Re-Grow Roots

Learning to live harmoniously in Missouri.


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Wild Native Herbs of Missouri

True healing can only be found in nature. Mother Earth provides EVERYTHING that we could ever need, it’s all there. When we take the time to tune out of the distractions of our fast-paced lives and look inside of ourselves, we learn what our bodies and minds truly need. And the earth is always willing to help us. When I feel down or confused, I go outside and sit underneath a big Oak tree and quiet my mind. The tree tells me what to do, to be still, to grow, to breathe, and to live. The tree tells me that everything is here. Underground. In the air. The tree tells me to find guidance in the plants sometimes.

There are so many amazing, healing plants that grace us in Missouri! Some folks find them annoying and consider them “weeds”, but to me there are no weeds. There is a purpose for every plant, even if we don’t know what it is… So let’s get to know some of these amazing herbs that we can probably find in our own backyard!

Dandelion

This is one we have probably all met before. She shines a beautiful yellow light when she is in bloom, and then turns to a white puff that flies to the sky and spreads more dandelions here and there and everywhere.

  • roots and leaves are potent healers
  • a mild diuretic that contains potassium
  • stimulates and aids our liver to eliminate toxins in our blood
  • known to cure hepatitis
  • leaves are wonderful in salads and full of nutrients
  • flowers may be used to make dandelion wine

Mullein

These plants are super fuzzy and known to some as “cowboy toilet paper” because they’re soft on your hind side! 🙂 I love using them in cough remedies and bronchial teas.

  • leaves and flowers are used
  • effective treatment for asthma
  • oil is used as a remedy for ear infections
  • great for colds and bronchial spasms

Wild Carrot / Queen Anne’s Lace

These beautiful frilly plants smell just like carrots! That’s how you can be sure it’s a wild carrot. 🙂

  • leaves, seeds, and flowers are used
  • great for urinary system
  • juice is good for kidney complaints
  • regulates fertility – can be used as contraceptive after intercourse

Milk Thistle

These are spiky ones so wear gloves when harvesting. They are extremely powerful to the liver, kidneys, and blood. My mom has used it to effectively treat her liver cirrhosis.

  • seeds are used
  • regenerates liver cells
  • stimulates bile flow
  • antidepressant
  • can be used for spleen problems, jaundice, and gallstones

Passionflower

I love seeing these grow down the hill where I live. They are so beautiful when they are in flower, and you can eat the amazing fruits!

  • leaves and flowers are used medicinally
  • nervine  – used in neurological problems like Parkinson’s, epilepsy, anxiety, hypertension, etc.
  • said to be aphrodisiac in large quantities
  • improves circulation and nutrition to nerves

Nettle

Another prickly one, use gloves to harvest! Do not eat this plant uncooked… it will prick you from the inside out, not good.

  • whole plant is used
  • used to stop bleeding
  • treatment for gout
  • helps increase aromatic oil content of other herbs
  • promotes milk production in humans and animals

Red Clover

We have some red clover growing HUGE in our garden. It is so beautiful when it begins to flower, and the roots are great for the soil because they produce nitrogen!

  • flowers, leaves, and blossoms used
  • natural blood thinner
  • excellent blood purifier
  • cleanses and soothes bronchial nerves
  • used in the treatment in of cancer

Plantain

This herb grows all over the US and has been used historically to remedy snake bites by Native Americans.

  • leaves and seeds are used
  • diuretic
  • tea is excellent for diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and ulcers
  • urinary tract infections
  • used for skin wounds, poison ivy, bug bites
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FREE Fermented Foods Workshop

Homegrown Missouri is hosting a free heritage skills workshop in Kirbyville, Missouri. This workshop will cover fermented foods – sauerkraut, kombucha, beet kvass, and kefir. It will be the first of many skills workshops! Come and bring your friends to share the dream of local, healthy food sustainability! 🙂


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how to make // KOMBUCHA // a fermented tea

Kombucha is a delicious effervescent fermented sweetened tea beverage. It has been used for thousands of years to detoxify the body, cleanse the liver, for arthritis pain, and even treat cancer. The Chinese called it an “immortal health elixir”!!

To brew kombucha, you will need a SCOBY – symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Some people call it the kombucha “mother” or mushroom and it is the element which turns the sweetened tea into a living, fermented, enzyme rich beverage. I received my SCOBY from a dear friend of mine, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask around and see if anyone you know might have one. I have noticed that there are a few people on etsy selling SCOBY and entire startup kits, so if you can’t find one locally – support someone on etsy! :)

The Kombucha Recipe
(makes about 2 quarts)

Ingredients: 
3 quarts filtered water
1 cup sugar
4 tea bags of organic black tea (or 4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea)
½ cup kombucha from a previous culture
1 kombucha SCOBY

Process:  Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add sugar and simmer until it has totally dissolved. Remove tea from heat, add the tea bags, and allow the tea to steep until water has cooled. Remove the tea bags and throw them into your compost bin. Pour the liquid into a 4 quart glass bowl, add the ½ cup of kombucha from previous batch, and then place the SCOBY on top of the liquid. Make an X over the top of the bowl with masking tape and cover it loosely with a cloth towel. (The masking tape ensures that the cloth will not fall into the kombucha.) Transfer the bowl to a warm, dark place, away from contaminants. In about 7-10 days your kombucha will be ready! :)

The perfect kombucha is slightly sour and fizzy, but still has a little sweetness, and it won’t taste like tea at all. It tastes a little like vinegar, in my opinion. Now you can either transfer the kombucha to covered glass containers (mason jars) and put them in the refrigerator or my preferred method is to put it in a wine bottle, cork it, and leave it out. I rarely put it in the refrigerator, and even after it has been opened several times, it still remains fizzy and as good as the day I opened it.

Once the kombucha is ready, you will see a SECOND spongy cake. This is a second SCOBY! You can keep it to use yourself, or give it to a friend. Store your kombucha SCOBY in a glass container with a ½ cup or more of the kombucha you just made. It can be used dozens of times before going bad. If it starts turning black or if the kombucha you make does not properly sour, then the SCOBY may have been contaminated. I like to keep a backup SCOBY in a separate jar for myself in case this happens… but it hasn’t happened yet!

A note about sugar – It is best to use white sugar because it gives the highest content of glucuronic acid to your tea. I have tried making kombucha with brown sugar and it did not ferment very well and was only slightly sour. In my experience, cheap white sugar works best!