Village Herbalist 102

Herbwyfery 102

 

I always loved being a teacher. I taught my kids at home for 15 years! Oh My Gosh, that seems like an eternity. No wonder I act like them. 😀

 

Working with herbs is so rewarding. I’ve successfully made salves, tinctures, lip balms, lotions, infusions, and teas. It’s a great place to be when you know that you have whatever it takes to treat an ailment or injury and as the father of medicine said, “FIRST, do no harm.” Last night I listened to two herbal lectures from Herb Mentor, my herbal classroom and came away with some great information. Since many of you may not be able to afford these classes each month, I thought I’d share a few tips and ideas with you, since I am now a village herbalist~one who shares freely her knowledge with others to bring health and healing.

 

Making an Herbal Infusion

A Nourishing Herbal Infusion is thought by many to be the best way to consume all the good nutrients from herbs. It’s such a simple process and I do it daily. I drink 2-3 cups of infusion daily for my health. More specifically I began to drink these for my menopause health. You can use whatever herbs are needed for any specific condition. I use Stinging Nettle, Red Clover, Oatstraw and occasionally Comfrey.

Gather your herbs…I buy my organic herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I use a lot, so I get them in bulk, as you can see.

Boil several qts of water.

Gather your measuring stuff and either a qt jar or 1/2 gallon Mason jar.

Measure your herbs…usually 1 oz (which is roughly 1 C) to 1 Qt of boiling water. I use 1 Cup of each herb to 1/2 gallon of boiling water. When I strain it I end up with 1+ Qt of infusion.

Pour the boiling water over the herbs carefully. You can use a knife to stir and to prevent the jar from cracking. Just hold the knife in the jar as you pour the boiling water.

Allow this to sit for 4-24 hrs. (oops did I say 24, I meant 8, but who’s counting!)  I like mine after 8 hrs. usually overnight.  Strain and enjoy either hot or cold. I really don’t care for it hot, but I love it cold. It may take some getting used to the “green” taste, but some of the herbs are mild and I think it tastes just like iced tea.

Since I’ve been using  my herbal infusion for menopause, I’m happy to report that I no longer have heat waves or otherwise known as hot flashes. It took about 1 month of regular drinking before they disappeared, but that’s really great news.

 

Now for some show & tell. If the DEA came into my house they’d be busy for months trying to identify all this stuff.

We’ve inherited a number of pieces from my in-laws and this is an old cedar chest that I didn’t have room for. I saw a spot against the dining room wall and thought it’d be great for storing my bulk herbs.

I also inherited these wonderful old Champaign crates and thought they’d be great hung on the wall in the kitchen, but so far they sit in the dining room also. It works. I bought the jars at WalMart. I use Anchor Hocking, because AH does not put lead in their glassware. Lead leaches and I don’t need anymore heavy metals to detox from.

Oil Infusions that are ready to be stored in the fridge. I use them for making salves, lotions, lip balms, etc.

 

I also have several tinctures brewing. Tinctures take some planning. Since they need to sit for 4-6 wks, it’s best to think ahead and always have what you need. After my last deer tick bite, I kicked myself in the head for not having the Sarsaparilla tincture made. It’s recommended as a preventative against Lyme Disease by herbalist. (But not proven by the FDA!) Gotta say that!! After listening last night to my herbal lectures, I have a list of more tinctures to get ready.

Willow Bark

Elder Flower, Thyme & Yarrow

Dandelion

Rose

Fresh Nettle

I’ll share later what these are for. But go ahead and start making some tinctures. Here’s what mine look like stored in the dark cupboard.

I’ve got Motherwort that’s almost ready, Smilax ornata (Sarsaparilla) & Vanilla Bean. You want to make sure you label them with the name of the herb, the date, and the type of alcohol….I use 100 proof Vodka. I also just purchased 80 proof Scotch Whiskey as recommend by our Village Herbalist on the Herb Mentor. After they sit for 4-6 wks, strain and label again.

Here I have Goldenseal labeled with the date. Store them in dark bottles and they will last indefinitely.

 

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