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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Using ornamental herbs

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Ornamental herbs  are commonly grown for fresh or dried arrangements. Ornamental herbs also make the flower gardens look nicer. That is why herbs are often grown amidst the flowers. In this sense, they are used like a flower. You probably consider most of these to also fit within another category of herb. If so, you are right!

Yahoovoices.com

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If only you could bottle up a summer of delicious aromas coming from the herbs in your garden. Well you can! There are more reasons to dry your summer harvest of herbs than there are blossoms on the chives that bloom in the garden. Cooking with herbs embodies the goodness tiny thyme imparts to hot soup in the cold of winter. Fragrant uses of herbs such as a bowl of potpourri brings summer lavender back to the memory. Decorating with a wide array of dried herbs creates a sense of joy and personalizes home. Preserve your herbs by drying them using simple methods with a minimum time investment. . The basics of harvesting herbs, whether you're using air- drying, oven drying, or using silica sand to preserve them, are the same.
Harvesting Herbs
Herbs are usually ready to be harvested in July and a second cutting in September may be possible. While doing daily gardening tasks keep an eye out for plants beginning to bud, the oils of herbs are at their peak just before blooming and this is the time to begin harvesting and drying. Start by going out early in the morning before the sun has hit its zenith armed with a basket or bag to collect your herbs in and a pair of good sharp pruning shears or a knife to make clean cuts Cut annuals back severely, but leave a 4 to 6 inch stem. The life span of an annual takes place in one season so no growth is needed to store up energy for the next year. On the other hand, perennials require growth to maintain compact, lush plants. Cut not more than 1/3 off the top of a perennial. If you're collecting seeds from plants such as dill, wait until the plant is fully matured and the seed head begins to turn brown. Check leaves for damage or disease, removing leaves that show signs of distress. Shake the stems gently to disperse bugs and dirt clinging to the herb plant.
Preserving herbs is simple and old time methods such as air-drying require nothing more than a dark, dry, warm area such as an attic or closet. Other drying methods used are ovens, silica sand, and dehydrators. Use the method best suited for your needs. Following is a list of herbs that dry well: sage, thyme, summer savory, dill, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, lavender, lemon balm, tarragon, mints to list a few.
Air-Drying:
After checking the leaves for damage or disease, bundle 5 to 8 stems together using a rubber band. Place a paper bag poked with holes for ventilation over the leaves tying the ends with string. The paper bag keeps the herbs clean and dust free. Hang upside down in a warm, dark, well-ventilated area. An attic or a closet works really well. Hang the bundles of herbs from beams, if you have them. If not, a rope or wire strung from eyebolts in an attic works great, as does a wooden clothes dryer.
Hang in a dark, warm, dry area such as an attic. Hang from beams if you have them or string cloth rope or wire from one end to the next to dry. Wooden clothes dryers work really well for drying herbs and flowers. 1-4 weeks to dry
Tray Drying
Using trays to dry is similar to hanging herbs upside down to dry. Old screens set on bricks or cement blocks make perfect trays for drying herbs and flowers. Wash the screen first removing dirt and debris and let them dry before placing plants on the screen. Tray drying works best for short stems or single leaves. Trays can be built using 2x2 wood and screens. Making the trays stackable uses less space and works wonderfully well. Store all trays in dark, dry, and warm places.
Gas or Electric Ovens
Gas or electric ovens can be used for quick drying and works well for herbs with fleshier leaves such as mint and lemon balm. Place leaves or stems on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and place in a 180-degree oven. Leave the door open to allow moisture to escape. It will take 3-4 hours for the herbs to dry. I do not recommend drying herbs in the microwave. A microwave tends to cook the herb rather than dry it.
Silica sand drying
I have never dried herbs for cooking using this method. I have dried decorative herbs and flowers using silica sand. Silica sand wicks the moisture from plants and is great for fragile blossoms and foliage. Another popular desiccant is silica gel. Check the label and use as directed. Again, I would not use silica gel for drying herbs intended for culinary purposes. Use an airtight container with a thin layer of silica sand covering the bottom; place the flowers, leaves, or stems on top, but not touching each other. Add silica sand until the entire plant is covered. Place in dark, dry, warm area for 2-4 weeks or until plants are completely dry. Use a container that will fit under beds, tuck it away and forget it for 2-4 weeks. Follow the above steps once the herbs are dry.
Once leaves are dry and brittle you can take them down and inspect them for mold. If there is any mold, discard the entire bunch. Remove the leaves from the stems by circling the lower stem and gently pulling upwards over a large clean towel or bowl. The leaves will drop off and you can pack them into jars. Crush them if you wish, but remember, herbs hold their flavor better if left whole. Store in airtight containers. Glass jars with secure tops work best, but I've seen herbs stored in old tins and crocks that keep the light out and add a decorative touch. Pint canning jars work well and are inexpensive. Look around at thrift shops, yard sales or auctions for interesting glass containers that would add flair to your kitchen pantry. Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Sunlight will wash the color out and diminish the flavor and aromas. Label and date your jars. The flavor and fragrance of herbs lasts for a long time, but for best results use them within one year.
Using Dried Herbs
Crush in your hand to release the flavor before adding dried herbs to recipes or cooking. A mortar and pestle can be used to make herbs finer before adding to cooking. Every pantry should be stocked with herbal blends easily put together using your harvested and dried herbs. Following are some all time favorites.
*Bouquet Garni: A must for French cooking and often-tossed into stews and soups.
¼ cup dried parsley
4 bay leaves, crumpled
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried lovage leaves
Mix the herbs together in a bowl. Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture in a small muslin bag or in the center of a 4-inch square of fine cheesecloth, doubled. Tie the bag or gather up the corners of the square and tie with a kitchen string, leaving a long end that can be tied to the handle of the pot so it is easily removed from the dish before serving. Store the bags in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Makes enough for 10 to 12 bags.
*Fines Herbes: This blend works wonders for omelets, soups, fish, butters, and vegetables.
2 tablespoons dried chervil
2 tablespoons dried chives
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Mix well and store in airtight jar. Makes about ½ cup.
*Italian Seasoning: All the herbs needed for pizzas, pasta, herb breads or any dish that requires a hint of Italian flavoring.
½ cup dried oregano
½ cup dried basil
¼ cup dried parsley
1-tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons dried sage
1 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
Mix well and store in airtight jar. Makes about 1 ½ cups.
*Herbs de Provence: perfect for marinating and grilling meats
¼ cup dried marjoram
¼ cup dried oregano
¼ cup dried savory
½ cup dried rosemary
½ cup dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried lavender leaves
2 tablespoons dried fennel seeds or stalks
Mix well and store in jar. Makes about 2 cups. *All blends from The Herbal Pantry by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead a great book with ways to use and preserve the herbal bounty from your garden





Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Medicinal herbs

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

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Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

Since early Neanderthal man, plants and herbs have been used for healing purposes and maintaining good health. Even has medical science has progressed, methods and ideas based on herbal healing have sustained and grown in different countries, across different cultures, often being used in exactly the same way. For instance, bitter chamomile is used as a digestive aid throughout the world.

Since ancient times, many types of herbs have been used in medicine and believed to have the power to cure a wide range of ailments. We know some of them have been proved to be true. Others, like garlic, have preventative characteristics.

Also in ancient times, many herbs were believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits. We all are too familiar with the belief that Garlic worn around the neck will ward off vampires.

Traditional herbal remedies have led scientists to the development of numerous 'modern' drugs; from aspirin, tranquilizers and to heart saving digitalis, establishing beyond doubt the efficiency of 'herbal medicine'.

The Value of Medicinal Herbs:
Since ancient times, herbs were, and continue to be used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Some herbs, most notably Garlic, were used to ward off evil spirits. Over the years, many herbs were proven to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of ailments and injuries.

Annie's Remedy


California Poppy
Eschscholzia californicaGold Poppy
Tender Perennial : The above ground parts and roots of this wildflower show promise in the treatment of insomnia without the side effects and dependency risks of ...
ChamomileChamomileMatricaria recutitaCamomile, Chamomilla, German chamomile
Annual herb : Because of it's extraordinarily gentle effectiveness, chamomile is the first herb of choice for many home remedies. The seemingly endless list of problems chamomile is said to help can all be traced to its effects of the nervous system and digestive system, as well ...
RosemaryRosemaryRosmarinus officinalis
Woody perennial herb : Amazing, versatile rosemary is cultivated worldwide, valued by cooks, herbalists, aromatherapists, and gardeners alike. Rosemary is an extremely useful herb, with many culinary, medicinal and aromatherapy attributes. The essential oil is distilled from the fresh flower ...
Devil's ClawDevil's ClawHarpagophytum procumbensgrapple plant, wood spider
perennial vine : Arthritis Joint Pain, anti-inflammatory This herb has an extensive history of use as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and digestive stimulant ...
Ginseng rootGinseng rootPanax ginsengRen-shen, X-yang-shen
Herbaceous perennial : Adaptogen, Stress and Focus Ginseng is one the best known and widely prescribed herbs in Chinese medicine as a general adaptogenic and restorative tonic. ...
Comfrey Root & LeafComfrey Root & LeafSymphytum officinale
Perennial Herb : Skin care, arthritis Comfrey salves, ointments and teas are best know for the topical treatment of burns, skin ulcerations, abrasions, lacerations, flea and insect bites, ...
CalendulaCalendulaCalendula officinalisPot marigold
perennial herbaceous plants : Calendula is particularly good treatment for cuts, scrapes, bruises, insect bites and minor wounds. Calendula flower oil is one of the first herbs to consider in minor first aid applications. Particularly good treatment for cuts, scrapes, bruises, a ...
Hemp OilHemp OilCannabis sativamarijuana, pot, gunja, weed
: Perhaps the most valued property of hemp (Cannabis sativa) is its percentage of essential fatty acids, which is higher than any other plant in ...
DamianaDamianaTurnera aphodisiaca
: Aphrodisiac, female tonic, depression The Mayans and Aztecs used it as a sexual stimulant and as a treatment for respiratory disorders. ...
Bitter MelonBitter MelonMomordica charantiabalsam pear, bitter gourd
vine : Healthy cooking for high blood sugar The gourd-like fruit has a long history as a treatment for diabetes. Bitter melon improves the body's ability to use blood sugar and improves glucose ...
Rehmannia rootRehmannia rootRehmannia glutinosaChinese Foxglove, Shu Di Huang
: Rehmannia is a very commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine. Know as or Di-huang, (earth yellow), prepared rehmannia is used for loss of bl ...
LobeliaLobeliaLobelia inflataIndian-Tobacco. Pukeweed. Asthma Weed.
Annual Herb : Smoking The plant was known to the Penobscot Indians and was widely used in New England long before the time of Samuel Thomson, who ...
WormwoodWormwoodArtemisia absinthium L.
: Wormwood is used today mainly as a bitter tonic, and in natural pest control. ...
Maca rootMaca rootLepidium peruvianumMaca, Peruvian ginseng, maka
herbaceous biennial plant : Sexual tonic, Chronic fatigue, medicinal food Maca root is being effectively administered to both men and women to help increase libido, men's sperm activity, and to assist both sexes with issues ...
Tamanu OilTamanu OilCalophyllum inophyllumForaha, kamanu
tree : Tamanu Oil benefits for acne scars, psoriasis Fiji natives use Tamanu oil for joint pains, arthritis, bruises, oozing wounds, chapped lips and preventing diaper rash. ...
Siberian Ginseng rootSiberian Ginseng rootEleutherococcus senticosusEleuthero ginseng, Ci-wu-jia, Wu Jia Shen Jing
herb : Siberian ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, to increase energy and vitality and to treat respiratory and other infections ...
Immortelle OilImmortelle OilHelichrysum angustifoliumEverlasting, Strawflower
flowering plant : Helichrysum is known for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and regenerative properties. ...
Passion FlowerPassion FlowerPassiflora incarnata
vine : Herbalists have a high regard for the soothing properties of passionflower and recommend it as a general nerve tonic. ...
EpimediumEpimediumEpimedium grandiflorumhorny goat weed, xian ling pi, and yin yang huo
: Epimedium, also known as Yin Yang Huo or Horny Goat Weed, is a powerful remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for thousands of year ...
Coconut oilCoconut oilCocos nucifera
tree : Virgin coconut oil benefits for skin, hair and heart healthy diets There is no mistaking the wonderful benefits of coconut oil for the softening and healing dry and damaged skin. ...
SoapwortSoapwortSaponaria officinalisBouncing Bet, Fuller's herb, Sweet William, Bruisewort, Old Maids Pink
perennial plant, vespertine flower : Natural Shampoo, Skin Care The common name of this member of the carnation family indicates it's traditional uses in washing ...
Saffron threadsSaffron threadsCrocus sativus
crocus : Saffron contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds ...
CatuabaCatuabaErythroxylum catuabacaramuru, catagu, catigu, catigua, chuchuhuasha, pau de reposta, or tatuaba
tree : Catuaba is the most famous of the Brazilian aphrodisiac plants, noted for it's ability to strengthen erections. ...
Black Seed oilBlack Seed oilNigella sativaKalonjii, Black cumin, black caraway, Roman-coriander, fennel-flower
Annual Herb : Black cumin seed oil is used as a healthy dietary supplement. Black seed oil contains fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in a unique cell structure. ...
Chaga MushroomChaga MushroomInonotus obliquusCinder conk, Birch mushroom
Mushroom : Chaga mushroom has been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries in Russia, and China as a tonic and blood purifier. ...



Herbs Alphabetical by Common Name 
A_ B_ C_ D_ E_ F_ G_ H_ I_ J_ K_ L_
M_ N_ O_ P_ Q_ R_ S_ T_ U_ V_ W_ X_ Y_ Z_
See List Herbs by Botanical Name

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What is aromatherapy

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

Annie's Aromatherapy


What are Essential oils?
Volatile plant oils extracted by steam distillation from flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and bark. Highly concentrated, fragrant oil, rich in chemical compounds of the mother plant. Volatile means the oils will evaporate and become airborne upon contact with air or heat.

Organic Aromatherapy Essential Oils Hippocrates understood the antibacterial properties of aromatic plants and urged the people of Athens to burn them during an outbreak of plague. Volatile plant oils are extracted by steam distillation from flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and bark. These highly concentrated, fragrant oils are rich in chemical compounds of the mother plant. Essential oils, resins and hydrosols make it easy to incorporate the healing properties of herbs, and plants into your life.


Bath and Body
Essential oils can smooth away wrinkles, and soften damaged skin and they work on a healing level that synthetic compounds cannot duplicate.


Emotional Healing
One of the reasons aromatherapy works so well is that it works on both the emotional level and the physical level at the same time.


Home and Garden
Essential oils and other natural aromatherapy products can replace the chemicals we use to clean our homes, control pests, and care for our pets.

Medicinal
Aromatherapy is a serious option for those interested in holistic healing. All Essential oils are natural born infection fighters

Aromatherapy literally means "the use of smell to effect a cure", and was first coined by French chemist Dr. Rene M. Gattefosse in 1928. Aromatherapy makes use of the essential oils produced by herbs, trees, grasses to heal, energize and stimulate our bodies own self-healing powers. It is unfortunate that aromatherapy has been co-opted and trivialized to sell scented consumer products, often with inferior, chemical scents that have their origins in a lab, not in nature. Therapeutic use of essential oils for health and well being is a serious option for both healing, with the oils used in healing touch and massage therapies. Essential oils can also be used to clean and disinfect the air we breathe, while lifting and calming our spirits.



Acne * Aphrodisiac * Arthritis * Asthma * Bath And Body * Bronchitis * Bruises * Burns * Calming * Cellulite * Colds * Congestion *Constipation * Cough * Cramps * Cuts * Deodorant * Digestion * Disinfectant/antiseptic * Emotional Healing * Energizing * Facial * Feet * Fibromyalgia * Focus * Fresheners * Green_clean * Grounding * Hair * Headache * Herpes * Home And Garden * Insect_repellent *Lice * Medicinal * Menopause * Muscle Pain * Nervous Tension * Neuralgia * Personal Care * Pet * PMS * Rashes * Shingles * Skin *Sleep * Sprains * Stress * Teeth * Uplifting * Warming/Relaxing * Wrinkles *

Friday, May 20, 2016

Easy plant to grow with those who have dementia

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

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Flower and Garden Tips

Growing chives - why? ..Chives are probably the easiest herbs to grow in the garden.

They can be added to just about any meal you would normally add onions to, and they're very good for you!

Chives are the smallest of the onion family and there are a fair few types to choose from.

I've grown 'garlic' chives for years in the garden, and they are really useful, especially if you've run out of garlic.

You can eat every part of the chive plant. The edible flowers add colour to the salad bowl or other garnish, the grass-like leaves can be cut up and added to cooked potatoes, salads, sauces and even sandwiches, and the bulb can be used as a mild onion.
Although the flower stalk is edible, once the flower has been produced, there is very little taste or nutrients left in the stalk. Discard the flower stalks, and crumble the flower heads into your salad.

Growing chives: positioning

Chives like sun but do like a little shade during long hot summers. They are fairly good at tolerating drought conditions, but are happiest in moist well-drained soil.

Place chive plants in different parts of the garden, so you've always got something to pick and eat!
Sowing and Planting:
Chives do very well from seed. Plant a few seeds in a pot very early in the year and keep warm and watered until the seedlings are large enough to plant outside.

Plant out in well dug soil, preferably with some organic compost mixed in. You won't need to feed chives once they're in the ground, unless your ground is particularly poor, in which case you should give the chive plants a monthly feed.

Keep weed-free and watered until well established.

Growing chives in containers is also possible! Keep a pot in the kitchen. Remember to water and the plant will see you right through the season. When the flowers start to die back, cut the plant down to about 2-3 inches high and the chives will grow again.

Thompson & Morgan have chive seeds available.....

"Garden Chives" "Garlic Chinese" Chives

Looking after your chives:

There really won't be much to do.... chives are 100% easy plants to grow. Don't plant near onions as they could get onion fly, but apart from that just pick and eat them!

Don't start using the chives until the plants are fairly well established - late summer in the first year of growth.

Harvesting:

Cut chives as you need them. Use scissors and leave 2-3 inches of leaf on the plant. When the flowers start to dry and die back, you can cut down the whole plant ( to 2-3 inches high ) and the chives will grow again.

Use the flowers in the kitchen or leave to bloom on the plant. The purple flowers look spectacular on a well-established plant.

After three or four years, the chive plant should be divided. Dig up carefully, then gently, but firmly, separate the clumps of bulbs and re-plant.

During the winter months your chive plant may die back completely. Don't worry, it'll come back in the spring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Uses of mint

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

Mother Earth News

MINT SPLASH Mint leaves (peppermint is especially good) in a pint of hot water for about ten minutes ... then strain through a sieve, let cool, and chill. When you need a lift, sprinkle yourself with this solution. You'll perk up! (The liquid is usable for several days.)
MINT RINSE. Prepare mint-water as above and add it to your bath water for a tingly wash, or use the solution as a final rinse after shampooing. It's also good as a mouthwash, an after-shave lotion, and a soak for tired feet.
BREATH PURIFIER. Simply chew a sprig of your favorite mint.
TEA. Steep 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried (or 3 teaspoons of fresh) chopped mint leaves in a cup of hot water. Sweeten to taste with honey, then sip slowly, breathing in the fragrance. (Think of green fields warmed by the summer sun.) For iced tea, simply serve hot mint tea "on the rocks."
MINTED VEGETABLES. During the last two minutes of cooking, add two tablespoons of fresh chopped mint (or one tablespoon of dried chopped mint) to each quart of peas, green beans, carrots, or cauliflower.
ZESTY SALAD. Toss together two cups of lettuce, two cups of lamb's-quarters (the herb, not the animal), two or three scallions (green leaves and all), a couple of sprigs of fresh marjoram or lemon thyme (chopped), and three tablespoons of fresh, chopped mint (more if you want, but be careful not to overpower the salad with mintiness). Serve with your favorite oil-and-vinegar dressing. (Yield: 4 servings.)
MINT-CHEESE SPREAD. Add a few minced mint leaves to cream or cottage cheese, mix well, and spread on wholegrain crackers or rounds.
MINTED FRUITS. Add chopped mint to applesauce, baked apples, or fruit compotes. (For a morning eye-opener, blend chopped mint with orange juice.)
Finally, you might want to try what I call "mint sniff." Bruise a mint leaf, raise it to your nose, and inhale. Do this whenever you've forgotten the beauty in the world ... and — believe me — you'll remember.