Chestnut Herbal School

Herbal Medicine

The Ecology of Estrogen in the Female Body

Women today live in a very different world than our foremothers. Our female predecessors began menstruating later in life, had more children, breastfed longer, underwent menopause earlier, ate whole foods, and lived in a cleaner environment. Women today have approximately ten times as many menstrual cycles as their great-great-grandmothers. Our bodies did not evolve with the hormonal inputs of perpetual ovulation and menstruation. As a result, more women than ever are experiencing reproductive disorders, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

Lavender’s Medicinal and Aromatherapy Uses and Lavender Truffles

Lavender's Medicinal and Aromatherapy Uses and Lavender TrufflesWritten and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor - There are few scents in this world that evoke the feeling of clean - lavender is one of them. Its common and scientific name originates from lavare, the Latin word for wash or bathe. Lavender was popular as a linen-washing herb [...]
Calendula officinalis

Calendula’s Herbal & Edible Uses: How to Grow, Gather, and Prepare Calendula as Food and Medicine

Calendula officinalis is one of the easiest-to-grow medicinal herbs and so versatile in its healing properties that it invariably finds its way into the hearts and gardens of all herb lovers. It is typically grown as an annual, but can be cultivated as a short-lived perennial in warmer climes (Zone 8-10).

Witch hazel

Witch Hazel- Bloomoogling unusual male parts, explosive seeds, and medicinal uses

Witch Hazel: Bloomoogling Unusual Male Parts, Explosive Seeds, and Medicinal UsesWritten and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor - When witch hazel flowers in late fall, its leaves are golden with the season’s splendor, or already fallen to join the rich tapestry of the eastern deciduous forest floor. Its yellow petals resemble crimped streamers, lending a wild [...]

Anemone – medicine, poison, pollen and melodrama

Anemone: Medicine, Poison, Pollen, and MelodramaWritten and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor Anemone hupehensis var. japonica We embark upon our floral journey with Anemone. Courageous of bloom, anemone often endures wind and freezing temperatures of the early spring or fall (depending on the species). I first fell in love with the anemones while visiting the high [...]

Passionflower – Ecology, Cultivation, Botany, and Medicinal and Edible Uses

Passionflower is ecologically intriguing, drop-dead gorgeous, and an incredibly useful herbal medicine and wild edible. So I introduce this passionflower materia medica with some ecological, botanical, and cultivation snippets specific to this amazingly charismatic native vine, and hope that you wont skip this juiciness for the medicinal information.

Mountain Gardens and Joe Hollis

Mountain Gardens and Joe HollisWritten and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor Joe Hollis   Joe Hollis and Mountain Gardens just celebrated forty years of partnership.  Mountain Gardens is a botanical sanctuary in a small sheltered cove bordered by National Forest and nestled under the massive Black Mountains, including the largest mountain in the East, Mount Mitchell. [...]