Hello Everyone, last week in the virtual class with Amanda Howe we were not able to get to all of the questions coming through the chat. I have collected the student questions and answers from Amanda here for you to review.
Have you ever made a lemon balm hydrosol? I noticed my lemon balm oil (infused into avocado oil) lost ALL scent almost immediately…looking for a way to include lemon balm goodness in cold process soap and lotions!I love lemon balm tea! So interesting about the fresh properties vs dry.
A: Lemon balm scent is hard to capture. Lemon Balm essential oil is one of the most expensive oils for this reason. Most Lemon Balm oil that you find on the market is made with lemons. I’d be interested to hear now the hydrosol goes. I’ve had success with Rose, Lavender and Chamomile hydrosols, they are lovely, but I have yet to try Lemon Balm.
Is chamomile invasive at all? Will it take over other plants/flowers? Thanks
A: I have never found it to be invasive, nor heard of it being invasive, and won’t take over other plants. However there is an invasive wild Chamomile in BC (Matricaria maritima) It looks very like Chamomile but it is scentless, not medicinal and highly invasive.
How to ingest Mullein? I’ve seen smoking blends with Mullein in them and have always wondered about their effectiveness vs. a tea or what the best way to ingest is.
A: Don’t smoke any herbs, they will damage your lungs I am currently treating a patient with COPD that developed as a result of smoking marijuana, she never smoked tobacco. Smoking herbs is not good for your lungs.
I’m moving to a new home in two weeks in Northern Ontario so I wasn’t able to start anything indoors and will be putting my garden in mid-June… do I still need to start seeds indoors?
A: You can start many things outdoors, but some things are best started in pots so you can “baby” them along 🙂
Are all roses edible or useable as herbals?
A: All roses are edible and can be used medicinally, but having said that I only use the aromatic roses. Just be careful not to use Roses that have been treated, sprayed or planted in contaminated soil
What are good places in the BC area to find herbs for harvest that are safe?
A: Finding areas for harvest is something that you have to search out in the area in which you live, and then do the research to find out if you are allowed to harvest there and research the history of the area vis a vis soil contamination etc. Harvest sites are generally closely guarded secrets because it takes many years to find harvest sites and to tend a site so that it is not impacted by over harvesting.
Do you have a good resource for wild harvest recipes? I’m curious about the wild rose syrup. Thanks!
A: The Medicine Makers Handbook by James Green is good.
How long after an area has been sprayed is it safe to harvest from?
A: That really depends on what has been sprayed. The old sprays had half lives of decades and are still persistent in the soil, so you really need to know what has been sprayed and what its half life is.
Can you transplant oregon grape from the wild?
A: It is often not very successful.
When would you recommend harvesting the leaves of mullein for a tea?
A: The leaves tend to diminish quite a bit towards the end of the flowering time because the whole plant is at the end of its life. They are most vibrant just before flowering.
Question about harvesting / quantities! How much rose honey, thyme honey and dandelion vinegar would you make for yourself for a year?
A: Make a small jar of each this year, and you’ll whether you like it and how much you use, so that you can adjust for next year.
Any tips for growing catnip from seed? Or is it better to buy it already started?
A: You’ve made me realise that I’ve had my catnip for over thirty years now! And I so I haven’t started any from seed for a very long time! It is very reasonably priced to buy as a start, so it is probably easier to buy a small plant. Unless you are needing lots of plants of course.
Where can you find plantain seeds? What seed companies do you recommend for medicinal herbs?
A: Richters in Ontario is amazing. https://www.richters.com/
Hawthorn berries: should they be decocted separately and then mixed with other herbs in a tea, or would an overnight infusion be sufficient?
A: Yes and yes