All this lovely rain and warmth have brought our herbal medicinal and tea garden back to glory! Take a moment to walk through this space and enjoy all the beauty of perennial (and annual) herbs. Please check the chalkboard for which herbs are ready to harvest. There are specific times in the growth of each plant during which its attributes are optimal and it is beneficial for the plant to be cut. Please follow the cutting guide on each yellow dot.

“How much do I take?” Rule of thumb is how much you will use in a week:

  • Tea
  • Make an extract
  • Hang to dry
  • Make a topical
  • On and on . . . .

You can dry small amounts each week and keep them in a clean container, then make your tincture, oil and tea blends. Some herbs have a small optimal window, some are available all summer. I am featuring three herbs in this note which are available now. Follow the Yellow dots, ask questions and do research. Most of all – enjoy the garden!

Ready To Pick this week:

Lemon balm
Holy basil (Kapoor Tulsi)
Apple mint
Sweet mint
Field mint
Lady’s mantle
Lime balm
Chocolate mint
St. John’s wort
Comfrey – True and Russian


This is a group of our herbs in Penelope’s that are at peak harvest time. Motherwort and lavender are only available at this time, one harvest per season. St. John’s wort may continue to flower, but now is the best time.

There are images of how to cut these herbs and some info. There is a great deal of reliable info online, so I have kept it brief. Be aware that the supply is limited and to cut a “cup” of St. John’s wort (a cup of snips will give you a cup of infused oil), 2 stems of motherwort, and a handful of lavender stems. This way we should have enough for those interested.


Flower and leaf are best made into a plant extract in either oil or alcohol on the same day they’re harvested. How it’s used depends on how it’s extracted, be it an oil or alcohol extraction. St. John’s Wort oil is generally used topically to speed wound healing, reduce scarring and for its antibiotic properties. The tincture is used for hormonal balance and mood disorders.


What is motherwort flower and leaf good for? Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca L.) is one of the most widely used sedative medicinal plants. It has been used for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety. It is also applied in the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas (flatulence), and over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

(Sources: › motherwort › supplements; › articles › PMC791103)


What Are Possible Health Benefits of Lavender?

  • May Help Improve Sleep
  • Could Help Treat Skin Blemishes
  • May Offer a Natural Remedy for Pain
  • Reduces Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
  • Could Relieve Asthma Symptoms
  • Lessens Menopausal Hot Flashes
  • Helps Combat Fungus Growth
  • Potentially Promotes Hair Growth

    Also great in baking!

Books of the week:

Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech
Medicinal Herbs: A Beginners Guide by Rosemary Gladstar
This book is a terrific resource for herb info and recipes.