Discover the exciting world of natural home remedies

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Calendula officinalis – Marigold in bloom. An excellent herb for making ointments or healing salves as it speeds healing

I have been practicing herbalist for nearly 12 years now!  I find it interesting, exciting and fresh.  It helps me to connect with nature and even after 12 years I am learning new things and developing my knowledge and skills.  I started on my path using simple home remedies.  I am planning to introduce you to several techniques of preparing home remedies to help to enhance your health and wellbeing and that of your family and friends.

Care must be taken when using herbs, modern medicinal drugs are still made using herbs and a lot of them which are synthesised were derived from plants originally.  Just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it will not have side effects or will not harm you.  Sometimes the dose is the factor which determines whether something will harm or heal you!!  There is a group of herbal medicines which I use called ‘Schedule 3 herbs’.  These have a very small therapeutic window and in the wrong hands they can be fatal! 

I am not saying this to put you off using herbs, but to do so in a mindful and respectful manner.  Always know what you are using and check if there are any conditions where the herb shouldn’t be taken.  Even culinary herbs can affect certain people.  Thyme is delicious on roast potatoes – when we use it in cooking we only use a teaspoon or two of the herb.  This is beneficial to our health and imparts flavour to our food but it shouldn’t be taken in therapeutic doses if you are pregnant!  Midwives and health visitors do not inform pregnant women that they should avoid thyme as in culinary doses it is safe.  Always read up first whether from a book or online.  If you want you can always contact me and I can inform you of the safety aspects of the herbs you would like to use. BCard HFHAWBLEED

I will start my series on making natural home remedies this Friday.  Every week I will introduce you to different techniques, recommend herbs which you could use and how it can benefit you. 

Fresh dandelion leaves being made into a herbal tincture - an alcohol based solution which extracts the active ingredients, lasts for years and is convenient to use.

Fresh dandelion leaves being made into a herbal tincture – an alcohol based solution which extracts the active ingredients, lasts for years and is convenient to use.

The different types of herbal preparations can be divided into two groups: internal and external preparations.  There are different methods for extracting the active constituents from herbs – this will be discussed throughout the series.  There are many different methods of preparing herbs to use, you only have to look at Culpeper’s Herbal to glimpse at the wide variety of different ways that one herb was used.  Once you are aware of the herb you intend to use and if it is safe then you can experiment to yours hearts delight to discover ways which taste delicious and are effective. 

For example I like to turn delicious herbal infusions into lolly pops for relief of stomach upsets on a hot summers day, I enjoy making a jelly sweet without using gelatine which I can chew on when out and about which helps to support my heart and circulation helping me to do more for longer.  I even like to make alcohol using herbs which will support me if I think I am falling ill so when I get the first signs of a cold I can grab a bottle of elderflower champagne or elderberry tequila to support my immune system.

Next Friday I will look into decoctions and infusing herbs into oils or vinegars.

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