January Specials – Herbs

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Mountain Rose Herbs

January Monthly Specials – Herbs

Green Sencha Leaf Tea

Certified Organic & Kosher Certified

Green Sencha Leaf Tea

Overview

This organic green sencha leaf tea is a delicate, stimulating beverage made from the season’s fresh harvest of the first young leaves. These handpicked tea leaves from the high mountaintops of Japan are immediately steamed to retain their peak flavor and vibrant, brilliant, green color. Extensive research confirms the high anti-oxidant and poly phenol activity found in green tea, and it comes highly recommended as a general cleansing beverage.

Taste

Sharp tannins with a nice green polish.

Aroma

Uplifting and piquant with sharp green notes.

Brewed color and time

Light green. 1-3 minutes

Caffeine content

Contains caffeine

4 oz. – $14.40

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Rhodiola Root, North American

Cultivated without Chemicals & Kosher Certified

Rhodiola Root, North American

Rhodiola rosea

Common Name

Standardized: rhodiola
Other: Arctic rose, golden root, king’s crown, roseroot, rosewort, snowdown rose

Botanical Name

Rhodiola rosea L.1
Plant Family: Crassulaceae

Synonyms

Sedum rosea 1

Parts Used

Root

Overview

The floral scented rhodiola root, used for thousands of years in Europe and Asia, has just recently been introduced to the U.S. Traditionally; one of its main uses in the Himalayas was for occasional altitude related ailments.

North American Rhodiola: Our North American Rhodiola is coming from one of the few cultivated varieties in the world. It is grown and tended in soil free from chemicals and pesticides and is in accordance with the Good Agricultural and Collection Practice for Herbal Raw Materials (GACP). The GACP ensures herbal raw material will be correctly identified, non-adulterated, has accurate representation regarding the quality of the product, and is sustainably harvested.

Chinese Rhodiola: Rhodiola from China is the most prevalent material on the market. Our organic Chinese Rhodiola is wild harvested from organically certified lands. The sustainability of harvesting this plant from sensitive habitats is increasingly becoming a concern. Because of this China has stepped up its efforts to limit the harvest and sale of the plant in order to protect the plant and the ecosystem. We are still bringing in small amounts of this material when we can, but are focusing our purchasing power on moving towards the cultivated North American Rhodiola.

Botany

Rhodiola rosea is only one of 90 Rhodiola species (55 of which are found in China,5 and 30 of which can be found in Tibet)6 all of which resemble sedum (Sedum sp.), the popular garden ornamental, and are members of the Crassulaceae family.1 Both of these genera are often referred to as ‘stonecrops’ due to their ability to survive in dry rocky areas. Many different species are used traditionally and somewhat interchangeably.6 The following have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) R. crenulata, R. sacra, R. algida, R. dumulosa, R. henyri, R. rosea, R. yunnanensis, R. kirilowii, R. sachalinensis.6 R. rosea is a perennial that prefers arid sandy soil and grows at very high altitudes, particularly in the arctic areas of Europe and Asia.2

Rhodiola grows in North America as well, in Canada and in the United States. In the U.S. it is native to eastern Maine and southern Vermont (although in Vermont it is considered extremely rare and threatened),7 and introduced to Connecticut,3 Alaska, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, and can possibly be found in mountainous regions in several other states.1 This species has a fragrant rose smelling rhizome, hence the name of the specific name ‘rosea.’2 The generic name refers to its fragrance as well, and is derived from the Greek ‘rhodon’, which also means ‘rose’.8

Cultivation And Harvesting

R. rosea may grow up to 20 years before being harvested in the wild. Popularity of this herbal supplement has led to overharvesting in the wild in recent years.9 Several states and countries are avidly working to protect this species from extinction by classifying it as endangered.9 Thus, globally, a high demand for commercially cultivated R. rosea is underway.

History And Folklore

The use of Rhodiola for medicinal purposes dates back to the time of the Greek physician, Dioscorides, who documented its use in 77 C.E. In his medical text De Materia Medica, he referred to it as ‘rodia riza’, Linnaeus eventually extrapolated its Latin binomial from this term.2 It has been used in folk medicine for more than a thousand years with some of its first recorded uses being in Tibet and China.6 It was originally utilized in Tibet, where at least 30 different Rhodiola species are found and where some of the towns boast an altitude of over 10,000 feet.9 Villagers in the mountainous regions of Siberia gift a bouquet of rhodiola root as a good luck charm to couples before their marriage ceremony with wishes of fertility and happy children.2 In Asia, a tea of rhodiola was considered to be helpful, especially in winter months.2

The harvesting and preparation of rhodiola, referred to as ‘golden root,’ was a well-kept family secret in these regions for generations. In Siberia it was taken, in secret to the Caucasian Mountains where it was traded for a variety of goods including wine and honey. In ancient times, emperors from China used the rhodiola from Siberia for medicinal purposes.2 In TCM, this root was considered to be a plant which nourished chi (energy or vital force) and encouraged circulation.6

This adaptogenic herb has been used as folk medicine for centuries used in Russia, Scandinavia, and in many other countries.2 Rhodiola was employed in Russia to boost the stamina of Olympic athletes and was even taken by cosmonauts to support physical and mental performance.9 The scientific literature from Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Iceland has supported the efficacy of rhodiola as far back as 1725 and continues to do so.2 Since 1960, more than 180 research studies have investigated rhodiola’s properties particularly as an adaptogen.2 However, it has only become popular recently in the West, possibly due to the fact that historically, most of the studies were published in languages other than English.2

Flavor Notes And Energetics

Sweet and slightly bitter taste. Energetically cold to slightly warm.6,10
Its flavor is sweet and bitter, and energetically it is believed to be a cold herb. However, it is sometimes listed as ‘slightly warm,’ and some deliberation on this is most likely related to the variance in species similar to the variance in the energetics of various types of ginseng.

Herbal Actions

Adaptogenic, astringent

Uses And Preparations

Dried root as a tea, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated.
Fresh root as a tea or tincture.

Constituents

Monoterpene alcohols and their glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, aryl glycosides, phenylethanoids, phenylpropanoids and their glycosides, flavonoids, flavonlignans, proanthocyanidins and gallic acid derivatives.4

Precautions

Specific: No known precautions.

1 lb. – $27.95

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Chia Seed

Certified Organic & Kosher Certified

Chia Seed

Salvia hispanica

Common Name

Standardized: chia1
Other: Spanish sage

Botanical Name

Salvia hispanica L.1
Plant Family: Lamiaceae

Overview

Chia is widely known in Latin America and has been consumed as a nutritive medicinal food and beverage since the time of the ancient Aztecs. It is still popular today in its native habitat of Mexico and Guatemala, and also in Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. More recently, it has become popular in the United States for its antioxidant and fiber content and as a high mucilage superfood that provides Omega 3 fatty acids. It is best eaten with cereal, added to smoothies, or made into fruity beverages.

Botany

Chia is an annual in the mint family (Lamiacea) and is native to the Americas in Guatemala and Mexico.1,2 It is similar looking to other species of sage, growing up to 3 feet tall, having purple or white flower clusters ending in a spike at each stem and bearing opposite leaves. The origin of the word ‘chia’ is thought to come from Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs) word ‘chian’ meaning oily, as the oil was used for a variety of applications in ancient Mexico. Further, the Mexican state of Chiapas received its name from this meaning ‘chia water’ or ‘chia river.’ There are several plants known as chia, a very similar one being Salvia columbariae, which is more commonly known as the golden chia. Others are S. seemannii, S. tiliaefolia, and Hyptis suaveolens, all members of the mint or Lamiacea family sharing some medicinal similarities to S. hispanica.2

Cultivation And Harvesting

Cultivation of chia as a commercial crop was initiated in 1991 in an area of Argentina that had struggled with sugar and tobacco crop failures in the prior years and was looking for an alternative crop.3 Chia is still cultivated in Argentina, in its native habitat in Mexico and Guatemala, and also in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Australia. However, due to its extreme popularity as a natural health food, it is emerging as a viable commercial crop for other countries also. So far, it has only been cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas, but now, due to “groundbreaking” research conducted at the University of Kentucky, which resulted in new patent-pending chia varieties, it can be grown in temperate regions as well.4

History And Folklore

In pre-Columbian times, chia was a staple food source and a major crop from 1500-900 B.C.E.5 In Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, chia was received as a payment from conquered nations in amounts of 5 to15,000 tons a year. This seed was an offering to the Aztec gods, and its oil (which the Aztecs referred to as ‘chiamatl’) was used, somewhat indirectly, in ceremonies as it was added to paint which they used to decorate their bodies.6,7,8 Due to its association with religious rituals, the Spanish conquerors prohibited its use and therefore chia cultivation diminished almost entirely for 500 years.6

S. columbariae ‘golden chia,’ native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico,7,9 was used similarly to S. hispanica amongst indigenous tribes of that region. It was believed that 1 teaspoon of this nutritive food could provide enough energy for a full day of trekking through the desert, and it was also administered as an eyewash and to quell diarrhea. Further, the early Spanish settlers believed that a poultice of this seed was highly useful for wounds.7 Chia was used in the rest of the U.S. in a similar fashion too, and according to The Dispensatory of the United States of America from 1918:

The chia seeds are used not only when crushed as food and for the making of mucilaginous poultices, but also for the preparation of a mucilaginous drink, prepared by adding a teaspoonful of the seed to a tumblerful of cold water, allowing it to stand for half an hour, sweetening and flavoring to taste10

Michael Moore suggests using the leaves of S. columbariae to make, in his words, a very “purple-tasting” tea to alleviate hangovers.9 Other, more common preparations in the southwestern United States include making chia into a drink mixed with lemon and sugar called ‘chia fresca.’5 Drinking chia seems to be the way to go, in Colombia it was also made into a drink called ‘chiapinolli’;8 and in the Nayarit region of Mexico, made into an ‘atole’ (which is a thick beverage often made with maize flour) and enjoyed during the ‘Mitote’ festival celebrated during November or early December.11

This seed is a source of Omega 3 fatty acids,12 a known source of linolenic acid,6 and has become an increasingly popular source of fatty acids as the concern over fish intake rises due to sustainability issues and potential heavy metal toxicity. Chia contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and a soothing source of mucilage that can be drunk or made into a gruel or pudding to soothe the stomach and digestive tract.2,3,5,7 The seeds dissolve into water, forming a jelly like substance due to its extreme hydrophilic properties (it can absorb 12 times its weight in water). This makes it a perfect substitute for flax seeds in many instances and a great addition to smoothies and baked goods that call for gels or thickeners.

Herbal Actions

Nutritive, demulcent, emollient, antioxidant

Uses And Preparations

Dried seeds made into a pudding, gruel (less viscous porridge), a beverage such as a smoothie, added to food, or for baking

Scientific Research

Chia is high in mucilage and soluble fiber; a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and is a source of essential fatty acids and isoflavone.12 According to the USDA, a one ounce serving of chia seeds contains 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 42% of dietary fiber,13 and also contains phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.5 The major compounds include essential fatty acids such as: alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid,14 the flavanoids: quercetin and kaempferol, and the isoflavone daidzin.12 Further present in lesser concentrations were tocopherols, polyphenols, carotenoids and phospholipids,14 and caffeic acids such as rosmarinic acid and chlorogenic acids such as ferulic acid.8,15

Studies on a small group of individuals reveal that topical application of chia oil is beneficial as a soothing moisturizer in cases of itchy irritated skin.16 Yet most other studies are on individuals who eat the seed for its beneficial effects on supporting cardiovascular health. Chia may also be helpful in maintaining a healthy balance of fats in the bloodstream.17

Herbal Miscellany

Remember the terra cotta animals that would magically grow hair when filled with water? Chia Pets were coated with, as the name suggests, chia seeds. This novelty item has delighted children for generations thanks to the man that made these pets so famous, Joe Pedott. When he was 25, he moved to San Francisco, opened an advertising firm, and quickly had his first encounter with a chia pet via a business associate who was importing them from Mexico. Pedott bought the rights from his associate and ventured off to Mexico to visit the town where these ‘animalitos’ were made. The rest is history; he settled on the catchphrase “Ch-ch-ch-Chia” and before long was manufacturing, importing, and selling multitudes of chia pets all over the world.18 Especially popular was his Jerry Garcia chia pet known as the “Chia Garcia.”

Precautions

Specific: No known precautions.

1lb. – $12.00

 

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Cinnamon (Sweet) Powder

Certified Organic & Fair Trade Certified & Kosher Certified

Cinnamon (Sweet) Powder

Cinnamomum verum

Common Name

Standardized: cinnamon
Other: sweet cinnamon, true cinnamon, xi lan rou gui (Chinese),1 twak2

Botanical Name

Cinnamomum verum J. Presl1
Plant Family: Lauraceae

Synonyms

Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume

Overview

Cinnamon has been enjoyed since ancient times, mentioned in not only the Bible, but also in Egyptian texts. It was widely traded thousands of years ago in Europe and in Asia by Arab spice traders. Its uniquely sweet and delicious flavor and warming, uplifting aroma have been utilized in countless confectionaries, baked goods, perfumes, cosmetics, beverages, and cordials. Sweet cinnamon, often referred to as ‘true cinnamon’, has a more subtle, delicate, and sweet flavor than the closely related cassia cinnamon. Recent scientific studies validate many of the traditional uses of this medicinal spice, indicating its health enhancing properties.3-12

Botany

Cinnamomum verum is a small evergreen tree native to tropical southern India and Sri Lanka, growing from sea level to almost 3,000 feet.13 It has been introduced to Madagascar and the Seychelles and is cultivated there extensively.14 It belongs to the Laurel or Lauraceae family, a family containing diverse genera ranging from the Mediterranean bay tree, to sassafras, paw-paw, and the tropical avocado.16 This genus of evergreen trees and shrubs contains more than 300 species17 which are native or naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and other tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean.18 Many having aromatic oils in their leaves, buds, and bark. Cinnamomum contains such species as C. camphora,16 (from which camphor is derived) and the botanical sibling to true cinnamon, which is most often referred to as ‘cassia’ (C. aromaticum). The generic name Cinnamomum, is derived from the Greek ‘kinnamon’ or ‘kinnamomon’ meaning ‘sweet wood.’15 In the United States both species of ‘sweet wood’ are often used without distinction and are referred to as ‘cinnamon’ thus creating some confusion around the true identity.15 C. aromaticum is native to China, and the very similar C. burmanni, also referred to as cassia, is native to Indonesia.19 The former Latin binomial for true or sweet cinnamon, C. zeylanicum, refers to its native habitat in Ceylon (which was then named Sri Lanka in 1972)14 C. verum is referred to as ‘true cinnamon’ (the species name ‘verum’ is Latin for ‘true’ as this species is considered the most authentic) and is thought to be more sweet and delicate than the somewhat pungent tasting cassia.20 Further, the bark of cassia is thicker and darker than true cinnamon. The common name, ‘cassia’, is believed to be derived from the Greek word kassia, meaning to strip off the bark.15

Cultivation And Harvesting

C. verum is cultivated extensively in Sri Lanka and the coastal regions of India. Commercial production also takes place in India, Malaysia, Madagascar, and the Seychelles. Sri Lanka produces most of the global supply.14 The global trade in C. verum is between 7,500 to 10,000 tonnes annually whereas trade in cassia or C. aromaticum is between 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes annually.14

History And Folklore

Cinnamon bark has been used for thousands of years in traditional Eastern and Western medicines.13 It appears in recorded history dating back to at least 1,700 years B.C.E where it was a component of embalming fluid in ancient Egypt.15 The Arabs were avid spice traders who provided this spice to the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews.15 These cultures treasured cinnamon as a spice, utilizing it in perfumes and medicines alike. It is believed that they were part of a spiced wine referred to as ‘Hippocras’.20 European explorers considered cinnamon to be the most sought after spice of the 15th and 16th centuries and by the 17th century, it was considered a common kitchen spice. By the 19th century, cinnamon was commonly used medicinally to support digestion.15 It is a component of ‘garam masala’, a spice used in Indian cooking comprised of turmeric, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, and cardamom. Further, it is found in many Middle Eastern and North African dishes, as a spice for lamb or stuffed eggplant, and often added to chocolate in Mexico.18

In Ayurveda (traditional Indian system of healing) cinnamon is referred to as ‘twak’2 and believed to support the respiratory, digestive, nervous, circulatory, urinary, and reproductive systems.2 It is a highly valued and multipurpose medicinal herb. According to the Ayurvedic practitioner, Karta Khalsa, “the classic patient who can benefit from cinnamon is cold, dry, and frail.”2 Cinnamon is considered to be a warming herb that is stimulating to the circulatory system and soothing to the digestive system.2,21 The essential oil is used extensively as a flavoring for soft drinks, baked goods, sauces, confectioneries and liqueurs. It is distilled from a mixture of leaves, twigs and bark, and must be used with caution as a fragrance as it does have skin sensitizing properties.18 Cassia is the cinnamon most often used in TCM as it is native to China.22

True cinnamon and cassia are quite similar and are often confused in trade.14 In the United States, the American Spice Trade Association approves labeling for both cassia and true cinnamon bark as simply ‘cinnamon’ for use as a seasoning.23 There are subtle taste differences and chemical properties, yet for medicinal purposes these species have been traditionally used almost interchangeably.14

Flavor Notes And Energetics

Sweet and spicy (less peppery than cassia) and energetically warming and drying.2

Herbal Actions

Tonic, analgesic, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative, expectorant,21 carminative, digestive, stomachic,13,20 emmenagogue20

Uses And Preparations

Dried inner bark as a spice, tea, potpourri, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated.
Fresh or Dried bark, twigs and leaves distilled as an essential oil.

Note: Cassia bark is harder, thicker and more rough than true cinnamon. It is also more tan whereas true cinnamon is reddish. Cassia sticks curl inward from both sides toward the center as they dry. True cinnamon has many thin layers of bark.24

Constituents

Volatile oils containing cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and trans-cinnamic acid, phenolic compounds, condensed tannins, catechins, and proanthocyanidins, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes such as pinene, calcium-monoterpenes oxalate, gum, mucilage, resin, starch, sugars, and traces of coumarin.13

Scientific Research

One of the main differences between these two types of cinnamon is that cassia contains higher concentrations of coumarin, which in high doses, can have a negative impact on liver and kidney health. Otherwise, many of their medicinal qualities are the same, as these two species are so closely related.24

Precautions

Specific: No known precautions.

1 lb. – $13.50

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Dandelion Root

Certified Organic & Kosher Certified

Dandelion Root

Taraxacum officinale

Common Name

Standardized: dandelion
Other: lion’s tooth

Botanical Name

Taraxacum officinale Weber ex F.H. Wigg.1
Plant Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms

Taraxacum dens-leonis, Taraxacum vulgare 1

Parts Used

Leaf and root

Overview

Dandelion is a sunny, subtle, yet incredibly healing plant used for thousands of years in China and mentioned in traditional Arabian medicine in the tenth century C.E. It has been used for centuries, in traditional medicine practices all over the world, as a restorative tonic, edible food, and in herbal wines and beers. The root is a favorite amongst traditional herbalists as it supports the healthy functioning of the liver, kidneys, spleen, and gallbladder9-13 and is considered to be a reliable detoxifying agent. The powdered and roasted root has been enjoyed as a coffee substitute and the roots and leaves are both used in brewing dandelion wines, beer, and in digestive bitter cordials and liqueurs.

Botany

Dandelion bears a sun-yellow flower head (which is actually composed of hundreds of tiny flowers)3 typical of the Asteraceae family, that closes in the evening or during cloudy weather and opens back up in the morning, much like its cousin calendula (Calendula officinale). When the flower is closed, to some, it looks like a pig’s nose, hence one of its names, ‘swine’s snout.’2 It is a perennial herb with deeply cut leaves that form a basal rosette4 somewhat similar to another family member, the wild lettuce (Lactuca sp.), and has a thick tap root which is dark brown on the outside and white on the inside.2 It is native to most of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, naturalized all over the world, and commonly found growing alongside roads and in lawns as a common weed.1

The Taraxacum genus is vast, having over 60 species3 many of which have very similar healing properties. Taraxacum mongolicum, which is used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is one such example. Hawkbitroot (Leontodon hispidus), in the same family yet a different genus, has been substituted for dandelion in the past.2

Taraxacum is derived from the Greek words ‘taraxos’ meaning disorder and ‘akos’ meaning remedy, the name referring to dandelion’s myriad healing properties. Further, the word ‘dandelion’ originated from the Greek genus name ‘leontodon’ or ‘lion’s teeth’ which is thought to be related to the tooth-like shape of the leaves.2

Cultivation And Harvesting

Dandelion is produced commercially in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, and the United Kingdom.4 However, dandelion grows practically everywhere, and is wild collected in a variety of climates, even in the Himalayas up to about 12,000 feet, where it is often gathered for use in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional healing system of India).5 Dandelion will grow anywhere, but will produce more substantial roots in moist, rich, deep soil.3Pharmacopeial grade dandelion leaf is composed of the dried leaves collected before flowering and the root collected in autumn or whenever its inulin content is the highest.5

History And Folklore

Medicinal use of dandelion was first recorded in writing in the Tang Materia Medica (659 B.C.E.),6 and then later noted by Arab physicians in the 10th century. In the 13th century, it was mentioned in Welsh medicine, and has been used all over the world since. The root was enjoyed by pharmacists in Europe as a fresh juice (said to be less bitter tasting) and referred to by its pharmaceutical name Succus Taraxaci. Young dandelion leaves were traditionally eaten frequently in Europe, particularly France.2 In folk medicine all over Europe it was considered a reliable tonic which supported the digestive and urinary systems.3

In the United States, various Native American tribes considered dandelion to be a prized edible, a gastrointestinal aid, a cleansing alterative, and a helpful healing poultice or compress. The Bella Coola from Canada made a decoction of the roots to assuage stomach pain; the Algonquian ate the leaves for their alterative properties and also used them externally as a poultice.7 Additionally, the Aleut steamed leaves and applied them topically to sore throats. The Cherokee believed the root to be an alterative as well and made a tea of the plant (leaves and flowers) to calm the nerves. Further, they chewed the root to allay tooth pain.8 It is interesting to note that dandelion was used for pain relief by the Iroquois as well. They made a tea of the whole plant administering it for this purpose and also considered it be an alterative tonic.7 In the southwestern U.S., in Spanish speaking communities practicing herbalism, dandelion called ‘chicoria’ or ‘diente de leon’ was also considered a reliable blood purifier.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is referred to as ‘Xin Xiu Ben Cao’ or ‘Pu Gong Ying’ and considered to be energetically sweet, drying, and cooling. According to TCM, dandelion clears heat from the liver and has a beneficial effect on the stomach and lungs. It can uplift the mood and promote lactation.

The root was listed as official in the United States National Formulary, in the pharmacopeias of Austria and the Czech Republic, in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia, and the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia amongst others.5 It is an herb that is highly effective in strengthening and supporting the liver. It helps to balance the menstrual cycle as well. Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar strongly suggests this herb for bloating, pre-menstrual irritation, and for breast tenderness and says that it is “invaluable to women going through menopause.”11 The leaf can alleviate bloating by removing excess fluid from the system.10 The leaf contains potassium,12 which is often lost through frequent urination. Dandelion root’s benefit to the digestive tract is twofold as it contains inulin.6,12,14 (which may support healthy bacteria in the intestines), and is also a bitter digestive tonic which tones the digestive system and stimulates the appetite. It calms heat and also hot emotions, and is thus helpful in those that are irritated or nervous.14

The young dandelion greens (rather than the older ones which become too bitter) are wonderful in salads. These leaves can also be steamed like spinach (although they take a little longer to cook than spinach) and spiced with salt, pepper, and butter. Other savory spices such as nutmeg, garlic, onion or lemon peel can be added as well.2

Flavor Notes And Energetics

Bitter, drying, and cooling

Herbal Actions

Choleretic, appetite stimulant, digestive bitter, cholagogue, and mild laxative actions, mild purgative, hepatic,13 tonic, lymphatic,14 alterative, demulcent6

Uses And Preparations

Dried root or leaf as tea or tincture, powdered dried root encapsulated, or powdered and roasted and made into a coffee substitute beverage.

Fresh leaf as an edible food or tincture

Constituents

Leaf and Flower: flavonoid glycosides such as luteolin and free luteolin, chrysoeriol coumarins, cichoriin, aesculin,15 bitter principles such as lactucopicrin (taraxacin), triterpenoids, and phytosterol.5

Root: sesquiterpene lactones, triterpenes (b-amyrin, taraxol, and taraxerol), carbohydrates such as inulin (ranging from 2% in spring to 40% in the fall), carotenoids such as lutein, fatty acids, flavonoids including apigenin and luteolin, minerals such as potassium (up to 5%), phenolic acids (caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid), phytosterols including sitosterol, stigmasterol, and taraxasterol, sugars, vitamin A, choline, mucilage and pectin.5

Precautions

Specific: No known precautions.

 

1 lb. – $16.80

http://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=138229&Redirect=/products/dandelion-root/profile

Milk Thistle Seed

Certified Organic & Kosher Certified

Milk Thistle Seed

Silybum marianum

Common Name

Standardized: milk thistle
Other: Mary’s thistle

Botanical Name

Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.
Plant Family: Asteraceae

Overview

Introduction

Milk thistle is a member of the sunflower family native to a narrow area of the Mediterranean. It has since been naturalized throughout Europe and can commonly be found in Oregon and California where it is considered a common garden weed. Despite this unsavory reputation, milk thistle has quite a striking appearance, noted by the large pink or purple flower growing atop its solitary stem.

The edible thistles were given the name silybum by Dioscorides, a Greek physician who served in the Roman Army over 1,900 years ago. The thistle with white mottling on its leaves became known as the “milk” thistle. In Catholic Germany, its usefulness was said to be second only to calling on Mother Mary, and the white mottling on the leaf is said to be the touch of the Virgin Mary’s milk, hence the species name “marianum.”

Constituents

Silymarin (silibinin, silydianin, and silychristin), vitamin E (tocopherols), and about 90% fatty acids.

Parts Used

The threshed, dried seed.

Typical Preparations

Whole seeds or seed powder, encapsulated or used to make an infusion. The most convenient form has been either an alcohol or glycerin extract.

Summary

The leaves of the milk thistle are edible and can be consumed as a potherb. Because the thorns must be snipped off before preparation as a food item, commercial distribution is impractical. Nevertheless, the leaves make a delicious addition to salads, tasting similar to lettuce.

Three of the active compounds within milk thistle seed are collectively identified as silymarin. This constituent is credited for much of milk thistle’s medicinal value, particularly that which is associated with healthy liver support. The German Commission E has approved an extract of 70% silymarin in supporting healthy liver function. The Commission has also approved milk thistle in its crude form for minor dyspeptic complaints.

References

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2671116?dopt=Abstract )

The Book of Herbal Wisdom by M. Wood (page 445)

Precautions

Specific: Milk thistle may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae (Ragweed) plant family.

 

1 lb. – $10.00

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Purchase all of your Aromatherapy Needs at:

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=138229

Debra Mauldin, Certified Aromatherapist

Contact: mauldinfamily1@yahoo.com

Please put ‘Aromatherapy’ in the subject line.

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AromatherapyInformation

 

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