Be Your Own Doctor (How to make your own medicine)

If you knew how many times I have uttered the words, “It’s a good thing I am an herbalist!”  We were the parents that made regular visits to the ER on weekends with everything from pink eye to a broken wrist.  For the past eleven years, there is little I have been unable to handle myself.  I can get rid of pink eye in two hours, sinus and kidney infections, and oncoming colds over night, as well as chronic issues.

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My home apothecary is filled with dried herbs from my gardens, a few that are purchased due to not growing here, and many jars of brewing extracts so that I am always ready to anything.  My medicine gardens are drinking up all of this spring rain and are ready to burst into blooms.

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Living amongst animals means that inevitably you will be treating a bite.  Emily read from her phone as I tried to stop the bleeding and keep myself calm, “One in three people end up in the hospital after a cat bite.”

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“It’s a good thing I am an herbalist.”  We were so far from my house though that we drove an hour to the town of Elizabeth instead to get to my daughter, Shyanne’s home apothecary.  I wasn’t going to be home for another six hours and I knew it would be too late by then.  Infection would surely set in.  We stopped at a grocery store so that I could at least wash it with soap and water.  I walked like a shocked crime victim to the far bathrooms.

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Shyanne gave us the code to her house.  I applied our Wound Healer and then drenched a paper towel in straight Goldenseal alcohol extract and slapped it on my arm.  Emily heard a scream from the lower floor.  Yikes, cat bites hurt.  But the medicine took away much of the pain and opened the wounds to bleed freely.

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Second day

Yesterday I cleaned the wounds again in the shower and applied Wound Healer and then our Pain Salve.  I bandaged it and went about my day.  Today the wounds are sealed, bruising is gone.  It hurts because it is in the crease of my arm, but there is no infection.  I started taking our own Antibiotic the day of the bite (2 days ago).  The medical system did not gain a penny from me.

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It is just wise to at least know basic herbal first aid.  It could save your life.  Know what herbs stop bleeding, kill infection, set bones, heal torn muscles, and help with pain.  Then move on to internal antibiotics, allergy medicines, pain medicines, and digestive help.  Heart, eye, brain, kidney, and thyroid medicines inevitably follow.  It is addictive and empowering and an important lost skill on a homestead.  I know not everyone has the same passion I do, so if you don’t want to make all of your own medicines, please seek out a qualified, talented herbalist.  (Not just someone that sells essential oils or grows pot.)

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If you are local, I have a 12 week intensive Master Herbalist Program starting August 25th on my farm.  It takes place every Sunday afternoon.  If you are not local, I have a Correspondence Course as well.  Or you can check out my books, The Herbalist Will See You Now and The Homesteader’s Pharmacy to teach yourself.  They make great homestead references. Http://AuthorKatieSanders.com

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Don’t forget the power of plants.  With a good grasp of herbalism, your homestead will be filled with healthy animals and humans!

If you live in Pueblo, or surrounding areas, I still make folks medicine.  My number is 303-617-3370.  You can also visit Shyanne or order from her website at http://WhiteWolfHerbs.com 

Become a Certified Herbalist with my Online Course

Do you have the same love for herbs as I do?  Do you imagine an apothecary within your home filled with jars of beautiful dried herbs that you grew yourself and vats of brewing medicines to heal anything and everything?  Do you wish to know how to heal?  Do you imagine your own apothecary on the main street?  Greeting customers with a cup of tea and a smile and a ready cure for their dog’s arthritis or maybe their own lingering cough?  If you are tired of doling out money to others for things that you can heal yourself, maybe it is time to consider becoming a certified herbalist!

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I have been an herbalist for a long time.  I have seen nearly every ailment you can think of.  I have successfully helped heal thousands of people and animals.  I grow dozens and dozens of medicinal herbs and can identify many more.  I know Native American herbs like the back of my hand.  It is a part of my very heart.

I remember the fear of holding my newborn son, his fever raging, his lungs tired from screaming.  I remember not knowing what to do.  I remember.

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I don’t want any mother (or father) or farmgirl to not know what to do when your chicken sneezes, or your horse colics, or your baby has a fever.  Knowing how to work with herbs takes away so much fear in life.  So much worry is dispelled with knowledge.  I am not talking about essential oils here, I am talking about the whole herbs and what to do with them.  The plants are our medicine.  Let me teach you.

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My online certified herbalism study course is back and better than ever.  I have purposely set my price considerably lower than any other school because this is knowledge that is so very important.  $250 includes your text book, my recipe book, and ongoing study with me.  Take all the time you need.  We will keep in touch through email.  You can call or text me if you have questions.  Even after you complete the course.  Now is the time.  Spring is a great time to embark on a new hobby, career, lifestyle.

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Email me to register.  Katie@Pumpkinhollowfarm.net

Farmgirl School Live!

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I would cordially like to invite you to the Colorado Springs Home and Landscaping Show this weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  If you love decorating, improving, gardening, and events as much as I do, you will love this show!  HGTV, inspiration, ideas, and of course, White Wolf Medicine will be there!  And yours truly is one of the guest speakers.  I will be speaking all weekend about how to create an Apothecary Garden, how to create a Tea Garden, and about High Altitude Farming; Tried and True Tips.

So, if you already know me and Doug, come out and say hello.  If you haven’t met us, come out and introduce yourself.  I would love to meet you.  Maryjane Rose will be there Friday and Saturday as well helping me spread Farmgirl cheer!

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Colorado Springs Event Center 3960 Palmer Park Boulevard at Academy with Free Parking!

Show dates, times, and ticket prices are as follows:

Colorado Springs Home & Landscaping Show:

Friday, January 20, 2017 1 pm – 7 pm
Saturday, January 21, 2017 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, January 22, 2017 11 am – 4pm

Adults $6, Youth 16 & under free!

http://ColoradoSpringsHomeShow.com

Make Your Own Cough Syrup and Chest Rub

Folks are hustling and bustling through our shop doors each day, the sniffles, the Strep, the cough, the infection, the crud.  My medicines are absolutely the best on the market, and I stand by that.  You can always order online at WhiteWolfHerbs.com so that you have plenty of stock in your medicine cupboard and be at the ready.  But today I want to teach you how to make a delicious and effective cough syrup and chest rub.

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Elderberry Mint Cough Syrup

1 Tablespoon of dried Elderberries

1 Tablespoon of dried Echinacea (leaves are best, roots are okay)

1 Tablespoon of dried Peppermint

(Herbs can be purchased online or in the bulk section of a health food store.)

1 cup of honey

Place ingredients in a small saucepan and very gradually infuse over medium low heat.  Swirl the pan often to keep from burning.  After 20 minutes or so the honey should be quite liquefied, the purple color infused, and the smell of mint should meet you.  Let cool for a minute and then pour in 1/4-1/2 cup of brandy, bourbon, or the like.  If you prefer not to use alcohol, use apple cider vinegar.  Stir, heating slightly to liquefy if needed, then strain into a pint canning jar.  Dosage is 1 teaspoon for children, 2 for adults.  Stays good indefinitely.

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Chest Rub

Vapor Rub is petroleum based and really not safe for children.  This is a quick remedy that you can use anytime to help breathing.  In 2 Tablespoons of sunflower or olive oil add 3 drops each pine, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils.  Rub onto chest, bottom of feet, and along cheek bones.

Wishing you a season without the crud!  But at least you will be ready if it comes knocking on your door!

 

Keys to our Shop

We got the keys to our new store yesterday afternoon.

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A new apartment in the country, a new shop in town, family and friends close by.

Emily, Maryjane, and their friend, Becca put together shelving.

Emily, Maryjane, and their friend, Becca put together shelving.

Happy Autumn!  Time for pumpkins and Halloween costumes.  And new shops to open.  New beginnings and lots of good memories!

The White Wolf Medicine Shop

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This is the view facing out from my soon-to-be shop.  I am so looking forward to it.  Our first shop opened October 15, 2010.  It was a lovely little old building from the turn of the century with crooked wooden floors and a view of Main street.  That first summer after Doug had his nervous breakdown and left his job and as we both decided to leave our house we were going to end up losing in 2009 along with a whole lot of other people out there, we were really scared.  We had three teenagers and no work.  We did eight farmers markets a week and really hustled.  That fall we were getting nervous as to how we were going to make it and it was a beautiful sight to see that building come up for rent.  I felt bad for the jeweler that was leaving just as the antique store owner felt bad for me as I was leaving but we were all happy to have that little shop!

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Now the dream begins again.  Doug has a steady job now and our children have grown.  The shop represents a central place for me.  I attempted to be a community herbalist from home but folks don’t always know where I live!  Every day the community will need to retrieve their mail from the post office, grab their cups of coffee, get their dogs groomed, pick up their healthy food, and visit the Mexican restaurant for margaritas.  In that same central location the White Wolf Medicine shop will welcome the community.

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When I was on Main street there was a shop down the street called the Karma Cottage.  The proprietor’s name was Katie, which in a small town did cause a bit of confusion.  Folks came in to my shop to sign up for palm reading classes and into hers for hormone medicine.  She moved to Florida and her shop was missed, just as mine was.  I hope to incorporate a little of both of our shops to meet the needs of the community.  I will be putting together little bags of specially blended smudging herbs that I have harvested for praying and ceremony.  I will invite a few folks in to do readings that I KNOW are not quacks.  No woohoo scams here.  I will have my friend who makes the most beautiful dream catchers and handmade Native inspired jewelry to make his work in the shop.  I would love to have a community artist wall.  I will hold my herbalist classes there.  I will customize every single medicine to the person asking for it.  We will carry Margie and Ursula’s Garden Fairy Apothecary.

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Margie had the brilliant idea for me to have available samples of various herbal tea blends.  So each week I will have a pot of tea that helps with a physical ailment or tonic, one that helps with spiritual needs, like a broken heart, and one that is just for fun, say like Chai.  We need comfy chairs and places to read so that people feel comfortable coming in for a cup of complimentary tea and a visit.

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Each herb will have its English name as well as its Cherokee name.  I want this to be a lesson for homeschoolers as well.  I dream of parents bringing their kids in and see the various plants, how they are made into medicine, let them blend their own teas, see the Cherokee language and how to pronounce the words, color a picture, or sign up for a class.  I truly want to meet the needs of the community here.  And when I say community, I mean anyone that feels the desire to come visit the store.  I have learned from this blog that my community expands pretty far!

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There is an office in back to make products.  There is everything I need.  The medicines will be done October 13th so that will be my first day open.  I will have a huge grand opening party Saturday, October 17th.

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My little shop is without furniture or money for paint or décor.  Anyone that has a bookshelf, small hutch, a dresser, a few comfy chairs, a side table, a counter, a small round table, or long folding tables, or money for paint or time to help me paint will be rewarded with a huge holiday party and dinner thrown in their honor!

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I know this will all come together beautifully.  Every door has just flown open on this venture.  I look forward to sharing a cup of tea with you!

The No Farm School (what is next?)

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The third era.  The third year.  I have been thinking about this blog.  I started it because I love to write.  I have filled dozens and dozens of notebooks in my life of thoughts, ideas, rants, rejoices, to-do lists, plans, and prayers.  The blog is a more public journal but one I don’t mind sharing.  Farmgirl School was such a fitting name.  I was going through farming 101 in life and as I wrote it I learned so much with the encouragement and ideas from readers.

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A year ago this week we moved to what we thought would be our possible forever farm, but of course it was a detour.  Sometimes life does that, teaches you lessons when you would rather it not.  I walked away from my greatest gift.  I am a good writer.  I am an excellent dancer.  But I AM an herbalist, a medicine keeper, a plant healer.  I possess the knowledge of my ancestors, things I knew that I didn’t know how I knew, passed down and that should be put to use.  More important than dancing or writing even.

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I love growing my own food, but I also love finding wild foods.  I loved having livestock, but the kitties are good too.  I love living simply.  I learned the hard way that one can really never be self sufficient and I spiraled back quickly into total dependence on my community and my friends.  I still continue to learn.

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A couple offered to carry a note on a house for us but then with nary a full text disappeared and we haven’t heard from them since!  Every step leading us back to where we are best suited.  In nature, living simply, with a community apothecary.

I considered not writing anymore since I do not have a farm per se.  But, I decided that even though I don’t have a farm, the real idea behind this blog was to write and record.  So, the name doesn’t fit (perhaps it will again in the future!) but I am still here writing.  Maybe it would be better suited as Grammie School, or Herbal School, or the like.  Who knows!

I suppose I will lose some readers because I am not canning, gardening, milking, or much else but making medicine right now, but I am still alive and following a very interesting journey.  Those of you that are sticking around, I’ll see you in the pages to come!  I think it is going to get interesting.

White Wolf Medicine (a new apothecary coming to Elizabeth)

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I could say that I wish that I hadn’t closed my shop on Main Street.  The Garden Fairy Apothecary was a quaint and charming shop that stood proud for three years before I decided to move the whole thing to the mini-farm we had seven miles away.  At the same time a gal in Elbert who had a large antique shop found herself praying for a new place due to needing to move immediately.  Her shop could not look cuter inside our old store. And I cannot regret because that was all part of the journey.

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Folks continued to find me alright and I happily farmed and grew herbs and made medicines.  The landlords couldn’t afford the house anymore and it belongs to the bank now.  We had to move and that was when we made the dreadful error of moving to the last place.  People couldn’t find me anymore and I grew weary of just sending mail ordered medicines.  I sold the company to my friend, whom I live with presently, and she and her friend love mail order and those that want their old medicines that are the same all of the time order regularly.

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When we lost everything and had to leave that place I wondered if I was done.  Done farming, done teaching, done with herbs.  I gave the stack of my notes that I have kept for the past seven years, recipes, ideas, formulations, to a friend of mine. (She recently gave them back!) Left with re-piecing one’s life there is only room to think of what is very most important.  It is interesting to see what comes forth.

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I figured I wasn’t needed anymore.  I had students opening apothecaries all over the state and many still ordered from Garden Fairy.  When in the dark, the glimmers of reality are bright.  Not everyone can do what I do.  In fact, herbalism is not just something I do, it is a part of who I am.  I AM an herbalist, a medicine keeper, and I needed that reality to reignite what I do.

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People were/are still asking for medicines and I wanted to create a new apothecary that reflected knowledge that I didn’t have when I first started.  I wanted medicines that could be taken by most anyone.  Something that could be blended for each individual that walks in the door.  Something potent and effective and safe and beautiful.  Apple cider vinegar and honey extracts brew jovially in the sun.  Dozens of herbs waiting to be placed in jars for teas and fomentations.  Salve ideas, creams, decorations dance through my mind.

It would have been nice to have a shop on the same property as the home but perhaps a shop among other shops works better for people to find it.  A place where people know where they can come, even if I have to move, the shop itself will stay put.

So, I have some calls out and am looking for the place.  My mom and dad are going to help out.  My daughter’s boyfriend’s dog is a natural model for the logo.  Doug will complete the logo this week on photoshop but his sweet face works great for now.  The name chosen and confirmed.

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I woke up at dawn of the new moon, met the sun, prayed, did ceremony, and began to create.

Our new website: http://WhiteWolfHerbs.com

Our new facebook: http://Facebook.com/WhiteWolfMedicine

The Medicine Gatherer and The White Wolf

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I will be participating in an art show October 2nd-4th and wanted to get a few more paintings done.  One never knows what the artwork will look like at the end.  It is a creation of its own and I always look forward to seeing what comes to life on the canvas.

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I started by using the frame of my beautiful friend, Tabby, who was recently married.

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And from there the medicine gatherer came to life.

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If this painting doesn’t sell at the art show it will be hanging in my new shop.  A name was chosen.  Doug thought The Farmgirl Store but I imagined that folks would come in expecting alpaca yarn and zucchini.  I had thought of The White Wolf but then didn’t think too much about it until the next day.  I was recording memories and ceremonies for a very good friend of mine who said, “What do you think about calling it The White Wolf?”

The Things that Form Us (and weaving them into life)

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The Holly Hobby lunch box stood behind the vendor whispering.  She whispered of kindergarten, and my old Holly Hobby book, and my favorite quilt pattern.  Of coloring books and the bonnet I still have that my grandmother sewed for me on my fifth birthday.

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“Will you take $10?” I asked meekly.  With a silent question to her partner and a nod she smiled and handed me the lunch box.  I began to cry, which surprised me, but the rush of childhood and innocence and fresh beginnings so moved me at that moment.

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Looking at her dress and apron and her early influence on my life, is she the reason I have such a love for pioneers and the old fashioned?

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Up until my twenties I had never heard that I was possibly Native American.  It wasn’t until I became an herbalist that I started searching for that link. Where does my odd clairvoyance come from?  Where does my innate knowledge of plant medicines come from?  I know now it comes from both sides.  I need to find help to break my genealogy addiction!  I was excited to see that I am the granddaughter of a Cherokee chief but I am not sure what role that plays in my present life!  Is the knowledge and personalities, just as DNA, passed through our grandmothers and grandfathers into us?  That would seem as probable as getting blond hair from a relative through DNA.  Everything that goes into forming us is so complex and fascinating.  Through this journey we became involved in a wonderful Native community and place where both of us can worship.  We have made great friends and I have been honored with their trust of my plant medicines.

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Now standing looking out on the next chapter of our life, literally building each piece from scratch, it is easy to see what parts of us we want to use to create the next step of our life.  Choosing a job, Doug made the decision to not pursue the IT field and go for something different.  He has his third interview with Starbucks as a shift supervisor tomorrow.  If you know Doug, he is very talented in the computer field but he really thrives around coffee and customers.  He is happy and easy going and with benefits and a steady paycheck he will do great and create a fun environment for others working there too.

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I know my calling and I cannot wait to get a little shop open so that folks can find me.  A lot of people thought we disappeared when we left for Calhan and a lot of people have expressed excitement that I will be making medicines and being in one place where people can easily come for help.  We had our second showing on the house yesterday.  Everything is moving forward and as we build our life, we will incorporate gardens, and herbs, and art, simple living, and community.  For community has formed us too.