Showing posts with label Plant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plant. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thoughts on Covid - 19, Holistic Health and Herbs - By Rivka Schwartz from Health and Hearth

Thoughts on Covid -19, Holistic Health and Herbs

I thought I would share some ideas from the herbal world in relation to covid – 19. This is still a relatively new disease and we are all learning more about the disease on a daily basis. There is no known cure or way to stop covid -19. That being said, we are also not sitting ducks. 

These are herbs and recipes that have a track record addressing viral infections and flus . There is scientific evidence that shows they can help strengthen the immune system, shorten the duration of the regular seasonal flu or lessen its symptoms. I’ll try for herbs that one can find easily and are reasonably priced.

Many herbalist are looking at tailoring approaches to covid-19 by its stages, keeping in mind that this seems to affect people in very different ways.

Stage 1 – Prevention; keeping your immune system and general health running at its best.

Stage 2 - First days of the illness; with possible fever, dry cough, fatigue and maybe diarrhea.

Stage 3; Days with more severe fever, cough and fatigue. By about days 8-10 the symptoms will hopefully begin to get better.

Stage 4: People who are going to have severe respiratory difficulties will often begin to have trouble around days 8 - 10. At this stage if there is trouble breathing and getting enough oxygen, medical intervention is needed.

Stage 5: A period of recovery.

Key ways to reduce transmission of covid -19 remain social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing.

There are other things a person can do to help weight the scales against getting the virus or if infected reducing the severity and length of illness.

This is a time to do all the things you know to do to keep your immune system running at its best. Make sure to get a good night sleep, eat well, exercise, get outdoors for a walk if possible, reduce stress. Even though it is best to keep physical distances it is still important to make sure that you are maintaining relationships. Not just for your own happiness but people with strong relationships also tend to stay healthier. A well balanced diet is important, D3 and vitamin C are important for immune health. Make sure you are doing the things that help you as an individual feel better. If you have a chronic condition, this is the time to take your medications/herbs regularly and do the things you need to do. If you have diabetes or a circulatory condition stay on top of it.

Herbal health care is part of a continuum of health care available to us. The line looks something like this:

______________________________________________________________________________food/ rest spice/food herbs medicinal herbs medical intervention/dr./allopathic meds hospital

Stress reduction




If you start to feel under the weather the sooner you are proactive in fighting a viral infection the better. Most anti-virals target stopping viral replication but don’t actually kill the virus. The faster replication is stopped the lower the viral load, the amount of the virus in the body, will be. If you don’t feel well, don’t try to keep going. Don’t take home quarantine as the time to finally clean the closet while feeling just a bit under the weather. Start rest and selfcare immediately!

If you’re a person that isn’t going to be buying herbs on- line or wildcrafting there are herbs in your kitchen cabinet, grocery or drugstore that can be helpful. Each recipe can be used as a layer to support the immune system and the body’s own defenses.

Ginger Tea

Thumb size piece of ginger root, grated or chopped small

juice from 1/2 lemon

honey to taste

8 oz. boiling water (about 1 cup)

1 tbs thyme

Pour water over ginger and steep covered from 20 minutes – several hours. Add honey and lemon juice. (If I don’t feel like grating the ginger, I pulse it in the blender with the hot water.)

If you don’t feel well, drink 4-6 cups a day to help combat the virus.

You can put 12 or 16 thumbs worth of coarsely, chopped ginger, the thyme and the lemon juice in a blender and blend it into a thick paste. The paste can be frozen in ice cube trays. Each cube makes about 1 cup of tea. After freezing the cubes, I pop them out and store them in the freezer in a ziplock bag. This way you aren’t grating ginger when you don’t feel well.

Fire cider

1 qt. cider vinegar or enough to cover all materials plus 2” vinegar over top.

2 oz. or 1/2 c. Grated horseradish root

1 oz. or 2 tbs chopped garlic

3 oz or 1/2 c. Onion chopped

4 oz. 1/2 c. Ginger grated

1 tsp cayenne

Can add:

½ c thyme or elderberry.

Place herbs in blender or food processor and cover with vinegar. Pulse on low till herbs are chopped not liquified so they can be strained. (Can also chop herbs with a knife.). Pour into jar and seal. Leave 2-4 weeks in cupboard or other dark spot at room temperature. Strain into a clean jar. (If you need it before the end of 2 weeks, you can strain a bit of the liquid into a tablespoon and leave the rest to macerate.)


Take 1-2 tsp daily in warm water for healthy adults as a preventative. (Or before/after going out in public)

1-2 tsp in ¼ cup warm water every 2-3 hours if feeling ill.

This can cause upset stomach in some people. If you’re one of these people don’t use this remedy.

Bone Broth

You can keep a crock pot (or instant pot on slow cooker) of this broth going during the day for easy access. Add immune boosting or expectorant herbs to enhance the broth.

These are listed below.

Basic recipe

2-3 lbs chicken bones

Cover with water so there’s about 1” of water over the bones.

2 tbs vinegar

1 large onion, adding the peel adds quercetin

1-2 carrots

2 sticks celery

2-3 cloves garlic

Added herbs

Handful astragalus

Shiitake mushrooms

Place ingredients in a soup pot.

Bring to a low simmer. Simmer 8-24 hours. This can also be made in a few hours in an instant pot on the pressure setting. (Some people keep the bones simmering for days in a crock pot. I find the flavor changes after a day or so.)

Strain and cool.

Keep in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days or put in jars and freeze.

The broth can also be boiled down to a concentrate and frozen in ice cube trays. The broth cubes can then be put into a ziplock bag and stored in the freezer.

Bone Broth Whole Chicken Variation:

Place a whole chicken or a package of wings or legs into the soup pot. Cover with water and simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the meat is tender and falls off the bones. Take out the chicken and separate the bones from the meat.

Follow basic bone broth recipe.

Bone Broth From the Store:

Buy bone broth from the store and add the veggies. Simmer for an hour. If you are adding mushrooms or astragalus, simmer for another hour or two to extract the active constituents of these herbs.

Uses for broth:

As a base for soups and stews

As a beverage

Liquid for rice, beans other legumes.


Sauce base

Ideas for herbal additions to broth:

Anti - inflammatory: ginger, turmeric

Cardiovascular health: garlic, onions

Winter illness: astragalus, thyme, raw garlic garnish, shiitake, reishi, ginger

Warming: garlic, cayenne, ginger

Mushroom Thyme Soup

12 oz. mushrooms sliced or chopped.

You can use a combination of mushrooms with a higher proportion of shiitake to

portobello and button mushrooms

I often buy a bag of frozen shiitake and a bag of mixed mushrooms

from the store for ease of use.


Reishi - is a bit bitter and best added in smaller quantities.

4 c. bone broth

1 tbs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

splash of dry sherry or white wine

Sat and pepper to taste

parsley for garnish.

Sauté 1/2 an onion chopped or 3 chopped gloves of garlic.

Place mushrooms, garlic/onion and broth in a sauce pan and simmer on low for 30 minutes or longer.

Add thyme.

Put in blender and blend on low.

Salt and pepper to taste. You can garnish the soup with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Mushrooms need to be cooked to be well digested and for their medicinal properties to be bioavailable.

Mushroom fun fact: If you leave your fresh mushrooms in the sun the vitamin D content will increase.

Chicken Ginger Curry Soup Recipe - Based on a Bon Appetit Recipe


3 cups chicken or bone broth

1 13.5-ounce can unsweetend coconut milk

3/4 cup chopped green onions

2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 6-ounce package baby spinach leaves

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (you can use lemon juice also)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Lime wedges


Combine first 6 ingredients in 2 quart pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add lime juice. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cilantro. Serve, passing lime wedges separately. A fresh minced garlic clove can be added to the soup a few moments before serving.

Pine Tea

Place a large handful of white pine needles and twigs into a pint of just boiled water. Put a cover over the container and steep for at least 20 minutes. Pines are the evergreens with 5 needles in a bundle.

Pine steam: Place a large handful of pine needles and twigs in 6 cups of water. Simmer on very low to disperse the pine scent and humidity into the house. Or put pine essential oil in a humidifier or diffuser.

Salt Water Gargle

½ tsp salt to 1 c. warm water. Can substitute thyme or sage infusion ( tea made with 1 tbs herb steeped in boiling hot water. Let it cool so you don’t burn your mouth.) for warm water.

Shiitake mushrooms

Use frequently in cooking.

Recipes for hand sanitizer

Don’t change proportions on these recipes. They are calculated using the amount of alcohol or

Thymol needed to kill the virus.

Materia Medica – About the Herbs

Ginger: Zingiber officinale

Ginger is antiviral and antimicrobial. It warms you up. Use for damp coughs, colds, flu. Ginger decreases motion sickness and nausea. It’s an anti- inflammatory. Makes a great hot drink when coming down with something and to fight the chills.


Fresh - Thumb length. 3-4 x daily

Steep ginger in boiled water. Use in lemon-ginger tea, syrups, broth, cooking, soda

Juice ginger

Dry Powder: 1/2 -2 tsp per day (more warming then fresh ginger)

Garlic: Allium sativum

This is a great immune stimulant with anti-microbial herb. To get the antimicrobial affects crush the clove of garlic and wait about 10 minutes. This gives time for the alliin and the allinase to combine into allicin which is the active form. Garlic also has many other active compounds. Garlic affects many organ systems but has a definite affinity for the lungs. Use garlic for bronchitis, pneumonia, a stuck cough. Use when you have a cold, congested feeling.

Garlic also affects the circulatory system. It reduces cholesterol and arterial plaque and lowers high blood pressure with extended use. (3-6 months)

Garlic oil can be dropped into the ear for infections.


Some people get nauseous from taking garlic on an empty stomach. Keep in mind that the anti-microbial strength lessens from cooking. This is a blood thinner so don’t use in large amounts before surgery.

Crushed cloves: 2- 5 a day

Use in salads, as a garnish to broth, added last minute to toast

Syrup/in honey

Ingredient in fire cider

Horseradish Armoracia rusticana

Horseradish helps with digestion and metabolism of protein. Condiments with horseradish have traditionally been served with high protein foods such as meats or fish. In studies with mice it lowered cholesterol. The heat also helps bring blood flow to the skin. It has a volatile oil that is a natural antibiotic. Horseradish thins mucous and has a compound that when eaten is released in the sinuses. So it is uniquely qualified to treat upper respiratory problems.

Cayenne: Capsicum annuum

Everyone knows the heat of cayenne. This spice helps stimulate circulation and bring blood to peripheral capillaries. It also stimulates the digestive tract. The heat helps clear congestion. It is included in many herbal remedies as a catalyst to help move the herbal formula through the body. Topically, with regular use over several days, cayenne reduces substance P and so reduces pain.

Dosage: Use in small amounts.

Contraindicated for people with hot constitutions or some forms of GI stress.

Elderberry Sambucus nigra

This is a delicious herb. It inhibits viral replication, stopping viruses from invading the cell. It also enhance immune function. Elderberries are rich in vitamins A and C and high in flavonoids. This is an herb to use for prevention or in the beginning days of a covid – 19 infection

Elderberry syrup is famous for being able to reduce the days a person is sick with the flu or a cold. Syrup is not the only way to take the berrie.s Elderberries can be put in recipes for jello, tea, gummy bears, popsicles…


Thyme is a remedy for infections of the respiratory tract. It can be used as an anti spasmodic, expectorant and to help clear sinus infections. It is anti-microbial. Because it is warming it can help with thick, stuck mucous.


In a steam

Gargle: 1 c. warm thyme infusion, ½ tsp salt and tbs

1 tbs to a cup of hot water as an infusion.


Add shiitake to your cooking as much as possible. It is an immune stimulant. Taken in large amounts it can lower blood sugar so if you’re on metaformin monitor your blood sugar.

Red Reishi

This is an immune modulator with an affinity for the lungs. It increases T cells along with other immune actions. Studies have shown it helps increase oxygenation of the blood and is used for people visiting higher elevations. I wonder if it would be helpful with covid keeping oxygen levels higher. I would like to see some studies on this. It also lowers blood pressure and is a vasodilator. It nourishes the adrenal glands which helps with stress response. It is a mild expectorant. It’s bitter taste works to help digestion. It is bitter so more than a few pieces in a broth can really change the flavor.


3-12 grams dried mushroom

4-8 ml 3x daily


Astragalus enhances immune function. Studies show that people working with astragulus on a regular basis have lower rates of contracting flus and colds. It is also an herb that has been used in strengthening the immune system to lower the risk of Lyme disease. It has been used for shortness of breath and as an expectorant. It is used especially for colds and flus and other respiratory illnesses.


½ oz root in pint of tea or soup. Drink 3x daily

Throw a handful of astragalus (the root often comes sliced into what looks like sticks) into anything that will be left to simmer. This can be a tea or broth. It has a mild taste.

Tincture: 10ml-over an oz depending.

Precautions:This can interact with immune suppressing medicines to make them less effective. This is traditionally also not taken during an acute illness.

White Pine

White pine is antiseptic, an expectorant and has vitamin C. It is also free and a common tree in NH.

Here are some generally available products that can be helpful.

Zinc lozenges (Therazinc is the brand I use though others may be just as affective.)

D3 K2 liquid drops

Gaia Echinacea, goldenseal, propolis throat spray.

Elderberry syrups

Stay healthy and safe,


Legal disclaimer

Herbalists cannot diagnose nor treat diseases in the United States. We can help educate and give information about healthy lifestyle choices and be partners in helping you achieve your wellness goals. It is always important to work with your medical or naturopathic doctor for treatment or diagnosis of disease.

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Plant Hikes

Friday, October 2, 2020



Bezel; Osimum Basilicum

Days from Seed to Maturity:50-60

Lifespan: Most Basil, such as the common Sweet Basil, are Annual plants lasting 4-6 mths.

There are also some varieties of Basil that are Perennial, they can grow year round in the right conditions and the plant can come back every year, their leaves are smaller and the plants are bushier.

Outdoor Planting Zones: 5-10

Pruning: Basil should be 6 inches tall before pruning. Trim Basil leaves from the top of the plant. Leave the small leaves below the trimmed basil to allow them to grow.

Light: Direct Sunlight. 6 hrs/day in a sunny location or 10 hrs/day under fluorescent lighting.

Soil: Well drained, Moist. Slightly acidic to neutral pH.

Indoor Planting: If planted in a planter, soil at least 4 inches deep.

Water: Water every 1-2 days. Keep moist, well drained soil. Avoid watering the leaves. 

Food: Feed with a basic Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, such as Miracle-Gro, that has a NPK of 24-8-6, or your favorite well balanced fertilizer. Fertilize indoor plants per the directions accompanying your fertilizer of choice. 

Potential Companions: Basil grows well with Tomatoes, Parsley, Chamomile, Lettuce, Peppers, Borage, Marjoram, Oregano, Eggplants, Beans, Asparagus, Cabbage, Beets and Potatoes.

Do not plant with: Sage, Mint, Rue and Rosemary. 

Additional information: Basil repels Hornworms from Tomatoes when planted together.

Additional Links and Resources:

Please feel free to contact us at be added to our email list or with any questions, requests and comments.

Little Lakeview Conservatory, LLC * Grow a little!


la·vuhn·dr ; Lavandula

 Days from Seed to Maturity: 90-200

Lifespan: Lavender is a Perennial plant.

Outdoor Planting Zones: 5-9

Pruning: Prune after Flowering. Avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the stem length.

Light: Direct Sunlight. 6 hrs/day in a sunny location or 10 hrs/day under fluorescent lighting.

Soil: Well drained soil. Slightly Alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7-7.3.

Indoor Planting: If planted in a planter, soil at least 8-10 inches deep.

Water: Water only when the top two inches of the soil is dry. Keep well drained soil.

Food: Feed with a basic Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, such as Miracle-Gro, that has a NPK of 24-8-6, or your favorite well balanced fertilizer. Fertilize indoor plants per the directions accompanying your fertilizer of choice. 

Potential Companions: Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Roses and Bearded Iris.

Do not plant with: Vegetables, due to the moisture value in the soil that most vegetables require.

Additional information: Lavender is in the Mint Family.

Additional Links and Resources:


Please feel free to contact us at be added to our email list or with any questions, requests and comments.

Little Lakeview Conservatory, LLC * Grow a little!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

4 Week Propagation Update on our Valentine's Day Roses

4 Week Propagation Update on our Valentine's Day Roses:

When the Roses wilt, we regrow them Or grow potatoes. #Growalittle

Checking in on our Rose Stems... 

Little Lakeview Conservatory LLC, used three methods for propagating wilting long stem roses.
  1. Using Fast Root and Planting in Dirt
  2. Using Honey, placing in a Potato and Planting in Dirt
  3. Placing in water with a water soluble fertilizer.
Method 1. Using Fast Root and Planting in Dirt.

2.Using Honey, placing in a Potato and Planting in Dirt.
There are still leaves attached and no signs of growth from the Rose Stems yet.

And 4 week update...
The Rose stems are dead, but I now have a bucket of Potatoes growing. By continuing to add dirt to the bucket these potato plants should keep growing. I may not have salvaged the roses, but I will have more potatoes soon! #growyourown #growalittle

3. Placing in water with a water soluble fertilizer.

The original leaves have fallen off and new leaves are sprouting in their places. 
The water propagation in test tubes is taking off the fastest.
... And the 4 week update.

I may have accidentally cooked them,tried to revive them. Luckily my husband often brings home roses, so starting over again!

Started a week later we left our Peach Long Stem Roses trimmed up in their vase to propagate.

And the 4 week update...
Hoping to keep these ones going and plant outside when the threat of frost has passed.

Please feel free to contact us at be added to our email list or with any questions, requests and comments.

Little Lakeview Conservatory, LLC * Grow a little!