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by Mary Blue and the Farmacy Herbs Crew
July is an abundantly pleasing time of year on herbal farms, not only medicinally but aromatically and aesthetically, too. Senses are stimulated by the various colors and scents of the harvest this month, which include calendula, peppermint, lemon balm and holy basil.
Calendula has some of the most beautiful blossoms and they can be harvested continually, however, they are most potent medicinally when harvested just as they are beginning to open. Calendula is excellent when used in a salve for skin support, or as a tea for soothing digestive support.
Peppermint is considered to be invasive, so the harvest is typically abundant. The leaf can be harvested by cutting back the upper most leaves throughout the season. Delicious as tea or even added to a smoothie, peppermint is cooling in nature and serves as a stimulating digestive tonic.
Lemon balm, a close relative of peppermint, can also be harvested for its leaves throughout the season. It is infamous for calming the nervous system and can provide support for anxiety or sleeplessness. It is exceptional for children as a tea or glycerite. Tulsi, otherwise known as holy basil, also makes a lovely tea or tincture, and it helps maintain energy and stress levels.
Abundantly growing local herbs, such as mugwort and red clover, are often used in wild crafting this time of year. Wild crafting can be a wonderful way to reunite with the outdoors, is very healing, and is an excellent introduction to using medicinal herbs.
Mary Blue is a community herbalist and educator, author of Herbal Foundations, and owner of Farmacy Herbs, located at 28 Cemetery St., Providence. Learn more at 401-270-5223 or FarmacyHerbs.com.