Newsletter April 2015
Spring has Sprung!
With the changing seasons and blossoming of some of our favorite plant friends, we are shifting how we do our newsletter. Our newsletter will no longer be monthly but instead will be quarterly and more seasonally based. We are excited to spend more time on less frequent releases which will allow us the opportunity to highlight in depth recipes and promotions for the season. In this edition we happily highlight the Violet and Dandelion.
Viola odorata, spp.
High in nutritious vitamins and antioxidants, Violet leaves and flowers are a wonderful way to help our bodies get ready for a healthy and energetic spring. With their heart shaped leaves and bright purple flowers, Violet blossoms carry a loving energy. Like a kiss from the Earth, Violets are gentle but powerful medicine. We love to preserve the goodness of Violets by putting the fresh blossoms or leaves into honey, oil, vinegar, butter and more.
It is not just the flowers of the Violet that possess medicinal characteristics. Violet leaves have been used throughout the centuries as a soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory demulcent. They can be a very effective first aid remedy for hot, inflamed conditions of the skin such as eczema, rashes and hives. Simply chew up a fresh leaf and place it on the affected area. When you are unable to gather fresh Violets, here at Rebecca’s we preserve the potency of the fresh leaves by lovingly infusing them into an organic, extra-virgin olive oil base. The infused oil is great for medicine making, lotion making or direct external application.
Violet seems to have a particular affinity for the breasts and lungs. In Susan Weed's book Breast Cancer? Breast Health!, she recommends Violet leaf poultices and drinking Violet leaf infusion to shrink lumps in the breast. Rebecca’s Breast Oil was formulated with this affinity in mind and is soothing, while gently helping to clear stagnation, easing soreness and taming inflammation. With Violet leaf infused olive oil, Jojoba oil, Frankincense CO2 and Geranium essential oil, this blend was lovingly created to support and inspire women in a practice of self-breast care.
Violet Blossom WaterThis is one of Rebecca’s all-time favorite spring time treats! Pick a few fresh Violet blossoms and place them in your water glass, bottle or pitcher, add room temperature drinking water and enjoy throughout the day. As the day goes on the Violets will impart their intoxicating fragrance and gorgeous purple goodness into your water. You can add other fresh spring greens such as Lemon Balm or Catnip by simply tearing a few fresh leaves and adding them in. So easy and almost obscenely delightful!
Violet Blossom VinegarThere are many ways to use Violet Blossom Vinegar including salad dressings, marinades, glazes, in baths with Epsom salts, as a conditioning hair rinse, for sunburns, applied to wasp/bee stings, and more.
8 oz Rice wine, Champagne vinegar, or Apple Cider vinegar
¼ cup fresh Violet flowers (leaves are great too)
Pint size glass canning jar
Place Violets in glass jar, top with vinegar of choice and stir well to combine. Use a plastic lid or place a piece of wax paper in between the metal lid and vinegar infusion. Label jar with ingredients and date. Store in a dark, cool place. Shake or stir daily. Strain after as little as 3 days and up to 2 weeks through a coffee filter or muslin cloth into a clean bottle. Store in a dark, cool place or in the fridge for up to one year.
Violet leaf Salve RecipeCooling and soothing, this multi-purpose ointment has many first aid and skin healing applications including cuts, scrapes, bug bites, blisters, rashes and minor burns.
4 ounces Violet leaf infused olive oil
½ ounce of beeswax
1 teaspoon vitamin E (optional)
10-20 drops essential oil of choice (optional)
Lovely jars or tins to store your salve (Yields approximately 4.5 ounces)
Combine infused oil and beeswax in a Mason jar or Pyrex glass container in a saucepan with water or a double boiler. Warm over low heat until beeswax is melted. Remove from heat, add vitamin E and essential oils. Stir well to incorporate and pour into containers. Let set for at least 30 minutes, cap, and label.
Tis the season for nutritious and delicious Dandelion leaves. A mineral rich bitter tonic that has an affinity for the liver and kidneys, Dandelion leaves are an abundant source of vitamins A, C, fiber and many other nutrients. The bitter flavor in Dandelion greens is beneficial for stimulating digestion and encouraging the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods. For a less bitter green, harvest the Dandelion leaves before the flower appears. Or to decrease the bitter flavor you can cook leaves in 2 washes. We like to leave them as is and sauté them in garlic, butter and lemon, include them in salad mixtures, on sandwiches, soups, stir-frys, etc.
Dandelion Greens & Scrambled Eggs RecipeSimply pick some fresh Dandelion Greens, brush off any dirt and chop them lightly. Melt butter or oil of choice in a pan, add your Dandelion and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until soft. Add whisked eggs to the pan with a sprinkle of salt. Mix the eggs and greens in the pan until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Put on a plate and enjoy your springtime breakfast! Best eaten on a sunny morning in the garden.
Leap into Spring TeaUse this nutritious tea blend to shed winter and leap into the light, clean energy of spring.
1 pt Dandelion leaves
1 pt Nettles
1 pt Oatstraw
1 pt Calendula
1/2 pt Rosehips
Parts are by volume. Blend tea together. Place 1 Tbsp in cup hot water. Let steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain and enjoy! Sweeten with honey or your Violet infused sugar.
Rebecca’s Tip: We hope you’ve enjoyed these springtime recipes. I can guarantee that they will all come out even better if you take the time to thank the plants before harvesting and while enjoying.
Below is our class schedule, for full class descriptions please check our website at: http://www.rebeccasherbs.com/classes/. Your space in the class is reserved once payment is received. Payment for classes can be made online using a credit or debit card. Please be aware that classes fill up quickly, so sign up early. Pre-registration is required.
Herbal Infused Oils & SalvesSaturday, April 11th, 2015, 2:00-3:30pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist
Join us to learn how to make therapeutic herbal infused oils and salves.
Kids Herbal Experience: Sudsy SoapsSaturday, April 18th, 2015, 11:00am- 12:30pm
Instructor: Tzuria Malpica, certified clinical herbalist
Simple and satisfying, make soap with your own special touch. Together we will use essential oils and herbs to spice up our soaps and personalize them. Children will take home recipes, and bars of soap created in class.
Tincture MakingTuesday, April 21st, 2015, 6:30-8:00pm
Instructor: Liz Philbrick, certified clinical herbalist & nutritionist
Tinctures demystified! Tinctures are made with alcohol and water to extract the medicinal properties of herbs. They are a wonderful and convenient way of taking herbal medicine. In this informative class we will discuss and demonstrate methods to make fresh and dried plant tinctures. Participants will go home with samples as well as the resources to make their own tinctures at home.
Herbal Care for ChildrenSaturday, April 25th, 2015, 11:00am-12:30pm
Instructor: Corrie Bradley, certified clinical herbalist
It is empowering as a parent to have herbal allies that can soothe and treat your child’s ailments. In this class we will discuss safe and simple recipes to treat coughs, colds, fevers, skin maladies, and many others.
Luscious LipsSaturday, May 2nd, 2015, 2:00-3:30pm
Instructor: Faith Goguen Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist
Learn to make your own all-natural lip balms and glosses!
Wednesday, May 13th, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm