An Herbal Remedy You Want to Know

Hi there,If you know anyone who ever feels stressed out, needs help falling asleep or suffers from cold sores, you'll want to pass this email to them and encourage them to get out harvesting before the plants go back to sleep for the season.I've been using one specific herb this week that's truly a godsend remedy and when I went to my garden to harvest some, I realized that it's on the tail-end of the harvesting window for this.  It's easy to find, easy to grow and is a gentle, effective remedy.See the City posterBut just before I get to unveiling the identity of this herbal jewel, I want to offer a reminder that See the City GREEN - the Herb Walk Series begins tomorrow.There are 4, 90 min. herb walks at 4 gorgeous green spaces around Vancouver.  It's happening Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next two weeks.

What We’re Hoping For You By the End of the Four Walks

  • You can identify 15-20 plants with confidence
  • You’ll learn some ‘tricks of the trade’ to make plant i.d. books really useful
  • You’ll be including more wild edibles in your diet
  • You’ll be teaching your friends about wild plants
  • Your spark for learn about the plant world will burst into flame

If you like a couple of experienced guides to introduce you to some of the local plants, consider joining Raquel and I.  You can sign up hereOk, back to this remarkable plant that I was telling you about...It's Lemonbalm (Melissa officinalis).  insane amount of lemon balmLemonbalm, like other Mint Family plants, has a square stem and leaves growing opposite each other in pairs on the stem.  The leaves are roughly triangular with teeth around the edge (margin).  But the main indicator that you've got the right plant is the sweet, lemony smell that comes off the leaves when you rub them.And it's easy to find because it grows quite well.  You likely know a gardener right now who has more Lemonbalm than they know what to do with.  (Some people even consider this plant a weed, but we know better than to use 4 letter words like that, right?!)But because of that, you can often find it growing semi-wild in community gardens around the city.  It escapes easily from garden beds.  It's easy to find growing around the edges and fences of community gardens (or even back alleys) around Vancouver.Them stems are tall, thin and kinda dry this late in the season.   But you'll be able to find some that still has moist, green leaves with a good strong scent when you rub it.  Snip a few handfuls of these stems and take them home.  Then just bundle 4-6 plants with an elastic and hang to dry (should take a 4-7 days).When it's time to make tea, pick off some leaves and crush them into your mug (or tea ball or french press).MelissaAnd, as I said, if you're going to gather it this season, now is the time!Let's cover a few reasons I think you really want this herb in your tea cupboard or medicine

  1. It helps you relax.  In herbalism, we call this a nervine (meaning it nourishes your nervous system).  You can take it when you're feeling really stressed, impatient or can't sleep because you just can't unwind.  Simply make a cup of tea with a teaspoon of dried leaves.
  2. It's an excellent mood enhancer.   Even if you haven't reached your nuclear cranky stage, and you're just feeling a little glum, then herb can be really helpful.  I use it as an iced tea for my kids and serve an extra big glass if dinner's gonna be late and I think they're going to melt down.
  3. It gets rid of cold sores fast.  And often from a single use!  All you have to do is take scoop the leaves out of your tea, squeeze them out just a little, and apply this poultice to each sore for about 10 minutes.  I've seen cold sores disappear in 3-4 days after the first application of the leaves.  You may need to repeat a few times and drink a bunch of tea to help speed things along.

If you've got a Lemonbalm harvesting or success story, please share it below.  Your story may help someone else feel comfortable enough to step out of their comfort zone and try herbs.Have a great day.strength & wisdom.garliq