California Herbal Dreaming

Posted by Nathan on 27th Aug 2015

Over the summer, I packed my bottles and everything else I owned and moved to California. Among other things, I'm planning on attending a clinical herbal program in the San Francisco Bay area to sharpen and expand my skills. 

I'll continue to offer the same high quality, homemade herbal products you've seen from NGTHerbals in the past. In fact, I'm hoping to start making salves, ointments and other preparations to better meet your needs. 

As a plant lover, this is an exciting time. I'm surrounded by new strangers that will soon become friends, as well as old acquaintances that are far more abundant here than they were back in Minnesota. Like Fennel, today's focus plant. 

Just about every spring in Minnesota, I'd purchase a lone Fennel seedling at the farmer's market, add it to my herb garden, and then promptly forget about it. Even though it usually grew fairly tall during the summer months, there was rarely enough plant material available to make more than a small amount of medicine with. So more often than not, I'd simply snack on the leaves or seeds while attending to the other plants, and leave the rest. Sometimes, I'd take the root bulb out before the big winter freeze came, but they'd usually be rather small as well. Definitely not enough to fill a jar for bulk tinctures.

Here in Northern California, it's an entirely different story. Fennel plants are considered invasive weeds. In some places, they're literally everywhere! Eight, nine, ten feet tall, and as the summer months wane, are full to the brim with sweet tasting seeds.

As such, I've started bottling them and have some available now at our Ebay page. (When I have a more significant amount ready, I will add a link here on our website as well.)

The roots are wonderful digestive medicine among other things, and any part of the plant can be used in making teas, tinctures, and other preparations. Fennel is great for common stomach complaints like gas, cramps, and bloating. It's loaded with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, Vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, and potassium. In addition, Fennel is supportive of overall respiratory health, and can be helpful for asthma and bronchitis in particular. Finally, the estrogenic properties of fennel can have a balancing effect on the female reproductive system.

I hope you have had a great summer, and I look forward to sharing more with you about the wonderful world of plants here in California.