Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana, Hamamelidaceae) is our kinky, golden-star flower shrub or small tree that blooms in cold weather, when all other flowers are absent from the landscape.
The internet can be a fantastic place to learn about herbs—with a significant caveat: anyone can share any sort of information that they want, free of qualifications or checks and balances. That’s why we’ve coralled our most-trusted online herbal resources for you to peruse. Materia medica, plant identification, recipes, research articles—it’s all here.
The homegrown benefits of witch hazel are easy to overlook as an herbalist, as witch hazel is not traditionally something you think of planting in the garden or making medicine with for your apothecary—drugstore brands are what most people associate with witch hazel.
There are over one hundred species of pine worldwide, and most have recorded medicinal uses. Cultures around the globe have used the needles, inner bark, and resin for similar ailments.
This Hibiscus Chutney is a favorite at my house any time of year, but it makes an especially nice stand-in for cranberry sauce on the holiday table. You can find this recipe and more in the upcoming Chestnut School Herbal Holiday Guide. Enjoy!
Why grow native woodland herbs? Growing our own medicine—in any setting—creates an intimate connection with healing plants. There are some important environmental reasons for cultivating rare woodland medicinals as well. Further, many of the woodland herbs are easy to cultivate, as compared to our garden herbs.
Aromatic plant smoke holds an ancient and familiar allure. The alchemy of transforming dried plants into fragrant smoke has a profound effect on the feeling—or energy—of a space or person.
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.