My Herbs Blog
A number of years ago, I started making my own creams, salves, and liniments, and slowly replaced all of my pharmacy bought items, with all-natural herbal remedies. All items in my new medicine chest are made by the plants that grow on my property and neighboring vicinity. I think in actuality, I have my own pharmacy with hundreds of items, from herbs, to pure vegetable oils, jars, and even standard tools like bandages, and cotton swabs. My medicine chest is really what I like to call my Herbal Apothecary, and in our family, we use many items in the cabinet daily. I have actually dedicated a corner of my kitchen to the herbals that I make. I have 2 wooden stand-alone cabinets of that are not only attractive, but very useful. I chose pieces that had closed fronts to keep the natural light at a minimum.
Any kind of chest, cabinet piece of furniture, or other creative storage space can be used to make your herbal medicine chest. Maybe you have a big pantry, and you can dedicate a section for your herbs, or maybe you have a perfect cabinet in the kitchen for easy storage and access. Just avoid putting your items in the bathroom, near a stove or natural light source. The location should be easy to access if you have a quick need, but also relatively safe from small children. Nothing I make would harm a child if they got into my apothecary. Most herbs for “medicine” taste bitter and that would be enough of a deterrent, and nothing is toxic or poisonous.
If at all possible collect your own plants either from your garden or from fields, stream beds, and the woods. Make sure the soil and location is healthy and free from chemicals or other run-off that would harm the plants, and thereby you. One of the best determinants is to look at the plants size; small, withered plants, with brown leaves are probably either A. not getting enough nutrients, or B. absorbing toxins from the soil. It may be too late in the season to collect your own herbs, and in that case I recommend finding a local health food store, farm, or even an herbalist who can sell you some local herbs. I find that the herbs collected and used from a person’s local environment can be more effective than those exotic and from faraway lands. There is a temptation to think- farther means better, but truly the most humble and simple “weeds” can be the most effective herbal remedies.
Yarrow flowers, Achilliea millefolium would be the first item I would collect and store. Keep the dried flowers in a glass jar, to use for herbal teas. You will also want to grind some of the flowers into a fine powder and store in a small glass jar. Clean baby food jars are great for storing small amounts of herbs, seeds, and for salves. The whole flowers of the Yarrow plant are infused into a hot tea that is useful for fevers, and colds. Yarrow is a diaphoretic herb that promotes sweating and thus will help a body sweat out a fever effectively. The powdered flowers can be applied to cuts to stop bleeding and promote healing. Another powdered herb that I always keep in my medicine chest, and which also stops bleeding even more effectively is cayenne pepper.
Cayenne, Capiscum annum can be grown in your garden, and after the peppers have been dried, ground up finely into a powder. The powder is especially useful as a first aid item. Cayenne pepper applied to cuts, with stop bleeding, like a clotting factor. Cayenne pepper can be mixed with some water, juice or milk and drank in cases of shock, or hypothermia. Cayenne is also beneficial for stabilizing the blood flow in the body, and stimulating digestion. Although a spicy herb, spice, and condiment- Capiscum is definitely something I keep on hand. I believe I have at least 4 ounces powdered at any given time.
My singularly favorite herb, and plant that I keep in my herbal apothecary in numerous forms, is Black Walnut, or Juglans nigra. The green hull is the part of the plant you want to use. It contains the chemical juglone, which is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and a fungicide. This plant is so incredibly useful, and the trees are so exceptionally plentiful. Most people throw or burn away the green nuts, finding them a nuisance. I keep the tincture of the green hulls in my apothecary for sore throats, toothache, and for a quick application to skin rashes. I also make a black ointment, and one of the main ingredients is black walnut hull powder. The ointment is used for almost every kind of bump, blister, cut, scratch, or splinter. I even freeze the hulls to preserve the precious juice over the winter. When you thaw out the slices of the hull, you can use the slices to rub on fungal infections of the skin. It works quickly to take away itch and discomfort, but beware, you will get stains on your skin for a few days from the juglone.
Comfrey leaf, Symphytum officinale, is a must in your herbal medicine chest. The leaf of this herb should be dried and stored in glass jars. I would suggest storing 1 lb. for the winter. If you grow it yourself, you should have no problem collecting that amount, because this plant spreads fast, and has large leaves. It is also very easy to dry. In cases of bruising, straining, spraining or aching, make a large pot of comfrey tea. I use 1 heaping Tablespoon of dried comfrey leaf, per cup of water. Soak clean white cloths in the tea and wrap around the affected area. Cover with saran wrap, and another dry cloth and leave on for 30 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times a day or more for acute pain. You will be amazed at how quickly your body responds to the healing powers of this plant.
The fifth herb is also considered a spice, and spices and herbs are often all called herbs, and that is mustard powder. Mustard is in the family Brassicacae, and in the Northeastern part of the United States, it can be found growing along fields, roadsides, and empty lots, every spring. The plants are easy to identify by their bright yellow flowers. I have not personally gathered my own seeds, but I pick the leaves and eat them raw or in green salads as a spring tonic. I find you cannot really make a mistake when purchasing mustard seeds, unlike other herbs. If at all possible buy the seed, before it has been ground which will ensure the best potency. You can grind your seeds in a small coffee grinder. I would have ½ a pound on hand at any one time, and grind up 2 ounces to store in a glass jar. That way, if you have an urgent situation, you do not have to take time grinding your mustard seeds.
I like to use the dried powder weekly in hot foot baths. The properties from the mustard seeds soak into the soles of the feet and through the body with help of the nervous system. I find that doing this weekly is relaxing, and keeps a body a little more resilient. If a cold comes upon you unawares, and you have chest congestion, a mustard plaster over the chest works wonders, and of course you will want to do the foot soaks with mustard powder as soon as you feel under the weather. To do a mustard soak, prepare a large bowl, or bucket with very warm water. It should be hot, but not too hot. Sit in a comfortable chair with a cup of Yarrow tea, or whatever delicious tisane you have on hand. Mix ¼ cup of mustard powder into every gallon of water. The water should come up to mid-calf. Sit with your feet submerged for at least 20 minutes. After doing a mustard soak, rub your feet with sea salt and dry thoroughly. Lay down and take a rest. Repeat daily if ill, and continue weekly for cold prevention.
As I said before, the items I have in my herbal medicine chest are numerous. I probably have at least 100 different herbs, and mixtures and other helpful tools. However, with just six different herbs, you can use each plant at least 3 different ways, which gives you 18 different herbal remedies, minimum. If you are new to herbs, it is best to start slowly, and become really familiar with a few plants, before branching out to more herbs. I want to leave you with one more set of instructions with the mustard powder, as it is very helpful. It does require another herb that could be your number 6 in your apothecary. That herb is Slippery Elm, Ulmas rubra in Latin. Slippery elm is terrific for stomach complaints and any inflamed skin inside and out of the body. You will want to mix your mustard powder with slippery elm, before making a plaster, because the mustard powder brings a lot of heat to the skin.
In a small ceramic bowl, mix 4 Tablespoons mustard powder, and 4 Tablespoons slippery elm powder. Add small amounts of water slowly and stir until you have a paste-like consistency. If you are the one ill, try to get some help with this application. You will also need two clean towels. One for laying on, and one for when you get up, just so you do not make a mess where you were laying. You will need to remove your shirt and I like to rub some olive oil on my chest first before applying the paste. After rubbing in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, apply a thick layer of mustard plaster on the chest area, avoiding sensitive skin areas. It is best to remain laying during application. You can set a timer for 10 minutes, but if you feel too hot before the timer goes off, you may wash off the plaster. If you can keep the plaster on longer than 10 minutes, keep on as long 20 minutes before washing.
You will be surprised at how red your skin will look. The mustard brings a lot of blood flow to the chest area, which will help with bringing healing to a congested respiratory tract. If after washing off the mustard plaster, you still feel hot, and even uncomfortable, get a cool wash cloth and lay it on your skin for another 20 minutes. Like I suggest after the mustard foot bath, lay down and rest after completing this remedy. I find that a good rest after mustard applications really does wonders. If you can master the application and use of these 6 herbs, you will be well on your way towards a bit more freedom, and self-reliance for yourself and your loved ones. Do not worry about making mistakes, you probably will. Herbs can be very forgiving, and will teach you along the way.
RECIPE for my BLACK Walnut Tincture
You will need:
-8 Green Black Walnut Hulls (fresh) or
-1/2 ounce Black Walnut Hull powder
-Large clean quart jar with lid
-40 Proof Alcohol (Vodka is preferred)
-2 cups high quality water
-Blue painters tape and a sharpie marker
-Knife and cutting board
Directions: Making the Black walnut tincture can be a messy business. The hulls will stain everything they touch. That is why I suggest old rags, and you may even want to use an old cutting board, versus a nice new one. If you do not wear gloves, your hands will stain a deep yellow, and then almost turn a brown or black color wear the juglone gets on your skin. This lasts a few days, so gloves are recommended.
On your cutting board, slice pieces of the hulls off the ball of the walnut. There is a large inner shell in the middle, so you have to cut around it. As you slice pieces, put them into your quart jar. You should have enough slices to fill just above half way.
When you have finished cutting, you will then pour your water into the jar until the water line gets half way on the jar. Then, fill the jar the rest of the way with your Vodka, leaving a 1/2 “headspace at the top of the jar. You can then put on your lid tightly and label with the blue painters tape. The information that should be on the label is as follows: -Date, -Herb material,- Where you obtained your herbs,- and menstruum (liquid in the jar).
Lastly, sit you freshly made jar of Black Walnut tincture on a sunny window sill. Make sure you put the old rags under the jar, because it may leak a little and remember the liquid will stain. Let this sit for two weeks before straining off the hulls, and rebottling the precious liquid.
Herb Quality Matters- and Why?
Not all herbs are created equally, or rather not all plants grow with equal strength. It really is like people.....Human beings are all different based upon many factors, and largely shaped by the nutritive condition of their parents before conception and especially by the mother during pregnancy.
A plant is greatly influenced by the soil, and other weather conditions of where it lives and grows. The seeds that a plant makes can be "less than," if the plant had poor soil; it can even fail to produce seeds. Saying that Basil is good for you, or Peppermint is used for stomach distress, is only part of the story. What is not being said, is that not all basil, not all peppermint is created equally.
You can buy dried basil from the grocery store, and be getting very little nutritional or medicinal benefits. You could then grow your own basil, enrich the soil, compost, and have Basil that IS GOOD FOR YOU. Maybe you are new to herbs, and just trying to figure out how to make tea, or make a simple remedy. Maybe you have tried some herbal remedies and have found them lacking.
The reason may be in a lack of quality of the herb you are using. Let's look at it another way. Is there not a difference between cheap diner food (sorry I know some diners are great, maybe I should say food from a gas station that has been on the heat rack all day, and food prepared at a fine dining 5 Star restaurant? YES! Of course! Your herbs are like that comparison. Your big box store, or chain store is going to have a lesser quality herbal product that a small shop, small company or local herbalist. Usually - and this isn't 100% of the time, small herbal farms, or herbal product producers put a lot of care, time and love into their herbals. I have found that small batch herbal products are usually great.
That being said, there are two companies that do not disappoint when I want dried herbs. I grow a lot and wild-craft (that is collect from the wild or from neighbors who don't use their herbs). Since I run a business I order a many extra herbs. My two favorites companies are Mountain Rose Herbs and Starwest Botanicals. This banner links to Mountain Rose Herbs and I am an affiliate of this company. I have always loved their herbs. They are bright, vibrant, colorful, full of flavor and scent. This is what you want from your herbs.
I also love Starwest Botanicals herbs. I personally have a Wholesale account because I run a business, but you can buy Starwest herbs on Amazon. I really am happy with their herbs, and they are sourced from many farms or wildcrafted. The color is vibrant, and the herbs definitely work. Just like when you decide to cook a meal, homemade is often the best way to go. Making your food from your own ingredients will give you a fresh meal, and hopefully a tasty one too. The herbal companies I am suggesting have the "ingredients"- herbs that can be bought in ounce amounts. They typically are broken down into 4oz., 8oz. or 16oz. (1lb.), and sometimes a more rare herb will be offered in 1 oz. amounts.
I have a number of blog posts, and many videos that show you what to do with these ingredients. I also do sell some of my own formulas, but even though I do and would love sales, I have to say that a properly made tincture at home, or salve made at home will be a bit more energetic because it has gone through less, less shipping, less movement, less handling. Now- of course an "expert" herbalist can make a product that is amazing and not easily replicated. That is like saying just because you make homemade cookies, they will be better than someone who is a baker. The person who bakes for a living will more than likely have a tastier cookie.
However- part of my goal as a teacher of herbs, is to teach people how to have a bit more freedom and take care of simple, every day needs with herbs on their own. (**Just a side note, Rosemary Gladstar says that if an issue is not resolved is a few days or in a reasonable amount of time with herbs, then you need to head to the doctor. I am not referring to emergencies which need prompt handling, but something simple, a rash, bug bites, headache, bumps and bruises. )
Feeling confident with the simple things will give you confidence to try more with herbs. There are many home remedies that make life happier, healthier and more fulfilling. First though, you need to start with good quality herbs. I have given you 2 places to purchase. Mountain Rose Herbs- (See banner below in Footer), or Starwest Botanicals on Amazon. I do want to encourage you to also seek out local community herbalists that may have herbs that you can buy. I am very big of supporting local small business, especially this year! Also, Dr. Christopher taught that herbs, and food from your own latitude are better for you than from some far and distant land.
I first learned about tooth powder from Dr. Christopher, and The School of Natural Healing. I made a few batches of his formula, and gave it a try, but honestly- I was bothered by the "dirtiness" of my toothbrush and the sink.
Fast forward a number of years later, and out of necessity- I decided to give the tooth powder a try again, and decided to make up my own recipe. I was having some "early cavities" and one of my children had 2 definite cavities.
If you want to learn the REAL TRUTH about Tooth Decay and Cavities, and everything about bone health, read this book: Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. This book, when I first read it- blew my mind. What I mean is that it shattered everything I thought I knew about mouth, gum care, and healthy teeth.
My previous notion was that you were lucky if you were born with nice straight teeth, and maybe you are lucky. However, I learned that there is a real and true nutritional dynamic behind strong, straight, healthy teeth. Like I said- this is a must read book if you want to get out of the dentists' office, and repair your teeth, or change your family's health for future generations. Diet is so important. Remember when you learned in school that sugar causes cavities. In some respects it does, but in Ramiel's book you will find that the real culprit is the modern, processed grain- which does more damage to our bones, and teeth than sugar.
In the above video- you can follow along as I show you what you will need to make your own tooth powder, and how I use it to brush my teeth. If you only want to read about it- I will give you my recipe. First though I want to elaborate a bit more as to why we needed this.
I am very much against invasive procedures, IF there are natural things that can be done to fix a problem. I most always give natural a try first- and it has worked for me 99.% of the time. I have one teeny cavity, and I honestly don't think it was needed. I do have a few spots that became suspect as I approach 40 years of age. Again- they didn't seem to be in dire need, and I wanted to do everything I could to strengthen my teeth.
Tooth powder works best in combination with a low grain diet. I follow a Paleo diet, for the most part, with Buckwheat the only "grain" that I consume. Every time I go off course, I see my health drop. Now- this type of diet might not be the best for you, but it works for me. I do believe that grains can be part of your diet, if they are processed in the OLD WAY with fermenting and sprouting. You would really need to do some research on this, and one good book is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
I also employed Oil Pulling- which you can read about here: Real Life Oil Pulling: Avoid Crowns, Stop Infection & Bleeding Gums (deeprootsathome.com)
I do want to say that OIL PULLING alone will not get rid of cavities, or fill in enamel. It is great for helping with infection and cleaning up the gums, but from trial and error I know that multiple modalities are needed.
I also employed essential oils on the gums. I like Young Living Vitality Oils- Thieves in particular or Myrrh if it is of Therapeutic quality to put in your mouth. I would swab the affected area a few time a week, while also doing oil pulling and brushing with tooth powder, and swishing with my Black Walnut Tincture. (Found in my Etsy Store).
Getting back to the herbs you need for the tooth powder:
Yarrow Flower Powder
White Oak Bark Powder
Cinnamon Bark Powder
Slippery Elm Powder
**(I recommend getting your herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I have a banner in my footer where you can connect to their website. Their herbs are awesome and if you shop this way, it helps my site. Thank you!) (Or you can connect over to Amazon and buy StarWest Botanicals.) I also love their herbs. I am going to link the above herbs to Amazon. I also receive a partial commission from completed sales. So thank you!
The recipe I use is equal parts of each powder. A part can be 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon or even an ounce, or a 1/4 cup. I typically make a small batch at a time, and when I run out, make more. I keep this mixture in a Tupperware container in my bathroom. I like to use AUROMERE toothpaste on my toothbrush first. It is a delicious and super natural toothpaste with no soaping agents, Fluoride, or anything but goodness. I like to Cardamom- Fennel flavor best.
So I put some toothpaste on my brush, and then dip my brush in the powder, or sprinkle it on my brush and brush my teeth as normal. I will also kind of swish a little longer before spitting.
Ok- so I hope I sufficienty described how to make my tooth powder, and if you are kind of confused, watch my video above. The last thing I wanted to go over, and you will not find in my video above is my Black Walnut Tincture for swishing. I actually do have a video on making your own Black Walnut Tincture, so you could go watch that. https://youtu.be/6tVjuJdxS3U
What I have found, is that the Black Walnut tincture- when you swish a few times a day, really helps to add strength to the enamel of your teeth, along with the tooth powder. It is also good for parasites, and creepy crawlies, so that is a bonus!
You can find my tincture in my Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SheepHillHerbs
I decided to start a series of blog posts and videos. (I will be posting a related video down below from my YouTube Channel : Sheep Hill Herbs) The topic is 100 things I learned from being an Herbalist the past 2 decades. These are hidden secrets and truths. Honestly stuff that people don't want you to know, because they are free and it cuts into profit. I am all about making a profit, but not at the expense of a person getting well. This is my second post and 2 of 100 to come. Go back in the blog posts, and you will find my 1st post on the DECISION to be HEALTHY.
I learned this lesson the hard way, by spending thousands and thousands of dollars on different tests, and products that maybe gave me some forward movement, but were in the end more of a stress because of cost. On my natural health journey, and in my pursuit to find a vibrant and radiant way of living- I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars. If I added it up, it would be more like tens of thousands of dollars on products and services.
I want to share here what I believe is essential, but not necessary, and the pitfalls in expenditure in the pursuit of wellness. First I want to say that herbs are FREE. Well, many of them are. So many medicinal herbs grow in our backyards, if you take the time to care for, harvest, and cultivate. If you do not have plants, then chances are your neighbor does, or friends and family. Many fruiting trees, and wild plants like chickweed, are called invasive, or a nuisance because of their rapid growth and spread, or messy fruit that falls to the ground, but they are also exceptionally useful and healing in nature.
Herbs you buy at the greenhouse, are really inexpensive as well, and even cheaper are buying seed packets and planting your own herbs. I think this must be God's gift to mankind, because plants grow rapidly, spread easily and essentially are inexpensive. That is why, expensive products are made and marketed because there isn't a lot of profit to be made in a plant that grows everywhere. If you do not want to grow, collect, or find and gather your plants and herbs, then purchasing dried herbs again is not going to break the bank. They are a fraction of the cost of supplements.
Now, I like supplements, and have taken many over the years, but I have found that the supplements, and herbal products, closer to nature, and with less processing, work better and do not exhaust finances. I also think, because of what we know about health care in this country, and the high, exuberant costs, there is a feeling or belief that natural health needs to be expensive to be effective. I have found for myself, that I have received excellent services, bits of wisdom, and forward movement by working with local, community practitioners such as Nutritionists, Chiropractors, and Massage Therapists, that were very affordable, and very knowledgeable at what they do.
I know this- when dealing with a health issue, adding on debt and financial stress is only going to make the burden of the mind and thus hamper the healing of the body. It is my firm belief that God, and the Universe at large would not want that for His people. A loving Father would provide a viable means of healing that is affordable for all. Now there are definite times and needs for intervention, or if a person has been in a bad state for a long time, that expensive services might be needed to "reset" the clock, so to speak. For instance, if a person has had no care for their teeth for many many years, and is riddled with many cavities and other problems, there may be a need to spend a large sum of money to fix the problem and get in a good position to work with nature.
I can totally understand when dire situations call for extreme measures. I am speaking of prevention, and daily living, and revitalizing the system. There are many things that you can do that make significant changes in the body, in a positive direction.
Water therapy is a very effective method for rejuvenating the body, and that can be in the form of foot baths, with dried mustard, alternating hot and cold showers (see https://www.wimhofmethod.com/), swimming in the ocean, swimming in general, hot baths with sea salt and essential oils, tea fomentations, and even just listening to the sounds of the ocean. All of these natural methods are inexpensive and "free" for the taking if you have access, which unless you are in a very restricted country with no movement, you should have access to clean water. Water has been an amazing therapy tool in my own journey, and it is very important to me to go to clean and pure water sources. I am not an environmentalist so to speak, but I believe in taking care of nature, more from a Native American philosophy.
Sun therapy. Sunshine is exceptionally therapeutic and healing. There has been a lot of fear and warning about the sun and staying out of the sun, and covering up in the sun. I believe it is necessary to be careful when going to the beach for the first time in the year, if you have no tan base at all. You will most definitely get burned, and burning the skin is not healthy. However, slowly tanning and building up the bodies natural mechanism for skin protection is very beneficial. Dr. Christopher recommended sun bathing all year round, even in the winter. He would tell his students to use to wash lines and put sheets up on both sides to make a sort of protected area, and then start by sunning the entire body, for even just 1 minute on each side, and then increasing that time as each day passes.
The sun can also be helpful in "pulling impurities" and toxins out of the body. Dr. John R. Christopher said that if you get skin cancer, it really was cancer in the body that the sun pulled out to the skin. I am not sure about this, as I am not a doctor, but I can definitely see the extrapolation of this premise for the sun does wonders to extract all kinds of imbedded "stuff" in our skin from long winter months with very little sun, and heavy clothing. I always feel like my skin looks so much better, and refreshed during the summer months, however, I do go through a bit of a cleansing in Spring when my pores start to re-open and I begin my gardening season.
Lastly- I want to briefly touch on the topic of eating well, and the high cost for Organic. This is a separate topic in and of itself. I will be sharing a lot of tips on how to save on cost and eat really well. I have a family of 7 people and most would be shocked at the low cost of my food bill and the healthy food we eat. I do however spend a lot of time making foods from scratch and that is a big part of the savings. The time spent in my own kitchen is better than time spent in a hospital, or sick and missing out on life.
The Humble Dandelion
Are dandelions really humble? I think so. They are not flashy and temperamental like Roses. They are low to the earth, and unapologetic. They do not mind growing in the most lowly places, and are never the center piece of any bouquet. They lack the delicious fragrance of Honeysuckle or the gorgeous purple Wisteria. In fact they have very little scent at all. Dandelions are accused of being weeds, and sprayed and pulled up in force. Yet they keep growing, reseeding and beautifying any space where they are allowed to grow.
I love the Dandelion- Taraxacum officinale. All parts of the plant are used. I even pick the flower tops and dry them to add to my tea blends in the winter. It adds a bit of Spring sunshine to a wintery day. The leaves are delicious in salad greens, and high in Vitamins A, as well as Iron. The roots are where the real magic happens. Dandelion root is very tonifying and strengthening to the liver. After a long, and perhaps sluggish winter, I find it so delightful that God has given us Dandelion to lighten our steps, and spring us into spring. Just as you clean your house and air it out after months of indoor heat, the dandelion leaves and roots will clean up your own "house,"- your physical body.
My favorite method of utilizing the roots, is to dig them up from the garden. If you let your dandelions seed naturally, you will find them in the garden, which is the best place to find them. You should have rich, nourished soil, to produce the best dandelions. I wash the roots, and let them air dry for an hour or two. Then I cut the roots into small pieces, about 1/2 inch long. They can be dried even further by placing them in paper bags for at least 2 weeks, or you can make tea with them right away.
To make dandelion tea, you will place all of your root pieces in a large pot. (Assuming you have collected a lot). So for numerical purposes, for every 1/2 cup of root pieces, use 2 cups water in a pot. Turn your burner on low/ medium heat and bring to a simmer. Keep the temperature at a simmer for 30 minutes. The water should turn a brown color as the properties of the dandelion roots are pulled into the water.
You can add other roots if you have them. I like burdock root especially with dandelion root. Or make it just as it is- the unapologetic dandelion. After the roots have finished simmering. Put a lid on your pot and steep for 15-30 more minutes. Serve in ceramic mugs with a little milk and honey. Delicious!
**From The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies p. 69
"Dandelion contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the body. This relieves swelling and related pain in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases, suich as arthritis."
See my video below on harvesting Dandelion roots:
I found an interesting post the other day on Facebook, and it was a picture of an herbal medicine cabinet, and it said something like "this is what a medicine cabinet should look like" and it was filled with all types of herbs and jars, and such. I thought- oh my gosh! That is what my medicine cabinet(s) look like. I must say I do have a typical, pharmacy stocked chest as well with hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, band-aids and gauze and antibacterial creams, as well as a first aid kid. Although I love love love my herbs, there have been times when CVS products have come in super handy, so I would suggest being stocked in both. My herbal chest however is much bigger, and contains many more varieties of remedies. Below are some pictures of my main herbal medicine cabinet, but I have also taken up space in many of my kitchen cabinets, and spaces on my sun porch for other herbal making supplies. It is truly time to upgrade to a second kitchen space for my plants.
I decided to write a list of what I keep on hand and have stocked to give the reader some inspiration for their own herbal supply. Some of the items are tools that are needed to make medicine, tincture, salves, and other herbal products for personal use- as well as to share with friends, family and your community.
1. Eye wash cup, and Dr. Christopher's Herbal Eyewash tincture. (I use to make this from scratch. It contains some wonderful herbs, such as eyebright and cayenne, in an alcohol base, but this is not one I am currently making, and prefer to buy this.)
2. Cheese cloth for straining tinctures.
3. Blood pressure monitor, for personal check-ups.
4. A thermometer when running a fever.
5. Many glass jars, with lids.
6. 1 and 2 oz. amber tincture bottles.
7. Cleaned and sanitized baby food jars to use for salves, herbs, or seed collection.
8. 1 and 2 oz. metal tins for salves and ointments.
9. A size 0 capsule maker.
10. A small 1 pound kitchen scale.
11. Wheat germ oil
12. Extra Virgin Olive oil and beeswax
13. Raw local honey
14. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, as well as Distilled Apple Cider vinegar. I like the distilled version when I make vinegar tinctures
15. Red wine and White wine (preferably organic to keep on hand to make a cordial type tincture).
16. A bottle of good quality Vodka to make alcohol tinctures.
17. Pure vegetable glycerin to make my glycerites.
18. I also keep food grade plastic bags to put my mixed teas in for friends and family.
19. I have labels to label everything I make.
20. A cabinet full of essential oils. (I use Young Living oils right now, but am thinking of switching to a smaller company with more sustainable plant practices. Suggestions welcome!) I use my essential oils for some aromatherapy purposes, but also in some of my salves, and other refrigerator remedies (like jewel-weed juice), to help with preservation time.
21. All natural cough drops.
22. Homemade garlic oil for earaches.
23. Size 0 and 00 capsules (vegetarian preferably).
24. Aloe juice/ gel kept in the refrigerator
NOW FOR MY HERBS
*I keep a lot of different herbs on hand. I am always changing the amounts because I use some, sell some, and give some away. I am not going to notate the exact ounces of what I have because it fluctuates but I will make a note if the particular herb is one I keep in abundance (like upwards to a pound). I am not going to list my kitchen spices, which is probably a good idea for another post. I do sometimes use my kitchen spices in my herbal mixes, such as turmeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
1. Lobelia tincture (homemade with Apple Cider Vinegar and Sage from my garden).
2. No More Sugar Tincture (this is a formula I created for sugar cravings, and it contains herbs like Rose, and Yarrow.)
3. My homemade Valerian, Lavender, Chamomile glycerite.
4. Red wine soaked with Rose, Clove, Cinnamon and raw honey. (I drink less than an ounce if feeling very anxious, to settle in the evening.)
5. Red wine that has been turned into a valerian/ wine tincture. (Again this is for the nerves, and just a tiny thimble full will work).
6. A white wine tincture with fresh horseradish that I keep in the refrigerator for lung and bronchial complaints.
7. Multi-vitamin glycerite made from Dr. Christopher's Vitalerbs powder.
8. Herbal Calcium formula I made from comfrey, peppermint (from my garden), lobelia and horsetail.
9. A Kidney tincture I created with cornsilk and dill seeds. I love this! And so do my kids, because it tastes like pickles. (I used a ACV base).
10. Catnip and ACV tincture.
11. Chaparral powder
12. Chickweed dried from my garden
13. Echinacea leaf and root
15. Red Clover dried from my garden (I usually have close to a pound of this herb).
17. Comfrey (dried from my garden).
18. Lavender flowers (a teeny bit dried from my garden.) I need to plant more lavender!
19. Calendula flowers (partially wild-crafted).
20. Catnip (dried from my garden).
21. Lemon balm or Melissa (dried from my garden).
22. Hops powder
23. Burdock leaf dried from my property.
24. Dandelion root and flowers (some of it wild-crafted, but I usually purchase extra root).
25. Burdock root
26. Marshmallow root (some of it dried from wild-crafting).
27. Licorice root
29. Hibiscus flower
30. Mullein (I dry some from wild-crafting but also purchase because I like to have about 1/2 a pound on hand).
31. Red Raspberry leaf (some years I take the time to collect and dry). I like to have quite a few ounces of this on hand as well.
32. Yarrow (One of my favorite herbs. I usually have a pound on hand, and also I grow and dry a lot of Yarrow).
36. Horseradish root soaked in vinegar (kept in the refrigerator).
37. Wild carrot seeds (wild-crafted)
38. Juniper berries
39. Fennel seeds
40. Mustard seed powder
41. Peppermint (dried from my garden).
42. Spearmint (dried from my garden).
43. Rose petals (I sometimes have this on hand).
44. Golden rod flowers (wild-crafted)
45. Boneset (wild-crafted from my property).
46. Pau D'arco
48. Cayenne pepper powder 90K heat units
50. Sage (partially dried from my garden).
51. St. John's Wort (wild-crafted)
52. Slippery Elm (I always have at least 4 ounces of this).
53. Cedar berries
54. White oak bark powder
55. Lobelia (I like to keep a pound on hand).
56. Mugwort (wild-crafted and dried)
57. Echinacea flowers as well as Black-Eyed Susan flowers dried (from my property).
58. Rosemary (dried from my garden).
59. Oregano (dried from my garden).
60. Dried plantain from my yard
61. Alfalfa powder
**And I am sure there is something I am forgetting.
62. I almost forgot! Black Walnut Tincture. I am almost out! I usually make a gallon in the fall. I am down to my last ounce. LOVE LOVE. I also keep and store the hulls in the freezer. Works so well for skin conditions, and this is the best method I have found to preserve the hull/ juice intact.
63. This year I made Honeysuckle and Dandelion Oxymels. The dandelion is already all gone, but I still have the honeysuckle. It is delicious!
64. Valerian root
SALVES I KEEP ON HAND
1. I love the Dr. Christopher ointments- especially his Black Ointment.
2. I make my own black drawing salve.
3. I usually make a Calendula ointment for skin issues.
4. I have a bone/ muscle/ cartilage salve I make with Comfrey
5. Chickweed ointment
6. Jewel-weed juice I keep in the refrigerator (not a salve, but for the skin).
7. A Cayenne based ointment I make for muscle aches and pains.
8. Plantain ointment
I am not going to list all my other pre-made herbal supplements I buy, but I do have quite a few other tinctures and capsules I purchase, usually Dr. Christopher brand that I keep on hand for daily use. We have a big family of 7 people. I also have a few powder supplements with mushrooms (like shitake). I plan on learning more about this wonderful healing modality and either growing and drying or collecting and drying my own.
1. Peppermint smudge stick (homemade)
2. Mugwort smudge stick (homemade)
That is pretty much what I currently have in my home right now. It does fluctuate sometimes, and I am going to be harvesting/ wild-crafting a great deal over the next few months. I will make an updated blog post perhaps this winter when all of the stocking is updated.
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