10 Underused Herbs for Wellness

As a reader of our blog, you may be somewhat familiar with a plant or two (or maybe a lot more than that). Herbal allies like echinacea and lavender have become household names, but what about some of the more uncommon herbs in circulation? While Mountain Rose Herbs is a purveyor of many familiar spices, we are also proud to provide an assortment of lesser-known organic herbs. Many of these underused herbs make effective substitutes for popular staples and are a fun and unique addition to the home apothecary. As always, we recommend consulting a qualified healthcare practitioner and conducting your own research before using new or unfamiliar herbs. Read More
Posted by Elise

A Beginner's Guide to Herbalism

Are you interested in learning about herbalism, but aren’t sure where to begin? Many of us grew up learning more on this subject than we realized; we drank teas when we didnt feel well, or we put our head over a bowl of steaming vapor, or we ate a dish with curry for digestion, things that our parents or grandparents told us to do without ever saying the words herb” or herbalism.” When I was growing up, my father decocted ginger root for an upset stomach and pulled out chamomile tea for sleeplessness. He gave me raw honey for a scratchy throat and sour cranberry juice for bladder health. And yet, ironically enough, years later, when I developed a huge interest in this new thing—herbalism—I thought I was clueless on the subject. A lot of people have stories like mine; they don’t have any idea how much they know, or if what they know is correct or helpful, or how to begin to find out. If you’re ready to jump in, but aren’t sure how or what direction to aim, here is some helpful information.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Season Cast Iron + Cast Iron Conditioner Recipe

JUMP TO RECIPE!

Many of us who are cast iron cooks have read reams of advice about the proper way to season our cast iron pots and pans. To use soap or not when washing, which oils to choose, using a burner vs. the oven, whether or not to add salt—this is one of those topics that people have strong feelings about. I get it, because two of my cast iron skillets were handed down to me from my grandmother, who received them as a wedding gift in 1917. She spent decades perfecting their seasoning. Those skillets came to me in mint condition and they arrived with the stipulation that I maintain their perfection for all the years of my life and teach the next generation how to continue on in the same vein. No pressure or anything!

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Posted by Heidi

Stinging Nettle Identification, Benefits, & Recipes

It’s late winter in the Pacific Northwest and signs of spring are already starting to show themselves. I’ve always enjoyed this time of year, the excitement of witnessing the Earth waking up from her wintertime slumber and the feelings of hope that brings. But despite the heartfelt joy, I often find myself struggling to move from the slower pace of winter hibernation to the quickening energy and longer days full of garden prep, housework, and other to-dos that piled up. Thankfully, I need to look no further than my trusty green ally, nettle, for support during this transition.

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Posted by Elise

Osha: A Supportive, but At-Risk Plant Ally

Photo courtesy of Susan Leopold, PhD, Executive Director at United Plant Savers.

Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) has been in use as an herbal medicine, incense, food, and for ceremonial purposes for thousands of years. When European colonists arrived in North America, osha was already being widely used by First Nations People in the American Southwest and Mexico to treat a variety of conditions, particularly those involving the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The Zuni people chewed the root in healing rituals and the Tarahumara people used it ritualistically in protection ceremonies. This herbal ally has been generously gifting itself to humans on our continent for millennia, and its renown has spread to other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this increasing popularity has shined a light on osha’s one significant problem—virtually all commercial osha is wildharvested because this independent herb doesn’t do well as a cultivated crop. This limitation combined with the ever-increasing demand for osha has many herbalists concerned about the viability and long-term sustainability of this precious botanical. Let’s take a deeper dive into osha.

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Posted by Heidi

Cozy Cabin Diffuser Blend Recipe

JUMP TO RECIPE!

Not many people take me for an essential oil guy, and I must admit I was a little hesitant at first to start exploring aromatherapy. However, my decades-long time at Mountain Rose Herbs means I’ve had the opportunity to try hundreds of pure essential oils and I began to develop a true fondness for them in spite of myself. Partly this is because I really value ambiance and the art of creating experiences. I’ve learned over the years that aroma plays a key role in creating the mood of a space.

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Posted by Shawn

Dandelion and Cacao Bitters for Digestion or Cocktails

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Thousands of years ago, humans discovered the wellness-supporting qualities of bitter herbs. Presumably we started out eating them, but soon enough we were refining them into tonics, digestive aids, and extracts. In folklore, it was Mithridates, king of Pontus, who formulated the first bitters while trying to make an antidote for poisons and venoms. I suppose if I’d spent years trying to make a universal poison antidote and ended up with a really excellent digestive aid, I might be disappointed. But looking at it now, that antidote still doesn’t exist and bitters have come to the aid of millions of people throughout time. So, chin up Mithridates, you did good.

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Posted by Heidi

Easy Winter Health Formulas

It’s been a long couple of years. Many of us are feeling mental fatigue and existential stress, which negatively impacts our immune systems and overall wellbeing. This year, having some easy winter health formulas on hand feels more important than ever. They can’t cure the state of our world, but they often can help support our immune systems before we get sick and can provide some relief when we’ve caught whatever winter crud is going around. The following formulas have been Mountain Rose Herbs' favorites for a long time and are wonderful additions to your winter care routine. From our home to yours, we wish you a healthy, restful winter!

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Homemade Tortillas with Nettles

Whenever I am cooking, I am always thinking of ways to add more plants and nutrition. I like to challenge myself to have at least ten different plants represented in every meal. It’s a challenge I learned from Rosalee de la Foret. It is actually trickier than expected. However, in all of our lineages, somewhere we have ancestors who lived more directly with the land. These relatives consumed many more phytonutrients than what we are accustomed to—I am sure many more than ten per meal—so it can be done. Adding nettles to tortillas is a delicious new way to add one more plant to your meals.

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Adaptogenic Chai Tea Recipe with Astragalus

If you’ve ever checked the ingredients list on your favorite chai blend, you may have found yourself dizzied by the long list of herbs and spices involved. While such an assortment might take some work to assemble, this variety also makes chai spice recipes a delicious way to enjoy a whole host of beneficial botanicals in a single cup. And one of our favorite additions, from both a flavor and wellness perspective, is sweet and adaptogenic astragulus root.

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Posted by Jessicka

Mood Booster: An Herbal Extract for the Winter Blues

Here in the Coast Range and Willamette Valley of western Oregon, we know our foggy, rainy winters are responsible for the stunningly gorgeous, green landscapes we love so much. But, wow, it’s been cold and gray this winter! As a born-and-raised Oregonian, I’m one of the weirdos who loves rain, who adds extra blankets to my bed so I can sleep with the windows open to hear and smell the winter weather. I love sloshing around in rubber boots, and taking drizzly forest walks in the fog, and struggling against the cold rain to plant a super-early garden. There is a name for people like me: pluviophile (someone who finds joy and peace of mind on rainy days). However, for most people, the combination of dark, wet, and cold is incredibly challenging. It grieves me to watch my sun-loving, light-deprived friends and family sink into annual winter doldrums, which is why I love to make this mood-boosting herbal extract with its blend of warming, uplifting, relaxing herbs to help alleviate those seasonal blues and give a little relief to my favorite people.

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Posted by Heidi

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WELCOME

We offer one of the most thorough selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanical products and are commited to responsible sourcing.

10 Underused Herbs for Wellness

Explore 10 underused herbs that are little-known but wonderful substitutes for more popular herbal allies. These uncommon herbs are sure to spark your herbal curiosity.
WRITTEN BY Elise

March 28, 2022

A Beginner's Guide to Herbalism

Interested in herbalism, but don't know where to begin? Build your herbalism starter kit with this guide to beginner-friendly herbs, supplies, and more.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

March 17, 2022

How to Season Cast Iron + Cast Iron Conditioner Recipe

Learn how to properly season your cast iron skillet, how to choose the best oil to season cast iron, and how to make a DIY cast iron conditioner.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

March 5, 2022

Stinging Nettle Identification, Benefits, & Recipes

Explore the benefits of stinging nettle in this herbal deep dive. Learn all there is to know about nettle leaf and nettle root with links to safe harvesting practices and recipes such as nettle tea.
WRITTEN BY Elise

March 2, 2022

Osha: A Supportive, but At-Risk Plant Ally

Learn more about osha and how you can help take pressure off this important, at-risk herbal ally. 
WRITTEN BY Heidi

February 23, 2022

Cozy Cabin Diffuser Blend Recipe

Try this uplifting and earthy diffuser blend to recreate the clean and crisp atmosphere of a cabin found deep the woods.
WRITTEN BY Shawn

February 18, 2022

Dandelion and Cacao Bitters for Digestion or Cocktails

People have been utilizing aromatic bitters for thousands of years as digestive aids. Make your own digestive bitters or cocktail bitters with this easy recipe.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

February 17, 2022

Easy Winter Health Formulas

Natural remedies for winter wellness are easy to make and handy to keep around for those moments when our immune systems need a little extra support.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

January 21, 2022

How to Make Homemade Tortillas with Nettles

Learn how to make traditional Mexican tortillas with a nutritious twist!
WRITTEN BY Leslie - Guest Writer

January 17, 2022

Adaptogenic Chai Tea Recipe with Astragalus

Sip wellness support with this DIY chai blend with astragalus, an adaptogenic, immuno-supportive root with a sweet flavor to complement warming spices!
WRITTEN BY Jessicka

January 8, 2022

Mood Booster: An Herbal Extract for the Winter Blues

If you're struggling with seasonal blues, combine this simple herbal extract blend with healthy doses of natural light to make winter a little easier.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

January 5, 2022