Thursday, April 6, 2017

Licorice Fern Root

Common Name: Licorice Fern Root

Latin Name:Polypodium glycyrrhiza 

Parts used: Ryzome/Root

Identification Notes: 
 Rocks, mossy tree trunks, logs etc, below 600 metres in coniferous and mixed forests in California. Cliffs and rocky slopes along coasts, often epiphytic, on a variety of substrates.. In Oregon on the coast we find it growing in the moss covered big leaf maple trees

How used
Root - raw or cooked The root is sweetly licorice-flavored but is thin and fibrous and virtually inedible. The root was commonly chewed for its very pleasant flavor by many native North American Indian tribes. It was often used as an appetizer, especially for children who would not eat. Apart from its used as a pleasantly flavored chew, it was seen as a famine food and was only used when there was a shortage of better foods.

Medicinal Uses:  
Licorice fern was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it especially as a treatment for a variety of chest complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.  The raw rhizomes have been eaten, or an infusion has been used, in the treatment of coughs and colds, chest pains, shortness of breath. The roots have been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for sore throats and the spitting or vomiting of blood. A tea of the pounded boiled rhizomes, mixed with fir needles, has been used to treat measles. Coughs have been treated by chewing and slowly swallowing the juice of the roasted rhizome. The roots have been used in the treatment of colds and sore throats. It helps reduce mucus membrane problems, and helps with coughs.

I have not used it raw. Apparently eating the root raw can reduce your Vitamin B, and in my case I am already low in B vitamins so we dry it and use it to make teas and tinctures. 1ml of the tincture is what I normally take.
Document Results:
We make a tea from the dried roots, and currently have a Tincture in the cupboard.

Monday, December 7, 2015


This image is the type of Plantain we have growing here on the Oregon coast. It's properties are identical to the wider leaf variety pictured here.
Latin Name:Plantago major

Parts used: The whole plant. Usually Leaves and seeds

Identification Notes:Common in most areas, can grow in practically any environment.

How used:Leaves can be used in salads or cooked like spinach, the seeds can be eaten raw or cooked.

Medicinal uses: A poltice of Plantain leaves can be used to heal cuts and insect bites. It helps to reduce swelling and infection, it is a very worthwhile plant to become familiar with.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ginger For a Toothache

Another great use of Ginger, the more we use Ginger the better we both like it and this tip came at a perfect time. My wife woke up with a slight toothache this morning, nothing debilitating but painful non-the-less. I was looking around on Pinterest and clicked on this site......
I have to tell you it worked like a charm, sliced a thin piece of fresh Ginger, and into her mouth it went, withing 15 minutes it pain was gone. So keep this in mind for future reference.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Latin Name:Rosmarinus officinalis

Parts used: The whole plant

Identification Notes:A woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. Charming rosemary herb is the perfect potherb to have in your kitchen garden. The plant is one of the recognized herbs for its note-worthy health benefiting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, and essential acids. It is used as decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses. The plant is said to improve the memory. The leaves are used to flavor various foods, such as stuffing and roast meats.

How used:The culinary uses are endless, and honestly we use a lot of it, for fun sometime if you have a huge plant, cut off some sturdy branches and use them for skewers on the BBQ for shrimp or whatever floats your boat.

Medicinal uses: This list has much more listed than just medicinal uses and honestly I can not verify most of these till I have tried them myself. I have turned the ones I can verify into Bold and Italics.

1. You can rinse your hair with rosemary water.
Sample Recipe Guide:
*In a large bowl put 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves and 1 tbsp of chamomile. (If your hair is blond, use 2 tbsp of chamomile and 1 tbsp or rosemary).
*Strain it into another container or a jug and use it after shampooing as the final rinse. Gently massage your hair, comb and let them dry. Repeat after 5-6 shampooing for better results.
2. You can use rosemary as ingredients for a mask recipe that treat the hair from the roots to the ends, strengthens and tones the scalp.
3. You can use rosemary to stimulates the synthesis of the main nerve growth factor, NGF (Nerve Growth Factor), a factor that helps prevent damage and cell death.
4. You can place rosemary on the body to stimulates the blood circulation and enhance memory.
5. You can smell rosemary to enhance mental capacity.
6. You can use rosemary to stimulate the factor of sensual desire.
7. You can use rosemary in a massage blend to relax the body and rejuvenates the mood.
8. You can use rosemary as an alternative to a magic potion.
9. You can use rosemary in a compress to relieve headache.
10. You can infuse rosemary to relieve headache.
11. You can rub rosemary mixture on the forehead to relieve the pains of the head.
12. You can use it as basic ingredients to make a medicinal syrup.
13. You can use it in making your own rosemary bath salts.
14. You can bath with rosemary for healthy skin.
15. You can use it as basic ingredients for a lotion.
16. You can spread rosemary leaves in front of your doors and windows to ward of poisonous animals such as snakes and scorpions.
17. You can make your own spray repellent with rosemary.
18. You can use it in a bake potatoes with rosemary.
19. You can use rosemary for flavoring foods cooked with wine or garlic.
20. You can use rosemary to flavor salad, bakes potatoes, grilled meats, poultry and fish.
21. You can use it to make medicinal vinegar.
22. You can use rosemary to protect you from infection of any plaque disease.
23. You can burn rosemary twigs in a fireplace to help disinfect the air in your surroundings.
24. You can use rosemary twigs for steaming.
25. You can grow it in any soil, even if it is rocky.
26. You can burn twigs or leaves as an alternative to incense to purify the place.
27. You can put little packet of rosemary under the front door mat to capture any negative energy of you and your visitors to prevent it entering the interior of the house.
28. You can use rosemary to make an herb and juice cocktail.
29. You can use rosemary in combination with other tonic herbs to make a powerful energy drink.
30. You put rosemary leaves and flowers under your pillow to have sweet dreams.

I am sure some of the above are a bit sketchy I doubt it will keep snakes at bay but I have never had an issue with them getting in the house anyway so....And under my pillow for sweet dreams? No I don't think so but a cup of Rosemary tea is pretty awesome. And as an alternative to a magic potion? WOAH.....Way past my pay-grade.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Serious Cough Remedy

Ok friends, COPD is no joke and because I have it I do try to avoid getting a chest cold or worse as I have had pneumonia several times in my life. This cold I currently have is wearing my patients real thin, the cough is not getting better and I decided to find a remedy I could make myself. Years ago I was dealing with pneumonia and could not take off work, the kids were little and I had to work come hell or high water so I bought this little bottle of stuff from Elliots Health-food Store that was suppose to clear up chest colds and help get all the crap out of my lungs. It worked miracles, but I never wrote down what the stuff was. So here I am in a similar situation although going to work is not an issue, breathing is. So try this if you ever are in need of a chest congestion, cough remedy it sure worked for me.
I will include a link to the site I found the recipe for this cough remedy and I have to say it works like a champ! I had to modify the recipe to use fresh Ginger instead of the dried but it works !! Hall-a Loo-LA it works.
Be sure to read the disclaimer too it should NOT be given to young children.
¼ teaspoon Cayenne
¼ teaspoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar (an organic one, like Bragg’s, is preferred.)
2 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Honey (use a locally produced raw honey, if possible.)
Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. Hoo-wee.
Note: This is potent albeit watery syrup. It also doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using.
Here is the link to the site..........

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ginger Lemon Cinnamon Peppermint Honey....TEA

Battling a cold is bad enough but add in the fact you may have to actually DO things during the day and your an old codger like me I was extremely pleased to have stumbled on this tea. Yesterday I brewed up a cup of Ginger/Lemon/Honey/Peppermint and I was amazed how quickly it cleared my chest and sinuses, and actually gave be a boost (not the Red Bull gives you wings kind of boost thank God) So this morning after nosing around I found another recipe that included Cinnamon, and have the sliced Ginger in a pot with a Cinnamon stick brewing as I write this, we already have Lemon juice frozen in cubes from the lemons our lovely daughter brought to us. So now I am going to bag some Peppermint, make me a cup and plan out my strategy for replacing a balast and lights in the kitchen....Lock out Tag out....Some of you will get it, if not call an electrician.
The photo is from this website and they have the recipe too.....

Monday, November 9, 2015


Common Name: Dandelion

Latin Name:Taraxacum Officinale

Parts used: The whole plant

Identification Notes:The leaves are hairless unlike similar looking plants. 

How used:

Dandelion herb health benefits

  • Fresh dandelion greens, flower tops, and roots contain valuable constituents that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
  • Fresh leaves are very low in calories; providing just 45 calories per 100 g. It is also good source of dietary fiber (provide about 9% of RDA per 100 g). In addition, its latex is a good laxative. These active principles in the herb help reduce weight and control cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Dandelion root as well as other plant parts contains bitter crystalline compounds Taraxacin, and an acrid resin, Taraxacerin. Further, the root also contains inulin (not insulin) and levulin. Together, these compounds are responsible for various therapeutic properties of the herb.
  • Fresh dandelion herb provides 10161 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 338% of daily-recommended intake, one of the highest source of vitamin-A among culinary herbs. Vitamin A is an important fat-soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant, required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and vision.
  • Its leaves are packed with numerous health benefiting flavonoids such as carotene-β, carotene-α, lutein, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthn. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering functions and protects retina from UV rays.
  • The herb is good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin -E and vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Dandelion greens provide 58% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin-C.
  • Dandelion is probably the richest herbal sources of vitamin K; provides about 650% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
Dandelion herb contains notable nutrients and is a great source of nutrition during winter
This humble backyard herb provides (%of RDA/100g)-
9% of dietary fiber,
19% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),
20% of Riboflavin,
58% of vitamin C,
338% of vitamin A,
649% of vitamin K,
39% of iron and
19% of calcium.
Dose: As you can see it is packed nutritionally and can be taken in many forms. In salads, in soups, dried and made into a tea. The raw leaves are less bitter in the spring but cooked like spinach it is less so. 
Document Results:We make a tea from the dried leaves, cook the spring leaves with spinach, and currently have a Tincture in the cupboard..