Tina's Herbal Kitchen Recipes


Yarrow (Achillea millifolia)

Yarrow Cold and Fever Herbal Tea Blend

This combination of herbs has been used for a long time. I first read about this tea in A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. Maude Grieves, which was first published in 1931. Interestingly, I had already been making a similar blend on my own for its relief of fevers and colds for myself and my family. This is a delicious healing remedy to include in your herbal medicine chest to be taken at the onset of a cold and fever, helping to open the pores, especially with obstructed perspiration.

Ingredients:
1 part Yarrow flowers and leaves
1 part Elder flowers
1 part Peppermint leaves

Method: Make a strong infusion of the herbal tea by pouring a pint of boiling filtered water over one - two Tablespoons of the herbal blend, depending on your preference. Steep the tea blend for 15 minutes and strain. Drink the hot tea with or without honey, allowing the herbs to begin to do their work. If the fever persists, drink another cup of tea in 30 minutes to an hour. Continue to drink a cup of tea every 30 minutes to an hour, until the fever breaks.

Yarrow First Aid Spray

This spray is like making a tincture, which is a highly concentrated liquid herbal extract. Tinctures are often used as healing remedies and used externally and internally in small amounts, usually taken in water or tea. This method uses the traditional simpler's method and can be done quite easily in your own kitchen or garden without a lot of fancy equipment or precise measurements. This spray is one of our favorite items in our First Aid kit. We use it for an assortment of cuts, scrapes, and wounds, helping to stop the bleeding, disinfect the area and provide pain relief. We have also found Yarrow spray to be helpful as a natural and safe insect repellent, as well.

Ingredients:
Fresh Yarrow flowers and leaves
80-100 proof vodka or brandy (or alcohol of choice)
Clean jars, scissors or knife, strainer and labels

Methods: Gather Yarrow flowers and leaves after the dew has dried and preferably after 3 days without rain. Chop finely or use scissors to cut the Yarrow leaves and flowers and place in clean jar. Pour alcohol of choice over the Yarrow herb and stir to ensure all of the herb is immersed, covering the herb by two inches with the alcohol. Seal the jar with a tight fitting lid. Label jar with contents and date. Place the jar in a warm location for four to six weeks so that herbs macerate. Swirl solution daily, infusing it with healing and positive energy. After the allotted time, pour the macerated mixture through a strainer into a clean jar so that the solution is separated from the herbs and a clear solution remains. (I often use a funnel, for support, with the strainer set inside it and maybe an old tea towel). Squeeze out the herbs so that you get all the medicine from the infusion. Ideally, a dark colored jar is used to store the newly made tincture/spray. Label the jar with the contents and date and then store in a cool and dark place. An alcohol based tincture should last for several years. We pour this solution into a 4 ounce amber spray bottle and label it as a Yarrow First Aid spray, and keep it in our first aid kit and accessible in the kitchen.
Yarrow Salve

Yarrow - Comfrey Herbal Salve

The use of Yarrow in a salve was mentioned to me on a recent trip to Scotland with my family, as I asked questions about the various familiar herbs that I identified in the fields and roadsides. It was said by our tour guide that Yarrow was used in an ointment by the Highlanders for all sorts of issues with distended veins and capillaries, including piles (or hemorrhoids) and it is/was used as a general disinfectant salve. I came home immediately and infused Yarrow in oil to make such a salve, including Comfrey in it, for its healing qualities, as well.

Ingredients:
Yarrow flowers, leaves and stems (freshly wilted or dried)
Comfrey leaves and stems (freshly wilted or dried)
Organic oil of choice (olive, almond, apricot, grapeseed)
Good quality Beeswax

Method: Prepare an herb infused oil. See Herbal Recipes under Comfrey Infused Oil for how to make the Yarrow infused oil. 1/2 cup Yarrow flowers and leaves infused in oil for 4-6 weeks (strained) 1/2 cup Comfrey leaves and stems infused in oil for 4-6 weeks (strained) 1/4 cup Clean Grated Beeswax (use more if you like a very firm salve) Optional: add 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil as additional preservative
To make the salve: Add 1/4 cup grated beeswax to double boiler. If using pyrex or mason jar, place in pot of gently boiling water to melt. Meanwhile, pour in one cup of herbal infused oils to heat proof jar, 2-cup measuring pyrex container or double boiler with beeswax. When beeswax is melted, remove jar of solution from heat and pour into small jars or tins. It will thicken and harden as it cools. If the consistency is not to your liking, simply remelt salve and make adjustments (more beeswax for a firmer salve or more oil for a softer salve). This makes approximately eight ounces of salve. Apply as needed (3-4 times a day) and feel nature's healing powers!

Yarrow - Comfrey Herbal Liniment (for External Use)

Herbal liniments are external remedies that are rubbed into the skin. They are made in a similar manner as a tincture. Liniments are often used to soothe sore muscles and ligaments and disinfect wounds. This liniment is helpful for treating varicose veins and bruises, with its astringent action which tightens and firms blood vessels and clears blood congestion. It is made in the traditional simpler's method (where exact measurements are not strictly followed and fancy equipment is not required).

Ingredients:
2 parts Yarrow flowers and leaves (freshly harvested after the dew has dried)
1 part Comfrey leaves, stems, and/or root (freshly picked and wilted)
1/2 part Raspberry leaves
1/4 - 1/8 Cayenne pieces or flakes (dried)
Organic apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized)

Method: Chop or cut the herbs and place in a clean and dry jar. Pour vinegar to cover the herbs by two inches. Secure the lid on the jar and let sit in a warm location 4-6 weeks. Strain after the allotted time period into clean jar or spray bottle. Label and store in a cool and dark place. To use the liniment, pour a small amount into hand (or spray onto desired area). Gently rub and massage the liniment towards the heart, using long and steady strokes. A compress can be made with the liniment by soaking a clean cotton cloth and applying it directly onto the desired area. If the liniment bothers the skin, try making the same recipe infusing the herbs in oil.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Dried Calendula

Calendula Infused Oil

Calendula infused oil promotes the healing of many skin disorders. It effectively treats burns, hard to heal wounds, varicose veins, cradle cap and damaged tissue. It is soothing to painful skin irritations and can even be used with good results for fungal and viral complications. It is also nice as a massage oil for the breasts, and in other areas with lymphatic congestion, as Calendula is a great ally to the lymphatic system. I have also used it with good results for cracked nipples after breastfeeding and for some people with eczema and other chronic skin irritations. This oil is also a nice addition to lotions and facial creams.

Apply a small amount of Calendula oil and massage gently into affected area.

Ingredients:
Organic oil of choice (olive, almond, apricot, etc)
Freshly picked Calendula blossoms (wilted)
(Dried Calendula flowers can be used if freshly wilted flowers are not available)


Method #1: On a sunny day, after all dew has dried, hand pick Calendula flowers. Harvesting can be done every two-three days during the summer months, helping to promote new growth.

Spread flowers on drying screens to wilt/dry (24 hours- 4 days), as they are quite moist and may mold if you do not dry them a little before infusing them in oil. (Using a dehumidifier and fan and/or heater to help circulate air will greatly aid this drying process).

Place dried flowers in a clean jar with organic olive oil to completely cover (having a 1/4 inch of oil covering herb on top). You can crumble the flowers as you put them in jar or cut with scissors to allow more surface area exposure. Allow a little room at top of jar and check after 12 hours to see if you need to top off the oil a little (making sure all flowers are immersed in oil). Store in dark place or place in brown paper bag. Try to swirl the Calendula oil daily, infusing positive energy. Sometimes oil will seep out of the top of the jar during the infusing process, so place jar on newspaper or in a place where the oil will not drip down and create an oily mess.

After 4-6 weeks, strain Calendula flowers from oil. Let strained oil sit for one day and check to make sure there is no water present at bottom of jar. Decant the oil from the water if water separates and is present at bottom of jar so that no water is in your final product of infused oil. Label final product with Calendula, type of oil used and date.

Method #2: Use an old crock pot with a low setting. Place chopped Calendula flowers in oil so that flowers are completely covered. Heat oil on lowest setting in crock pot for 4 - 8 hours (be sure to keep temperature below 110- 120 degrees F, so as not to fry the flowers). Strain the flowers, pressing as much of the oil from the flowers as is possible. Consider using a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil, as oil will lose its healing properties if heated above 110- 120 degrees. Let strained oil sit for one day and check to make sure there is no water present at bottom of jar. Decant the oil from the water if it is present at bottom of jar. Label final product with Calendula, type of oil used and date.

Storage: Store the infused oil in a cool, dark place. It should be good for one year. Always smell the oils to ensure they are in their optimal state. If a rancid odor is observed, then sadly the oil will need to be discarded.

Enjoy oil as a healing remedy on its own or include it in with other infused oils and/or with beeswax for a healing salve.

Other ideas: Some other infused to consider making as healing remedies are: Plantain, Comfrey, Chickweed, Jewelweed, Lavender, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Saint John's Wort, Mullein, Bee Balm, Elder flower and Garlic, among others. I suggest making infused oils with one herb at a time. Once you have your single infused oils, other blends can be made from these single infusions.

Calendula Salve

Calendula salve is very soothing and healing to skin irritations, burns, rashes, eruptive skin disorders. It can also be used on a wound before adding a compress and/ or fomentation to help soften the skin, making it easier to penetrate wounded area with the healing herbal properties of the salve and poultice. Apply a small amount and massage gently into affected area. This is a must have for the herbal first aid kit!

Ingredients:
1 cup or 8 oz Calendula flower infused oil (see above recipe)
1/4 cup or 2 oz Clean Grated Beeswax (use more if you like a very firm salve)
Optional: add 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil as additional preservative

First, prepare an herb infused oil.

To make the salve, add 1/4 cup grated bees wax to double boiler. If using pyrex or mason jar, place in pot of gently boiling water to melt. Meanwhile, pour in one cup of Calendula infused oil to heat proof jar, 2-cup measuring pyrex container or double boiler with beeswax. When beeswax is melted, remove jar of solution from heat and pour into small jars or tins. It will thicken and harden as it cools. If the consistency is not to your liking, simply remelt salve and make adjustments (more beeswax for a firmer salve or more oil for a softer salve).

You can use any combination of herbal infused oils to make salves, depending on what your intention is for its use. Some other infused oils to consider blending into your healing remedies are: Plantain, Comfrey, Chickweed, Jewelweed, Lavender, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Saint John's Wort, Mullein, Bee balm and Elder flower.
Tina's Botanicals Calendula Salve

Calendula Salve

Calendula

Calendula Compress or Fomentation

This is an external application of herbs to help soothe pain, alleviate inflammation, stop bleeding, treat burns and skin irritations, rashes and lymphatic congestion. Hot fomentations or compresses can help to stimulate the circulation of blood or lymph in the wounded area and allow the healing qualities of Calendula to penetrate the skin.

Materials:
Fresh or Dried Calendula flowers
Clean moisture absorbent cloth or towel

For a Calendula fomentation, make a Calendula tea of 1-2 Tablespoons dried Calendula flowers with one cup just boiled water. Steep for 15 minutes and strain. Place clean cloth in tea and wring out. Apply to desired area. For a hot fomentation, place a dry cloth over hot cloth and cover with heating pad or hot bottle. The heat will help relax achy areas and lymphatic congestion. This can be alternated with cold compresses to increase circulation to area. Compresses can also be combined with a warm Calendula poultice.

A Calendula poultice can be made with fresh or dried petals. Macerate flowers or petals into an herbal mass and apply directly to skin. The fresh petals can be an effective treatment for shingles and measles.

For even more herbal healing power, apply a Calendula oil on the skin before the compress or fomentation. Allow 20- 30 minutes for the healing properties of Calendula to take effect. Consider sipping a cup of Calendula tea at the same time, for even better results.

Calendula Tea

Calendula tea can be used internally and externally. For external use, try it as a compress, skin wash, eye wash, or mouthwash. These antiseptic washes are good for inflammation and wound healing. As a mouthwash it is healing to gums after tooth extractions. Drink tea internally, for inflammation and lymphatic congestion. According to David Winston and Merrily Kuhn, in Herbal Therapy, 2000, Calendula can be taken internally as a tea or tincture for chronic colitis, postmastectomy lymphodema and pain, the treatment of gastric ulcers and to promote bile production.

1-2 Tablespoons dried Calendula flowers (2-4 fresh flowers)
1 cup filtered water

To make the tea: Place Calendula flowers in heat proof cup. Pour boiling water over flowers. Let steep for 15- 30 minutes, or longer, depending on taste and desired effect. Strain herbs and enjoy.

Drink a cup of Calendula tea 3 -4 times a day to aid in the healing process.
Calendula Tea

Calendula Salve

Calendula Salad

Calendula, Beet and Kale Salad

This salad is as delicious and healthy, as it is beautiful. We enjoy this salad several times a week throughout the summer and it makes a great dish to carry to a summer potluck. We took it to a friend's house last week and the Calendula petals on the salad inspired some wonderful conversation. Yes, we can eat lots of the flowers and weeds that grow around us and they are good for us in so many ways, too!

When your garden is thriving in mid July with ample kale, Calendula and beets, try this recipe out for its delicious flavor and for its healthy benefits of vitamins and antioxidants. And, if you don't grow kale, beets and Calendula, look for the ingredients at your local Farmer's Market. Your local farmers and herbalists will be happy to share their goodness with you.

Ingredients:
Bunch of Freshly Picked Kale (cut into small pieces)
2-3 Beets (peeled and shredded)
6-8 Calendula flowers (petals from freshly picked flowers)
1/2 cup Walnuts (toasted and chopped)
Goat Cheese (if desired)
Balsamic Vinegar and high quality Extra Virgen Olive Oil

To make Salad: Clean and cut Kale leaves. Peel and shred beets. Chop and toast walnuts in iron skillet for 6 - 8 minutes on low to medium heat. Mix kale and beets together in large bowl. Sprinkle olive oil and balsamic vinegar and blend with kale mixture. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on salad and adorn with Calendula petals and Goat cheese as desired. Enjoy!

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale, Symphytum uplandica x, Symphytum peregrinum)

Comfrey Infused Oil (for external application)

Comfrey infused oil can be applied to bruises, skin abrasions, burns, aches and pains, site of broken bones and sprains. The oil helps to soften the skin so that the herbal qualities of Comfrey can penetrate the area and help to relieve pain caused by injuries.

Organic oil of choice (olive, almond, apricot, etc)
Freshly cut Organic Comfrey root, stems and/or leaves (wilted)
(can use dried Comfrey leaves and stems)


Option 1: Harvest stems and leaves and hang in small bundles or spread on drying screens to wilt/dry (12 hours- 3 days), as they are quite moist and may mold if you do not dry them a little before infusing them in oil. (Using a fan and/or heater to help circulate air will help). Now, chop or cut herb and place herb in a clean jar with organic olive oil to completely cover (having a 1/4 inch of oil covering herb on top). Allow a little room at top of jar and check after 12 hours to see if you need to top off the oil a little (making sure all herb is immersed). Store in dark place or place in brown paper bag. Try to swirl infuses oil daily, infusing positive energy. After 4-6 weeks, strain Comfrey leaves and stems from oil. Let strained oil sit for one day and check to make sure there is no water present at bottom of jar. Decant the oil from the water if water separates and is present at bottom of jar. (Some of our chickens love to feast on this discarded oily herb when it is mixed with other leftover food scraps).

Option 2: Use an old crock pot with a low setting. Place chopped or cut leaves/stems in oil. Heat oil on lowest setting in crock pot for 2-4 hours (not above 110-120 degrees F) and strain. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, as oil will lose its healing properties if heated above 110- 120 degrees. Let strained oil sit for one day and check to make sure there is no water present at bottom of jar. Decant the oil from the water if it is present at bottom of jar.

Enjoy oil as a healing remedy on its own or include it with other oils and/or with beeswax for a healing salve.
Tina's Botanicals Comfrey Salve

Comfrey Salve

Comfrey Salve

This salve is very soothing and healing to skin irritations, bruises, sprains and rashes. It can also be used on the wound before adding a compress and/ or fomentation to help soften skin, making it easier to penetrate into wounded area with the healing allantoin from the Comfrey.

1 cup Comfrey leaf and stem (or root) (wilted or dried) infused oil (this can be made with other herbs as well, such as Plantain, Calendula, Chickweed, Violet)
1/4 cup Clean Grated Beeswax (use more if you like a very firm salve)
Optional: add 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil as additional preservative

First, prepare an herb infused oil.

To make the salve, add 1/4 cup grated beeswax to double boiler. If using pyrex or mason jar, place in pot of gently boiling water to melt. Meanwhile, pour in one cup of herbal infused oils to heat proof jar, 2-cup measuring pyrex container or double boiler with beeswax. When beeswax is melted, remove jar of solution from heat and pour into small jars or tins. It will thicken and harden as it cools. If the consistency is not to your liking, simply remelt salve and make adjustments (more beeswax for a firmer salve or more oil for a softer salve).

Apply as needed (3-4 times a day) and feel nature's healing powers!

Comfrey Compress or Fomentation

This is an external application of herbs to help treat or alleviate swellings, aches and pains, bruising, sprains and the healing of broken bones. Hot (and/or alternating with cold) fomentations can help to stimulate the circulation of blood or lymph in the wounded area and allow healing qualities of the Comfrey to enter slowly through skin.

Fresh or Dried Comfrey Root, and/or Leaves and Stems
Clean moisture absorbent cloth or towel
Hot pad or hot water bottle (optional)

Make a comfrey tea of two to three Tablespoons dried Comfrey with one cup just boiled water. Steep for 15 minutes or longer and strain. Place clean cloth in tea and wring out. Apply to desired area. For a hot fomentation, place a dry cloth over hot tea cloth and cover with heating pad or hot bottle. The heat will help relax achiness. This can be alternated with cold compresses to increase circulation to area. It can also be combined with a warm comfrey poultice and Comfrey oil for even more herbal healing.

Dandelion (Taraxicum officinale)

Dandelion Flower Cookies

These delicious cookies are sugar free, not too sweet and can be gluten free. Their only drawback is that there are less flowers for the honeybees and other pollinators. Makes approximately four dozen.

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey
4 eggs
2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups organic unbleached wheat or oat flour (can mix in a little ground flaxseed)
2 cups quick organic oats
3/4 - 1 cup dandelion petals (remove green base)
1 cup Chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Blend the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.
3. Beat eggs and mix into oil mixture.
4. Stir in the flour, flax, oatmeal, and dandelion petals. Add nuts if using them.
5. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
7. Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool.
8. Enjoy!

Dandelion Cookies

Dandelion Petals

Dandelion Wine

This wine is like harvesting the sunshine to be enjoyed during the cold winter months on special occasions.

3 quarts fresh dandelion blossoms with green base removed
1 gallon filtered water
2 organic oranges (zested and thinly sliced)
1 organic lemon (zested and thinly sliced)
3 pounds organic cane sugar
1 package wine yeast
1 pound organic golden raisins (optional)

1. Harvest the dandelion blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day, removing the green base.
2. Boil water and pour over the blossoms in a large pot. Cover and let steep for three to four days.
3. After three to fours days, zest the lemon and oranges and thinly slice them. Add the orange and lemon zest to the flower water mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, strain out solids, and dissolve sugar into hot, strained mixture and let it cool.
4. Add the orange and lemon slices, yeast, and raisins to the cooled liquid. Place flower water mixture into a big ceramic pot or crock pot and cover with a clean tea towel or cheese cloth held in place by a rubberband or a loose fitting lid. Check to make sure gas is able to escape. Leave mixture to sit for 2-8 days, checking to monitor its progess.
5. The sugar flower water mixture is ready when it has stopped bubbling and the fermentation process is complete. It is important to ensure fermentation is complete before bottling. Strain the liquid through clean tea towels or cheese cloth and transfer to sterilized bottles. Cork or seal bottles and store in a cool, dark location for a minimum of 6-7 months.
6. Enjoy Dandelion's bright, cheery effect in the dark, cold days of winter.

Dandelion Root Decoction

This is a nice coffee substitute, stimulating the digestion but not the nerves.

4 Tablespoons dried and roasted dandelion root
3 cups filtered water

1. Harvest roots in autumn.
2. Clean, slice and dry roots until almost crisp which can take up to 1- 2 weeks.
3. Roast dried roots in oven until dark brown (usually around 45 minutes - 2 hours at 250 -300F.
4. Cool and store in clean and dry glass jar until ready for use.
5. Prepare as a decoction, simmering chopped roots in water for 30- 60 minutes or until volume has reduced to half. Strain decoction. Add warm milk/cream and honey or maple syrup to taste. Enjoy!

Dandelion Green Salad

This is less bitter if mixed with other greens like violet leaves and flowers, spinach, chickweed and arugula.

Harvest fresh clean dandelion flowers and leaves and stems (less bitter in early spring).
Add to other harvested spring greens of choice.
Chop and enjoy with a nice apple cider garlic ginger vinegar dressing or healthy salad dressing of choice.

Dandelion Stir Fried Brown Rice (4-6 Servings)

This is a delicious, quick and easy one dish meal if you have brown rice left over from a previous day. We make brown rice in very large batches with these meals in mind.

2 onions (chopped)
1 cup dandelion blossoms (before they open)
1/2 cup dandelion greens (chopped)
1/2 cup Dandelion and/or Burdock root (cleaned and chopped)
4-6 cups cooked brown rice
4-6 eggs
Fresh green onion or chives (chopped) to sprinkle on top
1 - 2 Tablespoons Reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
Cayenne powder to taste
Olive oil or sesame oil

1. Harvest dandelion blossoms, greens and Dandelion and/or Burdock root.
2. Saute chopped onion, chopped roots and dandelion greens in oil.
3. Add eggs and cook until done to desired consistency.
4. Stir in cooked rice and dandelion blossoms.
5. Mix in tamari and cayenne (adding more or less to taste).
6. Sprinkle top with thinly sliced green onion.
Enjoy!

Dandelion Flower Tea

Enjoy this tea to help as a mild pain reliever for headaches, menstrual cramps and other achiness.

Harvest a handful of fresh dandelion flowers (two- four Tablespoons of loose petals)
Pour one to two cups of boiling water over flower petals.
Steep 15 minutes.
Strain and sweeten with honey as desired.
Sit and enjoy!
Enjoy!

Whole Plant Dandelion Vinegar

This highly nutritious vinegar will help stimulate the digestion and offer much needed vitamins and minerals if one is feeling depleted. Add a splash to steamed greens, raw greens, or drink it as a tonic mixed with a little honey and water.

Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Root
Dandelion Stems and Flowers
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Garlic cloves (optional)
Horseradish root (optional)
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Burdock root (optional)
Turmeric powder (optional)
Ginger root (optional)

1. Harvest and clean dandelion, horseradish, and burdock.
2. Chop all roots, herbs and spices that are being used into small pieces and put in clean glass jar. OR go to number 6.
3. Pour apple cider vinegar to completely cover; filling jar.
4. Cap, label and store away at room temperature for 4-6 weeks.
5. Strain and keep in refridgerator to use as needed.
OR
6. Place all ingredients in liquid vitamixer and blend. Pour into clean jar and place in refridgerator.
7. Splash on steamed greens or fresh green salad.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioca)

Nettle Infusion (Urtica dioca)

(Very nourishing tonic for fatigue and allergies when taken daily for a few weeks)

1 oz. dried nettle tops or leaves
1 quart boiling water

In heat proof quart jar, pour boiling water over nettle leaves and let infuse for 4-8 hours, or overnight. Strain and drink within 24-36 hours.

Chopped fresh Nettle tips and Lion's Mane mushrooms

Steamed Nettle tips with sauteed Lion's Mane mushrooms; topped with fresh Garlic Olive oil and Goat cheese

Steamed Nettle and Garlic

Basket of freshly picked Nettle tops (stems and leaves)
Garlic cloves (crushed)
Sea Salt to taste
Olive oil

Bring pot of water to a boil. Rinse nettles if needed. Chop nettles and place in steamer or strainer with lid. Steam for 5 minutes or until soft and bright green. Remove from water bath and drizzle olive oil, freshly pressed garlic and salt to taste. This is a delicious on it own with eggs and goat cheese or as a side to any meal. This is also the base for many other dishes.

Nettle Quiche (for 2 quiches)

2 previously prepared whole wheat crusts
1 large Onion chopped
4-6 Garlic cloves
Basket of Nettle tops or leaves, cut in small pieces (2-3 cups)
Sun dried tomatoes, cut in slivers
Mushrooms (freshly harvested Oyster, Lion's Mane or Wine Cap, or whatever you have) tear, slice or cut (Rehydrate mushrooms if using them dried and pat dry)
8 oz Grated Cheese of your choice (we use combination of Gouda and Goat cheese)
12-14 eggs depending on size
1/2 cup good quality cream
Olive oil
Herbs of your choice (Cayenne, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Parsley)
Prepare whole wheat crust ahead of time. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake crusts for 8 minutes so that crust is partially cooked (and will not be soggy when adding egg and veggie mixture).
Saute onions in olive oil until transluscent. Add chopped nettles, garlic, mushrooms, and herbs. Cook until nettles are soft and wilted. Meanwhile beat eggs, and cream together in large bowl with spout. Grate cheese and sprinkle some on bottom of crusts. Spread nettle mixture in each crust. Pour egg mixture over nettles and sprinkle the rest of the cheese. Garnish with sun dried tomatoes and any other herbs.

Place quiches in oven at 400 degrees F for 10- 15 minutes and then lower temperature to 325 degrees F for another 20-30 minutes (until quiche has set). Let quiches rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into them.

We serve this with Garlic-Herbed Potatoes and Vegetable- Herb Soup or a Green Salad of freshly picked in season greens:Arugula, Spinach, Dandelion, Violet, Plantain, and Lambs Quarter leaves. Yum!

Note: This can be made as a crustless quiche. Prepare in well oiled iron skillet following the directions above.

Easy Nettle and Potato Soup

Freshly picked Nettle tops (cleaned and chopped) 6cups
12 medium potatoes (quartered)
2 onions or leeks (diced)
4 carrots chopped
4-6 Chopped Garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
8 cups water or broth of your choice (can be a mixture of water and broth)
1-2 cups milk of your choice (or more if you like)
Olive oil
Herbs of your choice (parsley or chives)

Quarter potatoes and place in pot with 8 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil and add nettles tops. When potatoes begin soften, lower heat and let simmer. Meanwhile, saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add carrots and garlic and cook for another few minutes. Now smash potatoes and nettles in the liquid with a potato masher, making a chunky, thick soup. Add the onion and carrot mixture and stir. Add milk or cream and season to taste. Let simmer for another 10-20 minutes with lid off.

Nettle Chai

2 cups water
1/2 cup whole, non-homogenized milk
1/2 tsp organic cardamom powder or 2 green pods (cracked)
2-3 organic cloves
1 inch piece of Cinnamon stick/bark
3-4 Black peppercorns
2 slices of fresh peeled ginger
3-4 heaping Tablespoons nettle leaves
Local Honey or cane sugar (optional) to taste

Bring all ingredients (except sweetener) to a boil in a pot over medium heat. When this liquid comes to a boil, simmer or turn off heat and steep 15-20 minutes with lid. Add sweetener if desired. Strain tea with mesh strainer. This recipe makes two cups of Chai. Enjoy with loved ones or relish in some time to nurture yourself!

Elder (Sambucus nigra ssp canadensis)

Winter Wellness Elder Tea

1 teaspoon crushed elderberries (dried)
1 teaspoon each of elderflower, lemon balm or peppermint, yarrow flowers and leaves
Fresh Ginger slices to taste
Optional: Include a tsp of Echinacea flowers, stems and roots for extra support
1 cup boiling water
Raw wildflower honey to taste

Pour boiling water over herbs. Let herbal mixture steep for 30-45 minutes. Strain and drink 3-4 x /day, until fever breaks or until feeling well. I usually make a quart of this at a time and then store it in an insulated flask to drink throughout the day.

This tea can be enjoyed as a preventative and drank once a day or as a way to help heal when a full on infection has set in. It is nice to drink hot with a spoonful of raw wildflower honey.

Drink this tea at the first sign of infection (when you feel that tingly, cold sensation deep in the bones or notice a scratchy throat or feel feverish). If possible, take a warm bath after drinking the tea and rest, bundled up in several blankets to promote some heat and break into a sweat. Continue to drink the tea 3-4 x /day until well. Additionally, enjoy some Elderberry syrup or tincture of flowers and berries for more herbal support.

Elderberries

Cold Care Herbal Remedy

1/2-1 part Yarrow flowers (and young aerial parts) tincture
2 parts Elder Blossom tincture
3 parts Elderberry tincture (or syrup)
2-3 parts Echinacea root (and aerial parts if possible) tincture
Optional: Substitute the fresh Ginger tea for the hot water (if feverish)
Raw wildflower honey (for sore throat)

This is a powerful herbal remedy for sinus infections and colds and at the first sign of infection. Mix the tinctures by dropperfuls into a cup of very hot water (or hot Ginger Tea). Breathe deeply, inhaling the steam. Sip and savor and invite the healing to take place. Continue to drink the tea 3-4 x /day until starting to feel better, hopefully in 24-48 hours. Discontinue with Yarrow after fever has broken. Discontinue with Echinacea after 5-6 days. The Elderberry syrup would be safe to continue taking as a preventative in 1 tablespoon a day.

Nurturing Winter Wellness Tea

We prepare a house blend of herbs for seasonal wellness. Our winter wellness tea typically includes a mixture of the following herbs that are listed in the basic herbal blend recipe. I store this winter wellness blend in a large glass jar so it is very accessible and easy to include in a daily practice of tea time.

Use the herbs that you have and that grow around you; and experiment with combinations that you and your family likes. We usually start with a base blend of about 5-6 herbs at a time. We add different herbs as needed to individual cups of tea, such as one teaspoon of sage or thyme to the seasonal blend to help with opening the nasal passages. For a sore throat we might add licorice root. There are so many great herbal options to consider! (We also include slices of fresh ginger when confronted with viral infections).

Basic Recipe for winter herbal blend:
2 parts dried Alfalfa (or Comfrey leaves)
1 part dried Elderberries
1 part dried Elder flowers
1 part dried Calendula flowers
1 part of Milky Oat Tops/ Oat straw
1 part Red Clover Blossoms
Optional : Add 1 tsp dried Thyme, or Sage, or Hyssop (for sinus and throat care)
Another option: Echinacea root and flowers or Holy basil
Optional and highly recommended: Add fresh slices of Ginger (especially if feverish)
Optional: Raw wildflower honey (for sore throat)

Make your herbal blend. Use 1 -2 Tablespoons of herbal blend per cup hot water. Let herbal mixture steep for 30-45 minutes. Strain and drink 3-4 x /day if not feeling well or daily as a delicious seasonal tea for winter wellness at tea time.

Elder and Pine Sinus Relief Tea

2-3 Tablespoons Elderberries (dried)
3-4 Tablespoons Marshmallow root (dried)
4-6 Tablespoons fresh Pine Needles (cut into small pieces)

Place all herbs in a quart jar and cover with boiling water and let steep 6-8 hours or overnight. Strain and reheat when ready to serve.

This is a warm and full flavored herbal tea, with the soothing/grounding qualities of the marshmallow root and the uplifting qualities of the pine. The elderberries seem to balance the other two herbs. Very nice!

Elderberry Syrup (an all time favorite herbal remedy in our home)

2 cups dried elderberries
2 quarts water
Raw wildflower honey
Optional Fresh Ginger

Place elderberries in filtered water and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half in volume. Mash the berries to help bring out all the goodness. Cool a little and strain elderberry infusion into clean quart jars, leaving space to add the raw honey to taste. We usually make a syrup with ? honey and ? elderberry infusion. Mix well and keep refrigerated. Take 2-3 Tablespoons of this syrup alone or in hot water at the first sign of infection. Continue taking 3-4 times a day until well.

We usually make this syrup in October as we prepare for the flu season. The syrup lasts at least 3 months ( I am not sure because we finish it within that time). We often make a smaller batch in late January to keep us well for another few months. You could consider adding an infused elderberry/flower brandy or vodka to this syrup to help preserve it for longer and to enjoy the added benefits.

This can be included as a flu prevention by taking 1 tablespoon daily alone or in hot water as a tea. We also drink it as a cordial by adding a dropperful of Herbal Elderflower/berry infused brandy (tincture) to the Elderberry syrup with a little hot water. This is a delicious and nurturing way to end a winter evening and I highly recommend including this ritual as a daily practice to be well during the cold winter months. Note: When making this syrup, be sure to do it when you can air out your kitchen (and not before you have guests coming to stay), as the elderberries have a distinct odor that some people do not like.