~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~
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
There are just a few spots left in my Fire Cider-Making Workshop on Saturday at @northamptonwintermarket! By donation- all proceeds to benefit the Fire Cider 3- @maryblueherbalist @herbcrafter @herbalrevolution Check-out @free_fire_cider to learn more! And link to register for class in my profile ✨🔥❤️🔥✨ #firecider #freefirecider #trademarkfreefirecider #traditionnottrademark #traditionalherbalremedy #medicinemaking #communityherbalism #milkandhoneyherbs
The winter gardens ✨❄️✨❄️ #herbgardenlove #itsbeautifuleveninwinter #sleepingplants #milkandhoneyherbs
Ghee Appreciation Post! 💛✨💛✨💛I love ghee so much! Its one of my all-time favorite concentrated sources of good quality fat. We’re so scared of fats in our culture and I really wish more people understood that not all fats are bad- in-fact they’re really essential to good health! A few of ghee’s health benefits.....In Ayurveda it’s considered an anupana- a vehicle for bringing medicine deeper into the body- which makes sense when you think about the traditional Indian cooking practice of browning spices in ghee- it’s helping to carry the medicine of those healing spices deeper! It also supports and strengthens digestion, is a rich source of CLA (a potent antioxidant) and fat soluble vitamins, strengthens the brain and nervous system, and helps heal and seal the gut. Do you make your own ghee??? You don’t have to, as it’s easily available in many grocery stores and Indian food stores, but it’s much cheaper to make your own (recipe on my blog!). Ghee shows-up in most of my cooking- as a butter substitute in all ways and also when baking, as a cooking oil for just about everything (but especially high heat bc it has a VERY high smoke point), for greasing pans for cookies, when I’m browning spices, and in our grains and kitchari. Plus it’s suitable for many folks who can’t tolerate dairy bc in the process of making it the antigen milk protein lactose is strained out! Although folks with severe dairy allergies should always proceed with caution when first trying it. It’s super easy and is a total staple in our home. Recipe on my blog- link in my profile!
#ghee #gheegan #gheelove #ayurvediccooking #ayurveda #ancientwisdom #foodasmedicine #goodfat #goodfats #healthyfats #nourishyourself #milkandhoneyherbs
The beautiful leftovers of the Immune Broth we made in class today⚡️ With Astragalus, Turkey Tail Mushroom, Nettles, Rosemary, Garlic, and Kombu seaweed. Recipe below!
Immune Broth 💦
8 cups water (or bone or veggie broth)
2 tbsp Astragalus Rt
2 tbsp Nettles
2 tbsp Turkey Tail Mushroom (can also use Maitake or Shiitake)
1 tbsp Rosemary
1 tbsp Garlic (can also use ginger)
6-inch strip brown seaweed (Kelp/Kombu/Wakame)
Combine all the ingredients and simmer, covered, for at least an hour and even longer (the longer the better), adding water as necessary if some cooks down. Let cool and strain. Enjoy on its own sipped in a mug with a bit of salt, added to soups and stews, with ramen, or use as your liquid to cook grains. This broth is meant to build the immune system and prevent illness. Its also great for folks with immune deficiencies in general. If you’re using it preventively, a cup/day in the winter would be excellent (although you certainly could do more) or try for 2-3 cups/day if you think you’re coming down with something and have a weak immune system that needs building-up. If you’re acutely sick with a fever leave out the Astragalus and increase the garlic (or ginger portion!). It’s great to make a bunch of this and freeze as needed😌 Enjoy!
#foodasmedicine #kitchenherbalism #spicerackmedicineseries #immunebroth #herbalbroth #broth #herbalrecipes #medicinalmushrooms #turkeytail #astragalus #nettles #rosemary #kombu #garlic #kitchenmedicine #kitchenwitch #herbalism #milkandhoneyherbs
I’m thrilled to be a part of this gorgeous and potent little booklet ✨Micro Movements : : Small practices & perspective shifts to support living our values✨ In collaboration with @loammagazine and the gorgeous photos throughout it by @wildacorn ❤️😍📷You can order yours at @loammagazine’s profile!
#micromovements #loammagazine #creatives #community #milkandhoneyherbs
2019 herb classes are currently enrolling! Our 8 month apprenticeship has just a few spots left and we also offer seasonal class series (spring/summer/fall) for folks who aren’t able to commit to a full 8 months🌿 We focus on bioregionally abundant herbs, responsible wildcrafting and harvesting methods, connecting with the plants (our classes are held entirely outdoors💚), materia medica, and building the home apothecary (we make loads of medicine together in every class!). Classes meet at local farms throughout the Connecticut River Valley. Join us if you can! Link to more info in my profile 💚🌿☝🏾 #fromtherootsupapprenticeship #fromtherootsupseries #herbschool #bioregionalherbalism #herbalallies #milkandhoneyherbs
Spring is in the air if you haven’t noticed ✨🌿✨ so I’m rocking this amazing kichari topped with sautéed shiitake mushrooms and fresh turmeric....so good! Link to recipe in my profile 😌☝🏾 You may notice, as the spring energy rises, a certain restlessness and even anxiety and agitation in your body and psyche. This is normal! It’s our body’s adjusting to the energy of the spring. But it can be uncomfortable. This time of year these feelings can come day-by-day and tend to be more prevalent on warm, late-winter days like the one we’re having here in the northeast and go away once we get a cold-snap (as we are bound to get before spring truly comes up north!). When these angsty feelings arise, one of the best ways to deal with this is MOVEMENT. Get out there and move your body! Do jumping jacks, take a brisk walk interspersed with sprints, or challenge yourself a bit even with a vigorous hike. You will feel SO much better. Pungent nervine herbs that move stuck Liver Qi (which can contribute to feelings of frustration and anxiety this time of year) like Lavender and Peppermint will help a lot too. And of course food as medicine can be very supportive. Try a short kichari fast- eating just kichari (an Ayurvedic stew of basmati rice, mung beans, ghee, and spices) for a day or up to even a week! This will help re-set your system without the blood-sugar ups and downs and food trauma deprivation-mode of cleanses and fasts bc you’re eating as much kichari as you want and it’s sooo good! Try dressing it up with sautéed shiitake (shiitake recipe in comments below) or even simply fresh cilantro or parsley💚💚💚. And a link to a blog post with my favorite kichari recipe is in my profile!
#kichari #foodasmedicine #springenergy #liverqistagnation #moveyourbody #harmonizingwiththespring #ayurveda #chinesemedicine #eattoheal #nourishingfood #freshturmeric #mushroomrecipes #shiitake #parsley #eatingwiththeseasons #kitchenmedicine #milkandhoneyherbs
Blessed Imbolc All ✨ Can you feel the earth waking-up??? It still feels like deep winter here in the northeast, but the days are visibly lengthening, my chickens have started laying eggs again, soon it will be time to tap the maples, and my house plants that go dormant and lose their leaves in the fall (my Fig and Pomegranate trees) are leafing-out! Dreaming of the springtime and the return of the green allies but in the meantime I’m gonna savor the last restorative days of winter before the intense energy of the spring! Also, can anyone guess these two plant beauties?😍🌿💚 #imbolc #wheeloftheyear #springdreaming #milkandhoneyherbs
Bone Broth Ramen for brekkie 😍😋🍜 This is literally the easiest- warm-up your broth and add whatever you want while the broth simmers a bit.... mine today had kale, fresh basil, and pickled maitake from the fall. Add some sea salt or tamari and your favorite ramen-type noodles and you’re in business! Super nourishing, quick and delicious.
#bonebroth #ramen🍜 #easybreakfast #soupforbreakfast #winterfood #foodismedicine #kitchenmedicine #milkandhoneyherbs