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Botanical Anthology Recipes

Roasted Roots: An Herbal Coffee Tradition

The Autumn Botanical Anthology digital magazine is available TODAY! To celebrate, I’m giving you a sneak peek at one of my articles from the publication below. But first, I must tell you a bit about this magazine I am so proud to be a part of!

Cover image by @marigold_stories

This labor of love is a seasonal, plant centered digital magazine bringing you over 45 articles from 30 contributors to incorporate autumnal herbs in your apothecary, kitchen, harvests, crafts, and fall celebrations.  

Until 9/28, grab your copy for $20 and receive the bonus cinnamon booklet. Download instantly and dive right into the 150+ pages of plant magic!

https://www.florasfeast.com/product-page/botanical-anthology-autumn-2022

Now without further ado, here is one of my articles!

Roasted Roots: An Herbal Coffee Tradition

Herbal coffee is a tradition that can be found, with a little digging, in many family histories. It was once common practice to replace or mix ground coffee with the roasted roots of plants like dandelion, chicory, and burdock. Not only did these easily-foraged plants make coffee go further, but they also cut some of the bitterness in the flavor. These roots also provided a nutritious and grounding alternative ingredient or replacement for coffee without the unwanted side effects of caffeine. Additional spices can be added to the mix for flavor and further health benefits, as well.

Here is a closer look at some of the ingredients you might add to your own roasted root blend.

Dandelion root

Strong liver, gallbladder, + kidney support 

Vitamin + mineral rich

Supports heart + balances blood pressure

Chicory root

Vitamin + mineral rich

Digestion support

Antioxidant rich

Supports liver + stomach

Burdock root

Kidney + liver support

Anti-inflammatory • Antioxidant • Detoxifying

Antibacterial + antifungal • Skin clearing

Blood sugar regulating

Cacao

Mildly stimulating

Synergizes other herbs

Heart + blood pressure support

Blood sugar regulating

Cinnamon

Digestive support • Circulation stimulating

Blood sugar regulating • Analgesic

Antimicrobial + antifungal

Antioxidants • Supports brain health

Warming + drying

Allspice, cardamom, cloves, fennel

Digestive support

Promotes circulation • Immune support

Soothing • warming • uplifting

When cooler autumn days make you long for more cups of cozy hot coffee, consider instead roasting and brewing up this alternative herbal blend. Get creative and formulate your own flavorful blend!  Or to get started, here is a simple and tasty recipe to try.

Materials

1 part dandelion root

1 part chicory root

1 part burdock root

½ part cinnamon chips

¼ part cacao nibs

¼ part allspice

Method

Preheat oven to 375°.

Spread dandelion, chicory, and burdock roots in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent burning. Roast for a shorter time if using a dark or nonstick pan.

Allow to cool.

Mix in cacao nibs, cinnamon chips, and allspice. 

Grind in a coffee grinder and brew as you normally brew coffee. Approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture makes 1 strong cup of herbal coffee.

Notes

Opt for a coarser grind if brewing with a French press.

If using pre-roasted chicory root, add it when mixing in cacao, cinnamon, and allspice. 

This blend may also be mixed with coffee, using your desired ratio (50/50 is recommended), to reduce bitterness and caffeine.

Categories
Herbs and Herbalism plant wonder collective Recipes

Lemon Balm Simple Syrup Mocktails & Cocktails

Happy Tuesday! Whether you’re here from my Instagram post or you found this blog post first, welcome to the lemon balm party!

Lemon balm is a subtle but sweet and tasty herb for making simple syrup. I decided to brew some up and then experiment with using it to create some tasty mocktails and cocktails.

I used fresh lemon balm to make a small batch of simple syrup with my usual recipe: dissolve ½ cup of sugar in ½ cup of water on the stovetop over medium heat, add in about 1 cup of the herb, remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes, strain, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 

Then came the fun part! Of course, you can use the syrup in any kind of tea (black, green, herbal) for a bit of sweetness and the calming, soothing effects of lemon balm. But I decided to take a few diy concoctions for a spin! My favorite combination was ginger ale, a splash of apple cider (apple juice works too), and about a tablespoon of lemon balm simple syrup. If you find your lemon balm syrup’s flavor turned out too subtle, though, you can always just combine it with seltzer or ginger ale so it can be the star of the show. 

There are plenty more ways to combine lemon balm simple syrup in other mocktails and cocktails, too. Here are some of my favorite combinations!

Follow along for more Lemon Balm wonder throughout the day and join us this month through our hashtags and at @plantwondercollective on Instagram!

#plantwondercollective

#pwclemonbalm

Meet the participants!

@plantwondercollective

@florasfeastbotanicals

@wineberryadventurescouts

@herbalfae

@mamalibelula

@theherbologyfaerie

@herbal_pirate

@katwb444

Plant Wonder Collective: Connecting you to nature through food, drink, play, garden, medicine, magic and art.

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Herbs and Herbalism plant wonder collective

Herb Profile: Lemon Balm

Happy September! It’s a new month (one of the best ones!) and time for a new plant profile. Since I’ve officially joined in on the Plant Wonder Collective on Instagram, I’m going to begin featuring the PWC herb of the month in my plant profile blog posts to coincide. So, for September, let’s take a look at lemon balm!

I think of lemon balm as being one of the most “chill” herbs I’ve had the pleasure to befriend and work with. The spirit of this plant is so happy, cheerful, and uplifting. And its scent and taste are, too! It should come as no surprise, then, that lemon balm is considered a relaxing nervine herb. But it is so much more than that, too!

Originally native to southern and Central Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, lemon balm is now much more widespread in its naturalization. One thing I find fascinating about lemon balm is its varied recorded historical uses—from the Greeks and Romans, to the Middle Ages, and beyond. It was a favorite strewing herb and had many medicinal, culinary, and even perfuming applications. In folklore, lemon balm is associated with protection and joy (echoing its medicinal qualities) and is associated with the goddess Diana.

Lemon balm has a primarily sour taste (though many find it sweet as well) and is energetically cooling and drying. It has a wide range of properties—relaxing nervine, antiviral and antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, digestant, and probably more. Lemon balm is well known as a gentle, safe aid for stress, anxiety, indigestion, nausea, and insomnia. It is also helpful for colds, fever, flu, and other infections, as well as topically for rashes, small wounds, and bug bites. It is great for the heart, cognitive function, and pain, and can help with depression and seasonal affective disorder as well.

One thing I’ve observed about lemon balm is that it smells and tastes much more potent and lemony when fresh. Dried lemon balm is equally useful and you’ll find it in many herbal teas, but nothing compares to fresh lemon balm. If you don’t have access to garden space, this is one herb you’ll definitely want to consider growing in a sunny windowsill!

I’ll be sharing more lemon balm recipes both here and over on Instagram throughout September, but I’ll leave you with one of the simplest and most soothing tea recipes I’ve encountered. It’s a classic you’re sure to have seen before on other recipe blogs or books, or even in a supermarket tea. There is a reason for that! It tastes wonderful cold or hot, it’s safe for kids and adults, and it is a gently relaxing tea to help with stress, anxiety, depression, digestion, colds, and insomnia.

Simple Soother:

1 part lemon balm

1 part chamomile

½ part lavender

That’s it! You can use fresh or dried herbs interchangeably in this recipe; I use what I have on hand. I like to cold brew big jars of this overnight and sip it any time of the day. I also share it with my kids, because they love it!

Are you a lemon balm lover? What is your favorite way to work with lemon balm?

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Sources:

• Rosalee de la Foret, Herb Mentor monograph

• Rebecca Beyer, Wild Witchcraft

• Sarah Farr, Healing Herbal Teas

• Tina Sams, Herbal Medicine for Emotional Healing

Categories
Herbs and Herbalism plant wonder collective Recipes

Tulsi Heart-Support Tincture

You have a physical aspect to your heart, and an energetic and emotional aspect to your heart as well. It may seem like more of a metaphorical connection until you think deeply about it. That piercing aches in your chest that come periodically for some and often for others certainly points toward this inextricable connection. The emotional and energetic health of your heart can have a big impact on the physical health of your heart, and vice-versa.

Herbs can be an invaluable ally when it comes to both of these aspects of heart health, and what’s really amazing is that the same herbs can help with both. Nature certainly knows what she is doing!

My favorite herb for heart ease is tulsi. Tulsi is the Queen of Herbs, and she is a wonderful heart soother. She can aid in reducing inflammation and regulating blood pressure, but she can also help ease emotional tension and stress weighing your heart down. As both an adaptogen and a nervine, tulsi holds your hand and has your back.

I’ve brewed up a heart ease “potion,” a tincture that pairs tulsi with two other herbs that work on much the same dualistic levels for the heart: linden and hawthorn. Both of these lovely herbs are nervines often used to address blood pressure and cardiovascular health, as well as anxiety, stress, and depression. There are also folkloric and spiritual connections between all three of these herbs and protection.

Here is the recipe if you’d like to make this heart supporting tincture, too! I used the folk method, measuring in parts.

I will probably take a dropper full of this at a time in tea, ginger ale, or fruity seltzer water. It will be brimming with the intention of bringing ease and strength to my physical and emotional heart.

Have you worked with tulsi to ease and strengthen your heart?


Note: check with your physician before taking significant amounts of these herbs if you have high blood pressure, any heart conditions, or if you take any heart or blood pressure medications.


Follow along for more Tulsi wonder on Instagram with the Plant Wonder Collective! Participants share posts on the featured herb throughout the month. You can find us via

@plantwondercollective

#plantwondercollective

#pwctulsi

Plant Wonder Collective: Connecting you to nature through food, drink, play, garden, medicine, magic and art.

Categories
Herbs and Herbalism

Herb Profile: Mint

In the northern hemisphere, summer has just begun! In my neck of the woods, it is almost unbearably hot this time of year; that summer sunshine can be intense. So, for June’s herb profile, I thought I would talk about a favorite cooling herb of mine: mint.

I was actually also inspired by the Plant Wonder Collective on Instagram to talk about mint, too, because it’s their herb of the month. If you aren’t already following along with their monthly herb features, I highly recommend that you do! They share collective recipes, DIYs, information, and botanical love featuring a different herb each month and showcasing many varied contributors. I’ve just recently begun following along and I am so enjoying it!

Anyway, back to mint! It’s actually interesting because many people are referring specifically to peppermint when they mention mint, but there are actually many varieties of mint. Sweet mint, spearmint, wild mint, water mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, brandy mint, chocolate mint, orange mint, horse mint, foxtail mint, mojito mint, and many others grow in a variety of areas around the world. (Interestingly, the specific species of peppermint wasn’t officially recorded in the Western pharmacopoeia until the mid-1700s!)

Mint should not be written off as simply a flavoring. It can be a potent ally in so many ways! Mint varieties can vary from warming to cooling, but peppermint is cooling, and drying. The properties of mint include digestive, mood boosting, uplifting and calming, memory and focus enhancing, gently energizing, pain easing, cold relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, antibacterial, anti-fungal properties, and more. In folk belief, mint is associated with healing, prosperity, vitality, communication, dreams, awakening, protection, purification and cleansing, love, and positivity.

A note on growing your own mint, if you are considering adding it to an herb garden: it is best in containers! Mint is easy to grow and absolutely flourishes…a little too well. It will take over any space where you plant it and overtake its neighboring herbs. So, it’s best to plant mint in its own separate containers rather than in a shared herb bed. That said, mint is incredibly beginner-friendly and a great starter herb for those just testing the gardening waters!

Though some might associate the flavor of mint with winter holidays, I love it for its cooling effects in the summer! There is nothing better than a cold infusion of fresh mint and its cousin lemon balm, kept in a jar in the fridge to be sipped throughout the day. Also, a sun tea of mint, hibiscus, and lime is super refreshing and cooling on a hot day.

Here is one more recipe, for Summer Mint Moon Tea. I like to moon-brew (overnight infusion) this combo of herbs and enjoy it before bed as a cooling, calming, soothing sip. Its combination of cooling, calming, memory-aiding, dream-inducing, and heart-soothing herbs makes for sweet summertime dreams.

Summer Mint Moon Tea:

2 parts mint (peppermint or spearmint)

1 part lavender

1 part rosemary

1 part mugwort

1/2 – 1 part rose petals

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Are you a mint-lover? How many varieties of mint have you tried? Do you have any unique ways you like to work with mint?

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Sources:

• Rosalee de la Foret, Alchemy of Herbs

• Apothecary At Home’s Peppermint monograph

• Sarah Farr, Healing Herbal Teas

• Patti Wigington, Herb Magic

• Tina Sams, Herbal Medicine for Emotional Healing