Great Lakes Permaculture

Herbal medicine from culinary herbs : Part 2

In my previous article I talked about herbal medicine using culinary herbs that you probably have right outside your back door. Unfortunately I was unable to share many recipes with you due to time constraints, so I would now like to share more with you. Several recipes call for essential oils which are difficult if almost impossible to make at home as it requires steam, oil, or solvent distillation, others require super critical carbon dioxide extraction which is often referred to as SCFE. That is why I suggest purchasing your essential oils from a reputable health service provider, because it is too difficult for the home practitioner to extract the oils themselves.

Rosemary disinfectant

To make a natural disinfectant spray chop up fresh rosemary sprigs, add them to boiling water for about 3-5 minutes, strain, and put into a spray bottle. Use it in your kitchen and bathroom.

Rosemary hair rinse

Do a cold steep of rosemary twigs in filtered or distilled water for several days, if you do not want to what that long then create a batch of rosemary tea, dilute the tea 50/50 with additional filtered water. Use the rosemary rinse after shampooing for a fresh clean natural shine.

Rosemary is a perennial herb in the south, the only variety that I have been able to grow in zone 5 and 6 is the Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’ or rosemary arp.

Herbal Vapo-rub

Infuse 3.5 oz. of base oil (i.e. olive or coconut oil) with one quarter teaspoon of dried mint, thyme, eucalyptus, and rosemary over gentle heat fro 15-30 minutes. Remember to use glass or ceramic to eliminate any reactions between the herbs and metal including utensils. An alternate to the heating of the oil and herbs would be a cold infusion for about a week.

Strain the herbs from the oil, reserving the oil. Gently heat the herb infused oil in a double boiler, add small chunks of bees was, about five eighths inch cube. Stir until everything has melted together. Pour into a glass jar to store.

Herbal poultice

Place a one half cup whole herb in a small saucepan covered with water.

Simmer for two minutes. Do not drain.

Arrange a clean piece of gauze, muslin, linen, or white cotton sheeting on a clean flat surface.

Pour the herbal solution over the cloth

Cleanse the affected area and place the poultice over the area

Wrap a towel around the poultice and fasten a safety pin

Herbal poultices should be kept in place for 1-24 hours, or as needed

During this period, you may experience a throbbing pain as the poultice draws out infection and neutralizes toxins.

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