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Hey plant friends!
I’m Maria, the "Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady" with a mission to help you care for plants successfully, grow your indoor jungles, and cultivate more joy in your life. I've got tons of content for you here on the blog, on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, and Bloom and Grow Youtube Show to help you keep blooming and keep growing.
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.
Growing Joy: The Plant Lover’s Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get the special coupon code to redeem your discount.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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SPECIAL OFFER: Juliet is offering the Bloom & Grow Audience 10% off all her courses. Email email@example.com to get the special coupon code to redeem your discount.
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