Echinacea, the Coneflower, the Herb

Echinacea is a very popular herb but what does it do?

People who use this herb regularly says it helps your immune system to fight against colds and flu.

All species of this herbal remedy have compounds called phenols. Many plants contain phenols, active substances that control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors, and protect the plant from infections and ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage. Phenols have antioxidant properties, which may be good for human health.

Echinacea also contains alkylamides or alkamides, (not in Echinacea pallida), which have an effect on the immune system, as well as polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid derivatives.  Several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its leaves, flower, and root. Echinacea was used in traditional herbal remedies by the Great Plains Indian tribes.

Echinacea also seems to contain some chemicals that can attack yeast and other kinds of fungi directly.

Making Echinacea tea is simple.  You can purchase Echinacea roots and leaves at  https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/echinacea-roots-and-leaves.  

  • Measure out two teaspoons into an empty tea bag or your favorite tea diffuser.
  • Bring water to a boil then let the herb steep for up to 20 minutes. Drink cold or hot.
  • Add local honey for a super-immune boost and enjoy. Texas Raw Honey

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-981/echinacea
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252684
https://www.healthline.com/health/echinacea-tea-benefits#diy

 

Build your Immune System, code Staywell

There are many things we can all do to help protect ourselves from flu, virus and general illness. It does take effort and change.  So here are a few herbs and spices that you can incorporate into your diet to boost your body.

It is very important to use the herbal intervention 3 to 5 times a day, regularly, especially until the season has passed, or you are well.

Elderberry, elderberry, elderberry – We know that the brightly pigmented berries are a source of anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid also found in blueberries, raspberries and bilberries. The fruit is best taken as an elderberry supplement in the early stages of seasonal challenges to support immune function.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/elderberry/

Raw Honey – it is good if it can be local but to fight illness the most important factor is that it is raw. Raw honey has very strong antibacterial benefits. Honey activates the immune system’s response to infection and prevents cell proliferation.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/infused -raw-honey/

Elderberry Honey – Now here is the titan two together!  Raw Honey infused with fresh elderberries from the Midwest of the United States.  The combination of these two immune boosters are delicious.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/elderberry/

Echinacea – This is a flower that most recognize but may not know it as Echinacea.  It is known as the “coneflower”. It grows commonly in many gardens and landscapes. You can purchase supplements, but we love offering fresh grown and dried echinacea by the ounce. Add it to elderflower or elderberry as an herbal tea.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/echinacea-roots-and-leaves/

Oregano – Oregano has enjoyed an equally long history of supporting a healthy immune response. A natural antioxidant source, Oregano contains phytochemicals that support the body’s natural resistance. Oregano’s volatile oils help support the healthy microbiome in the intestines and a healthy immune response.  My personal experience tells me this works so well. It also supports healthy digestive flora and is a natural antioxidant.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/oregano-greek/

Garlic – many of us use it in our foods daily.  Garlic is powerful! It’s thought to stimulate the immune system and boost the efficacy of white blood cells. If you are sick increase your intake of garlic. Make a super garlick-y soup (don’t skimp on the bone broth, either), eat a couple of raw garlic cloves, roast a garlic bulb, or pack it into a jar of honey and let it sit for a few weeks to infuse. For the garlic honey, don’t wait till your sick to make it.  Once it is made, it keeps forever.  So make it now so its ready when you need it most.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/spices/

Ginger – powerful antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory.  Add it to your regular hot or cold tea and drink away.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/ginger/

Cold & Flu Tea – This is a staple in my house.  I typically start drinking this tea at the first inkling of a symptom (like scratching throat, sniffling or sneezing) and it truly helps my body fight off cold or flu.  At this point I am drinking two cups a day as a preventive, just trying to energize my body and strengthen my immune system.  See the ingredients here: https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/cold-flu-tea/

There are so many herbs and spices that are helpful to our health. Cinnamon, turmeric, hot peppers and so much more.  Whatever you want to choose see the website for the full catalog of what we carry.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/

Remember, help yourself to be prepared for any illness you may encounter; eat lots of fruit and veggies, wash your hands, stay away from big crowds and include some of the herbs and spices that add benefits to your body.

We want to help so here is a code to use at checkout: Staywell

 

 

 

 

Fall Container Gardens – Hard to Find Medicinal Herbs, Let’s Plant

It is August and is now typically Texas HOT and I’m talking about gardening.  We have just put out a limited amount of beautiful medicinal herb plants to use as container gardening for this fall and winter.  I want to tell you about them.  They are beautiful for container planting, some of them are so fragrant and all of them are helpful.

First let me tell you about the few plants we have in one gallon pots.  They are already of a nice size so put into a lovely pot these are ready to make a statement now.

GYNURA SPINACH – aka longevity spinach. Research shows that it is an efficient regulator of blood sugar.  Leaves eaten in salads or cooked in dishes, may lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

This is a fast growing plant. Is vining in nature but can be cut to bush.  It is a good candidate for growing indoors as it is a tropical. It is easy to grow, just give them lots of light. You can enjoy these leaves raw or cooked. They are very high in protein.  Good for vegetarians to know.
Med - gynura spinach - Copy

WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA – I am so excited about this plant!! White Chrysanthemum Tea – Chinese Gong Ju Hua Cha, is made form the dried flowers of this plant.  Did you know all Chrysanthemum flowers are edible?  They are!

An evergreen and hardy to 0 degrees. Flowering occurs in the fall in zone 7.  The plant prefers full sun, well drained soils and frequent watering.

The flowers are steeped in hot water and a herbal tea is made.  This is highly medicinal and thought to help reduce inflammation in the body, help with eye problems like – blurred vision, spotty vision, watery eyes and maybe even help with cataracts. May help with high cholesterol, blood pressure and alleviate cold symptoms.
Med - White Chry Tea

CURRY TREE – this smells delightful!!! This is another great container tree.  In a container it will grow about 3’ in height.  It likes to be fed and pruned for a strong bushy plant  Unless you live in zone 9 or higher the container is the way to go.  It can be outside here all summer and then moved indoors for the winter.

The leaves are thick so normally always fried in oil alone before adding any other spices to the dish.  Make a pesto or use on your BBQ.  Experiment with this one.  A beautiful fragrant plant.  A conversation piece for sure.
Med - Curry Tree - Copy

TEA TREE – we are all familiar with Tea Tree Oil, well this is the tree it comes from.

The tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a small evergreen that likes warm climates. It is attractive and fragrant, with an exotic look. The oil from the foliage of this tree is widely used.  Melaleuca tea trees attract attention in your garden, with the trunk being one of the most attractive features is the trunk, with its gorgeous, papery bark.  Living here in Texas where it is mostly warm it can be planted in the gardens.  This can also be grown in containers and is a good way to control the rapid growth of this tree. This also ensures its survival. It must have a lot of sunlight.  This is a fast-growing tree.  It takes a few years before you will see the flowers.

It is recommended you don’t plant this tree outside unless you live in a zone 8 or above. The trees need sun, sun, sun.  They will not do well in the shade. Make sure the soil drains easily. These trees like water.  You need to keep that soil a bit moist at all times.

It is an evergreen and can grow 8 to 15 feet and does like the Texas heat.  It is cold hardy to at least 16 degrees.  It is used in products like soap, toothpaste, oils, etc. Anti-fungal/bacterial.
Med - Tea Tree

The following plants I have in 4″ pots.
HIBISCUS “ROSELLE”
Hibiscus Roselle This bushy shrub can grow 4 to 7’ tall in t he ground but is also a good candidate for container growing. Water the soil when it becomes dry to the touch. To reiterate, water only enough to make the soil moist, not wet. It is critical to use the right type of fertilizer. The fertilizer needs to be one with low phosphorus, moderate nitrogen, and high potassium. Fertilize every two to three weeks.

The calyx is harvested and steeped to make a tea.  Hibiscus Roselle tea is reported to lower blood pressure and lower your LDL cholesterol. This may be worth trying. The beautiful tea is red in color and tastes delicious.  Hibiscus tea does not contain caffeine and is reported to help you relax, making it a good drink for those that are sensitive to caffeine.

ZA’ATAR – this is a wild oregano in Israel. It is in the oregano/thyme family.  This is also called the bible hyssop. This herb can be put into a delicious olive oil to enjoy dipping a fresh crusty bread in. It can be used as an herb in many culinary dishes.  Commonly used in Mediterranean dishes with yogurt, meats and veggies.

TOOTHACHE PLANT – Acmella Oleracea – It has daisy like flowers in the summertime.  It has been used medicinally for a long time. It has been used been used for generations to manage the pain of toothaches. Both the leaves and the attractive golden flowers can be used as a natural anesthetic. Simply chew the leaves or flowers for a few seconds then you’ll experience a tingling and numbing sensation in your mouth. An infusion or tincture made from the Toothache Plant is said to promote gum and throat health due to its strong antibacterial properties. Also called Spilanthes oleracea.

This herb is a good candidate for container growing.  It gets to about 18” tall, fast grower and takes well to pruning.  It needs a lot of light but don’t overwater.  Wait until the soil is dry to the touch then water. Provides pretty yellow flowers. Enjoy this one.
Med - toothache plant - Copy

ST. JOHNS WORT – This plant is widely known as an herbal treatment for depression. Research indicates St. John’s wort is most often used as a dietary supplement for depression. People also use it as a dietary supplement for other conditions, including menopausal symptoms, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-disorder. It is used topically for wound healing.  The flowering tops of St. John’s wort are used to prepare teas, tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. Topical preparations are also available.  This plant likes a lot of water. Is a small shruby plant.

Easy to grow it is not too particular.  Gets to about 3’ tall and provides yellow flowers in the  summer time.
Med - St Johns - Copy

HOLY BASIL, RAMA TULSI – We have two types of Holy Basil – Rama Tulsi – True Holy Basel, held sacred by the Hindus.  Enjoy in tea, cooking, and salads. Both of the Holy Basil (Tulsi) have a delightful fragrance.  I enjoy them very much for that one benefit alone.  They have been very easy for me to grow and will be a delight to have in your indoor herb garden.

It has been used in Ayurveda medicine for generations. This variety has been found to be one of the highest in medicinal compounds; adaptogenic, antifungal, antibacterial and immune enhancing. Enjoy a tea, tincture, extract or syrup.
Med - Holy basil rama.jpg

HOLY BASIL, KRISHNA TULSI – It acts like an annual, and is even known to self-seed in temperate climates, which is quite unusual for basil.  Eat one fresh leaf daily, or pick the leaves and flowers and dry them and make the tea. Most excellent. Adaptogenic, immune enhancing, antifungal and antibacterial.

This is easiest of all Tulsi types to grow in temperate gardens and is highly aromatic. Enjoy this too in your kitchen herb garden.  Enjoy this in your kitchen garden in the winter and set out on your porch the rest of the year.  Keep the flowers cut for a bushier plant with a lot more foliage.

Come out and get these hard to find plants and have them for this fall and winter.