Late Summer Medicinal Plants Workshop: Support Spleen and Stomach 

I started “Medicinal Plants” outdoor workshop at Merrihew’s Sunset Garden in Santa Monica near my house last June!

In the last workshop, I introduced at least five medicinal plants you can grow in your garden, infused tea and taste them.

The link from the last workshop.

https://sanaesuzuki.com/2022/06/12/medicinal-herbs-and-plants-tea-workshop/

 

This month’s workshop will be this coming Sunday August 28th.

 

Learn how to make three different herbal infusions.

1. Oil for skin (moisturize)

2. Toner for skin (refresh and hydrate)

3. Tea for supporting stomach/spleen/pancreas (late summer organs in Chinese medicine)

I will introduce at least seven different medicinal plants to support Late Summer Five Elements organs: Spleen, stomach, etc., and how to make organic plant-based skin remedies: infusion oil for moisturizer and infusion toner for refreshing and hydrating skin. 

During summertime, our skin receives hot intense sunlight and needs care and nurturing.

Skin is the largest organ and often shows the first signs of your health and inflammation.

The skin may not like vital organs compared to internal organs like the liver, kidney, heart, lungs, or brain. After all, the skin is with us always, and we can see, touch, and feel the skin. In this workshop, I want people to realize how much skin is working hard to protect us, and the skin deserves the best care from us.

Commercial skin care products are so harsh; many have unhealthy ingredients and are not sustainable for the environment.

Even natural skin care products are not the best for our skin. Even if they use organic ingredients to make the products, they have to use activation materials, so the production can be done in a short time, so they sell quickly. And they have to add preservatives to last a long time. 

Homemade botanical skincare takes time (6~8 weeks) to make. It needs to be patient to make and let natural power add organically to infusion. Gentle and nourished—one of the best ways to care for and nurture the skin.

Skin organs are autumn: Lung and large intestine, but I recommend starting late summer organs: spleen/pancreas and stomach; that is a more proactive way to take care of the skin.

My favorite herbs to infuse oil and toner for skin care are calendula, lavender, helichrysum, chamomile, rose, and more. In this workshop, I will use calendula to infuse oil and helichrysum to infuse toner.

I will also introduce six different ingredients to make blending medicinal tea for late summer.
These are ingredients and their actions (REFERENCES from Five Elements with Western Herbs- Kate August at California School of Herbal Studies)

 

Workshop:

Sunday, August 28th, 3~4:30pm

Merrihew’s Sunset Garden 

1526 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405 

– outside classroom next to the chicken coop

$40/person

Here is the link to join the workshop.

This workshop medicinal plants energies and actions: 

1. Bee Balm – 

 

Energetics: aromatic, acrid, bitter, warm

 Meridians/Organs: spleen, stomach, urinary bladder

 Herbal Actions: diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic

2. Licorice-

Tonify Qi

 Energetics: sweet, neutral- often used as a harmonizing herb

 Meridians/ Organs: heart, lung, spleen, stomach – enters all 12 channels

 Part used: the root 

 Herbal Actions: qi tonic, expectorant, demulcent, mild sedative

3. Tangerine Peel –

Regulate Qi

 Energetics: acrid, bitter, warm, aromatic

 Meridians/ Organs: Lung, Spleen, Stomach

 Herbal Actions: carminative, aromatic, expectorant, tonic

 

4. Fennel Seed-

 

Warm the Interior- expel Cold

 Energetics: spicy, sweet, warm

 Meridians/ Organs: spleen, stomach, liver, kidney

 Actions: stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, expectorant

5. Ginger-

Warm Acrid Release Exterior

 Energetics: Spicy, hot

 Meridians/ organs: heart, lung, spleen, stomach, kidney

 Herbal Actions: stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic

 

6. Cardamom-

 

Transform dampness

 Energetics: acrid, warm, aromatic

 Meridians/ Organs: Lung, Spleen, Stomach

 Herbal Actions: carminative, expectorant

Here is the link to join the workshop.

Love, Sanae ❤️

Medicinal Herbs and Plants Tea Workshop

When I was about three years old, I saw my grandmother taking care of her tiny garden (Japanese saying that the size of a cat’s forehead )by the cliff of stream in front of her house.
Her loving and naturing energy to her garden’s vegetables and flowers helped them so cheerful to serve us.
It was fascinating to see them grow a little bit each morning with blight sunshine, cloudy sky, or even a rainy day with a smile because humans tend to get depressed on a cloudy day and feel sad on a rainy day.

My ground mother was a local healer to help babies who cried at night excessively and women who had Postpartum depression and hormone imbalance. She took me to Forrest to forage to find medicinal herbs/plants and mushrooms.

I always wanted to have my own garden someday and forage wild plants.
When I was seven years old, I created my tinier plant container flowers garden with a wood apple box from a fruit market in front of the five unite rental complex my parents were renting. Many people who passed by gave compliments on how beautiful my flowers were.
Since then, I have continued my garden wherever I lived, whether just a few planting pots by the window in my school dormitory or 50 plastic pots by the entrance of a guest house in Los Angeles.
I finally moved to the Santa Monica house where I have now since 1985, and when I started macrobiotic first stripped the lawn and created my rustic garden with bamboo and herbs.

I planted native California plants in the sidewalk area and built a rooftop container garden to grow medicinal herbs.
Many birds, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, ladybugs, and squirrels come to my garden and enjoy themselves—hummingbirds and doves nests on the tree branches.

I started to study herbology in 1995 with David Crow (founder of Floracopeia) at California Healing Art College in West Los Angeles.
I learned so much about native California plants and medicinal herbs.
I enjoyed recognizing those herbs when I go hiking and start foraging.
I have been learning about medicinal herbs and plants for a long time with macrobiotics.

I especially enjoy growing native California plants and medicinal herbs to make my healing tea and infused oil for my skin, health, and pain relief. I have been hoping to share what I do for a while.
Recently, Merrihew’s Sunset Garden’s new owners, Frank and Ati, were interested in what I do.
We started to talk about something we could do together.
I started going to Marrihew’s Sunset Garden since 1985 (they have been in business since 1947), and I never thought I would teach there, but my wish comes true, and I will be teaching there.

Medicinal Tea from Your Garden
Saturday, June 18th
11 am ~ 12 pm
Merrihew’s Sunset Garden
1526 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
– outside classroom next to the chicken coop
$40/person

LEARN:
-medicinal benefits of 5 different herbs or more
-how to make infusions of fresh and dried herbs (i.e., hot tea, sun tea, sprays, etc.)
-tips for growing the herbs in your garden/pots (you can even grow a lot in a small space!)
-how/when to properly harvest the herbs
-how to dry the herbs
-fresh vs. dried
* Three kinds of organic medicinal tea tasting and handout included!*

To register and pay for the class, please go to this link 

I hope some of you can come to learn plant healing power and taste them and enjoy the outdoor class ambiance.

Love, Sanae❤️

BENEFITS OF HERBS: 

Disclaimer: The information offered is for educational purposes only!

Here are the benefits of the medicinal herbs/plants I use for the class.

1) Hibiscus 🌺 (hibiscus sabdariffa) Family – malvaceae-mallow family Calyx

  • Rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and anthocyanin.
  • Fights inflammation, Lowers blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol, Promotes weight loss. 
  • Fights bacteria, Supports liver health and more

Taste: sour, naturally sweet, spicy, and fruity

Action: Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, hepatic, hypocholesterolemic, immune stimulant, refrigerant, reproductive tonic 

Energetics: cooling and drying, uplifting, strengthening, refreshing

Use: Traditionally, hibiscus calyces have been used throughout the world as “refrigerants” to cool the body (Engels, 2007). In Egypt, hibiscus has been used as a diuretic and for cardiac and nerve diseases; in North Africa for coughs and sore throats; in Europe for colds and upper respiratory tract congestion, sleeplessness, and as a laxative and diuretic; and in Iran for hypertension (Engels, 2007).

The sour, astringent, cooling nature of hibiscus helps to cool and regulate the body’s temperature, as well as tone and cool irritated tissue and mucous membranes throughout the digestive tract and genitourinary system. This is particularly indicated in the case of overheated states and inflammation in the body, such as irritation in the liver, stomach, bladder, urinary tract, uterus, or colon. Hibiscus is also clearing, helping to move stuck mucus

in the lungs and energy in the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems.

Sauce from Herb Academy

2) Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

  • Relieves gas and bloating while relaxing the digestive muscles and breaks up flatulence.
  • Stimulates digestive juices and can ease nausea and motion sickness.
  • Aids in colds, fevers, and flu.

Taste: sweetish odor and a warm, pungent taste with a cooling aftertaste

Action: carminative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, antiemetic, nervine, anti-microbial, analgesic

3) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • Help alleviate muscle pain and improve memory.
  • Boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

Taste: acrid & aromatic 

Action: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-tumorigenic, anti-nociceptive, and neuroprotectiv

4) Holy Basil, Tulsi (rama – ocimum tenuiflorum)

  • Calms the nervous system, moves stagnation, colds and flu, upper respiratory illness.
  • Protects against toxicity from chemicals, heavy metals, and radiations.

Taste: robust, slightly sweet flavor and crisp taste

Actions: adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety,

carminative

5) Calendula (calendula officinalis)

  • Prevents muscle spasms, starts menstrual periods, and reduces fever. 
  • It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

 Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool

 Action: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, cholagogue, hemostatic, lymphatic, vulnerary

6) Lemon Balm (melissa Officinalis) Family: Lamiaceae

  • Calming and uplifting the nervous system
  • Relieves spasms and gas, hot water extracts have anti-viral properties

Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool

Actions: carminative, nervine, antispasmodic, antidepressant, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, antiviral, hepatic

Contraindication: hypothyroidism

7) Chamomile (matricaria recutita) Family: Asteraceae

  • Calming to the nervous system, anti-inflammatory 
  • Calming to digestive cramping and gas upset, mild

Taste: flowery, earthy and apple-like sweetness

Actions: nervine, antispasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory(抗炎剤), antimicrobial, bitter, vulnerary 

4. TIPS for GROWING MEDICINAL HERBS

(your garden or pots – you can even grow a lot in a small space!)

1) If you love/like gardening or are curious about gardening, you can grow medicinal herbs even in a small container if you do not have a garden and live in an apartment. I once grew them when I was living in the school dormitory.

2) If you have a small space, choose the one easy to grow and you want to make fresh herbal tea. 

3) A connection you make with plants/herbs/nature is essential.

4) As you observe the cycle of season/nature/life by little, seeds sprout and grow to produce flowers and maybe seeds again.

5) Recognizing the cycle of life is natural healing.

6) Most medicinal herbs grow like weeds in the wild. They are pretty hardy, so they usually thrive when you give decent soil, light, and water.

5. HOW/WHEN to HARVEST 

1) Always harvest in the morning, after the dew has evaporated, and before the sun and heat hit the plant. 

2) Make sure to use clean shears. This is beneficial both to you and the plant. 

3) Buds and Flowers are best harvested just as they are opening. 

4) Don’t wait for them to open fully: they will lose their medicinal potency.

5) Leaves are usually best harvested before a plant is in full bloom.

6. HOW TO PROPERLY DRY

1) Once you’ve harvested medicinal herbs for future use, I recommend drying them to preserve them.

2) Brush off and remove any organic material, such as bugs and dirt. 

3) Dried quickly, protected from direct sunlight, packaged, and stored correctly

4) Minimal humidity and good airflow

5) If you use a dehydrator: a temperature should be around 90º to 110º 

6) The traditional method for drying herbs is to hang them in small bundles from rafters.

7. FRESH VS. DRIED

1) Fresh-picked herbs taste good, but high-quality dried herbs can be as effective as fresh herbs.

2) The best reason to use dried herbs is that fresh herbs are unavailable year-round, and some medicinal herbs are not grown locally.

3) When making salves and oils, it is better to use dried herbs because the water content in fresh plants can spoil the oil.

If you have a question, send me email sanaehealing@gmail.com or post here.

Thank you!