Learn some of Possum Creek Herb Farm's favorite fixes for bumps, bruises, sniffles and keeping pesky bugs from biting at Keeping the Farm Family Healthy workshops April 3 and May 1. Michelle Brown and Pat Stewart will discuss medicinal herbs and their uses. For registration information and fees, call 718-3533 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDICINAL HERBS (for slideshow)
* Yarrow: An anti-inflammatory agent.
* Hollyhock: The flowers are used in the treatment of respiratory and inflammatory ailments.
* Garlic: Effective in lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and in boosting the immune system. It is a natural pesticide against mosquito larvae.
* Chives: Can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
* Bugloss: Roots and stems can be used as an expectorant.
* Borage: Preparations made from seed oil have a use in soothing and relieving inflammations associated with respiratory disorders.
* Foxglove: Used in the treatment of congestive heart failure.
Plants can be decorative and delectable, and some, such as herbs, can be healing.
Michelle Brown, founder of Possum Creek Herb Farm in Soddy-Daisy, said she uses elderberry, echinacea, chamomile, peppermint and dill almost daily. She offered the following information on these five favorites.
1. Elderberry. The fruit of the elder can be eaten dried or cooked. The berries can be made into jelly. Dried berries can be made into a tincture or tea. Elderberries contain a high amount of antioxidant, which lends itself to flu prevention. Elderberry syrup can be given to children. Berries can be harvested when they turn dark purple to black. It grows well along a woods line in the shade of hardwood trees.
2. Echinacea. Also known as coneflower, this plant's flower, leaves and roots are used medicinally. Tea or tincture is usually the best way to absorb the constituents. It can be used to improve the immune system during cold and flu season, but is not recommended for long-term use. Coneflowers grow well in the South because of the dry summers. It's a nice landscape plant.
3. Chamomile. It is considered one of the best medicinal herbs for use with children. A very soothing tea to be given near bedtime quiets a child before bed. This low-growing, ferny plant produces white daisy-like blooms in spring. It grows best in semi-shady areas.
4. Peppermint. It works best as a tea to soothe the stomach after a large meal, and its fresh leaves can be nibbled to freshen breath. The plant grows well in shady, moist areas.
5. Dill. Designated the Herb of the Year for 2010 by the International Herb Association, dill is used to calm colic in babies and small children when used as a tea. Seeds and foliage can be made into tea.
For more information on herbs, visit possumcreekherb.com.