Sunday, August 24, 2008

A few favorite Herbals

Tried and tested by yours truly, staples in our household and our herbal first aid kits (yes, we have several). Naturally, to protect my rearend, I have to say that spill about the FDA not approving and blah, blah, blah. Read as "use at your own risk". Now that all of the "legal" goo is out of the way, we use these regularly in this house. Not that we are forever getting hurt (well, the screamers are but that is a whole other can of worms) but scratches and bruises do happen. So ready or not, here we go!

Lemon Juice

~Used externally as an antiseptic. Excellent for acne, sunburns, warts, athlete's foot, insect bites, ringworm and chilblains.

~A warm tea with lemon juice, garlic and cinnamon is wonderful for helping ease the nasty of colds and flu.

~Gargles containing lemon juice assist in healing mouth ulcers and treating sore throats and bleeding gums.

Tea Tree Oil

~One of THE all-purpose herbals. Useful on infected burns, wounds, insect bites, stings, athlete's foot, mouth ulcers, sore throats, fungal infections, inhaled to treat coughs and colds.

Lavender Essential Oil

~The other all-purpose oil. Assists in calming nerves/irritability, treating insomnia, healing burns/wounds/sores. Rubbed on insect bites it relieves pain and inflammation. Can also be used to treat head lice and scabies. An infusion of the FLOWERS aids in relieving indigestion/colic/gas.

Witch Hazel

~has a drying effect that assists in creating a protective covering for the skin. Use on insect bites/minor cuts/bruises.

~useful for treating delicate skin sensitivities like eczema.

I could go on and on, but really I want to give a couple of recipes that I enjoy using here. Please note, that all of the measurements are NOT exact by any means.

Onion Cough Syrup

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thinly
Sugar (brown or white, your choice)

Spread thinly sliced onion on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Cover well and set in a warm place for no less than 24hrs. Strain juice into a container. Take 1tblspn (adults) as needed for cough. (children 12 and under: 1/4 to 1tsp as needed)

Ozark Momma's Hubby is an dufus sunburn ease

1 bottle of witch hazel approx. 2/3 full
enough lemon juice to fill above bottle most of the way
rubbed sage
thyme leaves

Dump approx. 1/2 tsp of each of the above herbs into witch hazel bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with lemon juice. Shake well and store in the fridge. Apply liberally to sunburn with clean cotton cloth. (note that this is VERY cold and will likely cause yelps of "dang baby, that is freezing". Simply ignore these yelps and apply as needed.)

For those that don't want to go into all of the mess involved with ordering massive amounts of beeswax, oils, herbs and the such...I've found the perfect solution for you! Go visit The Gallagher's to check out their DIY herbal pharmacy kit. Scroll all the way down to the bottom (reading as you go) and sign up for the notification, you'll also get get a free audio lesson on botanicals. While the cost may be off-putting you have to remember that to get a decent discount on materials that you don't have or don't grown yourself you have to order a lot. It all evens out (actually the kit is the better end of the deal, imo).

I am off to assist my mother in the great fruit preserving race tomorrow, so should have more than one anecdote for you when I get back! Remember...just keep preppin! (that's for you Mayberry...lmao)


Patricia said...

Good stuff! Thanks for the tips. We use a lot of herbs around here too. Better than drugs, and far more inexpensive.

Sena said...

Another good recipe is to make an oil infusion of fresh plantain leaves. Easy-peasy, just gently fill a mason jar with ripped and bruised plantain leaves (often shows up in your yard as a weed, actually) without packing. Then fill the jar to the top with your prefered base oil (olive, grapeseed, apricot kernel, etc..). Close the lid and tamp down the jar a few times to get all the air bubbles to the top. Make sure there's always about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil above the leaves -- if any poke above, it will mold and spoil the batch. Let sit for about 2 weeks and then decant off the now green oil. If you like, add a few drops of lavender and tea-tree essential oil as well. Plantain is particularly nice to treat diaper rash as it heals skin from the inside --> out, pushing out any infectious material.

Ozark Momma said...

Thanks for that one Sena...we don't have a yard at the moment (gravel ALL around the townhouses) but just across the way is a nice little patch of grass that is full of "weeds". I'm positive there is some plantain in there (I've seen it) along with a lot of other useful things that people don't see as such!

The Other Mike S. said...

I want to supplement our first aid kit with information on natural remedies. From insect bites to antibiotics. Any suggestions on a good book?

I'll check out the website you suggested.

Ozark Momma said...

Oh there are soooo many Mike!

The one that I like best for beginners is Natural Health Herbal Remedies Handbook mainly because it has instructions in the front on how to actually make infusions, creams, salves and such. There is also a section in the for self help that gives you remedies to use. Plus the price is pretty darn good for such a useful book.

Oh, be sure to sign up for all the good freebies on that website too. Videos, newsletters and ebooks with lots of good info, even a 7 day lesson on stocking your herbal via the supermarket.

The Other Mike S. said...

Great. It sounds like a "Herbal Medicine for Dummies" - just what I need! I clicked through and bought a copy.

I'll sign up for the freebies on the site as well. Much thanks.

Ozark Momma said...

lol...they have one of those too Micheal. Herbalism for Dummies, good ratings to I believe.

I hope you like the freebies on that site, I've enjoyed what I've gotten so far myself!

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke