe fruits and certain vegetables. Fruits rich in Pectin are the peach, apple, currant, and plum. Protopectin, present in unripe fruits, is converted to Pectin as the fruit ripens.

Pectin forms a colloidal solution in water and gels on cooling. When fruits are cooked with the correct amount of sugar, and when the acidity is optimum and the amount of Pectin present is sufficient, jams and jellies can be made. In overripe fruits, the Pectin becomes pectic acid, which does not form jelly with sugar solutions. An indigestible, soluble fiber, Pectin is a general intestinal regulator that is used in many medicinal preparations, especially as an anti-diarrhea agent.

Our ancestors believed that old proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Today, nutritional scientists research for evidences that verify how Apples are good for our health. Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which is effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Apples work in any form (raw fruit or powder or juice) to maintain good cardiovascular health. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that Apple Pectin acts as an antioxidant against the damaging portion of cholesterol in the blood stream.

Many researchers suggest that people who eat fatty foods should, if possible, wash down this food with apple juice rather than the usual drink. Researchers have found that raw Apples are the richest of fruits in pectin, with the Jonagold variety of Apple leading other varieties. A diet of low fiber, high fat, and animal protein appears to be the leading cause of death in many people. It has been established that a diet rich in Apple Pectin can protect against these diseases.

Research in Japan has found that Apple Pectin can also decrease the chances of colon cancer. Apple Pectin helps maintain intestinal balance by cleansing the intestinal tract with its soluble and insoluble fibers.

Apple Pectin tends to increase acidity in the large intestines, and is advocated for those suffering from ulcer or colitis, and for regulating blood pressure. Pectin is also effective in causing regressions in, and preventing, gallstones. There is also evidence that the regular use of Apple Pectin may lessen the severity of diabetes. Along these lines, it has been suggested that fiber-depleted diets actually help cause diabetes mellitus. Other studies have shown that the regular consumption of Apple Pectin could lead to permanent reductions in insulin requirements (to prevent the possibility of insulin overdose, diabetics should make their physician aware of the dietary change).


Arctic Root is native to Siberia and Europe, and has been used there for the treatment of a multitude of ailments, including anemia, depression, fatigue, impotence, and infections. Arctic Root has been shown to improve cognitive function, athletic performance, and sexual function.

Official Latin Name: Rhodiola rosea

Arctic Root, also known as Golden Root, Rhodiola Root, Roseroot, and Crenulin, is native to the mountainous regions of Asia, Europe, and the Arctic, and is most abundant in Siberia. Its species name, rosea, comes from the fact that the cut root of Arctic has a rose-like odor. Arctic Root has been used in traditional medicine to combat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, infections, and many other ailments.

In Central Asia, Arctic Root was prescribed for tuberculosis, cancer, and influenza. In Siberia, Arctic Root was given to married couples to increase fertility and provide healthy children. The Vikings used Arctic Root to improve endurance and enhance physical strength. In Germany, Arctic Root has been used for pain, headache, hemorrhoids, and as an anti-inflammatory.

In recent times, Arctic Root has been the subject of numerous studies in Scandinavia and the former Soviet Union, where it has been favorably compared to Siberian Ginseng. Those studies show that Arctic Root is effective in improving cognitive function, improving the immune system, enhancing athletic performance, promoting weight loss, and relieving stress.

Arctic Root has also been shown to have aphrodisiac properties, and has been used to treat premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Arctic Root is an adaptogen, similar in effect to Cordyceps, and boosts energy levels without the adverse effects of other stimulants. Arctic Root is now being studied for its positive attributes in fighting depression, Parkinson’s, ADD, and Fibromyalgia.


Arrowroot was used by the Arawaks to withdraw the toxins from poison arrow wounds. Today, this New World plant is used as a natural source of calcium and in the treatment of indigestion, diarrhea, and urinary infections.

Official Latin Name: Maranta arundinacea

Arrowroot is a white powder extracted from the root of a West Indian plant, Marantha arundinacea. Arrowroot is also known as Obedience Plant, Bamban, Bermuda, Bermuda Arrowroot, and Maranta. Arrowroot was first discovered and identified on the island of Dominica in the West Indies.

Arrowroot is indigenous to the West Indies, where native people, the Arawaks, used the powder. The Arawaks used the substance to draw out toxins from people wounded by poison arrows. It is believed that the name Arrowroot is derived from this practice. Native Americans in both North and South America apply Arrowroot as a poultice for snakebites, insect bites, and sores. The common name Arrowroot includes the species Maranta nobilis and Maranta allouya, which are used interchangeably with Maranta arundinacea. It looks and feels like cornstarch.

Arrowroot is most commonly grown in Brazil and Thailand. The Arrowroot plant is an herbaceous perennial, with a creeping rhizome with upward-curving, fleshy, cylindrical tubers covered with large, thin scales. The flowering stem reaches a height of 6 feet, and bears flowers at the ends of the branches that terminate the long peduncles. They grow in pairs. The numerous, ovate, leaves are up to 10 inches in length, with long sheaths often enveloping the stem. The starch is extracted from rhizomes less than a year old. They are washed, pulped in wooded mortars, stirred in clean water, the fibers wrung out by hand, and the milky liquor sieved, allowed to settle, and then drained. Clean water is again added, mixed, and drained, after which the starch is dried.

Arrowroot is an excellent source of carbohydrates and digestible calcium. It is a mild laxative but also helps relieve diarrhea caused by stress. Arrowroot also soothes irritated mucus membranes and is used in the treatment of colic, indigestion, and urinary infections.


Artemisia is perhaps best known because of the use of its oil to prepare certain alcoholic beverages. Artemisia was used by traditional herbalists as a bitter to improve digestion, fight worm infestations, and stimulate menstruation. It was also regarded as a useful remedy for liver & gallbladder problems.

Official Latin Name: Artemisia absinthium

Artemisia is also known by the names Green Ginger, Southernwood, Old Woman, Absinthe, and Absinthium. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, this herb is now cultivated in the United States and elsewhere. The plant grows from 2-4 feet in height. The part of this plant used medicinally is the above ground portion. An Egyptian papyrus dated 1,600 years before Christ describes this bitter herb in detail.

Legend has it that this plant first sprang up on the impressions that marked the serpent's tail as he slithered his way out of the Garden of Eden. Its alternate name Absinthium is Latin for "without sweetness". It got its generic name Artemisia from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana, because she discovered the plant's virtues and gave them to mankind. Another story has it that it is named for Artemisia, Queen of Caria, who gave her name to the plant after she had benefited from its treatments. Wherever its name came from, it is one of the bitterest herbs known, even today. It was used in granaries to drive away weevils & insects, and was used as a strewing herb to drive away fleas. In traditional folk medicine, Artemisia preparations were used internally for gastric insufficiency, intestinal atonia, gastritis, stomach ache, liver disorders, bloating, anemia, irregular menstruation, intermittent fever, loss of appetite, and worm infestations. The primary chemical constituents of Artemisia include essential oil (absinthol, azulenes, camphene, cineol, isovaleric acid, pinene, thujone, sesquiterpene lactones, absinthin), bitters (absinthium), flavonoids (quercetin), and polyacetylenes.

Absinthin is a narcotic analgesic that affects the medullary portion of the brain concerned with pain & anxiety, inducing a dreamy creative state. It gives people a different view of reality. When used in small amounts, the constituent thujone works as a brain stimulant. Artemisia is primarily used as a bitter; it has the effect of stimulating and invigorating the whole of the digestive process. It is used for indigestion, especially when due to a deficient quantity or quality of gastric juice. It is also a powerful remedy in the treatment of worm infestations, especially roundworm and pin worm.

Artemesia may also be used to help the body deal with fever & infections. Artemesia helps increase secretions of the liver and gall bladder. Topical uses of this herb include its use as a liniment or compress for bruises, sore muscles, bites and pain. It is often used as an insect repellent, and made into a spray to deter pests in organic gardening. A sachet of Artemesia can be used to keep moths away from clothes. The common name Artemesia includes the species Artemisia frigida and Artemisia tilesii, which are used interchangeably with Artemisia absinthium.


The flower head of the Globe Artichoke is used as a common food. The Artichoke head root, and leaves contain several active components recognized as important for digestion and for proper liver, kidney, and gall bladder function. The phytochemicals in Artichoke have been well documented and the leaves, rather than the flower, have been found to be higher in medicinal value.

Official Latin Name: Cynara scolymus

Artichoke has been used medicinally since the beginning of the 20th century to improve digestion. Historically, used as a tea, Artichoke is now preferred in the form of standardized extracts for consistent, more predictable results. Traditional uses have included support for sluggish liver, poor digestion and atherosclerosis.

Research on standardized Artichoke extract has focused on the constituent, caffeoylquinic acid, and its ability to increase bile production in the liver. An increase in bile production assists the body in blood fat metabolism, which assists the digestion process. Artichokes also contain cynarin which has been reported to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Artichokes are popular in all sorts of food dishes, where the heart of the plant is the part used. The other parts of this herb, such as the head, roots, and leaves, each have known nutritional benefits. Due to its diuretic activities, Artichoke works well in the treatment of kidney diseases.



Ashwaghanda is an Ayurvedic herb similar to Indian ginseng that has been traditionally used for libido, fatigue, mental problems, concentration, memory, general debility, nervous and sexual debility, headaches, drug burnout, rejuvenation and recovery from prolonged illness.

Official Latin Name: Withania somnifera

Ashwaghanda is also known by the names Ashwagandha, Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng, and Withania. Ashwaghanda, which belongs to the pepper family, is found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Africa. The medicinal part of this herb is the root. The shoots and seeds are also used as food, and to thicken milk. Ashwaghanda is an important herb used in Ayurveda.

The name comes from the peculiar odor of this herb, a smell similar to that of a sweaty horse. Ashwaghanda in India is similar to Ginseng in other parts of the Orient. Both herbs are touted for their longevity enhancing and sexually stimulating properties, however Ashwaghanda is considered to be milder and less stimulating than Ginseng. Ashwaghanda has been used for 4000 years in traditional Indian medicine - it was used for tumors, inflammation (including arthritis), and a wide range of infectious diseases. Traditional uses of Ashwaghanda among tribal peoples in Africa included fevers and inflammatory conditions. Modern herbalists classify Ashwaghanda as an adaptogen, a substance said to increase the body's ability to withstand stress of all types.

Like other adaptogens, Ashwaghanda is supposed to improve physical energy, exercise capacity, and overall health. It also strengthens immunity (against colds, flu, and other infections), increases sexual capacity, improves fertility, and normalizes cholesterol levels. As its name "somnifera" suggests, it is also sometimes said to produce mild sedation (an effect potentially useful for those troubled by insomnia or anxiety). However, as yet the evidence for these and other potential benefits is limited to highly preliminary studies at best. The primary chemical constituents of this herb include alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and iron. Studies with rats and human volunteers have shown that Ashwaghanda is helpful in putting cancer tumors into regression (used as an alcoholic root extract) and in reducing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. The plant's high steroid content was found to be more potent than hydrocortisone in animal and human arthritis. Compounds known as withanolides are believed to account for the multiple medicinal applications of this herb. Ashwaghanda has also been shown to relieve pain by lowering serotonin levels, which contribute to the sensitivity of pain receptors in the body. It is considered a good tonic for the mind and useful for those who have overindulged in work, drugs, or alcohol.



Asparagus Root is a highly regarded herb worldwide. Asparagus is used by homeopaths in the treatment of rheumatism and edema due to heart failure. This herb is considered a diuretic, and will clear sediment from the bladder. It also has laxative properties. Asparagus is also high in folic acid, which is essential for production of new red blood cells.

Official Latin Name: Asparagus officinalis

Asparagus Root is also known by the names Sparrowgrass, Tien Men Tong, and Shatavari. Asparagus is a perennial plant with short, horizontal rootstock having long, thick roots and sending up the young shoots that we eat as vegetables. The parts of this plant used medicinally are the root, shoots, and seeds.

The word Asparagus is from the Persian "asparag", referring to tender shoots that can be consumed. Due to its phallic shape, it has long been regarded as an aphrodisiac. The Ayurvedic name, Shatavari, means "she who has one hundred husbands". Asparagus Root has been used to help one develop peace of mind, a loving nature, a good memory, and a calm spirit. Asparagus is a highly regarded herb worldwide. Chinese pharmacists save the best roots of this plant for their families and friends in the belief that it will increase feelings of compassion and love.

In India, Asparagus is used to promote fertility, reduce menstrual cramping, and increase milk production in nursing mothers. In the Western world, it has been touted as an aphrodisiac. These customs and beliefs are not mere superstition - the root contains compounds called steroidal glycosides (asparagoside) that directly affect hormone production and may very well influence emotions.

Asparagus is also high in folic acid, which is essential for production of new red blood cells. Other primary chemical constituents of Asparagus include essential oil, asparagine, arginine, tyrosine, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercitin, and rutin), resin, and tannin.

Asparagus acts to increase cellular activity in the kidneys and thus increases the rate of urine production. This herb also encourages evacuation of the bowels by increasing fecal bulk with undigested fiber. The roots considered diuretic, laxative, induce sweating, and are recommended for gout, dropsy, and rheumatism.

Chinese studies report that the roots can also lower blood pressure. The powdered seeds have antibiotic properties and help to relieve nausea while calming the stomach. Japanese studies report that green Asparagus aids protein conversion into amino acids. Because Asparagus helps to dissolve uric and oxalic acid, it benefits arthritic conditions and kidney stones. It is also a nourishing, blood-building tonic that enhances the health of both male and female reproductive organs.

In India, the racemosa species is used to increase sperm count and nourish the ovum. Known topical applications have included use as a poultice and compress for muscle spasms and stiff joints. This herb also has culinary applications - the young shoots are eaten raw or cooked in salads and omelets; the root & shoots are added to soups; the seeds can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The common name Asparagus also includes the species Asparagus racemosus and Asparagus cochinchinensis, which are often used interchangeably with Asparagus officinalis.


Astragalus Root is an herb that has been used for centuries as a natural way to support the body's immunity (defense) system. Known since ancient times as the "superior tonic," Astragalus Root is also used as a natural aid for healthy digestion and metabolism. Many people also believe it helps boost their energy levels and overall stamina.

Official Latin Name: Astragalus membranaceus

Astragalus is also known by the names Milk Vetch, Locoweed, Yellow Vetch, Poison Vetch, and Chinese Astragalus. The common name "Astragalus" also includes the species Astragalus mongolicus, Astragalus chinensis, and Astragalus complanatus, which are used interchangeably with Astragalus membranaceus.

The Chinese have used Astragalus for many thousands of years as a superior tonic that is often combined with ginseng for replenishing a persons vital energy. The root of this plant is said to strengthen the body's surface resistance and is supposed to invigorate and promote tissue regeneration. It's also been seen as an immune system stimulant as well as a protector of adrenal cortical function. Some say that Astragalus shows promise to support cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy therapies, and may also help fight against environmental allergies, but more scientific evidence is needed to affirm these considerations.

Astragalus contains numerous constituents, including flavonoids, polysaccharides, triterpene glycosides, amino acids, and trace minerals. Astragalus Root is considered to have a normalizing effect on the body's functions.


In folk medicine, Avena Sativa was used to treat nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and “weakness of the nerves.” A tea made from it was thought to be useful in rheumatic conditions and to treat water retention. A tincture of the green tops of Avena Sativa was also used to help with withdrawal from tobacco addiction. Additionally, Oats were often used in baths to treat insomnia and anxiety, as well as a variety of skin conditions, including burns and eczema.

Official Latin Name: Avena sativa

Oats have been eaten since prehistoric times. The genus name, Avena, is derived from Latin and means "nourishing". Sativa means "cultivated". Avena Sativa is often planted to prevent soil erosion, and is widely distributed as a cereal crop. The fruit and straw are gathered at harvest time, typically in August. The stalks are cut and bound together, and then left upright to dry. The straw is just the crushed dry stalks. In the past, this plant was used in India to help opium, morphine and cigarette addicts kick their habits. 

Highly nutritive and supportive of the nervous system, Avena Sativa helps build healthy bones, skin, hair and nails. Avena Sativa is not a bona fide aphrodisiac, but it does nourish the nerves, making tactile sensations more pleasurable. Avena Sativa is one of the best remedies for "feeding" the central nervous system, especially when under stress. It is considered a specific in cases of nervous debility & exhaustion, especially when associated with depression. Avena Sativa may be used with most of the other herbal nervines, both relaxant and stimulatory, to strengthen the nervous system. It is also used in general debility. The high levels of silicic acid in the straw explain its use as a remedy for skin conditions, especially for external applications.

Avena Sativa is often used as a bath herb to soften skin and help with eczema and neuralgia. The husks have been used historically to stuff pillows and bedding, which is said to have a sedative effect and help for those with rheumatism. Oats has also been used extensively for culinary purposes. The Oat grain from the ripened seed is high in protein and helps to increase stamina. Oat bran (fiber) has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

The primary chemical constituents of Avena Sativa includes saponins, flavonoids, starch, alkaloids (trigonelline, avenine), steroids, calcium, iron, B vitamins, lysine, and methionine. The fruits (seeds) contain alkaloids, such as gramine, as well as saponins, such as avenacosides A and B. The seeds are also rich in iron, manganese, and zinc. The straw is high in silica. Oat alkaloids are believed to account for oats’ relaxing action. The common name "Oat" also includes the species Avena fatua, which is used interchangeably with Avena sativa.


Avocado is a great natural source of potassium, vitamin E, lutein, and other essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Avocado also contains compounds that have the ability to lower cholesterol, improve eyesight, and help prevent many types of cancer.

Official Latin Name: Persea Americana

Avocado has been part of the New World diet for about 2,500 years. The Avocado is believed to have originated in southern Mexico, and was cultivated there by 500 B. C. The Aztecs considered the Avocado, which they called Ahuacatl, to be an aphrodisiac. The Spanish conquerors of the Aztecs called the fruit ‘Aguacate’, which the English later interpreted as Avocado. In Florida, the Avocado was sometimes called ‘Alligator Pear’ due to its shape and its deep-green, textured skin.

Avocados are now grown across the globe, but the main producer by far is California. Avocado is a very healthful fruit, containing numerous vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Avocado contains even more potassium than Banana, which is essential for balancing electrolytes and preventing cramps. Avocado, like Spinach, is also a great source of lutein, which is good for the eyes and helps ward off prostate cancer.

Another cancer fighting agent in Avocado is Vitamin E. Avocado also contains monounsaturated fats, which help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase good (HDL) cholesterol. It also contains folic acid, magnesium, and fiber. Avocado also contains the cholesterol reducing phytochemical betasitosterol.


Bacopa monnieri has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for everything from snakebite to headache. It is now used most often as a brain tonic and a memory enhancer.

Official Latin Name: Bacopa monniera

Bacopa monnieri is also known by the common names Brahmi, Pennell, Herb-of-Grace, and Water Hyssop. Bacopa is a small, creeping plant found in wetlands across India. Bacopa has been frequently mistaken for Gotu Kola. Traditional uses of Bacopa include cardiac and nerve tonic, insanity, headaches, scorpion stings, snakebites, anemia, leprosy, liver ailments, skin conditions, and memory lapses.

In use for several thousand years in the Ayurvedic tradition as a brain nerve tonic, Bacopa monnieri is now being recognized for its memory enhancing and revitalizing effects. It also assists in heightening mental acuity and supports the physiological processes involved in relaxation. Bacopa is the source of an extract used in India for centuries. It has specific benefits for the brain, and specialists in Ayurvedic medicine commonly use it to treat mental illness and epilepsy. Bacopa appears to strengthen memory and improve concentration by enhancing the conductivity of nerve tissue. It also has mild sedative and anti-anxiety properties. Bacopa is often found in commercial formulas used for memory symptoms.



Balsam Pear grows in tropical areas, including parts of East Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America, where it is used as a food as well as a medicine. The leaves and fruit have both been used to make teas and beer, or to season soups in the Western world. Balsam Pear is being studied in the support treatment of diabetes and psoriasis.

Official Latin Name: Momordica charantia

Balsam Pear is also known by the names Karela and Bitter Melon. Balsam Pear grows in tropical areas, including parts of East Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America, where it is used as a food as well as a medicine. It is a green cucumber shaped fruit with gourd-like bumps all over it. It looks like an ugly, light green cucumber. The fruit should be firm, like a cucumber. And it tastes very bitter. Although the seeds, leaves, and vines of Balsam Pear have all been used, the fruit is the safest and most prevalent part of the plant used medicinally. The leaves and fruit have both been used occasionally to make teas and beer, or to season soups in the Western world. Balsam Pear was traditionally used for a dazzling array of conditions by people in tropical regions.

Numerous infections, cancer, leukemia, and diabetes are among the most common conditions it was believed to improve. Balsam Pear is reported to help in the treatment of diabetes and psoriasis. It has also been thought that Balsam Pear may help in the treatment of HIV, but the evidence thus far is too weak to even consider. The ripe fruit of Balsam Pear has been suggested to exhibit some remarkable anti-cancer effects, but there is absolutely no evidence that it can treat cancer. However, preliminary studies do appear to confirm that Balsam Pear may improve blood sugar control in people with adult-onset (type 2) diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you might consider adding Balsam Pear to your diet, but only under a doctor's supervision.

The blood lowering action of the fresh juice of the unripe Balsam Pear has been confirmed in scientific studies in animals and humans. At least three different groups of constituents in Balsam Pear have been reported to have hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) or other actions of potential benefit in diabetes mellitus. These include a mixture of steroidal saponins known as charantin, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. It is still unclear which of these is most effective or if all three work together. Nonetheless, Balsam Pear preparations have been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels, and to improve fasting blood glucose levels. Blood and urine sugar levels and post-prandial (after eating) blood glucose levels also fell. An as yet unidentified constituent in Balsam Pear also seems to inhibit the enzyme guanylate cyclase, which may benefit people with psoriasis.


Bananas don't grow on trees; they grow on the world's largest herb. Banana is the perfect herbal supplement for active people, as it replaces the vitamins and nutrients most commonly lost due to strenuous activity, such as potassium, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C.

Official Latin Name: Musa paradisiaca

The Banana is a large plant that grows in the tropical parts of Central America, South America, Asia, and Africa, where the climate is warm and damps the year round. It grows 10 to 40 feet high and has enormous, broad green leaves that are sometimes 10 feet long.

The Banana plant has a hollow stem that is 8 to 15 inches thick. Another stem, which grows through the hollow stem, bears the flowers and the fruit. The flower bud is very large and shaped like a heart.

As it grows it slowly unfolds and shows about 100 small blossoms, which are long and narrow and grow together in clusters or groups. Some of these clusters grow into great bunches of fruit.

Each bunch is called a ‘hand’ because it looks almost like a hand with the separate Bananas like fingers. The fruit is cut off the plant while it is still green and unripe.

When the fruit is ripe its soft skin is yellow and resembles a small Plantain. The flesh of the fruit is soft, sweet, and a very pale cream color.

Banana plants are cut down after the fruit has been removed, because they bear fruit only once. A piece of the root is planted again and in a few months the young plant grows several feet height. It takes two years before the plant begins to flower and bear fruit. Bananas are an excellent provider of energy and a healthy addition to anyone’s diet. Banana is the perfect supplement for active people.

It provides large amounts of Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C, which are two of the vitamins most commonly lost during strenuous exercise. Banana is most well known as a supplier of potassium. Potassium is very important to muscle function and is the nutrient most often associated with relieving muscle cramps. The potassium in Banana may also help reduce the likelihood of hypertension and stroke. Banana is also high in dietary fiber, and thus may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer. Banana is also packed with natural energy and phytonutrients.



Barberry Root is an excellent herb for correcting liver function and promoting bile flow. It is used in debilitating conditions marked by poor digestive function and a history of dietary or alcohol abuse, or excessive exposure to drugs, chemicals or industrial pollutants. 

Official Latin Name: Berberis vulgaris

Barberry Root is also known by the names Oregon Grape Root, Rocky Mountain Grape, Mahonia, Pepperidge, Pepperidge Bush, Holy Thorn, Sowberry, Oregon Grape, Berberry, Jaundice Berry, and Daruharidra. The Mahonia and Berberis species (Oregon Grape and Barberry, respectively) are very closely related, and herbalists often treat them as one herb. The genus name Berberis is thought to be derived from a Phoenician word "barbar", meaning "glossy" in reference to the glossy leaves.

Barberry is a densely branched, deciduous shrub 3-8 feet tall. Berberis is a deciduous shrub that has smooth leaves and thorny stems. The parts of this plant used medicinally are the root, root bark, bark of stem, and rhizome berries (some herbalists also use the leaves). Many species of Barberry are found all over the world. They are all used for similar medicinal purposes by the different traditions. The Italians call this herb Holy Thorn, because it is thought to have formed part of the Crown of Thorns. Berberis is the Arabic name for the fruit. The berries were pickled in the past and had various culinary uses.

In the Far East, berberine-containing plants were specifically used for bacillary dysentery and diarrhea. Barberry became unpopular with farmers when it was discovered to be a host plant for the wheat rust fungus that decimated crops in the 19th century. The yellow root was an important dye for baskets, buckskins, and fabric among Native Americans.

The early Spanish-Americans used the yellow root to make neck-crosses (crucifixes). The ripe berries were taken for fever or diarrhea, dysentery, and typhus fever. The fresh juice was used for mouthwash to strengthen gums or gargle. The primary chemical constituents of Barberry include alkaloids (berberine, berbamine, and oxyacanthine), chelidonic acid, resin, tannins. The berries are rich in vitamin C. The root-bark contains berberine, a bitter alkaloid, that aids in the secretion of bile and is good for liver problems, acts as a mild purgative, and helps regulate the digestive processes.

The antibacterial properties of the alkaloid berbamine have shown activity against Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Shigella and Eschorichia Coli. It has anti-microbial properties that are especially beneficial for the skin and intestinal tract. Barberry has a beneficial effect on the blood pressure by causing a dilatation of the blood vessels.

This herb is also good for hepatitis, colic, jaundice, diabetes, consumption. Historically, Barberry was used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion, and in the treatment of inflammatory arthritic, sciatica, and rheumatic complaints. Use of this botanical decreases heart rate, depresses the breathing, stimulates intestinal movement, reduces bronchial constriction, and kills bacteria on the skin. External applications have included use for sores, burns, ulcers, acne, itch, tetters, ringworm, cuts, and bruises. It is indicated in congestive jaundice, and inflammation of the gall bladder & gallstones.

As a bitter tonic with mild laxative effects, Barberry is used by weak or debilitated people to strengthen & cleanse the system. It also appears to be able to reduce an enlarged spleen. It acts against malaria and is effective in the treatment of protozoan infections. Berberine is highly bactericidal, amoeboidal and trypanocidal. It is active in vitro and in animals against cholera. It makes a useful compress for inflammatory eye conditions such as blepharitis and conjunctivitis. The common name Barberry includes Berberis repens, Berberis aqilfolia, Berberis nervosa, Berberis pinnata, and other Berberis species, which are used interchangeably with Berberis vulgaris.



Barley Grass has been a food source of the majority of the world for thousands of years. It is medicinally used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cancer preventative. Barley Grass is an amazing source of vitamins and nutrients. If you are on a low-carb regimen, supplement your diet with Barley Grass.

Official Latin Name: Hordeum vulgare

Barley is one of the most important plants in human history. Barley Grass is one of the green grasses, which is the only vegetation on earth that can be the sole source of nutritional support for a person’s entire lifespan. Barley has served as a food staple in most cultures.

The use of barley for food and medicinal purposes predates civilization. Archaeologists have determined that Barley has been cultivated for at least 9,000 years. Barley Grass contains all of the eight essential amino acids, which our body cannot produce on its own. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are needed for cell building, cell regeneration, and energy production. A large amount of vitamins and minerals are found in green Barley leaves. These are easily absorbed through the digestive tract, giving our bodies’ instant access to vital nutrients including beta-carotene, calcium, copper, folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and C. In addition to being a great nutritional supplement, Barley Grass has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Barley Grass has also been used to treat diarrhea, bronchitis, stomach problems, and throat ailments. It is an anti-oxidant and detoxifier. Barley Grass is also believed to increase sexual stamina. The ability of Barley Grass to aid in cellular rebuilding has led to its use for everything from dermatitis to an anti-aging supplement.


Mustard Seed is also known by the names Black Mustard, White Mustard, Brown Mustard, Garlic Mustard, Pepper Grass, White Top Mustard, Tansy Mustard, and Hedge Mustard. Mustard is a widely cultivated annual found wild in many parts of the world.

The part of this plant used medicinally is the seed, which is collected when ripe in late summer. The word Mustard is from the Latin "mustum ardens", meaning "burning must" because the ground seeds have been mixed with grape must (an unfermented grape juice) to make the condiment Mustard. In Medieval Europe, Mustard was one of the most common spices used to flavor the bland diet of the time. By the Fourteenth century, Dijon, France had been established as a Mustard center, supported by the Dukes of Burgundy. Today, Düsseldorf is one of the main mustard regions of Germany.

At one time, surgeons disinfected their hands with a paste of mustard. The primary chemical constituents of Mustard Seed include glucosinolates (sinigrin), sinapine, enzyme (myrosin), mucilage, protein, and sulphur. When taken internally, the seeds are laxative, mainly because of the mucilage they produce, but only small doses are advised as they may inflame the stomach. The stimulating, diaphoretic action can also be utilized for fevers, colds, and influenza. But this well known herb has its primary medicinal use as a stimulating external application.

The rubefacient action causes a mild irritation to the skin, s

 
 

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 1©

What you Need to Know About Herbs Part 1©

By Arlene Wright-Correll

Most things are simple as ABC once we get to know about them. Today we have an overkill of prescription drug commercials and an increasing reliance on prescription medications. Many of them are important. I know since I am a stroke and a cancer survivor and I take some of them. However, I really feel that I take a lot less than my medical doctor would have me take simply because since 1992 I have been taking a lot of herbs that seem to do the trick for me.

With that in mind I have amassed this historical information which is presented here for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and if the medical and pharmaceutical organizations have anything to do with it, probably never will be. This is not an article about what will cure, treat, diagnosis or prevent disease. When you are ill, consult your physician and make sure you evaluate his or her diagnosis and do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion or find one who is interested in alternative medicines. A certified herbalist will help you in your personal search for knowledge about herbal medicine. Beware of cracks for they are surely out there. Tell your medical doctor about any herbs or vitamins you are taking when you fill out your medical form on your first visit or should you start adding them to any prescription medication you may be taking. Matter of fact find out from your medical doctor whether or not you can be adding certain herbs you feel you want to take.

I have put a red * next to the herbs I take and will note what I personally take them for in red.


Absinthe is perhaps best known because of the use of its oil to prepare certain alcoholic beverages, most notably vermouth and absinthe. Absinthe was used by traditional herbalists as a bitter to improve digestion, fight worm infestations, and stimulate menstruation. It was also regarded as a useful remedy for liver & gallbladder problems.

Absinthe is also known by the names Green Ginger, Southernwood, Old Woman, Wormwood, and Absinthium. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, this herb is now cultivated in the United States and elsewhere.

The plant grows from 2-4 feet in height. The part of this plant used medicinally is the above ground portion. Absinthe's alternate name, Wormwood, is obviously derived from its medicinal property of expelling intestinal worms for which it has been well known since ancient times. An Egyptian papyrus dated 1,600 years before Christ describes this bitter herb in detail.

Legend has it that this plant first sprang up on the impressions that marked the serpent's tail as he slithered his way out of the Garden of Eden. Wormwood is from the Anglo Saxon "wermode", meaning, "mind preserver". The name "Absinthium" is Latin for "without sweetness". It got its generic name Artemisia from Artemis, the Greek name for Diana, because she discovered the plant's virtues and gave them to mankind. Another story has it that it is named for Artemisia, Queen of Caria, who gave her name to the plant after she had benefited from its treatments. Wherever its name came from, it is one of the bitterest herbs known, even today. Its common name comes from its ability to act as a wormer in children and animals.

It was used in granaries to drive away weevils & insects, and was used as a strewing herb to drive away fleas. In traditional folk medicine, Absinthe preparations were used internally for gastric insufficiency, intestinal atonia, gastritis, stomach ache, liver disorders, bloating, anemia, irregular menstruation, intermittent fever, loss of appetite, and worm infestations. The primary chemical constituents of Absinthe include essential oil (absinthol, azulenes, camphene, cineol, isovaleric acid, pinene, thujone, sesquiterpene lactones, and absinthin), bitters (absinthium), flavonoids (quercetin), and polyacetylenes. Absinthin is a narcotic analgesic that affects the medullary portion of the brain concerned with pain & anxiety, inducing a dreamy creative state. It gives people a different view of reality. When used in small amounts, the constituent thujone works as a brain stimulant.

Absinthe is perhaps best known because of the use of its oil to prepare certain alcoholic beverages, most notably vermouth and absinthe, popular in the late 1880's and early 1900's with artists such as Baudelaire, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh and Verlaine. Absinthe caused several cases of brain damage, and even death, and was banned in most places in the early 20th century, although part of the beverage's dangerous properties may have come from copper salts used to give the drink its color.

Today, Absinthe is primarily used as a bitter; it has the effect of stimulating and invigorating the whole of the digestive process. It is used for indigestion, especially when due to a deficient quantity or quality of gastric juice. It is also a powerful remedy in the treatment of worm infestations, especially roundworm and pinworm. Absinthe may also be used to help the body deal with fever & infections. Absinthe also helps increase secretions of the liver and gall bladder. Topical uses of this herb include its use as a liniment or compress for bruises, sore muscles, bites and pain. It is often used as an insect repellent, and made into a spray to deter pests in organic gardening. A sachet of Absinthe can be used to keep moths away from clothes. The common name Absinthe includes the species Artemisia frigida and Artemisia tilesii, which are used interchangeably with Artemisia absinthium.


Acacia Bark has been used medicinally for thousands of years throughout the globe, especially in Australia. Today, it is used mostly for digestive problems such as diarrhea. Acacia Bark is also an astringent and very high in tannic acid. Its official Latin Name is Acacia arabica

Acacia Bark, also known as Wattle Bark, is obtained from the most prolific of the over 700 species of Australian Wattles, the Black Wattle. Acacias have had significant pharmacological, nutritive and toxicological associations with medicine since before recorded history, an interplay that continues to the present day. It is collected from wild or cultivated trees over six years old and must be allowed to mature for a year before being used medicinally. Acacia Bark is hard and woody, rusty brown and tends to divide into several layers. The outer surface of older pieces is covered with thick blackish periderm, rugged and fissured. The inner surface is red, longitudinally striated and fibrous. Acacia Bark contains from 24 to 42 % tannin and also Gallic acid. Its powerful astringency causes it to be extensively employed in tanning. 

The bark, under the name of Babul, is used in Scinde for tanning, and also for dyeing various shades of brown. Medicinally it is employed as a substitute for Oak Bark. It has special use in diarrhea, mainly in the form of a decoction.

The decoction also is used as an astringent gargle, lotion, or injection. In India a liquid extract is prepared from the bark and administered for its astringent properties in doses of 1/2 to 1 fluid, but the use of both gum and bark for industrial purposes is much larger than their use in medicine. In Ayurvedic medicine, Acacia is considered a remedy that is helpful for treating premature ejaculation. Acacia bark has also been used to treat dysentery.


Agrimony been used throughout the Old World for centuries. It was used in Europe as eyewash and in China as an astringent and blood purifier. Today, it is used mainly in the treatment of digestive disorders such as diarrhea. Its official Latin name is Agrimonia eupatoria.

Agrimony is also known as Church Steeple, Cocklebur, Loan Mao Cao, Philanthropos, Potter’s Piletabs, Sticklewort, Stickwort, and Xian He Cao. Agrimony is a valuable herb in modern practice used mainly as a gastro-intestinal tonic. It is also a useful remedy for coughs, skin eruptions and cystitis.

Agrimony is a member of the rose family. In Chinese medicine it is used to stop excessive menstrual flow, as an astringent, and a cardio tonic. Agrimony helps to clear heat and dry dampness and has been used for asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, incontinence, sore throat, and as a digestion aid. When used internally or externally, it increases the level of thrombocytes, thus improving coagulation. Agrimony also has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and diuretic properties.

The name Agrimony has its origins in both the Greek and Anglo-Saxon term "argemon", meaning speck in the eye, as this herb was used as a wash for eye problems.  The species name, eupatoria, refers to an ancient Persian King, Mithridates Eupator, a renowned herbalist. Agrimony also has been used as a yellow dye. Agrimony herb consists of the dried, above-ground parts of Agrimonia eupatoria, harvested shortly before or during flowering.

The herb contains polysaccharides, tannins, flavonoids, coumarins, silica, malic acid, phytosterols, vitamins B and K, and iron.


Alfalfa Leaf probably originated in the Near East and is now widely cultivated there and elsewhere around the world for forage. Arabs called it the “father of herbs.” Alfalfa roots grow as deep as 20 feet or more, providing the plant with a rich source of nutrients not always found at the ground’s surface. The Official Latin Name is Medicago sativa.

Alfalfa Leaf is also known by the names Buffalo Grass, Purple Medic, Lucerne, and Chilean Clover. The name "Alfalfa" is derived from the Arabic "al-fac-facah" which means "father of all foods". The genus name, Medicago, refers to Medea in North Africa from where this plant is thought to have originated. The species name, sativa, means "with a long history of cultivation".

The Chinese have used Alfalfa Leaf to stimulate appetite and to treat digestive problems, particularly ulcers. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic physicians used Alfalfa Leaf to treat ulcers, arthritis pains and fluid retention. Early Americans used Alfalfa Leaf to treat arthritis, boils, cancer, scurvy, and urinary and bowel problems.

Pioneer women used it to aid menstruation. Alfalfa Leaf has also been used traditionally for treating infections resulting from surgical incisions, bed sores and inner ear problems. Alfalfa Leaf is an excellent natural source of most vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin K is critical in blood clotting, so Alfalfa Leaf may have some use in improving clotting. It also contains trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium.

The plant is so rich in calcium that the ashes of its leaves are almost 99% pure calcium. Alfalfa Leaf is also higher in protein than many other plant foods. Alfalfa Leaf is a rich natural source of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and protein. Alfalfa's deep root system pulls these valuable minerals from the soil. Alfalfa Leaf is an excellent nutritive food for convalescing people. 


Allspice has been used in the Americas since long before Columbus. It is now used to treat indigestion, flatulence, and muscle pain. Allspice is an antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, and contains Vitamins C, B-1, B-2 and beta carotene. The Official Latin Name: Pimenta dioica

Allspice is also known as Jamaican Pepper, Myrtle Pepper, Pimento, Newspice, and Clove Pepper. The common name Allspice includes the species Pimenta dioica, which is used interchangeably with Pimenta officinalis. Another common name, Piment, is derived from the Spanish word for "pepper", because the shape is similar to a peppercorn.

Allspice comes from the dried berry of the pimento. The fruits contain 2 to 5% essential oil. The main component is eugenol, but eugenol methyl ether, 1,8-cineol and a-phellandrene are also reported. As an ointment or a bath additive, Allspice has been used for its anesthetic effects. Allspice is indigenous to the West Indian Islands and South America, and extensively grown in Jamaica, where it flourishes on limestone hills near the sea. The best Allspice comes from Jamaica.

Before the arrival of Europeans, Allspice was one of the most common culinary herbs of the Caribbean. It is known as Allspice because its flavor resembles that of a combination of Cinnamon, Cloves and Nutmeg. Its wood was once in such demand for the making of walking sticks that the tree became endangered and was nearly driven to extinction. Allspice is sometimes added to commercial medicines to improve their flavor.

The chief use of Allspice is as a spice and condiment: the berries are added to curry powder and also to mulled wine. Allspice is an aromatic stimulant and carminative to the gastrointestinal tract, resembling cloves in its action. It has been used as an aid in combating colic, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, indigestion, soreness, pain, and rheumatism.


Aloe Vera is a virtual necessity for minor emergencies. Aloe Vera is a healing plant used to treat sunburns, minor burns, scrapes, ulcers, arthritis and constipation. This herb has healing, soothing and cleansing properties making it an ideal addition to any medicine cabinet. And Aloe soothes the intestinal system, too. Parents have even applied Aloe gel to the finger tips of children who bite their nails in order to get them to break the habit.

Official Latin Name: Aloe vera

* Since 1997 I have been using this in capsule form for helping to cure and or aid in the curing of diverticulitis. I also use it in gel form for itching, cuts etc.

Aloe Vera Leaf is also known by the names Indian Alces, Kumari, Ghirita, Gawarpaltra, and Cape Aloes. Aloe is a perennial succulent native to East and South Africa. It is cultivated in the West Indies and other tropical countries. The tissue in the center of the Aloe Leaf contains a gel which yields aloe gel (or aloe vera gel).

The word Aloe is derived from the Arabic word "alloeh", which means shiny & bitter. Aloe is believed to have been used to preserve the body of Jesus Christ. References to its use as a healing agent can be found in early Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Indian and Christian literature.

Legend says that it was the desire for Aloe plants that caused Alexander the Great to conquer the island of Socotra, where Aloe was cultivated in the fourth century B.C. Aloe Vera Leaf is also thought to have been one of Cleopatra's beauty secrets. The Greeks and Romans used the gel for wounds. In Africa, hunters sometimes would rub Aloe juice on their bodies to reduce sweating and to mask human scent. In India, it has been used by herbalists to treat intestinal infections, suppressed menses, and colic.

Aloe Vera Leaf has been historically used for many of the same conditions for which it is still used today - particularly constipation and minor cuts & burns. And Aloe is one of the easiest house plants to grow. Aloe Vera Leaf is also taken internally for stomach disorders. Dried Aloe latex, a substance derived from the leaf, is a strong laxative. When applied externally, Aloe Vera Leaf restores skin tissues and may aid the healing of burns & sores.

It can also be used on blemishes & dandruff. Used cosmetically, Aloe Vera Leaf softens the skin. Modern doctors have also used Aloe Leaf for x-ray burns, sunburn, chemical burns, first degree burns, traumatized tissue, decibitus ulcers or bedsores, skin inflammation, stomach ulcers, herpes simplex, periodontal surgery, insect bites & stings, irritating plant stings, and other minor skin manifestations. Topical applications have included this herbs inclusion in many over-the-counter lotions, poultices, salves, shampoos, and sprays.

Aloe Leaf had shown outstanding results in treating facial edema (swelling). When used as a mouth rinse, it was effective for cold spores and lockjaw. Two small controlled human trials have found that Aloe Vera Leaf, either alone or in combination with the oral hypoglycemic drug, glibenclamide, effectively lowers blood sugar in people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.

Primary chemical characteristics of this herb include aloins, anthraquinones, barbaloin, polysaccharides, and salicylic acids. Aloin, obtained from the gel in the leaf, is largely responsible for the plant's healing properties. The plant also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C, niacinamide, choline, calcium, iron, lecithin, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. The common name Aloe Vera includes the species Aloe ferex and Aloe ferox, which are used interchangeably with Aloe Vera. Aloe barbadensis is the same species as Aloe Vera.


Aloes Cape is very effective for those suffering from irregularity, or who need temporary relief from chronic constipation. This bitter herb acts both as a tonic and purgative, and has been in use for many centuries. Official Latin Name: Aloe ferox

Aloes Cape is a palm-like succulent plant native to the Cape Region of South Africa. Aloes Cape is also often grown in cactus and rock gardens in areas having tropical or subtropical climates, and is particularly popular throughout southern California.

Aloes Cape is also commonly known as Bitter Aloe, Red Aloe, and Tap Aloe. With leaves having sharp, reddish-brown spines along their perimeters, Aloes Cape can typically grow up to 10 feet in height, and have a spread of 3 feet in diameter. The genus "aloe" is derived from the Greek word for the dried juice of aloe leaves; and "ferox" can be translated as 'fierce' or 'war-like' referring to the spiny edged leaves of the plant.

Plant members of the Aloe family are well-known for their natural high concentration of aloin, and have been the basis for many medicinal topical remedies throughout Europe for centuries. Sailors routinely used this herb on their skin upon injury by the elements, canvas sails, rope burns, and salt water exposure. Early missionaries also spread the healing benefits of Aloes in their work among many primitive communities. Aloes is even mentioned in the Bible for the embalming of the body of Jesus. Cape Aloes is one of the sources of the purgative "bitter aloes", a strong laxative (not to be confused with Aloe Vera, derived from the plant Aloe vera, and used as an emollient for many skin care products). In parts of South Africa, the bitter yellow juice of Aloes Cape found just below the skin of the leaf has been harvested for over 300 years.

The hard, black resinous product is the portion commonly called Aloes Cape, and is used mainly for its laxative properties. Aloes Cape has also proven effective for arthritis support, being a primary ingredient in "Schwedenbitters" and "Lewensessens" which are found in many pharmacies throughout Europe.

Tread the earth lightly

And may your day be filled with peace light and love.

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery LLC


 
 

A Few Good Reasons to Grow Thyme©

A Few Good Reasons to Grow Thyme©

By Arlene Wright-Correll

As an organic gardener and a avid “cooker” who loves to also eat, especially Mediterranean food I am also questioned by guests who say why bother to grow Thyme since it is so easy to buy?

Sure it’s easy to buy, sure its relatively inexpensive, however, so is growing Thyme, plus as a perennial it keeps on coming back.

Thyme grows in zones 5 to 9 and it likes sunny conditions. There are about 350 species of Thyme which is a low growing, woody perennial.


I love its pink, white or lavender flowers which I know the bees love more than I do. I like the fact that it can go without lots of rain and one can eat the blossoms which are at their best when they first open.

I like growing Thyme because it can be sown from seed and it should be left alone for the first few months and then after the plants are established you can cut and harvest a few stems whenever you want.

I like the fact that just before the final frost in our zone 6 I go out and cut it all back and dry it out to share with my family and friends, full well knowing it will be back next spring.

However if you do not want to grow it like we do you can buy our dried thyme here


Should you do wish to grow it you can buy our great heirloom thyme seeds here


Tread the earth lightly and in the meantime may the Creative Force be with you.

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery


 
 

Ellen C. from Houston, TX is December’s art contest winner

You just won December’s Art Contest!

Ellen C. from Houston, TX is December’s art contest winner

Your prize is on its way.

Congratulations from

Home Farm Herbery LLC


 
 

Fruitcake History and recipes revisited©

Fruitcake History and recipes revisited©

By Arlene Wright-Correll


I have always loved fruit cake. Carl loves fruit cake. However, for some reason the fruit cake genes did not spill over into our 5 children. We could eat it all year round. There is a standard old joke about the oldest family heirloom being a fruit cake. Is there any food product anywhere that is more ridiculed and parodied during the holiday season than the poor old fruitcake?

Our late sister-in-law, Martha Wright-Enright made the most wonderful fruit cakes. She made them at the end of July. She baked them in 1 pound coffee tins and after they were baked she wrapped them in cheese cloth, put them back into the coffee tins and soaked them with brandy before putting the tops back onto the tins. She then stored them in the attic until Christmas time. They were the most glorious fruit cakes. Generally, fruitcake is a mixture of fruits and nuts with just enough batter to hold them together. When wrapped in cloth and foil, saturated with alcoholic liquors regularly, and kept in tightly closed tins, a fruitcake may be kept for months or even years.

A good fruit cake recipe includes red domestic and imported French cherries, select almonds, crisp Georgia pecans, California walnuts and raisins, imported pineapple, and lemon and orange peel. Plus some sort of liquor or brandy.

The ratio of fruit and nuts to batter is fairly high, with just enough cake batter to hold it all together. This results in a very dense, heavy cake. Fruitcakes have traditionally been classified as either light or dark, although it is not necessarily the color that counts.

The lighter ones are less rich than their darker cousins and have subtler flavors and aroma. They are made with granulated sugar, light corn syrup, almonds, golden raisins, pineapple and apricots. The darker cakes are considered by some bakers to be the top of the line. They are much bolder in flavor and appearance. These get their color from molasses, brown sugar, raisins, prunes, dates, cherries, pecans and walnuts. The more expensive fruit cakes have brandy or liquor in them.

It seems that fruit cakes materialize just in time for the Christmas Holidays. The oldest fruitcake company in the United States is the Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana Texas [1896]

While the practice of making cakes with dried fruits, honey and nuts may be traced back to ancient times, food historians generally agree that fruitcake (as we know it today) dates back to the Middle ages.

Fruit cake is a British specialty. English passed out slices of cake to poor women who sang Christmas carols in the street during the late 1700s. It is known that in England by the end of the 18th century there were laws restricting the use of plum cake (plum being the generic word for dried fruit at the time) to Christmas, Easter, weddings, christenings and funerals. The fruit cake as known today cannot date back much beyond the Middle Ages. It was only in the 13th century that dried fruits began to arrive in Britain, from Portugal and the east Mediterranean. Lightly fruited breads were probably more common than anything resembling the modern fruit cake during the Middle Ages. Early versions of the rich fruit cake, such as Scottish Black Bun dating from the Middle Ages, were luxuries for special occasions. Fruit cakes have been used for celebrations since at least the early 18th century when bride cakes and plum cakes, descended from enriched bread recipes, became cookery standards.

Fruit breads which include yeast are not to be confused with fruit cake which does not. The Victorians enjoyed their fruitcakes. Even today it remains a custom in England for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of dark fruitcake under their pillow at night so they will dream of the person they will marry. It is said that Queen Victoria once waited a year to devour a birthday fruitcake because she felt it showed restraint.

Making a rich fruit cake in the 18th century was a major undertaking. The ingredients had to be carefully prepared. Fruit was washed, dried, and stoned (taking out the pits) if necessary; sugar, cut from loaves, had to be pounded and sieved; butter washed in water and rinsed in rosewater. Eggs were beaten for a long time, half an hour being commonly directed. Yeast, or barm from fermenting beer, had to be coaxed to life. Finally, the cook had to cope with the temperamental wood-fired baking ovens of that time. No wonder these cakes acquired such mystique...

Fruit cakes are good to take camping and hiking. Pickled or aged fruitcakes, as their devotees (and there aren’t many) like to call them, have the legendary ability to last a long time. Crusaders were said to have packed cakes into their saddlebags and backpacks, before heading down the rocky road to the Holy Grail. Panforte, a thin chewy fruitcake originating in Italy more than a thousand years ago and taken on The Crusades, is still made today. The history of fruitcake is also closely related to the European nut harvests of the 1700s. After the harvest, accumulated nuts were mixed and made into a fruitcake that was saved until the following year. At that time, the fruitcake was consumed in the hope that its symbolism would bring the blessing of another successful harvest.

Immigrants from Germany, England, The Caribbean and other parts of the world brought their own style of fruitcakes to the United States and that’s why no one can agree on the definition of a fruitcake. The ones displayed in groceries are almost all Americanized versions of the classic.

Fruit cake recipe # 1

2 cups chopped dried peaches or apricots

2 cups golden raisins.

1 cup chopped dried pears

1 cup chopped dried pineapple

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

1 -3/4 cups bourbon or dark rum

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

2-/12 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup blanched, slivered almonds, toasted

12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs

2/3 cup heavy (or whipping) cream or buttermilk

1/4 cup honey

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dried fruits, apple and 1-1/4 cups of the bourbon. Heat the orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until warmed through. Pour it over the fruits. Cover and let stand at room temperature, tossing frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 hours or refrigerate over night.

2. Adjust an oven rack to the middle shelf and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter a 10-cup Bundt pan. Dust the pan with flour, shaking off any excess.

3. Sift 1 cup of the flour with the cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking soda into a small bowl. Set aside. Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups flour and the toasted almonds to the fruits, and toss thoroughly. Set aside.

4. With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter and sugar in another large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Fold the batter into the fruit mixture, mixing well.

5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack.

6. Combine the honey and the remaining 1/2 cup bourbon in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring until the honey has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Brush 1/2 of the hot glaze over the top and sides of the cake. Gently turn the cake over, and brush on the remaining glaze. Let the cake cool thoroughly.

7. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, then in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Let the cake mellow a couple of days at room temperature before serving.

The last time I was in Scotland, I came across a fruit cake type of cake called Dundee Cake and it was quite good.

Dundee Cake


Prep 35 minutes plus overnight to stand

Bake 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes

Somewhat more subtle than a holiday fruitcake, this popular Scottish teacake is topped with whole almonds and lightly flavored with orange.

· 2 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 teaspoon baking powder

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

· 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

· 2/3 cup blanched whole almonds

· 1 cup sugar

· 2/3 cup golden raisins

· 2/3 cup dried currants

· 1/2 cup diced candied citron

· 1/2 cup diced candied orange or lemon peel

· 1/2 cup red candied cherries, chopped

· 1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), softened

· 4 large eggs

· 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur

1 Preheat oven to 300º F. Grease and flour 8-inch spring form pan.

2 In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and cinnamon.

3 In food processor with knife blade attached, combine 1/3 cup almonds and 1/4 cup sugar. Process until almonds are finely ground. In medium bowl, mix ground-almond mixture, raisins, currants, citron, orange peel and cherries.

4 In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat remaining 3/4 cup sugar and butter until blended. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 5 minutes, or until light and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange liqueur. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture until blended, scraping bowl (batter will be thick). Stir in fruit mixture.

5. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Arrange remaining 1/3 cup almonds on top of batter. Bake 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cover pan loosely with foil after 1 hour to prevent top from over browning. Cool in pan on wire rack 20 minutes. With small knife, loosen cake from side of pan; remove pan side. Cool completely on wire rack. When cool, remove pan bottom and wrap cake in plastic wrap and then in foil. Let stand overnight before serving. Makes 20 servings.

Almost like Martha Wright-Enright’s Fruit cake.

1 cup diced glazed candied orange peel

1 cup diced glazed candied lemon peel

2 cups diced citron

1 cup currants

2 cups seedless raisins, chopped

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup brandy

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature

2 cups brown sugar

5 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sorghum molasses

Mix all the fruit in a large bowl and pour in the wine and brandy. Stir gently and set aside to marinate for a few hours.

Butter a 10-inch tube pan or two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and line it (or them) with clean parchment paper. Butter the paper.

Sift the flour with the spices twice. Add the baking powder and salt and sift again.

Put the butter into a large mixing bowl and cream until satiny. Add sugar and, using an electric mixer, cream until light and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks slightly and then add them to the bowl. Mix the batter well before you start to add the flour-spice mixture. Stir the batter as you add the flour, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the flour is thoroughly incorporated, add the molasses and stir. Finally, stir in the fruit and any soaking liquid in the bowl.

Put the egg whites in a grease-free bowl and beat with a clean beater until they hold stiff peaks. Fold them into the batter thoroughly and then spoon the batter into the prepared pan ( or pans ). Cover loosely with a clean cloth and let the batter sit overnight in a cool place to mellow.

On the next day, heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the fruitcake on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, cover the pan with a piece of brown paper (do not use foil) or set the pan in a paper bag and return it to the oven.

When the cake has baked for 3 1/2 hours, remove it from the oven and listen closely for any quiet, bubbling noises. If you hear the cake, it needs more baking. Or test the cake with a toothpick or cake tester. If the toothpick or tester comes out of the center of the cake clean, the cake is ready to take from the oven. Put it on a wire rack to cool, still in the pan.

When the cake is completely cool, turn it out of the pan (pans), leaving the brown-paper lining on the cake. Wrap the cake with parchment, then aluminum foil, and pack the cake in a tin. Homemade fruitcakes need air, so punch a few holes in the lid of the tin or set the cover loosely on the tin.

Set the tin in a cool, undisturbed place, and every two or three weeks before Christmas, open the foil and sprinkle the cake with a liqueur glassful of brandy, wine, or whiskey. The liquor will keep the cake most and flavorful and help preserve it as well.

Dark Rum Nut Fruit Cake

Soaking the fruit and nuts overnight allows the cake's flavors to mingle. This cake tastes best if given a few weeks to mellow before it is topped with almond paste and iced

6 cups diced, mixed candied peel

1 1/2 cups diced candied citron

1 1/2 cups halved red candied cherries

1 1/2 cups halved green candied cherries

4 cups currants

6 cups seedless dark raisins

2 cups blanched slivered almonds

2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup dark rum

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups butter

2 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar

7 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

In large bowl, combine candied fruit, currants, raisins and nuts. Pour rum over mixture; stir to combine. Cover; let sit overnight.

Prepare four 9 by 5 loaf pans as desired by buttering and lining them with buttered parchment paper.

Drain any liquid from fruit/nut mixture, reserving liquid. Add 1/2 cup flour to mixture; stir to coat.

In separate large bowl, cream butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy; add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and reserved liquid from fruit.

In another bowl, sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add gradually to creamed mixture, stirring just to blend. Stir in floured fruit and nut mixture.

Turn mixture into prepared pans. Bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours in preheated 250 degree F oven or until a tester inserted in middle of each cake comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes in pans, then turn out on to racks. Carefully remove paper and cool completely.

Makes four 9 x 5-inch cakes.

Fruitcake # 2

2 pounds pitted dates

1/2 pound green candied cherries

1/2 pound red candied cherries

1 pound candied pineapple (cut in pieces, if whole)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pound English Walnuts, shelled

1 pound pecans, shelled

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Leave nuts and fruit as whole as possible.

Sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder over fruit and nuts. Mix well with hands.

Beat eggs and vanilla extract and pour over flour mixture. Blend well.

Line two bread pans with wax paper and butter well. Divide dough into the two pans and bake at 200 degrees F for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Put on rack to cool.

When cool, wrap tightly in foil or freezer paper.

French Fruitcake

3/4 cup candied orange peel

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 5/8 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons light cream

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Toss candied orange peel, walnuts and raisins with 2 tablespoons of the flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and honey. Beat in the egg, then the cream or milk, rum and vanilla extract.

Stir together the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and the baking powder; beat into creamed mixture. Stir in the fruits and nuts. Turn the batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 10 minutes.

Lower the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake the cake for 45 minutes longer, or until it tests done with a wooden pick. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Yields one 9 x 5-inch loaf cake.

Tiny Christmas Fruit Cakes

1/4 pound candied cherries, chopped

3 candied pineapple slices, chopped

2 1/4 cups chopped pecans

1 (6 ounce) can coconut

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

3 tablespoons butter (do not melt)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut or chop fruit and nuts. Add fruit, nuts and coconut to milk, butter and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Grease tiny muffin tins very well and fill three-fourths full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden on top. Remove carefully when cool.

Quick Mincemeat Fruitcake

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 (28 ounce) jar ready-to-use mincemeat

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups candied mixed fruit

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two 9 x 4-inch loaf pans with wax paper.

Sift the flour and baking soda together.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, mincemeat, condensed milk, fruit and nuts. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 2 hours or until center springs back and top is golden brown. Cool.

Turn cakes out onto a wire rack; remove wax paper.

http://soulofwit.com/2013/11/19/Fruitcakes-History-And-Recipes-Revisited

A Brief History of Candy Canes

When sugar first became known in Europe it was a rare and costly commodity, valued mainly for its supposed medicinal qualities and finding its place in the pharmacopoeia of the medieval apothecary...Sugar gradually became more widely available in Europe during the Middle Ages. In Britain it was considered to be an excellent remedy for winter colds. It might be eaten in the form of candy crystals...or it might be made into little twisted sticks which were called in Latin penida, later Anglicized to pennets. The tradition of penida survives most clearly in American stick candy which is similarly twisted and flavored with essences supposed to be effective against colds, such as oil of wintergreen.

Legend has it that in 1670, the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sugar sticks among his young singers to keep them quiet during the long Living Creche ceremony. In honor of the occasion, he had the candies bent into shepherds' crooks. In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decorated a small blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes. It wasn't until the turn of the century that the red and white stripes and peppermint flavors became the norm.

Each year 1.76 billion candy canes are made — enough to stretch from Santa Clause, IN to North Pole, AK and back again 32 times. For 200 years, the candy cane came only in one color — white. National Candy Cane Day is celebrated December 26th in the United States. In December 1998 Richard and Kathleen Fabiano-Ghinelli made the biggest candy cane at 36 feet 7inches

Why are some candies associated with Christmas? Hundreds of years ago sugar was very expensive. It was a food of the wealthy. For other people, it was a special treat saved for holidays (Christmas, Easter) and other special occasions (weddings, christenings). Many of these traditions remain today including candy cane which are said to resemble the shepherd’s crook or J for Jesus.

Candy Canes

6 c. sugar

3 c. cold water

2 T. light corn syrup

1/8 t. salt

1 t. cream of tartar

flavoring OIL (peppermint, etc., found at pharmacies and specialty stores)

food coloring

Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a heavy 6/7 quart pan. Heat and stir until sugar crystals are dissolved, and then stop stirring. Bring to a rolling boil and wash down the crystals, then add the cream of tartar.

Boil rapidly to the hard crack stage.

Pour two-thirds of the syrup out quickly onto a slab or greased flat pan. Pour the rest into a buttered glass pie pan. Do not move until partly set. Turn the edges in on each portion and add flavoring to each. .about 6 drops of oil to the large portion and 3 to the small.

Add food coloring to the small dish.

As soon a humanly possible, start to pull the portion in the large container until pearly-colored. (It will be really hot. .butter your hands and set it down when it gets too hot!) Form it into a ball. Meanwhile gather up the colored portion and form it into a rope and wrap it around the ball. With one person on each end, start to stretch and twist the ball in opposite directions to form a long rope with the traditional stripe. Cut into lengths as necessary. When the desired diameter is achieved, cut and form into canes (roll it on the board to get it smooth). If it gets too cold to work with, put on a wooden breadboard in a warm oven to soften.

Christmas Cookies


Each of us at one time or another has made Christmas Cookies. Our youngest daughter, Glynis has a catering business called the "Cookie Woman" and she can make the most amazing and elaborate Christ Cookies and Cakes.

Cakes of all shapes and sizes (including smaller items such as cookies) have been part of festive holiday rituals long before Christmas. Ancient cooks prepared sweet baked goods to mark significant occasions. Many of these recipes and ingredients (cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, almonds, dried fruits etc.) were introduced to Europe in the Middle ages. They were highly prized and quickly incorporated into European baked goods. Christmas cookies, as we know them today, trace their roots to these Medieval European recipes.

Lebkuchen (gingerbread) was probably the first cake/cookie traditionally associated with Christmas. For Christmas over a hundred years ago, Pennsylvania German children in Lancaster County helped cut out and decorate foot-high cookies to stand in the front of windows of their stone or brick houses. These cookie people--often gingerbread men and women iced with rows of buttons and big smiles--were a cheerful sight to snow-cold passersby. Figural cookie-making was practiced in Europe at least as far back as the sixteenth century--most of them were made using intaglio molds rather than with cutters.

By the 1500s, Christmas cookies had caught on all over Europe. German families baked up pans of Lebkuchen and buttery Spritz cookies. Papparkakor (spicy ginger and black-pepper delights) were favorites in Sweden; the Norwegians made krumkake (thin lemon and cardamom-scented wafers). The earliest Christmas cookies in America came ashore with the Dutch in the early 1600s...but it wasn't until the 1930s that whimsically shaped cutters made of tin became less expensive and more abundant--and the Christmas-cookie boom began.

http://www.learn-america.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Lebkuchen-gingerbread.jpg

The first gingerbread man is credited to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who favored important visitors...with charming gingerbread likenesses of themselves...After the Grimm Brothers' tale of Hansel and Gretel described a house "made of bread," with a roof of cake and windows of barley, German bakeries began offering elaborate gingerbread houses with icing snow on the roofs, along with edible gingerbread Christmas cards and finely detailed molded cookies. Tinsmiths fashioned cookie cutters into all imaginable forms, and every woman wanted one shape that was different from anybody else's...Most of the cookies that hung on nineteenth-century Christmas trees were at least half an inch thick and cut into animal shapes or gingerbread men.


The tradition of baking the sweetly decorated houses began in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their collection of German fairy tales in the early 1800s.

Among the tales was the story of Hansel and Gretel, children left to starve in the forest, who came upon a house made of bread and sugar decorations. The hungry children feasted on its sweet shingles. After the fairy tale was published, German bakers began baking houses of lebkuchen --spicy cakes often containing ginger -- and employed artists and craftsmen to decorate them. The houses became particularly popular during Christmas, a tradition that crossed the ocean with German immigrants. Pennsylvania, where many settled, remains a stronghold for the tradition. It is believed gingerbread was first baked in Europe at the end of the 11th century, when returning crusaders brought the bread and the spicy root back from the Middle East. Ginger wasn't merely flavorful; it had properties that helped preserve the bread. Not long after it arrived, bakers began to cut the bread into shapes and decorate them with sugar. Gingerbread baking became recognized as a profession.

In the 17th century, only professional gingerbread bakers were allowed to bake the spicy treat in Germany and France. Rules relaxed during Christmas and Easter, when anyone was permitted to bake it. Nuremberg, Germany, became known as the "Gingerbread Capital of the World" in the 1600s when the guild employed master bakers and artisans to create intricate works of art from gingerbread, sometimes using gold leaf to decorate the houses

As a child, I can remember pfferneuse cookies every Christmas. It was a tradition in my dad’s father’s home. These were the round cookies that had hard brown spicy centers and were heavily dusted with confectioners sugar.

Pfeffernusse cookies


2 Cups of Brown Sugar

2 Cups White Sugar

1 Cup Shortening or Oleo Margarine

1 Can condensed milk

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

3 teaspoons Baking Powder

3-5 cups Flour

½ to 1 teaspoon Allspice or ¼ teaspoon of each: cloves, nutmeg, mace, ginger and cinnamon (Adjust to taste.)

1 teaspoon fine ground brown star anise.

Mix the brown sugar, white sugar, shortening and condensed milk thoroughly. Use a heavy wooden spoon or your hands as the dough is always very thick and stiff.

Beat the 2 eggs slightly and add. Then add all of the spices, vanilla and baking powder.

Add 3 Cups Flour and mix thoroughly. Add more flour until dough is stiff. Usually one more cup will do but, practice makes perfect. It’s best to start with three and add at least one more as the dough is worked.

Make long rolls on a cookie sheet about ½ inch thick.

Slice into disks about ¼ inch thick. Be careful that the disks remain standing on edge and do not fall over and that there is adequate space between them so they will cook evenly. They will expand sideways but if they touch, they will break apart later. If they fall over, you'll have a bunch of tiny pancakes so try and not let that happen.

Cover with wax paper or damp towel and put into refrigerator for ½ day or over night.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes at 375 °F. Don't let them burn. A convection oven also works the same.

(This recipe is one I use many times and it came from A Traditional Christmas Cookie by Erna Duerksen on http://www.cybergrass.com/Recipes/Cookies/pfferneuse.html

courtesy of her grandson Bob Cherry.)

Mince Pie


Mince pie was another holiday tradition in our house. It is also something Carl and I can eat at any time of the year. It is also something none of our kids like. So who knows! Mincemeat. Also Mince is a mixture of chopped fruits, spices, suet, and, sometimes meat that is usually baked in a pie crust. The word comes from mince to chop finely, whose own origins are in the Latin minuere, "to diminish," and once mincemeat referred specifically to a meat that had been minced up, a meaning it has had since the sixteenth century. By the nineteenth century, however, the word referred to a pie of fruit, spices, and suet, only occasionally containing any meat at all. In Colonial America these pies were made in the fall and sometimes frozen throughout winter.

When in Britain you will find that mince pie is a miniature round pie, filled with mincemeat: typically a mixture of dried fruits, chopped nuts and apples, suet, spices, and lemon juice, vinegar, or brandy. Although the filling is called mincemeat, it rarely contains meat nowadays. In North America the pie may be larger, to serve several people. The large size is an innovation, for the original forms were almost always small. The earliest type was a small medieval pastry called a chewette, which contained chopped meat of liver, or fish on fast days, mixed with chopped hard-boiled egg and ginger. This might be baked or fried. It became usually to enrich the filling with dried fruit and other sweet ingredients. Already by the 16th century minced or shred pies, as they were then known, had become a Christmas specialty, which they still are. The beef was sometimes partly or wholly replaced by suet from the mid-17th century onwards, and meat had effectively disappeared from mincemeat' on both sides of the Atlantic in the 19th century

Plum Pudding or Christmas pudding


Stir-Up Day is the name traditionally given to the day on which Christmas puddings are made in England. Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent, is considered the final day on which one can make the Christmas fruit cakes and puddings that require time to be aged before being served. United Kingdom...The Collect of the Church of England for this Sunday begins, "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of they faithful people, what they plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works..." This prayer was parodied by the choirboys: "Stir up, we beseech thee, the pudding in the pot. And when we do get home tonight, we'll eat it up hot." The Christmas pudding is traditionally "stirred up" on this day. All family members must take a hand in the stirring, and a special wooden spoon (in honor of Christ's crib) is used. The stirring must be in a clockwise direction, with eyes shut, while making a secret wish.

Holiday Breads Stollen


Stollen is a rich fruit bread/cake from central Germany, especially the city of Dresden...the name is derived from an Old High German word, stollo, meaning a support or post. The characteristic shape of Stollen--oblong, tapered at each end with a ridge down the centre--is said to represent the Christ Child in swaddling clothes, whence the name Christollen sometimes given to it. The Dresden Stollen, now known internationally as a Christmas specialty, is made from rich, sweet yeast dough, mixed with milk, eggs, sugar, and butter, sometimes flavored with lemon. Raisins, sultanas, currants, rum or brandy, candied peel, and almonds are worked into the dough. After baking, the Stollen is painted with melted butter and dusted with sugar. It may then be further decorated with candied fruits.

Stollens were developed in Europe during Medieval times and were traditionally saved for holiday times because they were expensive. Cook of all times and places save their very best ingredients for special occasions. These special holiday yeast cakes were made with the cook's finest wheat flour, white sugar, butter, eggs, and dried fruit; some included rich filling, such as marzipan [almond paste]. Three kings cakes (related to New Orleans' King Cake) required similar ingredients and were/are connected with Twelfth Night and Mardi Gras.

The last time we were in Vienna we went to a castle and into the kitchen where they were making wonderful Stollen.

Christmas Stollen

3 3/4 cups flour

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm milk

3 teaspoons yeast

8 Tbsp. softened sweet butter

1 Tbsp. lard (or butter)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. rum

pinch of ground cinnamon

grated peel of 1/2 lemon

1 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup candied lemon peel

1/4 cup candied orange peel

1 1/4 cup raisins

For basting:

6 Tbsp. milk (room temperature)

8 Tbsp. butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a crater in the center. Into the crater, add 1/4 c. of the confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and dust the yeast with a little flour. Let the yeast develop for 15-20 minutes.

Add the butter, lard, egg, salt, remaining sugar, vanilla extract, rum, cinnamon, grated lemon peel, slivered almonds, candied lemon and orange peels, and raisins. Add only enough of the remaining milk to make dough pliable. Knead thoroughly and cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rise overnight.

Knead again for 1 minute then shape the dough into a loaf and put it on a large buttered baking sheet. Use your fingertips to push back into the dough any raisins that may have popped up to prevent scorching. Baste the loaf with tablespoons of milk and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. Stollen must turn golden brown. Test to make sure it is done with a toothpick.

Baste the Stollen generously with butter while it is still hot, and then sprinkle with powered sugar. Repeat this process in order to attain a nice white surface and to help keep the Stollen fresh and moist for several weeks. It's best to store for at least a week before serving.

Sugar Plums


Sugarplums were an early form of boiled sweet. Not actually made from plums...they were nevertheless roughly the size and shape of plums, and often had little wire stalks' for suspending them from. They came in an assortment of colors and flavors, and frequently, like comfits, had an aniseed, caraway seed, etc. at their centre. Sugarplums belong to the comfit family, a confection traditionally composed of tiny sugar-coated seeds. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word sugarplum thusly: "A small round or oval sweetmeat, made of boiled sugared and variously flavored and colored; a comfit." The earliest mention of this particular food is 1668.

Buche de Noel Pronounced: boosh / duh / noh el


Buche de Noel is one of many traditional cakes baked at Christmas. As the name suggests, it is of French origin. The name of this recipe literally translates as "Christmas log," referring to the traditional Yule log burned centuries past. The ingredients suggest the cake is most likely a 19th century creation. That's when thinly rolled sponge cakes filled with jam or cream and covered with butter cream icing begin to show up in European cook books.

The Christmas Yule Log is a log-shaped cake traditionally prepared for the Christmas festivities. It is usually made of rectangular slices of Genoese sponge, spread with butter cream and placed one on top of the other, and them shaped into a log; it is coated with chocolate butter cream, applied with a piping bag to simulate bark. The cake is decorated with holly leaves made from almond paste, meringue mushrooms and small figures. A Swiss roll (jelly roll) may be used instead of sliced Genoese cake. There are also ice cream logs, some made entirely of different flavored ice creams and some with the inside made of parfait or a bombe mixture. This cake is a fairly recent creation (after 1870) of the Parisian pastry cooks, inspired by the real logs which used to be burned in the hearth throughout Christmas Eve. Before then, the cakes of the season were generally bioches or fruit loaves

Buche de Noel

4 eggs, separated

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of cream of tartar

3/4 cup cake flour, sifted

For the frosting:

1 cup whipping cream

10 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 Tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 375°F. With the rack in the center of the oven. Grease the bottom of a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper.

Put the egg yolks into a large bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the sugar from the 3/4 cup measure and set aside. Beat the remaining sugar and eggs together until pale.

Beat in the vanilla.

In a 2nd grease free, clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of the cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks.

Add the reserved sugar and continue beating until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.

Divide the flour in half and gently fold it into the egg mixture in 2 batches.

Add one-quarter of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Fold in the remaining whites.

Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly into the corners with a metal off-set spatula. Bake 15 minutes.

While the cake is baking, spread a dishtowel flat and lay a piece of parchment paper, the size of the cake, on top of the towel. Sprinkle the paper with some sugar.

Invert the cake onto the paper and carefully peel off the lining paper. Slowly, roll up the cake with the paper inside, and starting from a short side. Wrap the towel around the cake, place on a rack and allow to cool.

Prepare the filling & frosting:

1. Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until it has melted

. 2. With an electric mixer, beat the chocolate until it is fluffy and has thickened to a spreading consistency.

3. Spoon one-third of the chocolate into another bowl and stir in the rum.

4. When the cake is cooled, unroll it. Spread the rum-flavored chocolate evenly over the surface. Roll the cake up again, using the paper to help move it forward.

5. Cut off about one-quarter of the cake at an angle. Place it against the side of the larger piece of cake, to resemble a branch from a tree trunk.

6. Spread the remaining chocolate mixture over the rest of the cake. Using a fork, press the back side of the tines against the chocolate and lightly drag through to resemble bark.

To serve:

The cake may be made up to two days ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. Before serving, add some decorations, such as sprigs of holly, or other figurines. Dust with confectioner's sugar to resemble snow.

The Twelfth Night Cake


The cake is a basic yeast-based brioche filled with dried fruits and nuts. The recipe descends from Ancient Arab recipes. The practice of serving this particular cake, often with a prize or bean inside, around Christmas time actually predates Christian times. Ancient Romans served a similar item. The traditional King Cake, as we know it today, was made by Christians throughout most of Europe by the Middle Ages. King cakes were introduced to America by European settlers. In places settled by Spanish missionaries (Mexico, South America, Florida, California), rosca de reyes was served. In the United States, the King Cakes of New Orleans are probably the most well known.

Twelfth Night Cake is also known as Rosca de Reyes, Gateau des Rois, King Cake and honors the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus on the 12th day after his birth. This Christian holiday is called Epiphany, Twelfth Night, and Three Kings Day.

Twelfth Night Cake Recipe

This super-easy recipe is from "Larousse Gastronomique". It is traditionally served on Twelfth Night. The "lucky bean" symbolizes baby Jesus. Whoever finds the bean becomes king or queen of the evening.

9 ounces puff pastry

8 ounces frangipane (a hazelnut-sugar paste available in gourmet stores)

1 bean

Egg wash

Roll pastry into 2 discs, of equal size and each about 1/2 inch thick. Place one disc on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Push bean into dough. (During baking, the dough closes up and conceals the bean.)

Spread frangipane on disc, leaving a 1/2-inch rim uncovered. Brush edge with water or egg wash. Place top disc over frangipane. With a sharp knife, trace a decorative pattern. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 475° F. until dark golden brown, 20-30 minutes.

Wassail and Eggnog


At my brother-in-law’s home, nothing would do to have eggnog at Christmas time and many people have it then and on New Year’s Eve and day. I personally am not a fan of eggnog.

From its earliest times the term "wassail" referred to the drink itself, a hot spiced wine for drinking toasts to one’s health on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Twelfth Night celebrations. It was said to have originated with the fifth-century legend of the beautiful Saxon Rowena, who toasted the health of the English King Vortigern with the words "Wass-hael"(your health!). Her spiced wine libation was a form of the ancient Roman hypocras, and survived to hold a place in the early Middle Ages cuisine of the wealthiest Both the wine and the spice were imported and prodigiously expensive (England, after all, did not have the climate to produce wines). In later centuries the wine was replaced with fine local ales, making it more characteristically English and far more available to the great majority. As the British developed spice plantations in their tropical Asian and Indian colonies, the cost of spices was gradually reduced and consequently they were more available (at least for special occasions).

Wassail was always served from a special bowl—not to be confused with a punch bowl—called the Loving Cup by early monks. It was fashioned from sturdy materials, most commonly wood and more rarely pewter. The special wooden bowl, sometimes rimmed with metal and dressed with festive ribbons, was not only the serving bowl but also the drinking bowl, as it was passed from hand to hand drunk from directly.

As children, I can vaguely remember singing this traditional

English and Midland’s song at Christmas time.

"Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green,

Here we come a-wandering, so fair to be seen.

We are not beggars’ children that go from door to door,

But we are neighbors children that you have seen before.

Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too,

And God bless you and send you a happy New Year,

And God send you a happy New Year!"

Our wassail cup is made of rosemary-tree,

So is your beer of the best barley.

Wassail

1 gallon apple cider

12 small apples (crab apples or lady apples)

1/2 cup sugar, if cider is tart

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger or two teaspoons fresh grated ginger

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Pierce the apples and bake them in a hot oven until they split. In a large enameled pot, slowly heat 3/4 of the cider, until warm but not boiling. In another enameled pot, pour remaining cider and add the apple, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and bring to a boil. Combine the two liquids and pour into a heat proof bowl. Whip the cream and brown sugar until it peaks. Spoon the cream onto the wassail, or add the cream to each tankard as it is served.

Eggnog

Six eggs, a quart of milk, half a pint of brandy, six tablespoons of sugar; beat the yolks and sugar together, and the whites very hard; mix in the brandy; boil the milk and pour it into the mixture.

Of course today, one can walk into most any supermarket and buy a quart of ready made eggnog.

Many of our American Christmas Traditions came from England. However, as our country became inhabited by immigrants from other countries, we absorbed their Christmas cultures.

As time goes on, each of us and our families develop our own unique Christmas traditions and heritages which we pass on to the younger members of our family.

Tread the Earth Lightly and in the meantime…

May your day be filled with….Peace, light and love,

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery


 
 

Six Great Alternative Recipes©

Six Great Alternative Recipes©

By Arlene Wright-Correll

Mock meat sauce

PREPARATION:

Mince onion, 1 clove of garlic, celery, carrot, a little parsley and basil. Sauté with 2 slices of ham, finely minced, and lightly brown in oil. When it is the right color, pour ½ cup dry white wine over the mixture and allow to evaporate. Then add 2 pounds peeled, seeded plum tomatoes (you can also use the canned kind, but if there are seeds, you must strain the sauce when it has finished cooking). Simmer for about 1 ½ hours, adding a little warm water every now and then if the sauce gets too thick. Add some salt when the sauce just being to thicken and some freshly ground pepper when cooking is complete. 1 hr 45 minutes.

Minestra di pane


Bread and vegetables soup in the manner of "Granny Giulia".

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 3.45 cups fresh beans (red or kidney)
  • 1.3/4 cups gr. ripe tomatoes
  • 3/4 cups cubed raw potatoes
  • 1 black cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • some parsley
  • 1.5 cups cubed stale Tuscan bread
  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (add extra according to taste)
  • 1 hot pepper (Capsicum)
  • salt and pepper

PREPARATION:

1. In a large saucepan sauté the garlic, diced onion, chopped carrot, celery and parsley in the oil until golden brown.
2. Wash and cut the remaining vegetables. Add them to the saucepan and stir constantly for 15 mins over a medium heat.
3. Boil the beans in a separate saucepan. Once they are cooked, add them to the vegetables with enough broth to cover the vegetables. Cook the combined ingredients for 45 mins over a medium heat.
4. Cut the stale bread into slices and cover the bottom of a tureen. An alternate layer of bread and vegetables until the pot is full.
If you don't finish your "Minestra di Pane" in one sitting you can reheat it the following day adding some extra olive oil the result is the famous Ribollita.

A nice Meatless Tuscan Lasagna


PREPARATION:

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 onions: 1 brown, 1 white
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 3/4 cups string beans
  • 3/4 cups corn kernels
  • 1/4 cups of diced potatoes
  • some parsley
  • 1/2 liter of milk
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a bit of cinnamon
  • 1 nutmeg
  • pulp of 4 tomatoes
  • a sage leaf
  • rosemary
  • a bay leaf

Ingredients for the Béchamel Sauce:


  • 1.5 liter of milk
  • 1 nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup plain flour

PREPARATION of the sauce:
1. Finely chop the onion, garlic, leek, celery and parsley. Lightly fry them in the oil with the sage, bay leaf and rosemary. Once the vegetables are browned remove the herbs.
2. Finely mince the meat. Add the meat to the vegetables and cook the combined ingredients for a further 20 minutes.
3. Add the tomato pulp, milk and a bay leaf and continue cooking the sauce over a medium heat for approximately 2 hours.

PREPARATION of the béchamel sauce:
4. Bring 1 litre of milk to the boil. Put 1/2 litre of cold milk into a separate saucepan and slowly add the flour (stirring continuously to avoid lumps), grated nutmeg and salt.
5. Put the saucepan containing the cold milk mixture over a medium heat and stir constantly until it begins to thicken. Add the boiling milk and butter and allow the sauce to thicken for a further 5 mins reducing the heat to low.

FINAL PREPARATION:
6. Cook the lasagna in a saucepan of salted boiling water.
7. Cover the base of a greased baking dish with a thin layer of meat sauce, then add a layer of bechamel sauce, and a layer of lasagna. (You can also add some parmesan cheese.) Repeat this process until all the ingredients have been used, finishing off with dobbs of butter on the top.
8. Cook the lasagna in a preheated oven for 1/2 hour at 180°.

Pasta bean soup


REPARATION:

Mince onion, 1 clove of garlic, celery, carrot, a little parsley and basil. Sauté with 2 slices of ham, finely minced, and lightly brown in oil. When it is the right color, pour ½ cup dry white wine over the mixture and allow evaporating. Then add 2 pounds peeled, seeded plum tomatoes (you can also use the canned kind, but if there are seeds, you must strain the sauce when it has finished cooking). Simmer for about 1 ½ hours, adding a little warm water every now and then if the sauce gets too thick. Add some salt when the sauce just being to thicken and some freshly ground pepper when cooking is complete. 1h 45 mins.

Springtime "spaghetti"


PREPARATION:

Prepare all the necessary vegetables: remove the stems and cut the leaves of ½ bunch of turnip greens into thin strips; 10 ounces of peas; remove the hard outer leaves and quarter 4 artichokes; blanch 7 ounces of asparagus tips. Now chop 2 ounces of ham, including some fat, and brown in a pan with a little oil.
Add 3 or 4 finely diced spring onions. When the onion is golden-colored, mix in all the other vegetables and cook gently, moistening from time to time with warm water and serve with the vegetables and a generous sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese. 45min.

May the Creative Force be with you!

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery LLC


 
 

A GREAT RECIPE FOR PEPPERS AND SPINACH©

A GREAT RECIPE FOR PEPPERS AND SPINACH©

By Arlene Wright-Correll


As the summer winds down and we find more and more fruits and vegetables coming into season we try to find different ways to use them while they are fresh, whether they are coming from your organic garden or from the local farmer’s markets or just from your local supermarket.

Our household has grown down from 7 to 1 so we eat less, grow less, can and preserve nothing anymore and occasionally freeze things simply because when you head into your mid and upper 80’s that is what happens.

However, we still love to eat, just less than we used to because we do not need to fuel our bodies as we used to.

Going through my recipes the other day I came across an old favorite of ours using fresh spinach and fresh peppers. At this time of year in our zone 6 it is too early for the 2nd planting of fresh spinach so we buy ours at the local supermarket. At this time of year we are inundated with fresh peppers and we love them in any color, shape or form.

So here is my Pepper and Spinach Rigatoni recipe.

In a medium saucepan I sauté 1 cup of chopped red onions, 1 large red pepper cut into 1 inch strips in ¼ cup of prepared garlic vinaigrette until nicely tender, but still crisp and this takes about 5 or 6 minutes. I season it with 2 teaspoons of course kosher salt. I happen to always use Morton’s.

Once this is done I set aside while keeping it warm. In the meantime I have a pot of water boiling (in which I have added a tablespoon of kosher salt) into which I toss in 1 pound of uncooked rigatoni pasta which I cook as per directions on the box until al dente. This usually takes 8 to 10 minutes.

During this time I have rinsed and coarsely chopped 10 ounces of fresh baby spinach.

Once the rigatoni is cooked, I drain it into a colander, and then put it into my serving bowl, next I toss in the pepper and onion mixture, the chopped baby spinach and another ¼ cup of garlic vinaigrette. Gently toss it all together, top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

This is a great dish full of vitamins, taste, and warmth making it great to serve to family and friends.

Here is a great P.S. for when you want to make this in the winter or just a great survival food.

Just click here to Use our dried vegetable mix 

and

Home Farm Herbery dried Organic Spinach Flakes

“Tread the Earth Lightly” and in the meantime… May your day be filled with…

Peace, Light and Love,

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery LLC


 
 

Theresa S. from Plano, TX is November’s art contest winner

You just won November’s Art Contest!

Theresa S. from Plano, TX is November’s art contest winner

Your prize is on its way.

Congratulations from

Home Farm Herbery LLC


 
 

How to Handle Little Gardening Problems ©

How to Handle Little Gardening Problems ©

By Arlene Wright-Correll

I have a lot of clay around our home and in some place some sandy soil. However, I I have found some plants that do well in the sandy soil. I planted drought-tolerant plants and watered them several times a week to get them established. Once they were well-rooted, they tolerated the dry growing conditions associated with sandy soil.

For sunny areas, try some of the following annuals: sunflower, zinnia, blanket flower, cosmos, cockscomb, gazania (treasure flower), portulaca, dusty miller, Dahlberg daisy, verbena and Mexican sunflower. And if you prefer perennials, try these sun-lovers: purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, gayfeather, thyme, Artemisia, perennial sunflower, yucca, sedum, Russian sage, potentilla and ornamental grasses.

It’s harder to find shade plants that will tolerate dry soil. But you can try perennials like dead nettle (Lamium), variegated archangel (Lamiastrum), lily-of-the-valley and coral bells.

Annuals such as periwinkle and the biennial Chinese forget-me-nots will also grow in dry, partially shaded locations.

Now that it is fall here is my “to do” list and it should be considered yours. This is one of my favorite times of the years. Besides the colors of the changing leaves I can look forward to a bountiful fall and a beautiful spring. This is the time I order spring-flowering bulbs for fall planting and I divide irises and other spring-flowering perennials.


One can keep planting short-season vegetables like peas, lettuce, radishes and beats for a fall harvest. Of course one gets to harvest and preserve herbs for winter use and on the bird watching side this is the time to look for American goldfinches building nests as thistles produce down, their preferred nesting material and I get to try and watch as teenage birds begin to grow feathers that make them look more like their parents.

Do you have a hard time preventing weeds like I do? Try the following: mulch is a surface layer spread over the ground to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and maintain a good soil texture. Mulches may be organic, such as manure, compost, bark chips or cocoa shells, or non-organic, for example, stones, gravel or polythene sheeting.

Some people use weed killers and I basically stay away from them because we try to be completely organic at Home Farm Herbery.  However, to save time and hard work weed killers are the answer to many people’s problems.  Just make sure you read the manufacturer’s directions and warnings real well.  Keep the weed killer off the plants you wish to keep.  Dissolve and dilute the weed killer according to the manufacturer’s directions and use a fine rose sprinkler head on a watering can you use only for weed killers.  Don’t apply on a windy day or it will drift or blow onto other plants.  The best time to apply weed killer is when the weeds are leafy and actively growing which would be mid-spring to early summer.  Remember, regardless of whatever the manufacturer touts many weeds do not die right off and need repeated treatments.  Needless to say keep all chemicals away from your children and pets.

Most of us do not realize there are annual weeds and perennial weeds. An annual is

a plant that normally completes its full cycle of growth, flowering and seeding in a single season, and then dies. Some annuals may be sown in autumn to flower the following spring. Annual weeds such as chickweed, groundsel, purple dead nettle, annual nettle, fat hen, opium poppy, hairy bittercress, annual meadow grass, speedwell and yellow oxalis have the same kind of growing cycle.

The aim of annual weeds is to grow and set is to grow and set seed as quickly as possible. They grow from seed on any recently cultivated soil and sometimes will grow on top of the newly placed mulch you put down to stop the weeds from growing. A vicious cycle isn’t it? Seeds can survive for years in the soil, waiting for the perfect conditions to grow and then you wonder, “where the heck that one came from?” They germinate at lower temperatures than most garden plants, giving them a head start over their rivals! Once you recognize them at the seedling stage controlling annual weeds is relatively easy. Then you can keep from eliminating the vegetable or flower seedling that may be growing along side of them. Most hoe out easily or pull out when they get to be a pick able size. Just remember to eliminate the weed you must eliminate the root! Only put them on your compost heap if they do not have a seed head.


A perennial is any plant with an indefinite life span of more than two years. Some may be quite short-lived, whereas trees can easily survive for centuries. Likewise perennial weeds, such as dandelions, creeping thistle, brambles, dock, ragwort and stinging nettle have the same type of growing cycle. Yet they are more of a problem because they can live for several years. They survive winter by storing food in their roots. These roots make them harder to get rid of then annual weeds. Some are difficult to dig out and others spread underground so if you leave even the tiniest piece of root in the soil when you dig them out, be prepared to get a whole new plant.

The best way to control them is to dig out the whole plant as soon as you see them. So long as you do not let them produce leaves, they will use up their stored up food energy and eventually die. Never, never rotate soils with perennial weed infestation or you will have whole new colonies of weeds growing up in the new place. Always dig out every little bit as they grow and with twice the effort in order to control them. If you don’t mind using chemicals, treat them with a weed killer containing glyphosate. Last but not least, never put perennial weed roots or seed-heads on to the compost heap.

One can try what is called root-proof barriers, which is a vertical barrier that will often stop rampant roots invading from next door. Just dig a 1 foot or 30 cm deep trench and bury the barrier. The best material to use is damp-proof course (DPC), available from all builders' supply store.

I keep getting asked a lot of questions about compost. One year I bought a Mantis Composter and I never did get the hang of it for the two years I played with it. I finally sold it on eBay and a guy came down Ohio to pick it up. Now composting is probably easy with one of those, but it was a real mystery for me. I guess I will stick to the old way of making a compost pile and turning it over every couple of days. When one talks about making a garden compost it usually means a garden compost made from waste materials rotted down in a compost heap, but it usually refers to the special soil or peat mixtures used for sowing and potting plants. There are two main kinds. Soil-less compost is made from peat or a substitute such as bark or coir. Soil-based composts are a mixture of sterilized soil, peat or an alternative, and sand. They all have added fertilizers.



A universal, soil-less compost is suitable for all normal sowing and potting needs, but there are different grades of soil-based compost. You can also buy special composts for rooting cuttings or for growing ericaceous (lime-hating) plants, orchids, and water plants.

Growing roses is really not a big problem and I have grown all kinds from the cheap $1.98 ones to the finer ones that cost a lot more. One of the lovelies climbing roses I have here in Kentucky is one I bought at a Publix’s market in Vero Beach, FL. I brought it home from a vacation I was on in the winter of 1998 and proceeded to “kill” it off about 3 or 4 times over the next 2 years, but it is still growing strong as I write this in September of 2006 and produces lovely red roses year after year two or three times a season. I cannot even remember the name of it.

I have a hard time keeping the Rosie O’Donnell rose alive and have managed to have 3 of them over 3 seasons fail to make it through my zone 6 area. I do not think it is the zone, I think it is the soil even though the last one I planted in 2005 had a whole new area of dirt brought in just for it. The other one I love and have no luck with is Joseph’s Coat.

One of the best ones I ever bought was an Albertine rose from The Antique Rose Emporium about 7 years ago for $14.95. It was a small root and now it looks the a huge stump with pink roses all up the side of our gift shop and across a wide rose arbor and all over half the roof of our Avalon Stained Glass School. It comes back and delivers the loveliest, most fragrant pink roses each June. All the others I bought from them that year have done well. But the nine I bought in 2005 from them at $17.95 each plus shipping have all died through this past winter which was a mild one here. I am heartily disappointed with them as they only warrant their roses for 90 days whereas Lowes’ garden center, providing I keep the sales slip, will guarantee them for 12 months.

I try to find disease-resistant roses and in recent years I find in plant breeding they have created a number of roses that are resistant to black spot. In a bad year they will get it, but only a minor dose, thus the rest of the time they are usually trouble free. Here are a couple of my favorites.

This one is Rosa Golden Showers. It is a yellow climbing rose with dark glossy green leaves. The height is about 6.5 ft with a spread of 7 feet. Just as there are many shrubby roses so there are many climbing roses, but this is one of the best. It is an upright climber and can be pruned to be a shrub. It produces a profusion of double flowers that are 10cm (4in) across.

Another favorite is Rosa gallica, “Versicolor” or Rosa Mundi as many might know it by its common name. This red rose with a white stripe is a hardy shrub growing about 2.5 ft with a 3 ft spread with glossy green leaves. It is a lovely old and well-loved rose, neat and bushy. Particularly charming is the semi-double, slightly scented, flat flowers 5cm (2in) in diameter. This rose prefers full sun.


Rosa rugosa is a hedgehog rose that is a hardy shrub bearing Purplish-red and white blossoms with glossy green leaves. This rose grows to 3 ft to 6.6ft x 3ft to 6.6ft and is a dense, vigorous species rose with attractively wrinkled leaves. It bears a succession of flowers, 9cm (3.5in) in diameter. These are followed in late autumn by large tomato-shapes and colored fruit (hips.)



Rosa “Iceberg” is another favorite shrub rose with a pure white flower and glossy green leaves. It is a good compact plant about 2.5 ft by 2.1 ft. This bush rose produces many sprays of graceful double, cupped-shaped flowers up to 7 cm (3in) in diameter that look fantastic against the dark leaves. It also responds well to heavy pruning. 


I hope this little article will help you keep abreast of the many challenges that any gardener faces. In the event I can help you with anything else just send an email to askarlene@scrtc.com and I will try my best to help you.

“Tread the Earth Lightly” and in the meantime… may your day be filled with….Peace, light and love,

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery


 
 

How to make Pumpkin and Carrot Powder©

How to make Pumpkin and Carrot Powder©

By Arlene Wright- Correll



If you own a dehydrator it is not very hard to make your own pumpkin powder which is used to add flavor and nutrients to many dishes, such as pancakes or instant pumpkin puree for pies and other dishes simply by adding water. I like the fact that by making my own pumpkin powder, I can use my own fresh ingredients year round and save money.

It is moderately easy to make pumpkin powder and you must use a pumpkin that is in ideal harvesting condition in order to have flavorful powder.

Once you have chosen your pumpkin you must wash and dry the outside of a pumpkin. You can use a large pumpkin or several smaller pumpkins when you want a large batch of pumpkin powder. I like using the pie pumpkins and I avoid using the Jack-O-lantern pumpkins or decorative pumpkins even though you can. I suggest Sugar Pie pumpkins; red Kuri, Pink Banana and Cinderella pumpkins just to name a few.

Now cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and set them aside and then cut out the stem and blossom end and cut the pumpkin into narrow pieces that are 2 inches long.

Next I steam the pumpkin slices by setting them on a steaming tray over simmering water and I cook them with a lid on until they start to soften. I stop the cooking and let them cool enough so I can easily handle them.

The next step is to set the slices on my dehydrator tray. If you do not have a dehydrator you can place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet the oven with the heat set at "low" or "warm." and dehydrate until all the moisture has been removed. Since this takes several hours it will tie up your oven depending on how much pumpkin you have so I recommend a dehydrator.


A good dehydrator is fairly inexpensive and usually costs $25.00 to $35.00 and can be found on such places as Amazon. If you are using your oven you need to check the pumpkin periodically. Using a dehydrator just set the timer to the desired time as per your instruction book. A dehydrator pays for itself in no time and I personally feel that as the economy and the world changes having a dehydrator is a great investment in learning how to survive hard times.


Once the pumpkin is totally dehydrated you must grind the dried pumpkin into a powder using a food processor. I know one gal who uses a coffee grinder and when I was in Mexico I saw a woman using a mortar and pestle which took a lot of muscle and hard work.

Once your pumpkin is ground store the powder in a jar or container with a tight seal and keeps it in a cool dry location.

To reconstitute pumpkin powder use 1 part powder to 2.5 parts water.

You can do the same thing with most vegetables and I like to do carrots the same way. I like to make sure my carrots are not woody. I remove stalks and tips and then wash carrots, scrape off the skins and then slice to about 56 mm thick using stainless steel knife.

Next I blanch the slices for 3 minutes in hot water containing 1.5 ounces of salt per gallon. Then cool immediately in running water. I have never had to worry about the carrots browning, but if you wanted to prevent browning and discoloration you can dip them in 0.1 percent sodium erythorbate.

Now I spread the carrots evenly on my dehydrator trays. I have a friend who dries her carrots in her solar dryer and another who uses her oven at temperature of 150º F. Dry until the temperature is down to 6%. Cool and then pulverize in a blender or electric grinder.

I use carrot powder by adding to flour mixes when I make carrot cake or add to stews or soups when I want a carrot flavored base thickening. You can reconstitute carrot powder using 1 part carrot powder with 4 parts water.

Powders are an easy way to have emergency rations, take up less space and for me reduce space in my freezer or eliminate canning while preserving more of the flavor.

I like the fact that dehydration goes on without taking up all my time and it allows me to do a lot of other things while my dehydrator is doing its thing.

May your day be filled with Peace, Light and Love!

Home Farm Herbery


 
 

How to Make Zaatar and Pomegranate Roasted Chicken©

How to Make Zaatar and Pomegranate Roasted Chicken©

By Arlene Wright-Correll

For those of you who do not want to make a Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey.



Ingredients:

3.5 lbs chicken, cut into pieces with skin on


1/4 cup olive oil


4 tbsp Home Farm Herbery Za’atar Seasoning



2 tbsp pomegranate molasses


4 garlic cloves, crushed


salt and pepper to taste


1 lemon


1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

3 tbsp parsley

3 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds

Directions:


Make the marinade by mixing together olive oil, Home Farm Herbery Za’atar Seasoning, pomegranate molasses, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub the chicken with this marinade
overnight.

Preheat the oven to 395º F. Place the chicken skin side up in a baking tray in the middle rack and roast for about 1 hour or until the chicken has beautifully browned and cooked through. If you prefer the skin to be crispy, place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes but watch it very carefully to avoid burning.

Sprinkle with lemon juice, pine nuts, and parsley and pomegranate seeds
and serve immediately.

May the Creative Force be with you!

Arlene Wright-Correll

Home Farm Herbery


 
 

Robin M. of Smithfield, KY is October’s art contest winner

You just won October’s Art Contest!

Robin M. of Smithfield, KY is October’s art contest winner

Your prize is on its way.

Congratulations from

Home Farm Herbery LLC




 
 
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