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Tincture Making Exploratorium! Herbal Tincture Apothecary.

Purple Aster
Dieteria bigelovii
Mullein
Verbascum thapsus
Grindelia
Grindelia aphanactis

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Grindelia

The Simpler’s method using these 3 wildcrafted herbs and 40% brandy are what I am starting with in my tincture making exploratorium!

I am very excited about this as I can see and feel that this will be lifelong endeavor of herbal tincture making! 🙂

Simpler’s Method

I am going to try the Simpler’s method with 80 proof Brandy! (40% alcohol)

excellent clear guide!

The above link by Annie’s Remedy describes Herbal Extracts in good detail. I have summed up here:

Herbal tinctures are herbs- whose healing, vital properties are extracted using either: alcohol, glycerin or vinegar.

These agents act as a solvent and this solvent is called a Menstruum.

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Alcohol is often used because it can result in a more potent tincture.

Alcohol acts as a solvent for many herbal compounds. And can more readily extract resins, waxes, fats, volatile oils, and other healing and assistive plant compounds, etc.

Water would then be necessary to extract water soluble components of the herbs. (for ex, I think herbal infusions such as teas, here…)

Since 80 proof (40% spirits) also contains water, I do not have to add water to my Menstruum.

Of course, there is also debate, tradition and research about how much alcohol proof will work optimally, according to each herb.
With this specific remedy, I know I will come up with a safe healing tincture so will be flexible in observing and feeling its healing effects. And therefore my dosage with it. My feelings are to start with least dosage first and go from there.

Also, for adults or children, where taking an alcohol tincture is unwanted due to the alcohol… some people opt for glycerin or vinegar tinctures. (Not white vinegar!)

My herb teacher said that it is a myth that alcohol dispels in hot water. So, I am going with that and would offer a glycerine or vinegar tincture instead.

Also, many teas are very effective medicines as many plant constituents are water soluble.

So, an herbal tea, syrup, medicated ghee, or herbal paste mixed with honey would be of benefit in some cases. Other methods abound! There are many herbal methods of preparation and therapeutic value for each or a combination of methods.

safety guide on which herbs to use!

Also tinctures have certain properties and the alcohol produces certain effects by itself. Tinctures are not a good health strategy for all conditions. Please see this next site, it is useful!

When to use tinctures!

And, this is something I want to put more into my herbalism methods. Harvest and make preparations according to the phases of the moon!

lunar based

It is suggested to make your tincture on the new moon and strain it on the full moon. The moon exerts physical properties on the liquid and the herbs and this method makes for a stronger tincture!

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New Moon

Image source: livingshamanically.com

wise woman herbalism

When using Everclear or 190 proof grain alcohol, it is necessary to add distilled water because it can burn the herbs. See site links above and below.

everclear and % alcohol in tinctures

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Huge Mullein leaves from a gorgeous plant!

Ideally it is suggested to pick mullein from the first year growth’s basal leaves in spring.

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Autumn basal leaves. A bit less vibrant.

I harvested the large, 2nd year growth leaves in autumn where the energy of the plant also went up the stalk to the flowers. (And roots) But there are still medicinal qualities in these leaves.

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Second year Mullein plants

And, it is bi-annual so will die soon. I gratefully harvested a few leaves from this majestic plant.

I may go back and harvest some seeds and flowers from the stalk. Make a therapeutic oil infusion. The flowers gently warmed in oil. Some people also add garlic. (Heat the mullein and oil…Not too hot as to kill the beneficial properties…) Mullein infused oil is a traditional herbal remedy for earaches. Many mothers depend on this remedy for their children!
Do Not Use Remedy on a perforated eardrum! or with any doubt!

mullein & garlic ear oil remedy

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* Also my Herb teacher, who also is trained in Ayurveda, mentioned that if you treat one ear, even if the other ear doesn’t hurt… treat both ears. In this case, using mullein oil, start by slowly massaging oil on the outside rim of the ear, then massage the whole, front part of the ear itself working your way eventually to the ear canal.

Then add a drop or two into the ear canal.
Then another drop when the oil goes in fully.
Do both ears the same way. For application, warm the oil, only slightly. The ear canal is very sensitive and the person being treated is already in pain, so just warm the oil a tiny bit to take off the cool/cold edge it might have. It also will help it to apply better when slightly warm. Not hot.

But please, seek precise herbal and/or ayurvedic advice on this as I have not tried it myself…yet! And seek a physician if need be!

Also, see mullein & garlic remedy above.

Mullein flowers

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mullein uses

And here is the outer human ear and its Reflexology points just for fun.

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image source

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Also delightful aster is going into this remedy!

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all about aster!

All 3 of these herbs have beneficial effects for respiratory conditions. I am making it to assist healing of colds and coughs.

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Reknowned herbalist Michael Moore put together an online manual. Not to be sold but happily shared.

It is a comprehensive guide on making
herbal tinctures. Including dosages for children, % alcohol needed for effective tincture, etc. Also, one of the reasons I chose to do the Simpler’s method… (see links in post) is that I do not yet, own a scale for weighing herbs. But, soon I will happily have some more useful tools… On my wishlist!

In the online manual, herbal formulae contain ratios.
For example:

1:5 70% alcohol.

Sometimes the word alcohol is omitted and just the percentage is listed in the ratio.

Such as: 1:5 70%

These numbers are just examples. The percentage equals the percentage of alcohol content in the menstruum. For example, I used 40% Brandy. For higher percentages of alcohol content a combination of distilled water and Everclear will equal, in this case, 70%. Other spirits such as Vodka can be 70% alcohol, etc.

More about herb:menstruum % ratios:

So for 1:5 ratio above, take 1 part weight of *herb (such as 1 ounce weight of herb) to 5 parts (or 5 ounces measured volume of the liquid menstruum) Make sure the alcohol is proper percentage so that the dosage given corresponds with healing intent of the herbal formula. Negative Side effects could occur if dosage too strong or weak.

(*herb matter in tinctures is called marc)

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The Ratio is: the marc by weight (use scale) in ratio to ounces by liquid volume (use measuring cup) of specific percentage menstruum.

Herbs vary considerably by weight. Something light and fluffy would take up a lot more space per equal weight of a dense root, for example.

Follow the proven, effective ratio regardless of density of herb. Not to say there isn’t inventiveness in coming up with herbal blends and formula. Although some formula are well proven, is all.

Ounces of liquid for volume are, of course, much different than ounces by weight for plant matter.

At first, I was mistaken and thought you could measure an ounce of plant material in a measuring cup! But, of course that doesn’t make sense. What if I chopped my herb too fine or not at all. The volume would be different. Oy! So, weigh your marc, plant material, on a scale!
Chemistry class…you are coming back to me.
Mr. Emerson you were hilarious, as almost were my grades… but, with tinctures I am getting there!

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The online source for the manual.

Herbal Tinctures in Clinical Practice. by Michael Moore.1996.

And remember, if you want to you can always try the Simpler’s method!

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Now to the tincture making. My first one!

Remember those beautiful, majestic Mullein leaves? In just two days they shrank considerably. They were soft and not totally crispy. Many people suggest using fresh herbs, not dried but all the herbs I used were not, for instance, sitting on a shelf somewhere for a year or more. So I feel confident of their healing properties being intact!

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Wildcrafting… I am so grateful!

Next I chopped and added the dried grindelia I had stored out of sunlight, in a cool place. Just a few weeks from my harvest of it.

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Then I chopped and added the daisy aster. It can go to seed and become mere seed puffs in just one day of picking but only one blossom seed puffed in two days. It had a delightful resin-y healing smell as did the grindelia.

It is good to chop/cut the herbs as this exposes more healing properties to the Menstruum.

The hints of purple in the jar is the aster!

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I am calling this my MEGA Tincture… for Mullein Grindelia and Aster! So good for respiratory ailments, tickly throat, nagging coughs and bronchial issues. I have had a nagging cough since April. And, perhaps, not so ironically as I research, think and write about all this, I have had a cold. Luckily, I saved some of my grindelia, that I dried to make a healing respiratory tea!

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The Grindelia that I then dried!

So pack the herbs in the jar. Don’t smoosh them down too much as you want the alcohol to get in and around all the herbs… but do fill and pack the jar.

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Add the alcohol slowly.

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And press down herbs again to submerge them in the alcohol. Leave an inch of alcohol over the herbs if you can. Make sure no air has contact with the herbs. Weigh down herbs with a sterilized rock if need be. Fill jar to the very top with alcohol.

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The herbs may swell when they absorb the liquid. Especially when using fresh material. Just check your tincture and add more alcohol if this happens. You always want the herbs completely covered by the alcohol.

Cover tightly and shake. Check for leaks when you hold it upside down and tighten down the hatches! Flip bottle over every other day so the herbs all get equally covered by the Menstruum. <—I like this word. 🙂

Shake it every day and get it constituted that way.

Most herbal tinctures take 4-6 weeks to set. Check it and see what you think and I will keep you posted too!

Here is my MEGA tincture.

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When you make it, Congratulations!
Tightly cover it and give it a shake!

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The next morning the colors are vivid!
And even 2 days later, it had a wonderful medicinal smell that smelled different than the brandy… = happy… medicinal effects are on its way.

Go tincture!

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Next step for your Herbal Apothecary!

Make a Label.

1. Put the date on it
2. The herbs and their Latin Binomials
3. What the Menstruum used is, in this case Brandy
4. What ailments the remedy is for.
(i.e. Respiratory, bronchial issues, nagging cough and wheezing cough in this case.)
5. Date tincture will be done!

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Happy health and healing to You! And best wishes on your tincture making adventures and apothecary herbal medicines!

Then when the time is up and your tincture is ready… get a funnel and some cheesecloth. Line the funnel or colander and strain out all the herbal goodness! Squeeze and wring out all the tincture from the herb.
Some people even use a press, such as an apple press.

It is recommended to store in a dark bottle such as an amber brown colored one. My herb teacher recommends to cap off your bottle.

Do not leave the rubber sealed dropper in your tincture as the alcohol will corrode the rubber of the dropper and then this corrosion is in your tincture! Also, make sure your dropper is made of glass as a plastic dropper will corrode your tincture too!

And, don’t forget to cap off between use! 🙂

Also be sure to strain this tincture as mullein has irritating fibers! As possibly does the aster. Strain it in any case!

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Mullein basal leaves in Autumn

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Grindelia with locust seed pod draped by nature!

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and Aster with seed puffs!

make a glycerin tincture

make a vinegar tincture

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Beautiful fall in the New Mexico Mountains

my post about Grindelia

my post about Mullein

Stay tuned for my next post on How to make a healing liniment!

Calendula Grindelia Liniment!

So good for poison ivy, contact dermatitis and skin irritations!

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Field Notes and a Sound Walk. Finding Grindelia

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Walking to a favorite arroyo… maybe a 1/4 mile away. I have the most amazing nature hike. Nature is always all around. Even beneath layers of concrete. The earth is there. The air. The cosmos outside our bubble of atmosphere is I would guess a cosmic nature.

I feel so lucky to know, at least, some of the plants by name. To tap in and align with ancient knowledge. To hopefully join a stewardship of respect for these plants and trees. Water and sky. And to remember, I am part of nature. Not de-natured. But one and the same.

I heard on a radio show that humans are, most attuned, to register the sound of bird calls. Songbirds. Why? Because songbirds are always around sources of water. We have an affiliation with songbirds that has always led us to water.

We are. Nature.

listen

Acoustic Ecology

Soundwalking

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Apache Plume

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Yerba del Buey
Grindelia
Grindelia aphanactis
Family: Asteraceae

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Indian Paintbrush

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Grindelia

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Limoncillo

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Cleome

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Milkweed…beautiful but, this species likely toxic to humans.

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I don’t know what this is

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Clammy ground cherry

And more Grindelia
a.k.a. Curlycup gumweed

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And it has coarse toothed leaves especially the larger ones further down the stem

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With my chipped polish!

Flower head with sticky curled bracts

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Basal set of leaves

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Graffitti and Grindelia

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Harvest during milky stage of flowers going to seed soon. I also harvested yellow flower heads and leaves when plant was in this stage above.

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Wildcrafting pretty photo blur

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I found Grindelia on the bank of this arroyo.
This beautiful plant… captured my attention. Its beautiful flowers and seeds… a mystery plant to me.
Also a reminder, to respect all plants and to wildcraft ethically and with good discernment and respect for the plant and the land.

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Grindelia in its sunny glory. Also known as gum plant as it has a sticky resin to it.

Medicinally it is a good expectorant and good for bronchial coughs and dry hacking coughs. Oh how I wish I had some Grindelia tea this past April!

It also makes a soothing skin salve. A tincture made with alcohol is recommended to help heal and dry up poison oak/ivy rash.

Also according to: Dunmire and Tierney’s book: Wild Plants of the Pueblo Province., 1995… p.p. 219-220

Uses include: waxes and resins in the U.S. and Europe. Also makes a good yellow dye.

Also the book sites various Puebloan uses… such as: a tea drunk for kidney problems, dried boiled herb parts with liquid added to clean abrasions, ground herbs applied to skin sores and a sticky blossom on an aching tooth.

I plan on making a tea after drying the flowers and leaves. And also making a healing salve with the dried leaves and flowers.

I will dry these tomorrow

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I did dry them… and now as I edit this post… I feel achey and a sore throat. I am having tea and honey now but I am going to make a Grindelia tea when I get home tomorrow morning. Feeling grateful that I have some Grindelia healing herb for a tea!

Meanwhile, I am saving most of my Grindelia along with Mullein and Aster for a healing respiratory tincture! I will keep you posted shortly!

history and use of Grindelia for lungs and skin aid!

Aster is a healing plant for respiratory problems too…

Aster Heals!

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So much to learn and discover.
On my own, nearby nature hike to an arroyo.
Some familiar plants.
Some new.
Songbirds happy with the weather and the recent rain.
A Sound walk.
Where I can listen.
Listen
And be in harmony with hearing.
Hearing what is offered. What needs to be still. What can be harvested or let alone. From hearing to listening and I am just beginning.
But at least beginning…
and joyfully.

Con alegría
Yerba del Buey

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Michael Moore Herbalist. Online Manual for Tinctures

Includes information on Grindelia

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Beautiful poetry…almost made me cry.
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poetry by John Luther Adams…acoustic ecology. “The Place Where You Go To Listen.”

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A spring in a desert arroyo.

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Posted Sites and these texts for Sources:

Wild Plants of the Pueblo Province. Exploring Ancient And Enduring Uses.
By, William Dunmire and Gail Tierney, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fé. 1995.

Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. by, Michael Moore, Museum of New Mexico Press, 2003.

Lemon scent in the Wild West! Limoncillo Tea!

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Pectis Angustifolia
Plant Family: Asteraceae

Common name: Limoncillo, lemonscent, lemonscented cinchweed

(Always check latin binomial name above as different plants can have the same nickname or common name!)

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Identification characteristics:
See book source end of post. Author: Delena Tull

Bright yellow flower heads are small
1/2 ” (1 cm) across
Leaves are 1/2-1.5″ (1-4cm) long and less than 1/8 ” long (1-2 mm) broad
Other aromatic species of Pectis may be used in a similar way.

*Harvest from larger colonies of the plant only.

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Note: Please see additional sources in identifying this or other plants. Bring an expert with you and/or someone who knows!

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I really wish I had taken more pictures of this lovely plant.
(I’ve added more from the following summer!)

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I learned about this plant when I went on a Nature Hike and in the link of the post I tell all about the Clammy Ground cherry!

But, I didn’t want to slow down anyone else around me or miss the upcoming, nearby plants of interest and discussion. So this year, I got one picture of the Limoncillo plant in full bloom. So glad I got a vibrant picture of all the flowers in bloom!

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Turns out it makes a lovely lemony tea! Terri and I really enjoyed it.

No-one on the hike really knew the name of the plant. Just that it made a really refreshing lemony flavored tea.

I have been taking a Clinical Herbalism class. Learning about the medical aspects of Herbs.
I am all ears during the class and just love it!
I am taking the class in Albuquerque, New Mexico and quite enjoy being in a different place and city for a few hours every week!

I have been adding to my personal library of plant books.
After buying my textbook for class… I purchased this book!

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Written by Delena, Tull.

I wasn’t sure if I was getting too extravagant but really felt a book, as the title describes, would be very useful.

Imagine my delight when I found color plate 15!
Yes, got to admit after a couple of weeks research, I was very happy to find out more about the mystery plant.

It became a mystery to me, because just a little nibble of the flower, captivated me by its very pleasant, lemony-fruity flavor. I really hoped I could find this plant just 5 or so miles away where I lived.

And turns out I did!

I thought it was a member of the asteraceae family and looked a bit like the ray petals of a dandelion…although a different shaped flower.

Here is plate 15 from this book I have been talking about!

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This plant is commonly called Limoncillo.

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This is a nickname that other plants that grow in the region have due to its lemony scent.
Other plants that have this nickname and grow nearby are called False Pennyroyal.

Pectis angustifolia is the Limoncello plant I made the tea out of.

When I found it just a few weeks or so later it was starting to dry out.
Coming to the end of its season as an annual plant.

Funny, as is often the case with me…
I had walked by this low lying plant and thought…
Well, maybe.

When dry, the surrounding leaves appear bract like. Its appearance was somewhat reminiscent of the plant in full bloom but different enough to make me not sure. So, the first walk I took… I noticed it in the back of my mind but wasn’t sure.

You can see the difference.

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Or maybe better here…

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Another aspect to foraging or wildcrafting.
Plants change according to the season! And in late summer, early fall this plant changes a lot!

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The leaves sticking out of the now drying plant, gave it a bract like appearance that made me question the plants the first time.

Some of the flowers smelled lemony but were pretty far gone in the patch I had discovered that first day…

The second time I went not just meandering but looking for Limoncillo!… the memory of those few week older and drying, annual plants were still in the back of my mind.

Terri came with me. Our friends from where the nature hike was… was a bit lower in elevation, so we decided to take a path leading down to lower elevations.

And that is where we found our Limoncillo plants!

Here is the hill we wandered down.

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And here are the flowers and some leaves and short stems we foraged for our tea!

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We added a loose amount in a 4 oz jar shown here. A small jar…
To a small pot of water.

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Brought it to a boil for 5 minutes and then turned off the heat, covered the pot, and steeped the tea for 10 minutes.

We loved it. It tasted a bit earthy like chamomile but with the overall fruity-lemony taste! By far one of my favorite foraged plants. It makes a lovely tea!

And I am grateful!

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A tea for one, or two or many!

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Early fall flowers above

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And late summer blooms

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Wild lemony tea! Limoncillo!

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Delena Tull in her book: Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest… highlights use of the Pectis angustifolia/papposa plant.

P. 157
“The leaves and flowers of the low-growing annual herbs provide a pleasant lemony tea. Limoncillo blooms in summer and fall. The young, ediible leaves may be added as flavoring to stews. The volatile oil can be used to scent perfume, and the herb furnishes a yellow dye for wool. The pollen can cause hay fever in sensitive individuals. Found growing on calcium-rich soils throughout the Southwest, these fragrant wildflowers provide one of the best wild teas in the West…”

Wild Limoncillo…

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Pectis angustifolia

Pectis papposa

Asteraceae: Many healing plants!

Pectis angustifolia also has specific medicinal use. Please see source link below as well as bibliogaphy in link.

plant info source and medical use

Text Source:

Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest. Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. by Delena Tull, University of Texas Press. Revised ed., 2013.

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In the shade of a prickly pear cactus!

And near a favorite arroyo at a lower elevation… still in bloom at the end of September.

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limoncillo in the arroyo

The Pear of the Prickly Pear Cactus. Healing Fruit!

Opuntia… Species
Prickly pear cactus and fruit

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betalain lessons arthritis symptoms!

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helps with diabetes, lowers cholesterol & is anti-inflammmatory!

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Be careful when harvesting! Even the fruit has little spines which hurt and can irritate! They are difficult to remove.
And as you can see, on this variety of opuntia cactus, the spines on the nopales pads are very sharp and long.

I did pull this out of my thumb!

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Here is Terri, taking her turn foraging with tongs!

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Where there is smoke there is fire! Something I am realizing is a powerful metaphor for learning, personally, especially now.

But hey, where there is smoke there is fire! And fires were breaking out in the mountain ranges around us.

We wanted to prepare the fruit for use by burning off the glochids… over hot coals. We were thinking of putting the fruit in a metal mesh strainer with a metal base and handle. Stirring the prickly pears, semi immersed/hovering over hot coals… and turning them over to burn off the glochids… the little cactus spines on the fruit.

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We were going to use our outdoor firepit. We call our hearth. But with smoke in neighboring mountains all around we did not want to make our neighbors and others who could see our smoke plume… have cause for fear. So, we lit the coleman stove and used that flame to burn off the glochids on our fruit instead.

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These fruit are related to more popular prickly pears, often called tunas. Those appear to have more fruit and less seeds. These have a skin layer of fruit around a bunch of seeds. It is filled with moist seeds that honestly reminded me of frog eggs!. The pulp and skin (minus glochids) are all edible when blended in a vitamix for a juice. Then strain the juice to avoid bits of the rock hard seeds! Or remove seeds to begin with.

Also, remove the seeds from the fruit if you are making a jam or pie with the fruit because they are very hard and NOT chewable at all!

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Here are some of the moist seeds with part of the fruit pulp.

I made an empanada using the de-seeded fruit, coconut sugar, and water (heated and syrupy) for the fruit filling and amaranth flour for the dough. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite recipe but the fruit was quite good. We ended up straining off the prickly pear fruit sugar syrup and that was delicious!

This sugar syrup is rich in betalains and nutrition. In fact, coconut sugar does not spike blood sugar levels and it is yummy!

Betalains, that are in the fruit are a great source of anti-inflammatory agents. Betalains also exist in smaller amount in beets and swiss chard. But, prickly pear fruit, its rich red pulp, has the highest amount of Betalains. Here is to your health! People suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions are said to benefit from these betalains.

Prickly Pear Coconut Sugar Syrup

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Enjoy this Prickly Pear and Rose Cachaça cocktail!

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Also research suggests a lowering of cholesterol and an aid for symptoms of diabetes. Other benefits also include some antiviral activity and other benefits!

To think this fruit is surrounding me in the New Mexico desert. Of course, I won’t forage them all. I just foraged a few. Respect for how hard the desert plants work to survive and the other creatures who enjoy the fruit too.

I am grateful to learn more about the Prickly pear cactus and its fruit.

Prickly pear is a natural refrigerant… it cools your body down. Especially the fruit. But don’t over consume! It can in some cases lead to cactus fever. A condition that results from over consumption.

A 4 oz glass of Prickly pear juice in this case would be a good serving. And cooling and refreshing too.

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And, thankyou for joining me on this foraging journey!

cactus facts

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My homepage on harvesting Nopales…cactus pads!

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And the following spring….one of the first blooms

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And, still enjoying the prickly pear. This one in the escarpment area of New Mexico. Always happy to see my plant friends.

Not harvesting, just enjoying the view. 

Spicey not Dicey. Spice it Up with Pepper Grass! And Snakeweed Salve Soothes!

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Lepidium virginicum
Family: Brassicaceae

Brassicaceae Family

identifying the mustard family (Brassicaceae) by its flowers

According to the top link above,
Nutrition of the Brassicaceae
plant family is rich in these vitamins and minerals:

“This family is crucial in any diet for vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, and the minerals calcium, iron, and magnesium”

Quite a boon of nutrition!

*avoid areas with heavy metals or nitrates since pepper grass absorbs these from the soil if the soil has high amounts. As many plants will do.

Therefore, avoid areas with ferilizer run off.
Good to get soil tested if any doubt.

Habitat:
Fields, vacant lots, grazing land, disturbed areas, roadsides, waste sites.

And Pepper grass grows all around me in the high desert of New Mexico. It was formerly a ranch where I now live.

Common name/Nickname: Pepper grass, Poor Man’s pepper, Pepper weed, Milk Bottle

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In amidst the old branches of a dying tree

Turns out I had seen pepper grass quite a bit! I had walked past, stopped to admire it, commented on it, and grown friendly to its presence everywhere.

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Little did I know this bouncy, bountiful plant was a yummy, mustard-y, radish like green.
I bet it would taste great in a salt preserved sauerkraut!

Why not toss a few juniper berries in too?

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Juniper berries are traditional in Sauerkraut.
Come to find out the bluish/white cast on them is a type of yeast.
Many people these days are making breads and other fermented foods using natural yeast like on the juniper berries! I love these adventurous and accomplishing souls!

make your own sourdough starter the old fashioned way!

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Here is my story of Pepper grass. I walked a quarter mile or less around the horseshoe shaped land above a basin of land to where my friend stays. From my place to hers.
I hadn’t seen her in a while. I was missing her. And, she offers such a lovely flurry of blessings my way. She is often to annoint me with a cascade of treats such as: essential oils, gifts and yummy food. Her friendship and our laughter.

We often read tarot for each other and she is a passionate, creative and generous friend.

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I told her I was foraging wild foods… albeit thoroughly, blush… and a bit slowly.

She glanced quickly around. She said well there is plenty around us in the desert of New Mexico… and she picked a bunch of bottlebrush like white flowers, leaves and stems, just like that! To my happy surprise! 🙂

She said, taste this!… And, I am so glad I did! Yum! What a surprise! I like mustard-y tastes and it had a taste like horse radish too. Now it is one of my favorite nibbles and it is super good for you too! I just eat the whole thing… excluding the roots. Flowers and all and I have just one thing to say…
Thankyou friend!

Here are some more pictures of Pepper Grass to help you identify it!

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Pepper Grass Basal set of leaves

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Pepper Grass Basal leaves with stem

These Pepper grass plants are going to seed. It is a couple weeks away from autumn.

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Excluding the yellow flowered plant, the Snakeweed plant, this is pepper grass!

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More Information and pictures about Escoba de la Vibora a.k.a. Snakeweed, snakebroom…

Escoba de la Vibora
Snakeweed
Gutierrezia sarothrae
Other Names: broom snakeweed, Matchweed, Snakebroom, broomweed, Collale, Yerba de la Vibora
Family: Asteraceae

Salves , herbal oils and tea infusions for baths made from this plant are soothing for arthritis. And it often grows near the Pepper Grass plant so I like to talk about it here!

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New growth of Snakeweed above.

Flowers below:

 

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This yellow flowered plant, the snakeweed plant, grows all around me too!

I want to make a healing salve from this plant!
It is used medicinally to aid in symptoms of arthritis. It is a medicinal plant and can be used for a healing tea and often for a bath that relieves achiness and discomfort for arthritis and sore muscles.

Michael Moore, herbalist… in his book: Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West., p.p. 110-112, describes the uses and methods of utilizing Escoba de la Vibora.

For a basic formula he suggests to boil one small bundle in a quart of water.
Then sip 2-4 ounces of the infusion of herb.
Then add the rest to bathwater while enjoying part of a book. For me, this would be this book of info!

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I just had to harvest some more Yerba de la Vibora! It is the beginning of October and I am sure we want to take, at least, one healing bath for our … mid century aches and pains! Here a bundle is drying!

According to Moore: Further specific Medicinal Use:
“Steep a cup of finely chopped herb for thirty minutes
In a quart of water, strain, and add the tea to a hot bath to alleviate the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.” It is regarded a safe herb for baths.

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And, also according to this source, a tea of it can be good for stomach ache and excessive menstruation.

And, also: “It is a respected, almost revered remedio among Hispanic New Mexico and Arizona peoples, where a tea of the herb is usually drunk while bathing in it. … it is common, safe, and may sometimes work so well for joint inflammations as
to supplant salicylate (aspirin) treatments…(snakeweed is) preferred for headache, sore legs or an aching body.”

Also, Moore describes that several of the terpenes of this plant increase skin permeability, increasing the healing properties of Escoba de la Virbona.

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Yay, this was a first for me! I wildcrafted snakeweed and verbena. I dried it in the sun for a few days and then made it into a salve! I used organic sunflower oil to infuse the herbs. And, added a few drops of vetiver essential oil. Beeswax was melted and added. It is a relaxing soothing herb salve, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and nervine benefitting.

*Harvest from non-polluted areas or buy from organic sources if possible.*

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Verbena grows all around me in New Mexico!

What a fun herbal project. Tips… it takes 1.5 oz of beeswax per every 16 oz of oil for the salve.

Check out these helpful sites!

tips on making infused oils and salves!

A new friend I met on a nature hike also related that snakeweed will also show up in areas that have been over grazed.

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snakeweed oil and salve!

stove top method for infused oils and other tips!

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And back around the bend to Peppergrass!

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peppergrass article and recipe!

Memory course: Pepper grass

Health Benefits Pepper Grass!

“Anthelmintic; Antiasthmatic; Antiscorbutic; Antitussive; Cardiotonic; Diuretic.

The leaves of wild pepper-grass are nutritious and generally detoxifying, they have been used to treat vitamin C deficiency and diabetes, and to expel intestinal worms[254]. The herb is also diuretic and of benefit in easing rheumatic pain[254]. North American Indians used the bruised fresh plant, or a tea made from the leaves to treat poison ivy rash and scurvy[222]. A poultice of the leaves was applied to the chest in the treatment of croup[222]. The seed is antiasthmatic, antitussive, cardiotonic and diuretic[176]. It is used in the treatment of coughs and asthma with excessive phlegm, oedema, oliguria and liquid accumulation in the thoraco-abdominal cavity[176].A poultice of the bruised roots has been used to draw out blisters[257]. The root is used to treat excess catarrh within the respiratory tract[254].”

medical source

So what have I cooked with it?…

I have just eaten it as an uplifting, radish-y, nourishing and healing nibble! Lucky me! It grows all around me. If I’m smart I will dry some for colder months ahead!

Here is me with a lucky nibble!

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Ha ha ha … but true… I did munch away, happily!
And, thankyou friend for showing me Pepper grass!
What a way to spice up my life and thankyou! 🙂

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It does make a pretty bouquet too!

As does this drying herbal bundle of Snakebroom!

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I wonder if the origin of Bride’s bouquets was an herbal bundle of healing blooms?…

This thought encouraged me to look more into the origin of Bouquets!

Text Sources:
Edible Wild Plants. A North American Field Guide to over 200 Natural Foods. By, Thomas S. Elias and Peter A. Dykeman, Sterling Publishing.com, 1982.

Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. by, Michael Moore, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, 2003.

Clammy Ground Cherry and the Wilding Way

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identify clammy or smooth ground cherries!

Physalis heterophylla
Common name/Nicknames: Clammy Ground Cherry, Ground Cherry, Husk cherry, Husk tomato, Chinese lantern, Inca berry
Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)

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Ground Cherry fruit in its beautiful papery lantern husks in early fall

and this next one was an abandoned feast, lying on the arroyo floor…

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Harvest fruit in Autumn
calyx… lantern like casing not edible. Only ripe fruit is!

Nutrition may be similar to Tomatillo
And perhaps more since it has not been cultivated… consider: phytonutrients, flavanoids, etc. Which may be additional when a wild plant.

See more nutritional info at end of post.

plant info

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(I think it is indeed ripening… more yellow today!)

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I’ve read that when the fruit of this cherry is yellow it is the Clammy ground cherry!

As is the spiral through time and space that I am learning about foraged plants… so it is with Clammy ground cherry. I have been admiring them, and learning about them, along with other nightshades that look like they grow tiny yellow tomatoes without husks or calyxes… are poisonous! beautiful, but poisonous.

see toxic look alikes

belladonna poisonous nightshade

But I love plants and it is so interesting to learn about families of plants. The edible, the poisonous, the look alikes and the plants which are in the same family but appear so different!

So this is spiral like too… or labyrinthine. Like when the datura pops and bursts open like my new foraging, plant hike friend, described.

She told our plant hike gathering, how she has admired the beauty of the nightshade datura … for many years.

Then one evening she had the time alone, she admitted was a rare treat, to admire the datura…

When to her delight and surprise, she saw and heard, as the interlocking tendrils at the end of the flowers (which hook it spirally shut)… at just the right moment, popped open and unfurled, to reveal their splendor.

I am so grateful that she shared her story on our plant hike. Stories help us unfold and glean the true wisdom and joy of plants and unfurl a learning experience we can all remember!

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Here is the first Datura plant on my friends’ property and Sustainable Learning Center called Ampersand. Now, some 10 years later, there are many datura plants that have chosen to thrive there.

I love the beautiful datura and have often called it the lily of the desert. It is a nightshade like the Clammy ground cherry… but NOT edible.

Humans have to share afterall. Not all plants developed as edible plants for humans… strong alkaloids and other compounds have developed over time as a plant’s evolutionary defense.

And plants can be teachers and allies, not just through edibility. A reminder to me, to learn about plant neighbors. What plants are growing near a wild edible plant. This tells more of the story of the plant. The story of the soil and place.

…the circle unravels and travels the spiral where we begin…

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Flowering Alfalfa in the arroyo. Yummy alfalfa by the way! near nature hike…

So I got to go on a nature hike, through the happy connection of one friend telling me about the nature hike… that she was hoping to go to, at Ampersand.

Ampersand was created by Amanda and her partner Andy as a Sustainable Learning Center in Cerrillos, New Mexico.

I had been wanting to go to this particular event and because of my schedule had missed out on other nature hikes… but I had that Sunday off!
Amanda gave a hearty welcome for me to join. I couldn’t wait! 🙂

On this nature excursion, Amanda and others discussed and pointed out edible and medicinal plants. I was overjoyed.

This also included stories like the one about datura and traditional Native uses of plants, i.e. the Cleome plant which was used as food (wild spinach) and a dye for pottery painting.

patterns and the fourth sister: Cleome!

Cleome, Cleome Serrulata, is also known as
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant!

Capparaceae family of plants.

The Navajo refer to this plant as Waa’

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patterns of the caper family.

I just love this plant, Cleome!

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Ampersand is located near a beautiful arroyo, meadow and desert area… (not too far from me.) It is a diverse riparian area and so many beautiful plants grow there. Here is Amanda from Ampersand our beautiful and knowledgeable nature hike guide sitting and enjoying a patch of false pennyroyal!

Ampersand! Sustainable Learning Center

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This area is resplendent with all sorts of edible and healing plants. Like this soothing, nervine benefitting herb Verbena!

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Verbena, what a Healer!

tips on making salves

And, I made my own healing salve with snakeweed and verbena! Soothing and anti-inflammatory!

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Clammy Ground Cherry…where do you live?

Habitat:

“It is found mainly in habitats such as dry or mesic prairies, gravel hills and rises, sandy or rocky soils, and waste places such as roadsides.”

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Related to the tomatillo. In fact the Tomatillo is a cultivated Ground Cherry!

Here are more pictures of the Clammy Ground Cherry!

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Plant showing the leaves and ground cherries below hanging in their papery lantern husks!

clammy ground cherry!

native american medicinal use

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My new nature hike friend showing me what lies within the “paper lantern!”

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Showing each other Ground cherries on the nature hike!

Only eat Clammy ground cherries when they ripen to yellow. They contain alkaloids which could be potentially fatal and/or harmful if not ripe!… green is unripe in this case!

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Okay so what can I make with Clammy ground cherries?… jam, pie, a fruity nibble… empanadas…

I just love this person! They made a Ground Cherry pie from a similar species… Physalis peruviana… but
Physalis heterophylla would work great too!
Wow that’s a lot of science… but so is good baking so here goes!

Ground Cherry Pie, Cupcakes and Salsa Recipes!

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Here it is a greenish yellow on the windowsill of a sweet housesit!

I read somewhere that they will fully ripen to a (full yellow) in this case… just like their cousins the tomatoes… will ripen when left to do the same!

I will keep you posted as my journey with Clammy ground cherry continues!

I can’t wait to taste my Clammy ground cherry
once it is fully ripe!

tomatillos are cultivated ground cherries!

Medical Use clammy ground cherries…

From the above Medical Use… link:

” (Peterson Field Guides, Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, 1990) report that the American Indians made a tea of the leaves and roots of Clammy Ground Cherry, P. heterophylla, for headaches, wash for burns, scalds; in herbal compounds to induce vomiting for bad stomach aches; root and leaves poulticed for wounds. Seeds of this and other species were considered useful for difficult urination, fevers, inflammation, and various urinary disorders.”

Also may have anti-tumor properties which are being researched.

more medical source

Ripe berries can also be dried and ground into a flour to add to breads and doughs.

Nutrition:

from Primaldocs.com

Clammy Ground Cherry is a powerhouse of Nutrition!

It is filled with Vitamin A
B complex vitamins
Phosphorus, potassium, and iron
Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory agents

Including withanolides which cut off cancer cells/tumors ability to make blood vessels to itself

withanolides and physalis

Also, reportedly protects your liver from some forms of toxicity as well as aiding in illness from diabetes and hypertension.

The author, of Primaldocs.com, Arthur Haines, closes this excellent article by talking about the importance of re-wilding one’s life. That the impact of doing so changes one’s life for the better. With nutrition and sense of connectedness to nature, the world.

And that this task of re-wilding is essential to our wellbeing. That we regain ecological knowledge and wisdom and move from being told what to eat by supermarket shelves to a more closely related connection to wild foods and beings that share an ecological path with us.

Re-wilding is a path I am glad I am on!

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Clammy Ground Cherry you have guided my way!

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Keepin on Nature Hiking

Amaranth the Immortal Green and Grain!

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Story of a plant and how it helped me find its name.

Amaranth. I found you. You let me find you.
I remember. Looking intently at plants growing near a field of corn in the plains area just west of Denver, Colorado.

You were in the ditches near the field.
Alongside the road that tractors drive on.
Where we walked our dog.

Pigweed is the name that threw me off from you. Hard to latch onto, although pigs have good taste!

I thought the green, spikey cluster of flowers at the top could tip me off that it was, indeed, you.

But the leaves, the stem… the overall characteristics of you, Amaranth.
Wild, green leaved Amaranth.
Was something.
I still was not sure.
Like mistaken identity.
Or a case of amnesia where all I have is a picture to go by
with no name.

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It took me over a year of meanderings.
And leavetakings. Learning other plants which made my acquaintance before…

I found you on the upper banks along the foot and bicycle path of the Santa Fe river where I was walking.
A frequent walk which helped me notice you enough to wake up my sleeping vision and actually see you!

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(Patch of Amaranth in foreground on bank of river)

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(Just a week ago water was rushing through this riverbed. It was bone dry when I took the photo only to rush with water, just a few hours later. Rain from the mountain top making its way down. Perhaps over a course of days…)

The fertile banks of the river.
That is where you greeted me and lead me to understand your introduction. Where I finally learned to meet you. To see you for what you are. Amaranth the immortal green and grain.

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(In this location grows near the yellow flowered plant. Looks similar but only one is the edible, healing Amaranth!)

Grateful Harvest
near the riverbed

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(Can you see the top Amaranth leaf pointing to a patch of Mullein across the Riverbed?)

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This green, (as it is called in Nigeria. Green!)…
made its patient and hearty introduction to me again.

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As silly as this may sound?… plants have a way of helping me find them.

To understand, admire and observe them.
In essence, teaching me by name.

Thankyou Amaranth!

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Amaranthus retroflexus
Green Amaranth
Nicknames: Red root pigweed, red-root amaranth, common amaranth, pigweed amaranth, and common tumbleweed.

plant info

Amaranth word origins are from the Greek Amarantos which means unfading.
It is believed to have derived from Sanskrit. The Sanskrit word Amar means eternal…unfading.

More word origin here:
“”Amaranth” derives from Greek μάραντος [3] (amarantos), “unfading,” with the Greek word for “flower,” νθος (anthos), factoring into the word’s development as “amaranth.” The more accurate “amarant” is an archaic variant. Also, it has to be mentioned the Greek word amarantos is in fact derived from ancient Indian language Sanskrit and the meaning of the word is immortal immortal.”

word origin source

Amaranth, given its Sanskrit roots, in India today; Amaranth greens and grain are still a popular food source.

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Red root

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Stems can be green, tannish green, red, pinkish green

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Aztec Use of Amaranth

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Aztec art and sculpture

Image source and Aztec Culture

“In ancient Mesoamerica, amaranth seeds were commonly used. The Aztec/Mexica cultivated large quantities of amaranth and it was also used as form of tribute payment.

Amaranth’s name in Nahuatl was huauhtli.

Among the Aztecs, amaranth flour was used to make baked images of their patron deity, Huitzilopochtli, especially during the festival called Panquetzaliztli, which means “raising banners”. During these ceremonies, amaranth dough figurines of Huitzilopochtli were carried around in processions and then divided up among the population…

Cultivation of amaranth decreased and almost disappeared in Colonial times, under the Spanish rule. The Spanish banished the crop because of its religious importance and use in ceremonies.”

Aztec use of Amaranth and quoted source.

But Amaranth survived on the outskirts of Aztec civilization. Thanks to the Aztec people who, perhaps at great risk, saved Amaranth seeds!

Manataka American Indian Council Articles on Amaranth

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AMARANTH Some characteristics of identification:

For Amaranthus retroflexus

*Be certain for each type of Amaranth plant as there are 60 – 70 species out there! Although some(not all) characteristics for plant species are consistent.

As always, be certain of what plant you are foraging! Bring an expert. Seek expert advice!

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This is a general guide for identifying
Amaranthus retroflexus
* (see above)

.Red root
.Alternating leaves
.Long petiole (leaf stem)
.Leaves can be diamond shaped, lanceolate, oval and often pointed,
.Leaves may be notched when young
.Smaller leaves, higher up on stem
.Leaves can have a slightly wavy edge
.Leaf like growth at stem joints
.Shiny underside of leaf also is white veined.
.These veins are prominent
.Green bristly flower spikes
.Stems can be red, green or pinkish green
.Flower spikes can also form at joints of stems as well
and can surround central, top flower spike.
.Can be branched plant
.Grows in roadsides, disturbed areas, fields, gardens… .Even in arroyos… see end of post 🙂
.Grows to 3 feet on average

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illustration credit. Info about plant

amaranth memory course

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photo credit

Amaranth Traditional Day of the Dead Skulls

comprehensive plant info

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Nutrition of Amaranth Leaves per 1 Cup Serving.

Vitamin K 267%, Vitamin C 21%, Manganese 13%, Calcium 7%, Magnesium 5%, Folate 6%… and other nutrients.

wow that’s a lot of Vitamin K!

nutrition chart

Medicinal Uses:

“Astringent.

A tea made from the leaves is astringent[222]. It is used in the treatment of profuse menstruation, intestinal bleeding, diarrhoea etc[222, 238, 257]. An infusion has been used to treat hoarseness[257].”

Source

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Prominent veins on underside of leaf appear white.

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http://extension.psu.edu/pests/weeds/weed-id/redroot-pigweed

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How to make Cheera Thoran.

I foraged a nice bunch of Amaranth leaves and made a simple dish of greens with them along with some community garden greens. (Amaranth was also growing in the garden!)

I was inspired by the cheera Thoran recipes but the process was more of a whimsical concoction.

The recipes I saw said to use oil and heat up mustard seeds until they pop.
I used 3 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp black mustard seed
Then added one half chopped red onion
2tbsp ground coriander, stir
Sauteé
Then add chopped amaranth leaves
Chopped swiss chard
And a little chopped kale
Also quite nice is a couple of sprigs mint chopped and sauteéd.
Sautee all for a few minutes
All recipes suggest… Do not add water

We loved our vegetable dish and ate it as an antipasta first course.

Veggies including Amaranth leaves and black mustard seed.

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Chopped Amaranth leaves

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Our yummy antipasta dish! Similar to Cheera Thoran.

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Terri holds in sunlight for view!

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I just found a wonderful site about Amaranth!

Amaranth grows in Nigeria. In the site link below, I am sure you can recognize an Amaranth leaf in a yummy pan of greens!

I learned from this site that… “It is known in Yoruba as efo tete or arowo jeja… (meaning ‘we have money left over for fish.’ “)

These yummy greens certainly compliment fish and can be foraged or available in markets in Nigeria!

efo tete or arowo jeja greens recipe!

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Amaranth Seed

I am very excited by this product by Bob’s Red Mill.
Amaranth seed! Can’t wait to pop it and make popped Amaranth and honey Day of the Dead skulls!

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Also on the back is a recipe for Alegría that I will share with you here! Alegría mean Happiness in Spanish! And, is a celebration food during the Day of the Dead.

Alegría

pop it!

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Also I made Chocolate Atolé from the following recipe and I will show you how!

Chocolate Amaranth Atole!

Inspired and basic recipe from Versagrain
Chocolate Atolé recipe posted above!

Option: dry roast flour in pan for a few minutes on low to medium heat. Careful not to burn.
Amaranth flour has a green almost grassy taste but tones down a bit when dry roasted. Also the cacao/chocolate adds to the overall blend of flavors!
…note… I did not dry roast the Amaranth flour and really enjoyed the Chocolate Atolé flavor!

Ingredients:

1/2 C Amaranth Flour
5 C milk or water. (I used 4 C almond milk and 1 C water
3 ounces chopped Unsweetened Cacao
(or unsweetened chocolate)
1/4 C coconut sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla extract

Heat milk until warm/hot not simmering yet.
Add Amaranth flour teaspoon by teaspoon
Whisk constantly to incorporate
When flour all whisked in…
Let thicken a bit
Add sugar…whisk to blend completely
Add one stick cinammon
2 tsp vanilla

For cacao or chocolate chop 3 oz add to mixture when pulled off the heat. Stir until dissolved

We added some raspberries to garnish. A sprig of mint would be nice and I think mint herb water would be nice for the liquid!

Here are some pictures of our Amaranth Atolé fun!

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Chop the cacao or chocolate (unsweetened)

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Heat milk until warm/hot

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Add flour bit by bit whisk whole time. It helped to have someone else to whisk!

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Add cinnamon stick

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Add sugar whisk to incorporate fully

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Add 2 tsp vanilla and whisk in

***Take mixture off heat before adding chocolate!***

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Add chocolate bit by bit

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Whisk

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Keep melting by whisking…

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Enjoy!

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Atolé maker!

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and me too!

Atolé what a treat and everyday a celebration!

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Amaranth can be difficult to distinguish exactly what species of Amaranth it is… even for more seasoned plant observers… Factors such as hybridization, juvenile plant, cotyledon (beginning growth from seedling,) male/female plant all factor in. Also, what stage of growth you are acquainted with identifying can make other factors stand out with an opportunity for learning or doubt.

Accurate foraging takes time and I did not forage from this last group of observed plants.

I am not exactly sure what type of Amaranth plants these set of pictures are (including the one just above) although these plants closely resemble the Amaranthus retroflexus…

Hmmm more studying to do!

🙂

….. ….. ….. …… ….. ….. ….. ….. …..

Nonetheless, I want to show you these beautiful plants which match the criteria for Amaranth species as a whole. In this case… alternating leaves, growth at joints, white veins underneath, bristly green flower spike, long petiole…

Left side of picture… Amaranth from a view in the arroyo

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A small grouping of Amaranth in a 100 foot area

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In the beautiful arroyo

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botany glossary

Lambs quarters, Lammas, the Hummingbird and the Coral Reef

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Lambs Quarters
Chenopodium Album
Nicknames:
Fat Hen, Goose foot, Pig weed
(Pig weed can be a nickname for other plants such as for amaranth species.)
So look for botanical name to clear up regional nickname differences.
…Even Euell Gibbons said that was a good idea. And all the nicknames for Lambs quarters helped him turn the leaf, so to speak, in using botanical names to be clear!

more about Euell Gibbons

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Lambs quarters during Lammas

Lammas occurs on August 1st. This time of year in the Northern hemisphere is an abundant time for harvesting. (Imbolc takes place at this time of year in the Southern hemisphere.)

Lammas is a many centuries old tradition. Which is still celebrated today. Lambs quarters is said to be a rendition of Lammas quarters and is said to have been one of the first greens served during Lammas. A relative, Orache, is said to have been served during Lammas as well.

Bread is also the celebrated food of Lammas and the successful harvest of grains.

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photo credit, Learn more about Lammas

recipe for lammas bread

(Harvest lambsquarter seed in fall, grind in coffee grinder or hand grist mill. Substitute half amount of wheat flour with lambsquarter seed flour.)

Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, counts of a time where the God Lugh, a sun god, reigned the world as a: warrior, a many skilled and talented being. Who also yields the glory of the sun and the harvest.

A celebration of the harvest with the Lammas loaf of bread!

August is a significant time for the coral in the sea. Shortly after Lammas, every August, 7-10 days after the full moon… Coral all over the world spawn and reproduce.

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photo credit, more about coral

Reef Relief

Nitrate pollution affects Coral (and Lambs quarters)

Lugh belonged to the Tuatha de Danaan people. His mother Ethniu belonged to (the enemy) or the Fomorii people. The Fomorii people worshipped the goddess Domnu. Goddess of the deep abyss. The Sea. Sea creatures like the dolphin, the salmon. The coral reefs are all sacred to Domnu.

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photo credit, Formorians and Domnu

More about Domnu see description for Donn (Domnu)

Celtic Deities

More about Celtic Deities

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Story of Lugh, Photo credit.

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As with the story of Domnu predating Lugh. Some research also suggests that the festival of Lugh once involved a commemoration of mourning. Due to his foster mother, Tailtiu dying in her efforts to supply the earth with grain. Also, the layers of myth and story all point to earlier peoples and times…still encoded in the myths.

harvest myth

lugh legends

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Lugh, God of the Sun which gives life to all. Domnu, goddess of his Mother’s people. Gives birth to the amniotic like fluid of the sea. All creatures on earth came originally from the sea.

Why did Lugh, once empowered, go to war with his Mother’s people?
Was it the dawning of the patriarchy?
Some existential angst of the sun?
A trepidation due to the unknown depths and creations of the sea where light ceases to be seen?

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photo credit, 10minuteastronomy.wordpress.com

Whereas, The full moon, in August, enacts the spawning of coral all over the world. The reflected light of the moon of the Sun. Some would say, is the reflected light of Lugh. The time of Lammas, Lugh’s time of Harvest. The light of the moon shining into the depth’s of the sea. What the Fomorii people would say was Domnu’s sea. The depth of new creation. Sometimes the terrifying but awe inspiring depths. And the hope of coral in the sea.

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Here is to the Happy Hearth! My hearth in my abode.

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The Hearth… is an extension of who and where you are.
Whether at an outdoor kitchen, a simple campsite, cooking with a solar oven, in your home or at a gourmet restaurant…

Making meals with foraged plants are a simple blessing that, not only can nourish, but can heal.
And make your hearth your home.

Here is lamb’s quarters. A foraged plant which has held a huge importance and food source in many parts of the world, such as Europe, Asia and North America. Including for Celtic peoples from which these gods and goddesses have been briefly described.

Historical use

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The story and place of Lambs quarters. How and where to find this plant.

August, time and place.

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Habitat:

Common and widespread
Introduced from Europe
Grows in yards, disturbed sites, vacant lots

Identification and Description:

Small to medium size annual plant
2 feet on average up to 5 feet plus…

Stems erect, usually branched
With a pale green and/or whitish cast

***Caution: Lambs quarters will easily absorb nitrates from fertilizer run off. Harvest only in non-polluted areas.***

fertilizer run off and nitrates health risk

Dietary Note: Lambs quarters contain oxalates which, for those with certain health problems, such as kidney stones, it may be advised to avoid oxalate laden foods.

However, oxalates are in many foods including: berries, spinach, beets, swiss chard, legumes, etc.

And, oxalates play an important role in cell function. “For example, vitamin C is one of the substances that our cells routinely convert into oxalates.”

source, more about oxalates

concise info/includes mild healing effects

It is a highly nutritious plant related to spinach. In fact, lambs quarters, can be an excellent substitute for spinach in recipes!! Give it a try 🙂

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Nutritional Benefits of Lambs Quarters:

According to the following site, Lambs Quarters gives well over a full days supply of Vitamins C and A along with being a good supply of Calcium, Manganese and some B vitamins, along with other nutritional benefits!

Great Chart!

lambs quarter, avocado and olive spread!

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My August birthday and the hummingbird that came to visit!

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
Selasphorus platycerus

size: 4″

Male: Tiny, iridescent green bird with black throat patch (gorget) that reflects rosy red in sunlight.
Wings and part of the back are green

Female: same as male but lacking the throat patch, much more green on back, tan on flanks

This female, Broad-Tailed hummingbird visited me twice on my birthday.

Terri and I have been birdwatching.

Often by the time we get the binoculars in focus, the bird has either jumped to the back of a tree or likely flown off.

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We get pieces of information each time and often predominantly get different pieces or “noticings.”
For instance, on one birdwatching adventure, I noticed a black cap…on the bird’s head and Terri noticed yellow on the wings, etc.

We review each sighting with “what did you see? Did you see that?” Some of it is the same but often different details emerge. This can be humorous and fumbling at best. But can, we hope, add together for a bigger picture.

The fun thing is humingbirds can hover. As the female did who visited us twice, first thing this morning.

Of all the birds we have been trying to identify and observe, this one let us observe her the closest for the longest.

Twice in a matter of a few minutes! The hovering, inquisitive nature of the hummingbird, made it possible for us to identify what kind of humingbird she, indeed was.

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A female, Broadtailed Hummingbird

Information about Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds

Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds

and more info here

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My birthday cake for two! 🙂

My birthday celebration continued as we also sautéed lambs quarters for a birthday meal.
So delicious we felt happy and nourished to share this celebration meal together!

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Rinsing

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Sautéeing on my Hearth! 🙂

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mmmm!

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Undersides of Lambsquarter leaves

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Mature plants have purple notches at stem joints

And one more look at the plant

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*** There are look alikes out there and different species of chenopodium which may be toxic! Please forage with someone who knows and be careful with new growth as it can resemble inedible species of other plants!

Bring an expert forager with you and get to know the plants in your area. Bring a good text source with you too!

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This post was a creative endeavor. Thankyou for joining me in the journey! August, time and place. Mythology, nutritious greens at time of harvest. The coral reefs after the full moon in August. Watching, bird watching. Learning, lovingly and discernedly the correct plant for foraging. Harvesting and gleaning knowledge about my Celtic background and for the foraged plants our ancestors held dear. Looking to the past. To the future. What surrounds us in the oceans heralded by the protective forces some have described as Domnu. The fragile balance of nature and the awe of the coral reefs. So much to learn when a hummingbird comes nearby to hover. Beating its wings 50 or more times per second.
Learning.
Appreciating!

And happy foraging to You!

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Sources includes links and posted URL’s

Text Sources:

Birds of New Mexico: Field Guide.
by, Stan Tekiela. Adventure Publications, inc. Cambridge, Minnesota, 2003.

Edible Wild Plants. A North American Field Guide to over 200 Natural Foods. By, Thomas S. Elias and Peter A. Dykeman, Sterling Publishing.com, 1982.

Stalking The Wild Asparagus. by Euell Gibbons. Hood, Alan C. & Company, Inc., Publisher. Newer edition 2005.
Originally published 1962.

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Happy Harvest of the Sun!

Flour Power! Make Your Own Oat Flour Flatbreads or Tortillas!


~This post dedicated to my Dear Friend Nils!~

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A quickie post! How fun! Thankyou for joining me!

What you Need:

1. Steel cut oats or rolled oats
2. Coffee grinder
3. Butter or veggie butter or coconut oil
4. Salt
5. Warm water
6. Rolling surface/rolling pin (optional)
Can press out and flatten by hand.
7. Frying pan/flat griddle such as a tawa

Flour seems to be all the rage right now. Or maybe it’s me. Flour is on the horizon and certainly is a staple all over the world.

One of these days I am going to make nopales flour for tortillas! Woo hoo! Living in the desert gets you thinking about foodways and what can be made into flour. Nopales flour has a longstanding history of use in New Mexico, Mexico and other Countries of the Americas.

Nopalés? For those who may be unfamiliar check out
my Homepage.

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Another reason oat flour appeals is that I suspect I have a gluten allergy. I have sometimes severe and/or annoying/unhealthy symptoms after eating wheat.

Also I have read some people with celiac disease, for instance, cannot tolerate some of the protein in oats and some oats are contaminated when stored with wheat. So look for non-gluten oats if that is an issue.

*If phytic acid is an issue soak the oats with 10 % of a ground up grain/flour that contains phytase. An example of a non gluten grain that contains phytase is buckwheat flour. Phytase breaks down phytic acid. I have just learned that too much consumption of phytic acid in foods can lead to nutrient and mineral loss.

If gluten is not a problem but you want to reduce the phytic acid in oats… add a grain flour high in phytase such as wheat flour or rye flour, etc.

Look for certified gluten free buckwheat not because it contains gluten. Buckwheat does not contain gluten. It can, however, be contaminated with wheat because it is often used as a cover crop in wheat fields, stored with wheat, etc.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/23441/1/Is-Buckwheat-Flour-Really-Gluten-Free/Page1.html

I haven’t tried soaking oats yet with buckwheat but do feel inspired by the health complements this could provide. Here is a link about phytic acids in grains, etc.

http://www.phyticacid.org/oatmeal-phytic-acid/

I will experiment with this and let you know. I will try grinding the soaked oatmeal/buckwheat flour mixture in a coffee grinder. Add water (perhaps less it would seem) and make the dough for tortillas.

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Meanwhile… back to the steel cut oats…

What I appreciate also is that it takes less fuel to cook a tortilla made with oat flour than it does to cook oatmeal on the stove. I know solar ovens exist and I want to build one. But, even in a solar oven, tortillas wouldn’t take as long to cook as a dish of oatmeal cereal. And the tortillas with butter and cinnamon… or veggie butter/coconut oil, etc. really have a yummy breakfast taste. They make a good snack this way too! I even used the tortillas for dinner! More about that in a moment! 🙂

And, given that this can of steel cut oats was tempting me as I sipped my coffee this morning and that my friend has a coffee grinder (electric) … (which made said coffee very yummy)…I thought I would give the fun activity of making oat flour a go!

I started with this:
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And poured the steel cut oats into the coffee grinder. After first, unplugging it and cleaning it out and drying it…

I filled the bottom cup of the grinder about 2/3 full. Put the lid back on and did this step twice.

-Just 15 seconds in pulses and you get a soft powdery flour.

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-I made a 1 cup batch of flour.

Reserve some of the oat flour for rolling dough/pressing dough into a tortilla!

-And, then I added enough warm/hot water to make it sticky but not too wet. But, if it’s not wet enough it will be too dry to work with. Better to go slow on the water, until you reach consistency you want. Especially, for 1 cup of flour.

-I added about 5 or 6 Tbsp of warm/hot water from the kettle. It hadn’t started whistling yet but the water was just getting hot. Whirring…

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I am holding the kettle in the kitchen, in a lovely cabin of a friend; where, I am staying in the mountains of New Mexico.
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Off the Mountain Crest Road a pretty view.
And Tall Trees!

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Oh Yeah, where was I? 😉 and back to …
Oat Flour

-Mix the cup of flour and add small splashes of warm/hot water to the flour. I added a tablespoon of butter.
1 pinch of salt.

(I imagine vegan butter or coconut oil would work well if avoiding dairy or wanting to use what you have)

Tip: Use refrigerated coconut oil

-Mix and incorporate ingredients with a fork.

-Knead well and shape into a ball.

-Cover with damp cloth for 10 minutes.

This recipe made 4 tortillas about 5 or 6 inches wide.
So separate dough into 4 balls.

-Keep balls of dough covered with damp cloth while you are working on each tortilla.

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-Take the ball of dough and flatten it out on a floured surface. I used some of the oat flour to dust the surface.

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I used a cutting board as a surface to roll on.
*(and just to be safe, although most people know this…and for the kids helping, It would be better to use a cutting board for slicing bread…and not one from cutting meat or vegetables because of bacteria.
Or use other clean rolling surface 🙂 )

You can press it out with palm of hand and fingers. That is o’kay and makes a hearty tortilla/flatbread.

I have done it that way and it is a nice option. It’s tactile and fun and kids can do it as well as big kids.

I also love the way a rolling pin feels and the way you can roll the dough in rays. Rolling in increments, to and from the center out, all around its flattening rounded shape, to spread the dough in a circle. I sometimes flip it over and go at it from that side too. Also, just because it is so fun!

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Or you can make a larger batch and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Have a fun or holiday breakfast that way!

Here is the uncooked tortilla ready for the ungreased pan!

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-Heat up each side for 1 or 2 minutes. Less time makes them more pliable but you want to cook for at least 30 seconds. More time creates a flatbread type consistency.

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My favorite way to eat these is as a light meal, fresh and hot, with butter and cinnamon. Thinly sliced apples would be nice or sliced banana.

They would be good with a chutney or beans and rice. Experiment and have fun serving these!

I improvised and made a quesadilla with cheddar cheese and dried tomato basil pesto! Yum. A little bit delicate but does hold together and I love the the texture of the oat flour. I had put some butter on top of these tortillas earlier after first making them.
Later that day, I just assembled the quesadilla and put it in a dry, ungreased frying pan to heat it up and melt the cheese. I liked the result.

*The one thing I might do differently next time is leave out the pesto and put it on top of the quesadilla or dip into it. The tortillas absorbed a lot of the flavor/moisture from the pesto. But, it was yummy and the oat flour tortillas have great texture!

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This has become a favorite breakfast and now lunch or dinner with quesadilla in tow!

I really like this recipe and find the consistency is less of a rolled tortilla and more of a flatbread.
Warm water when making the dough is the key.

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I found this great oat cracker recipe!

What about Apple Chutney to go with your tortillas?

Also, I am staying with a friend, for a few days, and she just took out this past season’s frozen apricots from the freezer. I have made an oat flour crust for an apple tart before. And, that friend and I had a great time making it. But my friend’s solar oven was not able to generate enough heat on a semi cloudy day and we didn’t time it right. (Too busy sipping tea and gabbing!) So, I hiked back through the arroyo that day without a chance to try it. I don’t think it ever fully cooked that day. Which can be unusual with the sunny skies of New Mexico…although winter dawns. But, the view through the arroyo was great!

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Now I really want to taste a yummy apricot pie with oat flour crust. Stay tuned! 🙂 And found a great site using oat flour as well as nut flour for the crust! mmmm!

http://www.rodalenews.com/gluten-free-pie-crust-recipes

And I have been having a great time baking with oat flour! Check out my fun post on Apricot Pie with Oat Flour Pie Crust!

I want to Thank You for taking this Journey with me!

And Happy Foodways to You!

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Rosehips Along the Oregon Trail!

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This image and more about compass rose.

And a quick sketch in my journal

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It feels fitting to begin with an image of a compass rose. Originally used to help the map reader bear in mind the direction of the winds. It then became a tool to indicate the cardinal directions. This is a modern representation of a compass rose.
The directional points have long been described as the petals of a rose.

This post is about the Rosehips I found while traveling alongside the Oregon trail. So much history, and stories. Some painful. Some a reckoning of western expansion and what effects this had. Migrations were often miles wide. This had a substantial effect on the area and interfered with Native American grazing lands, to say the least.
But, it remains an interesting, if not sometimes painful reminder of past events. Of perseverance and direction. Of the people. Of the roses which remind us of who once were and travelled through
the Oregon Trail.

I found the rosebushes with flowers past bloom, in a half deciduous state with only the Rosehips. But, I immediately recognized the red fruit as Rosehips and the leaves as Rose leaves. Stems adorned with prickles.

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*Please forage with someone who knows and/or bring a guidebook with you.

Always be absolutely certain when foraging.
If in doubt leave it out!

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What are Rosehips Anyway?

According to this site on Wikipedia:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_hip

“The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through
autumn.”

(In my photo: This patch of Rosehips was in an area where a lot of leaves had dropped. Less than a quarter mile away were Rose plants that had more leaves.)

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Rosehips are used for foods and beverages.

“Rose hips can be used to make Palinka, a traditional Hungarian alcoholic beverage. They are also the central ingredient of Cockta, the fruity-tasting national soft drink of Slovenia. [2]

…Rose hips are commonly used as a tisane, often blended with hibiscus, and also as an oil. They can also be used to make jam, jelly, marmalade, and rose hip wine. Rose hip soup, “nyponsoppa”, is especially popular in Sweden. Rhodomel, a type of mead, is made with rose hips.”

And according to this wikipedia site there is more info about the rose plant itself.

“A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles.” (Thorns)

“Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa.”

Also this site gives Excellent:

Identification Characteristics!

“The leaves are borne alternately on the stem. In most species they are 5 to 15 centimetres (2.0 to 5.9 in) long, pinnate, with (3–) 5–9 (–13) leaflets and basal stipules; the leaflets usually have a serrated margin, and often a few small prickles on the underside of the stem. Most roses are deciduous but a few (particularly from South east Asia) are evergreen or nearly so.”

“The flowers of most species have five petals, with the exception of Rosa sericea, which usually has only four. Each petal is divided into two distinct lobes and is usually white or pink, though in a few species yellow or red. Beneath the petals are five sepals (or in the case of some Rosa sericea, four). These (sepals) may be…visible when viewed from above… as green points alternating with the rounded petals. There are multiple superior ovaries that develop into achenes.* [4] Roses are insect-pollinated in nature.”

* achenes are dry one seeded fruit. These achenes are surrounded by the hypanthium.

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Here is a Rosehip split in half. It is a closeup of achenes, fibers/hairs and surrounding edible hypanthium. The inside world of a Rosehip!

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Rosa rugosa and Rosa canina are known to make delicious rose hips although there are many rose species that do produce hips.

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Rosehips Along the Oregon Trail

Pioneer Rose or Harison’s Rose
Photograph by Cheryl Netter
From website:
http://www.deborahbedfordbooks.com/harison_rose.html

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I was very happy to find Rosehips along the Oregon Trail.

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Pioneers of the Oregon trail often marked graves of loved ones, who died along the way, with roses which survive to this day. According to the following newspaper article one of the most common of these roses was the Harison rose. A yellow rose. Unfortunately, as I was traveling through, I did not get a chance to see the flowers in bloom. But, I did enjoy the rosehips that I gathered along the Oregon trail. It really got my imagination going. Wondering if the rose bushes I found were tokens of affection for loved ones lost or homesteads along the way. Check out this interesting article about roses and the pioneers who brought rose cuttings with them and preserved those cuttings by sticking the ends into potatoes!

http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2013/07/16/entertainment/02ent%2007-15-13.txt

Also this next newspaper article, written by
Erica L. Calkins for the “Seattle Times.,” gives accounts of pioneer’s experiences.
And, tells of a pioneer descendant, who traces the stories of the women who brought 20 different species along with them on the Oregon Trail!

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19950219&slug=2105943

And here is an interesting article about the unusual ingredients pioneer women used in beverages including Rosehips. It also includes a Native American beverage called Yaupon spiced tea which became popular with pioneers.

http://m.voices.yahoo.com/unusual-ingredients-pioneer-women-used-making-beverages-7957528.html

Roses have travelled from all over the world. From one part to the next. And because of this and native species, roses are, delightfully, common. My life has been etched by the sweet life of roses.

From the wild rose bushes on the Oregon Trail to my discoveries of roses growing wild when I was a child. A favorite memory is of rosehips and rose flowers I admired each time I entered alongside the dunes and pathways to the beach a few miles from my home. They always fascinated me and still delight me to this day.

What are your memories of roses? Rosehips, rose petals, or tea, the prickly thorns…smelling blossoms… we are lucky to share in the stories of roses.

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I am adding to this post. Connecting with my family with a loved one and hospice care.

I found a little time to go to the ocean and I found Beach roses and rosehips! What a blessing!

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I remember beach roses and rosehips from childhood days at the ocean.
So sweet to greet them again now.

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a brief and healing visit to the ocean.

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Roses. Take time to smell the roses!…I’ll be honest it’s hokey but, I can’t resist taking the time to do this! Some smell sweeter than others and it is a sweet experience amidst the hubbub of sometimes pervasive tediousness…  🙂

Awww, the sweetness of rose, soothes.

I can’t seem to find the origin of the phrase…”take time to stop and smell the roses” I was hoping it might have stemmed from Shakespeare but, I haven’t found a direct reference. Funny enough, I grew up hearing this and thought it was an age old idiom. I need a good old fashioned idiom origin book
… but, alas, amidst my small trove of belongings and printed materials I do not have one. And this is all food for thought.

After all this why not enjoy a Prickly Pear fruit and Rose petal syrup Cachaça Cocktail!

And now, after a relaxing beverage… Here is more Food For Thought!…

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NUTRITION OF ROSE HIPS

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Excellent Information presented below from the following site:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/health-benefits-of-rosehip-tea-7607.html

Rosehip Tea Health Benefits:

Tips for Rosehips!
🙂
*Notes: Steep in hot water rather than
boiling Rosehips to make tea.
*do not use aluminum pan/mug
*do not store Rosehips in metal

High in Vitamin C
And can give an energy boost due to high vitamin C content.
(It is better to steep rosehips, i.e. for tea, as this will retain more vitamin C content rather than boiling.)
Additional Vitamins Include:
A, B1, B2, B3, E, K, P as well as C

Further Nutrients Include:
Potassium
Calcium
Iron
Carotenoids
Pectin
Anti-oxidants
Bio-Flavanoids
Phytochemicals
Rutin

Also According to the:

Lifestyle Article: I love India. Rosehip Site

Rosehip tea has anti-aging properties. It regenerates cells and has healing properties.

The phytochemicals in rosehips prevent cancer and some cardiac problems.

Furthermore:

Can prevent some colds and viruses.
Helps clear mucus and clears out respiratory tract.
Helps with UTI
Anti stress agents
Anti Depressant
Regulates Hormones
Hydrates Skin
Improves Circulation

Also: Relieves Menstrual cramps, headaches, diahrrea, dizziness, and nausea.

Rosehip tea can help with allergies, asthma and bronchitis as well.

The pectin in tea helps with constipation. Pectin can lower cholesterol and cleans out intestines.

Rosehips can help with some cardiac issues.

Also according to the source below, health benefits are described.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-839-ROSE%20HIP.aspx?activeIngredientId=839&activeIngredientName=ROSE%20HIP

“Rosehips are also used for stomach disorders including stomach spasms, stomach acid deficiency, preventing stomach irritation and ulcers, and as a “stomach tonic” for intestinal diseases. They are also used for diarrhea, constipation, gallstones, gallbladder ailments, lower urinary tract and kidney disorders, fluid retention (dropsy or edema), gout, back and leg pain (sciatica), diabetes, high cholesterol, weight loss, high blood pressure, chest ailments, fever, increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst.”

What about Arthritis? Studies indicate Rose hips alleviate symptoms!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/275404-rose-hips-joint-pain/

http://health.ninemsn.com/naturaltherapies/naturalhealth/799090/10-things-about-rosehip

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Rosehips vitamin C content may be affected by processing and extreme heats in drying. Perhaps low heat drying works best to maintain vitamin C or to use fresh. Consider a dehydrater with lower temp setting or oven on low temp or sun drying.

Here is some info on food process and methods which affect vitamin content in food. Commercially drying of foods…the temps are high typically, so perhaps low drying effects are less detrimental to vitamin retention. This site may be of interest to some so I added it here.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/processing

***See a medical professional and/or herbal specialist for all serious medical issues and when using herbs and plants for same.***

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WHEN AND HOW TO HARVEST ROSEHIPS!

Harvest Rosehips in the fall. I’ve read that they are sweetest after 1st frost although I had good luck harvesting mid September. Harvest the plump ones not any that look shrivelled or damaged. If you are lucky to have roses growing in your yard or woods or beach nearby…how wonderful. Some domesticated varieties of roses produce Rosehips and some do not.

*Avoid harvesting in areas that have been treated with toxic pesticides or herbicides.*

And, enjoy the rose on the stem. If you like Rosehips and want to harvest them later…keep the flowers on the stem. The flowers need to drop their petals naturally. Another example where it doesn’t “help nature” to hurry it along. Then the Rosehip can develop where the rose was. They start out green then morph from green orange, to orange and then a beautiful red or red-orange. Some species even produce a black-ish variety.

This is how I harvested mine:

Pick your Rosehips in the fall. I picked mine in mid September in Oregon. It was an area on the edge of a forest. Near the old Oregon Trail Path that was still visible in places.

Almost all roses are deciduous. I’ve read that only one species isn’t. So, when I harvested my Rosehips many of the rose leaves had fallen off. This is also a factor in identifying Rosehips. And, if you can, acquaint yourself with the rose plant as it goes through its cycle throughout the seasons and/or times of year.

Rinse your Rosehips. I presently live on a semi-trailer with limited water so I soak rinsed mine.

Otherwise, with a small knife cut the rose hips in half through the fattest part of the hip…rather than through the crown and bottom of the hip. This will make it easier to clean out the seeds. Trim off crown and bottom of Rosehip too.

(*a note of interest here is that Rosehip seeds contain a healing oil and can be used as oil for skin creams, etc. Use hulled out seeds and/or whole intact Rosehips depending on directions/recipes for Rosehip products. Therefore, you may want to leave some Rosehips whole.)

So, after cutting all your rosehips in half use a small knife or little spoon to scoop out the seeds and small hairy fibers that surround all the many seeds.

Those hairy fibers, sometimes just referred to as hairs are very irritating and itchy. They also cause intestinal problems if eaten. Please be careful when cleaning out and hulling the Rosehips.

To be honest, I found it easier to use my fingers to scoop out the seeds and hairs. Food handling gloves may be useful here. The fibers stick to your skin and may cause dermatitis or reactions…but, I gave it a go.

The hairs/fibers used to be made into an “itching powder” hmmm…April Fools aside…I don’t think so. It does conjure up imaginings for possible Little House on the Prairies scenes…but, that’s a whole other matter!

O’kay so now you have the hulled and cleaned out rosehips. There are lots of food options. Dry them for salads, trail mixes, teas.

When harvesting, Taste them.

They are said to Taste the Best after the first frost. If you live near an area you can sample one here or there to see when it is sweetest for harvesting a batch, then try that! I’ve heard it can vary and does become a practiced art over time. I’ve read several accounts of harvesting after first frost. I harvested mid September which I’ve read is harvest season also. Try harvesting, whenever in your area the Rosehips are ripe, i.e. depending on the species, the rosehips ripen typically to a deep orange/red. See my photos for reference. I ate some raw and they had a sour, tangy slightly sweet taste like a mild cranberry. Personally, I liked it.

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ROSEHIPS: WHAT CAN I DO WITH THEM?

-Make a tea by infusing the rosehips in hot water.

Here’s a delightful post about making Rosehip tea from fresh Rosehips.
http://eatingrichly.com/10/foraging-rose-hip-recipe-for-tea/

-Make face and skin creams.

Make a Chutney!

Rosehips work great with green apples!

-Use in a pie 🙂

-Add to Salads and Trail Mixes

-Make a Rosehip Butter with this recipe!
http://teacupchronicles.com/?p=148

-Dry your Rosehips or use fresh!

-Make a Rosehip soup. In Norway it is called Nyponsoppa and is very popular there. It is a staple item in most Norwegian households and often counted on for schoolchildren to avoid the common cold and other illnesses!

So, what did I do with my batch of Rosehips?
I made a wild apple and Rosehip chutney!
I attempted nyponsoppa…and liked it!
And I made a face cream using whole, un-hulled Rosehips.

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Here is a straightforward method of making
Rosehip-Almond oil using fresh Rosehips…! Check it out!

http://www.gardenguides.com/86407-make-rosehip-oil.html

And here is a method to make Rosehip and Blue Chamomile oil face cream. Use fresh whole Rosehips and/or the cleaned off seeds.
(Cleaned of irritating hairs/fibers)
*Tip: It may be a good idea to strain the oil of any hairs that come out of heated up fresh Rosehips.*

This face cream uses beeswax and a little borax too. This looks interesting and I want to give it a try!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/176922-how-to-make-face-cream-using-rosehip-oil/#page=1

And, if like me you’d like to know more about Borax (used in face cream remedy) and Boron this is a very comprehensive article about uses of Borax and Boron. Oh, and did you know raisins are high in Boron? Neither did I ’til I checked out Borax and Boron! I love this site and hope you will too!

http://www.growyouthful.com/remedy/borax.php

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Nyponsoppa…Rosehip Soup, for real?
It sure is and it’s easy, yummy and nutritious. Dessert just got good for you again! I made Nyponsoppa and used coconut sugar to sweeten. It is said to have a healthier glycemic index. Oh yeah, and it is Yummy!
I didn’t have potato flour so I used rice flour. My result was not the red version of the soup. It was reddish brown. I think the light brown coconut sugar and rice flour muddied the color…
Some might call that a flop, but using ingredients I had on the truck…it was surprisingly good!

And here, just for fun, are some pics of my Nyponsoppa making adventure!

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I found wild green apples growing near the Rosehips so harvested these too.

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Split in half and scoop out hair fibers and seeds.
I had help with this. It takes time but is fun to do with someone else or a group! 🙂

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Rosehip seeds and fibers

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Boil the outer fruit skin… the hypanthium 🙂

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And boil

Then strain and mash and boil the mash

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Boiling mash, then strain the boiled mash! And to the strained liquid I added coconut sugar and rice flour so it is not the traditional red color but here is my Rose hip soup! I feel shy about it but, it was good!

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Check out this entertaining article and recipe for Nyponsoppa I found.

http://www.cakehead.com/archives/2008/04/sweden_more_tha_1.html
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Drying and Storing Rosehips

Here is a step by step guide using a food dehydrator
to store Rosehips for a year. Also drying Rosehips
in the sun or with an oven at 140° is said to work as well. People often store dried Rosehips in paper bags. Avoid aluminum, aluminum foil etc.

http://www.eatweeds.co.uk/how-to-dry-store-rose-hips-rosa-canina

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Roses have been with us a long time.
This is a beautiful, in depth article on the history of roses and rose products and use over the centuries. It also has information on Rosehips further into the article and also rose recipes.

Dog rose or Rosa canina

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Above image from this site:
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/roses-18.html

And, here is a Native American Salteaux Legend about wild roses and how the rose learned to defend itself.

http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/WhyWildRosesHaveThorns-Salteaux.html

Plants have much to teach us. What are your personal stories and experiences with roses and rose hips? I hope you feel inspired to try Rosehips.
Thankyou for taking this journey with me. Rosehips are rather new to me but when I think back to my days as a child at the ocean, turns out I’ve known them a long while afterall. And, that makes me smile.

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And, favorite views of roses at the ocean.