Always Label Your Herbals

Always Label Your Herbals

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This is not just nice to have but it is very important – you need to remember what you do and how you did it so you can do it again. Make a note of what you put in the recipe and the date you made it. After you make more herbals you will not remember the facts about each remedy after a month has passed. Download the pdf and print your labels. Cut them and write the info on the label then tape it to the bottle with clear tape over the whole label. Write your name above Homemade Herbals so it says “Ellie’s Homemade Herbals”.

Herbals are wet and messy. Keep things clean and sterilized. Bacteria can easily get inside your remedy and spoil all your efforts. Cut this label off the right and bottom to fit your bottles if you need a smaller label.making-herbal-remedies-print-labels-2

Download this pdf and print your labels. making-herbal-remedies-print-labels-2

Cut them and write the info on the label then tape it to the bottle with clear tape over the whole label. Write your name above Homemade Herbals so it says “Mom’s Homemade Herbals”. Herbals are wet and messy. Keep things clean and sterilized. Bacteria can easily get inside your remedy and spoil all your efforts. Cut this label off at the right and bottom to fit your bottles if you need a smaller label.

Or get this label printer that makes lovely neat info labels for your bottles and boxes. These will not be fancy but rather neat labels and you can make one or multiples with different information on small sticky labels that fit on small bottles and boxes.

Grow your own garden and herbs

Grow your own garden and herbs

During the last decades there has been a change towards mechanization and homogenization of farming, which uses pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and mass-production techniques. All this is clearly affecting mankind’s health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly amongst humans and animals.

The World Health Organization produces reports to show how the use of chemicals and other products on food, coupled with the manufacturing processes involved, are actually a threat for our health.

Food Composter

If you have space for a few pots or even a small piece of land, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden. Make your own compost from kitchen waste etc. Here we have seven reasons for doing this:

  1. You should not use additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.
  2. You don’t have to use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used in your own garden. These chemical products are applied to boost crops regardless of plagues or weather conditions, and they detrimentally affect the quality of the vegetables. Besides, pesticides are usually poisonous to humans.
  3. Your vegetables will not be genetically modified (GM). Antibiotics, drugs and hormones are used on vegetables to grow more and larger ones. GMO results in all your vegetables looking all the same and are usually tasteless. Besides, we end up consuming the hormones that have been used on the vegetables, with the potential risks for our health.
  4. Eating your own organic vegetables will be much more healthy for you. They will not contain any of the products or chemicals named above, and they will be much more natural than any ones you would find at the supermarket. Your health will not be at risk because you will then know that nothing has been added to your vegetables.
  5. Your own organic vegetables will be much more tasty. The use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics make vegetables grow unnaturally and take the taste away from them. With organic vegetables, your cooking will be enhanced as their flavor will show fully.
  6. Organic farming is friendly to the environment. Because you won’t use pesticides or other equally harming products on your vegetables, you will not damage the soil or the air with the chemical components.
  7. When you grow your own organic vegetables you are contributing to your own self-sustainability and the sustainability of the planet. Small communities have been founded where members exchange products that they grow naturally, thus contributing to create a friendly and better place for us all.

In the end, eating organic products only means that we do not add anything else to them than they would naturally have. And, additives, fertilizers, pesticides or hormones are not components of naturally grown food.

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To better care for your health, grown your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need. Amazon has lovely indoor grow rooms that facilitate all year growth of herbs and vegetables (and orchids …). Use these grow rooms for middle and large plants, and 2-Tiered 12″X24″X80″ and other sizes nursery area which is perfect for propagation & seedlings. You could grow seedlings at the 2-tier small tent, and transfer them to the larger tent after they grow taller.

Worm farms for worm wee natural fertilizer

There are Worm Farms that generate very concentrated natural worm wee to nourish plants. Its an option not often thought of as an option. Here is some interesting information about buying a worm farm and what it’s all about. Very interesting and something to learn about and consider.

Cornsilk Tincture, a natural diuretic

Cornsilk Tincture, a natural diuretic

This is a very easy Homemade Herbal to make. When you buy corn, keep the silk and make these wonderful diuretic tincture drops. Or, you can use the silk to make a diuretic tea.

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Use it fresh or dried. Cut off all the bad stuff so you only use the good silk. Dry the cornsilk in an open dish in the shade and once it’s dry it’s easy to keep on hand as a dried herb to make more tincture or tea. Cornsilk makes a mild diuretic and the taste is very pleasant and sweet.

Do not drink at the end of the day as it might keep you up at night. Using a teapot with a built in infuser makes it easy to use and it looks so elegant.

Or you can just buy the herb for tea or buy the tincture. The tincture tends to work faster that the tea.

Tea Tree Oil – Herbal First Aid in a Bottle

Tea Tree Oil – Herbal First Aid in a Bottle

Tea tree oil is steam distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia.

This indigenous tree is found only in tropical northeastern New South Wales Australia. The name tea tree was given by Captain Cook during his exploration of Australia during the 1700’s. After running out of tea on his voyage, he found a fragrant plant and brewed the leaves into a spicy beverage and named these plants, tea trees.

Tea tree oil is both powerful and safe. It is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. The Aboriginal people of New South Wales have used the tea tree plant medicinally for thousands of years.

In the early 1900’s, tea tree oil was readily used by dentist and surgeons as a disinfectant and for incisions. The dentist also used tea tree oil for gingivitis, bleeding gums, and infection. During World War II, tea tree oil was included in the first aid kits of medics. It was poured on wounds to prevent infection.

It was also used very successfully to heal wounds that were already infected. They were amazed to find that this powerful germicide dissolved pus without damaging the surrounding tissue.

The beauty of tea tree oil is that it penetrates deep into the skin tissues. Acne and nail fungus are popular conditions many use tea tree oil for. It is effective and gentle on the skin.

There are numerous other conditions that tea tree oil is effective on such as arthritis, athletes foot, bites and stings, Candida Albicans, cold sores, dandruff, eczema, head lice, hemorrhoids, muscle aches, psoriasis, rashes, sinus congestion, warts, wounds and more.

Don’t forget about your pets. It’s great for removing fleas, ticks, lice and as an antiseptic.

Tea tree oil should only be used externally unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Make sure to choose high-quality tea tree oil that is 100% pure.

Tea tree oil can be found in body lotions, foot creams, deodorants, dandruff shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash, soaps, healing saves and even dental floss.

Keeping herbs simple – one herb at a time

Keeping herbs simple – one herb at a time

What is a Simpler?

A “simple” is one herb used at a time. A “simpler” is an herbalist who generally uses herbs one at a time, rather than in combinations.

Why use Simples?

Most herbalists – whether from China or Japan, Eastern or Western Europe, Australia or North America – use herbs in combinations. Simplers, don’t. Why?

Well, it’s simply that herbal medicine is people’s medicine. Make herbal medicine simple: as simple as one herb at a time. Because people worry about interactions between the drugs they take and herbs, I keep it simple: with simples, interactions are simple to observe, and simpler to avoid. Because empowerment in healthcare is difficult, It should be easy to use safe herbal remedies: and what could be easier, or safer, than a simple?

Simples make you think

If you are just getting started with herbs, one thing that could confound you is the many choices you have when you begin to match symptoms to the herbs that relieves them. If someone had a cough you think, “Should I use garden sage or wild cherry bark or pine sap or mullein or coltsfoot (to name only a few of the many choices)?” One way out of this dilemma is to use them all. Some cough syrups can contain every anti-cough herb that you can collect. And they all work.

As you get more sophisticated in your herbal usage, and especially after studying up on the various herbs, you begin to see that each herb has a specific personality, a specific way of acting. You realize that you can’t notice the individual actions of the herbs when they were combined.

Dare to use just one herb.

Would wild cherry bark tincture all by itself be enough to quell that child’s cough? Yes!

Would mullein infusion alone really reduce a person’s asthmatic and allergic reactions? Yes!

Would sage soaked in honey for six weeks ease a sore throat? Yes!

Each herb that you try as a simple can be successful. They all work, not just together, but by themselves.

The more you use individual herbs the more you come to know them as individuals. The more you use simples, the simpler and more successful your remedies can become. The more you use one herb at a time, the more you learn about how that herb works, and didn’t work.

Simples are intimate

When we use one herb at a time, we come to know that herb, we become intimate with that herb. Just as we become intimate with each other by spending time one-on-one, simply together; we become closer to the herbs when we use them as simples.

Becoming intimate with an herb or a person helps us build trust. How reliable is the effect of this herb? When? How? Where does it fail? Using simples helps us build a web of green allies that we trust deeply. Simples help us feel more powerful. They help abate our fears, simply, safely.

Simples are subtle

Using one herb at a time gives us unparalleled opportunities to observe and make use of the subtle differences that are at the heart of herbal medicine. When we use simples, we are more likely to notice the many variables that affect each herb: including where it grows, the years’ weather, how we harvest it, our preparation, and the dosage. The many variables within one plant insure that our simple remedy nonetheless touches many aspects of a person and heals deeply.

A Herbal apprentice, who tinctured motherwort flowering tops weekly through its blooming period, reported that the tinctures made from the younger flower stalks had a stronger effect on the uterus; while those made from the older flower stalks, when the plant was going to seed, had a stronger effect on the heart.

Simples give power

  • Using one herb at a time helps you feel more certain that your remedy has an active value, not just a placebo value.
  • Using one plant at a time, and local ones at that, reassures you that your herbal medicine cannot be legislated away.
  • Using one plant at a time allows you to build trust in your remedies.
  • Using one plant at a time is a subversive act, a reclaiming of simple healthcare.

Combinations may erode your power, and might lead you to believe that herbal medicine is best left to the experts.

From Complex to Simple

Take the challenge! Use simples instead of complex formulae. Rework some herbal remedies and get a sense of how simple it can be.

The great anti-cancer formula Essiac contains:

  • Arctium lappa (burdock),
  • Rheum palmatum (rhubarb),
  • Ulmus fulva (slippery elm), and
  • Rumex acetosella  (sheep sorrel)
  • Trifolium pratense (Red Clover blossoms)

Extracting the simple:

Rhubarb root has no possible use against cancer; it is a purgative whose repeated use can “aggravate constipation”. Slippery elm bark also has no possible anti-cancer properties and has no doubt been added to counter some of the detrimental effects of the rhubarb. Sheep sorrel juice is so caustic that it has been used to burn off skin cancers, but it would likely do more harm to the kidneys than to any cancer if ingested regularly. Leaving us with a great anti-cancer simple: burdock root. One that is found to be superbly effective in reversing dysplasias and pre-cancerous conditions.

But this herbal magnifies its power in the combination. Not only for cancer, this treatment can be used for almost anything. It is kind and gentle and good tasting. It has the most amazing healing properties. This brew is so easy to make and keep as a dried mix in the cupboard. If you get sick -any kind of sick, even gastro, it can be brewed up a cup at a time:

1 teaspoon boiled slightly in pure water and cooled with a lid on to keep the delicate essential oils inside. then drink as a tea. It is mighty soothing and uplifting and can be kept down very easily.

Simples are fun. Give them a try

Among the many variables, you can especially notice that the tinctures that are made with fresh plants are many times more effective than tinctures made from dried plants. Some say that preparations of common plants growing in uncommon places will be stronger as well. Many herbalists are aware of certain areas of their land that nurture plants that are particularly potent medicines.

Yellow Dock Iron Remedy

Yellow Dock Iron Remedy

Yellow Dock is a great source of iron and Vitamin C and can be taken before or after meals to help digestion. Yellow Dock herb improves iron in the blood and can be a natural way to help with anemia.

Yellow Dock provides iron that is easily absorbed into the body so it’s a perfect blood-building herb for anemia, pregnancy, blood-deficiency, heavy menstrual bleeding, flooding in menopause, or any trauma where a lot of blood has been lost. It is amazing to restore the mother’s strength after a difficult childbirth. How can you check if you might be anemic? The most unscientific way is to pull down your bottom eyelid. There you can see how red your blood is or not. But your doctor should be able to tell you, anyway.

It is mildly laxative so it is not like the constipating iron supplements commonly available. 1 tablespoon a day of this concentrated tea is all you need to start re-building iron reserves.

This formula builds blood and restores healthy Iron levels. The Iron Count in the blood improves and normalizes week by week. The molasses is a nutrient powerhouse. Yellow Dock also cleanses the blood of impurities.

yellow dock dried

Iron Tea

  • 4 oz. Yellow Dock Root – Cut herb
  • 4 cups Distilled Water
  • 4 tablespoons Black Strap Molasses or Honey

Directions:

  • Put 4 oz. Yellow Dock herb into a glass quart jar and cover with boiling Distilled Water.
  • Let sit overnight. Next day, empty into pan and heat on the stove on low, uncovered.
  • Do not boil. Simmer to reduce to about 1-1/2 Cups.
  • Strain and squeeze through muslin or calico cloth.
  • Add 4 Tablespoons of Molasses or Honey. Refrigerate.
  • Dose: 1 Tablespoon per day (2 Tablespoons if symptoms are severe)

Herbal Tooth Powder

Everyone has a variety of bacteria in their mouth which helps by beginning the digestive process.

Excess bacteria in your mouth could cause tooth decay, gingivitis or gum disease. This Tooth Powder helps to control the plaque-building bacteria in your mouth that ultimately can create gingivitis. This is where the bacteria flourish in your plaque and cause your gums to inflame, bleed, and separate from your teeth. This may also cause bad breath and in more severe cases, your mouth becomes sore, teeth hurt, gums recede, and teeth loosen.

To stop the inflammation and gum separation use this natural remedy to kill some of these bacteria and strengthen your gums in your mouth by swishing and brushing with this Herbal Tooth Powder.

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How to use it:

Use this powder once a week or more often.
If you have gingivitis, you can use this 3 times a day to fight bacteria in your mouth.
Sprinkle some powder on your toothbrush and brush your teeth and gums.
After brushing, swish for a while then spit out the saliva and any leftover powder.
Don’t swallow cause by then it’s full of bad stuff.
Don’t rinse out your mouth because the tiny bit of herb powders will stay active in your month. You can safely swallow any powder that remains in your mouth.

For severe cases of gingivitis and toothaches, you can also moisten some powder with distilled water and then place the paste all along your teeth and gums – front and back.
Leave the paste in your mouth as long as you can and don’t worry about the herbs getting in between your teeth.

Using Water for Herbal Extracts

Using Water for Herbal Extracts

We can use different liquids as a solvent to extract the nutrients from a plant so we can get these beneficial properties into our body. Water, alcohol, glycerine, fruit juice, wine, apple cider vinegar. Here we look at the logics of water extracts.

The most basic water herbal extract is tea! Also called Tisane, medicinal tea, herbal tea, herbal infusion, decoction, poultice.  The decoction and poultice are teas that have much more herbs in them.

Here’s how to make a hot herbal infusion:

  • 1 oz herbs (2 tablespoons) fresh or dried cut
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • steep for 10 – 15 minutes
  • sweeten with honey or maple syrup to taste
  • keep refrigerated
  • drink 1 cup 3 or more times a day
  • Use within 2 days

Sometimes the herbs are roots or bark or woody twigs. The beneficial properties in these harder, denser parts of the plant are better extracted by simmering slowly in hot water for longer in order to make the extract. We call this a decoction and it takes a bit more effort to extract the nutrients into the water.

If you are making an infusion using roots and bark (woody parts), leaves and flowers (aerial parts) it is logical to first simmer the roots and bark for 10 – 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the leaves and flowers to let steep for another 10 – 15 minutes to extract the tender volatile oils and aromatic nutrients. This would give us the best of all the herbal ingredients.

Some herbs, like Marshmallow and Slippery Elm, are very mucilaginous which would extract better in a cold water infusion. This would make available all the slimy goodness which can nourish and lubricate mucus membranes.

Here’s how to make a cold herbal infusion:

  • 1 oz herbs (2 tablespoons) fresh or dried cut
  • 1-quart room temperature distilled water
  • Steep for 10 – 12 hours (overnight) till water is slimy
  • Strain and sweeten with honey or maple syrup to taste
  • keep refrigerated
  • drink 1 cup 3 or more times a day
  • Use within 2 days

If the herbs taste very strong or bitter, dilute the extract or use less of the herbs next time round. Herbs with strong or bitter taste are usually very potent so would require less to make a difference in the body. A milder herbal remedy can be taken more often rather than taking a stronger, more potent, dose.

Have fun with herbal teas.

It’s easy to learn herbal remedies

It’s easy to learn herbal remedies

Finding a natural remedy is easy. An Internet search can provide a great deal of knowledge. Even a quick visit to a health food store to speak with a clerk will help you find out more about natural remedies and what ailment they can be used for. Slowly you can build your knowledge of what medicinal properties herbs have and when best to use them.

Some people take it to extremes and think there is a natural remedy for everything. Not true, but if you use common sense you’ll probably find a natural remedy for most ailments. After all, for hundreds of years there was no such thing as pharmaceuticals, and using a natural remedy was the only way an illness could be prevented, treated.

The world of natural remedies is so very interesting once you get immersed in it. We can look at a few examples of herbs and their common uses.

  • Garlic is a natural remedy for heart disease and immune system strengthening.
  • Zinc is a great natural remedy for colds.
  • Aloe Vera juice applied to cuts and abrasions does wonders for healing.
  • Cranberries are used for urinary tract infections, common in women.
  • Cinnamon is used for high blood pressure and much safer than pharmaceuticals.
  • Seeds from the common pumpkin rid the body of parasites.
  • Apple cider vinegar has many uses and is an overall cleanser of the system.
  • St. John’s Wort is a natural remedy for depression symptoms.
  • Grape seed is an ancient natural remedy for prostate problems, common in middle-aged and older men.
  • Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are full of vitamins and are great to ward off the common cold, as is chicken soup.
  • White vinegar is used for toe fungus when the feet are soaked in it.

Finding a natural herbal tea is easy too.

  • Green tea boosts the immune system,
  • Ginger tea aids digestion,
  • and most teas in general help the system flush out toxins and purify the blood.

With this in mind, it is easy to see that a natural herbal remedy can help with many health problems.

Try natural herbal remedies

Try natural herbal remedies

Natural herbal remedies are drawing the attention of many ordinary folk who are looking for another way to keep healthy. There are hundreds of thousands of known herbs that have the ability to treat and prevent various human and animal illnesses, as well as properties that can enhance mental attitude, appearance, and performance.

Many cultures have studied herbs for centuries, for example, Indian herbal medicine (Ayurvedic), Chinese herbal medicine, and western herbal medicine and have created many uses for plants either singularly or in compounds, to prevent and treat various conditions and illnesses.

A natural remedy can be anything from a simple tea to complex preparations of herbal compounds used in hospitals and clinics. These formulas come in many forms such as capsules, pills, ointments, and gels.

You may be using some of the common herbs as a food in your home such as:

  • Garlic – natural antibiotic and helps reduce cholesterol
  • Cinnamon – lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Ginger – prevents motion sickness and lowers risk of blood clots
  • Chamomile Tea – calms nerves and help relieve digestive problems
  • Peppermint – Treats many digestion and gastrointestinal problems

These common herbs may be mixed with other proven natural products to achieve a particular result.

The time and wait needed to visit a doctor to get a prescription, and the ever-growing cost of medicine is opening an opportunity for many people to try to get help from natural herbs and remedies.

Some traditional medicines are showing adverse side effects.

Natural, may have unwanted side effects just as with conventional medicines, however, an ever-growing number of people have been using herbals, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for many years with very favorable results and no adverse effects.

Natural herbal products can be used by adults, children, and pets to remedy countless conditions from Angina and Arthritis, even skin care remedies, thyroid treatment, urinary tract infection and an unlimited number of other disorders.

Have fun and be brave enough to try and make these simple herbal remedies. We will keep it simple.