Bleeding Heart by Georgia O'Keeffe
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Attic Apothecary, 5203 Chester Ave.
Yeast Infection? UTI? BV? These common maladies are very amenable to herbal medicine. This workshop will cover some common causes of these issues and which herbs to use when and how in order to address them. Both chronic and acute situations will be covered. Everyone will go home with relevant medicine we make together.
All genders welcome
No herb experience needed
REGISTRATION APPRECIATED atticapothecary @ gmail.com
“Eat bitterness. Eat bitterness and speak bitterness and share bitter herbs upon your bread, for in bitterness we empty ourselves of poison. Bitterness cools the boiling blood, dries the festering wound, tightens, reduces, expels, rejects, empties the toxic wastes that cruelty deposits on our souls…Without bitters, you will sicken from them. Your liver will ache. Your belly will bloat, your head with throb, your joints will swell, and you will be unable to eat from nausea…If you eat bitters, drink bitters, speak bitterness you will be cleansed. You will be healed.” -Aurora Levins Morales in Remedios
Without being a much of a cocktail drinker, I decide to teach a Make Your Own Cocktail Bitters workshop at Bartram's Garden. Because I'm obsessed with bitters as medicine! I had so much fun teaching to an audience who wasn't necessarily there to learn about herbal medicine. Everyone seemed on board, even when discussing how bitters can change the color of your poop to a healthier, darker brown. We made Orange Cardamom bitters (some people included Cardoon / Artichoke leaves as well) and Coffee Cacao Cinnamon bitters.
Current Uses for Bitters as Medicine:
Taking bitters is to our digestive system what going on a daily run is to our cardiovascular system. The bitter taste implies a necessary challenge to our physiology - our livers and digestive systems get lazy without bitter. Bitter taste stimulates our bitter taste receptors, which are present throughout our body, including our lungs.
-stimulate digestive secretions, which increases our nutrient absorption, improves our ability to process fat, and more thoroughly breaks down our food.
-improve liver function
-regulate blood sugar
-regulate the hormones that conduct digestion, like sending the signals to our brain saying we are full
-reduce acid reflux / GERD
-balance any poop issues: too loose, too hard, too irregular, rabbit pellets, visible food, burning, light colored, oil slick on the water, too sticky, you name it.
-reduce bilious complaints: feeling “hot and bothered,” headaches, sensitive eyes, itching, rashes
-providing a feeling of grounding and presence / anti-anxiety.
Take 1/4 tsp before every meal, about 15 mins prior would be ideal. Some of these herbs should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding - check with someone who knows.
To make cocktail bitters, the basic formula is simple. Infuse about 50% bitter tasting plants, 50% aromatic tasting plants in about 40% alcohol - we used vodka.
Bitter tasting plants:
gentian root (Gentiana lutea), artichoke leaf (Cynara cardunculus), dandelion root (Taxacarum officinale), yellow dock root (Rumex crispus), burdock root (Arctium lappa), citrus peels (with the white pith), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), coffee (Coffea arabica)
Aromatic tasting plants: orange peel, lemon peel, sour cherry, calamus, ginger, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, fennel, coriander, cardamom
Me, converting the masses in the beautiful barn at Bartram's Garden.
In this workshop, we will cover some simple remedies you can make in your kitchen with commonly available herbs to help ward off the common cold and flu. You will learn how to make cough syrup, fire cider, anti-microbial tea, and a sinus-clearing steam. We will also cover guidelines for using immune-stimulating herbs like Echinacea and Elder. Everyone will go home with a jar of fire cider!
to register: kitchenmedicine.bpt.me
As per request, here are the recipes from Honey Fest at Bertram's Garden yesterday:
Honey has been used medicinally for centuries. Historically, honey was counted on to treat all manner of complaints including stress, disturbed sleep, bad breath, poor eyesight, diarrhea, asthma, stomach ulcers, eczema, low sperm count, morning sickness, and arthritis to name a few. Below are some common current uses.
Using local honey in small doses every day before and during allergy season can help reduce symptoms of pollen allergies, in part because of its anti-inflammatory action. In a 2008 study of birch pollen allergies, the patients who were ingesting birch pollen honey had 60% less symptoms, and used 50% less antihistamines than those not using the birch pollen honey. I recommend a teaspoon of local honey twice a day.
Allergy honey: Cover the following herbs with local honey: Stinging nettle leaf (Urtica dioica), Goldenrod leaf and flower (Solidago canadensis), Turmeric powder (Curcuma longa), and Reishi powder (Ganoderma tsugae). Take 1 tablespoon 2x daily.
Honey is an excellent topical dressing for wounds. It creates a moist environment to promote healing, a protective coating to prevent further infection, and is anti-microbial. Unlike anti-biotics, honey has a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A 2015 review proved honey to be more effective at treating post-operative infection than antiseptics and gauze.
Honey is a great topical treatment for all manner of burns, from mild to very serious. A 2015 review shows honey to be more effective topically for dressing wounds than conventional hospital treatment. Many hospitals now use honey to treat burns, applying it 1-3 times a day, and covering the area with gauze.
Colds and Flu
Honey is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, fever reducing, and soothing to irritated tissue. Add honey to a tea for a sore throat, fever, or general cold symptoms.
Four Thieves honey: This honey was used during the plague because it’s extremely anti-microbial. Cover the following herbs with local honey: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Sage (Salvia officinalis), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Oregano (Origanum vulgare). Take 1 tablespoon 3x daily when you feel a cold coming on. Strain the herbs out if you like or chew them and eat them.
Ginger honey: Grate 3-4 inches of fresh ginger root. Cover in local honey. Take 1 tablespoon 3x daily when you feel a cold coming on. Or add it to tea when you have a sore throat.
Onion syrup: Chop 1 white onion into half moons. Cover in local honey. Put on the stove at a low heat for one hour. Store in the fridge. Take 1 tablespoon 3x daily when you feel a cold coming on.
Elderberry Syrup: Elderberries are strong anti-viral medicine. A study showed people taking Elderberries during a flu recover 66% faster than people not taking Elderberries. Cover 1 cup elderberries in water in a pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, simmer 45 minutes. Smash the berries and strain through a wire mesh strainer. Add 1 cup of local honey. Add ½ cup brandy as a preservative (optional). Store in the fridge and take 1 tablespoon 6x / day when you feel a cold coming on. Additions to the elderberries: ginger, elecampane root, lime or lemon juice.
Herbal Allies for Stress Relief
October 6, 6-8pm. Bartram’s Garden 5400 Lindbergh Blvd. $20
This class will cover medicinal herbs that can help alleviate stress. We will talk about plants to use in acute situations, plants that act as tonics for long term stress relief, and plants that help shift underlying imbalances by aiding the body's stress response. There will be a focus on plants growing at Bartram's Garden and plants that are easy to grow or find wild in Philadelphia.
Register at www.bartramsgarden.org
Sauerkraut and Kimchi Making Workshop
October 14, 6-8pm Mariposa Food Coop 4824 Baltimore Ave. Free!
Humans have been preserving food through lactofermentation for centuries - come find out why! Herbalist Kelly McCarthy will teach the ins and outs of making your own Sauerkraut or Kimchi, troubleshooting included. We will also discuss the myriad health benefits of lactofermented foods. Participants need to bring a sharp knife, a cutting board, a head of cabbage, any other vegetables you want to include (bok choy, carrots, garlic, ginger), and a glass mason jar (pint or quart size). Everyone will go home with a bubbling jar of food!
Medicine Making: Infused Oil
October 17, 12-1pm Mill Creek Farm 4901 Brown St. Free!
In this workshop, we will walk through the process of making medicinal oil for topical use by infusing it with various herbs. We’ll troubleshoot common issues with infusing oils. The workshop will also cover what oils to use when.
Medicine Making: Tinctures
October 18, 12-2pm. Bartram’s Garden 5400 Lindbergh Blvd. $20
Learn the art and science behind making high quality herbal tinctures. This workshop will cover making alcohol and glycerine tinctures from fresh or dry herb. You will make a tincture of one of Philadelphia's most prolific weeds, Mugwort, and learn about its medicinal uses. Please bring a 4 oz glass jar with a lid and 8 oz of vodka. Mugwort provided. If you don't want to bring the materials, bring $5 to cover the cost and materials will be provided.
RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org