Everyday Herbalism: Margi’s Natural Tick Repellant

Back in May, Margi visited iFarm Boxford to lead a fun, herb walk and forage for lunch.

Below is the little write up by Nick Shrewsbury, from that class and her tips for an all natural tick repellant.

Margi will be back at iFarm Boxford teaching a class on herbal tinctures and infused oils on July 24th

for more information on that  Click Here.


20 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

20 drops of Atlas Cedar Essential Oil

.5 oz jojoba oil (or other carrier oil like olive oil)

1oz white vinegar

1 oz Aloe Juice

Instructions: Mix the oils together first. Then add all other ingredients. Place the solution in an atomizer to create a spray. Spray liberally on clothes or pets (cats may not like the smell).  Make sure you shake vigorously before each use.

Avoid the eyes, safe for use on children 2 and up, do not ingest.

***Almost all essential oils are too potent for direct application to the skin. They should be diluted 10-15 drops essential oil to 1 ounce carrier oils. Exceptions to this rule are Lavender, Rose and Tea Tree Essential Oils.***


Herbs and Health: Advice from a Master Herbalist


Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners

klamath beetle“A member of the panel of the BBC’s admirable Gardeners Question Time programme, speaking of identifying small creatures in the garden, said that as a lad he was told: ‘If it moves slowly enough, step on it; if it doesn’t, leave it — it’ll probably kill something else” excerpt from Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen & Bridget Boland (page 36)


Everyday Herbalism: Chocolate as Medicine?

We all may have indulged a little too much this holiday and as it is the start of a new year, many of you may be starting a new diet or other healthy eating resolution. Which is all well and good, but don’t forget to reward yourself for your good work, or even just the good effort as it may be.


Cacao nibs

Here are a few very good reasons to keep Chocolate in your diet plan!

  • Chocolate increases endorphins
  • Chocolate contains polyphenol antioxidants, magnesium and pre-biotics.
  • Cocoa flavinoids relax the blood vessels and inhibit an enzyme which causes inflammation.
  • Dark chocolate contains 53.5mg of catechins per 100 mg.


“Chocolate of good quality… calms the fever, nourishes the patient and tends to restore him to health”. Francis Joseph Victor Broussais, celebrated French physician (1772-1836)


Here is one of Margi’s recipes for those cold snowy winter days!



Mix together

1-2 TB Cocoa

½ tsp Kudzu

½ tsp Licorice powder

1tsp Chicory powder

1tsp Mushroom powder

1tsp Vanilla extract

6-8 oz Almond or other milk

Simmer for 5 minutes covered.

Sweeten with raw local honey.

Add a pinch of Cayenne.


Taken from Margi’s book, The Third Edition of the Practicing Herbalist, page 147.

Everyday Herbalism: Margi’s Immune Boosting Tea

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, winter is upon us and with it comes sickness.   To give your immune system that extra boost and keep the sniffles at bay, add this tea to your repertoire.

Our Beautiful Echinacea!

¼ cup herb per quart Jar


.75 oz Elderberry

.25 oz Echinacea leaf

.25 oz Echinacea cut and sifted

.75 oz Licorice

.5 oz Spearmint


Boil water, place ¼ cup or more of the herbs into a glass container.  Cover.

Allow the herbs to steep for 5-10 minutes.   Strain with a stainless steel sieve, I like the nice wide ones you can find at kitchen stores.

A French press is great also – or a quart mason jar, to then pour into another quart.


Infusions will ferment, so store it in the refrigerator for one no longer than two days, tightly covered.

Be sure to compost the herbs, out the window or in your houseplants, simply returning them to the earth in order to receive the medicine. Full circle.




Dandelion can be used for so many things and if you forgot to harvest them during the spring and summer you are in luck.   With the weather being as crazy warm as it has been the plants are tenacious and are starting to grow again thinking it is springtime!

Margi finding Dandelions on      her walk in mid December!

Dandelions aren’t just weeds that ravage your nice green grass. Dandelions are a beautiful herb, which have great health benefits.


*Cardio vascular health



*Liver health and detox


These are just some of the many uses for Dandelion.

All parts of the plant can be used, the root, the leaf, the flower.

Many people incorporate the leaves in a salad for their fabulous diuretic and nutritive properties.