~Milk & Honey Herbs is a small, diversified, family-owned business in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. We believe that community health and ecological health are intrinsically connected and hope that Milk & Honey Herbs positively contributes to both~
First wild food forage of the spring!💚💚💚 Yellow Dock leaves (Rumex obtusifolia), Dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale), Wild Garlic (Allium vineale), and Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)- YUM! I’m making a pesto, of course. Recipe below!
Spring Greens Pesto
Garlic Mustard- 2 cups
Wild Garlic leaves- 1 cup (can use Chives instead)
Dock leaves- 1/2 cup
Dandelion leaves- 1/4 cup
Olive oil- 1/2 cup
Pine nuts- 1/2 cup (can also use walnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds)
sea salt- 1/2 tsp
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth consistency. Use as a dip, on crackers, on pasta, meat, sandwiches, eggs- just about anything! Also, this is Kitchen Medicine, meaning feel free to play around with this recipe to suit your taste and spring greens you have available! Pesto is endlessly adaptable- that’s one of the best things about it!
#springgreens #wildfood #foraging #wildfoodlove #pesto #kitchenmedicine #foodasmedicine #dandelion #yellowdock #wildgarlic #garlicmustard #kitchenwitch #milkandhoneyherbs
In my happy place with Willow!✨✨✨ So, I’m thinking about creating a Patreon to seek further support for my work, recipe creation, social media, and blog! If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an online platform that allows you to support a creator by making monthly contributions and in exchange you get different rewards! If I created one, would you be interested in being a supporter? What kind of rewards would you want? Some things I’m thinking about- a monthly materia medica study group, ebooks or recipes, tallow balm and maybe seasonal product boxes, access to my online spice rack medicine course, mini online courses, and online meet-ups/monthly lectures on different herbal topics for patreons. What am I missing? What excites you the most about my work? Why are you following me and what is your favorite thing about my content? Thanks everyone for the opportunity to reach-out about this. It’s vulnerable, but also feels like a necessary step. And thank you so much to all of you who already support me on here just by showing-up😌💚✨ #patreon #communitysupportedherbalism #milkandhoneyherbs
Is there anything more amazing than welcoming back all the plant bbs after their long winter’s rest? I firmly believe in the personhood of plants and seeing them each spring is like re-uniting with an old friend 💚 It’s basically the best. Pictured here are some of my absolute favorites- Nettles (Urtica dioica), Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), Violet (Viola odorata), Motherwort (Leonaris cardiaca), and Cleavers (Gallium aparine)✨✨✨ What plant friends are you the most excited about welcoming back??? #herbalallies #plantfriends #nettles #mugwort #violet #motherwort #cleavers #spring #bioregionalherbalism #milkandhoneyherbs
: : Harvesting Barks : : This time of year I always get lots of questions about harvesting barks, and for those of you who can't make it to the tree walk tomorrow, I thought I'd offer this little primer!
This is best done in the spring as the sap is rising and the plants are sending nutrients up to their budding leaves, and can also be done in the fall when the whole process is happening in reverse! There are a few different methods of harvesting bark.
1) If you harvest young branches, the bark can be easily scraped off with a knife. The outer bark layer will be tender and non-woody and the inner, green cambium layer (the medicinal part) will be attached to it and they will come-off together. It’s fine to dry it like this (or make medicine with it), rather than trying to separate the two layers. The young outer bark is not harmful and is so tender itself that it really doesn’t weaken the medicine enough to worry about separating it from the inner cambium layer.
2) You can simply use clippers to cut young, very thin branches into small little pieces and dry or process for medicine that way. In this method you’re getting a little wood with your harvest but because the branches are so thin it’s a very small wood: bark ratio and again it’s not enough to dilute the medicine so much that it won’t still work. I frequently use this method because of the ease of processing for drying or medicine-making and also because it has a fairly small impact on the tree.
3) You can harvest the mature bark from trees using a draw-knife. This is more advanced, and care must be taken never to girdle a tree because that will kill it. This method is best done in the early spring when the sap is running and the cambium layer will more easily separate from the bark. When the outer bark is thick and woody, as is the case with older trees it’s best not to have it in your medicine. I only advise this type of harvest with fallen tree limbs or if the tree had to be taken down for some reason. The other methods have a much smaller impact on the tree and still make fantastic medicine! 💚💚💚 Also, a huge shout-out to @seasongcraniosacral for this ancestral harvesting knife from Sicily😘😘😘
Amber Jelly Roll Fungus (Exidia recisa) found while scouting-out the land for Saturday’s tree walk (link in my profile if you’re interested)! This is an edible jelly fungus that I can’t wait to try. Who out there’s eaten it? What’s your favorite way to prepare it? Thinking of making some ramen, which is pretty much my answer for mushrooms, always 😋 This is one of our first spring mushrooms to emerge in the woods and quite common, especially on fallen hardwood and Oak branches, so keep an eye out! It’s not considered a medicinal species however all mushrooms have the polysaccharide beta-glucans found in their cell walls- a constituent well-studied for its myriad of immune-stimulating effects, so in my book all wild edible mushrooms are medicine! 🍄❤️🍄 #jellyrollfungus #amberjellyroll #exidiarecisa #springforaging #springmushrooms #wildfoodlove #foodismedicine #milkandhoneyherbs
Can we just talk for a moment about how amazing these women are!?! The Fire Cider 3 (@maryblueherbalist, @herbalrevolution, and @herbcrafter) pictured here along with Rosemary Gladstar in the lobby of the Springfield Courthouse where they spent all of last week defending themselves in a lawsuit brought upon them by Shire City Herbals for supposed trademark infringement on the term Fire Cider. When the news broke that Shire City trademarked the term Fire Cider they were right there helping organize to keep this term in the herbal commons where it belongs.....and this resistance ultimately landed them in court. This case is so important because it will set a precedent- can traditional herbal remedies be stolen from communities for profit and ownership? Obviously we think not. They’ll be finishing-up the trial later this spring and until then they still need our support! You can learn more and follow along and donate at @free_fire_cider 🔥🔥🔥🔥And let’s hear it for these truly amazing herbal warriors!! #firecider3 #firecider #freefirecider #traditionnottrademark #traditionalherbalremedy #herbalism #plantmedicine #milkandhoneyherbs
The woods are waking-up!!! 💚💚💚 But this little guy, Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), never went to sleep! Wintergreen is an evergreen perennial, very common in the understory of forests here in the northeast. It’s easy to identify, especially this time of year when there are hardy any other green plants sprouting from the forest floor yet. Look for a small plant with oval shiny green leaves that has a distinctive wintergreen smell when crushed- there are no other plants that look like this with that distinctive smell in our woods! It has red edible berries that are sweet and have a mild wintergreen flavor- so good 💚Wintergreen shares its chemistry with Sweet Birch (Betula lenta), which has the same wintergreen smell- it’s the methyl-salicylate chemical constituent found in both these plants that gives them both this distinctive and lovely fragrance and also contributes greatly to their medicine. Wintergreen is a pain-relieving analgesic and anti-inflammatory and makes a wonderful liniment topically for sore muscles, aches, and sprains. You can use the tincture topically for this or also make it into an infused oil and use that or even mix the tincture and oil 50:50 to make a traditional liniment in herbalism. It’s also lovely taken internally for headaches and body aches and has some astringency too that makes it famous as a mouthwash. It’s a gentle carminative that is nice (and super-tasty) in a digestive or gut-healing tea and just adds a nice flavor profile to any formula it’s added to. One of my favorite ways to enjoy Wintergreen is to simply enjoy it as a trailside snack! Such a beautiful woodland medicinal. If you’re going to harvest it be sure to be respectful. Ask and take no more than 1 leaf per plant. Don’t harvest from every plant in the patch- you shouldn’t be able to tell you were ever there if you’ve harvested conscientiously!
#wintergreen #gaultheriaprocumbens #methylsalicylate #analgesic #antiinflammatory #bioregionalherbalism #woodlandmedicine #ethicalwildcrafting #sustainableharvest #foraging #milkandhoneyherbs
First harvest of the year- Willow!!! For any of you wanting to learn more about our locally abundant medicinal trees, I’ll be leading a Tree Medicine Plant Walk in two weeks at @thebowerstudio in Pelham, MA. Details below!
TREE MEDICINE PLANT WALK
Saturday April 13th
At the Bower Studio-Pelham, MA
$10 (kids free)
Link to register at @thebowerstudio’s profile or my website (link in my profile)
The northeast is home to many medicinal tree species, and spring is one of the best times of the year to harvest them- especially medicinal barks- while the sap is running! Learn techniques for wildcrafting bark, how to to I.D. some of our local medicinal trees while they are still in bud before they have leafed-out, their medicinal benefits, and how to capture these properties in your own homemade medicines like tinctures, oils, syrups, and teas. This walk will take us around the land surrounding the Bower Studio and also the vast Quabbin Reservoir, which is right across the street!
#treemedicine #herbwalk #willow #salix #analgesic #bioregionalherbalism #herbalist #communityherbalism #plantmedicine #milkandhoneyherbs
Day 1 of the @free_fire_cider Trial- showing-up in solidarity with an amazing crew of kindred western massachusetts herbalists 🔥❤️🔥 @thymeherbal @dorimidnight @lmdepiano @blazingstarherbalschool
#herbalcommunity #freefirecider #firecider #traditionnottrademark #traditionalherbalremedy #milkandhoneyherbs
Blessed Spring Equinox and Super Full Moon! ✨🌕✨ 🌕 Also known as the Sap Moon, this is a time when the plants- especially the trees- are waking-up! And for us herbalists it means it’s time to start harvesting barks, when the sap is running. This is Willow (Salix spp) and you can see that the flowers are budding and soon it will be the iconic pussy willow- one of the first flowers of spring! The combination of the super moon and vernal equinox is potent- this is a good time to compost and let go of what is no longer serving you and this could be physical stuff or emotional. Then there will be room to take-in all the goodness of spring 🌿 Also, remember that in the wheel of nature death gives life and the compost pile full of all the dead stuff is what then nourishes the garden. It’s the same with us! I hope you all can take some time to mediate on what can be composted in your life to then give nourishment and life to new projects and renewed energy in this coming season. Water is very cleansing and a ritual swim, bath, or even shower with candles, bath salts, and/or flower essences can help you feel shiny and new and ready to let go that which is no longer serving you- this is just one idea and remember there’s no right or wrong way to do a ritual, it’s whatever intuitively feels best to you! Be well all and happy first day of spring and full sap moon to you all! 🌸🌸🌸 #vernalequinox #springequinox #supermoon #sapmoon #firstdayofspring #wheeloftheyear #willow #salix #treemedicine #milkandhoneyherbs
It’s Maple Season, finally! 💦❤️🍁 Maple sap is an amazing spring tonic. It provides the tree with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to nourish the leaf buds as they leaf-out and emerge after the long winter, and it energetically and nutritionally does the same for us! Maple sap contains minerals including magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and calcium, antioxidants, polyphenols, electrolytes, and over 50 different micronutrients. Soon I’ll be making my morning tea with maple sap instead of water for the perfectly sweetened cup of tea! Another favorite way to enjoy it is as “maple sap lemonade” that I leaned from @flameandhoneycomb ❤️Simply squeeze some fresh slices of lemon into some maple sap and leave the slices in there to further add flavor and there you have it. And if you don’t have access to maple sap including some maple syrup into your life this time of year will help harmonize you with the energy of the spring too!
#maplemedicine #thankyoumothermaple #sugaring #mapleseason #maplesap #tradition #harmonizingwiththeseasons #milkandhoneyherbs
It’s another snow day today so I’m home being cozy and simultaneously dreaming about spring! Our From the Roots Up bioregional herbalism classes really are just around the corner💚🌿💚 Each class follows a similar format- we meet a plant in the wild and learn its botany, ecology, and how to identify it. Then folks have time to sit with the plant and get to know it a little better- it’s free time for whatever you choose! You can sit in meditation with the plant, draw it, take a nap with it, pull a tarot card, photograph it- whatevs! And then there’s time to harvest it. Then we circle-up, share about our experiences and learn the materia medica of the plant. And finally we make medicine with it- it could be a tincture, oxymel, vinegar, infused oil, salve, cordial, elixir, herbal honey, burning bundle, bath salt, syrup- you name it! And we do this for three plants per class so that by the end of the session you’ve begun to knit a deep relationship with a bunch of bioregionally abundant medicinals and begun building-up your home apothecary as you go! The spring session still has some spots (it starts at the end of April) and we’re enrolling the summer and fall sessions too- choose which session or sessions work best for you. And there’s just ONE spot left in the 8-month apprenticeship 🌟Classes meet 1 Sunday/month outdoors and in the field at different beautiful locales throughout the Connecticut River valley. More info on my website- link in my profile! I hope you can join us 💚💚💚 And pictured here is Garlic Mustard (Alliara petiolata)- one of my favorite spring greens and medicinals and one of the earliest to come back!
#herbschool #bioregionalherbalism #buildingthehomeapothecary #fromtherootsupseries #fromtherootsupapprenticeship#plantmedicine #herbalmedicine #springdreaming #milkandhoneyherbs
It’s Cottonwood Bud season ya’ll!✨✨✨This is a special late winter medicine, ready to harvest around the same time folks start tapping their maples here in the northeast. These are the buds of Eastern Cottonwood Trees (Populus deltoides) also referred to in many herbal texts as the mystical-sounding, Balm of Gilead. Other Populus spp can be harvested too, but these are my favorite here in this bioregion. I never harvest these off the trees, since these will become the leaves, but rather go to my favorite harvesting spots after winter wind or ice storms and harvest the buds off of fallen branches. Depending on the weather this means some years I get just a few, some many, and some years none at all, but to me that’s part of being a wildcrafting herbalist and being in proper relationship with the land and plants letting them choose the cycles, not me. This is powerful medicine. The buds are *highly* resinous and smell just amazing- hard to describe if you haven’t experienced it, but very sweet and kind of like bubble gum! To tincture them use 75-95% alcohol to get the resins. It’s a strong expectorant and anti-septic, making a good choice for deep, stuck coughs, and it’s considered a specific for laryngitis. And it’s just amazing as a salve! It smells heavenly and is a vulnerary (wound-healer) and analgesic (pain-reliever), containing salicylate, just like willow. Use topically for all manner of cuts, scrapes, aches, pains, or add to your all-purpose salve! This year I’m excited to try them as an incense and will be experimenting with that. What’s your experience with this amazing medicine? I would love to hear! 🌿🌿🌿 #cottonwoodbuds #balmofgilead #populusdeltoides #bioregionalherbalism #plantmedicine #herbalmedicine #treemedicine #vulnerary #analgesic #ethicalwildcrafting #milkandhoneyherbs
Korean Seaweed Soup :: Miyeok Guk 🌊🌊🌊 This is a traditional Korean birthday soup and the association with birthdays actually comes from a tradition of serving to it to mothers after birth to help replenish the body 🙏🏼 I’ll be bringing this to a postpartum client- one of my very favorite things to get to do as a practitioner! The best part of making it was soaking the wakame (see second pic)- made me feel like I was in a tide pool in Maine 💞💞💞 There are many recipes out there and I chose to follow one by a chef named Sohui Kim. Like many traditional dishes there’s no exact “right” was to make it and recipe variations abound! One of my absolute favorite things about kitchen medicine.
#seaweedmedicine #seaweedsoup #miyeokguk #wakame #kitchenmedicine #foodasmedicine #postpartumsupport #milkandhoneyherbs
I’ve been teaching my online spice rack medicine course for the last 5 weeks (and in-person once a month too!) and I gotta tell you my kitchen has been outta control! Here’s a current heart-throb, herbal gomasio😍 You can make so many variations of this but my current fave is a combination of toasted sesame seeds, dried nettles, dulse flakes, dried rosemary and a dash of @redmondrealsalt. It adds a savory umami flavor to everything and is such a good way to easily increase my mineral in-take. Current favorite things to put it on are eggs, avocado toast, and salad but it goes well with just about everything! #umami #kitchenmedicine #gomasio #dulseflakesforthewin #seaweedmedicine #realsalt #milkandhoneyherbs
Lion’s Mane Mushroom and the frozen winter sky✨ Lately this mushroom had been following me around, showing-up seemingly everywhere I go- even the frozen winter woods! So it was no surprise when I shared about this synchronicity with a friend she of course had some tincture she’d made herself with local Lion’s Mane to share 🙏🏼 I’m all about listening to potent messages from the universe so I’m about to take a deep dive with Lion’s Mane. I’m feeling drawn to working with it on an energetic level and am taking drop doses of the tincture (also called spirit doses)- if you’re not familiar with this, drop doses work on a subtle, deep, and energetic level, like essences. It’s like a re-patterning for the, spirit, psyche and the brain. I can’t wait to start working with this magical mushroom and let the magic unfold💙 #herbalallies #lionsmanemushroom #nootropic #spiritdose #milkandhoneyherbs
Golden milk swirl🧡 Turmeric has been touted to have every health benefit under the sun but here are a few that are true- it definitely decreases chronic, systemic inflammation when taken consistently over time. It’s a vulnerary amazing for the skin and especially healing for leaky gut, and many folks with lots of inflammation have injured their guts taking NSAIDS long-term and could use this healing combo of being anti-inflammatory and gut-healing. It’s a potent digestive bitter, helping us absorb our nutrients and digest our food better (the root of health). And it’s super antioxidant, helping fight cancer-causing free radicles in the body. In counties where just 1 tsp/day of turmeric is consumed (largely in food) cancer rates are upwards of 10x lower than in the US! It’s pretty drying though so more than a tsp/ day isn’t really recommended, or you can mix it with demulcent herbs, such as cinnamon in this Golden Milk🧡 I make what I call Instant Golden Milk balls by mixing turmeric powder with cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom powder and a pinch of black pepper. Then I mix it with a combination of raw honey and ghee (at a mix of about 75% ghee and 25% honey) until I have a dough-like consistency. I roll them into little balls, store on the counter in a mason jar, and then simply dissolve one into hot water/milk when I want a quick cup of instant Golden Milk!
#kitchenwitch #goldenmilk #turmericlove #antioxidantrich #nutrientdense #morningbevy #milkandhoneyherbs
Flora, Roman Goddess of flowers, fertility, and the spring. 🌿✨🌷🙏🏼 #omgoddess #florapleasecomesoon #waitingforspring #milkandhoneyherbs
Some recipes are classics for a reason🧡🧡🧡 Here’s one of my favorites- Ginger, Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup. This is one my go-to kitchen medicines when everyone around me is getting sick and I want an immune-boost, and also as a first food after a bad flu or stomach bug as a nice, restorative meal that’s easy to digest, medicinal, and helps re-kindle digestive fire. What are some of your favorite classic soups? Recipe for my favorite, well-spiced, version of this classic below!
Ginger, Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup 🧡
2 cups carrots, chopped
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 1 small butternut squash)
1 cup onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp sea salt
1/8th tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 tbsp ghee
3 cups broth (bone broth/chicken broth/vegetable broth)
Fresh cilantro and plain yogurt (for garnish)
Start by browning the turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon in the ghee for a few minutes until the spices become aromatic, taking care not to burn. Next add the garlic, onion, and ginger to the spices and ghee, sautéing until soft. Next add the carrots, squash, and broth. Bring to a boil then cover, turn down to a low simmer, and cook until the squash and carrots are soft- about 30 minutes. Let cool and blend to a puree with an immersion blender or in the blender. Top with a dollop of plain yogurt and fresh cilantro to taste. Enjoy!
#carrotgingersoup #wintersoup #ginger #turmeric #cinnamon #cumin #spices #kitchenmedicine #kitchenherbalism #foodismedicine #immuneboost #winterhealth #milkandhoneyherbs
Got the most beautiful gift from a student, made by her mom! I was speaking in class about the tradition in Old Europe of using a special wooden spoon to stir your ferments and then passing that spoon on to your daughter when she leaves home so she has “the culture” of her family when she starts making her own ferments in her new home💞 I just love that tale so much- thanks @gladheartherbals for first sharing it with me🌟 And next class @mksbella brought me some special spoons of my own✨✨✨ Can’t wait to start stirring-up my ferments with this magic. Thanks Michelle!💘 #europeanfolktraditions #ancestralmagic #handmade #gratitude #fermentation #livingmedicine #milkandhoneyherbs