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..

Monday, November 2, 2015


Common Name: Peppermint

Latin Name: Mentha × piperita

Parts used: Flowers, Leaves, Stems

Identification Notes: Mints of all kinds grow well in areas that have reasonable moisture, Peppermint is one of my favorites we have Spearmint growing in our yard too but the Peppermint is notably darker green and the stem has a red to violet color to it.

How used: The medicinal uses are well documented and if you lucky enough to have it growing in your yard pick and dry the leaves well and keep them in your kitchen cupboard, a cup of Peppermint tea will take care of many digestive problems not the least of which is gas or just an upset tummy. It just tastes great too.
Dose: N/A
Document Results:Well I happen to love beans, all kinds of beans and pay the price sometimes if I don't prepare them correctly (to de-gas the little buggers), I brew a cup of Peppermint tea and BINGO all better. I also like to over do hot sauce! Yes I am a glutton for punishment, love my Tobasco, Franks Red Hot, Tapito, and so on. Peppermint tea to the rescue.
Please comment if you stopped by.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pleasently Surprised--VINO

Ahhhhh. The wonders of the Blackberry are numerous, medicinally as well as just plain good to eat right off the plant. We decided to try our hand at making some Blackberry wine. The equipment needed was minimal and we already had the 5 gallon glass jug.
As I said in my previous post, Blackberries are EVERYWHERE around here, and honestly they are a pain in the behind to control, so in an effort to make these thorny bad boys pay off we went picking and after about two hours we had about 3 gallons of berries begging to become wine.
The process is fairly simple, and after ordering some champagne yeast from Amazon and an airlock we were well on our way to having Blackberry Vino! We fermented the berries after mashing them with a potato masher in one of our giant stainless steel pots we cook our BBQ sauce in (5 gallon). After several days it was time to strain the fruit and pour the juices into the carboy, we added a little water and a bit of sugar put the airlock in place and let it work. It actually only too about a week for the fermenting to slow down and after a taste test it seemed we were doing it right. So then came the straining, again, a little bit more sugar and poured it all into quart jars. The result was an effervescent wine, yeah bubbly! The balance of yeast and sugar turned out to be just right. Being the frugal guy I am I saved my favorite beer bottles (Black Butte Porter) to bottle our wine in and bought a capper and a gross of caps, knowing full well if this worked out well we will be making our own wine every year. You know what the most difficult part was? Getting the labels off of the beer bottles, good God they use some serious glue to affix their labels on those things. Anyway here is a photo of the finished product.


Monday, October 26, 2015


Not my photo as you can tell but a good representation

Typical Yellow bloom

Coos liked to hide in them
The seed pods can be pickled to become similar to Capers
Common Name: Nasturtium

Latin Name: Tropaeolum majus L.

Parts used: Flowers, Leaves, Seed Pods

Identification Notes: An annual flowering plant that trails. Flower colors are yellow, orange, red and combinations of the three.

How used: There are some medicinal uses listed such as to help with a cough, taken internally or applied to sore muscles externally but there does not seem to be much documentation to back it up. However it is very edible! The flowers and leaves in a salad add a peppery flavor and you can't deny how cool the flowers look in a salad. The seed pods can be pickled to make something very similar to Capers. I tried it once and, yeah something similar to Capers is right, but I am not an officianodo when it comes to Capers so you be the judge.
Dose: N/A
Document Results: We have used the leaves and flowers many times and we both find them delicious, but G'ganna's daughter thinks they are "too peppery"  OK Jen so we won't make you eat em just pick the flowers out of your salad.
Here on the south Oregon coast they grow like gangbusters typically the yellow and orange ones do the best, the red ones grow but not as robust as the others. Being an annual they die back when it gets really cold but some years it doesn't get cold enough to kill them back and they grow back easily. Even when the frost does take them down the seeds are everywhere anyway and re-sprout on their own.
Please comment if you stopped by.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Materia Medica, Stinging Nettle

Common Name: Stinging Nettle

Latin Name: Urtica dioica

Parts used: Roots, Stems, and Leaves

Identification Notes: Square stem and up to 6' tall but normally 2-4' tall. Visible hairs on the stem and leaves will irritate most peoples skin. A plant like this, with so many uses should be one of the plants everyone knows at a glance. Even if your in doubt, as soon as your bare skin comes in contact with it you will be certain it IS Stinging Nettle. Mother Nature is kind to us though and if you look around anywhere you see Nettle you will find one or more of the following to use as an antidote to the stinging. Mint, Dock, Rosemary, and Sage.

How used: This is another one of those plants with so many useful attributes it is amazing. Medicinal uses, check, nutritionally excellent, check. It can also be made into cordage/ string/ rope. And if that doesn't float your boat, it is also used as a fabric dye. Here is a link to a good page for info on this awesome plant.....Stinging Nettle
Document Results:We make a tea from the dried leaves, and will in the future make a tincture.
Side Effects and Cautions: This is copied from WebMD and I think it is wise to let you all know.

"Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Stinging nettle is LIKELY UNSAFE to take during pregnancy. It might stimulate uterine contractions and cause a miscarriage. It’s also best to avoid stinging nettle if you are breast-feeding.

Diabetes: There is some evidence stinging nettle above ground parts can decrease blood sugar levels. It might increase the chance of low blood sugar in people being treated for diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use stinging nettle.

Low blood pressure: Stinging nettle above ground parts might lower blood pressure. In theory, stinging nettle might increase the risk of blood pressure dropping too low in people prone to low blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, discuss stinging nettle with your healthcare provider before starting it.

Kidney problems: The above ground parts of stinging nettle seem to increase urine flow. If you have kidney problems, discuss stinging nettle with your healthcare provider before starting it."

Please comment if you stopped by.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Disclaimer, sort of

Just because I am sharing medicinal herbs and what I am doing with them, in no way am I suggesting any of them as a medical cure. For crying out loud do some reading and research, I have. Modern medicine has done some wonderful things and some pretty horrific things too, and the drug companies IMHO do not have our best interest in mind when they come up with the drugs they are.

So my thinking is why not look into what has been used for thousands of years, modern medicine has only been doing what they do for a little over one hundred. BUT if I get hit by a truck crossing the road take my busted butt to the emergency room, do not offer me a cup of herbal tea instead.

I am no doctor, and sure as heck do not want anyone to think I am offering any medical advice. I am only sharing what I have learned and what I am doing with that knowledge. Of course I am having fun too, it has always been a passion of mine to learn what nature has to offer out there in the wild. Some the edibles growing wild even in the urban areas I have lived are a hoot to discover and some are down right delicious.
 Here are some pictures of some of the wild things I love to forage for. I will rate each of them on a scale of 1-10, 10 being awesome and 1 being edible but not so hot
Morel 10

Chanterelle 8

Huckleberry 8

King Bolete 9

Oyster Mushroom 8

Salial berries 5

Stinging Nettle 7

Dandelion 7

I will post more pictures but there are many that need no photo like blackberries good GOD they are everywhere. Some, you really have to look hard for like Lambsquarter, and Sheeps sorrel. Some are easy to find like Cattail. Just a note of caution I see Cattail from the road all the time but would not ever consider eating any of those, who knows what vile crap drained into the area they are growing in? Oil?, spilled gas? let alone the fumes from vehicles. So if your going to go out looking, do some reading, talk to someone who has been out looking and knows a little something about foraging. If your nice they might take you with them sometime.

Materia Medica, Licorice Fern Root

Common Name: Licorice Fern

Latin Name: Polypodium glycyrrhiza

Parts used: Roots

Identification Notes: A fern as pictured, found on rocks, mossy tree trunks, logs etc, below 600 metres in coniferous and mixed forests in California, Oregon and Washington. Our experience is that they are found almost exclusively on Maples here on the south Oregon coast.

How used:Little is documented about it medicinal value, native Americans used it as a pleasant drink, also was chewed raw and is quite tasty. It is said to sooth mucus membranes, and good for sore throat, and cough. We use it to make tea, dried root boiled and add a little honey wow it is delicious. 
Dose: n/a
Document Results: Made into a tincture10-15-2015 will test this to see if there is any benefit, for cough and congestion.
In Comments area, note updates.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Materia Medica, Sage

Common Name: Sage

Latin Name: Salvia officinalis

Parts used: Leaves, Flowers

Identification Notes:Leaves and flower tops as pictured flowers are blue

How used: Go to this link as the uses are too many to list here but one I found interesting is it is used to turn grey hair dark, really mmmmm.Detailed Sage uses Also we are making a tincture of 3/4 Sage and 1/4 Plantain to be used as an external Poison Oak remedy. Will see how well it works next year probably.
Document Results: Made into a tincture10-15-2015 ( 3/4 Sage +1/4 Plantain )
In Comments area, note updates.

Materia Medica, Rosemary

Common Name: Rosemary

Latin Name:Rosmarinus officinalis

Parts used: Leaves, Flowers

Identification Notes:Leaves and flower tops as pictured flowers are blue

How used: Tea, and as a common spice in cooking.  Tincture 1:1 Everclear to H2o 4-6 weeks filter and store in brown bottle.
Dose:  .6ml - .8ml
Document Results: Made into a tincture 9-9-2015 began taking .6ml -.8ml daily 10-17-2015
In Comments area, note updates.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Materia Medica, Dandelion

Common Name: Dandelion

Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale

Parts used: Leaves, Roots, Flowers

Identification Notes: Leaves are smooth on underside and have no spines or frurry-ness to them. Red coloring in the stem of the leaf.

How used: Tea, cooked greens, fresh greens in salad, (best flavor in the spring, by fall they become very bitter).  Tincture 1:1 Everclear to H2o 4-6 weeks filter and store in brown bottle.
Dose:  .6ml - .8ml
Document Results: Eating the greens in the spring but not daily. Harvested roots of 2nd year plant, dried and made into a tincture 9-9-2015 began taking .6ml -.8ml daily 10-17-2015
In Comments area, note updates.