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Monday, October 17, 2011

Heavenly Blue, Herbs for Stress and a Poet honored

"Heavenly Blue" Morning Glory
Ipomoea tricolor
(Can you see how the center is glowing?
I did not even see the glow until I put
the photo on the computer!)
My neighbor Omer was watching me work in the garden last year.  I think I was trying to plant some Chickweed into my garden in hopes of getting that lovely weedy plant established.  Chickweed is a medicinal and edible weed.  Anyway, Omer said that I was the only person he had ever known who actually planted the weeds in her garden.  Yep, that would be me!

Texas Bindweed
Convolvulus (Morning Glory family)
Convolvulus equitans
Anyway, I love Morning Glories.  Yes, I realize they are a weed and very invasive.  The pretty pink or purplish flowers that are now growing along the side of the road  are a wild morning glory or bindweed.  If you have ever known a farmer that has run a plow or other farm implement through bindweed, well, put it this way, bindweed will not be his favorite plant.  The wild variety has a very tough stem that is probably 1,000 ft. long (exaggeration) and wraps tightly around axles, plows, discs or anything else that has the misfortune to run over it, the name bindweed is very appropriate.  Plus, it unmercifully wraps around any plant growing near it and chokes the living daylights out of the plant.  But, my beautiful purple and blue Morning Glories are growing on the side of an old dog kennel, well away from the garden.  I am hoping they will completely cover the kennel next year.  And I can guarantee you that I will find Morning Glories sprouting in my garden.  They are easy to transfer, or so prolific that it wouldn't hurt to just pull them up!

S t r e s s

Maxine is such a love! 
She handles stress
by being grouchy. 
I received an email this week about Stress and the College Student.  The email had some great herbal advice and I really wanted to share because we all seem to be suffering from
S T R E S S of some sort and it is just plain not any fun and is terrible for our health.

The Junior Herbie suggests using herbs like Chamomile, St. John's Wort and Holy Basil.  Very good choices.

Chamomile is a great remedy for restlessness.  You know those days, when you have had to run around all day, nothing seems to go right and the easiest things are just so darn hard to accomplish.   When you can finally stop the running around, take some good deep breaths (oxygen is a great stress buster because we tend to breath shallowly when under stress or experiencing anxiety), and make a cup of Chamomile tea.  Chamomile tea is also very tasty as an iced tea.  Chamomile tastes like honey to me, so I usually don't add any extra sweetness to my tea but I do like it with a little Almond milk (you can use any type milk you please!)  Chamomile tea bags are available at the grocery store or StarDragonfly Herbals has a nice Organic Chamomile for tea.  Chamomile volunteers to come back in my garden in the spring but as soon as there is any heat, she vanishes, letting me only collect a few flowers.  But, Chamomile is beautiful while she is around and well worth trying to grow, maybe, in partial shade.  Plants will be available in the spring.

St. John's Wort
Hypericum perforatum
photo from:
This website has some very good
information about
this plant
The next herb. St. John's Wort can be used for relaxing and focusing.  St. John's Wort is a wildflower  which grows in Texas but I have yet to find this plant.  Anyway, St. John's Wort is easily taken as a tincture and has been found to help with focus, happiness and commitment in some people.  I have had very good success with taking St. John's Wort for depression.  I have also used St. John's Wort tincture combined with Black Willow tincture to help with shock and pain.   

 Holy Basil will definitely be a blog topic one of these days!  This is a great herb, one of my favorites for herbal remedies, tea and tincture, and the plant has decided to happily grow in my drought stricken garden and in a pot on the porch.  Holy Basil is also known as Tulsi and has been used for centuries in India and is used extensively for quite a few ailments.  Holy Basil is also a anti-inflammatory and anti-viral and also, increases memory.  Holy Basil can be taken as a tincture which StarDragonfly Herbals will have available next month or as a tea which we have available now.  Holy Basil is a difficult plant to grow from seed, but occasionally you will see plants available in the spring.

These are just a few herbs for stress.   Two of my favorites not mentioned above are Lemon Balm and Catnip.  Bach's Flower Remedy is also a good formula for stress.  I have used Lemon Balm tincture and Bach's Flower remedy several times on myself, Sandra and various animals for stress and shock.

October 17
Black Poetry Day
Today is the birthday of the first published African-American poet, Jupiter Hammon, who was born into slavery in 1711, probably on Long Island.

Jupiter Hammon
1711 - 1806
photo and quotes
from the website:
In 1786 Hammon gave a speech, An address to the Negroes of New York, to the African Society, in which he said that while he personally had no wish to be free, he did wish others, especially “the young Negroes, were free.”

He was also quoted as saying "Let all the time you can get be spent in trying to learn to read."

Now, this was a man who knew stress.......Mr. Jupiter, may you always get to sit at the right hand of God.

Well, I shall close for today.  Hope all your stresses are minor or at least, happy stresses.  The weather is so beautiful!  Get out of the house if you can and go for a walk (Chi and the Puppies think this is a great idea!)   If you cannot get out of the house, make yourself a cup of Chamomile tea, grab a book and read!

As always, Herbally Yours, Susan

"Don't stress, Omer, you won't melt!"

Our wonderful neighbor, Omer, running across the corral on a rainy afternoon.

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