Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dr. Mom To The Rescue~ Part 1: Health Care At Home The Natural Way Featuring The Home Apothecary

I'm so excited to share this with you today. This post, in a three part series, has been a work in progress. It comes to you after much study and personal experience.  It's my wish that the information will inspire as well as educate.

I believe that God has not only given us plants as nourishing foods to strengthen and feed our bodies, but I also believe that He has given us the gift of plants for our health and healing. As I've discovered, these plants are to be used with skill, thanksgiving, and respect.

The use of herbs in every day wellness and home health care is very appealing to me. For one thing, I love plants and all that gardening entails. I love having a role in helping people heal. To know and demonstrate through the loving care I give, this gift of "the Healer's Art" isn't something that comes naturally. I want this blessing, especially in my role as a mother; a role I take very seriously. I want to do all in my power to take care of myself and my loved ones. Being self sufficient, knowledgeable, and prepared is something in which I'm constantly engaging in and striving for. Sometimes, I think I was born in the wrong century!

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the blessing it is to have modern health care. I am grateful for the services that allopathic  medicine has and will provide for my family. However, I'm finding it a little disgruntling that most medicines seem to mask the symptoms, don't seem to really heal the cause, and leave questionable side effects. Why the focus on disease instead of prevention? That's why I find herbs and natural medicine so appealing. These things are so accessible and affordable for the common man. I'm looking for something that will strengthen, cleanse, nourish, and heal my body. And all that comes proactively, mostly by the things I do on a daily basis: what I feed myself and my family and the ways in which we honor and treat these bodies.

So, let's get down to the nitty gritty, shall we? May I present to you a little bit of what I do in my home to bring this about:


The Herbal Wellness Pantry or the Home Apothecary


This is my new shelf (the one that almost broke my foot ) that I've organized in the last few days. Can I tell you how much I love this new kitchen addition?


Top Shelf:

~small lidded basket for the essential oils I use in the diffuser, in homemade household cleaners, ones that are handier in the kitchen.
~mortar and pestle to grind herbs, flowers, spices.
~wooden bowl with muslin bags used in herbal baths.
~White clay for facial masks, bath salts.
~Poppy seeds: culinary use, facial scrub.
~Marshmallow Root: used in teas for sore throats, diarrhea, constipation, bronchial inflammation.
~Calendula flower petals: used in soap making, hair rinse, nourishing and soothing for skin.


Middle Shelves:

~Dried Elderberries: used in infection fighting/immune strengthening syrup.
~Catnip: used to help bring down a fever, calming and sedative/ digestive aid tea.
~Dried Rosehips: high in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron; used in infection fighting/immune strengthening syrup.
~Echinacea: used in infection fighting/immune strengthening syrup, tinctures, capsulated.
~Comfrey: amazing tissue and bone healer used in poultices, burn ointment and skin salves.
~Cinnamon sticks: warming to the body in hot drinks, used in infection fighting/immune strengthening syrup.
~Whole Cloves: warming to the body in hot drinks, used in infection fighting/immune strengthening syrup.
~BF&C (Dr. Christopher's Bone, Flesh, and Cartilage formula) used is fomentation or teas  (soaking) for injured or damaged tissue or bone.
~Calcium Tea: a blend of nettles, oatstraw, horsetail (a whole food based absorbable form of calcium and other minerals I drink as a tea to strengthen my bones)
~Lavender: used aromatically in pillows, sachets, in bath water. Aids in alleviating stress, tension, insomnia.
~Bay Leaf: culinary and aromatic uses.
~Chamomile: used as a tea for treating colic, nervousness, infections, digestion. Also nice addition to the bath. Can be used as an eye wash for conjunctivitis (pink eye).
~Peppermint: my favorite tea. Helpful herb for digestion, stomach cramps, nausea, stimulant herb.
~Yarrow: used in a hot tea or bath water to help induce sweating and lowering fevers. Can be applied to cuts or wounds to disinfect and stop bleeding.
~Red Raspberry leaf: wonderful tonic herb to aid and regulate women's reproductive system, high in iron; helpful in times of sickness and fever.
~Cayenne: powerful and stimulating to the circulatory system by equalizing the blood pressure. Will stop bleeding if sprinkled on a wound, as well as stop a bloody nose (take 1/4-1 t. in a glass of water, or capsule or tincture dropperful). also an aid in shock (same procedure as bloody nose) and head ache. Energy bringer (I take some before I go running; great endurance and speed help in my races). Used in ointment that we have in the first aid kit. You get used to the kick after time.    
~Slippery Elm: inner bark powder helpful for soothing inflammation, burn, sore throat or cough (used in homemade lozenges) diarrhea (mix a tablespoon with a bit of oatmeal in a gruel), constipation. 
~Mustard powder: used as poultice for respiratory issues or in bath water when there's a fever (sweat inducing).

Other things I store in my kitchen:
~fresh garlic cloves: super infection fighter and antiseptic, stimulating to the immune and circulatory systems. Used in poultices, infused in olive oil to rub on lymph nodes, chest, feet. Eaten raw.
~ginger root: very helpful made in a tea for stomach and digestion disorders; very warming to the body, helpful in inducing a sweat (fevers).
~fresh lemons: used in a tea with honey and ginger root when feeling ill. Cleansing to the body, especially the liver.
~apple cider vinegar: used in washing the body (diluted) after breaking a sweat when fevering.
~raw honey: taken (not those under 1 year old) by the spoonful (or simmered with onions in a natural cough syrup, used in immune strengthening/infection fighting syrups. Helpful for seasonal allergies.
~onions: will break up congestion when baked or sauteed and then placed as a poultice on chest.




Herb Drying Rack: (All grown and harvested from my garden!)

~Thyme: infection/fever tea
~Marjoram: culinary (Italian seasoning blend)
~Lavender: I can't seem to grow enough.
~Lemon Balm: sedative, calming, and anti- depressive herb used in teas or bath soaks.
~Oregano: infection fighter, culinary (Italian seasoning blend).


Stay tuned for tomorrow's Part 2: The Tackle Box First Aid and Wellness Kit and Thursday's Part 3: Essential Oils in the Home


64 comments:

  1. okay. I seriously cannot believe you have done all this :) I am so impressed. I am not sure exactly how to utilize every item. Your herbs drying are amazing. Oh, you must be so proud of your this. Hurt foot and all.

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    1. Among all the herbs mentioned I think Thyme is a real wonder, Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), a perennial herbaceous plant from the Lamiaceae family that grows up to approximately 40 cm tall [1] and is used nowadays as a flavoring agent of the Mediterranean diet but has also been discovered to be better than creams against acne.

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  2. Beautiful! I am, of course, thrilled to read that you do this. Incidentally, thyme is one of my all time favorite remedies. Can't wait to read what you have to say about e.o.'s, you know I love them, too!

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  3. Looks great and soo handy! You must really love this natural remedies things - I am glad you got things organized! Bet it makes feel good already!

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  4. thank you for sharing your heart, your passion and gifts. You inspire me, Mira

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  5. I love this! All of it!

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  6. What a fantastic addition to your home. Not only does it look really beautiful but of such value to you and your family! You've inspired me to do more with my herbs

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  7. Emily, how long did it take you to accumulate your stores and process how to use the various things you have here? (I'm thinking of steps so as to not be overwhelmed by time or finances etc.)

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  8. Hi Jaemaree! Most of what you see pictured here were things I gathered throughout the summer and early fall. The hanging herbs were all harvested in my own garden. I really started getting excited about putting something like this together after I spent all summer learning more about the healing qualities of herbs and when I happened upon that shelf at an antique store. When I got the idea in my mind, I'll be honest when I say that there was no stopping me- some of the items I rushed out impulsively (calendula, white clay, marshmallow root) to get at the health food store and I don't think I spend a ton of money, either. The jars I already had. It turned out to be such a fun and rewarding weekend project.

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  9. Emily, did you have the rack made or did you purchase it? My husband might be able to make me one of these if you have the dimensions you could give me. I have been wanting to get one of these for my herbal items!

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  10. Wonderful, but where do you find the recipes, etc in which to use these herbs etc, for the purposes you list? I am highly interested in learning more. Can you email me? Bunny. @ theguntherclan@gmail.com

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  11. Beth: About the rack. I was looking for something, a shelf, to mount up on the wall to hold my herb jars. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this at an antique store, complete with the hanging rack.
    I'm sure your husband could make one if he's handy with building things.
    It measures 36 inches wide, 31 inches from the top shelf to the drying rack. Top shelf is 5 1/2 inches wide and lower two shelves are 3 1/2 inches wide.
    Hope that's helpful.

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  12. Bunny: I'll email you now. Let me know if it doesn't get through to you.

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    Replies
    1. Got it and looking for the things you mentioned on her now :-)

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  13. Oh my goodness, this is awesome!

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  14. Emily,

    I am so excited that I found your blog. This is beautiful and it looks like you did a lot of research. I would love to do something like this. I have a 1 year old and I am very passionate about living organic and natural. These kinds of things would be great to make for my son. He has very sensitive skin and I buy him calendula skin products that are very expensive. Would you mind emailing recipes that you use with these items? I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Monica organic4u99@yahoo.com

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  15. Do you have any good books or websites you recommend in researching about herbs for healing properties? would love to pick your brains of how you learned about those. thanks :) my email is: princesse dot vive at gmail dot com. :)

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    1. I just sent you an email. I hope you get it! Let me know if it doesn't.

      Emily

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  16. This is fantastic! I would love to know more about how to get started on a collection like yours and how to use them! Dknoper107@gmail.com

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  17. Could you also send me an email about a good book and information about starting a collection as well. jfranklin3@gmail.com

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  18. I too would love some suggestions on books or websites or recipes or anything lol I was so excited when I found your blog. I have bought a few herbs and starting to grow some this year I am just starting to dip my toes into all of this and am really excited about it! I was wondering I know you said the drying ones were from your garden but the different ones in the jars are those from your garden to or did you buy most of them? Thanks for any help. Littleguyties@gmail.com
    Crystal

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  19. I am building a home apothecary and someone left this link for me to check out. SO glad I stopped by, this is wonderful! you have done a beautiful job! ~Barefoot Mama

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  20. I 'pinned' this whole series several months ago, and now I'm actually in the United States and I am able to collect some of these herbs and oils to take back with me. Can you send an email my way with some recipes and/or book suggestions? I am especially interested in knowing more about using oils for respitory problems. I appreciate this article so much! Thank you, acts5verse42 at hotmail dot com

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  21. emily, I love the way you organized things! it is great. Could you send me your recipes also. I have some but I don't think I have what you have. my e-mail address is rymalhil@aol.com
    thanks,
    kim

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  22. I would love to have your recipes as well cskeffin@gmail.com! do you know of any classes in the northeast or online that you would refer?

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  23. I'd love to have your recipes! akay.cunningham@gmail.com

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  24. This is absolutely beautiful.. I so need a rack like this lol. I have recently been using natural medicine on myself more and more as I learn the healing properties of this or that, or see an article on how something can be fixed naturally. I am in awe of how well it works and how good it is for you... I'm only sad I didn't begin sooner lol.

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  25. Emily,

    Could you also send me information and recipes. Think I have the perfect bottles, shelf and place to put this... Marcy0414@yahoo.com

    Thanks..

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  26. this i Awesome! i too feel the same about the natural approach to herbs for healing as Soo many products these days have Soo many side effects. i am still quite a beginner so if you can help with any information/recipes i would appreciate it. mjdegro11@gmail.com thank you!

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  27. I am with everyone else--in total awe of this! My young kids and I have been sick for 3+ months and I am tired of all the meds that mask our symptons...they return days later worse than ever. I am VERY interested in books, websites and/or recipes for a beginner if you could email me suggestions, my family and I would greatly appreciate it. Jb.walker33@yahoo.com

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  28. Hello, new follower here and I must say I enjoyed reading and ogling the lovely photos. I have just begun stocking my own home apothecary and I was wondering about the possible degradation of herbs stored in clear jars. Do you have any information on that? Thank you and God Bless.

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  29. Where you do buy some of your herbs? Specifically, the marshmallow root, slippery elm and the BF&C?

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  30. It was pretty amazing an eye-catching blog post.
    I like it for giving such useful details,.

    Regards,
    Ken

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  31. I am only repeating what I am reading....fantastic inspiration! This summer we will harvest whatever herbs we grow and try to duplicate something remotely close to what you have shown us. Thanks. Mahalo nui loa.

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  32. I, too, am interested in learning more. Not sure what you emailed the other ladies but I would really appreciate it!

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  33. I would also very much appreciate any additional information on how to do this. I love the information on each of the herbs you mentioned, but how do I do this? Where do I start? Thank you!

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  34. It looks like you're getting several requests a month for recipes. So I hate to ask for the same when it takes time out of your schedule. But I'm really interested in recipes. I started growing lavender & other herbs in the hopes of learning more, but haven't done much with them. Your recipes would be GREATLY appreciated if you can find the time to send them! angelasloan1@gmail.com

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  35. Chamomile is one of my preferred herbs, Chamomile, is known to be one of the most used medicinal herbs, with many known health benefits and properties to treat some of the most common affections. The two main types of chamomile, the German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and the Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), are certainly the most well known herbs from this herb family, the Asteraceae/Compositae family.

    SOURCE HERBCYCLOPEDIA:

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  36. What a lovely Blog! After reading the responses to this post, I too am interested in learning the recipes for remedies and if you have any other websites or books that you recommend. Thanks! gsmoma@yahoo.com

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  37. This is exactly what I am trying to do and you just gave me all the info and inspiration I needed to continue! :D Thank you so much for being my inspiration! Peace and Love -DanniLeigh http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lifted-Lorax/481568855219715?ref=hl

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  41. Oh this is great! Did you grow all of this yourself?

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  42. Oh.my.goodness! I could've written the intro to this post! It's my sentiments EXACTLY about the healthcare system. I feel that, nowadays, modern medicine simply puts bandaids on the problem and doesn't get to the root of it. Yet, at the same time, I am thankful for the gift of modern medicine since it saved my husband's life several years back when he underwent emergency bypass surgery. Since then, (and even more recently) I have been on a quest to find natural ways to heal his heart disease. I, too, believe that God created the necessary foods to keep us healthy and also to heal our bodies. After all, he created us so He should know what we need to stay nourished! Long story, short, I am slowly learning about the wonderful world of herbs and am starting to build my apothecary even while we're on the road traveling.

    I will be looking up the next couple of installments right after this! Thanks for sharing and encouraging those of us who believe the same!

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  43. I would be thrilled is you'd put together a printable list of some kind that we could print out. Love your shelf idea. I have mine all over the kitchen, so this will be my next step! Thanks for sharing inspiration!! glhearts@aol.com Lori Gearheart

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  44. Beautiful! Your natural medicine "cabinet" is so well done. I'm inspired to organize my herbs now! What really makes it top-notch is your row of fresh, drying herbs. ::Sigh:: Inspiring!

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  46. I think all of this is so amazing. I really hate to bother you as I have seen so many of your requests but I too am very interested in a natural way of healing ones self. I would greatly appreciate some recipes from you and if you have anything for re-accuring ear infection (swimmers ear)it would be most helpful as I am getting sick of being prescribed antibiotics several times a year for it. mbradshaw323@gmail.com

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    1. Is there a way I could purchase this?? I have just started believing that our God has these wonderful things for us to use.

      Thank you

      Carol Mardis
      calbins@ymail.com

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  47. What a wonderful blog, i love it, i have herbs in my garden but only tend to use them for cooking, this is something i would love to do, i have a Jekka McVicar complete herb book, are there any others you could recommend please <3

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  48. Very cool. I'd love to see how you put these to use with recipe guides. Going to check out the rest of your blog now!

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  49. I find your blog so inspiring. I recently began learning more about essential oils and making homemade products. I too believe that God has given us what we need to nurture and sustain our bodies. It is our job to learn to use what He's given us properly.

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  54. I just found your blog thanks to Homestead Survival. I am also interested in recipes to use these herbs. Perhaps writing a book full of your recipes might be a good idea. I know I would buy it!

    I would also like to learn to grow some of these herbs. Any ideas on reputable places to buy some of the plants to put in my garden? Email me at kgbostick@yahoo.com. Thank you.

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  55. Thank you for this very informative post. All of the herbs mentioned above deserve a place in any Home Apothecary, and the wall shelves layout is an excellent idea.

    I have included your article in our links page.

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  56. This site is using this photo, thought you might want to know:
    http://thehomesteadsurvival.com/herbal-wellness-pantry/

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  57. You are sharing such a informative post.

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  58. This is all so very inspiring ! From your set up to the photography to the research and accumulation in a straight forward way.

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