Homegrown Health

I wish I could invite you to our farm so you could see first hand how our flowers and herbs grow, and how easy it is to incorporate healing plants into your life!

This summer we learned a lot about what it takes for farmers to put fresh food in our markets and our homes. We started selling produce this year through a farmer’s market and through a “food hub” that we helped form. Visit our website to get a glimpse of the fun!

http://fiveheartsfarm.com

By far my favorite herbal lesson of the year is how great Arnica oil is at preventing swelling and bruising! And sometimes easing aches and pains. Particularly for shoulders. The most startling story though had to do with our neighbor being kicked below the knee by a steer. Hard enough to rip his jeans. I ran home to get the oil for him, and he was shocked that even days later he had no swelling or bruising, and only a little tenderness upon touching. It’s great to have on hand.

See and Smell New Plant Balms Products at BPA Associates December 4 and 5 Sale

I’m excited to share with you some new, delightful products I’ve developed this year. I’ve had a blessed year of being retired and building a farm with my amazing husband and having the time and fresh materials to create new teas and skin products.

It’s hard to pick among my favorite products, but let me tell you about these three new ones:

  • Bronze Mint Tea. When a family member was diagnosed with diverticulitis, I started making an earlier version of this tea. This new formula has all kinds of soothing ingredients, and it’s delicious — and beautiful!

  • Arnica Oil. When you overdo or injure yourself, arnica is a well known plant for bringing healing energy to body parts. My firsthand experience was dropping an 8 lb solid block of food on my little toe. I poured off some oil i was infusing at the time, and the throbbing stopped immediately with no later bruise or pain!
  • Subtle Scentual Oil. I’ve been craving an oil that smelled heavenly and didn’t feel oily, to use on my hands and face. This oil is infused with Rose, Lavender, Calendula and Chamomile flowers, and the color and scent are purely from the flowers — no additives.

The BPA Associates Craft Fair takes place in the BPA lobby, 905 NE 11th Ave, Portland OR on Wednesday & Thursday, December 4 & 5, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm each day. My tables will be directly across from the cafeteria entrance. Visitors (i.e. those without a security badge) need to check in at the security check point at the main door off of the circular patio area off of 11th.

Check out your old favorite and the new products on the Plant Balms website.

I’m looking forward to seeing my sweet, loyal customers and friends! Please come say hi.

Flower Infused Oils

Infused oils are made by taking dry flowers or herbs, immersing them in some type of oil, and then letting the properties of the plant infuse into the oil for 2 weeks to 2 months.  Then the plant material is filtered out, and you are left with a beautiful, subtly scented oil that has the healing properties of the plant.

We make a large variety of infused oils.  The product list show ones currently in stock, but if you are interested in another, please contact us.

Base oils:  Sunflower, Grapeseed, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil (refined), Coconut Oil (virgin), Avocado Oil, Almond, Apricot Kernel, Jojoba

Flower or Herb:  Calendula, Devil’s Club, Lavender, Plantain, Comfrey, Self Heal, Lemon Balm, Arnica, Neem, Peppermint, Sage, Yarrow, Fennel

Use:

These oils make wonderful massage oils, and can be used as ingredients in all types of salves and lotions.  Use on any skin needing moisturizing and soothing.

 

 

Passion for Feeling Well

My daughter and I have both had positive healing experiences as a result of the guidance of naturopaths.  As a result, we have a passion for learning and creating and sharing this kind of opportunity with others.

Our current formal learning is from Dr Tieraona Low Dog’s Foundations of Herbal Healing course.  After years of experience and trial and error with product development, we are excited about the core products that we are able to share with you.  Our most unique and popular products are Balm of Gilead Oil, our teas, and the Senses Awaken — Headache Relief essential oil rollerball.

We have just begun the more formal commercial part of our business and we have been amazed at people’s willingness to try new things, and their delight when they truly make a difference in their lives.

 

Tea ingredients

Rose hips

Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Bacopa

When most people think of “tea” they think of weakly flavored tea made from tea bags, or “mild” flower teas like chamomile.

Medicinal teas are packed with flavor and nutrition!  Revise your image of “tea” to be plants infusing their nutrients into water so that you can drink your nutrition.  Most taste quite wonderful.  You can drink one cup per day of a standard strength (e.g. 1 tsp per 6 ounces of water), or you can make a medicinal strength tea if you are trying to address a particular problem, or trying to ward off a sore throat or cold.  At those times, you would make a strong tea and sip it throughout the day.  Chamomile is a good example of this — at a normal strength, it is gentle enough to soothe babies or upset stomachs.  At a medicinal strength, it has powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal properties and more, and can be taken both internally and as a skin ointment.

We designed our teas to address certain things (like digestive system upset), and customers have found that they have provided other significant benefits to them as a side effect (e.g. skin cleared of acne or rash).

Tea brochures – Sleep More Stress Less

Tea brochures – Anti-inflammatory

Tea brochures – NW Tonic Tea

Tea brochures – Hibiscus Cooler Tonic Tea

Wild Plants are packed with nutrients!

Rose hips

Elderberries

Foraging for wild plants is an adventure, and it has been a thrill to learn how jam packed they are with nutrition compared to their cultivated relatives.  Our first adventure was fall elderberry gathering, then rosehips were nearby, and then balm of gilead buds in the middle of winter after windstorms, nettles, Devil’s club, Pine pitch, yarrow, St John’s wort, and Mullein.

Getting to know the plants’ growth and benefits

Comfrey

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Spearmint

Feverfew

Bacopa

Holy Basil, or “Tulsi” (photo by Alexandra)

Thanks to my husband who is a wonderful gardener, I have gotten to get acquainted with many healthy herbs growing in our own garden this summer.  Arnica, calendula, holy basil (tulsi), peppermint, catmint, feverfew, lovage, comfrey, oregano, thyme, bay, parsley, cilantro, lavender, Sage, pineapple Sage, bee balm, bacon, wild rose, lemon balm, yarrow, fennel, raspberry leaf, sorrel, scented geranium, and dandelion.

I have learned that my little roses dry in better shape than larger roses, and the color changes and intensifies when they are dry.  I have learned that some herbs are harder than others to dry effectively, and I’m quite happy to buy them (like Nettles).  I used to see pictures of people drying their mint by pulling off each leaf and laying them out separately and I thought they were way too fastidious!  and then learned that that helps immensely to make the leaves dry well and stay bright green.  And i have learned that I love fennel seeds that are immature (green and juicy) — and there is no way to get that at a store.  But freezing them turns them black and unappetizing!  So much yet to learn.

We continue to learn about the benefits of each plant — and it’s remarkable how many benefits each plant has.  If you are curious, just google something like “Calendula benefits.”  You will see that our marketing materials have to pick a few benefits from a list usually of over 20.

(Thank you to Alexandra for many of the beautiful photos!)

Bee Balm (photo by Alexandra)

Calendula (photo by Alexandra)