Updated: Nov 1, 2021
I’m getting so inspired by those of you who’ve tried the Summer Sunshine Kit and last winter’s Winter Wellness Kits. You say you want to know more. About the herbs, about the process for growing and producing them.
I’m sitting in the garden writing this, and I thought I’d honor your many requests to share how the work there translates into the wonderful medicine that Mother Earth has so generously bestowed on us.
As you know, the garden has been a big part of my own journey to and with, wellness. It’s in the garden that I get in my sunshine time, and my meditation time with the plants. Sunshine, and meditation. I let the garden speak to me. I let the plants speak to me.
And I’ve realized that many of the plants I’ve been growing all summer are going to be perfect for this season’s Winter Wellness Kit! So, let me tell you about the plants that are in some of you folks’ most favorite products:
Hibiscus Cold-Brew Tea -
Some folks have been holding on to this. I want to let you know that this amazing tea is also wonderful brewed hot!
How to Use It
Hibiscus can pivot with grace into the winter, as it is full of warming properties that help digestion.
Hibiscus is also a mild diuretic. It helps flush toxins out of the kidneys and bladder. I take this tea in the midday or early evening. I avoid drinking it late in the evening because of the aforementioned diuretic properties.
This time of year, the hibiscus is SO beautiful. I learned a lot about the plant and saved some seeds so that I can grow this annual again next year.
Hibiscus is part of the okra family and the plant itself is just fabulous! Bees and birds were all over the hibiscus this summer - they are very nice pollinators.
Now, Auntie Caryl’s tea also has mint in it. Mint is a plant that likes cool weather. That’s why it is one of the first perennial herbs to show up in spring.
We love mint for its deliciousness as a tea and its beautiful aroma whether it’s fresh or dry. Mint is also a digestive aid.
It’s a lovely scent throughout the process of harvesting and drying -- and preparing the Kits. Now that the heat of summer is gone, mint is poking its head back up out of the soil. So, there should be a good winter crop as well. Yay for winter wellness!
This tea is wonderful with a little bit of honey - or straight.
One of the other herb blends that people are saying they want more of is the “barbecue” rub. Originally created for summer vegetables, the backbone ingredients - parsley, sage, and rosemary - grew so nicely that I’m going to add this popular blend to the winter kits as well. And these herbs have many properties that also support winter wellness.
How to Use It
I found myself using this mixture a lot this summer on roasted potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes -- dishes I cooked in the oven. So I realized this versatile blend is not just great on the grill! Try it!
To use it, I tend to crunch it up into smaller pieces, sprinkle it over veggies that I have sprayed with a light coating of oil. I toss the veggies with the rub. Then I throw it in the oven, and at the end I’ve got a beautifully seasoned dish of fresh vegetables.
Parsley was abundant this year in Gratitude Garden. The sage and rosemary, both perennials, may have grown even bigger. The rosemary was tall and tender and fragrant. Just beautiful!
Lemon Balm Elixir
This wellness product has been getting the best reviews! It is made with honey, lemon balm, ginger. It’s perfect for calming body and nerves with its peaceful energy.
Lemon balm is also in the mint family. Just like the mint, the lemon balm is up and happy in Gratitude Garden right now.
The ginger calms the digestive system.( I sourced this year’s ginger from the Chesapeake Foundation’s Claggett Farm. The young ginger was just beautiful this year -- white and pink -- gorgeous!) So, the elixir is really relaxing, calming, a perfect after-dinner sipper.
How to Use It
We take a tablespoon in a cup of tea, but a tablespoon straight from the bottle is fine. It’s delicious all by itself, and powerful for balancing the body -- in a gentle way.
This blend of mullein and lavender is my magic medicine.
Mullein, one of my favorite plants, originally came to the garden as a volunteer.
It’s a bi-annual, living for 2 years before departing, leaving behind seeds for its next generation.
It’s amazing for relaxing the bronchial tubes and lungs. I used it all through the COVID pandemic, especially when coming home after being out with people. I have strong faith in the Breathe-In, and the power of the mullein to relax your entire respiratory system.
How to Use It
Put about 4 tablespoons of the Breathe-In blend in a bowl and pour hot water over it to make a steam bath. Then cover your head with a towel to keep the steam inside, bend over the bowl and breathe in, for as long as the water stays warm.
This will clear out your nasal passages, throat, and lungs in a most refreshing way.
So as I look out at this garden, I remember that some of the plants were grown from seeds planted in February and March of 2020, at the start of Auntie Caryl’s Herbs & Art. These plants are coming back through their life cycle and giving me the seeds for 2022. Others are perennials I’ve had in the garden for years.
I know the plants. We’ve been communing all season. They’ve grown for me, for you, for healing, for the earth, from the earth. I’m happy to be able to share them with you.