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Grow Your Own Tea: Intro to Herbalism with Juliet of Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, Ep 168



How can we use plants medicinally in our lives? Plants heal us in more ways than one, and one of the less-known practices is herbalism. Most of the plants and herbs we use today were used for medicinal purposes in ancient times and are, in fact, still used in many cultures around the world as natural remedies. In this episode, Juliet Blankespoor, the founder of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, will teach us many different and easy ways that we can use plants as medicine so we can expand our knowledge on this whole field of plant benefits.


In this episode, we learn:

  • [04:58] What led Juliet Blankenspoor to become interested in herbalism
  • [08:52] What makes plants medicinal, and have they been proven by doctors?
  • [11:51] Energetics of plants and how to complement their energies with people's
  • [15:49] How do you determine your own energy constitution?
  • [16:45] Who is Wim Hoff and what are the possible benefits of cold showers?
  • [19:16] What's the best way to get started with this completely new field of medicinal benefits?
  • [22:22] Where to get the best seeds for your spring garden
  • [23:38] The right choice for safe indoor and outdoor gardening products
  • [27:03] What are the properties of Mint?
  • [28:30] Some of the commonly used herbs that we might not be aware of
  • [30:01] What tonic means in the context of herbal medicine
  • [32:36] What are the medicinal properties of chives?
  • [33:58] How we can prepare tea from fresh and dried herbs
  • [38:16] Is there any medicinal value to the mint stem?
  • [39:43] What other herbs can you grow to make your own tea?
  • [44:13] Your next favorite kitchen appliance!
  • [47:19] What are some of the most versatile medicinal plants Juliet recommends exploring that aren't found in a traditional culinary garden?
  • [48:19] What plants should you add to your culinary garden for medical benefits?
  • [52:38] Juliet Blankespoor’s favorite herbs that you can add to your cooking recipes
  • [57:39] What can you learn from the book ‘The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies'?

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Who is Juliet

Juliet is a plant geek, a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online platform offering comprehensive programs in herbalism.

She has a degree in botany and over 25 years of experience teaching and writing about herbal medicine, botany, plant propagation, and organic herb cultivation.

Juliet is offering the Bloom & Grow Audience 10% off all her courses. Email to get the special coupon code to redeem your discount.

Herbal Recipes and Remedies From Your Garden

The field of herbalism can be extremely intimidating and has a whole new vocabulary that can be unfamiliar to most people. Despite this, if you start small, our gardens can be a source of health and wellness.

Here are Juliet’s recommended herbs, their medicinal properties, and simple recipes to help you get started on plant medicine!

  • Lemon Balm

This herb belongs to the mint family and is considered a soothing herb. As long as the Middle Ages, it has been used to treat indigestion, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and improve appetite. For centuries, lemon balm has been steeped in wine to boost spirits, heal wounds, and treat bites and stings from venomous insects.

It is a wonderful addition to sweets, salads, vinaigrettes, seafood, soups, and sauces. Lemon balm can be used to make tea or to infuse simple syrup. You can even add lemon balm to iced tea!


  • Beebalm

Bee balm is a wonderful addition to any landscape or garden where visual appeal and functionality are sought. As a traditional indigenous food and also a culinary herb, what exactly is beebalm used for? You might just be impressed by how many uses bee balm has, both medicinally and culinarily! 

A natural antiseptic, it soothes sore throat and stomachache, helps you sleep soundly, seasons meats and salads, is a beverage garnish, and can spice up your jelly!


  • Basil

The herb basil belongs to the mint family, which is known for their cooling and soothing properties. In many Mediterranean and especially Italian cuisines, its nutrients help boost health. It is used as a base for pesto, as well as in salads, pasta, pizzas, and other dishes, including Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines.

Basil is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Its essential oil also has medicinal properties. Basil is a great plant to start with since it is also one of the most accessible herbs in your local grocery store!


  • Chickweed

There is a long history of herbal use for chickweed, especially for treating itching skin conditions externally. It relieves skin rashes, strengthens superficial veins, and soothes severe itchiness even when other remedies don't work. When taken internally, it relieves chest complaints and aids digestion in small quantities. 

Chickweed is a common green used in sandwiches and salads, as a garnish, and as a side dish. 

Note: As chickweed plants get older, they become increasingly stringy and cannot be used as food anymore.


  • Violets

While a lot of people might see them as weeds since they usually grow in lawns, gardens, sidewalk cracks, and along trail sides, violets are welcome ‘weeds’ in Juliet’s garden. Juliet shares that the green leaves of the violets are very high in soluble fiber. It is like oatmeal and reduces excess cholesterol levels in the body, and is super high in vitamins A, C and E!

Add your violet leaves and flowers to salads, pesto, sandwiches, and wraps, or in soups as a nutrient-dense thickener. 

Note: Violet roots should not be eaten since they cause nausea and vomiting.


  • Dandelions

Juliet tells us that when you plant your peppers or tomatoes in early spring, you can let dandelions grow and harvest them before you plant your peppers and tomatoes. In other words, you're getting another seasonal harvest even without planning it!

Fresh and dried dandelion flowers are great for pancakes and fritters. Young, more tender greens, on the other hand, are best picked before the plant flowers, but you can use them fresh in salads, or chop them up to top mashed potatoes or baked potatoes in place of chives. You can also cook them like spinach: sautéed, stir-fried, or creamed.


How to Create Your Own Tea from Fresh and Dried Herbs

  • Fresh Herbal Teas
    As Juliet explains, you only need two or three times the amount of plant material to make your own fresh tea. For those of you who grow anise hyssop or Korean licorice mint, lemon verbena, or lemon grass, fresh teas are perfect during the summer when you've got fresh lemon balm or mint. Place a jar full of these herbs in the sun for about four hours, then strain it. It's not going to be the strongest-tasting tea, but rather something more like infused water.


  • Dried Herbs
    When you have a dehydrator, you can dry your herbs that way but Juliet recommends hanging herbs on something similar to a clothes rack if a dehydrator is hard to come by. The quicker your herbs dry, the more potent they will be. Put them in a jar to keep out ambient moisture because they might reabsorb it. Use an airtight jar or Ziploc bag to store them.


  • Homemade Tea using a French press
    Using a French press is the easiest way to make homemade tea from loose herbs. Alternatively, you can buy some cute little tea strainers, fill them with your herbs, pour boiling water over them, let them sit for two to five minutes, and then pull your strainer out.



Mentioned in our conversation:


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SPECIAL OFFER: Juliet is offering the Bloom & Grow Audience 10% off all her courses. Email to get the special coupon code to redeem your discount.


Follow Juliet:

Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine
Healing Garden Gateway, personal website of Juliet Blankespoor


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