Herbal Medicine Chest in Your Backyard


Article by: Susun Weed

What could be easier than growing , Winterizing Tips for Your Lawn and Garden an herb garden , On The Cheap with no effort? Of course, you'll have to harvest your weeds, , Flowers, An Annual Event but you would do that anyhow: it's called weeding.

Spring is an especially fertile time for harvesting your weeds , African Violet Care - roots , Winterizing Tips for Your Lawn and Garden and all - and turning them into medicines. Here then are some tips , A Garden Pond in Your Landscape - Want Water in Your Yard? on how to , Gardens: They are Fragrant, Breathtaking— the Perfect Idea for More Outdoor Decor find, harvest, prepare, and use a baker's dozen (13) of common weeds , How to Grow Organic Roses that probably already grow , Flowers, An Annual Event around you.

To make your medicines you'll need glass , Tips about Flower Care jars of various sizes with tight-fitting lids. And at least a pint each of apple cider vinegar (pasteurized), vodka (100 proof is best, but 80 proof will do), and pure olive oil (not extra virgin) or good quality animal fat such as lanolin, lard, or belly fat from a lamb or kid. You will also want a knife, a cutting board, and some rags to mop up spills.

In general, you will fill a jar (of any size) with coarsely-chopped fresh, but dry, plant , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (Part 3) Lighting material. (Do not wash any part of the plant , Mulch Your Spring Flower Bulbs in the Fall for a Beautiful Spring Display except roots, , Selecting Outdoor Benches if you are using them, and be sure to dry those well with a towel before putting them in your jar.) Then you will fill the jar with your menstruum, that is the vinegar, the oil, or the alcohol. Label well and allow to stand at room , Dream Yard temperature, out of the sunlight for at least six weeks before decanting and using. (See my book Healing Wise for more specific information , How to Plant Shrubs on making preparations.)

A field guide is helpful for positively identifying your weeds. , How Do I Keep My Pond From Turning Green? The one I like best is: A Guide to the Identification of New Zealand Common Weeds , Patio Chair Covers in Colour, complied by E. A. Upritchard. (Available from the New Zealand Weed , Mulch Your Spring Flower Bulbs in the Fall for a Beautiful Spring Display And Pest , Selecting Outdoor Benches Control Society, P.O. Box 1654, Palmerston North) This book even shows you how the weeds , A Garden Pond in Your Landscape - Want Water in Your Yard? look when they are emerging.

Ready? OK! Let's go outside , Water Pond Designs and see what we can find.

Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa pastoris) is an annual , Tomato Plant Care in the mustard family. Cut the top half of the plant , Organic Gardening when it has formed its little heart-shaped "purses" (seed pods) and make a tincture (with alcohol), which you can use to stop bleeding. Midwives and women who bleed heavily during their period praise its prompt effectiveness. Gypsies claim it works on the stomach and lungs as well. A dose is 1 dropperful (1ml); which may be repeated up to four times a day.

Cleavers (Gallium aparine) is a persistent, sticky plant , Oregano: Joy of the Mountain which grows , You Take The Vacation - Not Your Garden profusely in abandoned lots and the edges of cultivated land. The entire plant , Tricky Seed Sowing Techniques is used to strengthen lymphatic activity. I cut the top two-thirds of each plant , Using Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Hydroponics Gardening System while it is in flower , Unique s make a memorable gift! (or setting seeds) and use alcohol to make a tincture which relieves tender, swollen breasts, PMS symptoms, and allergic reactions. A dose is 15-25 drops (.5 - 1 ml); repeated as needed.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) has many uses, including delicious salad greens. , Mulch Your Spring Flower Bulbs in the Fall for a Beautiful Spring Display I cut the entire top of the plant , How Do I Keep My Pond From Turning Green? and eat it or use alcohol to make a tincture, which dissolves cysts, tonifies the thyroid, and aids in weight loss. A dose is a dropperful (1 ml), up to three times a day.

Daisy (Bellis perennis) is a common perennial weed , The Value of Mulch of lawns , Metal Sheds and open areas. Quite different from the native daisy (Lagenifera petiolata), the little English daisy is related to feverfew and has similar abilities. I use the leaves and flowers , Gardening - Growing Tasty Tomatoes to make a tincture (with alcohol) or a medicinal vinegar which relieves headaches, muscle pain, and allergy symptoms. A dose is a dropperful of the tincture (1 ml), up to twice a day; or a tablespoon of the vinegar in the morning.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) is a persistent perennial , The MorrowPond Garden - Soil Management of lawns , How to Plant Shrubs and gardens , Flowers, An Annual Event and one of the best known medicinal herbs , Tips about Flower Care in the world. (The native dandelion of New Zealand - Taraxacum magellanicum - is medicinal too.) Those who love a pure green lawn , Tomato Plant Care curse the sunny yellow flowers , Garden Decor -- It Is More Than Just Decorations of common dandelion. But those who are willing to see beauty anywhere (such as children and herbalists) treasure this weed. , Books About Landscaping You can use any part of the dandelion - the root, , Catch a Leprechaun in Your Garden the leaves, the flowers, , Gardening - Growing Tasty Tomatoes even the flower , Tomato Plant Care stalk - to make a tincture or medicinal vinegar which strengthens the liver. A dose of 10-20 drops of the tincture (.5-1 ml) relieves gas, , Teak Furniture - The Proper Way to Care For & Clean It heartburn, and indigestion, as well as promoting healthy , How to Plant Shrubs bowel movements. A tablespoon of the vinegar works well, too. More importantly, taken before meals, dandelion increases the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thus increasing bio-availability of many nutrients, especially calcium. The fresh or cooked green , Catch a Leprechaun in Your Garden leaves are loaded with carotenes, those anti-cancer, anti-heart disease , The MorrowPond Garden - Soil Management helpers. And the oil of the flowers , The MorrowPond Garden - Soil Management is an important massage balm for maintaining healthy breasts. (There's lots more information , Landscaping Tips: Koi Pond Aeration Needed for Healthy Fish on dandelions in Healing Wise.)

Dock, also called yellow dock, curly dock, and broad dock is a perennial plant, , African Violet Care which my Native American grandmothers use for "all women's problems." The Maori call , How to Plant Shrubs it paewhenua or runa. It is another plant , Tips for ing Flower Bulbs that disagrees with sheep, especially when the land is overgrazed. I dig the yellow roots , Mulch Your Spring Flower Bulbs in the Fall for a Beautiful Spring Display of Rumex crispus or R. obtusifolius and tincture them in alcohol to use as an ally when the immune system or the liver needs help. A dose is 15-25 drops (.5-1 ml). I also harvest the leaves and/or seeds , An Introduction to Bonsai Maple Trees throughout the growing season , Dill: Scandinavia's Most Important Culinary Herb and make a medicinal vinegar, taken a tablespoon at a time, which is used to increase blood-levels of iron, reduce menstrual flooding and cramping, and balance hormone levels. If the chopped roots , Tips about Flower Care are soaked in oil for six weeks, the resulting ointment is beneficial for keeping the breasts healthy. , The Value of Mulch

Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) and Ragwort (Senecio jacobea) are hardy perennials , Hardy Hibiscus that have a reputation for poisoning livestock, like their cousin tansy. Although not good for sheep, these two Senecios are some of the world's most ancient healing plants, , An Introduction To Palm Trees having been found in a grave 60,000 years old. You can use the flowering , Organic Gardening tops and leaves with your alcohol to make a tincture which acts slowly to tonify the reproductive organs, ease PMS, and stop severe menstrual pain. A dose is 5-10 drops (.2-.5 ml) per day, used only once a day, but for at least 3 months. (A larger dose is used to speed up labor. , Growing Sweet Peas )

Mallows (Malva neglecta, M. parviflora, M. sylvestres) grow , Catch a Leprechaun in Your Garden well in neglected gardens , Decor -- It Is More Than Just Decorations and are surprisingly deep-rooted. The flowers, , Metal Sheds leaves, stalks, seeds, , Garden Decor -- It Is More Than Just Decorations and roots , Garden On The Cheap are rich in sticky mucilage which is best extracted by soaking the fresh plant , Mulch Your Spring Flower Bulbs in the Fall for a Beautiful Spring Display in cold water , Advantages Of Solar Landscaping Lights overnight or longer or by making a medicinal vinegar. The starch is extraordinarily soothing internally (easing sore throats, upset tummies, heart burn, irritable bowel, colic, constipation, and food , Winterizing Tips for Your Lawn and Garden poisoning) and externally (relieving bug bites, burns, sprains, and sore eyes). The leaves, flowers, , Tips about Care and bark (especially) of the native Hohere (Hoheria populnea) are used in exactly the same way by Maori herbalists.

Plantain, also called ribwort, pig's ear, and the bandaid plant , Winterizing Tips for Your Lawn and Garden is a common weed , Birdfeeders & Birdhouses - The Perfect Outdoor Accessories of lawns, , The Flower Drying Game - Part 2: Sand or Glycerin? driveways, parks, and playgrounds. Identify it by the five parallel veins running the length of each leaf. You may find broad leaf plantain (Plantago major) with wide leaves, or narrow leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) with lance-thin leaves. Either can be used to make a healing poultice or a soothing oil widely regarded as one of the best wound healers around. Not only does plantain increase the speed of healing, it also relieves pain, stops bleeding, draws out foreign matter, stops itching, prevents and stops allergic reactions from bee stings, kills bacteria, and reduces swelling.

Try a poultice or a generous application of plantain oil or ointment (made by thickening the oil with beeswax) on sprains, cuts, insect bites, rashes, chafed skin, boils, bruises, chapped and cracked lips, rough or sore hands, baby's diaper area, and burns.

To make a fresh plantain poultice: Pick a leaf, chew it well and put it on the boo-boo. "Like magic" the pain, itching, and swelling disappear, fast! (Yes, you can dry plantain leaves and carry them in your first aid , An Introduction To Palm Trees kit. Chew like you would fresh leaves.)

To make plantain ointment: Pick large fresh plantain leaves. Chop coarsely. Fill a clean, dry, glass , How to Plant Shrubs jar with the chopped leaves. Pour pure olive oil into the leaves, poking about with a chopstick until the jar is completely full of oil and all air , The MorrowPond Garden - Soil Management bubbles are released. Cap well. Place , Spruce Budworm jar in a small bowl to collect any overflow. Wait six weeks. Then strain oil out of the plant , Attracting Birds To Your Garden material, squeezing well. Measure the oil. Heat , You Take The Vacation - Not Your Garden it gently, adding one tablespoon of grated beeswax for every liquid ounce of oil. Pour into jars and allow to cool.

St. Joan's/John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) This beautiful perennial , Gardening - Growing Tasty Tomatoes wildflower may be hated by sheep farmers but herbalists adore it. The flowering , Unique Flowers make a memorable gift! tops are harvested after they begin to bloom (traditionally on Solstice, June 21) and prepared with alcohol, and with oil, to make two of the most useful remedies in my first aid , Selecting Outdoor Benches kit. Tincture of St. Joan's wort not only lends one a sunny disposition, it reliably relieves muscle aches, is a powerful anti-viral, and is my first-choice treatment for those with shingles, sciatica, backpain, neuralgia, and headaches including migraines. The usual dose is 1 dropperful (1 ml) as frequently as needed. In extreme pain from a muscle spasm in my thigh, I used a dropperful every twenty minutes for two hours, or until the pain totally subsided. St. Joan's wort oil stops cold , Growing Sweet Peas sores in their tracks and can even relieve genital herpes symptoms. I use it as a sunscreen. Contrary to popular belief, St. Joan's wort does not cause sun , Attracting Birds To Your Garden sensitivity; it prevents it. It even prevents burns from radiation therapy. Eases sore muscles, too.

Self heal (Prunella vulgaris) This scentless perennial , Garden Decor -- It Is More Than Just Decorations mint is one of the great unsung healers of the world. The leaves and flowers , Oregano: Joy of the Mountain contain more antioxidants - which prevent cancer and heart disease, , Books About Landscaping among other healthy , Flowers, An Annual Event traits - than any other plant , Organic Gardening tested. And as part of the mint family, self heal is imbued with lots of minerals, especially calcium, making it an especially important ally for pregnant, nursing, menopausal, and post-menopausal women. I put self heal leaves in salads , Tips for Planting Flower Bulbs in the spring , Attracting Birds To Your Garden and fall, , Hardy Hibiscus make a medicinal vinegar with the flowers , Tips about Care during the summer, , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (Part 3) Lighting and cook the flowering , Garden On The Cheap tops (fresh or dried) in winter , Unique Flowers make a memorable gift! soups.

Usnea (Usnea barbata) is that many-stranded grey lichen hanging out of the branches of your apple trees , Organic Gardening or the Monterey pines planted in the plantation over there or in almost any native tree , Flowers, An Annual Event in areas of the South Island Alps, where it is known as angiangi to the Maori. If in doubt of your identification: Pull a strand gently apart with your hands, looking for a white , Tomato Plant Care fiber inside , Metal Sheds the fuzzy grey-green outer coat. To prepare usnea, harvest at any time of the year, being careful not to take too much. Usnea grows , Oregano: Joy of the Mountain slowly. Put your harvest in a cooking pan and just cover it with cold water. , Garden On The Cheap Boil for about 15-25 minutes, or until the water , Hardy Hibiscus is orange and reduced by at least half. Pour usnea and water , African Violet Care into a jar, filling it to the top with plant , Flowers, An Annual Event material. (Water should be no more than half of the jar.) Add the highest proof alcohol you can buy. After 6 weeks this tincture is ready to work for you as a superb antibacterial, countering infection anywhere in the body. A dose is a dropperful (1 ml) as frequently as every two hours in acute situations.

Yarrow (Achellia millefolium) This lovely perennial weed , Iris Flowers Remind Me Of Mom! is grown in many herb gardens , A Pond in Your Landscape - Want Water in Your Yard? for it has a multitude of uses. Cut the flowering , Gardens: They are Fragrant, Breathtaking— the Perfect Idea for More Outdoor Decor tops (use only white-flowering yarrow) and use your alcohol to make a strongly-scented tincture that you can take internally to prevent colds , Garden On The Cheap and the flu. (A dose is 10-20 drops, or up to 1 ml). I carry a little spray bottle of yarrow tincture with me when I'm outside , How to Grow Organic Roses and wet my skin every hour or so. A United States Army study showed yarrow tincture to be more effective than DEET at repelling ticks, mosquitoes, and sand , The Truth About MTD Snow Blowers flies. You can also make a healing ointment with yarrow flower , Make A Good First Impression: Landscape Your Driveway tops and your oil or fat. Yarrow oil is antibacterial, pain-relieving, and incredibly helpful in healing all types of wounds.

For more information , Catch a Leprechaun in Your Garden on making preparations and on the uses of specific herbs, , Garden Success in Southcentral Alaska Part 1 of 3 consult Susun's books: Healing Wise, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way, and Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way.

Susun<span class= Weed , Tricky Seed Sowing Techniques - EzineArticles Expert Author">
Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed , Dream Yard has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural , Iris Flowers Remind Me Of Mom! approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at http://www.susunweed.com

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