At the end of last week a couple of the kids pulled up the tomato plants (at my request) and picked all the green tomatoes. So because I didn’t want them to go to waste, last night I made six quarts of pickled green tomatoes and 2.5 quarts of green tomato salsa. I bought a few large bags of organic red corn chips last week that will go nicely with the salsa for a yom tov snack. And the kids tasted the pickled tomatoes tonight and gave them a thumbs up.
Then yesterday my wonderful children put the sukka together, and I asked them to plant some seeds for me – but they went on to plant a bunch more than that! They planted swiss chard, spinach, mache, lettuces, turnips, beets, rutabagas, and snow peas. Since we all got so much done yesterday, I decided to treat everyone to a trip to the science center this morning, where we spent several hours and had a great time!
>>Your blog is wonderful and so helpful. I was looking to place my first order at Mountain Rose Herbs (perhaps tomorrow) and I recall you wrote somewhere that your midwife had a special mixture of herbs she told you to take postpartum to avoid the discomfort (pain) after the birth. Is there any chance I could have the “recipe” and how it’s prepared/taken?<<
As far as the recipe for minimizing afterbirth cramping, it’s a brew of Chinese herbs that this herbalist created for her clients. I’d also love to know the recipe, but it seems to be a trade secret!
>>Besides elderberry, is there anything else you advise getting or having on hand for general purposes?<<
What kind of herbs will be most useful will depend on what you foresee needing them for. I started off using herbs by taking a blend of several for pregnancy and then I added on as they appealed to me. I can’t claim that I was incredibly systematic about it – I got the herbs that seemed to have properties I felt would be valuable. But it’s worked out pretty well since I’ve had on hand the herbs I’ve needed for the most part. I have a couple I haven’t really done much with yet, though. Before making an order, it’s best to have some idea of what it does as well as how you plan to use it.
The easiest to include in your collection are the food herbs, like cinnamon, mustard, ginger, cayenne, garlic, tumeric – I get those in the grocery store in the largest containers I can fine. I have several I’ve harvested from my garden or yard – burdock (blood purifier), plantain (skin issues), fennel (digestive aid), and sage (colds). Then when I bought herbs, I got several that are natural antibiotics – echinacea, yarrow, and olive leaf. Comfrey is for contact healing of cuts – I think it’s a must have. I have pau d’arco for yeast issues (never used this but it seemed like a good thing!), spearmint for digestion, mullein and lobelia for upper respiratory infections. Then there are herbs like chamomile for calming.
So the question is, what do you see as being the issues you want to deal with? If for example, I had restless sleepers or issues of depression, I’d need different herbs than what I have. I decided this winter to prepare remedies to address the following: flu, colds, upper respiratory distress, ear pain, cough syrup, digestive issues, and a basic first aid salve. So I’ve made elderberry syrup (colds and flus) and tonight finished the , echinacea glycerite (colds). I plan to make ginger syrup for sore stomachs or indigestion (in addition to having fennel and spearmint, as well as peppermint oil), mullein oil for ear pain (this is something we rarely experience – I’m not even sure why I’m preparing it except it seems to be worth having just in case) and am astragulus and wormwood for a couple of other remedies. I have a first aid salve simmering on the stove right now, my own creation. I’m also planning to make a muscle cream and got arnica flowers and St. John’s wort for that.
So for me at this stage (remember, I’m relatively new herbal healing), the most important herbs would be: echinacea root and leaves, elderberries, mullein, lobelia, comfrey, yarrow, plantain, and licorice root. For anything else I think I could manage with whatever is in my spice cabinet, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and good nutrition!