I’ve been tinkering with herbs and flowers lately. Studying and learning the plants in my area, finding their uses, learning to identify them… It’s been fun.
But the main reason I’ve been deep into herbalism lately is that my daughter, since she was 2 years old, has said she wants to be a doctor. She has a strong desire to help people and she is very compassionate. So, in order to engage her in math and reading, I’ve been leveraging her passion to help, heal, and nurture through incorporating herbalism and herbal medicine into our lessons. It has forced me to have a deeper understanding of plant identification, herbal actions, and all the different components of herbal medicine. It has been a blast! She spent her quiet time Wednesday reading through my Rosemary Gladstar book. Yesterday, she brought me in a handful of plantain leaves and said, “Mama, I brought you some plantain medicine to use.” Then she told me about her desire to help people and be a healer. And my heart melted. I have finally found our bond! She is a wild and free spirit and she identifies much more with my visionary husband. But my girl shares my love of plant medicine. And it has been a joy to share that with her.
So for today’s math lesson, we discussed containers being empty, half full, full, measurements, ratios, etc. And this is why homeschooling is great. We harvested some star of Bethlehem flower and made a floral essence.
It’s really simple. The methods of extraction are boiling, or you can dry the blooms for later use. You bring your rinsed blooms to a boil in clean fresh water (distilled is ideal) and reduce it by about half. This part requires careful observation so as not to burn it…which I have done. But this was finally successful!
It tastes a bit like vanilla extract, but much lighter and mild. It’s quite pleasant. Star of Bethlehem is used to treat chronic depression, grief, anxiety, trauma, and cardiac issues relating to CHF (congestive heart failure) due to its diuretic properties. It is contraindicated for those on medications for heart issues or for depression as it can interact with them. It’s also contraindicated for use in conjunction with antibiotics as the antibiotics can increase absorption of its key constituents and cause irregular heartbeat. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers. Proceed with caution.
**this information is not intended to treat, diagnose any medical condition**