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Marsh Mallow

Yes this is the root the original marshmallows dessert topping came from and it actually has emollient, demulcent and diuretic properties. This herb was used for thousands of years in ancient cultures to soothe respiratory, digestive, and urinary irritations. The herb can be ingested or used in a poultice for external wounds and burns. The best way to keep the mucilage in tact is to prepare as cold infusion (..allowing it to sit over night in cold water in fridge. Strain the next day and your infusion is ready to drink.) I personally think the root has an odd smell and adds a bit of thickness to the water. The water is NOT slimy at all or I definitely couldn't drink it however, you can tell you are not just drinking water. Now, if you can get past the smell (use a closed cup or cheat and use the infusion to make a lemonade or other cold drink that requires water) it is truly one of the most refreshing drinks to have on a hot summer day  or after working in you garden. It seemed to cool me down immediately and I felt hydrated after about half a cup. Now again... I had to use a closed cup. Like a travel mug cause the smell of the root really bothers me but it may not have the same effect on everyone. I am including my recipe below of my "Marshmallow Lemonade." Hope you like it! Let me know if you have any other ideas on how to cover the smell! ewww....drop me a line via the contact section on the home screen!

 

"Marshmallow Lemonade"

32 oz Marshmallow cold infusion

2 lemons

7 strawberries (sliced or whole)

1 cup of sweetener (I used turbinado sugar)

32 oz water

1/2 gal pitcher

 

This recipe is for fresh squeezed lemonade. You can definitely substitute the fresh lemons for lemon juice. I juice the lemons and cut them up and throw them into the pitcher with the strawberries. I add the sugar, the water. I stir till the sugar is dissolved then add the marshmallow infusion. Stir a couple more times then your drink is ready to enjoy!

Dandelions

Dandelions have been my favorite wildflower since I was little and seeds were known as "Santa Clauses." With these wildflowers growing in your yard, keeping your iron up (or your potassium) is as simple as drinking tea or brewing a coffee substitute with the roots. Dandelion greens taste amazing and blend well with other greens such as mustard, collard, kale or even spinach. Dandelions are great for digestion and the liver. I find drinking a nice size cup of tea after a heavy meal helps my food digest much easier. Dandelions have the following properties: diuretic, cholagogue, anti-rheumatic, laxative, tonic.

Dandelion Tea (for digestion)

1 oz dandelion root

1 oz dandelion leaves 

2/3 oz fennel seeds

2/3 oz peppermint leaves

Steep for 10-20mins.

I am also including the link for 5 Dandelion recipes:  

http://www.moneycrashers.com/dandelion-greens-recipes-salad/

Wild Violets

Wild Violets are one of the little gifts from God that has showed up in my yard every year since I stopped treating for weeds. Since my favorite color is purple I did think this was a special gift just for me. Wild Violets are great at supporting the re productive system and is said to confort and strengthen the heart. You can pick as many blossoms as you can stand as they do not hold any seeds. The flowers that hold the seeds dont show up till fall. Wild Violets have the follow properties: expectorant, alterative, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-neoplastic. You can make a tea or simply munch on the leaves. The roots can be taken in a decoction or tincture. I have included Susan Weed's recipe for Wild Violet syrup:

Wild Violet Syrup

1/2lb of fresh wild violets

2 cups of water

2 cups honey

 

Boil water, pour over blossoms; cover. Let steep overnight in nonmetallic cotainer. Strain out flowers. Combine the purple liquid and honey; simmer for 10-15 mins while stiring. Continue stiring until it seems like syrup. Fill clean jars. Cool and keep well chilled to preserve.