Monday, January 18, 2010

Module 3 – Option 3
Herb Lab ~ Results for the first two herbs in my herb kit.


Common Name: Alfalfa, also called California Clover or Spanish Clover.

Latin Name:
Medicago sativa

Appearance: Bright green and leaves are very bushy and full with clover like yellow to violet-blue flowers.

Texture: When it is dried it is very brittle. Crumbles easily in your hands.

Scent: Not very strong or very noticeable in small quantities, otherwise smells pretty much like hay, or should I say smells like Santa Ynez Valley, CA. lol (I'm surrounded by horse ranches and wine vineyards.)

Taste: I agree with the class consensus, it taste like grass to me. I haven't had a chance to try fresh alfalfa yet so I don't know if it taste different yet.

Tea: I was staying at my favorite campground in the Santa Barbara, CA hills called Davey Brown when I tried this as a tea. I boiled water in my old blue camp coffee pot and using a brand new bandana wrapped some alfalfa in it and dipped it in the pot and let it steep for about 15 to 20 minutes. Didn't taste that great so I added a bit of mint. Was a strange combo. Will have to experiment some more to get a good tea out of it

According to my PDR for Herbal Medicine and the Module 3's Alfalfa monograph, alfalfa is high in vitamins and minerals, vitamins A & C, Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Niacin (vitamin B3), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), and minerals Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.


Common Name: Catnip, also known as Catmint and Field Balm.

Latin Name: Nepeta cataria

Appearance: A leafy plant with ridged tear drop shape leaves (They don't look heart shape to me), are green to a grayish green. The flowers are small with slightly curled petals. Are white with purple spots on them.

Texture: Like alfalfa, catnip is brittle and crumbles easily in ones hand.

Scent: Maybe I still have the Alfalfa mixed with Mint tea from the day before stuck in my head. But I asked a friend to smell it without telling him what it was and he agreed with me. It smells like a minty hay.

Taste: When I chewed some raw, I can taste the mint, but also I don't know how to describe it. It has a dry powdery taste, or would that be a texture. No it definetly has a powdery taste to it if that makes sense.

Tea: Again I boiled water over a campfire in my camp coffee pot and used a bandana to steep the catnip for about 15 to 20 minutes. Definitely a minty taste but with a slight bitter after taste that I didn't much care for.
Catnip has a long history in folk medicine in the treatment of colds, colic and fevers. It was also used to calm ones nerves and soothe migraines.

Cite References

Thomas, PDR for Herbal Medicine, Third Edition, New Jersey, Thomas PDR, 2004, Page 11 and 173

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