Herbs offer a natural, effective, long-term approach to wellness. They reconnect our health and well-being to something fundamental, something elemental. Herbs give us a way to live more in sync with the Earth at a time when our connection to nature is hampered by urban living, overly-processed foods, intense work schedules and a medical system that focuses more on treating sickness than living well.
Humans have a long-term relationship with herbs. Generation after generation, we’ve relied on them as a source of wellness, and after millennia of taking them, our bodies are used to the stimuli. This relationship profoundly connects us with nature, our environment and with our own history.
And yet, the deep connection between humans and plants goes beyond the time we’ve spent together. Plants are made up of hundreds of constituents. They are sensitive and intelligent. They can communicate with each other, learn from the past and sense when we humans are around. Their natural complexity supports our own.
There’s a range of effects that herbs can have on our systems. They can impact us emotionally and physically. While some are better for immediate needs, others aid in developing wellness over the long-term. They can be restorative, and also be used to help bring systems back into balance. A specific herb may have multiple effects and those impacts may vary somewhat from person to person. Like many healthy choices, they work best when paired with other healthy habits like eating right, exercising and getting good sleep.
Pulsatilla (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of the first blooms of the season. Each year, we harvest its bell-like purple flowers while there is still frost on the ground — and on its blossoms.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a popular herb on the farm. It blooms in early summer and continues into the fall. Every few weeks, we harvest the flowers by hand, extracting some while fresh and others once dried.
The farms, in Josephine County, Oregon, are Certified Organic and Non-GMO. We’re on a mission to keep getting better at serving our environment, including this volunteer Fennel (Foenicumum vulgare) plant.
Even when we source an herb from one of our trusted partners, we also like to grow it on the farm for educational purposes and to continue to diversify our crops. This young Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) tree is destined for our Botanical Education Garden.
Just before Grindelia (Grindelia spp.) comes into bloom in mid summer, it produces a resinous white material. This is our cue from Nature that it’s time for the harvest of its leaves and flowers.
By July, fuzzy stalks of Mullein (Verbascum speciosum &/or olympicum) reach our shoulders. To harvest the flowers, we pull down each stalk, run a gloved hand over the top and strip the flowers into a bucket.
We harvest the blossoms and leaves of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) each summer.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is a plant we use from flower to root, so we sprout new batches each year in our greenhouse. We often let the roots grow for two years, while the flowers and leaves are harvested during the first year.
Oat Seed (Avena sativa) tells us when it’s ready to be harvested. When you can squeeze a plump seed and see its milkiness, it’s time. Oat Seed is taken straight to our lab and extracted while still fresh and succulent.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a plant that gets comfortable in its surroundings rather quickly. This volunteer plant is one of many that has eagerly rooted itself on our Certified Organic farm.
It can be helpful to think of herbs as an extension of food. We all know that eating well is good for us and that plants play a major if not exclusive role in our diet. Herbs take dietary health to the next level. They deliver a wide range of beneficial phytochemicals to our bodies that we would not get otherwise.
One great thing about herbalism is that there’s always more to know. Explore the benefits of our liquid herbal extracts: