As 2016 comes to a close, we reflect on the past year and all that’s happened here at the Herbal Academy.
We’ve continued to add to our team, launch new courses, and offer physical products in our herbal Goods Shop. We’ve also enjoyed connecting with students in our courses, in The Herbarium, and through our social media channels.
2016 has been a great year for us, but it wouldn’t have been possible without you, our readers, subscribers, and students! We value your opinions and your participation in all that we do, and we look forward to providing even more of what you need in the coming year.
With that said, today, we’d like to highlight some of the best content from the Herbal Academy blog over this past year. These are the top 20 posts that readers have enjoyed and shared during 2016.
The Best of The Herbal Academy Blog In 2016
The many violets in eastern North America love to cross breed, making their identification difficult with over 40-50 species depending on how you count. When it comes to their medicinal properties, they are, for the most part, interchangeable. Come explore the health benefits of violets, some folklore surrounding this plant, and how to use it in this post!
Herbalists are always gathering things, be they herbs, jars, or books. Sometimes, it’s the constant search for more information, various ways of using the herbs, and the wisdom of those that have gone before us. However, you don’t always have to pay for great herbal information. There’s much wisdom to be found in the various free herbal resources available to us these days. Get access to 25 free herbal resources that can help you grow as an herbalist right here in this post!
You’ll know it’s late summer when you see the beautiful and stately goldenrod plant gracing the yards, meadows, and waste spaces. There’s so much to say about goldenrod that it’s hard to know where to begin. In this post, you’ll learn about some health benefits of this great herb and get a recipe for a tasty goldenrod tea to try as well!
Learn how to identify plants in the mint family as well as how to use them for improved health through the use of herbal remedies. Not only will you learn several common herbs in the mint family, but you’ll also learn how to identify them in the wild, the actions they have in the body, and how to use these plants in three easy-to-make herbal recipes.
If you’ve ever wished you could stock your herbal apothecary with only a handful of herbs or wanted to focus on selecting herbs that can be used in a wide variety of ways, try some pine. Pine, especially pine needles, is an herb that fits this criteria just perfectly. It’s an herb with a lot of uses for your health and your home, and thankfully, it isn’t hard to come by. Learn 8 different ways you can use it right now!
There’s something about lip balm that makes kids want to roll up too much lip balm, squish it onto their lips, and then maybe even take a bite because it smells so good. And after all that, they want to share their lip balm with you! If you aren’t into sharing lip balm with your kiddos, why not make them their own fruity lip balm that they can keep all to themselves? Learn how to do it in this post! Your kids will love it!
Glycerites are sweet herbal tinctures which use vegetable glycerin to extract the medicinal constituents and flavor from an herb. They are a good alternative for children, animals, and adults when palatability and alcohol sensitivities are primary considerations. While not as potent as alcohol-based tinctures, glycerites are still quite effective—certainly more so than trying to administer a dose of alcohol-based tincture to a tight-lipped child! Learn how to make your own herbal glycerites in this post.
Oatmeal is not just great for breakfast in the morning, it’s also really great for soothing all sorts of irritated and/or itchy skin issues. Oats are naturally hydrating to the skin and release milky emollients that can soothe the itchiest of problems. Plus, oatmeal baths are great for sensitive skin! Learn more about how to make a soothing oatmeal bath and use it to ease dry, itchy skin any time of the year here.
Seed cycling integrates different seeds into the diet at different times in the menstrual cycle to support optimal hormonal balance. The idea is that seeds carry certain oils, vitamins, and nutrients that can help support the body’s production, release, and metabolism of hormones. These seeds are used in rotation on a monthly basis. Learn more about seed cycling and how it can support healthy hormone balance in this post.
With all the conflicting information out there about children and aromatherapy, it’s easy to feel confused. Let the information in this post help you to feel confident about using essential oils for children safely.
There are many well-known herbal flowers such as…lavender, chamomile, Ccalendula…all very popular in any herbal arsenal. But one flower that is often overlooked and kept in the “for decoration only” category is the beautiful, fragrant rose. Learn how to make and use rose water in this post!
Have you noticed tubes of herb paste in the fresh produce department of your grocery store and wondered if there was an advantage to using an herbal paste over fresh or dried herbs? The truth is, it’s not really a matter of better or best. Herbal pastes complement the more traditional fresh-or-dried approach. Even though dried herbs are still a great option for cooking, the flavor profile of plants does change once they are dry. Sometimes, then, what you really want for a recipe is a bit of something fresh. Learn how to make your own herbal pastes here.
If you’re looking for an easy herbal remedy to ease pain, this warming ginger cayenne salve is a great option. Not only is it 100% natural, but it doesn’t smell terrible and really works to help ease pain, especially back and nerve pain. Get the recipe and step-by-step directions here.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to use products with plant-based ingredients then you may want to craft your own natural bug repellent with essential oils and other simple ingredients. Essential oils are volatile chemicals stored in plant structures and are released by the plants to attract pollinators, repel predators, and other purposes. Learn which essential oils you can use to make your own DIY natural bug repellent for the warm summer months in this post!
This post explores considerations to help you choose high quality essential oils. What should you look for? How can you guarantee an essential oil is pure? What does that even mean? What about cost? We invite you to learn how to choose an essential oil here and then join us weekly for additional articles on topics ranging from essential oil safety, using essential oils in herbalism, and carrier oils. Learn how to choose high quality essential oils here.
One of the best ways to receive the benefits of herbs as well as alleviate dry skin is through the creation of a healing salve. The skin is one of the largest gateways on the body to receive actions of the plants. This time of year, dryness, and irritation can be prevalent due to the weather’s icy bite and moisture-sapping indoor heat. Learn how to make a healing salve here.
There’s a lot of misinformation on the web concerning the use of essential oils, especially when it comes to topical use and use with children. This post will help you look a little closer at essential oils, how to safely use them, and FDA regulations concerning essential oil marketing.
Herbal infused oils have a wide variety of uses but are most often used in cooking or in bath and skin care products. There are many herbs you can choose from, depending on your intended use, and there are a few ways to go about making herbal infused oils using medicinal and nutritional herbs. Learn these methods and get some great starter recipes in this post.
Cold and flu season is at its peak right now, and it hits hard and fast. While prevention is the best defense, what do we do when symptoms hit? Some of us prepare for the cold and flu season in the fall by starting our fire ciders and tinctures to support health at the onset, but what if you find you don’t have the herbs you need? Luckily, there are plenty of herbs you can buy at your local supermarket to alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of colds and flu. Learn more about using home herbal remedies for cold and flu season right here.
Most of us know turmeric (Curcuma longa) as the vibrant orange powder located in the spice section between thyme and vanilla beans, but turmeric (also known as the “Golden Goddess”) is also known for its generous healing to a wide range of ailments. Traditional Ayurvedic use includes turmeric as healing agent for skin abrasions, GI tract inflammation, aches and pains, and liver disorders, while modern research confirms the anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of turmeric. Learn more about turmeric’s herbal actions and uses, plus get some great turmeric recipes, in this post.