My history with herbal remedies began when I was pretty young. You see, I grew up on an herb farm, where my dad managed the growing and processing of herbs for a world-wide herbal wholesale company. (He still does, in fact, and we lived there on our bus.)
The summers were great with the smell of peppermint filling the air. And Dad put a lot of those remedies to use. Teas, decoctions, poultices. All were used for a variety of ailments.
And then there was his favorite – baking soda in water. I’m still not sure about that one…
Even though I grew up with herbs all around me, it still took me a while to embrace the natural lifestyle. Thankfully, though, I eventually came around.
A few years ago, I began learning more about herbs. An avid reader and researcher, I learned as much as I could about herbs and how they could benefit my growing family.
I became confident, knowing I was helping my family stay healthy. And I think it’s the coolest thing when someone asks me an herbal question and the answer pops in my head with thinking.
It wasn’t difficult to get there. I don’t have a degree in herbs – I taught myself with excellent resources, time and practice.
If you want to know more about herbs, start devouring the information. Check your library for free sources. Search different websites with herbal info. Take an herbal course. Or three.
My first herbal course was from Vintage Remedies. It laid a great foundation for my current knowledge and I highly recommend their resources. Another course that
I’ll be signing up with shortly I’m currently taking is this Intermediate Herbal Course. Never stop learning.
Get to know your herbs by creating remedies with them. First, create a simple herbal medicine stash. Then, start using them. Here’s a quick run-down on how to prepare herbs.
Choose simple ones that require few herbs (you’ll notice most of mine use the same ingredients over and over again). Several recipes are available free on this blog:
- Herbal Homemade Bar Soap
- Lavender Mint Healing Lip Balm
- Sleep EZ Tea
- How to Make a Nettle Tincture
- Elderberry Syrup
- Soothing Sleep Balm
- Calendula Balm for Dry Skin and Diaper Rash
You can also check out my ebook, DIY Natural Remedies for more recipes.
Keep track of what works
Record what works best for you. If you find that plaintain works best for a dry cough, write it down. It’s good to know for next time. You’ll also remember what didn’t work, what needed tweaking and which ones your kids liked best.
Once you have the basics down, start experimenting. Make your own small batches of teas based on what you’ve learned. There’s nothing quite like knowing that you created your very own herbal remedy recipe that works.
Keep it simple
It’s easy to become zealous over this new hobby and purchase pounds and pounds of herbs that will just sit in your cabinet. Oh wait, that’s what I did. The downside of super-easy access to quality herbs, I guess.
In my experience, there are only 15 herbs that I need. Half of them are used on a regular basis, while the others stand-by for certain illnesses. But just 15. Wish I would have figured that out a few years ago…