Posted in Herbal Remedies, Uncategorized

Making Your Own Herbal Medicines (and why they work better than anything pharmaceutical or in the health food store)

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Would you like to improve your health and not have to go to the doctor every time you get sick or injured?  Would you like to take the fear out of becoming ill?  Would you like to not worry about side effects ever again?  This sounds like an infomercial.  But, these are not empty promises.  Once you start working with herbs, it is hard to go back to medicines with warnings that are scarier than a horror movie.  Even the over the counter drugs are deadly.

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Many folks have tried herbal supplements from the store with varying degrees of success.  “I have tried black cohosh, it didn’t work.” or “I tried Gingko but it gave me paralysis in my right leg.”  The biggest part of my job is not making medicines, but educating.  The herbs in the store are half dead, folks.  If you shove three leaves of something with a bunch of additives into a pill, it isn’t going to work, or at least to its full potential.  How old are those herbs?  How long have they been sitting on the shelf?  And herbs cannot hurt you.  The herbs that are used to make medicines cannot hurt you.

bottles

Tinctures in the health food store are made of 20% extract and 80% glycerin and water.  Why?  Because one can get a lot more product from one vat of extract and it improves the taste.  It also lessens the benefit.  Why waste your time and money?  When people try my medicines for the first time, they are amazed.  Just last week a gentleman bought the Diabetes medicine from me, a bit skeptical, but what the heck he says, and it lowered his numbers in twenty minutes.  The reason is because I don’t cut mine with anything.  I brew these things up to their full potential.  Put them in the full moon for maximum frequency change (just like female cycles, ocean waves, biodynamic farming, the moon changes the frequency of the medicines to match our bodies) and I baby the herbs before they started their job.  Each batch is hand made.  And there is no “herbs take two weeks to start working in the body” here.  Same day.  Now, I’d be so happy if you purchased medicines from me (http://gardenfairyherbal.com), however, I would also like to see you all empowered and whipping up remedies for your friends and family and helping to change the idea that herbs are not as strong as pharmaceutical medicines.  Not true.

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The other thing we have to fight against is myths surrounding herbs.  Herbs are very safe, folks.  I am not going to encourage you to wild craft hemlock or poisonous mushrooms.  You will start out by purchasing herbs from a reputable herb grower like Mountain Rose Herbs and they will not sell you something poisonous.  Neither will a reputable herbalist.  We have no reason to poison people!  So, now that we have established that Gingko does not cause paralysis, (I swear, if a person even stubs their toe while taking an herb, they blame the plant.  Herbs do not harm.  They are God’s medicine made specifically for your body.  The pharmaceuticals were not.  They are only in existence for profit.) let’s learn how to make some medicines.

tea cup

Infusion

An infusion is tea.  A nice cup of tea.  The recipe for this is 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water and let brew for 4 minutes.

Infusions are typically made from herbs that are easy to brew.  A thick bark or root would need to be boiled longer, about forty minutes should you need to do so.  Mint leaves, chamomile, and a thin slice of ginger would get rid of heartburn in minutes.  Catnip, chamomile, and skullcap would help someone relax enough to sleep.  St. John’s Wort, borage, and rose petals will help stop a panic attack but also stop the blues.  You could blend herbs and use 1 or 2 (I like mine a little stronger) teaspoons in a tea strainer to make the tea or just use single herbs like lemon verbena or thin shavings of willow bark.

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Extract

An extract is herbs that have had their medicinal benefits extracted in alcohol.  Have you ever made a plum cordial or chokecherry liqueur?  Same concept.  The alcohol takes on the flavors (unfortunately in the case of some herbs!) and medicinal benefits of the plants that are sitting in the booze.  Place 1 part plants (dried or fresh) and 4 parts alcohol (not Everclear!  Use Vodka, Gin, Rum, Brandy or the like) in a canning jar.  Sit this in the window sill for 3 days.  Shake, admire, take pictures, these things are gorgeous!  Sit out of the sun (but not necessarily in the dark).  Then on the full moon put it back in the window sill.  Letting it brew for 4 weeks is great.  It is ready after 2.  A dosage is 1/2 teaspoon for tonics (brain stimulants, energy, heart tonics, daily herbals…) and 1 teaspoon for sleep medicines, mild pain, etc., and upwards of a tablespoon for severe pain.  You don’t have to worry about overdosing and even small children can take this, just halve their dosage.

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Syrup

One could make syrup out of lots of things but let’s do a syrup from honey.  Put 1 part dried herbs to 2 parts honey in a sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat for twenty minutes shaking pan regularly to mix and keep from burning.  When this is done you will see that the herbs are drenched in honey and softened, the color of the honey may have changed, and you can smell the herbs.  Strain.  Now, to make it a syrup, just cut it with a little apple cider vinegar or brandy.  Or leave it the way it is and put in tea.

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You have the ability to heal up your own self and family with the help of medicines that have been around before we were even!  Have faith in what nature has provided.  We have even helped heal broken bones in two weeks, helped get rid of staph infections in one day, helped keep cancer at bay.  Are you interested in becoming an herbalist?  I have a school for those of you that want to take this further.  Correspondence courses are available as well.  But, in the meantime, for all of us, we can simply make a nice cup of tea, an extract, or a syrup with great ease and effectiveness.

Posted in Farming

Victory Gardens (and beating Monsanto ourselves)

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I wonder if most people understand the dire consequences of a bill signed by our president last week.  A bill that protects Monsanto from all law suits, present and future, from any claims that their products causes serious health problems, even death.  Research shows it does and every other country in the world has banned them.  Why, I ask, would the president protect this company in particular?  Of course we know the answer, money, and the money from Monsanto haunts the halls of Congress and the White House.

That is sad that the American people, who are by and large against genetically modified crops, did not have a voice despite Marches against Monsanto across the country, and that our health, our children’s health, and definitely our grandchildren’s health is going to be sacrificed for a few bucks.  It feels overwhelming and devastating.

Is there anything we can do?  Is there any way to beat big business at its own game?  Not directly, but indirectly perhaps.  I think of all the convenience food my grown children eat daily, fast food, and supposedly healthy boxes of dinners.  The effect that will be having on them.  The effects on my granddaughter Maryjane’s new organs and system.  I cannot change the world, indeed I may not be able to change my children’s worlds, but I can work within my own boundaries and possibly inspire or help folks around me and maybe help my children start gardens when they get into their own houses, or at least let them come raid the root cellar and my gardens.  So what can we do?

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This is war.  Not war in the sense of World War II but war against the people all the same.  In the time of WWII, Victory Gardens were the answer.  Victory Gardens provided sustenance against insecurity and fear.  It provided healthy food, grown from seed, from back door to table.  Back yard chickens provided eggs and meat.  Grains stored so that fresh bread could be made.  Sugar and other items that were experiencing a shortage were creatively replaced.  The housewives of the 1930’s and 40’s fought for their families and protected them by ensuring food was in the back yard.  We can do the same.

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Steps to Winning the War Against Monsanto and Protecting Your Family

1. Grow a garden.  Be it in pots, 5 gallon buckets, the front yard, the back yard, the side yard, or at a community garden.

If you cannot grow a garden where you are at, or do not have the energy to have one, support someone that does.  Small farms are dotting the landscape and more and more new farmers are coming on the scene, particularly women.  They are all around you.  Check the farmer’s markets or ask around.

Not all farms are the same.  The big farms at the farmers market ship in produce this early in the season.  Is it organic?  Where did it come from?  Particularly corn.  That will protect you from the GMO’s but the pesticide free is very important as well.  Pesticide use is at an all time high and the residual is in the structure of the food.  You can’t wash it off.  Find a pesticide free farmer.  Local.  Small.  Eat in season.

Go in with a friend.  Do you have a friend that gardens?  Can they plant a row for you in exchange for something you create?  Or can you buy excess produce from a friend?

If all else fails, buy from the health food store and make sure it is organic!

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2. Get back yard chickens.  If you are allowed, get them.  You will not regret this most amazing, local protein source and classic entertainment.  Eggs have a million uses and if one chose, the meat could be harvested every few years.

If  you cannot have back yard chickens, find someone that is allowed to.  It is actually very easy to find someone to raise your livestock for you.  Farmsteaders are happy to share what they know and to help out city folks.

If all else fails, buy organic meat from the health food store.

3. Get a Milk Share or A Goat. Nothing tastes better than a cold glass of chocolate milk after watering the garden.  Raw milk is better for you than pasteurized.  It contains valuable enzymes and nutrients that are destroyed in pasteurization.

4. Avoid boxes at all costs.  Inside them lurks, not only every genetically modified ingredient known to man, but they are basically nutrient deplete, and unrecognizable to the body.

If you must use a box of something, make sure it is organic.

5. Make your own food.  This may seem impossible to a lot of people.  It does take time to make everything homemade, but not that much more time.  Make time.  A television show less and you could have a day’s worth of food pre-made if you needed to.  The time it takes to eat out could be spent in the kitchen.  Fast food on a farmstead is salad, boiled corn (organic of course!), fried fish, I mean seriously folks,  it really doesn’t take that long to cook dinner.  Pre-make breakfasts and plan lunches and bake bread on Sundays.

6. It doesn’t cost more to be organic.  Trust me on this one.  Yes, the individual prices of the vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meats, and grains are a smidge higher than at Walmart.  However, you are saving money by not eating out, by not buying prepackaged meals, by not buying boxes, soft drinks, etc.  The grocery bill may even look a little lighter!

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Do it yourself.  Support someone local to do it for you.  Only eat organically.  Store food for winter.  Watch many of your diseases fall away.  And protect yourself in the future.  We can have the last laugh.