MAKING MEDICINE AT HOME
Making medicine is easy, inexpensive and you don't have to be a certified herbalist to get started! There is so much that you can do to treat yourself and your loved ones at home! Being your own home Dr. for minor ailments and first aid can be very satisfying. With a little knowledge about how to use herbs you'll be surprised at how rewarding and effective natural remedies at home can be!
The easiest way to learn about making your own medicine is to pick a single herb that you're drawn to. For an example, let's say you have a bit of a digestion problem, a little anxiety and trouble sleeping. Chamomile would be a great herb to start with.
Purchase some chamomile tea first and see if you enjoy the taste. Does it relieve your indigestion? Does it help you relax? If your answer is yes then go ahead and buy some organic chamomile in bulk. Get at least 4 ounces of the dried herb and you'll have enough to experiment with making a chamomile tincture and enough left over for more tea, ointments or infusions! Don't try to learn everything about botanical medicine at once. Stick with an herb or two that works for you and learn everything you can about them.
Do this and you're well on your way to becoming a home herbalist!
Learning how to use herbs for making medicine is very basic. There are water based remedies such as brewing medicinal teas, making herbal infusions, decoctions and syrups. Many of these homemade medicines be used in baths, as eyewashes, making poultices and compresses. Most are made by soaking herbs in water (usually boiling water) to draw the medicinal qualities of the plant into the water.
Spirit based remedies are prepared in alcohol (usually vodka, brandy, or even vinegar) are called tinctures or plant extracts. They can be used both internally and externally and will stay potent for a couple years or more. It's very easy and inexpensive to make tinctures at home.
Oil based medicines are known as essential oils or infused oils. The oils used are always natural plant oils. Essential oils are pure plant oils that are not easily made at home. Infused oils are easy to make and are usually used externally. The oils used are always natural plant oils. They can be used for massage, beauty, cooking, liniments, ointments and salves. Making medicine with an oil base almost always requires fresh plant material.
Experiment, learn, enjoy and empower yourself! Just remember to educate yourself about specific herbs before diving into home medicine making. There are many great books on herbalism out there.
Here's a reference chart for measurements that will come in handy when you start making medicine at home.
Chart for using droppers and dropper bottles:
Grams to Ounces
Ounces to Cups, Quarts, Pints
Be sure to educate yourself on specific herbs before you make medicines!
Learn how to brew TEA, steep tea and about making medicine with tea!
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