Please Send Healing Thoughts to Dorothy

Greetings! Our long time member, volunteer, and kombucha speaker, Dorothy, has been very ill recently. Please send her your warmest healing thoughts and prayers, and if anyone would like to send her something by mail, please contact Anne, Amy, or Nancy directly for Dorothy’s home address.

2015: 03 FHS Newsletter

March 24, 2015 FHS Newsletter


  • Upcoming Events
  • Herb of the Month: Dandelion
  • Honored Guest Speaker: Dorothy Hall
  • Topic: Herbal Kombuha


Upcoming Events

Dennis brought up The Florida Herbal Conference. He attended a lecture by Andy Firk, who has over 2,200 ginger varieties and there were many other great lectures.

Emiily Huff spoke about HPV vaccinations where a 3 1/2 month old died a month later-basically the cervix had a cold with 100 strains of viruses, 17 with cancer. Men carry this. The vaccination only treats women and they are trying to give it to girls not sexually active to prevent future cancer.

Dental Health by Wesley Alexander-spoke about dental herbals, tongue scraping, mouthwash and tooth paste, neem, licorice sassafrass and massaging gums.

Paul Stamets will be there next year. He is the mycelium King. He saved his 83-year-old mom.  You can watch a u-tube stamets, paul

Early Bird Registration is in December, the conference is for 3 days  with 2 class sessions daily.  Each day you can also find Henna drying, food vendors, tincture classes, tea classes, Crystals and Reike massages.  All holistic.  More information later.

Herb Day at Bob Linde’s  May 4.

Andy Firks is on Hiway 28 near Arcadia has over 200 bamboo plants, and knows 800 plants. It is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours away on April  4, cost is $30.00

Our very own Moccasin Lake Nature Park has peacocks.

Per Sandy, US 19 is now open and is a huge time saver.

Surprise  Visit

Linda Nash-Stevenson, our very own herbalist, came to visit us. She has missed a lot and surprised she is still alive. She thanked us for all our prayers, thoughts and donations. We were the very first group of friends she has been with. During childbirth of her son, she was given an emergency blood transfusion. Later it was found out that this was the source of her Hepatitis C. 12 years ago she was told no meat and no alcohol would sustain her life longer.

Her thoughts to us “live every day with love.” Her pills were $1,100 a piece. She did not have insurance and waited for Obama Care. This did not help her. She applied for grants.  She was the first of 10,000 in the USA to receive the grant.  She was allergic to the medication and feverfew blossoms helped her with the migraines.  She also had the flu for three months on top of a weaken immune system.

She took peppermint tincture with water all day long for her physical health and flower essences for her emotional health.  The citrus blooms were in abundance this Spring and she placed these in distilled water and 50% brandy. Do not touch the blossoms with your hands and place a baggy over the mixture while it is infusing.  You can use any flower except the poisonous ones like Oleander and Poinsettia. She will elaborate more on this matter in April as our guest speaker.

She mentioned that dandelion leaves and flowers are edible and cleanse the liver.  She also had several types of herbs for sale.

Herb of the Month: Dandelion

Dandelion Facts

Dandelion with Roots and Leaves


While most people can easily identify this common herbaceous plant, there are many fascinating and useful dandelion facts that remain relatively obscure. Learning more about the nutritional and medicinal benefits of dandelion may make you think twice before eliminating this much-maligned but perpetually sunny flower from your lawn and garden.

Essential Dandelion Facts

Have you ever wondered where the dandelion gets its name? The jagged leaf margins of the common dandelion have been said to resemble a lion’s teeth. In Old French, this is roughly translated as dente de lion, a term that English speakers have corrupted to create the moniker we know today.

There is more to dandelion than its leaves, however, as cultures around the world have historically used all parts of the plant for medicinal and culinary applications.

Nutritional Information

Whether eaten in a salad or brewed as tea, dandelion greens pack a powerful nutritional punch. In particular, dandelion leaves are extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin A and iron. Additionally, they are also a good source of vitamins C, D and the entire B complex, and provide a hefty dose of the minerals calcium, potassium and zinc. Like all leafy greens, they are fat-free, low in calories, and rich in fiber. Although not as nutritionally dense as the leaves, the yellow flower petals make a colorful and nutritious addition to salads and stir-fries, and the long taproot takes on a pleasant flavor when cooked alongside other root vegetables.

Medicinal Properties

The medicinal properties of dandelion are so pervasive that they are reflected in the scientific name. The genus name Taraxacum originates from the Greek wordstaraxos, meaning disorder, and akos, meaning remedy. The species name,officinale, derives from the Latin officinalis, which roughly translates as ‘of pharmaceutical value.’ A number of medicinally useful plants, such as sage andlavender, share this species name origin to indicate their therapeutic qualities.

The ubiquitus nature of the common dandelion has led to its medicinal use the world over. Some traditional applications for dandelion include:

  • Native Americans boiled the herb to make a tea to treat swelling, various skin conditions, kidney disease, and indigestion.
  • Chinese physicians used dandelion extensively, particularly to treat breast disorders, digestive upset, and appendicitis.
  • European herbalists added the herb to preparations used in the treatment of boils, fever, eye disease, digestive ailments and diabetes.

Today, herbalists combine the dandelion facts established by their predecessors with modern scientific principles to support the liver and gallbladder, to stimulate the appetite and to generally improve digestion.According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the root has a mild diuretic and laxative effect. While many laxatives and diuretics tend to deplete potassium levels, the natural potassium content in dandelion offsets this effect. Dandelion further aids digestion by promoting the health of intestinal flora.

Both the roots and leaves of the plant may help moderate blood glucose levels in diabetics and also improve blood lipid profiles, lowering cholesterol levels and triglycerides while increasing the percentage of high-density lipoproteins.

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have long used dandelion to treat breast cancer. This time-honored practice now appears to have support from modern scientific research. In one 2008 study, a water-based solution made from dandelion leaves significantly reduced the growth and the invasiveness of breast cancer cells.

As research continues to support the dandelion facts that traditional healers have known for centuries, this common garden weed is poised to become a key player in modern medical treatments.

Side Effects and Contraindications

Whether used as food or medicine, dandelion is generally a safe and low-risk herb. Side effects are rare and generally mild, and may include mouth sores or allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

However, according to New York University’s Department of Medicine, some dandelion facts have led European authorities to recommend against dandelion use for those with certain medical conditions. Dandelion has a known effect on bile production, and a theoretical effect on stomach acidity. As a result, it may interfere with certain medications or aggravate existing conditions. Consult with your doctor before beginning dandelion use if you have:

  • Gallstones or other gallbladder obstruction
  • Ulcers
  • Antacid, lithium, or antibiotic use

Finding Fresh Dandelion

Many people research how to grow exotic herbs like stevia or angelica in their herb garden, but most are able to grow dandelion without any prior knowledge. Dandelions generally pop up wherever the natural vegetation has been disturbed, and will grow in virtually any scenario. If you harvest wild dandelion for teas or salads, choose your source carefully. Parks and roadsides may be contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers or animal wastes. Keep your lawn natural and pesticide-free, and you will have no trouble finding fresh, organic dandelion whenever you need it.

Using Dandelion

If these dandelion facts have inspired you to use dandelion therapeutically, you can either harvest and prepare your own tea, or you can purchase ready-made supplements. To make dandelion tea, steep one to two teaspoons of dried root or leaves in hot water for five to ten minutes, strain, and drink immediately. Dandelion supplements are available as powdered extracts or as tinctures, using either the leaf or the root as the source material.

As a readily-available, low-risk herb packed with nutritional and medicinal benefits, the common dandelion is dandy, indeed.

Honored Guest Speaker: Dorothy Hall

Guest Speaker March
Guest Speaker March

 Dorothy is a member of Florida Herb Society and she demonstrated how to make Herbal Kombucha, its benefits and how to brew it at home.

Topic: Kombucha How to Brew it at Home

Dorothy had two handouts: one on Brewing Kombucha and the second one containing recipes.

 Benefits:  Dorothy’s recommended website: is not up and running at this time. I trust Dr. Axe and he does have a different recipe.

Kombucha page 1 001 Kombucha page 2 001 Kombucha recipes 001

 Double click on page to read


What is Kombucha?

Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects:

The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as aSCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Although it’s usually made with black tea, kombucha can also be made with green tea too.

You can make kombucha yourself at home or buy it for $3–$5 a bottle at most health food stores and some coffee shops.

Beneficial Probiotics in Kombucha 

An article published in the journal Food Microbiology established that the following probiotics make up this health elixir:

  • Gluconacetobacter (>85 percent in most samples)
  • Acetobacter (<2 percent)
  • Lactobacillus (up to 30 percent in some samples)
  • Zygosaccharomyces (>95 percent)

Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.

Health Benefits of Kombucha Infograph diagram

7 Kombucha Health Benefits

In research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha:

It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity.

We agree! In fact, according to research there are five main health benefits of kombucha.

#1 Detoxification — The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense. A perfect example is in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity.

In one study, the liver cells were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to a toxin! According to researchers, this was “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”

Digestive system#2 Digestion — Naturally, the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics and enzymes.

Some research has shown kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. No surprise to us, in some instances it’s even proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD and ulcers.

Kombucha can also help heal candida yeast from overpopulating within the gut because it helps restore balance to the digestive system. Kombucha is a great way to fight candida because it contains live probiotic cultures that help the gut to repopulate with good bacteria while crowding out the candida yeast. Kombucha does have bacteria, but these are not harmful pathogen bacteria, instead they are the beneficial kind (called “apathogens”) that compete with “bad” pathogen bacteria in the gut and digestive tract.

One thing to mention here is that candida or other digestive problems can sometimes be complicated issues to fix and symptoms might actually get worse before getting better. This doesn’t mean that kombucha isn’t effective or is exacerbating the problem, just that gut problems aren’t always a straight path to healing and at times some patience or trial and error is needed.

#3 Energy — Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people is credited to the formation ofiron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process. It also contains some caffeine (although in very small amounts) and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.

Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy-producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink it stay energized.

#4 Immune Health — The overall effect that kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through antioxidant measures.

Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) was discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that’s not found in black tea alone.

Scientists suspect that DSL and the vitamin C present in kombucha are its main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system. Also, we know the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system.

Joint Health, knee pain, arthritis#5 Joint Care — Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen, it also supports collagen of the entire body and reduces the appearance of wrinkles on the skin.

#6 Cancer Prevention — Kombucha is also beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery. A study published in Cancer Letters found that consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans.

President Reagan even reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer.

Weight Loss

#7 Weight Loss — Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha improves metabolism and limits fat accumulation. Though we need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid (just like apple cider vinegar is) and polyphenols, which are proven to help increase weight loss.

How to Make Kombucha

Kombucha is simple to make yourself, and because it can be a bit costly to buy bottled kombucha almost every day, we recommend you give it a shot.

Here is a simple recipe for making your own kombucha at home. This recipe makes about eight cups of kombucha, but you can also double the recipe to make more and you still only need one SCOBY disk.

Kombucha Recipe

kombucha tea

Yields: 8 cups

You need:

  • 1 large glass/metal jar or bowl that has a wide opening. You want to avoid using a plastic jar or bowl because the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the kombucha during the fermentation period. It’s also possible that ceramic pots might cause lead to leach into the kombucha once the acid comes into contact with the ceramic glaze. Look for a big metal or glass jug/jar/bowl online or in large kitchen stores, and make sure the opening is wide enough to allow a lot of oxygen to reach the kombucha while it ferments.
  • 1 large piece of cloth or dish towel to secure around the opening of the jar with a rubber band. It’s not recommended to use a cheese cloth since this allows particles to pass through. You can even try using an old thin cotton t-shirt or some simple cotton fabric from any textile store.
  • 1 SCOBY disk. You will need to purchase a “SCOBY” disk and can find one either in health food stores or online at very inexpensive prices. A SCOBY disk can be vacuumed-sealed in a small pouch and shipped directly to your house for only a few dollars, while still preserving all of the active yeast ingredients.
  • 8 cups of water (preferably filtered, but people who use tap water feel this works fine too). Some prefer using distilled water which will contain less contaminants or metals than tap water will. Distilled water is inexpensive (only like 88 cents a gallon) and can be found at most large drug or convenience stores.
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar or honey. When it comes to sugar substitutions, some feel that it’s not a good idea to substitute cane sugar for another kind of sugar,honey, stevia or anything else. On the other hand some people have reported making kombucha successfully with raw honey. The quality of the sugar is important in order to avoid contaminants, so look for organic sugar. Yes, this is one of the few times we’ll tell you to use real sugar! Most of it is actually “eaten” by the yeast during the fermentation process, so there is very little sugar actually left in the recipe by the time you consume it.
  • 4 black tea bags (preferably organic which some people have reported works better). Some people also like to use green tea, although black tea is the kind used traditionally in most cases.
  • 1 cup of pre-made kombucha, which you can either buy or use from a previous kombucha batch that you or a friend made.


1. Bring your water to boil in a big pot on the stovetop. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add your teabags and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

2. Allow the pot to sit and the tea to steep for about 15 minutes, then remove and discard tea bags.

3. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature (which usually takes about one hour). Once it’s cooled, add your tea mixture to your big jar/bowl. Drop in your SCOBY disk and 1 cup of pre-made kombucha.

4. Cover your jar/bowl with your cloth or thin kitchen towel, and try to keep the cloth in plate by using a rubber hand or some sort of tie. You want the cloth to cover the wide opening of the jar and stay in place, but be thin enough to allow air to pass through.

5. Allow the kombucha to sit for 7–10 days depending on the flavor you’re looking for. Less time produces a weaker kombucha that tastes less sour, while a longer sitting time makes the kombucha ferment even longer and develop more taste. Some people have reported fermenting kombucha for up to a month with great results, so taste test the batch every couple of days to see if its reached the right taste and level of carbonation you’re looking for.

Kombucha tea drink recipe

Usually, the warmer your home is, the less time the kombucha needs to ferment. Once you’re happy with the taste, put your kombucha into smaller glass bottles (or whatever type of bottle fits in your refrigerator), and refrigerate the kombucha for at least 24 hours to allow it to cool and finish carbonating. Once it’s cooled, you are ready to drink your homemade kombucha!

*Note that as the fermentation process happens, you will notice that the SCOBY disk “grows” a second SCOBY disk. Many people call the SCOBY that you purchased and used to make the kombucha the “mother” SCOBY and the second SCOBY that grows the “baby.” The mother SCOBY is located on top of the baby.

You can actually use the newly formed baby SCOBY to create a whole new batch of kombucha, so you don’t want to throw out the baby disk. Store the baby SCOBY in a bit of already-made kombucha in a glass jar while not using it, so you have it on hand to start a new batch when you want it. It will “active” for several weeks when it’s stored in some kombucha at room temperature on a counter top. While some people prefer to keep the mother scoby disk attached to the baby, others prefer to throw away the mother SCOBY once the kombucha is finished fermenting.

It seems to work well both ways and keeping the mother disk hasn’t caused any reported problems or contamination. According to some sources, the mother disk can keep fermenting new kombucha batches for about another month after its first use, but then will become inactive and should be thrown away.

Making Flavored Kombucha:

The recipe above is for a basic, unflavored kombucha. You can try adding unique flavors like fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice; ginger root “juice” made by blending ginger and water, blended berries, fresh-squeezed orange, pomegranate or cranberry juices; or many other natural and low-sugar flavors.

We recommend doing this after the kombucha has fermented and is ready to drink, although some people to prefer to add flavor-enhancers to the kombucha a day or two before it’s done so the flavor can intensify. Either way to seems to work well, but keep in mind that berries and other perishable fruits will not last as long as the kombucha itself, so those will limit the time you have to store it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that flavored, bottled kombucha tends to have more sugar than the plain kind. Some brands add very low-sugar flavors like lemon, lime, or ginger juice which won’t jack up the sugar content, but look out for kinds that are high in added sugar and aggravate health problems.

Kombucha Side Effects 

Most people experience great benefits drinking kombucha and have no negative side effects. However, there are possible interactions and side effect symptoms to be aware of, mostly in populations that already have weakened immune systems and digestive problems. Side effects seem to be more of a risk when making homemade kombucha because contamination is possible and the SCOBY disk and finished products both aren’t tested for quality control, like they are when larger manufacturers produce them. If you’re going to brew your own, pay careful attention to using sterile equipment, clean working spaces and high-quality ingredients.

A small percentage of people have experienced stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions when drinking kombucha. Because kombucha has a high level of acidity, it’s possible that this can cause problems for people with digestive problems like stomach ulcers, heartburn, or any sensitivity to very acidic foods.

It’s a good idea to start with a small amount in moderation and gradually work your way up to drinking more in order to see if you have any negative reaction to it. Stick to about 8 ounces per day, especially in the beginning. To limit your risk, buy pre-made kombucha that’s been tested for bacterial contamination.

Other groups that might want to limit their kombucha consumption include: people with leaky gut syndrome, those with very poor immune systems and pregnant women. More information can be found below about risks related to those groups:

kombucha tea drink

Use caution if you have a weakened immune system

People who have compromised immunity due to certain viruses like HIV/AIDS need to be careful about consuming kombucha, since there is always a possibility that the yeast can grow harmful bacteria that can cause illness. This is especially true of homemade kombucha, where contamination is more likely to happen if it’s brewed in an unsanitary environment.

Women who are pregnant or nursing

While kombucha hasn’t been studied much at all in pregnant women, there is always concern that pregnant women shouldn’t consume alcohol or caffeine, both of which are present in kombucha in small amounts. Before more formal research is conducted showing that it’s completely safe, pregnant women are advised to err on the safe side and avoid kombucha, or at least to enjoy it in small quantities.

Those who cannot tolerate even low levels of sugar, caffeine or alcohol

Kombucha is brewed using black tea and sugar, which when fermented turn into alcohol is very small amounts (only about 1 percent of kombucha is believed to be alcohol). For people with existing diabetes, kombucha likely won’t cause much of a problem considering it’s very low in sugar (about 2 grams per 8 ounce), but it’s worth being careful and monitoring blood sugar levels and related symptoms. For those with digestive problems like IBS or anxiety disorders, the low level of caffeine in kombucha is also something to be conscious of, since caffeine can sometimes aggravate these conditions.

As you can see, kombucha boasts many health benefits, and you can even make it yourself for a very low cost so you always have some kombucha within arm’s reach! So drink up for your health!

Dorothy’s benefits:

If you are run down  or have a cold, this fermented, immune system booster, detoxifier, natural probiotic, energized  drink for detoxification drink Kombucha every day.

It is rich in vitamins, B: overall energy, heart, hair, slimming, release stress and anxiety and boosts the memory.  It breaks down food in the digestive system and boosts one’s enemy.  It is so much healthier than pop or coffee. Relieves bloating for PMS and flushes out the estrogen. Relieves arthritis and joint pain.

Side Effects:

The tea and sugar does ferment and the alcohol content is very low 1%.  If you are a diabetic, the sugar content is 2 grams per 8 oz glass.

IBS anxiety – Kombucha has caffiene.  Not a good idea.

If you have a liver disease, you can NOT drink it.

Some Tips On Making your Kombucha:

If you use loose leaf tea, use only black tea

Woodstock Farms Organic Pure Sugar Cane is a good sugar to use.

Scoby-do not use stainless steel. You can use steel to brew your tea; however the scoby can NOT touch metal. The scoby cannot take heat.  Make your tea and then cool to room temperature.  Keep the Mother Scoby and never get rid of her.  She is a living organism and needs to breathe. Use clean hands or wooden spoon to get the scoby out. Save 1 cup or 2 for your next starter.  Do not put the scoby in the refrigerator, it WILL kill it.  Use a coffee filter and a rubber band over your scoby and tea.

If you place these in a closet, it will be dark. You must leave the door open a crack so it will get fresh air. It needs to be 68 degrees or higher.

Your tea container can be placed in the dishwasher to be washed; however, some people adding to the jar.

Flavored Kombucha:

After Kombucha is made, Blend your chosen fermented Kombucha from your fermentation container, begin with 2 cups of the liquid, strain off the particles prior to adding flavoring to the bottle.

Lemon and ginger, add  or drink plain.  You can also add to a smoothie.

3 oz of Elderberry syrup.

Drink at least 1 glass every day.

If you have Candida-you usually want to avoid fermented foods and drinks, no Kombucha.

Drink on an empty stomach, you can boost up your system.

Kombucha can be given to children, you may want to add some juice.

Drink 3 to 5 oz to try if you have some type of disease to see if it interacts favorably with you.

Kombucha should be placed in the refrigerator after the scoby is out.

After 7 to 14 days it is time to taste. Use a straw to taste. If sweet, let set more. You want it to be vineragry.

Some one asked if you can eat the scoby, Dorothy said yes; However, it is rough!!






2015: 05 FHS Newsletter

May 19, 2015 FHS Newsletter


  • Upcoming Events
  • Herb of the Month: Stinging Nettles
  • Honored Guest Speaker: Deserie Valloreo
  • Topic:  Workshop Where the Audience Will Pick 5 Herbal Medicine Topics


Upcoming Events

This Saturday, May 23rd, Roots and Seeds at Crescent Lake in St Petersburg, bring roots or seeds and share.  All free.   Also, our honored guest; Deserie Valloreo, will be speaking on June 14th, at Moccasin Lake Nature Park, She will be speaking on making Herbal Medicine-it will be hands on event and will last around 3 hours.  June 16th, willl be the last meeting until September. Rebecca Conroy will be speaking on the Magic of the Honey Bees. We will be voting for officers. March Against Monsato was Saturday, May 23rd..

Anne took the time to thank all the volunteers who participated in Herb Day.  She would like to see FHS have a table next year at the Green Thumb Festival.

Herb of the Month:  Stinging Nettles


Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

Nettle Benefits

Nettle (also known as Stinging Nettle) has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms, particularly hayfever which is the most common allergy problem. It contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. Dr. Andrew Wiel M.D. author of Natural Health/ Natural Medicine says he knows of nothing more effective than nettle for allergy relief. And his statement is backed up by studies at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Decongestants, antihistamines, allergy shots and even prescription medications such as Allegra and Claritin treat only the symptoms of allergies and tend to lose effectiveness over a period of time. They can also cause drowsiness, dry sinuses, insomnia and high blood pressure. Nettle has none of these side effects. It can be used on a regular basis and has an impressive number of other benefits most notably as a treatment for prostate enlargement.

Nettle has been studied extensively and has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, bladder infections, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, gout, hives, kidney stones, laryngitis, multiple sclerosis, PMS, prostate enlargement, sciatica, and tendinitis! Externally it has been used to improve the appearance of the hair, and is said to be a remedy against oily hair and dandruff.

In Germany today stinging nettle is sold as an herbal drug for prostate diseases and as a diuretic. It is a common ingredient in other herbal drugs produced in Germany for rheumatic complaints and inflammatory conditions (especially for the lower urinary tract and prostate). In the United States many remarkable healing properties are attributed to nettle and the leaf is utilized for different problems than the root. The leaf is used here as a diuretic, for arthritis, prostatitis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and allergic rhinitis.

The root is recommended as a diuretic, for relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and other prostate problems, and as a natural remedy to treat or prevent baldness

An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding. It is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema. Externally, the plant is used to treat skin complaints, arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and hair problems.

Taken orally, products made from nettle’s aerial parts may interfere with the body’s production of prostaglandins and other inflammation-causing chemicals. Consequently, nettle may have an anti-inflammatory effect. It may also enhance responses of the immune system. Chemicals in nettle’s aerial parts are also thought to reduce the feeling of pain or interfere with the way that nerves send pain signals. All of these effects may reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis and other similar conditions.

In addition, nettle’s aerial parts may reduce the amount of histamine that is produced by the body in response to an allergen. An allergen is a substance such as pollen that may provoke an exaggerated immune response in individuals who are sensitive to it. Through this potential action, the aerial parts of nettle may help to reduce allergy symptoms. Results from one human study are promising, but more research is needed to be conclusive.

A solution of the extract may be applied to the skin to relieve joint pain and muscle aches. Astringent properties of nettle aerial parts may also help to lessen the swelling of hemorrhoids and stop bleeding from minor skin injuries such as razor nicks. An astringent shrinks and tightens the top layers of skin or mucous membranes, thereby reducing secretions, relieving irritation, and improving tissue firmness. It may also be used topically for dandruff and overly oily hair and scalp.

This herb should be used for a minimum of 30 days for full effects.

Honored Guest Speaker: Deserie Valloreo

Deserie Valloreo
Deserie Valloreo

Deserie Valloreo is a Natural Health Educator and Advisor. She earned a Bachelor of Science at USF and complete the Professional Herbalist Programs at Acupuncture  & Herbal Therapies in St. Petersburg, FL where she studied Traditional Chinese medicine and herbs. Deserie also studied Western Herbalism under the direction of internationally recognized herbalist Rose-mary Gladstar.   In the summer of 2008, Deserie founded, Herbalwise, a company with the mission to empower people to take control of their health naturally. She works toward this goal by offering educational workshops, private consultations, and her own line of herbal remedies.   Deserie hand-crafts over 50 different remedies for help people with digestion, anxiety, sleep, pain allergies and more. Her remedies include medicinal herbal teas, liquid extracts, and salves.  Her workshops focus on herbal medicinal-making and natural solutions to common health concerns.   Deserie is the president of the West Coast Florida Regional Chapter of the American herbalist Guild, a member of the Florida Herb Society, and a member of the Florida State Oriental Medicine Association.  Owner of Herbalwise and Holistic Network of Tampa Bay and Holistic Workshop Academy. Deserie can be reached through her website:

Topic: Ailments and Herbal Remedies

Athlete’s Foot–Tea tree oil, which Deserie has her own for sale. Hemp seed oil/Oregano oil

Turkey or Greece is a good source for Essential Oil carriers

Upper Respiratory Infection— make a steam inhalation (expectorant) with Eucalyptus, Mint, Osha and Spanish Needles.

Osha is a perennial herb that inhabits the mountainous regions of southwestern North America and Mexico, with a particularly wide distribution in the Rocky Mountains. The plant is known by a variety of common names, including Wild Lovage, Indian Parsley, Mountain Carrot and (our favorite) Empress of the Dark Forest. As some of these names suggest, Osha is a member of the carrot andparsley family.

The root has a long history of use by the Zuni tribe of North America, who chew the raw root and use it to produce infusions. Osha root is also used to make teas, tinctures and extracts.

Bladder withering or thinning of the bladder tissue –Uva Ursi-Uva Ursi may be of great value in diseases of the bladder and kidneys, strengthening and imparting tone to the urinary passages. The diuretic action is due to the glucoside Arbutin, which is largely absorbed unchanged and is excreted by the kidneys. During its excretion, Arbutin exercises an antiseptic effect on the urinary mucous membrane. Therefore, it is used in inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract, urethritis, cystisis, etc. and Schisandra which is an adaptogen and supports the immune system. Or buchu which is for the Excretory System
Buchu is reputedly helpful in the treatment of Kidney Stones.
Buchu reputedly possesses diuretic properties that alleviate Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Buchu is employed by many herbalists in the treatment of Cystitis (the diuretic effects of Buchu are claimed to help to flush away the Detrimental Bacteria that cause (bacterial) Cystitis).

Adaptogen herbs get the body back sync

Constipation–Barberry,  Rhubarb root  and Senna tea-Senna is a herb that is generally used for its laxative properties. Senna formerly, plants in Cassia (genus)is also known as wild senna, cassia marilandica, or locust plant. It works by interacting with the bacteria in the digestive track, resulting in intestinal contractions. These contractions are caused by the anthraquinone that is contained in senna. These dimeric glycosides anthraquinone derivatives are known as Senna glycosides or sennosides. They are named after their abundant occurrence in these plants of the genus Senna. The main forms of these glycosides are often referred to by: A, B, C & D. Both leaves and pods of the senna plant are used for their laxative effects. The pods are less potent than the leaves.

Arthritis–marshmallow root and ginger which increases the circulation. (Marshmallow works as a mucilage, producing a thick sticky substance that coats membranes. Marshmallow extract contains flavanoids, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. The flavanoids are able to reduce inflammation while the mucilage holds them in place and prevents further damage. The extracts also induce phagocytosis, which is the process in which certain cells engulf bacteria, dead cell tissues or other solid particles. This helps speed up the healing process. The mucilage remains unaltered until it reaches the colon, which is why marshmallow works well on most inflammatory digestive disorders.)

Bed Wetting–Chamomile flowers (creates a natural calm) in water an create steam, skullcap, marjoram and passionflower.   Also warm milk and turmeric. (Skullcapthis herb can also be used to induce sleep naturally without the negative effects of many prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids.  Marjoram stronger Marjoram Tea: Add two teaspoons of Marjoram to a cup of 7 ounces of cold water. Let it soak for 24 hours and add honey to it. An even stronger tea may be made by adding 6 teaspoons Marjoram to 7 ounces of water. It has a calming, antidepressive effect.

Exposed Tooth Roots– Clove Essential oil and sesame oil

Bone Strengthening–Go the gym and calcium citrate

Aging– hair loss, brittle nails, Rosemary tea increases circulation and horsetail tea for the nails ( Horsetail because of its content of silica, this plant is recommended when it is necessary for the body to repair bony tissues. Silica helps to fix calcium, so that the body can store more quantity of this mineral and then use it to repair bones, collagen and other body tissues. Horsetail can therefore be useful for osteoporosis.)

In August a quarterly journal will be out. Email –Tampa Bay Holistic Networking and in November there will be a showcase for Deserie

Hngelkulture hold moisture not real sure about the spelling.




2015:04 FHS Newsletter

April 2015 Newsletter

  • Upcoming events
  • Herb of the Month: Edible Flowers
  • Guest Speaker: Linda Nash Stevenson
  • Topic: Flower Essences

Upcoming Events

Anne opened the meeting with requests of the upcoming events and any news to be shared. It was asked if anyone went to Andy Firk’s event, unfortunately no one replied.

The Green Thumb Festival will be occurring April 25 and 26th. The Florida Herb Society hopes to have a table at the event next year. Rebecca Conroy talked about the  Jungle Terrace Community’s booth. They will test your soil, exchange plants if you bring one and will have lots of children’s activities. Some of our members will  have booths- Willow, Deserie and Bob Linde.

Herb Day will be celebrated on May 2nd the FHS will have a booth. Bob Linde always shares half of the raffle sales with our society. It will be from 10 am  to 4 pm. We will have Lemon Grass, Lemon Grass tea and plants for sale. Lectures will be every 45 minutes.

On May 6th the Native Plant Society will have as a quest speaker, Andy Korpenzie, a retired food forester. He will be speaking at their regular meeting here at Moccasin Lake Nature Park it will a lot of permaculture information. Wednesday at 7 pm.

Dorothy will answer any questions you might have on your Kombucha after the meeting.

Herb of the Month: Edible Flowers

Anne picked some flowers from the grounds here at the Nature Center for examples of edible flowers. She had the weed Bidens Alba a/k/a Spanish Needles, it is high in iron.  Young leaves, tops, shoots can be eaten. Some young leaves can be used raw in salads. Try a little first. Flower petals as a trail side nibble or a bit of white in salads. Dried, the leaves can be used as tea or smoked like tobacco. The flowers are mixed with sticky balls of rice and allowed to ferment in water to make a spirit. The leaves are also used in making  wine.

She also had some Spider Wort. Spiderwort had many uses in First Nation’s culture as food and medicine. Edible parts: The seeds are edible when roasted and is ground into a powder (although they are somewhat bitter to taste). Leaves can be made into a tea or tossed into salads, soups, etc. The root can be collected all year round. The flowers can be tossed on top of a salad and eaten. (Dried, powdered flowers were once used as a snuff for nosebleeds.)

Externally, this plant can be used as a poultice to help heal wounds and hemorrhoids. Internally the leaves and roots are a valuable alternative medicine used by medical herbalists for their patients as an antidiarrheal, analgesic, anthelmintic, antiperiodic, astringent, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, vermifuge, and vulnerary. Also, drinking spiderwort tea is supposed to be a good for increasing breast milk (Galactagogue). it will turn pink if radiation is nearby, it opens in the morning with the purple flower and the bee’s love it.

no standard photoOhio Spiderwort

Spanish Needles                                                                                                         Spiderwort


Guest Speaker: Linda Nash Stevenson

Linda Nash-Stevenson, DOM is also the FHS’s Resident Herbalist.   Linda Nash Stevenson, A.P., DOM Board Certified Acupuncture Physician Linda Nash Stevenson, A.P. received her training in Chinese Medicine at the Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in St. Petersburg, Fl., graduating  in 1999. Her undergraduate studies were in music performance at the Univ. of   So. FL –  Tampa FL;  at Berklee College of Music- Boston, MA.  She is a Diplomat with the NCCAOM and is licensed as an Acupuncture Physician in Florida.  Linda specializes in women’s health concerns for every life phase especially fertility, pregnancy and labor. She treats many health conditions, providing care for the entire family. Stress relieving balancing sessions  that promote  general well being are available .    A regular speaker at many events in Tampa Bay; host of  Lifeforce Lectures throughout the year in the community and serves as Resident Herbalist for the Florida Herb Society. She is the mother of three, a Nonni to 2 sweet grand-daughters and an avid gardener -She also performs throughout Tampa Bay as a flutist and vocalist.     She believes in gentle effective acupuncture  and works with each persons unique energies and abilities to heal.

Flower Essences

The core of her heart is flower essences. When she was young her sister took her to a lecture in the 1960’s about Finhorn, Scotland. Various people there grew their own food and made their own medicine all from the farm. They made flower essences. They were the resource for remedies.  People believe that Nelson Bach was first to use flower essenses and is perhaps more well-known.  There seems to be a cycle in history where the method of teaching is acquired and lost throughout history. The flower essences are known in Australia by  the Aborigines, India, China and Europe which have very long histories.

Flowers represent many things. They send a message, they scent the air and they are given in happy and sad times. They are universal and output electrial engery. Flowers are emotionally  balancing.  They help the mental balance and physical ailments.

Bach believed in the rescue remedy and had 12 and 26  remedy essential oils. The culmination of a life’s work for Dr Edward Bach, this system of 38 plant and flower based essences can help balance the emotional demands of everyday life. Each of the 38 essences has the potential to balance an everyday emotion we all feel from time to time and personal combinations can be tailored to everybody’s individual needs.  All you need to do is to select essences that reflect your mood, situation or personality the best. The 38 flower essences are made from wild plants, trees and bushes and are still prepared today using the same methods Dr Bach outlined in his original writings.

You can purchase these oils or make them individually yourself. Linda likes to do blends in excess of blossoms and they will cover several emotions. You must prepare yourself to make your own flower essences. Your mindset must be intentional and should be very serious. All flowers are here to help us and should be prepared in a dark quiet place.

First set in observance in your garden. spend time watching the plants, observing is critical. Watch the blooming process, you will learn to know your plants in your garden or fields as well.  Do not use any pesticides! Know your plant well by watching its cycles, when it sets its blooms and when they blossom. Which flowers bloom at what time of the year. Also, if the plants likes the sun or shade the best. Linda states the plants call to her when it is time to make medicine, they call her to take their amazing energy and work on their subtle leads.

Two main things:

1) Be prepared, have a box packed and ready to go

2) Have good intentions and be in a good frame of mind

You need to clear your thoughts the day before, prepare your own hearts emotions. You need to take a shower and cleanse yourself, relax and let your anxieties go down the drain.  Set all your trouble aside.  You need clear and clean glass bowls with no marks or color designs. Let their vibrations out. You need to be by yourself without any other family members about. You want a nice clear day.  No inclement weather and no wind. Do not be in a hurry. You want to get started in the morning around 8 to 10:30 am.

We normally sustain or gardens, let Florida gardens sustain us. Walk into the flower space with gratitude, sit and bond with your flowers. Whatever is in your garden, experiment  the “Joy Bomb” you will find a surge of joy. You will experience something with your flower essences. The blends don’t matter as much as your intentions. Such as Chili Reset with elderberry, comfrey, passion-flower, jasmine, oregano and spanish needle blossoms.

DO NOT PICK WITH YOUR HANDS. Put water in the bowl and use tongs or chopsticks or use a leaf from the plant/s to remove the blossoms. place in the sun as close as you can to the mother plant/s. This will get the blossoms solar energized and make sure it will not be in the shade later.  A comment was made that Blue African and basil flowers are perennials.  Let the blossoms in the water sit for 2-3-4-5 hours until it is done.

Linda recommended a book: The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: The Home Manual 2000 by Jim Green  (Amazon) , The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by Jim Green 1990, she states she has feelings of elation.

Vibrational Medicines

Borage blossoms have the highest vibrational energy. The best for women with emotion and hormone imbalances. Be in a neutral zone to bring out the most essences energy. Give thanks to the Mother Plant, No Shade, No cats drinking the water, DO NOT touch the water. Let’s start preparations.

Mother Essences-first water

Water should be purified

Glass jars

Brandy aged in Oak barrels always

Dosing bottles  1/2 oz or 4 drams, 1/2 oz or 8 drams

Mesh screen, coffee filters or cheese cloth

Labels and marking pens

Funnel for small jars

Small pitchers

Favorite flower, you use them

Mother Essence/Stock Bottle

The mother Essence will make your stock essences. Label it – and date it. Filter the water to get all of the stuff out and pour in your brandy. You can use the Shiso method where a whole leaf of green shiso is often used as a receptacle to hold the items removed.  This mixture will 50% essence water and 50% brandy. If you are alcohol intolerant use white vinegar. Whatever is left over put back on the plant.

Dosing Bottles

Your mixture will less diluted.  This is the Finhorn method of dosing.  1/4 oz or 4 drams use 7 to 9 drops from the stock bottle. You can also do 1/4 oz bottle with brandy, 3/4 of that water 1/4 brandy and 5 to 10 drops of stock essence.

1/2 oz or 8 drams use 18 drops of stock essence.

If you make a spray, put it under your tongue, put drops in your bath water, use topically, place on pressure points.


Shiso is the Pirello plant and a Chinese herb.

Green Hope Farm is on-line. It has ideas for animal flower essences and for humans.

Book: Wildflowers of Florida, Field Guide by Janet C. Daniels

Book: Flower Fairies: The Meaning of Flowers by Cicely Mary Barker, this is English folk-lore

 How to use Flower Essences

The stock bottle fluid is good for teething (50% water and 50% brandy). Sage flower essence is very good for teething. You can give flower essences to newborn infants to persons 100 plus years old. This is especially good for terminally ill patients. It will help to calm down the patient and take away the fear.  On infants or animals use one to two drops.

One can keep the stock bottle for up to five years. If you see brown specs in it filter it. If you have to do it a second time later-throw it away. Use a dark bottle for the stock bottle.

Brandy is super sedating. She has used E-J Brandy, aged in Oak barrels for 3 years.

Use blossoms not buds. It is good for the lungs and courage.

Blossoms that can be safely used:

A sampling,

Spanish needles, good for allergies








Cranberry Hibiscus






Lemon Balm

All Citrus-put in Vodka use only a few drops

Marigold – rich in Lutein



Passion Flower

Red Clover

Roses -No pesticides




Blossoms DO NOT use:

Poisonous Oleander if burning it kill people just from the smoke

Rosery Pea- real dangerous two can kill you


Yellow Alamondum – super poisonous



Caster Bean plants

More recommendations:

Book: The Global Forest: 40 ways trees can save us by Diane Berresord-Kroeger

Finhorn Flower Essences and Finhorn Flower Essences Handbook by Marion Leigh

Book: The Complete Book  of Flower Essences: 48 Natural and Beautiful Ways to Heal Yourself and Your Life by Rhonda Pallesdowney

 She also had Cardemon plants for sale $3.00 and flower essences to purchase.

Updates & May Meeting Reminder

Greetings Florida Herb Society Members!

Our next meeting is next Tuesday May 19th.

Our speaker will be FHS member and Professional Clinical Herbalist, Deserie Valloreo of “Deserie’s Herbalwise”, “Holistic Workshop Academy”, and “Holistic Network of Tampa Bay”. She will be speaking about 5 herbal healing topics/ailments chosen by the members present that night. Please check out her website and facebook page.

Our herb of the month is: Stinging Nettles

We are in need of snacks and tea for our culinary table. If you would like to contribute something for our culinary table, please email Christy to let her know what to expect at or give her a call at the number listed on our board directory on the schedule flyer under “Culinary”.

Thank you all for keeping Jill Shapiro in your thoughts and prayers during her surgery last week. Our thoughts are still with her during this time as she continues to heal and for good results from the surgery. We are very thankful for her help over the years with our culinary department.

Thank you to Linda Nash Stevenson for her lecture on “Flower Essences” at our last meeting. We learned wonderful information on how to utilize the emotional healing vibrations/sensitive energies of the flowers around us. And what a treat it was to have you back in our presence as you continue to heal.

A big THANK YOU to Sharon, Christy, Yetta, Amy, and Dennis for coming out to volunteer at our table, at The Annual “National Herb Day” celebration. They spent the day sharing info and the mission of The Florida Herb Society with the attendees,  bundling lemongrass and sharing herbal tea and cuttings for donations. A special THANK YOU to Yetta for once again, so generously harvesting and donating the lemongrass from her beautiful garden as well as brewing her famous herbal tea for us. Another Special THANK YOU to Bob Linde and Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies for hosting this event and sharing proceeds with our organization.

See you next week!

Peace & Blessings to you all! – Anne & Amy




April meeting & Updates

Greetings Florida Herb Society Members!


**Next Tuesday the 21st is our next meeting. Our Resident Herbalist Linda Nash Stevenson will be our speaker on the topic of Flower Essences, how to create your own and all the healing properties and benefits.


-Our Herb of the Month Spot light is on Edible Flowers

Please email Christy ( or Jill ( to let them know if you would like to bring some herbal flower tea or something tasty for our culinary table preferably something with edible flowers but we would appreciate any offerings .


-One of our long time members, Bob Young needs transportation to our meetings. If you are able to bring him to the meeting please email me (Anne) or Amy. Amy plans on picking him up for next week. He really would like to continue to attend our meetings but is unable to drive at night. Thank you so much.


-At this time we are longer accepting plants for the garden. We have decided to do the huglekulture method. (A sort of soil lasagna, layering different materials to create a nourishing foundation for our plants.) We will be picking up manure and Certified Organic soil.


*******HERB DAY is coming soon!! Saturday May 2nd from 9am-5pm hosted by FHS member Dr. Bob Linde at Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies 222 2nd street  in downtown St.Petersburg. This is event is to raise money for the Florida Herb Society as well as Our Local chapter of the American Herbalist Guild. We will have a table set up there for donations, to bundle and handout lemon grass, and Yetta’s famous citrus confetti tea blend and to sell our FHS reusable bags. We are in need of volunteers to take shifts. Please email me if you can volunteer and what time and how long you are available.


-Thank you to Dorothy for teaching us how to brew Kombucha and all the health benefits. Also thanks for sharing your SCOBY’s with us!

Thank you to Linda Nash Stevenson for coming to visit at the last meeting, during your time of healing to share your journey with us and all you have been through. We can’t wait to see you again at the next meeting!


See you next week! Peace & Blessings to you all – Anne & Amy

February 2015 Newsletter & Meeting Notes



  • Upcoming Events
  • Herb of the Month: Passionflower
  • Honored Guest Speaker:  Willow LaMonte
  • Topic: Listening to Plant Wisdom

Upcoming Events

Anne brought the meeting to order and opened with upcoming events. The Florida Herb Conference is upcoming at the end of the month. Several of our members will be teaching classes, Gail and Rebecca Conroy, Bob 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


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 above ground 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.

  Open Topics
Dennis brought in different ginger 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.
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.
Penny’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.
Willow doesn’t like her photo taken, so it will not be provided.  Willow is from New York, lived in Massachusetts and back to Hillsboro County. She is a folk herbalist  and owner 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 oranges, squeeze and put in water, rinds and all. Set overnight. Orange peel is chinese medicine. Leave the white membranes in which contain white flavonoids  You can use any citrus. Folk herbalists like their ancestors did pulp, seeds, nothing went to waste and provided proteins. This is good for acid reflux, considered a bitter herb, so fresh squeezed lemon in water is the remedy. Note: the Passionflower is the logo for the FHS.
Willow’s input on the Passionflower:
One can eat the leaves, make medicine of the flowers and eat the flowers. There is every color of Passionflowers and each has its own different taste. For the nerves, skullcap and oats helps our central nervous system.  If you are having trouble relaxing, the vines are safe for children and adults. It will calm one down without putting them to sleep.
Keep a small passionflower plant in a pot for 2 to 3 years before putting it in the ground. The butterflies will eat this also.  The passionflower makes a very mild tincture.
The name Passionflower came from the Spanish, it reminded them of the Passion for Christ and Passion Parades of religious times prior to an invasion. The flower reminded them of the 10 disciples and the crown of thorns  that Christ wore.
Plant Wisdom
The plants communicate with bees, birds,  sending out scents like trees when under the treat of attack by ants and insects. Dying plants will send out hormones and create a serious infestation and make their tree toxic to the invading creatures.
Plants at night: this is a soft time to be with your plants, enjoy and be with your plants at night, enjoy the moon the bright moon and soft light. White flowers and the moon light are a good combination.
A book recommendation:

The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man Paperback – March 8, 1989

Mints-you want to eat it, cut it back frequently to the ground in Florida to promote growth

Holy Basil like limestone (place on face-no more pimples).

Lemon Balm is for depression, rub the plant and smell the oil if you are feeling low or bummed out.

In the past our ancestors relied on communication within the community and passed on the information on what plants or parts to eat.  A natural part of being a human is communication,  we do not know how the plants communicates.  Plants talk to us mentally and keep our hopes up.

Rosemary plants grow year around, if you never prune them they will die sooner.

How do bee’s know where the clover flowers are?  In the Spring when they first blossom, the scout bees are sent out on reconnaissance missions to locate them. Old bees ancestry through pheromones know where the plants are, in what field or meadow–it is in their generational DNA.

Purple flower when seen one will feel joy!

When you go to bed-think of a plant, reflect on it and see if it percolates into your dreams.

Mojito Mint will take full sun and comes from Cuba.  Other mints in summer need to be in the shade.


Willow bought Penny’s Turmeric Super Tonic Recipe:

Double click on page to read.

Turmeric Ingredients 001 Turmeric Super Tonic Recipe 001





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 :

Or Jill :   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





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


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!


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.


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:  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.