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Spring Chicken Herbal Tonic and Herbal Academy of New England Update

Back in November I embarked on the online Intermediate Herbalist Class at the Herbal Academy of New England and shared a bit about the course HERE. For my first exam, I made a batch of Elderberry Honey Cold Syrup, thereby completing the first unit in the course. This weekend I successfully passed Unit Two and for my final exam I made a batch of Spring Chicken Herbal Tonic. Perfect to boost your own or your chickens' health naturally, it's super easy to make!

One thing I love about using herbal remedies is that for the most part they act the same in a chicken's body as they do in humans, so while the course I'm taking is geared toward use in humans, I can adapt so much of it for use in my chicken keeping. This tonic is a perfect example because it uses weeds that the chickens love anyway, namely dandelion greens and chickweed.

Here in Virginia, I can find herbs and weeds growing fresh throughout the winter, so this tonic can be made nearly year round and of course wildcrafting is always more fun when your cat accompanies you!

The ingredients in the tonic have been specifically chosen to aid in digestion, wake up the body after a long winter of reduced activity, and help to purify the blood and stimulate liver functions. Equally beneficial for you or for your chickens, this tonic is a great pick-me-upper to get energized and ready for spring!

Spring Chicken Herbal Tonic

2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Dandelion Root
1 Tablespoon Dandelion Greens 
1 Tablespoon Chickweed 
1 Tablespoon Clover 
1 Tablespoon Nettles

Rinse the dirt well off the dandelion root, then bring to a boil in a saucepan of 2 Cups of water and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile rinse the remaining ingredients and place them in a small bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the fresh herbs. Steep for 20 minutes and then strain into a pint jar.

You can drink the tonic warm (add a bit of honey to taste if desired) or serve room temperature to your chickens with the strained solids on the side. They will just love the tonic - and be healthier if you incorporate it as a regular part of their diet. Serve free-choice as often as desired or whenever you can find the weeds and herbs to make a batch.

-Simmer the dandelion roots for 20 minutes-
-Pour hot liquid over the fresh herbs and steep for 20 minutes, then strain-
-Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. As you can see, Violet couldn't wait to take a drink-
Recipe adapted from the 

For anyone interested in learning more about the healing power of herbs, I invite you to check out the Herbal Academy of New England website, as well as their fantastic blog and other free resources. For more information on signing up for the Online Herbal Course or any of the other course offerings from the Herbal Academy of New England, click HERE. It would be fun for some of you to take the course alongside me, so we could compare notes and experiences! I've still got 8 Units left to go before I graduate, so plenty of time to join in!


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