Become a Home Herbalist

A 9-Month Educational Program

 Learn how to create your own herbal products for yourself and your family. Herbalist & Holistic Health Educator, Connie Karstens, MS will instruct a nine-month intensive program that will empower you to become your own herbalist. This series of classes takes you through the seasons so you can prepare an entire apothecary of safe, gentle and effective herbal products.

This program will include a solid foundation for plant identification, wild food foraging, numerous preparation techniques, and knowledge on proper usage. By the end of the class, not only will you have stocked your own botanical pharmacy, but you will know and understand how and why to use the herbal preparations that you have created.

This is a rare opportunity for hands-on learning and gathering plants with a local herbal practitioner. Sign up today to become a part of this amazing program! Certificate of Completion awarded at last class.

 

2018 Class Dates

All 12 classes are currently scheduled for Saturdays 9 am – 1 pm.

Most months have 1 class per month except May, June and July where there are 2 classes because of the abundance of plants to gather and make into preparations.

  • March 24
  • April 21
  • May 5 & 19
  • June 9 & 23
  • July 14 & 28
  • August 4
  • September 29
  • October 27
  • November 10
Details on the Course:

This course is essential for those wanting to take charge of their own health and who have a desire to become informed, educated and more independent.

The class will explore the historical roots of herbal medicine and will help you learn how to use botanical medicines for basic natural healthcare. The student will gain an understanding of simple herbal aids for many common ailments and first aid uses. This course will teach the basics of preparing herbal medicines in your own home. You will also learn about planning, planting and using your very own medicine garden.

You will learn about the following over the 9 -month course:

  • Fresh & Dried Tinctures
  • Bark Tinctures
  • Root Tinctures
  • Glycerite Tinctures
  • Medicinal Herbal Wines
  • Medicinal Herbal Syrups
  • Medicinal Herbal Teas
  • Herbal Pastilles
  • Herbal Lozenges
  • Medicinal Vinegars
  • Herbal Infused Honeys
  • Herbal Oxymels
  • Drying Herbs & Storing Herbs
  • Freezing Herbs
  • Make a “Green Jar”
  • Poultices
  • Compresses
  • Liniments
  • Oil Infusions
  • Salves & Ointments and Formulas
  • Herbal Hydrotherapy & Formulas
  • How to Use Specific Herbs for Organ Systems
  • Herbal Actions & Corresponding Herbs
  • Learning Basic Tongue Indications
  • Facial Analysis Foundations
  • Organ System Emotional Relationships
  • We will touch on Pulse Testing
  • How to Put It All Together to Select Herb for Common Aliments
  • Using Herbs Safely

This course will require some independent work and research. Along with quizzes, presentations and group collaboration, there will be a great deal of hands-on learning.

By the end of the class, your will have well over 50 herbal preparations for your own personal herbal pharmacy. Plus, the knowledge on how to safely and effectively use every preparation that you made.

As a bonus, you will become well-informed on how to wild forage with common plants in the local area. We will do much hands-on collecting of plants for medicine and food.

If this class sounds like a match for you, do not delay. Sign up today and reserve your spot! The first 20 students will fill the class quickly.

 

Program Instruction Cost:
  • Deposit of $50 to hold your spot due 1/1/18
  • Total of $975 (check or cash only), due 3/1/18
  • Add $25 for credit card payments

Registration Form - Become a Home Herbalist

 

5 AMAZING USES FOR DANDELIONS

Rather than being frustrated with Dandelions invading your lawn this year, why not embrace them? They offer amazing medicinal properties and are tasty wild food too. In case you didn’t know, European settles came to America with Dandelion seeds in hand because they didn’t want to miss out of not having this precious plant with them in the New World. We have our forefathers to thank for this golden treasure. As a child, I remember my grandfather religiously made Dandelion wine for one of his health tonics.

 

So, what exactly should you do with the multitude of Dandelions? To start with, only harvest Dandelions from lawns that have not been sprayed in several years. Stay away from high traffic areas where there may be contamination from pets or other offenders. If all else fails, you can purchase the greens at your local food coop. However, in my opinion, that takes the fun out of the “hunt”.

 

Five Ways to Use the Dandelion:

 

1. Pick and eat the young leaves for a spring tonic.

The tender young spring leaves are loaded with calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K1, potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene. Simply add leaves to your salad if you are new to wild foods as they have a pleasant bitter flavor. The bitter flavor detected by your tongue starts and entire cascade of events happening in your body. Digestive benefits begin to take place. Firstly, the bitterness of the greens causes your body to increase the saliva flow which, in turn, breaks down carbohydrates. Protein digestion is aided by increased HCL production in your stomach and fat digestion benefits by increased bile flow from the gallbladder and liver. All of these reactions are a result of that bitter flavor of the Dandelion leaf. The Dandelion leaf also acts as a diuretic. In other words, they will help you remove excess fluids and dampness from your body. By either making a tea from the leaves or eating the greens, you can experience the diuretic properties of this plant.

2. Eat the flowers.

Dandelion fritter flowers are a classic for wild food enthusiasts. It is both fun to collect the flowers and easy to do as an appetizer or snack that the whole family will love. This recipe has two variations: sweet or savory.

Dandelion Fritter Flowers Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of fresh picked (washed) dandelion flower
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions

  1. Mix the milk, flour and eggs and beat until blended well.
  2. Warm some olive oil in a skillet on the stove (keep at medium heat).
  3. Holding the underneath of the flowers, dip into the batter until totally covered in the fritter batter then place into skillet, flower side down.
  4. Once they are brown, flip and brown the other side. If need be, continue flipping until the batter coating is light brown.
  5. Remove from oil and allow excess oil to soak onto a towel or paper towel.
  6. Eat plain or drizzle with maple syrup, honey, or even roll them in icing sugar while they are still warm. Best eaten right away.

Two Variations

For sweet: add one tablespoon of honey (or to taste) plus 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons total of the following herbs: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg.

For savory: add a pinch of thyme, rosemary, oregano or other savory herbs. You may also want to add another dash of salt.

3. Make the flowers into a relaxing massage oil.

Dandelion oil can be used to relieve muscle stiffness or achy joints. It’s really easy to make. Just fill a small mason jar with fresh dandelion flowers. Pour the oil over the dandelion flowers and fill the jar to the top. Cover with a lid and let sit in a dark, cool spot for 6 weeks. Strain the dandelion flowers out of the oil with cheese cloth and transfer the oil to a new clean jar. Store it in a cool dark place. If you put it in the refrigerator, it should last well over a year.

 

 

4. Build your bones with Dandelion shoots, roots and leaves infused in apple cider vinegar.

Dandelion infused vinegar is filled with minerals, especially calcium, boron and other bone building essentials. Use the vinegar for making salad dressings, taking shots, or adding a couple of teaspoons to your drinking water. This is one of THE best ways to get good vitamins and minerals for healthy bones.

Dandelion Infused Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 large jar with lid
  • As many Dandelions (shoots, root and leaves) as will fit in the jar
  • Organic apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly wash the Dandelion leaves, and scrub the dandelion roots, then chop both into medium size pieces.
  2. Fill a large jar with Dandelion parts.
  3. Pour the vinegar until the dandelions are covered.
  4. Shake well, and leave in a cupboard for six weeks.
  5. Strain through an unbleached coffee filter or cheese cloth into clean, sterilized jars.

5. Eat the stems to cleanse the gall bladder and balance blood sugar.

In Maria Treben’s book, Health through God’s Pharmacy, she talks about how good Dandelions are for disorders of the pancreas, liver, gall, spleen and blood. Maria encourages eating 10 fresh Dandelion stems for 3 weeks to reduce blood sugar levels, act as a gall bladder cleanse for stones, and for gout, rheumatism and to improve skin conditions.

The stems are chewed slowly and will taste bitter to start with, but only get better the longer you chew them.

ECHINACEA


Latin Name: Echinacea purpurea, E. augustifolia

About Echinacea:

Echinacea, or Purple Coneflower, is a popular garden plant that is also found growing wild.  It was originally named after the hedgehog (Echimus) because of its prickly, cone-like center. The flowers are long lasting and hardy. A favorite of the Native Americans and made popular in 1870 by Dr. H.C. F. Meyer in his original “snake oil” recipe, Echinacea is still widely used today for all kinds of infections. It was traditionally used by the Native Americans for fevers and wounds with difficulty healing.  Today it is widely used and recognized as an antibiotic remedy and immune booster.

This herb may be used external and internally.

How to grow: From seeds, root cuttings. Self-seed.

Safety: Overuse may elevate blood cell counts and diminish therapeutic effects. Do not use if you have autoimmune diseases.

Medicinal Preparations: Decoction, infusion, tincture, oil, salve, mouthwash

Taste: Sweet, cold, tingly, stimulating.
Harvest: Late Fall.
Parts used: Roots (3-4 years old).

MEDICINAL USES:

Immune System: Immune booster, blood cleanser, effective against bacteria and viruses, lymphatic congestion, raises white blood cell count, septic infections with purplish skin or veins, swollen lymph glands, fevers, measles, mumps, chicken pox, colds, flu, strep throat, staph infections, excess mucus, diphtheria, typhoid fever, meningitis.

Respiratory: Upper respiratory tract infections including tonsillitis, laryngitis and nose and sinus issues, bronchitis.

Skin: Acne, boils, carbuncles, abscesses, slow healing wounds, canker sores, eczema, hives.

First Aid: Bee stings, venomous bites, blood poisoning, septic sores and wounds, poison oak, poison ivy.

Digestion: Gastric disorders and ulcers, inflamed intestine.

Additional Uses: Enhances circulation, fatigue, exhaustion and for general “run down” feeling, mouthwash for gingivitis and pyorrhea, mouth sores, ear infection, gangrene.

 

HERBAL ACTIONS

  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-catarrhal
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral
  • Lymphatic

Contains: Glycoside, isobutyalklamines, polyacetylenes, sesquiterpene, resin, volatile oils.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice from your professional healthcare provider. Please consult your qualified healthcare provider for treatment of medical problems.

 

Why I Love Creeping Charlie…

Creeping Charlie 

IMG_2565

Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

  • Soothes inflamed mucous membranes
  • Sinusitis
  • used for inner and middle ear remedy
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears
  • kidney and lung disorder
  • head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes
  • bronchitis and viral pneumonia
  • cough remedy
  • bladder infections
  • indigestion
  • may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)
  • traditional cancer remedy
  • Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant 

 

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea

IMG_2561Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…
  1. Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar.
  2. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie.
  3. Place the plant material in a quart jar.
  4. Fill to top with boiling water.
  5. Cover jar and steep for one hour.
  6. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold.
  7. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint.

DIY Anti-Fungal Salve

salveThis recipe is a nice one to use for a variety of skin problems. Not only do the herbs in it contain anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, but some also support and promote cell regeneration for fast healing.

How to Make Anti-Fungal Herbal Salve

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Echinacea root
  • 1 tablespoon Calendula flowers
  • 2 tablespoons Comfrey leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Plantain leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Yarrow flowers and leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary leaf
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 30 drops Grapefruit essential oil
  • Vitamin E oil to preserve (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Infuse the herbs into the olive oil. There are two methods for this procedure. You can either combine the herbs and the olive oil in a jar with an airtight lid and leave for 4 weeks, shaking the jar every day. The other method is quicker. Simply heat the herbs and olive oil over a very low heat in a double boiler for about 3 hours until the oil is completely infused with the herbs. It will change color to take on a stronger green.
  2. Strain the herbs out of the oil by pouring the mixture through cheesecloth. Let all the oil drip out and then tightly squeeze the herbs to get the remaining oil separated from the plant material.
  3. Discard the herbs and save the infused oil.
  4. Melt the beeswax in a pan with low heat. After the beeswax is completely melted, add in the infused oil and gentle heat just until the wax and oil combine.                                      If desired, add vitamin E.
  5. Add the Grapefruit essential oil to the warmed oil and beeswax.
  6. Pour into small glass jars, let cool and cover. Label salve. Use topically on wounds, diaper rash, or other skin issues.

Note: To keep the salve fresh longer, store in refrigerator and it will keep up to one year. If not refrigerated, the salve should be used within 6 months.

How to Alleviate Autumn Allergies

White plant seedhead

A surge in allergy problems happens both in the spring and the fall with the many airborne substances that can act as allergens. Whether you blame it on the ragweed, goldenrod, or just unknowns spores and molds in the air, it can be miserable for suffers of allergy symptoms. Common symptoms include watery eyes, red itchy eyes, runny nose, clogged nose, wheezing, sneezing, sinus headache, foggy head, fatigue, breathing issues, joint pain, stress and/ or anxiety. The bottom line is any of these indicators can make you feel awful.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid or improve autumn allergies.

1. Use natural antihistamine herbs.

Typically these herbs contain natural quercetin that the body uses to modulate the allergens. Try Nettle, Chickweed, Wild Cherry, Elderflower & Peppermint. All of these herbs work to normalize the histamines that your body releases in response to the allergens. Teas and tinctures are ideal ways to consume these herbs.

2. If your symptoms include leaky, drippy and runny nose and eyes, you may need astringent herbs.

Among the best herbs in this category are Raspberry, White Oak, Sumac, Peach, Nettle,  and believe it or not Goldenrod and Ragweed! You may be shocked to hear that Goldenrod and Ragweed actually are herbal remedies for seasonal allergies or hayfever, but they work wonders.

3. For clogged or stock mucus, use herbs that act as expectorants.

Some really good examples of expectorant herbs would be Fenugreek, Creeping Charlie, Elecampane, Ginger, Cayenne, Horseradish, and Garlic.

4. If you have dry, itchy and scratchy symptoms, consider herbs that are mucilaginous.

Herbs in this category my include Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm, Licorice and Fenugreek.

5. Since allergies are ultimately an autoimmune condition, you will need to boost your immune system.

Here are some herbs that will help nourish and restore your immunity. Elderberry, Astragalus, Reshi, Boneset, Turmeric Root, and Propolis. Teas or tinctures can be really beneficial methods of consuming the herbs.

 

To help select which herb works best for you, a consultation with your health professional can be very beneficial. Additionally, there are a number of supplements, nutritional and other strategies that can be used to minimize seasonal allergies. To set up an appointment with Connie, please call 320-587-6094.

Turmeric Products

IMG_1280 turmeric productsTurmeric Products at The Lamb Shoppe

Here are some wonderful ways to incorporate more Turmeric into you everyday life. Designs for Health makes a very good quality supplement called C3 Curcumin Complex. You may also take the plant extract tincture form via drops under the tongue. The company Energetix makes a fantastic herbal blend product you can add to your water for full body support.

Chaga

Latin Name: Inonotus obliquus

Minnesota grown Chaga is available now at The Lamb Shoppe for Teas and as Tinctures!

About:

The chaga mushroom has been used for centuries as a folk medicine remedy in North European countries and Russia. In laboratory studies, Chaga demonstrates anti-cancer activity as well as anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-stimulating properties. Historical records show the use of Chaga since the 16th century as a folk remedy.

 

Chaga Mushroom

Chaga Mushroom

Preparations:

  • Tea (long brewed as a decoction) It can be drank either hot or cold. Due to it’s natural tannins has a similar flavor to coffee, but lighter.
  •  Chaga can also be made into a tincture (an alcohol extract).

 

Medicinal Uses:

Here are some specific uses that have been shown with Chaga:

  • Normalizes immune function – it can stimulate or slow it down
  • Neutralized the side effects of pharmaceuticals
  • Carries antioxidant properties
  • Revitalizing & Anti-aging
  • Excellent adaptogen – it helps deal with stresses of modern life including mental, physical, chemical and environmental
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-ulcer, anti-gastritis properties
  • Anticancer Potential – It decreases the side effects and supports standard cancer treatments of chemo-therapy and other aggressive medications. Chaga compensates the devastating effects of radiation and chemotherapy have on the immune system that cause nausea, insomnia, poor appetite and fatigue.
  • Prevents metastasis of cancer
  • Normalizes cholesterol levels
  • Benefits the cardiovascular system
  • Supports healthy blood pressure

 

There are no side effects or contraindications. But do not use with immune suppressing medicines that contain cyclosporin products used after an organ transplant because the immune modulating effect may neutralize the effects of the drugs taken.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

Featured Product: Energy Tonic

Urban Moonshine Energy TonicEnergy Tonic is made by a small family business located in Vermont called Urban Moonshine.

This organic herbal tincture is great for over stressed over worked and depleted folks looking to support their adrenal system and encourage their body’s endurance capacity, similarly, it’s great for athletes who put stress on their bodies! It helps to protect your body for the depleting effects of stress.* It is a blend of adaptogenic herbs including Rhodiola, Ginseng and Fo Ti which are traditionally used to:

  • Boost stamina and endurance*
  • Restore mental alertness when fatigued*
  • Support the body as a whole to maintain radiant health*

 

Energy Tonic made by Urban Moonshine is available at The Lamb Shoppe & Wellness Center in a 2 ounce dropper bottle for $18.00.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.