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What are Resins and Gums in Plants?

The diversity of natural chemical compounds in plants is remarkable. For many years, scientists thought they could be broken down into simple primary and secondary categories: the primary compounds being those that contribute directly to growth and development, and the secondary ones being byproducts that don’t directly contribute to those primary functions. Most of the aromatic oils, gums, and resins that humans have adored for thousands of years fell into this wide category of secondary natural compounds. Why do plants produce them? Understanding the roles these compounds play in plants helps us understand how to use them most effectively. We went to our friend, fourth-generation botanist and plant physiologist Karen Hall, to get a better understanding of natural gums, resins, and gum-resins in plants.

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Posted by Heidi

Mushrooms for Wellness

In herbalism, herb is the root word. Of course, herbalism encompasses much more than herbs such as basil or rosemary. It also includes tree barks, roots, seeds, and even non-plant life such as mushrooms. I know some herbalist friends who are downright repulsed by mushrooms, but there’s another type of herbalist who is entranced and enamored with these fungal friends. I happen to be one of those weirdos. While I'm not a mycologist, I’ve always enjoyed learning about and including mushrooms in my diet and herbal lifestyle because of their health benefits, lore, and mystery. Science confirms that there are a great many benefits to consuming mushrooms. Let’s explore a few of these mushroom allies.

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Posted by Mason

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap with Soap Nuts

I have to admit, it was really difficult for me to believe that soap nuts could actually work. My skepticism caused me to walk by them at my local natural grocery store for years. I liked the idea of an all-natural laundry solution, but I figured soap nuts would not be effective enough to take on the stains and scents of my active lifestyle and dirty gardening clothes.

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Posted by Jessicka

Triple Rose Moisturizing Face Cream Recipe

When choosing or crafting a natural moisturizer for your face, it helps to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the different oils included in the recipe. Facial skin tends to be more delicate and sensitive than the rest of the body, and it can be a little tricky to adequately nourish your complexion without either smothering your pores or causing irritation. This is why organic rosehip seed oil is one of the most universally loved choices for gentle moisturizers. 

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Posted by Heidi

3 Superfood Smoothie Recipes Powered by Plants

When spring arrives, I turn to my trusty blender and say, “Let’s do this.” As I move and shake my way out of hibernation (and try to shed some extra winter insulation), smoothies become the perfect breakfast and/or lunch for me. These nutritious drinks keep me feeling light, but still nourished and focused, and I love discovering new ingredients to add to my favorite blended recipes.

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Posted by Jessicka

10 Best Herbs & Spices for Brewing Beer

Humans have been brewing beer for millennia, and in that time, we have incorporated countless ingredients into our ferments. From bright, citrusy witbiers to rich herbal gruits, there’s a flavor profile to suit most any taste—and many of the ingredients to achieve it can be found in your home apothecary or kitchen spice rack!

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Posted by Kiley

Organically Grown Stinging Nettle + Nutritious Infusion Recipe

In our neighboring state of Washington lies one of our organic farms—650,000 acres of herbal splendor amidst an otherwise desert landscape. Thanks to the pristine Columbia River, this region has an unlimited supply of the highest quality water any agricultural operation could desire. Here, head farmer Phil has the space and resources to grow one of our most popular herbs: stinging nettle.

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Posted by Raychel

Support Spring Immunity with Traditional Chinese Medicine


In spring, buds burst with potential energy, flowers push up from under the snow, and, according to Chinese medicine, the Wind blows change, energy, and wellness disturbances hither and thither. Spring is associated with the Wood element, in its upward, outward expansion and infinite possibilities.

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Spring Nettle & Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits

It’s nettle harvest time! How humans came to figure out that nettles are a powerhouse of goodness is beyond me. They contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and a treasure trove of other vitamins and minerals. But as a kid growing up in the Coast Range of western Oregon, my entire relationship with nettles involved trying not to get stung by those wicked trichomes while romping through the woods. So, kudos to the first brave nettle-harvesting souls, because they figured out (as I now know) that harvesting nettles without getting stung is actually easy, and this puts urtica dioica on my list as a versatile and delicious herb.

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Posted by Heidi

Natural Variations in Our Herbal Products Explained

Over our 30+ years of business, we’ve helped literally tons of botanicals find their way onto our customers’ shelves. We always strive to provide consistent quality in our herbal offerings, but when it comes to superficial characteristics, Mother Nature often likes to put her own unique touches on each batch, which can result in some perceptible variation from one order to the next. However, you can trust that here at Mountain Rose Herbs, we’re always going the extra mile to make sure your ingredients are of the best possible quality, regardless of any apparent differences.

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Posted by Tim

New Essential Oil Kits for the Aromatherapy Explorer

 

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