An Herb Kind of Day

This last week was our kind-of-Spring-Break. We did school 2.5 days, had our Obachan come for a visit, and spent a day at my dear friend's house, where we made all sorts of lovely herbal concoctions.

Using herbs is something I love doing for my family; we do use some traditional medicinal remedies, but I like to try herbal stuff at home before we run to the doctor. (Of course if someone is turning blue, having trouble breathing, or has an infection, we are right there in line at the doctors.)

Prevention is the key to good health, and we started out with a good one that day.

Elderberry Syrup



This lovely stuff simmered on the stove for an hour and made us all think about the holidays, with it's cinnamon and clove smell.


After it cooled we strained it....


Then we bottled it up in jars, to sit in the fridge, and be dolled out by the teaspoon to help fight colds and infections.


The main goal of the day was to make tinctures. Tinctures are basically an alcohol extract, made by soaking the herb in alcohol that is at least 80 proof. It is then stored in a dark place for 6-8 weeks, shaken occasionally, and then the liquid is strained and the tincture is ready to use.

When the process is done this stuff is pretty potent, so you would mix a teaspoon or less into tea or water to drink.

Of course you need this stuff to make tinctures...


We made a variety of them...

Hawthorn Berry




These help maintain cardiovascular health and are an excellent source of antioxidants.



Pau D'Arco

We can use this herb in two forms: the tincture and using the bark to make tea.



Pau D'Arco boosts your immune system, treats fungal infections, and is good for coughs.


Saw Palmetto

This stuff treats urinary and reproductive health issues.



Comfrey



I love this stuff. I have a bush of it that grows in my backyard and we use if for sprains, strains, bruises, bee stings, and infections.

My friend found these in the back of her pantry and since we had the vodka and bottles out we made homemade vanilla.


This will be ready in about 8 weeks.




The last thing we made was a tea. We mixed Nettle and Alfalfa...


And added spearmint...


To make a lovely tea.



Nettle is good for allergies, and has lots of calcium and iron. And the Alfalfa is good detoxifier and is also a good source of calcium and vitamin K. We added the spearmint because we didn't want the tea to taste like we were drinking grass.



Of course we had to try some...


...it was lovely. In the summer this would be delicious iced, with a squeeze of lemon. It can also be added to any other tea as well.

A hard day's work.


And two hard workers.



Places I would recommend to get more information...

Bulk Herb Store
Mountain Rose Herbs
WholeHealth MD
Wellness Mama


Comments

  1. Sounds like you enjoyed a lovely day!

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  2. This was such a lovely day!! :)

    Love you!
    Kate

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  3. This is SO neat, Charlotte! You've inspired me, especially with the elderberry syrup since we use to much of it :)

    Wanna come to my house and help us do all this? :)

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  4. Stef, I was surprised how easy it was to make all of it. Of course having a friend to do it with was even better! I so wish we lived near each other too! :-)

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