Welcome to Hill Country Herbalist

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Today's Garden and Herbal Adventures: Agarita and Bee Balm flowers

Well, today I cut myself on a vintage platter that must have broken when I last put it away. I jabbed and sliced my lower palm while pulling it out- ouch!! It bled and bled...then I remembered the Agarita tincture! I ran to my herbal pantry and grabbed the tincture and dispensed drops all over the cut. Sure enough - just like magic - the cut stopped bleeding and it sealed itself.

Agarita or Berberis trifoliolata is native to central Texas and is often confused for a native holly. The leaves are very similar to holly and the spring yellow flowers turn into bright red berries that resemble holly. The berries are often made into wine or jam. The aerial woody parts of the plant can be made into tincture by grinding or rough chopping the stems, etc.and macerating them with vodka. This tincture has wonderful astringent properties - lending this plant to be a fantastic remedy for bleeding wounds. When you cut into the woody parts of the plant, the interior is very yellow. Berberine is the yellow part of the plant. Berberine is an alkaloid and has a history of being used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and is prized for it's anti-inflammatory properties. Berberine may be useful for fungal, candida, yeast, parasites, and viral infections. It's been studied for it's antimicrobial activity.

I also made a beautiful bouquet of bee balm flowers - proving herbs are wonderful additions to our homes and our health. These flowers are so alive with joy - I just had to admire them before I prepared them into herbal concoctions. I'll prepare them tomorrow into tincture and herbal honey....but today - just visual beauty.

1 comment:

Hill Country Herbalist said...

Incidentally, the tincture I made from both the berries and the aerial parts is wonderous! I use the berry tincture quite often - it is delicious and effective when I add to my creme and lotion making.