Would you like to improve your health and not have to go to the doctor every time you get sick or injured? Would you like to take the fear out of becoming ill? Would you like to not worry about side effects ever again? This sounds like an infomercial. But, these are not empty promises. Once you start working with herbs, it is hard to go back to medicines with warnings that are scarier than a horror movie. Even the over the counter drugs are deadly.
Many folks have tried herbal supplements from the store with varying degrees of success. “I have tried black cohosh, it didn’t work.” or “I tried Gingko but it gave me paralysis in my right leg.” The biggest part of my job is not making medicines, but educating. The herbs in the store are half dead, folks. If you shove three leaves of something with a bunch of additives into a pill, it isn’t going to work, or at least to its full potential. How old are those herbs? How long have they been sitting on the shelf? And herbs cannot hurt you. The herbs that are used to make medicines cannot hurt you.
Tinctures in the health food store are made of 20% extract and 80% glycerin and water. Why? Because one can get a lot more product from one vat of extract and it improves the taste. It also lessens the benefit. Why waste your time and money? When people try my medicines for the first time, they are amazed. Just last week a gentleman bought the Diabetes medicine from me, a bit skeptical, but what the heck he says, and it lowered his numbers in twenty minutes. The reason is because I don’t cut mine with anything. I brew these things up to their full potential. Put them in the full moon for maximum frequency change (just like female cycles, ocean waves, biodynamic farming, the moon changes the frequency of the medicines to match our bodies) and I baby the herbs before they started their job. Each batch is hand made. And there is no “herbs take two weeks to start working in the body” here. Same day. Now, I’d be so happy if you purchased medicines from me (http://gardenfairyherbal.com), however, I would also like to see you all empowered and whipping up remedies for your friends and family and helping to change the idea that herbs are not as strong as pharmaceutical medicines. Not true.
The other thing we have to fight against is myths surrounding herbs. Herbs are very safe, folks. I am not going to encourage you to wild craft hemlock or poisonous mushrooms. You will start out by purchasing herbs from a reputable herb grower like Mountain Rose Herbs and they will not sell you something poisonous. Neither will a reputable herbalist. We have no reason to poison people! So, now that we have established that Gingko does not cause paralysis, (I swear, if a person even stubs their toe while taking an herb, they blame the plant. Herbs do not harm. They are God’s medicine made specifically for your body. The pharmaceuticals were not. They are only in existence for profit.) let’s learn how to make some medicines.
An infusion is tea. A nice cup of tea. The recipe for this is 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water and let brew for 4 minutes.
Infusions are typically made from herbs that are easy to brew. A thick bark or root would need to be boiled longer, about forty minutes should you need to do so. Mint leaves, chamomile, and a thin slice of ginger would get rid of heartburn in minutes. Catnip, chamomile, and skullcap would help someone relax enough to sleep. St. John’s Wort, borage, and rose petals will help stop a panic attack but also stop the blues. You could blend herbs and use 1 or 2 (I like mine a little stronger) teaspoons in a tea strainer to make the tea or just use single herbs like lemon verbena or thin shavings of willow bark.
An extract is herbs that have had their medicinal benefits extracted in alcohol. Have you ever made a plum cordial or chokecherry liqueur? Same concept. The alcohol takes on the flavors (unfortunately in the case of some herbs!) and medicinal benefits of the plants that are sitting in the booze. Place 1 part plants (dried or fresh) and 4 parts alcohol (not Everclear! Use Vodka, Gin, Rum, Brandy or the like) in a canning jar. Sit this in the window sill for 3 days. Shake, admire, take pictures, these things are gorgeous! Sit out of the sun (but not necessarily in the dark). Then on the full moon put it back in the window sill. Letting it brew for 4 weeks is great. It is ready after 2. A dosage is 1/2 teaspoon for tonics (brain stimulants, energy, heart tonics, daily herbals…) and 1 teaspoon for sleep medicines, mild pain, etc., and upwards of a tablespoon for severe pain. You don’t have to worry about overdosing and even small children can take this, just halve their dosage.
One could make syrup out of lots of things but let’s do a syrup from honey. Put 1 part dried herbs to 2 parts honey in a sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat for twenty minutes shaking pan regularly to mix and keep from burning. When this is done you will see that the herbs are drenched in honey and softened, the color of the honey may have changed, and you can smell the herbs. Strain. Now, to make it a syrup, just cut it with a little apple cider vinegar or brandy. Or leave it the way it is and put in tea.
You have the ability to heal up your own self and family with the help of medicines that have been around before we were even! Have faith in what nature has provided. We have even helped heal broken bones in two weeks, helped get rid of staph infections in one day, helped keep cancer at bay. Are you interested in becoming an herbalist? I have a school for those of you that want to take this further. Correspondence courses are available as well. But, in the meantime, for all of us, we can simply make a nice cup of tea, an extract, or a syrup with great ease and effectiveness.
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do you have a recommendation for a book that would help in identifying herbs and their uses?
Some of the books that identify local plants have some historical herbal lore in them. I really recommend starting with herbs from a supplier and then branching out into what is in your yard, then in local fields, etc. My favorite book is called “Growing 101 Herbs that Heal” by Tammi Hartung. It is the one I started with.
I am so glad that the Diabetes medicine worked for him! I need to tell my mom about it.
Thanks for the instructions for infusion, I’ve been wanting to try it.
Let me know how it goes!
I love this blog and I really want to do the classes to get certified. Everything she writes about…is so interesting to me!
Thank you Jamie!
After meeting you, I was inspired to start reading up on herbalism, too. With the help of a handful of books, MRH and my little garden, an internet connection, and my library card, I’ve made up some common tinctures that have helped my family (and a trusting friend) get and stay healthy in the midst of everyone else getting really sick. I was even able to convince my picky 3 year old to try a (horrible tasting and smelling) bronchial relaxer that has stopped coughs in 30 seconds or less… she’s now the 4th one of us to try it and get the same result. Doctors most certainly have their place, and I’m glad they exist for emergencies and other things that I can’t handle at home, but I’m also so thankful for the God-given herbs and generational wisdom about how to use them.
I am so glad that we were an inspiration to you and that you are pursuing herbalism.