> Shipards Herb Farm - Newsletter
Shipards Herb Farm - Newsletter June 2011

Click here to get the latest Newsletter and Specials


This Newsletter shares data about herbs, and how people have used them, and other information to encourage us.

Download PDF version.
please think of the environment before printing

Our aim is to promote the love, appreciation and benefits of edible plants... and the freedom to use herbs for health and healing.

An Update from the Farm for the month of May:
Sunday 1st of May was National Permaculture Day, Shipards Herb Farm attended and had a stall at the Yandina Community Gardens. The day overall was a success as everyone had a good time and it was well attended by many members and guests. The Guest Speaker was SBS's Greek Garden Guru, Costa, of 'Costa's Garden Odyssey' who was commend for his talk, on his life and background, and why he believes in permaculture and self-sufficiency.

For pictures and more information from the day go to:

This month the herb farm has been busy with two bus groups, members from the Coochiemudlo Garden Club and the Buderim Garden Club who enjoyed Isabell's interesting and informative talk on herbs, as well as samples to delight the senses, and both days were enjoyed by garden club members that attended.

Would you like to help us improve our Newsletter?
click here to take a few moments to answer a quick 20 question anonymous survey, and receive a free gift coupon.
Your feedback is very helpful and much appreciated. We thank you for taking a few minutes to help us improve our newsletter.

Information about Herbs and properties of plants

When herbs are growing in the garden, we can use these plants in many ways  for flavouring, teas, poultices, inhalation, ointments, etc.
Don't overlook the potential of the herb flowers. So many plants have petite edible flowers, which can be used as a garnish on a meal to add colour, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and a special touch on a plate, which can also be a conversation point to share with the family.
Decorate your meals with flowers of basil, bergamot, borage, calendula petals, chamomile, chives, chicory, day lily, elderberry, garlic chives, society garlic, heartsease, land-cress and watercress, lavender, mint, mustard, nasturtium, pineapple sage, rose petals, rosemary, chickweed, sweet tarragon, savory, sunflower petals, thymes, violet, anise hyssop and rau om ... to name a few.

Sweet Tarragon
Sweet Tarragon
Last Newsletter, I mentioned several herbs that could be used to curb cravings for sweets, like licorice root, lemon myrtle, sweet leaf. Sweet tarragon is in flower at present, with vivid yellow daisy flowers. I enjoy munching on a sprig of leaves and flowers, for the wonderful sweet anise flavour, which can be a wonderful alternative to eating sugared foods. Aztex Sweet Herb (Lippia dulcis) is another sweet flavoured leaf to chew, for curbing cravings, or when feeling stressed. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is another very special herb; chew on a leaf or make a cup of tea for its calming, relaxing and refreshing benefits.

Our eyes are very susceptible to lifestyle and environmental stresses, and these factors may play a role in functional eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and failing or blurry vision. In fact, researchers have said the eyes have a higher level of oxidative stress and free radical activity than any other organs of the body. Besides, factors like lifestyle habits, such as smoking, other toxic exposures and highly processed diets with nutritional deficiencies, can increase oxidative stress and may accelerate the degenerative processes of the eye. It is believed one of the most common causes for poor vision is a high intake of sugar.

Anti-oxidants, such as carotenoids are important phyto-nutrients that densely populate the eye tissue and function to neutralise free radical damage created by lifestyle stressors. More than 600 carotenoid pigments have been identified in foods. Six of these are used in significant ways by the blood or tissues of the body. Some of the carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, gamma-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin) can be converted into Vitamin A in the body.

Carotenoids are found in dark colour pigments of foods, like leafy greens, and many fruits and vegetables (usually the darker the pigment of the food the higher the carotenoids). Generally leafy greens can have a higher pro-vitamin A than fruits. Also, there is the advantage that leafy greens are quick growing and available from various plants all year around, while fruit trees take several years to grow to size for fruit production, and are seasonal in fruiting. Carotenoids are able to enhance the immune system, and numerous studies done have shown that high intakes of a range of carotenoids can help to protect cells from free-radical damage, cardiovascular problems and inhibit cancer formation.

The sooner we eat our produce after picking, the higher will be the carotenoid content. For this reason I encourage the picking of greens and herbs for use in a meal, shortly before they are required for preparation. Every home can have a garden with greens, or a few large pots with a variety of leaf greens and herbs, to pick daily.

Saffron has been called "The Queen of Spices". It is the three red strands of the flower that are picked to give colouring and flavour.

Saffron (Crocus sativus) The stigmas from the flowers yield a valuable spice, and as each flower stigmas need to be hand-picked, this is a very time consuming procedure. Due to this, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It has been used for thousands of years in cuisines, dyes, and medicines. The dried stigmas have a strong-honey like aroma, and a pungent, bitter-sweet, honey flavour. It is used to colour and flavour rice, curries, seafood, pasta, sauces, soups puddings, cakes and many other foods. Just a small pinch of saffron will flavour and colour a whole dish. Saffron grows from a bulb, which shoots after summer dormancy. As soon as plants start to shoot out of dormancy, they unfold their beautiful flowers. At the Herb Farm we have enjoyed the saffron in flower recently.

Saffron contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds and also has many carotenoids, including zeaxanthin, crocetin, and lycopene, and the spice has had many medicinal uses. A 2010 double-blind, placebo-controlled study found saffron helped mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Saffron was found to be effective in relieving symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome, allergies, inflammatory conditions like gout and arthritis, and aid the digestion and circulation; and it is used to induce perspiration and reduce fevers, which is helpful in treating colds. Saffron has even featured as an aphrodisiac.

Rosella flower
Rosella flowers
Rosella flowers and red calyces can be eaten, and made into tea, stewed, jams, etc.

Rosella picking time
It is the time of the year to enjoy the flowers and watch the rosella calyces fill out.
Rosella is a very hardy annual bush to 1˝ Rosella metres which can produce many red fruits to pick over several months. The part that is eaten is the red outside covering of the seed capsule. This is pulled off and can be prepared as a tea, to make a very colourful beverage drunk hot or cool. Sweeten the tea with a little honey if desired. The tea has had many folklore uses: sweetens the breath, relieves coughs, strengthens the stomach, nervous system and libido. The red calyces are made into jams, pies, pickles, chutney, and eaten stewed, sweetening with sugar, honey or the natural sweetening herb Stevia (S. rebaudiana). Young leaves are eaten raw or cooked as greens, or added to other dishes. Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is an excellent source of anthocyanins. For more information on these powerful antioxidant flavonoids go to Oct. 2010 Newsletter and scroll down to Pigments in Plants:

From the mail box, and feed back from people...

This segment in the Newsletter, gives snippets and experiences, from other people, as it is these very 'down to earth' uses, which have given people better health, and then, these experiences can encourage other people, to give herbs a go.

Mini Sunflower flowers
Mini Sunflower flowers
In the last Newsletter, April 2011, I shared information on learning to recognise edible weeds, particularly the Mini-sunflower (Galinsoga parviflora)

Peter from Maleny, Qld, emailed to share his experiences... Great to see you talking about one of my favorite plants. I was interested to hear you call it the 'Mini Sunflower' as we have always known it as 'Little Sunflowers' and it was also called 'chook weed' by everyone around when I was a kid as it was regularly given to the chooks to improve egg quality/quantity, along with shell grit to improve the eggs shell quality and Milk Thistle for minerals/trace elements. They really thrive on it.

You may be interested to know the Mini Sunflower is very well known in African Tribal medicine and used for all sorts of remedies from dysentery in Uganda (chew leaves) to snake bite in Ethiopia (apply crushed leaves) open wounds in Ethiopia (juiced fresh flowers and leaves are applied and bandaged), and even athletes foot in Kenya (juice leaves and apply) colds and flu in Kenya (chew leaves and stems) colic and gastro pain in Uganda and pulmonary disease  coughs, pneumonia, pleurisy etc. in Congo (pounded leaves); would you believe hemorrhoids in Uganda (crush leaves and apply) and even sexually transmitted diseases in Angola. Perhaps they stay at home growing  Little Sunflowers instead of going out on the town! A truly amazing plant.

A useful source of information for your readers on Herb treatments and their relevant Human and Veterinary applications is the Prelude Medicinal Plants Database at http://www.metafro.be/prelude There you can search by plant name or Human/Veterinary Symptom and find valuable historical (mainly central African) tribal use for many herbs. I recommend your readers print the Symptoms data base for reference first before searching as their "recipes" show the symptoms as a catalogue number. Hope this Helps. Thanks for your excellent newsletter, Kind Regards, Peter

Hi Isabell. Have had some spare time on my hands, so whilst reading your "How Can I Use Herbs in my Daily Life" I ventured into the Sunflower section.
Sunflower Seeds
Whilst reading, it brought back memories of my childhood, my father in the kitchen gently pan frying sunflower seeds, and the beautiful smell meandering through out our home. He used to cool them off on some newspaper, then use them as a snack whilst watching television. Us children (6 of) never really got into eating them until after leaving home.

On my dads passing, on his first anniversary, I travelled to his homeland in the Ukraine to meet his surviving brothers and sisters and their families. It was a reunion that had a 2 week approval by the USSR authorities which stretched into a 5 month journey.

During that time I noticed how everyone I had met always had their hand in a pocket, popping unhulled sunflower seeds into their mouths and spitting out the shell. It seemed to be the norm no matter where I ventured. They would gently roast the seeds in a hot frypan and that beautiful aroma would fill the room when ready. Just like I had smelt at home. The old and the young would relish them and bad luck for the ones without their teeth!

One day at my aunties farm I walked around whilst she was feeding the animals... You guessed it... sunflower seeds, for the chooks, ducks, rabbits and you wouldn't believe it... the dog! I watched in amazement as this dog picked the sunflower seeds off the ground, one by one, de-hulled them and spat out the hull. I recall standing there for a good half an hour watching this animal and thinking this staple food source which was grown in abundance, was shared by all, humans and their animals. I now recognize and admire the wisdom of these people, living simply off the land, working with the seasons and growing some of God's most nutritious foods.

The other bit I wanted to share with you Isabell, is your friend Lila and the information she passed to you about using sunflower oil to cleanse and help correct many body ailments. This research was funded by the Russian Academy of Science.

I found this same process whilst internet googling under 'oil pulling'. I think at the time I was looking for a remedy for snoring and sinus problems and oil pulling came up as an ayurverdic treatment, again claiming to assist in healing a big list of medical challenges.

I proceeded to follow instructions, sunflower oil first thing on awakening, swishing it around my mouth for approx 10 - 15 minutes whilst getting ready for work. (Word of warning, don't try and talk and don't tilt your head backwards as you may start gagging!) After 10  15 minutes of swishing, head outside into the garden and spit out mouth contents, scrape tongue, and keep swishing mouth out with warm salty water. The clear oil after swishing, would be white and very liquified and I remember lots of mucous coming out of my mouth, nose and eyes. Towards the third week I introduced some fresh chilli (after reading your book) to see what sort of reaction I would have (besides burning my mouth out)... I would also always have a good look to see what was being expelled as if I was expecting to see something for some reason. Well, after nearly 3 weeks of doing the oil pulling on a daily basis... I felt something being dislodged from the back of my nose/throat area and as I continued to spit and bring out whatever I could... this ball the size of a marble flew out of my mouth. On further examination... (prodding etc) I came to the conclusion that this was a mucous ball that had been growing, living and moving around my sinus areas and I intuitively felt that it had been the cause of numerous sinus infections for over 10 - 15 years! Wella! to this day I have not had any sinus problems... but I still think I am doing some light snoring! but nothing as bad as before. I really feel that the 'oil pulling' process was the catalyst in the removal and healing of my sinuses.
Luv Your Work Lida NT

Isabell writes: for further information on the oil swill procedure, refer to the Sunflower Chapter in "How can I use Herbs in my daily life?"

We do need to be more prepared... Like Amanda said, when she emailed and said she had just read the Self-sufficiency Book from her local library, and then added info to her blog spot: saying,

Everything I've seen on the news lately, both at home and abroad, it's become apparent to me that things can turn sour in an instant. It's not just happening in third world countries anymore, disasters are striking every day, in all parts of the world. And when things were going wrong around here all I saw was a lot of panic and not a lot of preparedness.

Other than the obvious benefits of peace and tranquility, we have recently made the change to live a much more simple life, because it makes sense to us on so many levels. During the floods, it was quite scary to see how dependent everyone is on the "system" and how quickly entire cities can go without power, water, sewage, etc just because they are connected to the town's supply of EVERYTHING (just look at what happened in New Zealand).

SELF SUFFICIENCY BOOK As the book title suggests, this book is all about being prepared, just in case. When each day seems to bring a new tragedy from somewhere in the world, be it a tsunami in Japan, earthquake in New Zealand, or devastating floods right here in Queensland, it doesn't sound so crazy to be prepared. Thank you, Amanda

The following email came in 11th February 2011, which certainly makes us aware to be more prepared and resilient for the future...

I was about 1/3 through your book  How can I be prepared with self-sufficiency and survival foods? when the floods hit Grantham, with us in the house. Thanks for info in your book, as I was able to use some of the info to help my wife, daughter and I to get out with only a couple of scratches. THANK YOU for the foresight. I recommend this book to all I meet. From Dan Qld.

In February 2011 Newsletter we shared info about Steven eating edible weeds. Well, Steven is now teaching English in Korea, so I have to rely on email communication. I thought it would be good to share his recent experience in Korea...

In March Steven emailed...

I hope you're doing well back in the homeland, things are going well here, everyone at work is really friendly and I'm starting to get into some kind of routine. I'm really missing my Sunshine Coast fresh herbs and waiting to see what  the land of the morning calm can provide for me when Spring raises it's head. I actually bought a fantastic Korean book a couple of weeks ago on wild edible herbs that grow in the mountains and the author also included around five or six delicious looking traditional Korean recipes for each herb, each with beautiful pictures of the herb and the meals. I'm really looking forward to making a few of them after locating the appropriate herb on my hikes here. Steven

and then in April Steven emailed with a delightful weed encounter:

Hi Isabell,
It's starting to warm up a bit over here so it seems the seasons are transitioning smoothly on both sides of the equator. It's funny that you emailed yesterday because I just had a great herb related experience yesterday. I was on my way to meet a colleague of mine to go hiking and I saw my friend at the bottom of a small hill talking to an older Korean lady. I went down to chat to my friend and the lady and discovered that the lady was walking along the river collecting all the edible weeds and herbs and was about to take them all back home to prepare a traditional early lunch for her and her husband. I told her that I was really interested in herbs and she invited my friend and I back to her small traditional home and showed us how to cook a number of different traditional recipes with the herbs she had collected from the river front. She spent about 2 and a half hours showing us and I wrote down all the recipes and ingredients so later I can send them off to you if you're interested. The only herb that I could identify from her bunch was genuine/real dandelion which is growing prolifically around my town. It was a great experience, one of, if not the best I've had here. We spent about an hour eating together and chatting. The lady was really nice and cooked the food with an incredible love and devotion that was palpable and my friend and I felt incredibly blessed to share in such a unique cultural experience that at the same time transcended culture and was simply very human and warm.

Now that Spring has finally arrived the weeds/herbs are starting to raise their heads and I'm going to start using the book to identify the weeds growing around here. By the looks of the Korean lady's huge bunch of herbs that she gathered it seems that many of the herbs I've been spotting are edible and I'd have to say astonishingly delicious when prepared in the lady's own method Nae shik uh low (she kept saying that all the recipes were made in her own way, not because she was proud but she was modestly saying that the recipes she was making were not standard fare.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to doing some foraging over the coming months and I may require some of your help in identifying some of the herbs. If there's any I'm not sure of it would be great if I could send some pictures your way for identification. I'll write again soon. Steven

and an email received 5/4/11 from Valerie who lives in a dry country area of WA

After a horrible summer without rain, only blue, sunny skies and heat, we are finally getting the good news!! There is a shower on the horizon and the weather bureau is in turmoil. The kids will have a day off to see this cloud and all the farmers, and home gardeners/growers are crossing fingers and legs to get a good downpour.

My husband and I have managed to keep our organic vegetable garden and the orchard just alive. During the hot afternoons I have taken out your books and DVD's again to fill my time. After all these horrible natural disaster around the world (Eastern States, up North WA, Christchurch, Japan) it has hit home to many people how important it is to have your own fruits and vegetables growing. It is the second time I am reading your Self-Sufficiency Book and I have heaps of sticky notes around to remind me of the things I still have to do. My husband and I have migrated from Germany about 30 years ago and came to Australia never to go back to Germany and when we retired from work we bought 1/2 acre with a little cottage on it. Ever since we build and extended and improved and we can proudly say we are almost self-sufficient. We are both in our seventies and we know what hunger is, we both know how hard it was for our parents to feed us and we were many children in our families. We can remember when we had only bread and baked it on the hotplate of a wood-fired oven, the smell is still in my mind. We remember Christmas with just a small amount of food for each of us and I know my mum did not eat sometimes to save what was there for us. You see, my dad was a POW in Russia, he survived and came home eventually after many years in this hostile country, and after his homecoming he was sick for many years. Yes our parents had a very hard time in their lives, but we have also wonderful memories of laughter and fun.

It brings tears to my eyes today when I think about this time. So you see, your Self-Sufficiency Book brings back many memories. Ever since we have retired we wanted to make sure we have food in plenty, for us, for our children and the surplus for my community. Our cupboards and fridges are full with legumes, grains and seeds, fresh produce and preserves. I have learned so much from your books and DVD's and I thank you for sharing your knowledge in such a way.

I wanted to write this email since quite a while. I was at first a bit ashamed to let other people know about my feelings about the past, and times of hardship during the War years, but I think it might be good to share such thoughts. Please keep well and keep up your wonderful work.
Kind Regards, Valerie

Book review...

GUT feelings
GUT feelings by Dr. Peter Baratosy (often referred to as The Alternate Doctor)

Gastro-intestinal problems are very common in today's society. Orthodox methods often do not get to the root of the problem, but just gives "band aid" measures. This book discusses the reasons behind much of the gastro-intestinal epidemic, and also suggests, various simple, natural methods of dealing with gut problems, such as burping, acid reflux, farting, lower GI problems constipation and diarrhoea, lactose, gluten intolerances and food allergies, candidiasis, helicobacter pylori, leaky gut syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes type 1, coeliac and crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, fatty liver, bile and gall bladder problems, etc.

The book gives a good explanation of how our digestion works, and how this process has many functions, which requires a co-ordinated process, with each part depending on the previous portion for proper function. If anything goes wrong in any one part, then problems will occur further down the track, anywhere from mouth to anus.

Digestive enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, herbs, and essential nutrients can help to treat gut problems, and also act as preventatives. Hippocrates often referred to as the father of medicine (460-370BC) said "All disease begins in the gut"

$20 plus post (114 page A5 size book)

     Ask for this book at your local library.
Or it can be ordered from Shipards Herb Farm,
phone 07 54411101 during open hours
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.
(Qld. is not on daylight saving time)
     Also available here on line.

Self-Sufficiency Course with Isabell Shipard

1 day Course
when: Fri. 30th September     or     Sat. 1st October 2011
where: Nambour, Qld

click here to download a PDF for full details of course and special Self-Sufficiency book offer.

If you are not local to South East Qld., this course will be videoed and a DVD will be produced. So you can still get the teaching and benefits of Isabell's course with out the expense of long distant travel.

Isabell's Books and DVDs can be ordered

How can I use HERBS in my daily life? from Shipards Herb Farm,
phone 07 54411101 during open hours
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.
(Qld. is not on daylight saving time)
     Also available here on line.


During June - July 2011
the Herb Farm will have specials on some herbs, self-sufficiency and survival food plants, and seeds
click here to find out more...

online Book and DVD SPECIALS

Buy 5 or more of any combination of Isabell Shipard's books and / or dvds and get 10% discount!
(Discount applies to only the books and dvds listed below. Discount does not include Absolutely Delicious Licorice! booklet)

How can I use HERBS in my daily life?
How can I grow and use Sprouts as living food?
How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?
Wonderful World of Herbs! (2 DVD set)
Living Food at its Best! (2 DVD set)

To get this discount, go to our Books and DVDs page and click on the buy buttons of Isabell's books and / or dvds and purchas 5 or more of any combination.

The discount will be automatically applied in the shopping cart when 5 or more of Isabell's books and / or dvds are selected.
Not available with any other specials


Rosella Jam

Cook the rosellas with a little water, until soft, and puree in a blender. Measure how many cups of pulp, and add to it half the measurement, in sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer, until a tablespoon of the jam shows that it is setting, by thickening when placed on a cool saucer. This may take 15 30 minutes of fast simmering. When the jam shows it is setting, fill into jars and seal. As the small seeds contain pectin (which is a setting agent) some of the seeds can be tightly secured in a little bag or square of cloth, placed in the pot while cooking the jam to help with jam set.

Take seeds out of jam, before bottling. If wishing to make jam without sugar, for every 4 cups of rosella use 1 cup honey. Sweetened with honey, the jam may not keep as well as made with sugar (which is a preservative as well as a thickener) so storing the jam made with honey in the fridge is sensible, so that it does not go mouldy.

Laughter is good medicine...

What do you call cattle with a sense of humour?
Laughing stock

Marg said, "I've figured out why I am overweight. The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my body says, 'for extra volume and body' so, I am going to switch to dishwashing liquid, that promises to 'dissolve fat that is otherwise difficult to remove'."

Some words, to ponder...

The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

I feed the soil.
The soil feeds the plants.
The plants feed me.

Definition of foresight
1. The ability to envision possible future problems or obstacles
2. An act or instance of knowing something beforehand
3. The act of looking forward

And in signing off...

Feel free to print out the newsletter (please think of the environment before printing), or forward it on the family and friends, and, they are most welcome to subscribe and become part of our wonderful "herbal family" all around the globe, who enjoy using herbs. By sharing information about herbs and their special properties, we hold a torch to light another's pathway, and we also illuminate our own way.

Herbs enrich our lives, there is so much we can learn about edible plants, and when we use them daily, we will benefit in many ways.

Would you like to help us improve our Newsletter?
click here to take a few moments to answer a quick 20 question anonymous survey, and receive a free gift coupon.
Your feedback is very helpful and much appreciated. We thank you for taking a few minutes to help us improve our newsletter.

Follow HerbsToUse on Twitter
We are now on Twitter and Facebook so you can keep up to date with our latest news and current event's. Don't forget to follow us, and share us with your friends.

Not on Twitter or Facebook? You can keep up with our latest news and current event's at

Shipards Herb Farm catalogue
We will update the catalogue 2 times a year, usually early January and July.

To view the Catalogue you may need Adobe Reader 8 or higher.
Visit the following link to download the latest free version of Adobe Reader.

May your garden bring much joy, satisfaction and be a beautiful and interesting place, providing mental and physical therapy and a bountiful harvest for health and vitality.

Until next newsletter, Isabell Shipard

For any further information

on herbs and edible plants do have a look at this website, and Isabell's books. You are welcome to contact Isabell Shipard by email

or phone 07 54411101 during Shipards Herb Farm open hours - Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Shipards Herb Farm News

Home | Isabell's blog | Books & DVDs | Contact us | Sites of i
Herb Info. | Sprout Info. | Self Sufficiency Info. | Video | Link to us | Press | Site Map
herbsarespecial © 2003 - 2009. Information and pictures on this website are coverd by copyright Laws © 2003 - 2009.