February 2015 Newsletter & Meeting Notes

Anne brought the meeting to order and opened with the Florida Herb Conference upcoming at the end of the month. Several of our members will be teaching classes, Gail and Rebecca Conroy, Lob Linde and Willow La Monte. There will be several of our members there to represent the FHS.

Update on our dear member Linda Nash-Stevenson: She is still finishing up with her medicines and the side effects. Her immune system is low and feeling better. She is scheduled to be our quest speaker in April. We hope she continues with her progress in getting healthier.

 

The Herb of the Month:  Passion Flower

It is an anxiety reducing herb found in mints and helps with insomnia. It has a fruity taste and is the main fruit in Hawaiian Punch. It calms you.

Passionflower: Herbal Remedies

by

The ancient Aztecs reportedly used passionflower as a sedative and pain reliever. Today herbalists also recommend it as a sedative and antispasmodic agent.

Passionflower has been used for anxiety, epilepsy, and high blood pressure, as well as to treat other conditions.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Passionflower has been used for
anxiety, epilepsy, and high blood
pressure, as well as to treat
other conditions.

Passionflower can be such a potent herbal remedy because it calms muscle tension and twitching without affecting respiratory rate or mental function the way many pharmaceutical sedatives do. Find out how harvesting and using the entire aboveground part of the plant — leaf, stem, and flower — can provide relief.

Uses for Passionflower

Passionflower has been used for anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, epilepsy, and other conditions of hyperactivity, as well as high blood pressure. Passionflower also is included in many pain formulas when discomfort is caused by muscle tension and emotional turmoil.

In Europe the flowers are added to numerous pharmaceuticals to treat nerve disorders, heart palpitations, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Unlike most sedative drugs, passionflower has been shown to be nonaddictive, although it is not a strong pain reliever.

Passionflower Precautions and Warnings

Passionflower is generally considered to be nontoxic when used in moderation. Many herbalists prescribe three or four cups a day without any problems reported. Do not take passionflower if you are already taking prescription medication for anxiety or depression, as excessive sleepiness has been reported.

Also be aware that passionflower’s close relative, blue passionflower, should not be used, as it does not have the same activity.

Passionflower Side Effects

Depression of the nervous system may result in fatigue and mental fogginess if you take too much passionflower for too long. Start with a low dose several times a day and increase as you learn how you respond to passionflower.

In the next section, you will learn how to prepare passionflower for herbal remedies and some of the potentially dangerous side effects.

Passionflower: Preparations and Dosage

Passionflower can be taken as an herbal remedy when dried or in its fresh form, depending on the usage. The following suggestions include some ways to ingest this powerful herb.

Passionflower Preparations and Dosage

Passionflower is dried for teas but is prepared from fresh or dry material when used in tinctures.

Passion Flower
Herbal Tea
For acute stress and anxiety, drink 2 to 4 cups per day for a week; then reduce the dosage or take less often

Tincture: For muscle tension and anxiety, take 30 to 60 drops (1/4 to 1/2teaspoon) of tincture twice a day or up to every two to three hours, depending on your response. Start with the smaller dose and increase the amount and frequency as needed.

Capsules: Take 2 capsules two or three times a day, with a larger dose an hour before bedtime for insomnia.

Passionflower Side Effects

Depression of the nervous system may result in fatigue and mental fogginess if you take too much passionflower for too long. Start with a low dose several times a day and increase as you learn how you respond to passionflower.

Passionflower – Precautions and Warnings

Passionflower is generally considered to be nontoxic when used in moderation. Many herbalists prescribe three or four cups a day without any problems reported. Do not take passionflower if you are already taking prescription medication for anxiety or depression, as excessive sleepiness has been reported.

Also be aware that passionflower’s close relative, blue passionflower, should not be used, as it does not have the same activity. When used correctly, passionflower can help reduce or relieve anxiety — giving you focus to get through the day.

Upcoming Events and Open Topics
The Florida Herbal Conference is in two weeks.
Dennis brought in different gingers for anyone who wanted any. To plant sit on a shelf until the ground maintains a temperature of 65 degrees. Or keep it in the refrigerator crisper in a zip lock bag. Dennis suggested a paper bag is really better than a plastic one. Mid-April should be a good time to plant the ginger.
Plant 1/2 in below the top of the soil in a large pot and after five to seven months you will have ginger.
Turmeric can be harvested after seven to nine months.  It goes dormant in the fall/winter. Mulch very good and the tops will die back. Once the tops fully fall off, it can be harvested. It is the most medicinally beneficial plant. Do not wash until just before you are ready to use.
Turmeric leaves will grow more and become bigger each year. After the second or third year, during the mid summer, it will flower. You can pick these and eat them.
Uses for the leaves: wrap food in them, ie… fish or tomatoes. The new tender leaves can be cut up for sir fry’s.
Turmeric can be planted in full sun or partial sun. Dennis likes the partial sun.  It is not a good container plant because as it grows it will break the pots. It likes it better in the ground than in a pot.
MORE MEDICINAL BENEFITS
It is far to expensive to grind the turmeric than what you get out of it.  It is better to slice it like ginger. Eat turmeric with foods that have oils and fats.  This is healthy oils and fats. avocados, Olives and Tahini have really healthy oils and fats.
Willow’s Super Turmeric Tonic was available as a handout and Willow brought Horizion Herbs seed catalogue. It is an excellent source of information about the seeds, plants and its benefits.
HONORED GUEST: WILLOW LAMONT
LISTENING TO PLANT WISDOM
Willow is from New York, lived in Massachusetts and back to Hillsboro County. She is a herbalist  of Willow’s Herbal Delights in Valrico, FL.  She has had a passion for plants all her life. Marie Brandies is from Ohio and taught her a lot about Florida growing habits of plants Someone asked her about the drink was drinking and Marie Brandies gave her recipe-which she calls Sludge. Take fresh organes, squeeze and put in water, rinds and all. Set overnight. Orange peel is chinese medicine. Leave the white memberanes in which contain whie flavonoids  You can use any citrus. Folk herablists like their ancestors did pulp, seeds, nothing went to waste and provided proteins.

No Meeting Tonight

Greetings Florida Herb Society Members!

Just a reminder: NO MEETING TONIGHT.

Our next meeting is next Tuesday MARCH 24th at Moccasin Lake Nature Park at 6:30.

Topic: Brewing herbal Kombucha at home and it’s benefits with Dorothy Hall. Herb of the month: Dandelion

 

If you would like to  bring a dish, appetizer or tea for our culinary table, please contact Christy : christy@floridaherbsociety.com

Or Jill : jill@floridaherbsociety.com   to let them know what you are bringing.

We can’t wait to hear about the Florida Herb Conference and see you next week! Peace and Blessings! -Anne &Amy

Newsletter

 

 

GREETINGS FLORIDA HERB SOCIETY MEMBERS, 

*Reminder- Our next meeting will be the 4th Tuesday this month due to the St. Patrick’s day holiday. (Next Meeting: March 24th)

JANUARY RECAP

At our January meeting we reminisced with some of our past presidents, Gail Conroy, Pam Sindlinger and Emily Wenzel as we honored 41 years of The Florida Herb Society. They shared their favorite FHS activities such as having Herb Research Groups, Field Trips, Monthly High Teas, making Rose Beads, Dying Textiles using herbs, making pickles, Penny’s famous FHS Tumeric Super Tonic and working booths at the Annual Herb Day Celebration and Green Thumb festival. Then we all took turns sharing our favorite memories of the FHS and how we first found out about it. We discovered one of our current members (Sandy M) has been a member since the 1980’s and had many fond memories to share as well. Thank you to all who attended and those who shared. Our herb of the month was Rosemary. We had lovely Rosemary tea and a “Share and swap” table full of Rosemary from Yetta’s amazing garden and others brought bunches of Rosemary to share as well. How perfect for remembrance!

LAST MEETING

At our February meeting we had member Willow Lamonte teach us about listening to the plants. (“Listening to plant wisdom”). She taught us that the more we spend time with our plants, the more we can hear them. We already know that plants communicate with each other and it has been proven that they respond to touch, and sound. You can communicate with them. Sing to them, play music, talk to them, gently touch the leaves and be still with them so that you may listen. What are they saying to you? Maybe they are looking sad and droopy. That is one way they communicate. Maybe they are thirsty or don’t like the soil they are in. Maybe they need shade or more sunlight. Pay attention to their signs they are giving you. Also notice that plants live in community with one another and never alone. As herb lovers/herbalists/gardners, we are a community. Check out the PBS Nature Special: “What plants talk about”. (currently available on NETFLIX) Also the book titled: “The Secret teachings of plants” ( author: Stephen Harrod Buhner). Our herb of the month was Passion flower.

THE FLORIDA HERB CONFERENCE

This past weekend, some of us attended the 4th Annual “Florida Herb Conference” in Deleon Springs. Featuring Key note speakers Juliet Blankespoor and Steven Foster. There were edible and medicinal plant walks by Bob Linde, Andy Firk, and Green Dean. Peggy Lantz took the little ones on a plant walk. I wonder if they realized how awesome that is?! Four of our very own members were also featured speakers. Gail Conroy taught “Herbal Wine Making”. Rebecca Conroy taught “The Magic of Honey Bees” and “Natural Body Care”. Dr. Bob Linde taught “Herbal 1st Aid and Clinical Practice: Native Herb Walk”. Willow Lamonte taught ” Growing Mediterranean Herbs in Florida” and “Planting Sacred Relationships”. I enjoyed seeing and chatting with several Florida Herb Society members. Some camped in tents and some in cabins. Next year we need a group picture to add to our photo album. There were a wide variety of classes and teachers to learn from. In our free time, there were delicious vegetarian and organic food trucks and yummy treats, an herbal tea station, herbal vendors, yoga, qi gong drumming and singing. It was a peaceful and beautiful experience as usual. If you were unable to make it this year, there are plenty of pictures capturing it all on “The Florida Herb Conference Face Book EVENT page”. Plus you don’t have to miss out on the wonderful lectures. Check the website: www.backcountryrecording.com  There you will find a list of all the lectures from the Florida Herb Conference that you can order. Downloadable Mp3 versions are only $10 and CD’s are $12 plus shipping and handling. You can also order lectures from previous years. Don’t forget to watch out for the “Early Bird Discount” this fall for next years conference.

We hope to hear a bit of your conference experience at the next meeting. See you March 24th!

Peace & Blessings – Anne & Amy

 

 

December Recap & January Meeting

Greetings Florida Herb Society Members and Visitors! Here is a little recap of last month. We had Dr. Linde teaching us about what Western and Chinese Herbs we should have in our herbal first aid kit, how to use them, and his own experiences with first aid. Some of our goodies from the tasting table. We had Rosemary cookies, Fennel cookies and Lavender cookies. The herb of the month was Elderberry. We had Elderberry iced tea and elderberry syrup shots. We learned a lot and had a wonderful turnout. We hope to see you all this coming Tuesday. Details below.

The first meeting of 2015 will celebrate the 41 year history of the Florida Herb Society!

This coming Tuesday, We will have a collection of past board members, Presidents, and other members who have been with the Herb Society over the years to speak about the history of our organization, share photos and memories, and honor those members who are no longer with us.  Please bring any memorabilia that may be of interest to the other members, or that you would like included in the FHS archives or added to our library at Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies.  This year we are undertaking the digitization of our archives, so that we have a way of preserving our history in additional to the paper records. If you would like to assist in scanning and uploading old newsletters, please contact Sharon or Amy.

The herb of the month is Rosemary. Please email
or if you would like to bring an herbal dish or treat to share.

6:30 pm Herb Swap & Tasting Table. You are welcome to bring an herbal treat to share at our tasting table, please list ingredients to provide for those with sensitivities.  Cuttings, seeds & plants for share or swap always welcome!

7:00 pm Meeting – A brief business meeting followed by a spotlight on the herb of the month (Rosemary) and an herbal tip from our resident Herbalist.

7:15 pm  Guests speak and share memories

8:00 pm Questions/Member memory share

8:20 End of meeting announcements and adjourn

Membership is $25 FOR THE SEASON (Sept – June) Membership also allows for access to our herbal library. Visitors are always welcome to join us!

Bring a friend and introduce them to the world of herbs.

 

 

December Meeting Updates

Greetings Florida Herb Society Members!

Tomorrow night is our December meeting. The herb of the month is Elderberry. If you would like to bring an herbal dish or some herbal tea please contact our culinary team, Christy Nicholson (Christy@floridaherbsociety.com) or Jill Shapiro (jill@floridaherbsociety.com).

Our Guest Speaker will be FHS member Dr. Bob Linde, of Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies. He is also The Guardian of our Florida Herb Society Library. If you get the chance to visit the library available to FHS members only, you will see our treasury of herbal healing and cook books and you can even “check/sign them out”. The address is 222 2nd street. (Right next to the Sundial shopping center and movie theater in downtown St. Petersburg.)

The Topic of the night will be creating an Herbal 1st Aid Kit. You will not want to miss this one. Being prepared for emergencies and knowing what natural remedies to have on hand and where to start is so important. Dr. Bob has lot’s of experience with first aid and natural healing and will once again be hosting a 1st aid booth at the Florida Herb Conference this coming year.

-Hope everyone was able to get Florida Herb Conference tickets during the return of the early bird prices.

-Thanks to everyone that signed up to help create our garden this coming spring. There will be a clip board for anyone that would like to sign up as interested in donating plants, seeds, cuttings or time in the garden.

-Our resident herbalist Linda Nash Stevenson is in the last round of her treatments. She still has a long road to recovery, but will be back to us when she is fully restored to good health. She and her family are extremely grateful for your outpouring of love and light in so many ways.

-Our Wonderful New home at Moccasin Lake is free of charge for our use. I ask everyone to consider donating a dollar or what ever you choose to show our gratitude for the amazing space and surroundings. ( The use of the electricity and amenities etc. ) This is not mandatory but it would be really sweet.

See you tomorrow! Peace & Blessings to you all! – Anne

October Meeting

Greetings Florida Herb Society members! Our meeting is next Tuesday the 21st. The topic is “Herbs in Ritual” with Kim & Colby from “Enchanted Earth”.The herb of the month is Sage. Would anyone like to bring in an herbal food dish or some herbal snacks using Sage and other herbs? We would greatly appreciate it.
Please contact so that she know what you are bringing. Thank you kindly.
Also a big Thank You to our volunteers who worked the Honey Bee festival this past weekend. We are very grateful for your dedication to the Florida Herb Society. We will be having a raffle of member donations. All proceeds will go to help our resident herbalist with medical bills from life saving treatments she desperately needs. See you next week!

September Announcements!

Our first meeting at our new location went well! Thank you to all who attended. When our scheduled speaker couldn’t make it, member Patty Morris graciously stepped up and and gave us an informative and entertaining talk about wild medicinal plants in Florida. Many of us had wanted to make it to her property and hear her speak there, but weren’t able to. This was the next best thing. Thank you Patty!

Upcoming events were discussed, specifically events and workshops at Willow’s garden, Emily’s Kapok studio, and at Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies. They are listed on the Events page.

Moccasin Lake Nature Park has invited the FHS to participate in their second annual Bee Festival, on October 11th. It is a family friendly festival, showcasing bees, honey, native bee friendly plants, and the organizations that call the park home. There will be interesting demonstrations on beekeeping, honey extraction, etc., and craft foods and items available for sale. After 5pm there will be a bonfire and drum circle.

Nancy has volunteered to take a shift at the FHS table for a few hours, starting at 9 am. Sharon and her daughter have offered a few hours, but we really need a few more members who are willing to represent FHS by standing at our table, handing out program flyers and membership forms, and answering visitor questions about our organization. If you plan on attending and can volunteer, even for an hour, please let Amy or Nancy know.

Finally, our resident Herbalist and long time member, Linda Nash Stevenson, is suffering from major health issues and needs our help. The only medication that may relieve her suffering and potentially extend her life is incredibly expensive. Her children are asking for any and all financial support available. There was a benefit concert for her last month, but more is needed. Please consider donating an item to be raffled at our October meeting, contributing financially, and sharing the information. We will be accepting donations on Linda’s behalf at our meetings, at the ROOTS Plant & Seed share, and at the Bee Festival.

First Meeting Updates-

Our first meeting of the fall season is right around the corner! If you are so inclined, please check out the Events page for the Herb of the Month, and bring a dish or beverage to share including the herb.

Jill has graciously offered to continue with the culinary services she’s been providing, until someone else feels called to volunteer. The responsibilities include coming to the meetings 15 minutes early (6:15), placing table cloths and serve-ware on tables, assisting with labeling ingredients on dishes brought by members, and bringing tea so there is always a beverage available. Jill has also taken on bringing a dish herself, using the herb of the month. That is not a requirement, but has been greatly appreciated! After the meeting, the tables are cleared,trash disposed of and serving-ware put away.

We are looking forward to seeing each other again after the summer break!

FHS has found a new home!

Greetings Florida Herb Society Members!  We hope you are excited for this new season.  As most of you are aware, the FHS can no longer afford to pay for it’s meeting space. The membership dues only go so far, and last year they did not cover the cost of renting space and having speakers. Therefore, we needed to chose a new space.

There were several criteria expressed by the board and our members:

-Free
-Seating for 50 people or more
-A Storage area for our FHS belongings (at least a large tote box)
-A small kitchen/fridge area for culinary, preparing food and washing up
-Plenty of tables for displays, demonstrations and culinary
-Freedom to hold plant and seed swaps and sales amongst members
-Plentiful, well lit parking
-AC and rest rooms
-An opportunity to find a new home as gracious and welcoming as the garden club, ideally with a space to grow herbs and use as a demonstration garden.

Anne and Amy met several times over the summer, visited and checked out in person several possible locations, spoke to previous board members, incorporated everyone’s advice and wisdom, and focused on what would be best for the Florida Herb Society as a whole. This decision was not taken lightly and was certainly a difficult one to make.

We are proud to announce our new relationship with Moccasin Lake Park in Clearwater, Florida.
In keeping with our 41 year tradition, we will have a meeting room space in a lovely wood building, that blends into the surrounding natural environment. This space meets all of the above criteria and more. It has plentiful well-lit parking inside a fenced in area, park trails for going on edible herb walks, an additional outdoor seating area with a stage and fire pit, which we may use at our discretion.
The Park is home to similar organizations like the Pinellas Native Plant Society, Audubon, Suncoast Sierra Club, Permaculture groups, and the Clearwater Bonsai Club. There will be many opportunities for us to participate in festivals and become more involved in the community, while furthering our goal of educating existing and new members.

Most of us did not want to leave the garden club, but realize we must if we are to remain financially viable.
The new board was immediately faced with the difficult task of finding a new meeting space, while trying to meet everyone’s needs. We appreciate your support while we all transition to the new space, and look forward to seeing everyone after the summer break.

Click for an interactive map to Moccasin Lake Park.

Please check out the Events page for our new 2014 Schedule!