Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Evening Primrose *Oenothera biennis*

Hello, and thank you for joining this weeks Plant Walk Tuesday with LMH. I am so happy to have you here! Today I will be introducing you to one of my favourite herbal allies, Evening Primrose {Oenothera biennis}. This beauty received its’ name due to its’ sensitivity to the moonlight which allows its’ bright yellow flowers to bloom at night. As a result, it has received the nickname “Evening Star”.

Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose

Evening primrose is native to North America, but can also be found throughout Europe. During the Second World War, Evening Primrose seeds were used as a coffee substitute due to food rationing. In the traditional medical system of India, Ayurveda, Evening Primrose is used  for inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. Evening Primrose is utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine to increase the flow of Qi (energy) and blood. Please remember, that these highlighted points are not all encompassing and there are many different uses, purposes, and actions regarding the plants discussed in my blog. My intention here is to remind you that this plant, like many others, is used by many communities around the world in different ways and for different beautiful reasons. To learn more about the cultural significants of different herbs, I urge you to connect with someone from that culture and allow them to share with you the medicine of their peoples and the plant’s historical understanding to them. 

This herbal staple can be found in every province. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. In the late summer yellow flowers sprout out of the top of the leafy stalks. These four petaled flowers have a beautiful lemon aroma

Evening Primrose can be utilized as an infusion for a sore throat or topically as a poultice for wounds. However, it is commonly used as an oil for a wide range of healing benefits including:

  • As a vaginal lubricant before and during sexual intercourse. The oil helps increase vaginal secretions and aids those suffering from vaginal dryness. You can purchase the oil in capsule form and poke a hole into it, apply the oil to your fingers, and massage as needed.

  • Breast pain, PMS, and hormone related issues.

  • For a variety of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Adding a few drops of Evening Primrose oil to the skin can enhance cell structure and elasticity.

  • Relieves symptoms of arthritis & osteoporosis. Massaging the oil into the affected areas can reduce pain by increasing blood flow, enhancing circulation, and reducing stiffness.

  • Beneficial to use during pregnancy for preventing high blood pressure, and shortening labour time.

  • Can reduce hot flashes in menopause, and relieve PMS & painful abdominal cramps associated with menstruation.

  • Add to foods for a high source of essential fatty acids.

Energetically this night bloomer reminds us to shine our light even in the darkness. It allows us to face our shadows, and feel more at peace & whole by accepting our own true essence. As a flower essence, Evening Primrose is a wonderful remedy for someone feeling rejected in life or who has absorbed negative energy from their parents. It can help those who feel sexual and emotional repression.

Evening Primrose with Lisa Marie Holmes

Evening Primrose is a safe herb, however, although the oil is a great source of nutrients it should not be used for cooking. Its’ low smoke point will cause the oil to go rancid when heated. 

Thank you for following along with me this week! Evening Primrose is such a lovely ally that is often neglected in the herbal world so I appreciate you taking the time to learn more! It brings me so much joy to be able to share my love of herbal medicine with you! This post is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is my intention that you will feel inspired to go out and learn more about this beauty since I was unable to share all of the useful ways Evening Primrose can be incorporated into your life in just one short post. 

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose

Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: *Medicinal Mushrooms*

As herbalists we immerse ourselves fully and whole heatedly into the world of plant medicine and its complex healing potential. Mushrooms are something we learn about and revere, but often with caution and hesitation. Their complexity and amassment can seem daunting and overwhelming at times and can cause us to overlook these invaluable medicines. In a world where our immune systems are bombarded and overwhelmed on a daily basis, never has it been more important to dive into the use of mushrooms as medicine. 

Although mushrooms feel like a foreign entity, ironically, they have journeyed beside us all along. One of the oldest known organisms on earth, they dominate in species numbers up to 10,000 and span unfathomable mileage as they grow in complex mycelial networks below our feet. They spy on us from trees while they spit spores into the air so inconspicuously yet intentionally at numbers that would astound you. It is one of the many heartbeats of nature, sharing an alarming number of genetic similarities to you. They don’t just adorn your pepperoni pizza and attempt to pass as a vegetable… mushrooms are more complex and intelligent than you could ever imagine. 

So why are we becoming so aware of our fungal companions? Psilocybin is being toted as a powerful tool to treat a wide range of ailments, from PTSD to depression making it hard to ignore. But this is only one mushroom, one drop in the bucket of so many unique and powerful fungal allies. 

You may be familiar with some of the other top contenders; Reishi, Lions Mane, Cordyceps, Maiitake, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, Chaga, Morels, Chanterelles and Oyster mushrooms (to name a few.) Yes its true some mushrooms are more buzzworthy and trendy. This is because research and cultural uses have gravitated towards the most well known and medicinal species. 

Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail

Although we are still on the cusp of understanding how mushrooms interact with the human body, much of the research focuses on constituents called “Beta-glucans.” Beta-glucans appear to dance with our innate immune mechanisms in a way that orchestrates a variety of healing or ever so gently guides our body in its own healing processes. Think of beta-glucans as a pesky parent telling you to clean up your room and pointing out what needs to be cleaned. That’s sort of how they function in the human body; they tell our immune systems what to start cleaning up and what to become aware of (with a swift kick in the butt.) Each mushroom contains different fungal beta-glucans, unique in their directive and intentions in the body. This means that different mushrooms may be more fitting to certain people or conditions. 

Lions Mane Mushroom (for example) has been researched for its role in cognitive health, memory and treatment of dementia. Turkey Tail Mushroom contains certain constituents that are used as a standard treatment for people in Japan who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. Shiitake mushroom has been researched to be anti-tumour and anti-viral (with a staggering ability to support the host in its defence.) These are just small examples of why mushrooms are gaining attention. In a world where cancer impacts so many individuals, having a natural substance with limited side effects (if any) on your side is worth taking note. 

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

There are a few important points to take into consideration before using this beautiful and powerful medicine. 

Firstly, not all mushrooms supplements are made equally. Unfortunately, when it comes to mushrooms powders or capsules, you get what you pay for. Looking for companies that provide sustainable and organic harvesting and test for beta-glucan content is an important process. Furthermore, if you choose to harvest your own mushrooms, please do so in a sustainable fashion and always leave more than 2/3 of the source.

Secondly, “not all medicine is medicine for everyone.” This means simply that mushrooms are not necessary for every person to take on a daily basis. They do however support the body in times of stress, lowered immunity, or where a history of cancer or chronic illness is present.

Chaga

Chaga

If you want to begin to reap the benefits of mushrooms today, a great way to start is by cooking with organic mushrooms you purchase in the store. Look for Shiitake mushrooms, Morels or Chanterelles and add them to your favourite dishes. Cooked is always better when it comes to mushrooms and trusting the source is also massively important. Lastly, when you find yourself out for a walk in the woods look up… observe the way mushrooms grow on trees or on roadsides, or creek beds or cracks in the concrete. They grow in families with strength and endurance in even the most adverse conditions. 

If you are like me and are interested in learning more about mushrooms and benefiting from their medicinal gifts, the ladies at Thrive Custom Herbals are a great source of information and offer beautiful products. Located on the west coast of Canada in British Colombia, you can access their website at: www.thrivecustomherbals.com and if you get to see them in person make sure you give them a big hug for me!

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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Giant Puffball Mushroom

Giant Puffball Mushroom

Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Horehound *Marrubium vulgare*

horehound with lisa marie holmes
IMG_5811.jpeg

Hello, and thank you for joining this week’s Tuesday Plant Walk with LMH! I am honoured to have you on this journey with me. Today I am introducing you to Horehound (Marrubium vulgare).  Horehound is a member of the mint family and originates from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Horehound, also known as white Horehound has a close relative, black Horehound (Ballota nigra). Although the two Horehounds are similar, black Horehound has a more bitter taste, and they have slightly different medicinal properties. 

Horehound can be distinguished by its’ musky smell. It has green leaves covered in white fuzzy hairs. In the summertime little white (or purple depending on the strain) flowers bloom out of its’ leaves. Horehound grows all over, but it is a heat lover, making it easier to find in warmer climates. It can be viewed as an invasive plant, however Horehound can be a great addition to your garden as it keeps harmful insects & animals away. I suggest growing your Horehound in its’ own container to prevent invasiveness. 

Horehound has been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years. Ancient Egyptian priests used Horehound for its’ potent respiratory effects and ability to treat malaria & fever. Swiss Physician and alchemist Paracelsus referred to it as the “medicine of the lungs”.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine Horehound is used to clear heat, move Qi (energy and life force) throughout the body, resolve phlegm, and calm tremors. Although this may be the first time you are hearing of Horehound, there is a good chance this medicine has helped you ease a cough, as it is an ingredient in the famous Ricola cough drops. 

Some of Horehound’s many beneficial qualities include:

  • Its’ bitter properties help to stimulate digestion & balance appetite.

  • It’s an expectorant meaning it promotes stimulation of the bronchioles - soothing coughs and runny noses.

  • Horehound strengthens the immune system & relieves fevers.

  • It’s antispasmodic, meaning it can ease spasms, making it a great menstrual cramp remedy.

  • Can be used externally to promote the healing of wounds.

My favourite way to incorporate Horehound in my medicine cabinet is by making an herbal syrup. Making a syrup helps to combat Horehound’s bitter flavour, and it is so delicious! Having a cough never tasted so good 😉. 

Ingredients:

-½ cup fresh Horehound or ¼ cup dried 

-2 cups of water

-3 cups of honey 

-Stainless steel pot 

horehound with lisa marie holmes

Instructions: 
Place the Horehound & water in the pot, and then bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the plant material using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer, and add the honey. Taste your medicine, and if it needs some extra sweetness add additional honey. Take one teaspoon as needed. You can store the medicine in a glass container in the fridge for up to two months. 

Horehound can be a beneficial medicine for everyone as we all are burdened by common colds far too often. However, this medicine can be especially helpful for the elderly. Its’ ability to stimulate digestion, balance appetite, ward off coughs, and improve the immune system make it a powerful ally for those with weaker constitutions. Horehound is a relatively safe medicinal herb, but should be avoided if pregnant. 

Thank you for following along with me, I am so grateful to have you here! I am unable to share all of the beneficial properties of Horehound in one post, but it is my intention to inspire you to learn more about Horehound on your own, and the benefits of incorporating herbal medicine in your life. This post is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. I hope that the next time you catch a cold you feel inspired to utilize your new friend, Horehound. 

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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horehound leaves with lisa marie holmes

Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Comfrey *Symphytum officinale*

comfrey with lisa marie holmes

Hi my beauties. Welcome to this weeks Plant Walk Tuesday with LMH! Today I will be introducing you to one of my all time favourite herbs, Comfrey (Symphytum officinale). Comfrey is native to Europe & Asia, but can be found throughout North America. Keep your eyes peeled for it along creeks, ponds, and lakes because comfrey has an affinity for bodies of water. However, it can thrive in just about any soil, showing its’ tenacious spirit

Out of Comfrey’s large branching roots sprout thick leaves that are covered in prickly hairs.There are about 35 different species of this herb, but Symphytum officinale is distinguished by its bell-shaped purple flowers that appear in the summertime. Varying species of Comfrey will bear flowers in different colours such as white or blue. 

Although gardeners may try and weed this vigorous plant out of their gardens, comfrey has been used as a healing herb for 2,000 + years. Comfrey was first used in Greece to stop bleeding, assist chest complaints, and heal wounds. In Traditional Chinese Medicine comfrey clears heat in the body and builds healthy blood. 

Comfrey’s name Symphytum means “to unite” which pays tribute to its’ most notable ability: to heal broken bones, torn ligaments, sprains, and any damage to aching joints. For this reason it has also gained the nickname “knitbone” as it fuses bones back together! Although this significant quality is astounding, Comfrey’s other medicinal actions showcase its diverse range of healing benefits which include:

  • Digestive demulcent meaning it soothes and reduces irritation in the GI tract

  • Due to its astringent (drying) qualities it is a great remedy for coughs and other lung related issues

  • Mucilage, or the gel like property of comfrey helps to soothe and protect irritated tissues making it an excellent herb to use externally to moisturize & rejuvenate skin cells

  • Contains proteins for short term memory cells. Add to your salads for brain health :)

  • Allotin, a compound in comfrey stimulates the healing of torn tissues. Allotin makes it beneficial to use in sitz baths after giving birth - I would highly recommend this for all the new & future mamma’s out there!

  • Used externally to calm aches making it a great ally for those suffering from arthritis pains.

Comfrey is also known for its energetic properties, it heals wounds so deep that it has a profound effect on the soul’s journey. Comfrey can be an ally to those working through old traumas, bringing comfort through difficult times. It is believed that bathing in comfrey can bring deep spiritual cleansing, in ancient times woman bathed in it - believing their virginities would be restored. Comfrey is used magically to protect  travellers!  On your next journey place it in your luggage & shoes while traveling. Overall this grounding herb provides a sense of structure for those that work closely with it. 

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One of my favourite ways to incorporate comfrey in my medicine cabinet is as a poultice. A poultice is the use of moist or mashed herbs externally to draw out impurities, soothe rashes or insect bites, and increase circulation. A Comfrey poultice can be used to heal wounds

Ingredients: 

  • 2 TBS comfrey leaves

  • Hot water

  • Cheese cloth

  • Rubber band

Instructions: 

Mash the leaves in hot water, and place in the cheese cloth tying the ends together with the rubber band. Gently place the poultice against your wound. Use for 10 minutes and then repeat again in an hour.

I also LOVE applying it on my face and making a mask out of it to support healthy skin cells.

Comfrey has become quite controversial due to its theorized internal toxicityThe alkaloids (antioxidants) present in Comfrey can be toxic to the liver when used as isolates (extracted, concentrated, and lacking the synergistic harmony of other constituents balancing it out. Sounds like another type of familiar medicine right?). However, the plant has been used for its’ beneficial qualities for centuries. When used properly, Comfrey is a powerhouse that should not be ignored. Due to its effectiveness to mend broken bones, comfrey should not be applied to a broken or fractured bone until the bone is set by a professional, as it can cause the injury to heal improperly.

 Thank you for taking this journey with me. It is an honour to share my love & knowledge of herbal medicine with you all. Comfrey has many beneficial properties beyond what I could incorporate in one blog post. I encourage you to have fun with what I have shared and dig deeper into what has sparked your interest.  This is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is my intention to inspire you along your path of discovering the dynamic ways herbal medicine can be incorporated into your daily life. Next time you catch comfrey in your garden I hope you see beyond its reputations for being a pesky weed :) 

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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comfrey with Lisa Marie Holmes

Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Motherwort *Leonurus cardiaca*

Motherwort leaves

Hello, and thank you for joining me for this week’s Plant Walk Tuesday! Today we will be meeting the herbal healer Motherwort. This bitter, spicy, and warming herb is a member of the mint family. It is thought to originate from southeastern Europe and Asia. Traditionally used by the ancient Greeks as a remedy for postpartum women suffering from anxiety, this plant received its binomial latin name “Leonurus cardiaca” (which directly translates to “lion’s heart”) for it’s ability, both energetically and physically, to calm the heart, ease palpitations, and sooth the nervous system.

In the right environment, Motherwort can grow quite tall reaching heights up to 10 feet. It has a strong & sturdy stem with leaves branching out. In the summertime, beautiful pink or white fuzzy flowers bloom. This is a great herb to add to your medicinal garden. Once planted, Motherwort will multiply, and continue to grow for years! For this reason it is advised to plant seedlings about 1 foot apart

The meaning behind both the common & Latin name of this phenomenal herb pays tribute to it’s healing powers. The name Motherwort relates to how this vitalizing medicine has been used for centuries to heal mothers, and play a supportive role for all women as they transition through all the seasons of life.  

LMH with Motherwort

Motherwort can be used to reduce anxiety and heart palpitations, treat postpartum depression, and ease menopausal symptoms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Motherwort is used to regulate the menstrual cycle, and reduce symptoms of PMS. 

Energetically, a herbal infusion of Motherwort can be equated to the feeling of a mother’s embrace - calm, soothing, full of tenderness and warmth. Let’s be honest who doesn’t need a little extra tender lovin care from the powers of a lioness’s heart from time to time? 

A great way use Motherwort is as a tincture. Due to it’s bitter properties I find this medicine more enjoyable, and the tincture loosely reminds me of the smell of chocolate. This medicine calms anxiety, loneliness, and stress by giving extra love to the heart centre. For this reason it can also be a great remedy to use to draw deep into meditation or relaxation of any kind by taking off some of the weight we as humans carry around with us in our heart, and therefore allowing us to drop into a clear and centred head & heart space. 

This is a safe medicine, but should be avoided for those that are pregnant due to it being an emmenagogue, which means it can help stimulate menstrual flow.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the powers of the Lion’s Heart, Leonurus cardiaca, Motherwort. I myself have been fostering a deeper connection with this beautiful plant lately as it has been calling to me for some time now. 

This post is intended to shine light on the medicine especially for the ladies out there who can benefit from this vital ally (men can use it too of course!). However, the list of actions and benefits that Motherwort has is extensive and by no means summarized in totality in this post. Everyone can benefit from using this medicine but please remember that this is intended to be fun and shed light on different plant medicines so you can feel inspired to discover more about what is calling you! This post is not intended to be used as medical advice or a prescription. Thank you so much for taking this walk with me! See you next week 😊

LMH with Motherwort

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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LMH & Motherwort

Plant-based Watermelon Ceviche Recipe

watermelon ceviche

Plant-based watermelon ceviche recipe inspired by the traditional Peruvian dish.

I love a plant-based spin off of a traditional recipe. Michael and I have been predominantly plant-based for ~2 years and we have discovered some of the most unbelievably delicious recipes that I am excited to share with you. My paleo recipes were a huge hit on Holmes and Holmes Season 1 and 2 and I aim to not disappoint with this plant-based switch ;) .

Summer time in Ontario is a great opportunity to play around with fresh produce and see what yummies you can create in the kitchen. You’ll be amazed to learn the different flavour profiles and combinations that work well together. I love how well fruit pairs with spice. It is getting hot. up. in. HERE!!

Okay, let’s get to it. Here is the recipe that I created today. Please remember that my measurements are very loose as I am not a numbers gal and I tend to go rogue with recipes often. I did my best to get a general idea of measurements for you today but I encourage you to connect with and feel the food that you are working with, then make it your own. Use my recipe as a guide and then run wild baby!

watermelon ceviche recipe
watermelon ceviche recipe
watermelon ceviche recipe
watermelon ceviche

What you’ll need:

  • 15 minutes prep time (speedy baby!)

  • 4 cups of watermelon

  • 2 avocados

  • 1/4 a heaping cup of red onion

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 jalapeño (to taste depending on how spicy you like it and how spicy that particular jalapeño is)

  • 1/2 cup of cilantro - no featured in this version (unfortunately)

  • sea salt to taste

    Instructions:

  • Slice and dice the watermelon

  • Slice and dice the avocados

  • Slice and dice the jalapeño

  • Slice and dice the red onion

  • Chop up the cilantro loosely

  • Combine all ingredients

  • Drizzle on your lemon juice

  • Crack that salt to taste

  • BOOM! Serve with corn chippies, thick sliced peppers, or whatever crackers you have on hand.

    Health Info:

    I can’t let you go without mentioning a few fun health facts about watermelon. This large, juicy, tasty fruit has so many nutritional benefits including being packed full of electrolytes, lycopene, fibre, antioxidants, and living enzymes. It is cleansing for the kidneys and helps flush out toxins such as uric acid. A delicious and healthy intake of watermelon is useful in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, signs of aging like wrinkles, protecting over-all skin health, supporting the cardiovascular system, AND the seeds are full of healthy fats, phytonutrients, and fibre roughage to boot (we love a healthy digestive tract!).

Enjoy this delicious appetizer at your next summer picnic or bbq. It is sure to be a fan favourite! It is refreshing, spicy, zesty, gluten free, and vegan! It is a dish that EVERYONE can enjoy.

Bon appétit!

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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Watermelon ceviche + chips

Watermelon ceviche + chips

Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Yarrow *Achillea millefolium*

Plant Walk with Lisa Marie Holmes. Yarrow << Achillea millefolium >>

Plant Walk with Lisa Marie Holmes. Yarrow << Achillea millefolium >>

Thank you for joining today’s Plant Walk! I am so happy to have you along with us and can’t wait to dive into our plant of the week: Yarrow << Achillea millefolium >>

Let’s take a walk to meet the magical powerhouse and dear friend, Yarrow. This cooling & drying herb is a member of the daisy family. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, it can be found in grasslands and open forests. Keep your eyes peeled for Yarrow along the roadside, or on your next walk around the neighbourhood. Yarrow is just about everywhere

This herb is an ancient medicine that has been used around the world for thousands of years. Traditionally it was used for magic in ancient China to receive divine answers from the heavens. Legend has it that Yarrow received its Latin name (Achillea millefolium) because the Greek warrior, Achilles, used Yarrow for protection. Achilles would bathe in Yarrow, believing it made him invincible during battle. This beauty was also used to heal the wounded soldiers.

As seen in this ancient tradition, one of Yarrow’s primary usages is for wound healing. Yarrow is a great ally to include in your first aid kit – as it is antiseptic and styptic, meaning it stops bleeding. 

However, wound healing is just one of the ways Yarrow can be used as it is an herb that is a polycrest, meaning it can help with a wide range of ailments, and has lots of actions and usages. For example: 

-The flowers can be used as a diaphoretic – aiding the body to allow a fever to run its course
-Mild bitter to help stimulate digestion 
-Antiviral making it a great remedy for a cold 
-As a cardiac tonic to reduce blood pressure 
-Antimicrobial used specifically for urinary tract infections
-Antispasmodic used to help females with menstrual cramps

Plant Walk with Lisa Marie Holmes. Yarrow &lt;&lt; Achillea millefolium &gt;&gt;

Plant Walk with Lisa Marie Holmes. Yarrow << Achillea millefolium >>

One of my favourite ways to use Yarrow is as a flower essence, which is an energetic medicine similar to homeopathy. Flower essences are used for mental and emotional health, and Yarrow can help one to set healthy energetic & emotional boundaries. As an herbal essence, Yarrow has been one of my dearest medicines, as I can pick up on others stress and emotions around me. It allows me to keep my own energy aligned by not take in the world around me, and keeping me grounded. If you are a highly sensitive person or an empath like me this medicine can work wonders. 

Making Yarrow tea: When using Yarrow, due to its bitter flavour, I like to pair it with some of my favourite aromatic herbs. An infusion recipe that I personally use when I am feeling a little bit under the weather is:

1tsp Peppermint
1tsp Elderflower
1tsp Yarrow 

To make this infusion you add the ingredients to two cups of hot water. Steep for 5-10 min, and enjoy! 

Due to its wide range of benefits Yarrow is an excellent herb to keep stocked in your medicine cabinet. It is a safe medicinal herb but should be avoided if you are pregnant or have a known allergy to the daisy family. As always there is far more to this herb than what I was able to share in this brief summary. If something that you read spoke to you then I encourage you to experiment with the medicine that calls to you, and to build a personal relationship with Yarrow. This information is meant to inform you on just how powerful Yarrow is – so that you can consider including it in your practice. It is my hope to empower and enlighten all on the different benefits of herbs, reminding you that medicine is all around ;). However, it is not meant to be used as medical advice, or prescription. 

Thank you for reading along I hope that you keep your eyes peeled for Yarrow next time you are on an outdoor adventure, and I can’t wait for next weeks journey.

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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Sources: The Herbal Academy herbarium : Yarrow 

Hunter, Candace. “Yarrow Myth, History, Folklore, and Magic – The Practical Herbalist.” The Practical Herbalist. 20 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2015

yarrow with lisa marie holmes

Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Strawberry *Fragaria vesca*

The Health Benefits of Strawberries (Fragaria Vesca)
Also known as “Alpine Strawberry” and “Wild Strawberry”.

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Thank you for joining today’s Plant Walk. Today’s topic is about the amazing health benefits that both the Strawberry and its leafy green parts embody. Strawberries are part of the rose family and are native to North America. They dangle on the vine, are soft, and when crushed, have a very strong Strawberry scent. Once you finish this wee read and discover the nutritional benefits, you will quickly realize that a Strawberry’s sweetness extends far beyond it’s flavour. 

There are over 600 varieties of Strawberries and in Ontario and we are finally seeing some fresh local ruby coloured gems make a grand appearance in our gardens, the wild, and in our local markets and shops.

About 5 years ago, without prompting or influence, I started eating Strawberries whole - including the green leaves and small stems. I know that this might sound odd as usually we are served Strawberries with the green parts cut away but intuitively I felt like those leafy greens contained medicinal benefits. Just recently, I discovered what those benefits are and I am so excited to share them with you.

BOTH the red juicy fruit of the Strawberry and its green leafy parts are packed full with medicinal benefits and the flavour is SWEET to boot! Because the fun medicinal facts about Strawberries are extensive, I have compacted and made dot jot notes to summarize my favourite tidbits of information that I think you will find most interesting.

About the StrawBERRY:
(Actually fun fact - the Strawberry isn’t actually a typical berry!)

  1. Strawberries are packed full of Vitamin C. In a cup of berries you can get ~100 milligrams which is more than the recommended daily allowance for an average adult! The Canadian Vitamin C RDA (recommended daily allowance) currently stands at 75-90 mg/day.

  2. Strawberries are low on the glycemic index (40) making them a good food choice for diabetics.

  3. Strawberries contain anthocyanins which is a flavonoid known to reduce the risk of heart disease. Anthocyanins are also what gives the berries their beautiful rich red colouring. To gain the full benefit from the anthocyanins, make sure that the Strawberries are fully ripe and red when you consume them.

  4. Strawberries contain polyphenols which means that they may also be helpful for lowering blood pressure.

  5. Strawberries also contain folic acid, anti-oxidants, ellagic acid, and kaempferol which have been shown to be anti-cancer protectants.

  6. Strawberries also contain quercetin which is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, fighter of free radicals, and has many more delicious health super powers.

Okay, so those are some amazing quick Strawberry fun health facts for you. Clearly these ruby coloured gems pack a big punch in the medicinal realm but what about their leaves? Well, you will definitely want to start eating or infusing the leaves once you read on!


Beyond the Berry - The Green Leaves: 
The green leafy parts of a Strawberry carry a LOT of medicinal benefits to them too so don’t cut them out next time you enjoy the fruit. The leaves are practically flavourless but the slight taste you may experience is a bitter one (which isn’t so bitter after-all :P ). We all know that bitter foods are great for liver health and good for digestion. The leaves are also astringent, tonifying and have diuretic properties which is great for the lymphatic system. They are also known to help prevent night sweats and are good for eczema if taken internally and used as a wash. Furthermore, they contain caffeic acid (not caffeine) which has been shown to reduce arthritis symptoms and inflammation of the joints. Lastly, the leaves also contain and provide trace minerals such as iron, calcium and more vitamin C (YUM!). 

If you aren’t keen on eating the Strawberry whole like I do, green parts and all, you can actually remove the green leaves and make a wonderful nutritional herbal infusion with them.

How To Make An Infusion:
To make a Strawberry leaf infusion and utilize the benefits of this powerhouse Plant, use freshly picked or dried Strawberry leaves. Add a heaping teaspoon of dried leaves into a cup of hot water or 4 or 5 fresh leaves, then let steep for 10-15 minutes, strain and enjoy.

Thank you for joining my first online Plant Walk. I hope you enjoyed the flavour of the week ;)
Please remember that there is much more to the Plants discussed in this Plant Walk series than can summarize in my wee articles. It is impossible for me to epitomize the depth that each Herb embodies so if a Plant that we come across resonates with you, I encourage you to personally dive deeper and establish a stronger spiritual connection with that Herb yourself and/or with a trained professional. This series is meant to uplift and empower so please take it lightly and do NOT use the information provided as a diagnostic tool or medical advice. Thank you for your understanding.

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

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Strawberries
Source: Jo Franck, Master Herbalist.

Let's Share a Cuppa and Chat: What is an "Herbalist"?

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Let’s share a cuppa and chat tea🍵.

As a registered herbalist, I get a lot of interesting head twists and questions about herbalism and what exactly it means to be an herbalist. Well the dictionary defines it as: “a person who practices healing by the use of herbs.” This is a pretty accurate and fair general definition of the term; However to me, being an herbalist means a wee bit more 🙂.

When studying the medicinal benefits of a plant, there is a lot of science, pharmacology, chemistry, and hard knowledge that goes into understanding the effects that plant has. It is really cool and complicated and overwhelming at times but anyone can pick up a book and learn about the properties of an herb. For me, I believe that the practice of herbalism requires much more << heart >>.

Developing and nurturing a deep sense of connection and intuition with the botanicals that we use as medicine is where the fun begins! As plants are holistic in nature (humans are too!) a beautiful relationship exists between us and the plant community. In fact, we can learn a lot from out plant allies if we just take the time to sit, connect, watch, and listen to them.

Personally, I see plants as our allies, my friends, and as spiritual beings. This may sound odd or different to some of the followers joining my online community, but that’s ok. The more you learn, the less unknown it will become 😉.

Herbalism is an ancient healing modality that has survived the last 5000+ years. It has become ingrained in every culture under the sun and has impacted our lives more than most of us are even aware. As much as this profession has ancient roots, it continues to persist in this day and age, more than most of us probably realize, with both power and grace. 

When I was in my late teens I dated a German guy. His oma would take me through her garden and sing to her plants every morning and every evening. She told me that she learnt this practice from her grandparents and over the years she could tell that her gardens grew heartier and more abundant when she greeted them and addressed them as beings, not just as “things”. An old wives tale? Well, not really that old, eh? Our elders are wise and tend to be more connected than most of us now. We have much to learn from our elders and ancestors.

As an herbalist, I have the honour to connect with the earth, it’s rhythms, and learn more than what a textbook can teach us. It truly is a beautiful profession and I do not take this “career” for granted. More on this during our next cuppa.

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

Follow me on my social media platforms for more fun, loving, healthy lifestyle stories and adventure!
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WHY Fusion Mineral Paint?

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Enchanted Echinacea

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Enchanted Echinacea

WHY FUSION MINERAL PAINT?

Recently I have been posting a lot about a paint line that Jennylyn, the CEO of Fusion Mineral Paint, and I created. Inspired by the Herbals that I work with in my Botanical Apothecary, we are overJOYed with this collaboration and the creation of the Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Paint Collection.

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Divine Lavender

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Divine Lavender

This collaboration has been an incredible experience because I have been able to bridge my passion for a << Healthy Home >> which includes our body as well as the structure of the home that we live in, with my personal creative flair for interior and exterior design. How, you ask? Well, Fusion Mineral Paint is proud to produce a VOC free, non-toxic, lead free, ammonia and formaldehyde free paint. Ah Ha! And with that we have a harmonious **fusion** (pun intended).

Have you ever heard of VOCs? VOC stands for: Volatile Organic Compounds. I first learnt about VOCs in medical school as they have been shown to be harmful to our health and act as a possible contributing factor to headaches, sinus and throat irritation, liver and kidney damage, and even cancer. The second time I heard about them was from my husband who is in the construction industry. Talk of harmful VOCs is strongly recognized within his profession as VOCs are often found in paints, glues, air fresheners, cleaning products, etc…

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Sacred Sage

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Sacred Sage

Okay so why Fusion Mineral Paint? Well seeing that my priority is to protect our << Home >> I am always ensuring that the products I bring into my family’s home supports my goals. Beyond the amazing quality that Fusion upholds, Jennylyn and I had so much fun dreaming up the most beautiful colour palette. It was such a natural and beautiful joint venture and as you can see in my previous Facebook & Instagram posts, there is a story behind every colour and every Herb.

I am relatively new to the DIY scene but my appreciation for all things beautiful was really nurtured during season one of Holmes & Holmes, where for the first time in my life, I had so much fun learning what it takes to make a home beautiful and, of course, healthy. To learn more about the story behind this Herbal inspired paint line, please click here.

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Goddess Ashwagandha

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Goddess Ashwagandha

I love seeing everyone’s beautiful creations with these grounding, neutral, earth tone colours. Please keep posting and tagging me so that I can continue to follow along and see the beauty that you create. Thank you for inviting me into your << healthy home >>.

Sending Love and Light
xo
Lisa Marie Holmes

Follow me on my social media platforms for more fun, loving, healthy lifestyle stories and adventure!
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Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Twilight Geranium

Lisa Marie Holmes Signature Collection: Twilight Geranium