Herb of the Month

It is July, and being that the gardens are in full swing, I thought Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) should be this months featured herb.
Lavender is one of my favorite herbs. To me, the smell conjours up thoughts of an English garden. Run your fingers lightly over the bushes, and the fragrance fills the air.
Although mostly used for it's calming properties, Lavender has many uses. Here at Cloverleaf Farm, we use the dried herb, the fresh herb, and the essential oil quite frequently.
In the early days, Lavender was used quite often as a condiment. It is not used much in cooking these days.
Lavender essential oil can be used on animals to repel fleas and ticks. It is successfully used in the treatment of sores, varicose ulcers, burns and scalds. In Europe it is commonly used by most households for bruises, burns, bites and aches and pains. Lavender essential oil is used in many natural skin creams as a preservative and a fragrance.
Lavender is useful as an antiviral, antibacterial agent, and can be found in many ointments.
No matter how you use lavender, it is one of the essential herbs to have on hand.

Still in Shock

I am still in shock over it all. I still can't believe that a so called "garden expert" with "25 years experience", and a college degree would think that using poison on the earth is an okay thing to do. Paul Parent Garden Club, is sponsored by Scotts. We all know that Scott's is owned by Monsanto. In my opinion, anyone with half a brain, would not accept sponsorship from Monsanto.
Now, I may not have a college degree in "gardening", but I do have a life time of experience in growing organic food. One does not need a degree in anything to know that what you put on the plant, will eventually end up in your mouth. It still amazes me that the Paul Parent Garden Club, and his "college degrees" can't figure this out on his own.
Sad isn't it.

Boycott Paul Parent Garden Club

Paul Parent Garden Club promotes the use of Round-Up for killing "weeds". This poison made by Monsanto Corp. is poison. Paul Parent is suggesting we use poison in our gardens, and on our soil.
If you are interested in the future of your food supply please watch The Future of Food on hulu.com. It is a well made documentary on why we should all stop using Round Up and other poisons like it. Please click on link to watch the movie. http://www.hulu.com/watch/67878/the-future-of-food
Please boycott the Paul Parent Garden Club. As long as he and others promote the use of Round Up, the future of our food is in jeapardy.

Herb of the Month

June has been a busy month here at Cloverleaf Farm. It is of course planting season, and it seems there is not enough hours in the day.

This month we are going to feature Calendula (Calendula officinalis). It is one of my favorites.
We grow calendula here on the farm to use in our medicinal herbal ointments. It is also one of the herbs in our first aid kit.

Calendula acts an immune stimulant, anti-fungal, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial among others. Calendula can be used internally for gastrointestinal problems, and externally for almost any skin ailment. It is a must for summer time skin problems like insect bites, and sunburn. It rapidly repairs damaged skin tissue.

I use calendula for so many things. It works great as an antifungal, antibiotic oinment. You can also use it as a poulitce for skin rashes and other skin irritations of summer. Add calendula oil to your bath for soothing relief to dry itchy skin.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a great cream to have for your skin. It also is used for acne, boils, wounds, cuts, scrapes, and inflamed skin. It is gentle enough for baby, and makes a wonderful diaper rash or cradle cap ointment. Stick a container of calendula cream or oil in the fridge, and the next time you burn yourself, you will have a cooling, healing skin treatment. Taken internally, it is used as a detoxifier, helping to treat the toxicity that underlies infections, systemic skin disorders (such as eczema and psoriasis), liver and gallbladder disorders. An infusion of calendula makes a great douche for yeast infections.

Healing Powers of Herbs

Herbs have been used for centuries to heal.
We here at Cloverleaf Farm enjoy teaching people the power of healing naturally through herbs. We hold several classes throughout the year that help people use herbs to heal everything from Healing Anxiety Naturally to Lowering Your Cholesterol Naturally .
The classes are fun and taught in small groups. Each student learns how to take control of their health using the healing powers of herbs. In each class, the student learns to make an herbal remedy using organic herbs, and how to use it at home.
The next round of classes is starting in June. Please check Cloverleaf Farm Herbal Center for a list of classes and the dates.

Take control of your health using the wonderful healing powers of herbs.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm has been used medicinally since the Middle Ages. It is has been used to relieve anxiety, stress and tension since that time and is still used today for those same illnesses.Lemon Balm helps heal naturally.Lemon Balm is used most often as a medicinal herbal tea. It is also used in herbal and medicincal body care products. Lemon Balm can also be used in an extract or tincture form. Our biggest seller is Lemon Balm Ointment followed by Lemon Balm Oil.
Anxiety And Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is a wonderful nerve tonic. It is good on it's own for anxiety and stress, but can also be used in combination with other calming herbs such as valerian, catnip, lavender, or passionflower. When using valerian, you should not use any other sleep inducing medication such as valium.
For anxiety Lemon Balm is either given in tea or tincture. A tincture is a concentrated herbal medicine that is made with alcohol. The alcohol draws in the medicinal properties of the lemon balm as it is being made, and is a good way to take herbal medicine. You can easily dissipate the alcohol by letting it sit in warm water for a few minutes. This works well for people who have a sensitivity to alcohol, or don't want to use products with alcohol in them.
If a tincture does not suit you, you can certainly use lemon balm as a tea. The usual dosage for a cup of herbal tea is 1 tablespoon per one cup (coffee cup) of water. Pour hot water over the herb in the cup. Cover with plate to allow the essential oils of the lemon balm to stay in the cup. Strain after 10-15 minutes. Sit back, drink, and enjoy. It is best to take 3-4 cups per day for 2 weeks to allow the lemon balm to take effect.
Herpes / Cold Sores
In studies, lemon balm has been shown to have polyphenols. The polyphenols give lemon balm fantastic antiviral actions. In particular, they help to combat and heal cold sores due to the herpes simples virus (HSV). Applied to the affected area, lemon balm helps heal cold the sores in about 3-5 days. It also helps double the time between outbreaks.
Lemon balm that is used on herpes cold sores is usually found in either an oil or an ointment. The leaves of the plant are steeped in a carrier oil (such as almond, apricot, or olive) for 4-6 weeks. The oil absorbs the medicinal actions of the lemon balm. It is then strained and either used as lemon balm oil or ointment. It is a popular herbal ointment for herpes.
Lemon balm is also useful on chicken pox and shingles. Both chicken pox and shingles are the same virus as herpes. Used topically, lemon balm will help heal the sores of chicken pox and shingles much quicker than on their own.
Flu with Muscle Aches and Pains
Due to its antispasmodic and relaxant actions lemon balm can come in quite handy when a flu hits with muscle aches and pains. It will help relax the body, and the antispasmodic action will help with any muscular spasms. Lemon balm increases sweating, and could help in the case of a fever. By making the body sweat, the toxins are driven out of the body through the pores. It can be used at the first sign of flu for best results.

Natural Herbal Healing

Herbal healing has been common practice for civilizations for thousands of years.
Herbs have been used to cure everything from acne to whooping cough.
In fact about 80 % of all allopathic medicines are derived from plants. In the United States, you are not allowed to patent an herb, so they create a synthetic version so they can market it. The only problem there is that the synthetic creation usually creates major side effects.
Most herbal remedies do not have side effects. This is due to the fact that the herb is working in balance with your body to heal, rather that just covering up the symptom. For example; you have a cold. Most people reach for the cough medicine. The cough medicine only pushes the symptoms back into your body. The virus that causes the cold is still there.
If using herbs to help your body fight the cold, the herbs will boost your immune system and help your body heal it rather than just pushing it back down. Herbs heal from the inside out.
Herbal healing and natural healing has become more prominent as people are now more aware of the dangers of allopathic medicine.

Herb of the Month

Ah, May 1. Warm weather is here, and it will soon be summer.
I thought this was the perfect time to start an herb of the month series again.
This month's herb is Borage.
Borage is a common Mediterranean weed thought to have originated from southern Spain and Morocco. A hairy annual or perennial growing to between two and three feet in height producing a pulpy stem, large basal leaves, and bluish-lavender, star-shaped flowers, it is now cultivated worldwide mainly for its seed oil. Borage flowers have a slight cucumber taste, and are a great additive to salads.
Borage is helpful in the garden as well. Planting borage between tomato plants help keep down the dreaded horned worm, otherwise known as the tomato worm. By interplanting, also known as companion planting, you can help keep the bad bugs at bay.
For more information on Borage please visit Borage Information.

Here Comes The Sun

Living and working on a farm, you can't help but be out in the sun.
I have always loved the sun. I love being outdoors, but sometimes forget I have been out too long. Days like today and yesterday.
On days such as this, I reach for my all natural organic sunburn treatment. It is a combination of herbs such as calendula, avocado oil, lavender, vitamin and other herbs to help soothe and cool the skin.
It is even more wonderful when you put it in the refridgerator ahead of time. This cools the skin even more.
Remember to wear your sun screen, don't stay in the sun too long, and if you do reach for natural organic skin care to help soothe and heal your skin.

Herbal Healing for Sore Muscles

Spring is here. I can tell from my sore muscles. After not working out much all winter, it seems all that I do creates sore muscles. Whether it is my back from working in the gardens, or my arms from putting up new fence posts, my body is telling me it isn't happy.
While most people reach for OTC products such as Ben-Gay or Icy Hot, we prefer a more natural approach. We use the methods below to help heal our sore muscles naturally.
1. Stretch. Always warm up.
2. Massage. Massage is one of the best ways to detox your muscles. It can actually help if you massage before working as well. Use an herbal oil such as Lavender, or Peppermint to help relax and rejuevenate those overworked muscles.
3. Drink lots and lots of water. Water helps to remove toxins from the body, including muscle.
4. When your mucles get tired, or achy, try using arnica, comfrey, crampbark or prickly ash. We make an oil, mix them up and add essential oils to it. It makes a wonderful massage oil.
5. Don't overdue. Overworked muscles take time to replenish themselves. Relax and recooperate.
Herbal healing is healthy healing.

Herbal Remedies for Stress Reduction

Stress. We all have it. Stress is part of our daily lives.
When stress becomes too much to handle, don't visit the doctor, reach for herbal remedies.
They are safe and non toxic to your body unlike most stress reducing medication.
We will talk about 3 of the herbal remedies for stress here.
#1. Chamomile. Almost everyone knows the powers of chamomile. It is soothing to the soul.Used usually in tea form. Drink 3- 5 cups daily. Chamomile can also be used in tincture form. If using a tincture, the dosage is usually 6-10 drops 3 x a day.
#2. Lemon Balm. Lemon balm has been used for years for stress and anxiety. It is calming and soothing. Lemon balm is also drank as a tea, or taken as a tincture. Same dosage as chamomile. If you have thyroid disease, you should not use lemon balm. This is especially if you are taking thyroid medication. It interferes with the absorbtion of your medication.
#3. Lavender. Lavender is usually used as an essential oil in perfumes, creams and other body care products. Did you know you can actually drink it as well? It makes a beautiful, flowery tasting tea. Add a touch of honey to sweeten. During the summer months, we drink Lavender Lemonade all the time. Not so much for it's calming properties, but just because it tastes good.
It turns a lovely purple color.
Stress doesn't have to get you down. You don't have to let it take over your life. Take control of stress with natural ways. Take control with herbs.

Essential Herbs - Tea

Here at Cloverleaf Farm, tea is not only what we grow, but how we drink. Teas are natures cureall for most everything. We use herbs for everything from the common cold and virus to the wounds on our hands. We grow them, sell them, and know how to use them.
There are certain herbs and herbal preparations we have on hand at all times.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is used the most. It is used as a tea for stomach troubles as well as the ointment for burns or scratches. It is one of the most versitile herbs. Click here for more information on calendula. It is also used in our Sunshine Mint Jelly. It is by far the most reached for herb in our house.
We are herbal tea drinkers. Loose leaf is the best way to drink herbal tea. Most packaged herbal teas don't hold up to using loose leaf. To us, one could never have enough herbal tea. Herbs we always have on hand for tea drinking is Rooibos, Mint, Chamomile, and Valerian. Rooibos makes a beautiful red tea that helps to lower cholesterol. Mint makes a great after dinner tea to soothe the stomach. Chamomile is also a good after dinner tea to calm and soothe. You can mix it with mint or drink alone. It is also wonderful to help you sleep at night. Valerian is nature's valium. Trouble sleeping? Make yourself a cup of valerian tea, and drink right before bed. It will help you slip into a restful sleep.

March Into Herbal Healing

Spring is just around the corner. Though if you live in my neck of the woods you would think otherwise.
Spring is a good time for cleansing and detoxing from the long winter months.
Granny knew her stuff when she fed her family fresh spring greens. They are packed with nutrients, that many of us don't get over the winter months.
Nettle, is a wonderful cleansing and detoxifying herb. Nettle (urtica diotica) makes a wonderful healing tea.Nettle can be picked and dried for later use.
Dandelion too, is also a wonderful spring herb. Just be sure to pick the leaves when they are young for their best flavor. They are tender while young, and tend to be a bit rubbery if you let them go too long. Dandelion acts as a diuretic, and can help you take off some of that winter weight. Just be careful not to overuse. Dandelion can cause potassium loss. Potassium is valuable to good health.