Psoriasis, eczema, what’s the difference?

psoriasis - Robbins Basic Pathology

If you’re suffering from red, itchy patches that literally have you ‘crawling out of your skin’, then perhaps the difference doesn’t mean much to you.  As it happens, though the two share similar symptoms, their causes are distinct.  Knowing which you suffer from is key in developing an effective strategy to select particular herbs for … Read more

Defeating the Squash Vine Borer – FINALLY!

Zucchini plants

Every spring, after a long, cold, dark winter has washed away any memories of the prior growing season’s trials, I awaken hopeful (and naïve?).  Despite my husband’s warnings, and probably my better judgement, I persist in planting zucchini in my garden.  Sure, I know that zucchini has the unfortunate reputation as being overgrown – there’s … Read more

4th of July and Victory Gardens – a classic pair

Home vegetable garden July 4, 2019

The 4th of July always brings back memories of our backyard vegetable garden when I was growing up.  It was a goal to harvest our first zucchini by (or before!) this date in western Pennsylvania. This July 4th, I am reminded of one of my very first blog posts on the Maryland Extension’s now-retired Grow … Read more

Musings on the history of herbal medicine

Polish herb book

Recently I was asked by a fellow Master Gardener for some suggestions on how to put together an ‘educational and fun’ lecture on the History of Herbal Medicine.  “Wow”, I thought, “that’s a particularly broad topic”.  I started asking her a lot of questions: whose history?  Which culture(s)?  How far back do you want to … Read more

Violet jelly

violets in jar

Every year around this time my lawn becomes awash in violets.  To some, these lovely little plants are weeds – the bane of a homeowner’s pristine-lawn-loving existence.  To me, they’re an opportunity to behold nature’s beauty – and to make violet jelly! As an herbalist, I need to share that the sweet violet (Viola odorata) … Read more

It’s spring, time to prepare the medicinal herb garden!

Welcome Spring!  You’ve been dreaming all winter about starting a medicinal herb garden, but now that the ground has thawed you realize you have no idea where to begin.  Fear not, and read on for a simple medicinal herb garden plan that incorporates a pharmacy of herbs for self-care that are easy to grow in … Read more

Herbal Aphrodisiacs? Yes, they are a real thing!

Statue of Aphrodite

The word ‘aphrodisiac‘ comes from the name of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, whose name also meant ‘sexual pleasure’.  Therefore, an aphrodisiac is something that arouses sexual desire.  It could be a substance such as a chemical (drug), but it could also be a sensory stimulant – visual (watching an … Read more

It’s ‘Cozy Season’!

Cup of tea

That’s what I recently read on the cover of a cosmetics catalog, and I thought, “what a lovely way to describe this time of year” – a time when the daylight is at a premium, the temperatures are less than optimal, and some funny, white stuff that makes it hard to get around sometimes falls … Read more

Welcome to Green Haven Living!

Green Haven Living

Welcome welcome all, and welcome 2016!  The New Year brings my new blog – something I’ve been meaning to initiate for quite some time.  As an introduction to the theme I would like to run throughout, allow me to borrow directly from my FAQ (also a fairly recent addition to my website): ‘Green Haven’ is … Read more