Violets are Delicious

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America

violet bouquetOne of the loveliest flowers of spring is the Viola odorata or as it is commonly referred to, the “Sweet violet.” Violets have been used in herbal healing remedies for centuries, in fact St. Hildegard of Bingen, the famous 12th century German mystic and healer, was said to have made a healing salve of violet juice, olive oil, and goat tallow for its use as a possible anti-bacterial.

I use violets whenever I can for their healing virtues, and they are also an absolutely delicious ingredient in salads, drinks, and desserts. Back in the day, violet flowers, and leaves mixed into salads were one of my favorite spring remedies for pre-menstrual melancholy. When chopped liberally into extra virgin olive oil with some fresh comfrey leaves, they make a poultice that can…

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Clinical Cognitive and Cerebral Blood Flow Effects of Greek Mountain Tea

Greek mountain tea (GMT; ironwort; Sideritis scardica, Lamiaceae) aerial parts are a traditional medicine used for respiratory and digestive conditions. Traditional uses of the plant are supported by in vitro studies demonstrating antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and gastroprotective effects. GMT contains polyphenols (ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, and apigenin) shown to affect blood flow, neurotransmitter reuptake, and cognition in … Continue reading Clinical Cognitive and Cerebral Blood Flow Effects of Greek Mountain Tea

Let Us Stroll the Primrose Path of Dalliance

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kathleen M Hale, Western Reserve Herb Society

20190505_163700The botanical family name of the common or English primrose, Primula, comes from the diminutive of the Latin word for “first.” And the common name “primrose,” derived from prima rosa (“first rose”), is also a reference to the primrose being one of the first flowers of spring. This is not the evening primrose (Oenethera), or any of the other, more ornate, forms of Primula. This is the quintessentially English cottage garden flower.

Of course, it is then described as “vulgaris.” Sounds harsh. But this is not a matter of judgment of the primrose’s character. It’s just that, where the primrose is happy, it is very happy. It grows and spreads in abundance in cool, moist places.

This does not describe the micro-climate in most of our homes when primroses beckon so invitingly from the grocery store aisles shortly after the winter holiday…

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Herbs for Your Windowsill

Like the idea of growing your own medicinal plants? Look no further than your windowsill or patio garden for these four standbys of ours: lemon balm, sage thyme, and peppermint. These herbs are familiar to us from grandma’s recipes and as lyrics in songs, but they may be less familiar as medicine. Lemon balm, also known … Continue reading Herbs for Your Windowsill

Chamomile Reduces Testosterone Levels in Women with PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder found in women of childbearing age. The main underlying disordered metabolism issues in PCOS are insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism. Characteristic manifestations can include irregular or infrequent or no menses, infertility, hirsutism, hair loss, and weight gain. Underlying mechanisms can be addressed that can then dramatically alter the current issues … Continue reading Chamomile Reduces Testosterone Levels in Women with PCOS

Cannabis Alleviates Anxiety, Depression and Pain in Patients Newly Diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer

In October 2018, Canada became the third nation, and the world's largest to date, to legalize adult ("recreational") use of cannabis (marijuana; Cannabis sativa, Cannabaceae). While hinting at this development, the authors write that cannabis is "one of the most widely used illicit substance in Canada, [with] a unique ability to facilitate relaxation and relieve anxiety … Continue reading Cannabis Alleviates Anxiety, Depression and Pain in Patients Newly Diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer

Elderberry Compounds Could Help Minimize Flu Symptoms, Study Suggests

Science Daily. April 23, 2019. A recent study has established that phytochemicals from elderberry (Sambucus nigra) fruit fight against influenza not only by interfering with the virus' ability to infect cells but also by impeding viral replication. Folk medicines and herbal products have been used for millennia to combat a whole range of ailments, at … Continue reading Elderberry Compounds Could Help Minimize Flu Symptoms, Study Suggests

A Review of the Medicinal Uses and Phytochemistry of Hibiscus Calyces

Traditionally, all parts of the hibiscus (Roselle; Hibiscus sabdariffa, Malvaceae) plant are used for medicine and food. The young leaves and stems are eaten raw. The seeds are boiled and eaten in soup. The calyces are frozen or sun-dried and eaten. The calyces/flowers are used worldwide in drinks, jams, jelly, sauces, and as a natural food … Continue reading A Review of the Medicinal Uses and Phytochemistry of Hibiscus Calyces

HerbDay 2019

HerbDay is always on the first Saturday in May! The 14th annual HerbDay will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019. HerbDay is an international celebration of herbs and herbal products that are packed with events aimed at educating and sharing ideas about the many ways herbs bring joy and well-being into our daily lives. We … Continue reading HerbDay 2019

Dog Rose for the Prevention of Postpartum Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), inflammatory responses of squamous urinary tract tissue to bacteria, are divided into asymptomatic bacteriuria and symptomatic UTIs including cystitis and pyelonephritis. Higher risks of UTIs exist for pregnant and post-partum women, elders, children, and patients with spinal cord injury, catheterization, AIDs or HIV, or underlying urological disorders. Among post-partum women, the … Continue reading Dog Rose for the Prevention of Postpartum Urinary Tract Infections