Because so many of us experience chronic stress, we also require chronic (aka tonic) support. Tonic herbs are remedies that can be taken safely over a long period of time.
Herbal poultices are simple, traditional remedies used topically on the skin to relieve pain, infection, and swelling.
Fresh herbs will change the way you eat. They are the edible garden’s big bang for your buck. These plants have short “fresh” shelf lives, so what’s offered in a grocery store is often not only expensive but also less flavorful.
If you’re looking for an herb to soothe and repair digestive issues, the cheery flowers of calendula (Calendula officinalis) will be one of your primary allies. Calendula tea is commonly used to help remedy peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Calendula’s sunny blooms are an external remedy for practically every manner of skin complaint. The flowers are used topically as a wound healing, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory herb.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae) has been a legendary herb in India and China for over two thousand years, where it’s considered to be one of the best herbs for promoting clarity, focus, and a peaceful, calm nature.
Most culinary herbs double as medicinal allies, and the ones on this list are no exception. Plants that serve as both food and medicine are among my most reached-for herbs. Here, we’re rolling out the green carpet for ten of our most essential culinary/medicinal herbs—all of which can be grown in pots and other containers with ease.
When I first began foraging my own food and medicine, I focused on a particular array of plentiful, generous, and nourishing plants—the wild weeds, the common flora, and the invasives. These plants are some of our most superb medicinal allies and nutrient-dense wild foods. And these feral botanicals continue to be my main squeezes: non-native, “weedy” medicinals and wild foods are the most sustainable options out there.
Foraging seasonal wild foods is an exciting and nourishing way to celebrate the turnings of the year—one that connects us to our ancestral stories of sustenance. Each season offers something unique, perfectly timed to nourish the cycles of life.
All crafters have a cache of special tools—and foragers are no exception. I’ve been gathering food and medicine from wild places for nearly three decades and these are my tried-and-true tools of choice. As a bonus, every single one pulls double duty in the garden and around the yard.