A Blessed Wandering Mind

I am so very blessed to have a mind that always wanders and never stops! Over the past two weeks, my mind has been jumping around from making my own granola (thanks to my last epiphany) to canning and jamming harvested foods, and now to harvesting useful herbs that I’ve found in what I  thought was an ungodly overgrowth of weeds. This weekend I was able to purchase the National Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Wildflowers (Eastern edition of course) and decided to get right to work identifying what all the flowers were that I was seeing in my jumble of unsightly overgrowth.

View one to the left below my porch that has the most flowers and….

View two to the right which is where I would like to put the garden in next year. A lot of work, I know!

So I knew I had a lot of milkweed (which I knew from last fall, but it was this spring I realized what their flowers looked like), some morning glories, daisies, and of course typical stuff like ragweed, but there were a number of other flowers I didn’t know. My new book helped me out on that.

What a surprise I had last night when I easily identified the yellow flowers to the left in the first photo as common St. John’s Wort! During the winter I take capsules of the stuff which costs me more than $10 a month when the stuff is growing right in my backyard! Needless to say, this got my mind to thinking about harvesting some of it and using that this winter! For those who don’t know much about St. John’s Wort, it’s a wonderful little flower that helps with mild to moderate depression, seasonal and full-time, and anxiety- for me it’s perfect for kicking my mild winter blues. I encourage you to research it a little online if you are interested in learning more about it.

So here begins my next lesson: harvesting medicinal herbs. There will be more to come on this, I’m sure!

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3 thoughts on “A Blessed Wandering Mind

  1. That’s really exciting, Desi! The only herbs I’ve had for some time is thyme. I kind of forgot about the thing while we moved, and it started growing mushrooms. 😦 So I have it parked in the sun for now in hopes I can kill off the fungus and get my herbs back.

    Let me know how the harvesting goes!

  2. I love your excitement and enthusiasm for herbs! Hooray!

    How great to find St. John’s in your own backyard… and how nice that it really WILL be a money saver for you. (Sometimes these things are just theoretical!) In addition, I bet you will find that the medicine you make yourself works above and beyond anything you can buy– even if it isn’t as “perfect” or “strong” in the eyes of a microscope. There is just a special something to using your own medicine!

    On that note– St. John’s would last as a tea, I would dry it in a dark place with good air circulation (I usually use the top of my fridge, since my kitchen is not that bright, laid out one layer thick on a paper bag, covered loosely with another paper bag) til it’s fully dry but not lifeless. You might have to watch it more than I do since I don’t have any humidity (and thus mold) to contend with where I live. When they’re dry, store in airtight jars or bags, out of the light!

    Personally, I would make also a tincture, since dried plant matter has a comparitively short shelf life. I will be lazy and direct you to a recent tincture making post by the wonderful herbalist Kiva Rose:

    http://bearmedicineherbals.com/?p=304

    She says it all and more, in easy to understand language!

    Lastly, you can’t beat St. John’s Wort oil— for pain, swelling, nerve issues, etc. For that I will driect you here:

    http://kitchenherbwife.blogspot.com/

    Scroll down to the second post and you will see lots of great pics on the sidebar. (:

    Best of luck on this adventure!!!! And keep in touch!!!

    (: Sasha “Kitchen Witch”

  3. I’ll totally give ya a little cash if you do decide to harvest/preserve/tincture etc… your St. John’s and share with me a little bit. I plan on reading up on it ALOT in the next couple of days. I’ve been thinking of taking it and sharing the idea with AJ – let me know pretty please!

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