Written August 2016
I started growing herbs when I was in my early 20’s in a small raised bed. I primarily grew for culinary and for formulating my own skincare. I collected books on herbs and the various ways they could be used. It really intrigued me how much they could be used medicinally. That intrigue led me to learning more about herbalism.
By my 30's I was stepping away from just being an armchair herbalist. I started looking in my backyard, the fields and woods on identifying the different wild plants. Researching how they were used historically and how that compares to our modern day use. I am amazed with all that grows with each season and how much nature provides all we need.
My youngest likes to accompany me when I go out on my herb walks. He considers it our special time as he learns the different plants and what they are good for. As I journey through my herbal studies I have become more and more interested in what nature provides us. It is all right here. Nature’s medicine to treat whatever ails you. Each plant has a myriad of different uses and when combined with other plants you create something magical.
I cannot explain the feeling I have when I am out walking. I sense the presence of all those before me who have gone out and collected wild medicine to stock their pantry. Recipes and knowledge passed down from generations back. The plants themselves have a way of communicating. If you listen you can hear what they have to say. I never know what I will come back with after my herb walks.
On this particular day I only planned on checking on the elderberries for winemaking. That led me instead to grabbing my basket and filling it with elderberries, goldenrod, and mullein leaf + flowers. Back at the house I gathered some sage, feverfew flowers, and peppermint leaf + flower from my herb garden. I combined all of that in a quart jar until about 2/3’s full. Topped it with vodka and now letting it infuse for 6-8 weeks. This blend will provide a wonderful addition to my arsenal of remedies for the upcoming winter season.
A medicine chest by itself. A reliable remedy for cold, flu, fever, upper respiratory infections, hayfever, sinusitis, tension, constipation, and rheumatic discomfort.
A go to for upper respiratory catarrh. Often used in combination with other herbs in the treatment of influenza. Also used for stomach sickness, convalescence from severe diarrhea, dysentery, dropsy, gravel, and urinary difficulties.
Mullein Leaf + Flower
All parts of this plant can be used including the seeds and roots. The leaves are used most often for cough formulas, respiratory infections, bronchial infections, asthma, and glandular imbalances. The flowers are good for lymphatic congestion.
Traditionally used for stomach ailments, fevers, menstrual irregularities, and headache. It is effective for all pain in the head associated with the cold or flu.
Peppermint Leaf + Flower
More than just a flavoring agent. Good for gas, nausea, cramps, and irritable bowel. Uplifting to the nervous system and cooling to the body while helping to bring down a fever.
An excellent herb that is warming and strengthening for rebuilding vitality during long-term illness. Clears congestion, soothes sore throats, tonsillitis, and laryngitis.
Disclaimer: Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This recipe is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Personally, I make these home remedies that I have researched and used myself. I encourage you to empower yourself with your own health and do your own research.
Herbal Renaissance by Steven Foster
Holistic Herbal "A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies" by David Hoffman
Shaker Medicinal Herbs by Amy Bess Miller
The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook "A Home Manuel" by James Green
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D.