MEDICINAL HERB PRODUCTION

Cultivated & foraged medicinal & wellness herbs

There are thousands of plants in nature that can be used in the kitchen and for wellness and we grow many of them at our farm! I have been growing herbs for over 30 years in urban, rural and even desert conditions.

Herbs are easy plants to grow, but because of the number of varieties, can be difficult to understand where to use them. The varieties we have chosen are ones which we know will do well in the micro-climate we deal with but also are the ones we know how to use in a variety of ways and know how to teach others to use. Some of the places we use herbs may surprise you!

We have tried to introduce 2-3 large areas each year for more herb production. Most of our herbs are perennial plants which have been propagated from our original plants in the city, moved from the city and split or started from seed in the gardens at the farm. Many of the herbs we grow each year are also annuals such as basil and stevia. We treat the annual stevia much the same as we do all of our other herbs, meaning it is propagated, grown from seed or obtained from nearby local growers.

Skip to Medicinal Herb Plant List.

All of our herbs are cared for without the use of pesticides or chemicals. We use natural remedies for typical plant problems. As part of our integrated pest management program we use companion planting, a technique used to encourage or discourage pests by installing herbs and flowers that either encourage or discourage these pests. With the herbs & spices we forage, we try to stay aware of what is going on in the environment as well as with the water supply around our farm. We follow Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) practices to keep our forest healthy. It is a large part of our farming operation as we see what the forest produces as just as important as what we cultivate. Read about our Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) practices here.

Our herb gardens are scattered around the farm. In some places we have 50 foot rows, other places we have large whimsical gardens that herbs lend themselves to. Many of our medicinal herbs are thriving in woodland gardens we have established. Some of the herbs and spices we use and sell are foraged.

B
O
O
K
S
Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition (Peterson Field Guides)
The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Comprehensive Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing

Mosby's Handbook of Herbs & Natural Supplements, 4e

HARVESTING AND PROCESSING
The beauty of an herb garden is that when you harvest, you are helping the plant by encouraging new growth with each cutting. We harvest as early as May and as late as Thanksgiving with the majority of the harvesting happening in July and August.

We harvest small bunches of herbs 5 to 10 stems in a bunch. All of our herbs are air dried in the loft of the barn. Nothing hi-tech. A bunch of herbs, a rubber band to hold them together. Strings attached to the beams of the barn to air dry the rubber banded bunches. Berries such as spicebush berry and sumac are dried on wooden frames with screens.

It takes two to three weeks of air drying then they are placed in plastic tubs and processed by "hand" through sifting screens for the desired texture for cooking or for tea. We use a variety of spice mills and grinders to get the varying textures we need for our herb mixes. Generally herbs are ground as we need them, though we do keep a supply of cut & ground herbs on hand for our busy growing times! Anything not immediately needed for production is stored in large glass jars.

You can read about the herb products we bring to market here.

You can read about our culinary herb production here.


MEDCINAL & WELLNESS HERB PLANT LIST

Below is a listing of the the culinary herbs that grow wild, or that we grow or have grown at our farm. This information is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Angelica (Dong-Quai)
Used primarily in China for thousands of years with women who suffer abnormal or severe menstrual problems. Do not take Angelica Root if you are pregnant or nursing. Angelica can cause sensitivity to the sunlight.
Biennial

Bee Balm (Monarda)
Oswego Tea, made from the leaves of the plant, was a staple in Early American households during colonial times after the settlers lost access to English teas after the Boston Tea Party.
Perennial
Black Cohosh (Squaw Root)
Black Cohosh is most commonly used to ease the symptoms of PMS and menopause and to treat arthritis and other painful rheumatic difficulties.
Perennial

Calendula
Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical, also known to be a digestive aid and has been used for organ detoxification.
Annual
Chamomile
A native of Europe, and was brought by early settlers to North America. It is known as a gentle sleep aid, a mild laxative, and also helps a sore stomach.
Annual
Perennial
Chickweed - Chickenwort
(Stellaria media)
Used in ointments since the Middle Ages, chickweed soothes and relieves the itching and inflammation of many types of skin ailments, psoriasis, eczema and poison ivy. Also used as an expectorant and is cooling to the lungs.
Foraged

 

Chickory - (Cichorium intybus)
Related to the dandelion family. Promotes good health, calms anxiety & stress. High in antioxidents. Good as a system cleanser, known to promote good bacteria in digestive tract and has been used for organ detoxification.
Foraged
Coltsfoot -
(Tussilago farfara)

A natural antihistime. Coltsfoot has been a cough-suppressing mainstay of Asian and European herbal medicine for 2,000 years.
Foraged
Dill
Dill weed is primarily a remedy for digestive problems. Dill can help to reduce the pain of menstruation. It also increases breast milk production.
Annual

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
Feverfew
most commonly used for the treatment of migraine headaches. Feverfew can help to relieve a fever. Feverfew can be used to reduce pain from arthritis. Do not take feverfew if you're taking another type of blood-thinner. Should not be ingested by women who are pregnant.
Perennial
Ginko biloba
is the only living species in the divisionGinkgophyta, all others being extinct. Ginkgo contains antioxidants that optimize blood to flow to the brain,
supporting cognitive function and memory
.
Foraged

 

Lady's Mantle - Alchemila vulgaris
It helps to treat problems such as heavy bleeding and cramps during menses. It also helps to regulate the female period.
Should not be ingested by women who are pregnant.
Perennial
Lavender
Lavender is primarily used to soothe the body and relax the mind. Also used to help ease mental stress and aid in sleep and digestion.
Perennial
Lemon Balm
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm is primarily used to relax the body. Lemon balm can be used to treat minor skin irritations and insect bites.. Perennial
Juniper Berry
Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) Juniper (Juniperus communis.) Strong Eucalyptus aroma, used in teas for coughs and colds and asa decongestant.
Foraged
Lovage (Kao Ben)
Lovage is primarily used to treat digestive problems. It can be used to treat bronchitis and to reduce menstrual pain and relax the body. Lovage can help to relieve pain from urination and urinary tract infections. Lovage should not be ingested by women who are pregnant.
Perennial


The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!

Peppermint
Peppermint is primarily used to treat ailments of the digestive system. Children under 5 should not take peppermint.
Perennial
 
Raspberry
Red raspberry leaf promotes good health, calms anxiety & stress. High in vitamin C & antioxidents. Is commonly used by nurse midwives to ease delivery. With hormone sesnsitive conditions, red raspberry leaf might act like estrogen.Should not be ingested by women who are pregnant.
Perennial
 
Rosemary
Rosemary is thought to help improve memory function. Rosemary can be used to treat skin irritations. Rosemary is known to help ease stress and anxiety. Rosemary can help to lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It also can help to treat headaches.
Perennial

 

Rose hips
Rosehips contain twenty times more vitamin C than you find in oranges. We use rosehips in some of our teas.
Perennial
Foraged  
Sage
Sage helps to treat irregular menses. It reduces sweating making it useful for treating menopause. It helps to calm anxiety and stress. Do not take during pregnancy or if you're epileptic.
Perennial
Skullcap
Is a powerful sedative and nerve tonic. Native plant gathered in Sprintime. Used in many of our sleep aid teas.
Foraged
 
Staghorn Sumac
Native Amricans used sumac for a variety of medicinal uses, mostly could be classified as general wellness.
Foraged
Stevia
Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia is an all natural sugar substitute. The leaf of a stevia plant is actually up to twice as sweet as real sugar. And, unlike artificial sweeteners and sugar, stevia has no known negative health effects.
Annual
St. Johns Wort
St. John's Wort is primarily used as an anti-depressant. St. John's wort can be used to treat menopausal symptoms such as fatigue, and hot flashes. St. John's wort can be used to battle feelings of anxiety and insomnia. St. John's wort may cause light sensitivity.
Perennial
Tansy
Tansy is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant of the aster family, native to temperate Europe and Asia. Tansy has been used in companion planting for centuries. 
Perennial
 
 


The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Comprehensive Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing

 


Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition (Peterson Field Guides)

 


Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

Mosby's Handbook of Herbs & Natural Supplements, 4e

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)

 

 


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