Monthly Archives: January 2023
Garlic is so good for you!! I’m a big fan of putting garlic in nearly everything – my husband isn’t so much. But we compromise. I love the Fire Cider that makes good use of garlic among other healthy herbs. I take a shot of that most every day for digestive help and to strengthen my immunity. It works really well because even though I’m battling chronic pain, I don’t get many colds. When you battle a chronic illness your inner reserves become depleted which is why I try everything I can to be sure I can stay healthy.
The following information was compiled by me for part of my final in the Advanced Herbal Studies course at The Herbal Academy. It was a really tough course! It taught me so much and I’m so glad to have done it. This information isn’t intended to take the place of a doctor and is only meant to be educational. Always talk to your doctor before you start.
Allium sativum L Garlic
Ayurvedic / TCM Name: Da Suan
Parts Used: Bulb (sometimes the stalk or scapes)
Native Region: Central Asia
Geographic Distribution: Mild climates globally
Botanical Description: Bulb growing underground with several individual cloves, with stalk/leaves coming out of the ground up to 2 feet or so.
Harvesting Guidelines: Harvest scapes before flowering, harvest the bulbs when the leaves begin to brown and fall over.
Constituents ORGANOSULFUR compounds such as alliin, B vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and enzymes including alliinase.
Uses: Garlic reduces serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels while raising levels of high-density (good) cholesterol. Garlic’s antioxidant properties help prevent the peroxidation of fats. Garlic may have cancer-preventative properties, especially against cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. It is an effective treatment for ringworm and as a suppository for pinworm. (Hoffmann, 2003)
Many authors quote many diseases this is good for, but conceal its vices. Its heat is very vehement, and all vehement hot things send up but ill-favored vapors to the brain. It voids tough phlegm, purges the head, kills worms in children, it is a good preservative against, and a remedy for any plague, sore, or foul ulcers. (Culpepper/Foster 1653/2019)
Hypertension, immune system support, colds and flu, fungal infections, bacterial infections, bronchial congestion, asthma, dysentery, and insulin resistance (De la Forêt, 2017)
Known as da suan in China, garlic is used to treat hookworms. Garlic helps to regulate blood sugar and can be helpful in late-onset diabetes. (Ody, 2017)
“They promote expectoration, sweat, urine, powerfully, are useful in catarrhs, disorders of the breast, flatulent colics, hysterical complaints, the dropsy… An ointment of garlic resolves and discusses cold tumours, and helps cutaneous diseases.” (Stearns, 1801)
Actions: antimicrobial, diaphoretic, hypotensive, antispasmodic, chalogoge, hypocholesteremic, circulatory stimulant, alterative, stimulating expectorant, carminative, vermifuge
Preparations Dosage & Safety: Therapeutic doses may work against anticoagulant medications. Use caution before and after surgical
procedures (Hoffmann, 2003)
Garlic oil can be a skin irritant. It should be avoided if the condition involves hot, dry symptoms and can deplete body fluids (Ody, 2017)
Garlic should not be taken in therapeutic doses during pregnancy and lactation. (Ody, 2017)
Dosage: 1-2 cloves per day
Tinctures, dried, oil, vinegar, honey, powder, tea Maceration: steep 3-4 garlic cloves in water or milk overnight and next day drink the liquor for intestinal parasites (Ody, 2017)
Energy: Warming, drying
Notes / References
Medical Herbalism; The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. David Hoffmann, FNIMH, AHG. 2003)
Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, Edited by Steven Foster. First published by Nicholas Culpeper 1653, edited by Foster 2019.
Alchemy of Herbs; Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies that Heal. Rosalee De La Forêt, 2017.
The Complete Medicinal Herbal; A Practical Guide to the Healing Properties of Herbs. Penelope Ody, 2017.
The American Herbal or Materia Medica, Samuel Stearns, L.L.D., 1801)
I am so excited to share!
I created a mushroom foraging journal (with Hilltop Arts) and used one of my photographs as the cover.
There is plenty of detail on the pages including location and GPS coordinates! I have been wanting to forage for mushrooms but haven’t yet because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to document my excursions. I’ve studied mushrooms, although not as much as I have with herbs – but this will help me progress in my knowledge.
And the best part – – it’s available on AMAZON! (along with many other books and journals by Hilltop Arts.)
Happy Mushroom Foraging!
This is a really personal blog about my own struggle with chronic pain. What’s it like being an herbalist who has chronic pain? Difficult!
On the one hand, I’m blessed to have the knowledge to find a solution for myself, and the ability to mix formulas that might be effective, and on the other hand, I feel like a failure as an herbalist because my pain doesn’t always respond to the plan. What’s causing my pain? I have a nerve that was entrapped in the abdominal wall during one of my many surgeries. It’s been resected once and ablated several times to no effect. I’m out of options so I’m working to manage it myself. Which is hard to do when any movement at all seems to make it worse.
I’m constantly tracking my pain spikes in order to remove potential triggers, but unfortunately, there don’t have to be any triggers to cause me pain – I’m in the middle of a horrible one right now. I use the pain-tracking journal I created through my husband and my company, Hilltop Arts. You can see it here on Amazon.
I’ve just started hemp seed oil, and I’ll let you know if I like it. This is the brand I’m trying out: Nature’s Truth and it’s in liquid form, 59ml per bottle. (Amazon doesn’t have it, I got mine from Pipingrock.com) I have to be extremely careful to only get pure hemp oil because I can’t eat/ingest nuts because they cause my vertigo to flare – which I definitely don’t need on top of a pain spike.
Today, I’m remaking my pain tincture, I have an Ongrok that helps me make a tincture in about four hours instead of having it macerate for 4-6 weeks so it’s easier to modify the formula. If you don’t know what an Ongrok is you can check it out here. It has changed my herbal life for the better and makes me feel much more productive. I’ve created a formula including wild lettuce, medowsweet, chamomile, California poppy, and a couple of other things, it’s a variation on a formula that worked somewhat so I’m finetuning it.
Pain is depressing and it really helps to have a great support system behind you and to stay productive. Even if your productivity involves ticking just one thing off your to-do list, it will help I promise. For me, I get up every morning, and go to work – I’m not always up in the office working, sometimes I’m on the couch or at the dining room table, but I’m busy. Keeping your mind active is a good distraction from pain. I write journals, write blogs, and novels (no, nothing’s ready yet), work with my herbs, work with the laser cutter and CNC/3d printer (although not as much as I should), do photography, try to make art, and read. In the growing season, I’m always checking what might be edible in my little forest, which gives me joy. I’m blessed with a great support system in my family and friends.
Since physical activity – any physical activity – increases my pain, I have to try and be a little active anyway. I need to really try hard to do the treadmill more this year, not calling it a resolution, it’s just something I need to do.
And one more thing… talk to a friend, an understanding doctor, your mom/sister/brother/father, and so on. Being chronically ill is isolating and it doesn’t have to be. Email me, and let’s start a conversation.
Thanks for listening.