Herbal Medicine

Learn how to make natural remedies & explore traditional herbal practices as we dive more into learning about different supportive plants.

LESSON 1: Herbal Energetics

Chamomile

Chamomile is slightly cooling & slightly drying as a nervins, bitter, anti-inflammatory, disphoretic, antispasmodic, carminative, antimicrobial

Stinging Nettle

Cooling & drying as a nutritive, astringent, anti-inflammatory & a diuretic support

Calendula

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, & a vulnerary

Lavendar

warming with antimicrobial, aromatic, nervine, antifungal & carminative qualities

Rosemary

Warming & drying with nervine, antimicrobial, aromatic, carminative, stimulating circulatory system & antioxidant qualities

Dandelion

Cooling & drying with leaves that are bitter, diuretic, nutritious & hepatic (supports the liver) while her roots hold the same support as the leaves but also are a mild laxative, blood nurturing & a prebiotic (high in inulin)

Milk Thistle

Neutral Energy - Neutralizes toxins, inflammation modulating, hepato protective cholerectic & cholagogue

Chickweed

Moistening & cooling with its vulnerary, diuretic, nutritive, demulcent, lymphatic, anti-inflammatory & an expectorant properties

Lemon Balm

Cooling & slightly drying & may bring support to frazzled nerves, anxiousness, depression, digestion, seasonal disorder, colic, herpes, insomnia, cognitive health, heart palpitations, spasmodic coughing, inflammation

Yarrow

Harmonizing energey. Bring balance - Astringent, diuretic, diaphorectic & antiseptic

Motherwart

Cooling & drying as a nervine, cardiotonic, antispasmodic, anxiolytic (reduces anxiety) & an emmenagogue.

California Poppy

Antidepressant, sedative, nervine, anxiolytic (reduces anxiety) & a painkiller

Rose

Cooling energy - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, astringent, nervine & analgesic

Elder

Cooling & drying with her flowers & berries being composed of nervine, diuretic (lower blood pressure), immune enhancing, antiviral & diaphorectic (includes sweating) properties

Spearmint

Cooling and high in antioxidants. Can alleviate symptons of toothache, gas, nausea, cramps, headaches and sore threat

AYURVEDA Test

Match your unique energy to the energy of different herbs.

Vata (Air) - Elements of space, runs cold & windy

Pitta (Fire & Water) - elements of heat, runs warm

Kapha (Earth & Water) - elements of steadiness, runs smooth & stable

Opposites create balance. Example: Peppermint + Ginger

Cooling herbs

Clears infections & used as a sedatiive

Dandelion Root

Chickweed

Motherwort

Lavendar

Milk Thristle

Spearmint

Drying herbs

Used as a diuretic and astringent

Dandelion Leaf

Nettles

Chamomile

Yarrow

Calendula

Rose

Warming Herbs

Increases circulation and decreases pain.

Chickweed

Milk Thistle

Damp herbs

Soothes irritations and is mucilaginous.

Chickweed

Milk Thistle

Talk the herbal verbal

Vulnerary - Wound healer (Calendula, Aloe, Plantain, Turmeric & Chamomile)

Cardio Tonic Herbs - Support heart function (Motherwort & Rose)

Bitters - Help digestion (Dandelion leaf, Yarrow, & Chamomile)

Carminatives - Gas & Bloating (Ginger & Chamomile)

Demulcent - Soothe hot & irritated tissues *dry cough, sunburn, sore throat, etc *Mucilaginous (Chickweed)

Immunomodulating - Encourages the Immune System (Elderberry, Holy Basil/Tulsi, Shitake, Astragalus)

Anti-Inflammatory - Reduce inflammation (Turmeric, Ginger, Paprika, Chickweed, Lavender, & Plantain)

Antimicrobial - Fight against bacteria, viral, & fungal infections (Elderberry, Yarrow, Garlic, & Rosemary)

Adaptogen Herbs - Taken over time to build resiliency to handle stress (Holy Basil/Tulsi)

Emmenagogue - Promotes menstruation *AVOID IF PREGNANT (Motherwort, Ginger, Yarrow, & Parsley)

Nervine - Alters the nervous system (California Poppy, Milky Oats, Chamomile, Lavender, & Lemon Balm)

Antispasmodic - To relieve cramping muscles (California Poppy, Motherwort, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, & Ginger)

Astrigent - Tones & tightens tissue *Diarrhea or sore throat etc (Rose Yarrow, & Sage)

Diaphoretic - 2 different camps: Relaxing (Chamomile & Yarrow) or Stimulating (Ginger & Yarrow) to support during a fever

Identifying

Best to properly spot while herb is in flower, which will give a more successful determination of who is who out in the wild. Then watch her year-round before consuming to make sure you have positively picked her out.

Warning: Some plants may have hazardous interactions with certain medications. Don't eat something if you don't know what it is.

Opposite Leaves

Oval/Egg-shaped leaves with Rosette Formation

Alternating Leaves

Bi-Pinnately Compound Leaves

Medicine making

Water, vinegar, oil, alcohol, honey & glycerin are called a solvent if they are extracting medicinal compounds from herbs. A solvent is called a menstruum when creating a tincture.

Tincture

Olive Oil

Lesson wrap up (activity)

Water, vinegar, oil, alcohol, honey & glycerin are called a solvent if they are extracting medicinal compounds from herbs. A solvent is called a menstruum when creating a tincture.

  1. Meet herbs, learn herbal energetics & understand your dominate Dosha
  2. Plant & grow Calendula to give in gratitude to someone who you appreciate
  3. Include everyone in a picnic-bringing an item from nature to share (Tea-Fruit-Vegetable) *Learn an herbal salad recipe
  4. Adapt by reaching for alternative medicine in making & having on hand Chickweed Salve
  5. Curiously sample different herbal teas
  6. Master an understanding of a single herb & share you knowledge

Additional Resources

Energetic System of Herbal Medicine by David Winston

Don't Eat Something If You Don't Know What It Is

LESSON 2: Calendula

Calendula
Calendula officinalis
Asteraceae

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, & antivulnerary

This medicinal food prefers sun to slight shade. Calendula is one of our easy to grow herbs. The more you take, the more she gives.

beautiful yellow calendula flowers
group of calendula flower heads on display
close up of a beautiful red calendula flower

Calendula has multi-dimensional properties and can bring gentle healing to:

1. Cold Sores
2. Radiation Skin Damage
3. Bee Stings
4. Diaper Rash
5. Swelling
6. Weak Immune System
7. Eczema
8. Chickenpox
9. Dandruff
10. Sunburns
11. Wounds
12. Bruises
13. Razor Rash
14. Burns
15. Leaky Gut
16. Cradle Cap
17. Digestion
18. Liver Support
19. Pink Eye
20. Gum Disease

Calendula resin is best extracted with oil or alcohol, giving anti-microbial support during fungal or bacterial infections. With her wide range of chemical constituents and edible flowers, she can promote skin hydration, increase collagen production, and support the liver.

Calendula's polysaccharides are best extracted with water, giving us energy and restoration to internal wounds.

LESSON 3: Tea Time

tea leaves
tea leaves plucked and on display
close up of tea leaves

Stinging Nettle
The seeds, roots, and leaves all have medicinal value.

  • Nutritive
  • Astringent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Diuretic
  • Kidney support (seeds)
  • Promotes breast-milk production
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Arthritic
  • Prostate support (root)

Stinging Nettle contains solid amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Chlorophyll, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, and Calcium.

plucked dandelion leaves on display
dandelion's in a garden

Dandelion
Leaves - bitter, diuretic, nutritious, and hepatic (supports the liver)
Leaves help with:

  • Arthritis
  • Lower blood pressure
  • UTI prevention
  • Iron deficiency

Roots - same support as the leaves but also a mild laxative, blood nurturing, and a prebiotic.
Root helps with:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Skin supporting (hives, acne, eczema, psoriasis)
chamomile flowers on display
chamomile flower heads plucked and on display
chamomile flowers planted in a garden

Chamomile
Nervine, bitter, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, carminative, antimicrobial, and an emmenagogue.

Helps with:

  • Soothing
  • Digestion
  • Sleep aid
  • Treating skin irritations

Deliverable: Brewing Tea

  1. Pour 6oz of boiling water over 1 tsp of herb
  2. Cover mug to keep aromatics inside
  3. Let tea brew for 10-15 minutes before drinking
jars and bags of herbs for brewing tea
jars and bags of dry tea ready for brewing

LESSON 4: Rosemary, Dandelion, Lavender

piece of lavendar on display

Lavender

  • Warming
  • Antimicrobial, aromatic, nervine, antifungal, & a carminative
  • Helps with: sleep, pain, bug repellant, headaches, infections, cuts, bites, burns, sadness, anxiety
pieces of rosemary on display

Rosemary

  • Warming & Drying
  • Nervine, antimicrobial, aromatic, carminative, stimulates circulatory system, & an antioxident
  • Helps with: preserving food, memory stimulation, protecting skin, thickening hair, digestion, cold/flu, & fungal infections
pieces of dandelion on display

Dandelion

Leaves:

  • Bitter, diuretic, nutritious, & hepatic (supports the liver)
  • Helps with: arthritis, lower blood pressure, help prevent UTIs

Roots:

  • Same support as the leaves but also a mild laxative, blood nurturing, & a prebiotic (high in inulin)
  • Helps with: chronic constipation, hives, acne, eczema, psoriasis, kidney stones, & iron deficiency

Salad Dressing

1/4 Cup Dry Lavender

2 Tablespoons Dry Rosemary

1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Place in sterilized jar

Screw on plastic lid

Shake daily for 4 weeks

Then strain herbs with a cheese cloth

Make Dressing:

1/2 Cup or more Herbal Vinegar

3/4 Cup or less Olive Oil

Juice from one or two lemons

Sea Salt

homemade salad dressing in a jar on display

LESSON 5: Chickweed

close up of chickweed plants
chickweed plants on display
chickweed plants laid out on display

Chickweed
Scientific Name: Stellaria media
Family: Caryophyllaceae

  • Vulnerary (heals wounds)
  • Diuretic (increase urine)
  • Nutritive
  • Demulcent (coats to relieve irritation from coughing
  • Lymphatic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Expectorant (clears mucus)

Medicinal Food:
When harvesting Chickweed for food, only take the tippy top. When harvesting for medicine, cut lower towards her base.

Medicinal benefits:

  • Iron Deficiency
  • Respiratory viruses
  • Dry lips/skin
  • Sore throats
  • Eczema
  • Laxative
  • Hacking dry cough
  • Rashes
  • Chicken pox
  • Psoriasis
  • Blood Cleanser
  • Acne
  • Kidney Support
  • Minor burns
  • Heartburn
  • Detoxify
  • Pink eye
  • Bug bites

Dangerous Lookalike: Scarlet Pimpernel

scarlet pimpernel on display
scarlet pimpernel close up

Chickweed, Calendula, Cleaver Salve

1/4C + 1T Herbal Infused Oil of choice
2T + 1t Beeswax
4T Shea Butter
1/2t Vitamin E
20 - 30 Drops of Essential Oil

*Infuse herbs in oil for 4-6 weeks

*Shake daily

*Strain with cheese cloth

*Over a double boiler, melt beeswax & add herbal infused oil

*Remove from heat

*Add in Vitamin E & drops of essential oil

*Pour into 5 1oz containers

chickweed, calendula, cleaver salve

LESSON 6: elder

elderberries, cinnamon, and ginger
elderflower

Elder
Scientific name: Sambucus
Family: Adoxaceae

  • Cooling and drying

Flower and berries help with:

  • Nervine
  • Diuretic (lowers blood pressure)
  • Immune enhancing
  • Antiviral
  • Diaphoretic (induce sweating)
  • Skin supportive
  • Improves vision
  • Shorten duration of sickness
  • Nutritious (potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C)

Elderflower Tea

2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup dried Elderflower
1 tablespoon dried Yarrow (leaf and flower)
1 tablespoon dried Peppermint or Spearmint
1 tablespoon Stevia leaves
1 tablespoon dried Rose hips

Cover for 15 minutes before sipping.

If a cold or flu hits, start drinking immediately to support the fever stages.

Elderberry Syrup

2/3 Cup Elderberries

3 1/2 Cups water
2 tablespoons fresh or dried ginger
2 tablespoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup honey
(Optional) a pinch of rose hips

Pour water into a medium sized pot and add Elderberries, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cloves (don't add the honey yet). Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to create just a simmer for about an hour... liquid will reduce by almost half. Remove from heat. Let it cool down enough to be handled. Pour through cheesecloth into a sterilized glass jar. Once slightly cooled, stir in the honey. Store in the fridge and take to boost your immune system - 1 teaspoon for kids and 1 tablespoon for adults. NOT FOR BABIES. Up your intake when sick!

elderberry syrup in a jar surrounded by elderberries

Elderberry syrup

rosehips on display

Rosehips

Heads up:
The bark, roots, leaves, and (in some individuals) the uncooked berries can cause vomiting.

LESSON 7: Support with anxiety & depression

motherwort plant on display

Motherwort

california poppy on display

California Poppy

wild oats on display

Wild Oats

lemon balm leaves on display

Lemon Balm

Motherwort

Motherwort
Scientific name: Leonurus cardiaca
Family: Lamiaceae

  • Cooling and drying
  • Nervine
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anodyne (painkiller)
  • Bitter
  • Diuretic
  • Anxiolytic (reduces anxiety)
  • Emmenagogue

Helps with:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Hormonal agitation
  • Insomnia

Motherwort is better as a tincture than a tea because of her bitter taste.

California Poppy

California Poppy
Scientific name: Eschscholzia californica
Family: Papaveraceae

  • Antidepressant
  • Sedative
  • Nervine
  • Anxiolytic (reduces anxiety)
  • Painkiller

Helps with:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • ADHD
  • Teething/toothaches
  • Coughing
  • Cramps
  • Colicky infants
  • Headaches
  • Painful muscles

Harvest roots, flowers, and leaves during full bloom. Consume young leaves in salad.

Combine with Milky Oats and Motherwort for acute anxiety attacks.

Wild Oats

Wild Oats - Oat Straw / Milky Oats
Scientific name: Avena Barbata
Family: Poaceae

  • Moistening and slightly warming (seed)
  • Neutral (Milky Oats and Oatstraw)

Helps with:

  • Stabilizing mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Cholesterol
  • Stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Transition from addictive behaviors

Seed - Oat flour and oatmeal
Unripe seed - Milky Oats
Stem/leaves - Oatstraw

Oxymel "Acid and Honey" Recipe:

Oxymels give support to the immune system and the digestive system along with other medicinal constitutions of whatever herbs are added.

In a sterile glass jar add apple cider vinegar and equal proportions (volume) of oat straw.
Shake daily for 4 weeks.

Use a double boiler over low, heating just until warm for 6 hours a combo of raw local honey with a 2:1 ratio of dried Rose.

Strain and combine equal parts of the 2 creations.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm
Scientific name: Melissa officinalis

  • Cooling and slightly drying

Helps with:

  • Calming nerves
  • Anxiousness
  • Depression
  • Digestion
  • Seasonal disorder
  • Mild sedative
  • Colic
  • Herpes
  • Insomnia
  • Cognitive health
  • Heart palpitations
  • Antiviral
  • Spasmodic cough
  • Inflammation

Combine with St. John's Wort, Chamomile, Linden, Rose, and Tulsi

NOTE: Always ask your healthcare provider before incorporating herbs into your diet. Children under 1 should not use Oxymel due to the honey. Do not use Motherwort during pregnancy until labor is starting since she strengthens uterine contractions.