Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mimosa Season!

 The little mimosa grove in the lot next to the house is flowering.  I can stand on the deck and see exactly when it's time to go out and pluck the blossoms.  It's easy to see when storms knock down branches, so that I can get out there and peel the bark before it gets too dry.

A lush St John's Wort plant popped up in the middle of the grove!

Several years ago while writing one of my books, there were a lot of remedies using mimosa tincture, and several tea blends using mimosa.  It's one of my top 10 favorite herbs  I talked to a representative of a large herb house about carrying mimosa, but it didn't seem likely. That's when I asked my brother in law about putting in a grove.  I went around the property with some hot pink marking tape, and chose a dozen young trees.  He cleared the spot for them and put them in.  The following spring they took off and even gave me lots of flowers and bark.  At a certain point they'll get too big to ensure that I can manage the flowers and keep them from becoming seeds. I'll cut them down and let them start over. 

First little crop of this year.

 Mimosa is a very good friend of mine.

Latin Name: Albizia julibrissin
Nicknames: Tree of Happiness, silk tree, albizzia
Family: Leguminosae

Qualities: cooling, moistening
Therapeutic Actions:
Flowers: carminative, digestive, sedative and tonic, cheering and lightening.
Bark: anodyne, carminative, diuretic, grounding, sedative, stimulant, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary

The flowers are heady and their effect is a little spacey for me.  Perhaps because that's where I tend to "live" anyway?  The bark keeps me anchored while still helping to chase the blues away. 
Mimosa is good medicine for anxiety, depression, grief, sleep problems (insomnia), sore throat, blue or unstable moods, SAD, and nervous stomachs (flatulence).

This was probably one of the first batches of the flowers and bark together - for me.

One of my very favorite preparations is what I call the Holy Grail.  It is a blended tincture with half of a bark/flower tincture and half holy basil.  Both can be purchased separately.  The blend takes whatever I'm struggling to deal with and sets it off to the side.  Instead of my head being buried in a dark cloud, the cloud moves off and I can look at it objectively,
While picking flowers the other day, a branch broke off.  I immediately stripped the bark and added it to the basket.  The branch looks like a bone, and the bark is fresh and cooling with light sap.

without feeling it so intensely.  The holy basil helps, and supports my body as it deals with the stress of the situation. Many people include rose in a formula if dealing specifically with grief or heartbreak.

Mimosa bark can be chopped fine and included in tea blends.  It has a mild, pleasant taste that blends well with almost anything.  I use young bark that hasn't gotten a hard outer bark yet, so it's basically all inner bark.  The outer paper bark falls away.  This makes it more easily steeped along with more fragile herbs.

The bark was torn into thin strips while wet.  I later broke them into 2" pieces.

If you have this tree growing around you, I hope you get the opportunity to try some of the fresh flowers in tea, and experience the intoxicating fragrance.  If you find a fallen branch (or since everyone seems to consider them invasive, cut one) peel the bark.  Feel the silky, smooth, moist inner bark.  It will dry pretty quickly, and you can chop it into the size you'd like.  You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Essential Herbal July/Aug 2024

 This summer issue is a delight filled with all sorts of herbal wonders.  Take a break from the weather where you are and grab a copy!
Single Issue


Field Notes from the Editor, Tina Sams
Discovering the absolute joy of perennials after decades of planting them.

About the Cover  - Where is this magical place?

Calendula, My Go-To Summer Flower, Marcy Lautanen Raleigh
Growing, harvesting, and enjoying calendula in skin soothers, food, and tea!

Surprising Summer Sides, Alicia Allen
Tired of the same-old, same-old at potlucks?  These will become classics.

10 Healing Weeds of Late Summer, Carly Wall
There is so much food and medicine around us.  Learning even a few can make a big difference.

3 Magic Moon Milk Recipes, Jessicka Nebesni
Delightful, creative, and healing beverages to enjoy.

A Year of Foraging - June, Rebekah Bailey
Becky continues to find interesting plants.  This project is fun for all of us!

Meet Milk Thistle, Kristine Brown RH(AHG)
All about this medicinal wonder.  Instructions for  harvesting, storing, and making extract included.

Adding Interest to the Garden with Perennials, Kathy Musser
A quartet of stunners you might want to try.

Word Search  - Summertime!

Crossword Puzzle  - Inside this Issue and Beyond!

Long Live the Tamal! Marci Tsohonis
I needed this article, having shied away from tamales all my life because I didn’t know how to eat them!  Now I even know how to make them.

Valerian, Jackie Johnson ND
Valerian came back to disturbed land and said, “HEY!  Notice me!”  Jackie does a deep dive to find out why, and shares her findings along with lore, and ways to include valerian in the apothecary.

Yarrow Tea, Jamie Jackson, excerpt from Healing Herbs,  byTina Sams

Meet Our Contributors

Puzzle Solutions


Saturday, June 08, 2024

Extra! May/June 2024

 Our little Extras became more than we expected.  Originally they were going to be a single recipe with a note, or perhaps a puzzle and a tea blend to try. Maybe a short video showing how to do something... It was never quite that simple though, Not a one was ever that small. 

 In this issue, we had a great discussion of what wild food and medicine plants are available right now, in Rebekah Bailey's ongoing series  "A Year in Foraging."
I wrote about how wet it's been here and how it has effected the garden. 
We included our favorite recipe and instructions for elderflower fritters.
AND we had a crossword puzzle and a word find puzzle.
Not a bad little tidbit.  

The Extras are only available to subscribers. 
We put the first 2 years together in (and we'll be needing to change this title) ALL THE EXTRAS,
and after the new year we'll be putting together another 2 years. 

  That's the only way you can read them if you aren't a subscriber. 

Subscribe today!