How to Heal Wounds; the Wise Farmgirl’s Pharmacy

Booboo is our oldest cat in the house right now.  He is in his second generation of kids.  He waits excitedly by the door if Maryjane arrives.  When Booboo was a kitten, our son Andrew trained him to run to his room if he played Bob Marley.  Booboo walked around sporting a tiny Jamaican hat with fake dreadlocks.  This kitty is beloved.  Apparently not so much to our young cat.

Chuck wants to be king, apparently.  Who can really understand cats?  I wonder why they are my favorite animals sometimes with all their ferocity and claws.  Or teeth, in this case.

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The night before last, we turned out the light and Booboo jumped on the bed and curled up between us as always.  We noticed a horrible smell and he was suckling madly in the dark.  We turned on the lights and noticed that he had two very defined bite marks on his hip.  Deep, about a quarter inch, and oozing with puss and infection.

These are the times I am grateful to be an herbalist.  Not much throws me.  I grabbed the wound healer, and using a dropper, applied it into the wounds.

Yesterday morning the puss was gone but the smell was there and I could see the muscle tissue in his leg.  (Chuck is grounded, by the way, and may very well become the shop cat at our new store!)  I went out to the garden and harvested calendula, yarrow, echinacea, and comfrey.  Calendula, echinacea, and yarrow are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and are natural blood cleansers and antibiotics.  Comfrey could honest to god heal the world.  It binds tissues and bones and heals quickly.  I placed these into a wide mouth pint jar with 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt and poured boiling water over the tea.  That sat and brewed for about an hour.  I left a little room to add cooler water to make it temperate.  Once it was cool, it was ready.

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Booboo was certainly a good sport and let me squeeze the fomentation into the wounds using a flat cotton pad.  I added the wound healer again.  The wound healer was used that morning as well.  A repeat application of tea and wound healer was given again last night.  This morning it looks clean and on the mend.  He will get the same treatment today and I have no doubt that by tomorrow morning he will be nearly healed.

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It is always wise to have herbs on hand to make fomentations (a tea you put on topically) or infusions (a tea you take internally for medicinal purposes), but a good wound healer can save the day.  We have used it when Doug cut his finger down to the bone with a hatchet.  We have used it for burns from the wood cook stove.  We have used it for every cut or wound.  It replaces stitches, kills infection, and helps the body heal itself quickly.  It also helps with pain.

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First start with a base.  This is an extract.  In a pint jar, fill 20% with herbs like the ones listed above and top with vodka.  Leave in the window for two weeks.  Pour some of the finished extract into a half-pint jar, about 1/4 full.  Fill the jar with filtered water.  This is your diluted base for wound healer.  (Believe me, you need to cut it.)  In a 4 ounce jelly jar, combine 1 part finished, diluted base and 1 part aloe vera gel.  (Please make sure it is actually aloe vera gel!  You’d be surprised what they put in cheap aloe vera.  You should opt for the bottle that is nearly 100% aloe vera gel with a small percentage of preservative.  Otherwise it will rot too quickly.)  I like to add about 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of lavender.

There you go!  You are ready to take on cat bites, sunburn, cuts, boils, and battle wounds from the garden or kitchen.  This is a great addition to your homestead pharmacy!

For more recipes and to build your own homestead pharmacy, click HERE to check out my book, “The Homesteader’s Pharmacy” on Amazon.

 

Growing Comfrey (and all its benefits)

 

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I have great friends who let me learn from them and dig up their yards.  Sandy let me come over and dig up another comfrey plant because the garden center didn’t have them in yet at the time.  I dug around the base in a wide girth so that the plant didn’t know it was going anywhere.  I plopped the whole mass into a three gallon bucket and off he went.  I had joked with Sandy that I was going to plant it in the community garden.  She questioned my morals.  Comfrey will spread everywhere y’all, and you won’t have friends at the garden if you do that.  It stayed on my balcony and is thriving in its bucket!  I will get it in new cushy digs today so that it can spread out at its leisure and the tap root can get nice and long.  I have a great love affair with comfrey.

There was a study done in the seventies with a very small handful of people who all had liver issues.  The study concluded that comfrey harmed the liver.  Now, anytime I hear “studies prove” I question, who put on the study?  (Big pharma in this case) How many participants? (12)  Why would this plant not be recommended by the FDA? (It kills cancer.  Quick.) hmm.

The variety we use isn’t even the same one that was viewed in the study (still not recommended by the FDA), this is a hybridized version but its benefits are still there and continue to astound me as a plant medicine healer.

#1 It can kill cancer, inside and out.

#2 It can heal up broken bones (even severe) in two weeks.  It is stellar when it comes to healing the skeletal system.  Ligaments, bones, muscles, and tendons respond to the healing properties of comfrey very quickly.

#3 It is a garden hero.  In my permaculture class it was a major highlight in gardens.  The tap root aerates the soil, the large leaves can be cut and placed under large plants to add nutrients to the soil and to smother weeds.  My friend, Lisa, sent me an article on turning the comfrey into liquid fertilizer.

So many amazing uses, one unsuspecting plant.

How to Make a Topical Cancer Oil

Combine in a half pint jar 1 part dried comfrey, 1 part dried red clover to 3 parts olive oil.  Loosely add lid and place in sun for two weeks.  Add a teaspoon of frankincense essential oil.  No need to strain.  Shake well.  Apply to suspicious or known spots twice daily.  This oil can be applied to abrasions, bug bites, sunburn, any skin issue for quick relief!  Label and store in the cupboard.  Stays good for over a year.

(I wrote another article on comfrey three years ago.  Click here to read!)

 

 

Farmacy #1- Comfrey

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“Ginger scared me when I went out there.  She looked like she was dead, but perked up when I picked her up,” Doug said.  He thought she was cold.  The fifty plus degree drop in temperature was making the chicks bundle together, a pile of feathers and beaks.  “You better check on them when you get home,” he recommended in his chicken Daddy worry tone.

I went out and did a head count, all seemed well, except that Ginger was missing.  I found her behind an empty feed sack.  So little and helpless, lying there in the cold.  I picked her up and saw the damage.  Someone got her.  One or more of the chickens had relieved her of her feathers and most of the skin on the back of her neck.  A bare ligament stared exposed.

I swooped her up and brought her indoors.  She was shaking and her neck was cocked to the side.  The smell let me know it was getting infected and the way she laid down on the towels in the bathroom with little strength left me questioning her ability to survive this.

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I called Doug and rushed to my shop.  (Which brings me to the conclusion that my next homestead needs to have the apothecary gear right next to the house!)  He had already prepared a topical tea (called a fomentation) to use as a compress.  He used dried comfrey leaves, arnica, calendula, and chamomile.  About a teaspoon of each in an 8 oz. canning jar and had poured boiling water over it.  He capped it and it was ready to use by the time I made it back home.  I used a round cotton pad to seep up the tea and placed it on her exposed, raw neck.  Poor baby.  It just wasn’t looking good.

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A bit later I brought out my other amazing remedy (I have used this in place of stitches and it makes other antibiotic ointments look kind of useless.), my Wound Healer.  It is my own mixture of aloe vera, homemade witch hazel, tea tree and lavender essential oils and arnica.  I keep it in a dropper bottle to apply easier.  I dropped the cooling mixture all over her neck and said a prayer.

The night before last we noted that Frankie, our orange tabby, was looking a bit like a pirate.  His eye was squinted and he obviously had the signs of conjunctivitis, which is pretty simply an eye infection.  Off I sent Doug to the shop (10 feet away from the next homestead, I tell you!) in the next town and he returned with my recipe for eye wash.  It gets rid of eye infections very quickly.  A mixture of 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, eye bright, goldenseal, comfrey, and calendula and 1/2 cup of boiling water, this packs a punch for human or animal eye infections.  He is looking at us with both eyes open now.

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Ignoring all the other herbs I used above, all you would really need is comfrey.  It is easy to grow on any homestead and spreads beautifully so you have plenty dried for the winter.  It has also been known as Bone Heal and we have seen it heal up bones in two weeks in people and animals multiple times!  Definitely a staple on any homestead, city or otherwise!

I don’t know what kind of jerk shoots cats, but Nancy’s cat, Pumpkin, came home with a bullet hole through his ankle.  Instead of the costly trip to the vet, Faleena and Nancy used their training from my classes and went to work with comfrey compresses.  He is almost completely healed and putting weight on the back leg now.  You would never know anything happened to his cute little ankle!

Simply prepare comfrey as you would a tea with 2 teaspoons per 1 cup of boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes, cool before using.  You could also place 1 cup of comfrey into a quart canning jar and cover it in vodka.  Let steep for 4 weeks and you have an instant bone and tissue liniment that can be applied with an old rag, a cotton ball, or my favorite, soak an old sock and tie it on.

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Ginger is doing so much better this morning.  It’s been less than twenty-four hours and the wound looks like it is healing up nicely.  She is eating and drinking.  She enjoyed sitting on my lap while I typed for awhile but is now eating breakfast…again.

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Our shop website is now http://whitewolfherbs.com