Mixing It Up - Interactions or Synergies: Herbal Hive Comment Challenge

in The Herbal Hive5 months ago (edited)


I was preparing an article for an online magazine the other day about that amazing herb, cannabis, and how certain foods change and really affect the way it is absorbed and experienced in the body. And it got me thinking about herbs - about how some herbs pair perfectly and enhance the way they taste-act-heal, and how other herbs really should never be used together at all.

It's a topic we rarely think or talk about. I mean, natural is good right? So lots and lots of natural, all at the same time can't hurt, right?

This comment challenge is really simple and a way to learn together.

Tell us about herbs you KNOW or have EXPERIENCED which work well together. Or, alternately, tell us some about herbs that are contra-indicated, meaning they shouldn't be used together.

Please make sure:

  • you come back and engage with others through the week
  • you share a photo if you can
  • your comment is at least 50 words long - make it worth it
  • you CAN share a post if you like, but make sure you summarize that post as a comment so it's easy for others to come back to.

You'll get upvotes from Hive Garden and other community leaders, relative to effort and fulfilling requirements. Herbal Hive may award up to 10 Hive, sometimes less, depending on our wallet and how many people join in.

So, let's hear about Mixing It Up - Herbal Interactions or Herbal Synergies.

@riverflows @trucklife-family @owasco @vincentnijman @minismallholding @kenistyles @anggreklestari @urchice @kingobonnaya @fermentedphil @yangyanje @annafenix @carmary @artemislives @annafenix @ligayagardener @umirais @clareartista @traisto @samstonehill


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Interesting challenge. Like so many others,,, I like Licorice as a synergist. It's used in TCM to ease the flow of Chi through our system. This can be seen also in Western medicine where it supports the Adrenal glands, helping them energise our body when it needs a boost. Adrenal glands also produce Cortisone and related steroids which are responsible for reducing or masking inflammation. As inflammation is often the root cause of pain and blockage, relieving it helps the blood flow, energising the body, in a sense, easing the flow of Chi and blood.

While Lavender isn't traditionally listed as a synergist, I use it in so many of my remedies in a supporting role that it may as well be one.

Not two herbs, but a fermented food with a herb! Its summer in sunny South Africa so purslane is back on the menu. I remember a post I did last year I think in which I found some interesting research suggesting food sources with high oxalic acid content or oxalates should be consumed with fermented (sour) food. For example, yogurt and purslane or wood sorrel. Sorry, this is not 100% within the parameters of the post, but it was the first thing that came to mind!

I actually really appreciate knowing this!! and colouring outside the lines is always allowed. 😘

My Dutch mother used to cook it for us as kids - very lightly boiled and then a squeeze of lemon over the top. I don't think she knew WHY she did that, but it was standard for her.

A super interesting and useful bit of herbal knowledge to tuck away in the mental archive.

Nice one!

Glad I could add something beneficial!

It is always interesting to read about these stories of people doing something, like your mother, without realizing why and how beneficial it was/is. It just once again shows how important generational knowledge is and how sad and scary it is that we are slowly losing it all.

It's always fascinating to me when I discover that "something we always do" - a habit or generational knowledge, choose your slant - turns out to be grounded in serious science.

That is so right! I love it. But not to sound anti-science (because I am not haha) but sometimes people have too much faith in it and sometimes when we look at things in a very reductionist sense it can be harmful. For example, certain compounds in isolation is dangerous to eat but food never ever arrive in isolation!

I love that @artemislives agrees about colouring outside of the lines! Nice comment here, dear @fermentedphil - and yes yes yes to pairing right foods and herbs so that they all become medicine. I feel that a lot of my foods are medicinal, healing and nourishing, rather than one or the other. It's important that we recognise our food should be healing and balancing us, as well as giving us basic nutrimental aspects: this is yet another of the areas in which the agenda keeps us thinking separately from feeling: counting 'calories' or'vitamins' or 'food groups' and surveilling ourselves - when we should be fully immersed in the harvesting, the food and in the vitality of both Nature and our Life!

And to not forget the element of psychological or mental health. Knowing (i) what is in your food (as you yourself grew it) and (ii) that you actually grew it yourself, has been for my own psychological health so beneficial. Again, as you said, by compartmentalizing everything we forget all these other elements not incorporated. Walking to the store to buy food does not give that same psychological zing of being proud of your own work and to feel connected to the earth/nature. Thank you for your lovely comment!

I love this comment and yes, there is something so special about growing and harvesting what we eat. I DO also find walking to the tiny local fresh market and BUYING home grown from others also provides me with nourishment of a different kind - of being able to support someone else and being connected in community.

Yes, I forgot to add that element! Humans are not islands. Supporting others that have a similar mindset is crucial. And to learn from them as well! One person can do only so much. It is just when capitalist-greed kicks in that we get detached from what actually matters. And to add to your comment, I think that is why it feels so strange to buy fresh produce from big supermarket groups because you know it was produced mechanistically in soil that is either dead or drenched with artificial fertilisers and pesticides.

Aaah, beautiful, @fermentedphil - it is so lovely to comune with likeminded folks who really appreciate the magic of the sacred everyday!

Thank you! That is true. So many people have lost the ability or the will to see the everydayas magical.

Oh no this is perfect and I love this bit of wisdom! I think I'd red it in your post previously and forgotten so am thrilled to be reminded.

I am so glad! There is so much knowledge out there we cannot remember it all. Reminders are always in order.

This is a lovely challenge, dear @theherbalhive !

My two go-to herbs which I use in pelvic steaming, baths and teas, are nettle and rose: they have a particular combination of qualities, perfume and taste, which have settled into my life and psyche as my main base for the above uses.

Both plants grow near my house: the nettles down the bottom parts of the big gardens here, and the rosesI harvest from a mix of my own white rose in front of the Arthouse, and a gloriously perfumed antique tea rose down in a neighbour's garden.

I've been using herbal teas as a compliment to a regular black/ Earl Grey caffeinated-tea habit - but had to give the latter up for health reasons recently. I felt lost without my big solid cuppa punctuating the day, and reminding me of home!

However, persevering with my tea blends, I'm finding that I can make just as nice a solid flavour, with plants harvested myself! Woohoo! 🥰☕ The improved health outcome is significant, obviously.

I use the base of around 50% nettle, 30% rose petals, 15% sage or rosemary and/ or olive leaf, and a wee 5% pinch or less of lavender (which easily overpowers!) ....

All these herbs have beautiful benefits, but I feel that those from nettles - strength, vitality, discernment, spiritual stamina, boundaries, capacity to protect oneself, and standing up against wrongs - and from rose - divine feminine vibration, womb healing/ consciousness, self love, compassion, oneness/ love of family and community, slowing down and letting things be what they are - all these potent qualities are essential regular medicine for me.. The qualities seem to balance yin and yang very well, I feel - and this confirms my intuitive spontaneous path to using them!

Blessings, all!

Oh my goodness yes!!! Nettle and rose with a dash of... Perfect. Rose is so TEA like!! And sweetens the grassy nettle. Don't you love it how plants that grow together simply MUST be used together? It's like nature KNOWS. Cleavers and nettle in the spring... Nourish and detox! Now you're talking!!!

Nature most certainly does know - and the Nature in us knows too, if we can slow down enough to hear her speak!

I'm really liking the little twist of grounding sage in there.... one of my favourite herbs!

Yes! Depending on my mood or taste, I'll add a variety of other herbs and spices 😍 Sage is one of my faves too, but on its own can make me feel a tad overwhelmed 😋

What an awesome read! I have to say I am so sad that nettle does not grow here where I live. Or I have never seen them yet. Thank you for sharing this! The rose just sounds delicious, I recently had some rose tea. It was just so soothing. And as @riverflows state, it is as if nature knows when different plants grow together!

I always thought that nettles were pretty uniquitous, but of course there must be a couple of places in the world where they're not so prolific! ;-D Heheh! I was thinking too though, about how there is always an equivalent kind of plant with the same qualities in most parts of the world - so in Europe we might use garlic rather than turmeric. I wonder if anyone has done a guidebook about this? :-) And yes, our Nature knows too, if we can calm our mind and ego to hear her speak! Great conversations, I love these comment challenges!

That would be awesome right? A field guide of all or most herbs and how one can swop them for any reason one wants to. Or even just a cook book that shows you how to swop everyday ingredients to get you to explore local plants. Tzatziki made with purslane rather than cucumber; pesto made with wild rocket or dandelion leaves; and so on.

Yes! We make pesto in Scotland from rocket and walnuts rather than basil and pinenuts, as they are the ingredients found near us. :-D In the mountains (near me, in the Alta Sannio, Italy) it seems common to use wild garlic and walnuts in a pesto too - yum! Basil is yummy, but it is very nice to switch it up and have a variety of pestos to hand! I love your idea of purslane in tzaziki, @fermentedphil !

Glad I could share some wisdom and new ideas!

I love that idea, wild garlic pesto. I always add some garlic chives, but it is not the same! I think one can make some awesome pestos if you know local ingredients and when you use some creative thinking.

Nettles don't grow in Thailand either. My half-Thai daughter recently moved to Netherlands for university and was a little surprised to see me get some nettle stings. We all took some time to show her how to identify it so she doesn't inadvertently roll around in it and hurt herself - it was EVERYwhere at the horse farm we stayed at!!

Nettle and rose sounds like a magnificent combination! And beautifully balanced and synergistic.

Oh my, yes, I've seen foreign folk here in Italy grasping nettles, and not comprehending their power.... though this does have a therapeutic effect, so maybe their instinct led them to be stung!? 😉 Hehe.

I remember as a child on the island, not seeing nettles e.g. under tall bracken - and going in thigh-high. Yikes! At least there were always doc leaves nearby, which have a great immediate effect....

In fact, @theherbalhive - there's another divine pairing: nettles and doc leaves (rumex) - usually growing together - one antidoting the strong sting of the other. Blessed union, when one is wee and exploring nature uninhibitedly! 🥰

One of the yummiest and most common SYNERGY of herbs here in Thailand is the bunch you see at every fresh market: lemongrass, kaffir lime and galangal. They're sold literally wrapped together with a rubber band - enough of each to make a big family pot. Chili? It's ALWAYS sold alongside this powerful and synergistic herbal trio, since it's It's the basis for Tom Yun and so many Thai dishes!!

Thai herbal bundle.jpg
Image Credit

What did I have for lunch, literally 10 mins ago? Spicy Tom Yum noodles with Asian greens, a few toasted peanuts and a tiny slice of red roasted pork.

Lemongrass is my absolute favorite! Paired with lemon (juice and rind), ginger, and turmeric is my go-to broth on a winter day. The trick is now to grow these (in my garden at least). Do you grow lemon grass yourself?

It is SO EASY to grow in Thailand that yes, it shoots in a glass of water over 3 days. LOL. Recent flooding in Chiang Mai killed mine 😭and so this afternoon I'm going to buy some more piece and GROW some new plants. I'm suddenly thinking to make some photos of the rooting process and post about it. :)

It's not uncommon to see lemongrass clumps close to a meter high here.... amazing herb! I'm also wanting to DRY some Thai herbs to take to my daughter in Netherlands for Christmas, so starting today with lemongrass sounds like a plan.

Oh that is amazing and you are so lucky. I am not sure if they sell lemongrass here with enough stem so that you can regrow. If you can write a guide that would be awesome and if you can remember tag me in it! I am addicted to lemongrass and luckily it is cheap here. The dried out ones sound awesome as well for stews and teas! Good luck with that.

I have prepared a draft on the therapeutic applications of some garden plants such as mint, rosemary and balsam among others. Do you think you could be included in this community? Thank you

Hey @goisal - welcome!! Definitely if it's about herbs and their therapeutic applications we want it here! Please do make sure it's containing a decent chunk of original ideas-thought-experience and that you do quote your sources and images.

Looking forward!!

Thanks. I will keep these tips in mind and try to shape my drafts.

Greetings and good weekend to the whole team @theherbalhive

Sounds ideal!

Hmmm, I might have to come back to this one. I have a tendency to use intuition! I know licorice and peppermint are great together, unless you have GERD or acid reflux (peppermint can be an issue there) and I love this tea after dinner as I feel (there's my FEEL intelligence again) that licorice calms and helps with insomnia and lowers blood pressure and I figure the peppermint soothes the tummy after tea so you can sleep better!

St John's wort ... I did hear that whole thing with sun sensitivity was a myth.

And if I'm going to throw a tea together for a cold I'll prob think about what herbs sooth the throat or are antibacterial etc, so I'll look them up as I'm making the mix.

One thing i swear by for migraines is hops and chamomile... Hops can knock your socks off as it's so bitter so for me it makes sense to pair it with chamomile which is so gentle.

Really interesting question!

I've never tried liquorice and peppermint - I nearly always intuitively pair it with fresh ginger. Chuckling that you've gone to the dark side and spelling liquorice with a "c". 🤣

Really appreciating all your wisdom and support @riverflows - and you have such a wealth of knowledge!!


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Interestingly, there simply is not enough study done on the effects that various herbs may have on cannabis ingestion. The general wisdom though, to date, is that the powerful sedating herbs - hops, california poppy and valerian root - should not be used with cannabis as together that may induce a loss of consciousness or trigger depression and/or psychosis.

It's sobering stuff in a country where cannabis has just become fully legal and people are using it and eating it in all sorts of strange combinations.

I do feel a blog post coming on about that.... 😊 I look forward to publishing my food interactions with herbal cannabis this week - also fascinating stuff!

I think that marijuana has a wonderful effect as a sedative, when used in certain doses. But any herbs when used in excess will poison our bodies, as well as marijuana will be toxic in our bodies if consumed not according to the dose and health goals @artemislives

Oh that's interesting. I can't do cannabis at all anymore. It wires me up .. yet for Jamie it calms him down!

Oh yes, chilli, basil, garlic, ginger... Literally just had this with noodles for dinner. So good!

I've never been able to "do" cannabis and don't like the way it feels, although I do brew up tinctures with it for dabbing on dodgy skin spots, and I do brew oils for people using it during cancer treatment. Since it's become legal, people suggest it for everything and I find that a little absurd. And so I'm writing some informative, cautionary articles about the herbal end of cannabis as a healing herb - evidence based stuff from the clinical studies I'm reading.

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