Education Center in Asheville NC

Blue Ridge Mountains

Plant Medicine

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OM Sanctuary disclaimer: This newsletter is written and produced for informational purposes only. Statements herein have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This recipe is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and before starting a new diet or health program.

April 2017 – Common Dandelion

Dandelion flowerDandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is known to most people as a common weed that they like to eliminate from their lawn and gardens. Mother Nature, however, is offering you a brilliant yellow flowering herbaceous plant rich in beta-carotene which we convert into vitamin A. This plant is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. It’s a good place to get B complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and even some vitamin D too.

Recipe: Appalachian Mountain Spring Tonic

A true spring tonic contains properties that purify and thin the blood. The following recipe is based on local some Appalachian lore, with plants found in the mountains. Sassafras is believed to “build” and “thin” the blood. Burdock root and Sassafras are a diuretic and promote sweating, thus helping to promote the purifying of the blood. Dandelion, also a diuretic, is thought to “cleanse” and “build” the liver and kidneys.
Sassafrass Tree used in recipe

You will need:
3 parts Sassafras root (Sassafras albidum)
1 part Burdock root (Arctium minor)
1 part Dandelion root (Taraxacom officinale)
1 quart – 1 gallon of water, to desired strength (pot to boil it in)
Roots are dried for a few days after digging (clean roots)
Cut root into 2 inch pieces
Place roots in water bringing to a boil
Turn boiling water off and simmer for a day
Strain compostable ingredients from water, place in a jar and refrigerate
Drink as desired over the course of a week
Add honey to taste

[section:Sources for OM monthly April 2017:]
Univ. Michigan, Warm weather boost mood, broadens the mind, By Joseph Serwach, updated Oct. 25, 2006
US News & Health, Time in the Sun, By Deborah Kotz Contributor I June 23, 2008
Health & Wellness, By Carrie Soares, March 30th, 2016
Otherworld Apothecary[endsection]

March 2017 – Peppermint Leaf

The medicinal use of peppermint leaf dates back to the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. In Greek mythology, Menthe was turned into a peppermint plant when Proserpine, in a jealous rage, found out that Pluto was in love with her. Assyrians also used peppermint as an offering to their fire god.

Peppermint is used in traditional folk medicine as a pain reliever. Studies show that peppermint is helpful in soothing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, skin irritation, menstrual cramps, and anxiety.


Peppermint Moon Infusion
If you have experienced excess irritation or felt fiery this month, try this peppermint moon infusion recipe to encourage clarity in your body and mind.

You’ll need:
-6 tablespoons dried peppermint or 12 tablespoons fresh peppermint
-1 gallon glass jar

Optional: add lemon, ginger and honey to taste

Instructions: Place peppermint and optional ingredients in your jar and pour cool water over it to fill the jar. Cover with a lid and shake the jar, then set it outside where it will have direct contact with the moonlight. Let steep for 5-7 days.

February 2017 – Sagebrush & Common Sage

Sage 1(1)Common sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata, is a woody shrub found in sunny, arid growing conditions. The plant was named after Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt and the moon. Common sagebrush can be used when dried and bundled as an incense and air purifier. Native people considered the burning of sagebrush smudging as medicine to clear negative or stagnant energy, or to follow momentous occasions like childbirth. The plant was also used in tea or when inhaled as steam to treat headache and congestion.

You can find common sagebrush at health food stores, apothecaries and herbal medicine shops, sold in bundles made for burning. Burn the plant after cleaning, clearing, before creating new resolutions, or after arriving home from a crowded, stressful, or trying experience.

Common Sage, Salvia Officinalis, has one of the longest histories of use of any culinary or medicinal herb. In Ancient Egypt, common sage was used as a fertility drug. In the first century C.E. Greek physician Dioscorides reported that the aqueous decoction of sage stopped bleeding of wounds and cleaned ulcers and sores (Bown, 1995).

Common sage is known to reduce inflammation and muscle tension, help with indigestion, and is commonly used to soothe sore throats and head colds. With broad medicinal applications, common sage is one of the most versatile medicinal herbs we have access to.

Clearing Mint-Sage Herbal tea
1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh sage leaves
1 tsp dried lavender
1 tsp dried peppermint
1 tsp (or more) maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener to taste

Instructions: Pour water just below boiling temperature over sage, lavender, and peppermint and let steep 5 minutes, covered with a loose cloth or cheesecloth. Add maple syrup, honey or other sweetener to taste, as sage can taste bitter on its own.

*Medicinal use of sage is contraindicated if you are pregnant. Do not use sage medicinally if you are pregnant.

Make a Smudge Stick

Smudging is recognized as a cleansing tool used by many native traditions. The ritual of burning herbs such as sage, is used for cleansing and clearing space, emotions, and spiritual purification making way for new beginnings.

Burning SageMaterials:
Dried Sage in 6 to 8 inch segments
Cotton Thread
Large feather
Optional: fireproof bowl

Bundle the sage together (1 inch diameter) and wrap it with the cotton thread. Tie the thread off with a knot. Light the stick at the top and blow to it out to create smoldering smoke. Set your intentions on cleansing while you wave the feather over the stick to direct the smoke to the desired areas. A bowl can be used to catch any stray embers.

December 2016 – Pine

Pine is a coniferous tree within the Pinaceae family with approximately 170 different species. One of the oldest trees in this family is over 4,500 years old and is found in California. This season while pine is being cut for decorative purposes, it is worth noting that the needles, cones, bark and golden resin have nutritional and medicinal benefits.

OM Sanctuary’s founder has a special connection to the pine resin, as it helped in curing her infected wound. She tells the story of how pine pitch could always be found in her grandparent’s medicine cabinet and how they would collect the pitch straight off the tree or from lumber yards. At an early age she discovered the resins healing benefit when a cut she had on her hand became infected, sending a red runner up past her elbow. Her grandmother placed the pine pitch on the cut and within days she watched the infection decrease and the wound heal. Additional health benefits of pine also include immune system boost, enhanced vision health, stimulate circulation, protection against pathogens, and improved respiratory wellness.

This year if you find yourself gathering around a pine tree with family and friends do so in respect for the blessings this festive tree offers and what nature provides. Please note: It is important to research which pine trees are safe before using, as some of them are toxic such as: Ponderosa, Norfolk Island and Yew.

Pine Syrup
Make pine-flavored syrup with needles right off your Christmas tree (Spruce or Douglas fir works best). Avoid adding preservative chemicals to the tree stand.
1/2 cup water plus 2 Tbl
2 tablespoons simple syrup (To make it, mix 1/4 cup of water with 1 cup of granulated sugar. This equals 1 cup simple syrup) or try with honey or maple syrup
Pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan, whisking, then boil 1 minute without stirring Remove from the heat
Add the 1 cup needles and steep 2 to 3 hours.
Strain needles from the syrup
Syrup may be refrigerated up to a month. Try adding it to drinks or on your pancake.

Reference for the article and recipes:
Organic Facts: Https://
Rauch, Brigid. The Health Benefits of Pine Needle Tea LiveStrong. Demand Media, Inc., 11.8.10


Pine Needle Tea

livesstrongwebsitePine needles are rich in a number of antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, as well as flavonoids.
Needles approximately 1 Tbl
Wash needles
Cut off the ends and chop
Release oils (roll the needles in your hands)
Boil 1 cup water
Place the needles in a cup of hot water steep for 15minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

mykidsadventure-websitePlan a nature walk to gather your pine cones. Warm them in your house for several days so the can bloom.
Attach string or pipe cleaner to the ends of the cones
Spread peanut butter in crevices and all over cone
Place birds seed on plate and roll the cone around on it
Hang them outside high enough to be safe from dogs or cats.

November 2016 – Apples

apples12When thinking of autumn and the abundant harvest, the good ol’ apple comes to mind. Out of 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States it is worth noting that certain varieties of crabapples are the only apple’s native to North America. All varieties of this bountiful fruit are really deserving of the attention it gets through the epigram “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
As far back as 1866 apples have been associated with the promotion of good health. They were known as a household curative for scurvy, diarrhea, digestive issues, and were known to reduce tooth decay with its anti-bacterial effects. More recently, it is discovered that apples reduce cholesterol, prevent gallstones, detoxify the liver, prevent cataracts, contain compounds to help prevent certain types of cancer, can repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity, and offer pectin–classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre–a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits. Cornell University researchers suggest that the quercetin found in apples protects brain cells against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. Get smart, eat an apple sweet or tart!


Making Apple Cider Vinegar, Facial Toner, Detox Bath…

Making Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):


  • Organic Apples
  • Sugar or honey (1 tablespoon per one cup of water)
  • Water (filtered)
  • Clean and sterile jar (a quart is a great place to start, but you can definitely make larger quantities, too.)


  • Cider Press

    Cider Press

    Chop organic apples into quarters with peelings and cores (no stems)

  • Fill glass jar ¾ full with peels and cores
  • Add sugar and water leaving a few inches from the top of jar (stir until sugar dissolves)
  • Cover with breathable fabric (paper towel, cheesecloth or coffee filter) secure with rubber band
  • Wait 2 weeks (occasionally throughout the process skimming off the fermentation brownish substance that develops on top) to strain and separate the scraps from liquid
  • Set liquid aside for another 2-4 weeks to develop the vinegary smell and taste
  • Cap and refrigerate

Gelatinous substance may develop on top of your vinegar, this vinegar “mother” can be use to jump-start future vinegar batches.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Facial Toner:

When you tone your face daily with apple cider vinegar you will notice, it helps balance pH and keeps your skin from becoming too oily or too dry, a substantial difference in age spots and will draw out toxins.


  • 1 part ACV into sterile jar of container
  • 2 parts distilled or filtered water
  • Shake to combine mixture
  • Apply toner with cotton ball avoiding eye area. Store in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Detox Bath:

apples2For a detox bath, use 2 cups of ACV in your bath and fill with the hottest water tolerable. Soak for about 45 minutes or until the water has cooled down. This particular type of detox bath helps to cleanse the body of uric acid. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down certain compounds in particular foods and drinks. This type of detox bath can be especially helpful to people with arthritis, tendonitis, joint problems, bursitis, and gout. Additionally, because ACV is also an effective deodorant, this type of bath can also help those with body odor issues.

Disclaimer. OM Sanctuary articles, recipes, or activities do not provide medical or legal advice.

Recipe Sources:

10 Fun Facts About Apples

Detox Baths: Which Ones are Best and for What Ailments


October 2016 – Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy in the Fall

Poison Ivy in the Fall

When most people think of poison ivy, they immediately think of an itchy rash and of a plant to eradicate from the landscape. Before you do, you may want to understand the plant a little more. For those who are allergic to this plant, homeopathy practitioners (200-year-old medical system), will tell you that poison Ivy (Rhus Toxicodendron) can also be a cure for the very ailments it causes. Homeopathic poison ivy can also be very useful for treating injuries to muscles, tendons, and joints. Sprains, strains, and cases of tendinitis that involve stiffness usually respond well to Rhus tox. As much as humans avoid poison ivy, wildlife such as turkey, deer, rabbit and black bear depend on it as a food source. “In fact, for woodpeckers, warblers, vireos and many other birds, poison ivy’s berries are a preferred food,” says Jim Finley, Penn State professor of forest resources. While you still will want to avoid contact with this three-leaf vine or stem-like plant, hopefully you will appreciate the other benefits it brings to both humans and wildlife.

Medicine: Leaving food for the wildlife is great medicine and the best recipe for ecological stewardship.


(1) “Using Poison Ivy as a Medicine” Malerba, Larry.

(2) Department of Biology Hamilton College Ernest H. Williams Jr. Professor (26 April 2005). The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors. Oxford University Press. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-0-19-972075-0.

(3) Effect of homeopathic treatment of fibrositis (primary fibromyalgia). Fisher P, Greenwood A, Huskisson EC, et al. BMJ. 1989;299:365-356.

(4) Homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron treatment increased the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in primary cultured mouse chondrocytes. Huh, Yun Hyun et al.
Homeopathy , Volume 102 , Issue 4 , 248 – 253.

(5) Poison Ivy- A Wildlife Food:

March 2015 – Full Body Cleanse: Green Smoothie Recipes

Please note: all of the following recipes are made by blending the listed ingredients in a strong blender. Place the juiciest fruits at the bottom of the blender to create more liquid to liquefy the lettuce and spinach (or any other greens that you may use). If necessary, add a little water to ensure a good blend.

All of the listed ingredients produce approximately 2-3 servings. Enjoy these green smoothies!

5 delicious recipes

Spinach Mango Smoothie

2 cups spinach
2 mangos, peeled and chopped
1 banana

Spinach Peach Smoothie

2 cups spinach
2 peaches, seeds removed
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water (optional)

Tropical Green Smoothie

1 head romaine or green leafy lettuce
2 cups water
1 banana
1/2 pineapple, skin and core removed

Blueberry Green Smoothie

1 head romaine lettuce
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 apple, roughly chopped
1/4 lemon or lime
2 cups water

Grape Cooler Smoothie

Large handful of red seedless grapes, stems removed
Basket of fresh or frozen strawberries, stems removed
1 frozen banana, peeled
1/2 head romaine lettuce

Put grapes at the bottom of blender to create enough liquid to blend the other ingredients; add a little water, if needed.
(Dr. Ben Kim


February 2015 – Houseplants: purify your air

Plant Medicine Feb 2015Winter is a time that most of us stay indoors, closing ourselves off from the cold and consequently fresh air.  There is a fascinating research study by NASA on how houseplants can remove harmful dangerous air toxins. This research took them nearly 30 years to determine the health benefits of houseplants. In this first of a kind study they took a look at some of the most common indoor chemicals of concerns such as: benzene, found in plastics, nylon, dyes and detergents, cleaning products, printing ink, adhesives and fragrances; xylene, in cleaning products, resin, furniture, and more.  The scientists who studied the air-purifying quality of plants suggest one or two plants for every 100 sq.ft. of indoor space.

Recipe: Air Purification – 12 Top Plants

12 Top indoor Plants for Air Purification

1. Peace lilies ranked highest at cleansing nearly all chemicals floating around in today’s home air. These were the most effective plants at removing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and trichloroethylene from the atmosphere. Peace lilies are common in both homes and offices and perform well even under low-light conditions. They can be located several feet away from a window.
2. Sanseveria, called snake plant, performed second highest, removing nearly all air contaminants. This was good news because they’re not only easy to grow but long-living, with plants commonly reaching ages of 25 to 40 years old. Being a succulent, they are tolerant of occasional neglect.
3. Palms included areca, lady and bamboo types. Avoid soggy soil, and watch for spider mites.
4. Golden pothos, also called devil’s ivy, is a rapid-growing vine useful for hanging baskets or anywhere trailing plants are needed.
5. Several types of dracaenas made the list, including marginata, Warnecki and Janet Craig types.
6. English ivy has a classic appearance. Occasionally washing the foliage will reduce its susceptibility to spider mites.
7. Chrysanthemums and gerbera daisies are effective purifiers, but they are difficult to maintain as houseplants, other than enjoying them occasionally as blooming florist gift plants.
8. Spider plant has long been recognized as an air cleanser.
9. Aloe vera is also called medicine plant.
10. Ficus weeping fig becomes tree-like as it grows.
11. Chinese evergreen does well in low light.
12. Philodendron air cleaners include both the vining heartleaf and selloum types.

(Source: By Don Kinzler, Forum News Service Jan 17, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.)


December 2014 – Turmeric: Detoxify and Weight Loss

turmeric rootTurmeric dates back 2,500 years in India, where it is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is known to offer a lot of health benefits, and is regarded as a liver cleanser. It has also been used as an antibacterial agent and an antiseptic. Turmeric additionally has been known to treat depression, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Fat burring is critical to weight loss. The liver is an organ that is essential for fat burning. A healthy liver can assist in this fat burning process.
RECIPES: Treat yourself to a Morning Tonic for the liver.  For seasonal fun and gift giving, here is a Festive Holiday Spray that will liven up your home.

Morning Tonic
When you wake up in the morning, your stomach is empty allowing this morning tonic to give your body a cleansing flush. The lemon juice is highly alkaline and turmeric is known for its detoxifying properties.

The Formula for Festive Holiday Spray:
8 ounces hot water
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
2 ½ lemon juice (freshly juiced)
Honey to your taste
Remember to consult your doctor if you feel this may and an undesirable effect for you. Festive Holiday Spray for a fun and festive aroma to spray in your home. Place in one 4 ounce spray bottle.  Check your local Natural Food Store for the pure essential oils and bottles.  Inspired by birch hill happenings.

The Formula for Festive Holiday Spray:
30 drops Clove Bud
30 drops Orange
20 drops Clove
30 drops Cinnamon
4 oz. Distilled Water


Chamomile – August 2014


Chamomile flowersChamomile is a perennial herb with attractive flowers. The term Chamomile actually refers to a range of different daisy-like plants, which are a member of the Asteraceae family. There are many different species of chamomile, the two most commonly being German chamomile (Marticaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). They have been used since Ancient times for their calming and anti-inflammatory properties, and each offer their own additional health benefits.  Extensive scientific research over the past 20 years has confirmed many of the traditional uses for the plant’s therapeutic activity, including antiseptic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antibacterial, anitfungal, and anti-allergenic activity.   

Chamomile Tea foot Treatment

Perfect after foot soak for after a long walk to relieve swollen and tired feet. Drink a cup of chamomile tea to help you relax.


  • A large basin for your feet
  • ½ cup loose chamomile (it is nice to see the floating flower) or 5 tea bags
  • ½ cup Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey


  1. Boil water and place in basin with tea, Epsom salt, and honey. Let soak for about 10 – 15 minutes. Remember to make a cup of chamomile tea.
  2. Test your water so it is at a nice temperature for you. Sit comfortably.
  3. Put some soft music on or sit outside.  Soak until your feet feel great.
  4. After you dry your feet, enjoy the new and fresh sensation.

Mint Tea Recipe – July 2014


Mint-leaves-2007Summer is here and mint is near. Lamiaceae is the mint family and the plant part used is the leaves. Peppermint is thought be the most powerful of mints, probably first used in England spreading to European continent and Africa. Mint is known to be one of the easiest to grow and versatile herbs around.

According to Mother Earth News: Indoors, it has been used as to deodorize a room, wake up your skin, freshen your breath, create delicious hot (and cold) teas, lend zest to vegetable dishes, and spruce up otherwise-ordinary salads, juices, spreads, fruits, etc. And outdoors – in the vegetable garden – mint’s highly aromatic foliage acts to repel ants, white cabbage moths, and other pests … thereby ensuring healthy crops of cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

Matcha Mint Tea

2 cups filtered water
2 teaspoons Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
2 cups crushed ice
1 lime, sliced
handfuls of mint
optional: honey or cane sugar (or minty simple syrup, see notes)


Using a cocktail shaker (or a large jar with a non-leaky lid) shake together the water and matcha until there are no lumps.
Add the ice, a squeeze of lime, handfuls of mint and shake it some more. (Add sweetener if you like).
Pour into glasses with extra lime slices and mint.

Notes – Minty Simple Syrup: Heat 1 part white sugar and 1 part water in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and drop in handfuls of mint and let it steep until it cools to room temp. Strain out the mint and chill until ready to use. Recipe from


Lemongrass Recipes – June 2014



Lemongrass produces a citrus aroma that is uplifting and helps support a happy positive mood. Lemongrass smells similar to lemon but is a sharp-bladed, perennial, blue-green grass native to India. It grows 3 to 6 feet tall with cascading clumps.
Conditions lemongrass has been known to help with are: stress, fever, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, eliminating toxins, cleansing organs in the body, and improving the digestive system.

Lemongrass Aroma Spray

  • A mister bottle
  • 4 drops of essential oils
  • A cup of water

Learn more

Lemongrass Foaming Foot Scrub

  • 1/2 cup Epson Salts
  • 1/4 cup Olice Oil or Grapeseed Oil
  • 1/4 cup melt and pour soap (a soap base that can be purchased online)
  • 3 Lemongrass stalks
  • 10 drops Lemongrass essential oil

Learn more

Vegetarian Thai Tom Yum Soup (Vegan/gluten-free)

  • 5-6 cups good-tasting vegetable or faux chicken stock (makes 4 servings)
  • 1-2 stalks lemongrass, minced,OR 3-4 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
  • 3 whole kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food stores)
  • 1-2 cups soft tofu, sliced into cubes
  • 1-2 red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili, OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced into thin matchstick-like pieces
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms (I used shiitake), sliced

Learn more


Lavender Recipes – March 2014


lavender As an herb, Lavandula (lavender) has been in documented use for over 2,500 years. Lavender is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Ancient Romans also used lavender oils for bathing, cooking and scenting the air.

Today, lavender oils are known for promoting happiness and clearing depression. Due to its antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties, the oil is also used in a variety of household products, home remedies and healthy & beauty aids.

Lavender Carpet Freshener

  • Lavender essential oil or ground lavender buds
  • Shaker bottle
  • Baking Soda
  • Borax

Learn more

Lavender Linen Spray

  • Lavender essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Learn more

Lavender Furniture Polish

  • Coconut oil or olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Soft rag

Learn more


Ginger Recipes – February 2014


Fresh_ginger Ginger has been used as a medicine for thousands of years in Indian, Asian and Arabic healing traditions. Ginger root is a popular alternative remedy for sleeping difficulties and some preliminary studies indicate that it may be effective at treating some causes of insomnia. A study published in 2010 in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry claims that ginger binds to some serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects overall mood and anxiety levels. More popularly, people worldwide have recognized the healing benefits of ginger for issues such as nausea, indigestion, motion-sickness, cold and flu, and muscle tension, to name a few. It has also been used to decrease inflammation, help with migraines, painful menstruation, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

Candied Ginger

  • Non-stick spray
  • 1 lb fresh ginger
  • 5 c. water
  • Approximately 1 lb of sugar

Learn more

Rose Ginger Romantic Massage Oil

  • 1 inch peeled, completely clean piece of ginger root, cut into thin slices
  • 10-12 small dried rosebuds
  • 1 c. carrier oil (sweet almond, olive, jojoba, hazelnut, etc.)

Learn more

Grow Ginger from the Grocery Store

  • Ginger root
  • Pot
  • Sphagnum Moss

Learn more


Chocolate Mint Recipes – January 2014


ChocolateMint There are more than 20 species of mint and hundreds of hybridized varieties. Chocolate Mint is a sweet smelling (and tasting) variety that adds a special twist to common beverages and dishes. Try it as a delicious tea or try infusing it in cream or milk to use in a baking recipe.

Combat the winter blues or satisfy your chocolate craving by trying these fun recipes:

Chocolate Mint Hot Cocoa (per cup):

  • 1 handful of chocolate mint leaves plus a sprig for garnish
  • 10 ounces of non-dairy (or dairy) milk
  • 1-2 Tbl of cocoa powder (Dutch processed cocoa provides creamier flavor)
  • 2 tsp of real vanilla extract


  • Place washed leaves in pan and pour milk on top
  • Heat milk and add cocoa and vanilla; simmer slightly
  • Strain leaves out and pour into mug
  • *Optional: Place large dollop of fresh whip cream or coconut cream on top and garnish with sprig


Chocolate Mint Extract

  • Screw top glass jar(s)
  • Fresh Chocolate Mint leaves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • high-quality vodka

Learn more

Chocolate Mint Chocolate Leaves (great for cake decoration)

  • Fresh Chocolate Mint Leaves (as many as you want)
  • Melted Chocolate
  • Paint brush
  • Wooden spoon and parchment paper

Learn more


Cinnamon Recipes – November/December 2013


Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.49.54 PM When you think of cinnamon think cassia tree. It is true cinnamon originated in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and is one of some 4000 varieties of the Laurel tree. Cinnamon is a spice most commonly thought of for holiday cooking and baking. Good news for the holiday: Penn State researchers revealed that diets rich in cinnamon can help reduce the body’s negative responses to eating high-fat meals.

There are many other healthy benefits to using cinnamon internally and externally.
Add some spice into your holiday fun with these recipes:

Raw, Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 sugar pumpkin
  • 1 cup dates
  • 4 -5 Tbl of melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 – 4 Tbl of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves)

Learn more

Cinnamon & Honey Body Scrub

  • 1/4 cup Raw Honey
  • 1.5 tsp. – 1.5 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. – 2 tsp. Nutmeg

Learn more

Handmade Cinnamon Ornaments

  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1 c. + 2 T. ground cinnamon

Supplies needed:

  • Cookie cutters
  • Drinking straw
  • Ribbon or Twine

Learn more


Fennel Recipes – October 2013


Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.53.43 PM The Romans believed fennel promoted strength and courage so it was given to the athletes who competed in the Olympic games. In thirteen century Britain, fennel was hung in doorways and stuffed into keyholes to protect houses against fire and evil. It was also used as a medical drink to keep insanity and temptation under control. Though fennel is still used today medicinally, you are more likely to find it on the dinner table. From the bulb to the flowers to the seeds, fennel can be used in a variety of ways. Click the link below for our favorite recipes!

Caramelized Fennel

You will need:

  • 2 Large fennel bulbs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ of a lemon

Learn more

Fennel Skin Tonic

You will need:

  • 2 raw fennel bulbs, pureed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Learn more

Flea & Tick Repellant

You will need:

  • Dried fennel seeds
  • Coffee grinder or blender

Learn more

Basil Recipes – September 2013


Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.46.52 PM Basil is an amazing herb. It is an annual herb belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae (Labiatae). There are over 40 known varieties of basil of which Ocimum basilicum or Sweet Basil is the most commonly known and grown. Ocimum is from a Greek verb that means “to be fragrant.”

Basil can be used in a variety of ways; from food and drink to the bath and body. See below for our favourite summer recipes!

Basil Pesto

You will need:

  • 2 cups, washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
  • 1/2 cup shelled pecans or walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt, to taste

Read more

Basil Acne Tonic

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons dried basil leaves
  • 1 cup of boiling water

Get recipe

Basil Bug Spray

You will need:

  • 46 ounces fresh basil leaves
  • 4 ounces boiling water
  • Spray bottle
  • 4 oz vodka

Learn more

*Lemongrass image courtesy of antpkr /