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 Learn to Blend 101 Specially Formulated Teas for Stress Management, Common Ailments, Seasonal Health, and Immune Support


Subjects: LCSH: Tea--Health aspects. | Tea--Therapeutic use.

EDITED BY Deborah Balmuth and Hannah Fries
INDEXED BY Christine R. Lindemer, Boston Road Communications
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mars Vilaubi, front; © Kyle Johnson, back; and © Charity Burggraaf, inside, front and back
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 9781612125756 (Ebook) 
 2016 by Sarah Farr 

A Philosophy of Place and Healing
Herbal foods and teas can teach us how to nurture both our internal and external
environments. In the four years I have owned Harbor Herbalist and Bird’s Eye
Tea I have witnessed dramatic positive changes in the herbal tea community
where I live. Most of my customers reside in the Puget Sound area where cool,
damp winters make way for the lush, foliated landscapes of summer. The beauty
and uneven terrain of the Puget Sound seem to instill a fondness for innovation,
creativity, and adaptability in our cultural identity. We enjoy a healthy seasonal
balance of introspection and outdoor activity. An awareness and appreciation for
our special ecology give support to a robust network of local seafood and farms.
There is a growing community with a desire to become part of a more
sustainable culture that builds strong bonds between local organic producers and consumers.

Herbal teas fall at the intersection of food, nature, and medicine, and I feel
blessed to be able to create blends that both heal and highlight the incredible
biodiversity of the place where I have spent almost my entire life. My work is
influenced by the ingenuity and artistry of regional cooking traditions, and I
have always believed that the most effective herbal remedies are those that
nourish depleted organ systems and offer daily support. The selections of teas I
make for farmers’ markets are designed for and influenced by the energy of the
seasons where I live — and are also tasty enough for people to adopt as healthy habits.

Making and using your own teas (from locally available sources, when
possible) can have a positive impact on the environment and reduce your
reliance on pharmaceutical drugs. If you decide to start your own tea garden or
get out into nature to gather herbs, you will surely have a pleasant time getting to
know the landscape. Whether exploring a woodland forest for nettles in early
spring or relaxing in your own backyard apothecary, you are providing yourself
an opportunity to become more at home in your region.

The practice of drinking herbal teas to support wellness connects you to your
little spot in the world, but it also empowers you to participate in and own your
health. Despite what the media tells you, we are all capable of responsibly caring
for ourselves and our place through our lived experience. Like the rest of nature,
our bodies are incredibly intuitive and designed to heal themselves, but we
experience many moments of fear and discomfort when we stretch ourselves too
thin, which causes physiological imbalances. Tea can provide the beauty,
motivation, and direct therapeutic support that the body needs to shift its focus
back toward healing and balance on physical, emotional, and energetic levels.
Herbal tea is a daily celebration of life, and it reminds us how lucky we are
to be part of the earth’s natural cycles. 
A cup of tea is a form of communion, a coming home.

When you lean in and take those first deep breaths after preparing a
cup of tea, you are tuning your senses to the energy and fragrance of
nourishing botanicals.

Humans in just about every civilization worldwide have experienced that
moment of bliss, hovering over a cup of herbal tea. We physically and
emotionally respond to the chemistry of botanicals, and so did our ancestors —
the joy and familiarity of drinking herbal tea is embedded in the fabric of our
genes and cultures. The human body evolved along with a vast botanical
pharmacy, and herbal teas were among humanity’s first medicines. When we
commune with herbs in the pure form of tea, we participate in a long legacy of
relationship between humans and nature in all its glorious complexity.
Making and drinking herbal teas for comfort and health is an ancient
tradition that anyone can learn. It is both sensual and intuitive, a thoughtful
process in which we look, smell, touch, and taste the herbs. As we develop our
sensual palate, the flavors, texture, and fragrance of an herb begin to tell us a
story of its remedial properties.

The Power of Plants
Plants connect with myriad other organisms through their root systems, leaves,
flowers, and seeds. These connections increase their resistance to disease, aid in
pollination and seed dispersal, and help increase nutrient uptake. Plants also
create special chemical compounds to communicate with other organisms in
their vicinity, exchanging information about the constantly fluctuating
conditions in the environment. With their above-and below-ground connections
they are able to thrive and help a diversity of others thrive as well. Mutually
beneficial partnerships are what create stability and resilience in the landscape.
Like plants, our bodies need to be part of an interconnected community, too.
Our physical and emotional health depends on knowing and communicating with
our environment. Herbal teas — simple infusions of healing herbs in water —
offer a daily reminder of our place in nature and open our hearts and minds to
the ways in which plants can realign us.
We rely deeply on the plant kingdom for nourishment, medicine, oxygen,
ecological stability, and clean drinking water. By learning to observe, tend, and
use healing plants, we gain insight into their ecological roles both inside our
bodies and out in the landscapes from which we harvest them. No special genius
is needed, just interest and attention.

Learning from Those Who Came Before
Direct relationships with a landscape shape the needs of the people who depend
on that landscape for food and medicine. And, in turn, the actions of the people
shape the needs of the landscape. If we look closely, we all participate in a cycle
of reciprocity. The landscape draws us in and begs us to learn how to tend her; in
exchange we are given long-term access to some of nature’s most healing and
profoundly comforting plants. We can learn to modify our actions to meet the
needs of our place and let the abundance of where we live fulfill us physically
and emotionally.
Before centuries of colonialism, indigenous communities naturally embraced
the patterns of nature in order to survive; they knew how to use their regions’
biodiversity to find nourishment, maintain health, and treat imbalances. By our
standards, since every member of society was fluent in the language of plants
and could generally manage their own health, everyone would have had the
basic skills of an herbalist. Food and medicine were intricately connected to place.

Indigenous communities inhabited the Puget Sound long before my family
moved here. The unique range of native edible and medicinal species evolved
alongside these people, and the techniques they developed for tending the
diverse ecosystems of the Puget Sound are part of a rich cultural heritage.
Therefore, when I am out wildcrafting herbs and fruits for teas, I am practicing
an ancient skill that indigenous cultures in my area have performed for
thousands of years. Although my goal is to honor life and be part of a
community that appreciates and supports all the local biodiversity, my
opportunities are shaped by a history of colonialism, land-use choices, and a
culture of entitlement. I must work to create a new culture that ensures a
different legacy for this place I love.

Those of us who are not indigenous and feel spiritually shallow (or hungry)
often admire the earth-based spiritual practices of indigenous peoples. It might
seem enticing to identify and cloak ourselves with the teachings of these cultures
to compensate for our own feelings of emptiness and grief from being part of a
culture that prides itself in ecological dominance. But we must learn to teach
ourselves new ways to heal the wounds of our violent history, while honoring
but not appropriating indigenous culture.

As I learn skills that enable me to become an herbalist and land steward, I try
to be mindful of the indigenous roots of these skills. Part of learning about a
place is grappling with its uncomfortable history and not ignoring it. But there
are many ways to nurture our people and the earth, and time spent loving nature
and connecting to plants will naturally bring those ways to light.

Part 1: The Art of Tea Blending
Chapter 1: The Tea-Making Process
Chapter 2: Formulation and Herbal Actions
Part 2: Recipes
Chapter 3: Tonics for Holistic Health
Nutritive Tonics
Daily Mineral Tea
Respite Nervine Tea
Respite without Mint
Glow: Beauty Tea
Digestive Tonic
Vitamin C Tea
Vital Tea
Rejuvenating Tonics
Athlete’s Tea
Urinary Health Tea
Women’s Blend
Daily Adrenal Support
Kids’ Tea Vitamin C Tea
Basic Chai
Delight Chai
Decaf Chai
Vanilla Chai
Rainy Day Chai
Chai Light
Bright Chai
Mint and Spice Chai
Cardamom-Rose Chai
Love Tea
Love Your Life Tea
Chocolatl Spiced Drinking Chocolate
Chapter 4: Remedial and Medicinal Teas
Wellness Tea
Respiratory Health
Sore Throat Soother
Constipation Relief
Cancer Care
Daytime Calm
Pregnancy Tea
Postpartum Nourish Tea
Candida Support
Nursing Mama Tea
Calm Waters
Blood Pressure Support
Inflammation Reduction
Happy Heart
Ease the Pain Tea
Chapter 5: Seasonal Teas
Allergy Tea
Spring Revival!
Spring Nutritive Tea
Elegance Tea
Spring Aid
Spring Strength
Spring Tonic
Spring Immunity
Green Love
Wake Up!
Summer Solstice
Summer Sol
Berry Sun Tea
Summer Breeze Sun Tea
Nutritive Sun Tea
Mint Green Tea
Lemon Ginger Iced Tea
Apple Green Iced Tea
Sol MatÉ
Summer Goddess
Coconut Green
Cucumber-Jalapeño Breeze
Nervine Cold Brew
Summer Chill
Shiso Iced Tea
Black Beauty
Iced Chai
Iced Choco-Chai
General Fall Tonic
The Fall (Fall Repose)
Mulling Spices
Peace Tea
Brain Tonic
Golden Garden
Kukicha Gold
Honeybush Spice
Lift the Grey
Vira Protect
Winter Solstice Tea
Winter Comfort
Deep Wellness
Fire Tea
Late Winter Woodsman Tea
Traveler’s Tea
Part 3: Living Amid Your Medicine
Chapter 6: Starting an Herb Garden
Chapter 7: Wildcrafting a Better World
Converting Recipe Measurements to Metric
Steep Yourself in the Power of Herbs with More Books from Storey
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Identifiers: LCCN 2016026492 (print) | LCCN 2016032205 (ebook)
Classification: LCC RM251 .F37 2016 (print) | LCC RM251 (ebook) | 
DDC 615.3/21—dc23LC record available at

Discover the amazing spirit of 12 healing herbs with teas, potions, salves, food, yoga, and more

Amy Jirsa

1. Herbs—Theraputic use. 2. Materia medica, Vegetable.
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 2015 by Amy Jirsa

Versatility is such a highly prized quality these days. It’s a high
compliment to be called a versatile actor, artist, parent, or student.
Well, the herb world is no different.

Plants have been used for medicinal purposes for as long as
we’ve been walking the earth. It just makes sense that different
preparations will offer different results, and that how you prepare
your herbal remedy depends on the situation, the herb used, and
the body part effected. Here is a bit of what you’ll encounter on the following pages.

Discover Herbs and Recover your Power
Herbal medicine, yoga, and natural health are buzzwords we’ve
heard over and over again in recent years. There are many reasons
for this, but I think the key reason, the superhero(ine) of reasons, is
that these modalities allow us to take charge of our own mental,
physical, and spiritual health.

That’s huge! We’ve been giving away our power for so long now
that we didn’t even know we’d lost it. Until now. I mean, look
around you. Nature gives us everything we need — food, water,
sun, raw materials for clothing and for building shelter — so why
not the materials we need for our own health? When we tune in
and tap into these natural resources, we become our own healers,
safely, knowledgeably, and, most of all, intuitively.
Herbalism is our cultural heritage. No matter where our
ancestors came from, chances are they used plants as medicine,
probably without even thinking about it. This knowledge was
instinctual, deep, and common. Sure, there were wisewomen
(herbwives, they were called) who would know exactly what to do in
dire situations, but most families had a stillroom (or home-grown
apothecary) in or near the family hearth.

Yes, we might have lost some of that knowledge along the way,
but the instincts are still there. It’s still in our genes or collective
subconscious. We reach for peppermint when we want to freshen
our breath or cool down, for instance; chamomile when we want to
relax; and tea when we want to wake up. Yup — black, green,
oolong, and rooibos teas are all herbs. In fact, you might be rather
surprised to see so many “non-traditional” herbs in this little volume.

Technically, an herb is any plant that produces seeds, has a nonwoody
stem, and dies down after flowering. But to an herbalist, any
plant that has medicinal, culinary, or aromatic mojo is considered
an herb. Trust me — every plant I’ve included is an herb by that
definition. There’s major mojo here.
I know that, taken as a whole, learning about herbs seems like a
lot of work. The sheer amount of information out there — on
websites, in books, and in periodicals — can be overwhelming. And
when you think of every possible medicinal plant out there? Ye
gads! It is a lot. It’s too much for most professional herbalists, even.
That’s why I’ve limited this book to 12 herbs.

You may be wondering, “How on earth can one herbalist decide
on just 12 herbs?” Well, that choice came down partially to
intuition; I’ve worked with many herbs over the years and these 12
continue to stand out to me as some of the most versatile and
easiest to work with and source. These are my favorite go-to herbs,
the ones that offer a range of solutions for healthy living from the
outside to the inside, from the mind to the body to the spirit. These
are the herbs my apothecary is never without. With these 12 herbs,
I feel confident that I can take care of (almost) anything that might
crop up in day-to-day living. Plus, there’s a good variety here —
some are beautiful, aromatic, and surprising (like the rose); some
are familiar and, perhaps, already in your pantry (like chamomile).
So that’s it: just 12. Easy. Fun. Intuitive.

Sure, there are scads more than 12 herbs out there (enough to
dedicate your life to their exploration, let’s put it that way). But I’ll
tell you a secret: Most herbalists are intimately familiar with a
handful of herbs (say, 30 or so) and we spend a long time getting to
know each herb that we work with. So here’s my suggestion: Try
focusing on one herb at a time, and spend an entire month getting
to know each one. It’s the best way to become really familiar with
how each herb affects you.

Think of the close relationships in your life. Think of the time it
takes to really get to know someone — how much care and
attention that kind of cultivation requires. You don’t take that time
with everyone you run into, but you know when it’s worth it. It’s
the same thing with herbs. They, too, will become more familiar
with time and attention. This is your moment of introduction. And
if you’re already acquainted, this is your time to go deeper. This is
late-night-chardonnay-drinking sisterhood time.

To that end, I’ve supplied you with not only lots of specific
recipes, but also some general formulas throughout the
appendixes. These master recipes will allow you to blend, create,
and invent your very own herbal preparations, from teas and
tinctures to salves and cosmetics; from herbal oils and vinegars to
flower essences. Here you’ll learn the ins and outs of herbal
crafting as you become inspired to build your own personalized
herbal apothecary. You’ll take your health into your own hands,
secure in the knowledge that you are intimately familiar with
every ingredient going into every remedy.

And speaking of your health and your hands — you’ll notice
yoga poses scattered throughout this book, each herb’s spirit
inspiring a yogic posture of its own. I included these because, to
me, yoga is as close to connecting to plant spirits as our bodies can
get. This isn’t a book about yoga, so I’m assuming some basic
familiarity with these poses; there are lots of reference guides out
there if you’d like to explore yoga more fully. Just flow with it; if it
inspires you, fantastic!
And on that note, feel free to read this book in any order. You’ll
find, I think, that this guide becomes a starting place for your
herbal exploration — that learning about these herbs will
springboard learning about other herbs, and your studies will
continue organically, with you creating the course and the
curriculum. I’m giving you the basics so that you can become your
own master teacher and Herbal Goddess down the road.
To my mind, you’re an Herbal Goddess when you find that
moment of inspiration, of inspired action that spurs you to
experiment in your own way and to do your own exploring. To be
an Herbal Goddess means to create your own craft of wellness,
your own traditions, your own heritage while tapping into those of
your sisters — both here-and-now and long gone. Because that
knowledge is never really lost, is it? We may have strayed from the
path of natural healing in recent decades, but herbs have a
mysterious aspect to them — an ancient energy and wisdom. Just
like any source of inspiration, this energy speaks to us.

Herbs have long been a part of spiritual and magical traditions,
and those traditions are intricately woven into their healing
properties and history. In honor of that sister-herbalist-goddess
lineage, you’ll find lots of magical applications for your herbs here as well.
Whether this is all new to you or provides a deeper exploration
of herbs that you’re already familiar with, you will find room to
play here. There are always new avenues to take, even when
heading for familiar homes.
At any rate, read at your leisure, have fun, and explore.
Be bold, be creative, and be healthy.
Oh, and be sure to goddess it up, you divine creatures, you!

Table of Contents
Food & Drink Recipes
Body Care Recipes
Introduction: Discover Herbs and Recover your Power
Chapter 1: Discovering the Sunny Side of Chamomile
Chapter 2: Rediscovering the Most Romantic Bloom
Chapter 3: Detoxing with Dandelion
Chapter 4: Adapting with Holy Basil
Chapter 5: Playing Nice with Nettles
Chapter 6: Healing with Calendula
Chapter 7: Having a Lie-Down with Lavender
Chapter 8: Treating It All with Turmeric
Chapter 9: Keeping the Doctor Away with Echinacea
Chapter 10: The Many Wonders of the Elder Plant
Chapter 11: Versatile and Singular Cinnamon
Chapter 12: Jiving It Up with Ginger
Appendix I: Flower Essences
Appendix II: Herbal Oils
Appendix III: Herbal Salves
Appendix IV: Herbal Tinctures
Appendix V: Herbal Vinegars
Suggested Reading
Photography Credits
Other Storey Titles
Share Your Experience!

The mission of Storey Publishing is to serve our customers by
publishing practical information that encourages personal
independence in harmony with the environment.

Edited by Sarah Guare and Deborah Balmuth Art direction and book design by Carolyn
Eckert Text production by Jennifer Jepson Smith Indexed by Samantha Miller Cover and
interior photography by © Winnie Au, except for those credited .
Photography styling by Sally Staub © 2015 by Amy Jirsa

Aromas, Herbs, Essences and Other Secrets of the Fairies

by Judy Griffin, Ph.D.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2002104651
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 2002 Judy Griffin, Ph.D 

I remember the time when I was a child: the whole world was alive and
glowing. Trees, plants and their flowers were my friends who danced with me
in the moonlight and sparkled with dew in the sunlight. The flowers bloomed
just for me and communicated special messages that made me giggle with
delight. Plants were as real to me as people. I called them each by a special name
and told them all my troubles as I reached over to sniff their beautiful fragrances
and gaze at their dazzling colors.

I instinctively knew that flowers could “see” us and understand how I felt and
what I was thinking about. Every flower was infinitely compassionate and
loving, for flowers know nothing of destruction, brutality, or even judgment.
They are part of a unique communication exuded throughout creation that
sounds like a very high-pitched hum. Their song has rhythm that is pleasantly
warm and jolly. I can remember dancing to their music and feeling as light as a fairy.

Then, my time with the flowers grew shorter. I hardly had time to stop and
talk to anyone. I was always in a hurry, and the flowers had little to say. Then
came a time when the flowers grew silent and without emotion. I would often
wonder if the flowers still sang.
I began to rediscover the world of Mother Nature’s flower essences, herbs,
and essential oils while suffering from Crohn’s disease. I had recently been
diagnosed with cancer. I was scared, in pain, and in need of support. My answer
to prayer was an inner message to work with flowers. All I really wanted was to
get out of pain, but I made a promise to share everything I learned with others.
Immediately afterwards, every time I walked near a plant, I received the
information that I now share with you in the following pages. For more than
eighteen years, much of this information has been researched and proven in
clinics and private medical practices worldwide.

For every impossible or incurable situation, there is a flower essence to help
us bloom. Flowers not only correct the imbalance in the personality’s needs and
expectations, but they also support us by opening our hearts.
When I work in my gardens, I enter a world where flowers talk and nature
sings. I choose flowers that bloom even under stress from an inner joy, which
expresses the wonders of Nature.
Each flower has a unique message and healing quality that can be captured
into an essence at the peak time of its bloom. The energy of the flowers becomes
available as the bloom opens fully. The best essences are made from flowers that
are disease free, perfectly shaped, and that emit the most auric light from the
center. They should be organically grown in seasons, nurtured, and chosen from
an abundance of full blooms. Most of the blooms should be left untouched,
attracting beneficial insects such as bees, wasps, and butterflies. The balance of
Nature should be left undisturbed.

I have discovered that the experience of gardening is well worth the time and
effort. Flowering plants are wonderful teachers and have taught me many songs
and tunes I have heard only in gardens. The flowers also speak from the heart of
all creation. They communicate the sadness they see in our eyes and catalyze the
potential of what we are yet to be. They heal wounds from the deepest part of the
psyche, reminding us with their beauty that all true healing comes from the heart.

During the past twenty years, I have worked therapeutically with flower
essences, essential oils, herbs, and nutrition as a clinical herbalist, aromatherapist,
teacher, counselor, and international lecturer. Certified in Texas as a
horticulturist, I organically grow and produce quality products. I have learned
that plants grown in the adverse climatic conditions of my environment enhance
the immune response of the flowers, forcing them to bloom under stress just as
we who thrive to achieve self-actualization do. As we search within for
understanding and wisdom, Mother Nature will nurture us with the healing
quality of homegrown plants and flowers.

Flower essences and essential oils have been an integral part of traditional
healing since ancient times and are making their way into modern medicine as
an adjunct to pharmaceuticals.
What is most important in healing from the heart is that we take responsibility
for individual health and seek support on every level. Health includes taking
responsibility for our own emotions, feelings, creativity, and expression. An
integrated personality will then receive illumination from the spirit to express the
heart’s desire and to share all the treasures of the heart.

Mother Nature’s Flower Fairies invite you to enter a world in miniature
where flowers heal and fairies rule. Since the beginning of the Land of
Thyme, fairies have learned to use flowers for every type of healing: for people,
pets, knights in shining armor, and yes, even for fairies. Flowers have a universal
charm that opens the heart of those who grow, receive, and admire them. Their
aroma, color, shape, and texture integrate all the senses into a rainbow of
emotional splendor known to every fairy as “healing from the heart.”
Healing from the heart comes from a place deep within composed of allembracing
love. It shines like a light reflecting eternal peace and illumination of
the spirit. This unconditional love is nurtured by good deeds and developed
through compassion. There are no limitations, and every living being will be
blessed through participation.

Mother Nature’s Flower Fairies live their lives wrapped in the security of
loving acceptance. They experience every moment of life knowing and
experiencing the love that continually creates through Nature. By stepping into
their world we can learn how to bring love into ours. We’ll find fairies of every
nature, size, and shape, each developing their character by utilizing their talents
and learning to create new ones. They live in the Land of Thyme, a community
where every being is accepted just the way they are: big, little, overweight, or
hyperactive. Fairies, beneficial insects, gods, and Mother Nature herself are
appreciated as equals. Creative change sprouts from this type of love, as the
community evolves and develops to a higher level. The fairies change and blend
into a community integrated by work, play, and self-development.
What do Flower Fairies possibly need to learn? They already understand how
flowers grow and make every garden magical, but they are still learning how to
take care of their health through relaxation techniques, “aromafairapy,” herbs,
color and chakra balancing, diet, exercise, and making the world ever more
beautiful with the artistic, healing uses of flowers. Everyone living in the Land
of Thyme will experience healing from the heart.
As you read this fairy tale, healing from the heart will begin for you as it did
for me twenty years ago. As a result, you will experience the healing power of
flowers as Mother Nature sings a lullaby to awaken your heart’s desires.

Table of Contents
The World According To Fairies and Flowers
Nutritious Recipes for Health-Conscious Fairies
Physical and Mental Stress Reducers
Blending Essential Oils
Aromatherapy and Herbs for Animals
Flower Arranging and Tea Ceremonies
Teas, Tonics, and Fairy Food
A Celebration of Love
Empowering the Chakras
Discovering the Subtle Body
Into the Garden of Beauty
Herbs and Flowers For Different Personality Types
Flower Essences and Herbal Tonics
Combining Herbs, Essential Oils, and Flower Essences for Optimal Health
History, Legend, and Lore
Healing with Antique Roses
Supplier List

Book and cover design by smythtype
Cover art: Garden on Water Street by Timothy R. Thies
Oil, 24″ X 18″
All rights reserved © 2002
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