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The Biblical Herbal

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This summer issue is just packed with informative articles to please everyone!

I’ve written two of the articles, one of them will become a series for Herbal Gardening, titled “In The Garden”.  The second article is titled “HolySchtick Mindset Change” where I share my testimony of how I became an Herbalist.

There is fun activities for the children in their own little section, lots of great recipes and plenty of advanced information for the hungry student.

Please consider taking a look at this issue, you may purchase as a single edition or sign up for a full subscription and receive a discount.  Click on the photo to go to the ordering page.  This is an affiliate link.

 

Our Greenhouse Update

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Just wanted to keep you all up to date on our big project here.  The wall surrounding the old greenhouse has finally been completely relocated, and may I say, it looks pretty happy in it’s new home.

Concrete work is scheduled for next week, please pray with us that we can keep this schedule and all goes well with this next phase.  We will also be moving some giant boulders and scooping out gravel to make room for the added space of the new greenhouse.

After this comes the framing.  The Lord has blessed us with some very skilled counselors and we are pretty sure about the plan at this point.

We appreciate your prayers along this journey!  We still have a long way to go and framing will most likely be the slowest step.  Still welcoming any volunteers who would like to help us, we need those muscles!!  Would you please continue to pray for us to seek out those elderly and shut-in folks in the community that we can share the bounty of this great work with.  Costs are always higher then you budget, no matter how carefully you proceed,  so please pray we can complete this project without breaking the bank.

Thanks so much for your continued interest and I shall post more as we move along.

What Is This Mess About?!

IMG_2227Life in our garden is not real pretty right now, as you can see! My old friend and trusted greenhouse has been sold and now we have a big ugly mess and a whole bunch of work ahead of us.  May I share our plans and dreams with you?

For over six years now we have had a wonderland of growing space inside our 12 by 24, solar operated greenhouse. We start our flowers, herbs and veggies for the year, keep herbs overwintered, supply our chickens and ducks with wintertime greens and food for ourselves year round. It has been very successful and pleasing to us.

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We have had our trials too, in-experience is a harsh schoolmaster! Having learned what to do and more importantly, what not to do, we have decided to step our living to a new level. We are very excited to share our plans with you.

We are planning a new, bigger and better greenhouse to be sized at about 20 by 28 feet. The new one will be solar operated as the previous one was. What that means is that we do not put any power for cooling or heating into the building, instead rely completely on the sun. In the winter the sun heats it quite well thanks to our location and fairly sunny skies during the winter. For the summer, we use both bottom and top vents with solar openers to cool the building. These little gems are set to open at 80 degrees (which is the ideal temperature to maintain) and then close again when the temp. drops below 80 to help maintain that for as long as possible. Drastic change of temperatures are the biggest enemy for our greenhouse work and since we are very scattered over our property with other work and can’t always babysit the greenhouse, these openers are our best friends! This new greenhouse will be build with much beefed up materials and built to LAST!!

We plan to continue using it for much the same purposes as the old one, just more goodness growing in the soil (we grow directly in the soil). We eat a sizable amount of produce but know that we can produce much, much more then needed for ourselves (this is where it gets exciting). We plan to grow fruits and veggies for the shut-ins and elderly of our community too!IMG_0925

It has always been a burden on our hearts to try to look after the elderly. Many of them have physical or financial obstacles that prevent them from having wholesome food for their tables at the very time in life they need it most. We plan to make a dent in that problem with our new greenhouse.

Here’s where we are asking for your help, and please bear with me, this is not something I am very good at. This building project is a huge undertaking for us. If any of you know Wayne and I, you know we are most certainly not gifted as builders! We are asking for those of you who can get your hearts around our vision to assist us in any number of ways:

  1. PRAYER! Yes, that is the absolute best gift you could give us right now. Please pray for our plans to succeed and for many to eat the goodness provided by the Lord through our little effort here.
  2. Advise and wisdom! Yes, we are need of these in good measure. If you have construction or engineering knowledge, we would love to hear from you. We first thought to design a bit differently than our previous greenhouse but believe the most cost effective, strong design for which we have the ability to build may be to keep it basic. We are open to your input and help in design work if you feel led but need to complete this phase rather quickly, which leads me to the next point.
  3. Please pray for a good, honest and affordable concrete contractor! We need someone with a good skill level to do some excavating, leveling and squaring for the footer of this building. We thought we had a very dear friend lined up for this but due to medical emergencies that may not work out.
  4. Which brings us to the next point. We are very, very open to any hands on help you may have to lend. Some of the framing work, especially will be hard for the two of us to complete as we are planning to frame with 2×6 hardwood, as that is what the Good Shepherd has provided, but it weighs a lot! If you have some time and strong muscles to share, we would be very grateful!
  5. This project is a massive expenditure for us. We are not people of means but can’t help feeling the Lord wants us to proceed with this. We have been gifted some seed funds and of course have the sell funds from the old greenhouse, which we are hoping will aid us with the foundational work. If the wood we have will work and we have enough, that should not be an expense however there will be plenty of hardware costs. The skin for this new building will be very costly but hopefully will last a very long time, if we budget carefully, we can keep that cost below $4,000. If you feel this is something you could help with, we would be abundantly grateful! If you do want to share financially, there are a number of ways to do this. If you are local, you already know where we are and we will gladly receive any gift you may be able to share. If you are not local, you can simple use the ‘donate’ button on this web-site. We are also able to receive checks by mail, our mailing address is: 954 East Elm Street, Sidney, NE 69162, checks can be made out to Wayne Waller.
  6. Last but not least by any means; we need your help finding those elderly or shut-in folks that could benefit from some wholesome, fresh food. We have begun forming a list and still have plenty of room to add folks. If you know of someone, local, please contact us privately so we can plan to share with them.

The realization of the scope of this project makes me catch my breath a bit, however I have seen the Lord move so many mountains in our lives. We know there are so many that can be blessed by this and can’t wait to get started! Please share our plans and this post with those you know who might be interested in our project. I will provide updates as we proceed. If you are able, please stop by and see, firsthand how things are proceeding. Many blessing to you all for reading to the end of my babbling!

 

Tinctures-How Much?

 

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Most of us are familiar with herbal tinctures, we used them for any number of needs.  I often get the question “How much should I take?”  It can get confusing, and there are some very important factors to keep in mind.  While it is not appropriate for me to be ‘prescribing’ herbal medicine, I can give you  some guidelines to use for your own determinations.

Dosage recommendations on the bottles of tinctures are just that ‘recommendations’. They are usually calculated for a 120 lbs. person and/or run along a ‘safe for most’ line of thought. I feel it is imperative to take a personal approach to herbalism and this certainly would include dosages.

A number of  things should always be taken into consideration such as: What is the weight as well as the age of the person. People who are very young or very old need to have consideration for that as well as weight.   For people in these categories, we often do better to give a smaller dose and consider giving it more often, rather then a normal (by weight) dose all at once or even consider another mode to administer our herbs. 

General health and wellbeing is another issue, as weaker, chronically ill people need to take things slow and easy. Often these folks are not at a point where they are absorbing nutrients very well so, again, we may choose another way to give them the herbs they need.  We have many choices to pick from and a combination is sometimes best.  Saving our tinctures for acute illnesses or first aid use may fit the bill better.  Other times tinctures fit into the chronic illness picture quite well, you just have to know the person’s situation and pick the right herbs, in tincture form for these issues.

There are also times when the dosage recommended on the bottle must be increased quite a bit for the correct result. A normal dose for one issue may be of no effect for another issue.  This is really important to consider when you are using tinctures in first aid or crisis situations, keeping in mind that you can go overboard and create problems too.  Obviously, people who are above the normal 120 lbs. dose recommendation will need to have their doses stepped up too.

People that consume a high protein diet should also be aware that taking tinctures with meals will delay their action. While this may not require an increased dose, it does need to be kept into consideration, because there may be a delay in reaction when taking tinctures with heavy protein diets.  Some herbs should be consumed with foods, others right before meals, etc.  Knowing your herbal tinctures and what you are hoping for, as an outcome can guide you in these decisions.

What the herbs are tinctured in is another consideration.  A blend or formula will also effect your dosage decisions as the more herbs in the formula, the more complicated your picture.  Some herbs assist other herbs in their actions, and others help drive the herbs into the body, to where they are needed.  Knowing what is in your formula and it’s intended purpose helps you know how to customize the dose.  Believe it or not, there are some formulas where herbs are added strictly to enhance flavor or other reasons that really don’t give you a medicinal benefit. 

With a little knowledge under your belt, you can learn how to read the labels on tinctures and source the really good manufacturers.  Of course, like anything, high quality tinctures will provide you the maximum benefit for your dose.  Good companies always include whether they used dried or fresh plant matter, what ratio the herbs to alcohol is and what percentage of alcohol is used, at the very least.

As a last consideration, pregnant and nursing women must exercise caution and knowledge in their choices of tinctures.  I always avoid using tinctures on wee babes as a general rule.  People using pharmaceuticals also do well to have professional assistance in making their choices of herbs in general and tinctures specifically.

I hope this little overview has been helpful.  As I always stress; herbalism is not about “take this much of this, for that” but rather is about taking the whole situation into account.  Know the person well, understand all their needs and individual circumstances, know the plants well, how they work and what they have to offer the situation and make a custom fit for best benefit.

 

 

Springtime Nourishment

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Spring holds a graceful wonderment of nourishment for our health.  After a long winter of heavy eating and less then abundant outside exercise we are more in need of some nourishing and cleansing herbal work then ever!  Though we can get very elaborate in how to obtain these actions, I often find a simple walk through herbalism is most effective and satisfying.  I have two very big favorites in the herbal world that are growing in abundance this time of year and they were custom designed for the work we most need in this season.  Dandelions and Nettles!

There is a basic reality that we need to recognize;  most illness and disease is the result of either a lack of needed nourishment for the body or else an abundance of unhealthy accumulation from numerous avenues.  With the springtime use of fresh Nettles and Dandelions we can address both of these issues rather well!

Let’s look at nourishment first.  Both Dandelions and Nettles offer us a vast array of minerals, which are often the very nutrients that we lack.  Calcium, Chromium, Magnesium and Zinc are the highest minerals in Nettles however you will also find a healthy dose of  Cobalt, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Selenium, Silicon, Thiamine, Vit. A C as well as Protein!  The list of nutrients reads much as the label on a multi vitamin/mineral supplement would.

Dandelion is also loaded up with nutrients like Iron, Manganese, Phosphorus, Protein, Sodium, Vit. A.  While these are the highest level nutrients it also contains a full array of many others.  Honestly the list is so long that I am going to refrain from a complete listing just for the sake of space.  The key point is that it is a little yellow wonder of nutrients for us all.

Both of these herbs have the action of a diuretic as well as a gentle laxative.  While these actions are very gentle in these plants, they are also very effective.  Both support and clear the liver and kidneys. What is important to see here is that while it can be very dangerous to use either laxatives or diuretics within the allopathic model, that is not the case with these herbs.  There is almost no chance they can cause any harm because they are re-supplying the body of vital nutrients at the same time they are assisting the eliminatory organs to rid themselves of excess.  So you can be assured that while the bad stuff is leaving the good stuff is being re-supplied in balanced ratios.

These little jewels do much more for us then cleanse and nourish but since these are absolute keys to all health, we will keep our focus on those issues in this short article.  If you have skin issues, Diabetes, Cancer, digestive illness or any of many others, you may want to take a serious look at these plants.  But in all truthfulness the reason they work so well to heal disease and illness is the very same reason they help us with our spring cleaning issues.

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A simple infusion (tea) made from these little lovelies is the very best way to gain their benefits.  One little note here of great importance.  The full name for Nettles is Stinging Nettles and you may have already realized why, if you touch them, they will sting!  Once they are heated this will not be a problem but you need to be mindful when using them fresh. The young tops of the plant hold the best properties so use them in abundance during the spring, while they are young. The seeds and roots of Nettles hold benefits too but in different ways, in the spring use the fresh, new leaves. Dandelions are best used in full bloom and or the fresh new leaves during the spring.  The roots of Dandelion are used medicinally too but not in the same ways and only during the fall.

 

 

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Drink this infusion, either as a blend of the two herbs or separately.  I tend to enjoy mine separately and drink the nettles early in the day, picking them fresh as soon as the sun has warmed up enough to go out and gather.  Dandelions are not early risers though, they don’t seem to bloom fully until the sun has warmed them up so I save them for later in the afternoon.  One little puzzle I will leave you to figure out; both of these plants are high in minerals, which are absorbed better in the body during rest/sleep.  However since these plants do have laxative and diuretic actions it can be problematic to drink as a bedtime drink.  What to do, what to do!  I enjoy mine all the way up to dinnertime and then use some of my other favorite friends for bedtime.  Chamomile and Lavender are up at the top of my list.

Well, this little blog has become longer then I intended so I’ll stop here.  I sure hope you can partake in these herbs and benefit from the gifts our Father has hidden into these little weeds, I mean jewels!

 

The Biblical E-Magazine is Here!!

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I am so very happy to share this magazine with you all!  Being a writer for this periodical has been part of my dream.  I love to put my faith into my herbalism and that is exactly what this magazine is all about.  Solid, accurate advanced herbal information within the context of Biblical faith!

There are over twelve writers all contributing their special talents to this work and I know there is something for you within it’s pages. The articles in this issue cover every skill level from a special section for children all the way to advanced level information to assist those at the clinical level.  Our theme for this issue is Restoration and Passover.

I’ve written two articles; a Materia Medica on Hyssop and another advanced article on Tonics and Adaptogens. There are many other topics to take in.  I won’t spoil all the fun by sharing them all but some of them are calling my name rather loudly!

You may purchase this as a single issue or subscribe to a full year which will include four issues. Click on the image above or on this link to sign up.  Please note that with full disclosure, this is an affiliate link which means that I will be paid a percent of the cost as payment for the referral.  This in no way effects your cost but does allow me to advance my work here at Amazing Grace Wellness Connections.

Hope you are all able to enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions.

Click here to visit The Biblical Herbal.

Springtime with Honeybees!

IMG_1618Spring is almost here, yippy!! It’s been a long winter and our little honeybee friends are feeling it too. Spring is a very critical time for them and you can help by knowing more about their world.
Depending on the form of beekeeping taking place near you, the bees you see out and about may not have had any ‘natural’ food all winter. Unless the keeper adheres to organic standards or has a natural approach, chances are the bees have been surviving on sugar water and protein patties throughout the winter. If this is the case, they are hungry for some sustenance! Your best course of action is to assist them in having some early blooming plants growing on your property. Short of your purposeful planting, you can allow those natural bloomers to have a home with you, the most abundant source will be Dandelions! They are very early to show their smiling little faces and full of nourishment for both the bees and us. Bees begin to fly, searching for food and water, whenever the weather is 50 degrees or warmer. If you should happen to see them out before anything is blooming, you can still help them. Place a small dish with some stones on it and pour a spoonful or two of well sourced honey on it and place it in a safe, protected area. More than likely you will have some visitors within a day or two!

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Bees are thirsty too and need clean, easily accessible water to drink. You can provide them a shallow dish or drain pan from a flower pot. Bees can’t swim and need something shallow to drink from. Whatever you provide make sure it has something for the bees to fly onto. I prefer to float pinecones in mine because they are abundant for me and they absorb and hold water so that the bees don’t even have to come into direct contact with the water reserves in order to drink from the cones and I don’t have to be as careful about the water level. Other people recommend pebbles on the bottom of the dish with enough of them above water for the bees to land on. Whatever you prefer, the main thing is to make sure that it is a natural, non-toxic surface. After providing this you can watch it daily and hopefully begin to see your little visitors making good use of the water you provide! It can be as entertaining as bird watching and deeply satisfying to know you are helping them in their survival. One more note on watering issues. Just as any other living thing, once they find your water they will quickly become dependent on it. It is vital that you maintain it for them going forward, please make sure you are able to follow through for the balance of the summer and throughout fall as well.
I know what some of you are thinking, “I don’t want to attract bees to my yard!” and I understand your thinking but it is important to note here that bees are very unassuming when in flight or away from their hives. They only sting to protect themselves and unless they feel threatened you really need not worry. Most people are stung from a bee because they unknowingly step on it or crush it against their body with normal movements. None the less, place your bee food and water in a corner of your property where you can keep watch but not be close enough to bother them while they are there. I warn you though, once you start watching their activity, you will be hooked and find yourself spending plenty of time just watching their coming and going from your yard!

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I can’t cover all I would wish to about springtime and bees within this short post but there is one more very important issue we should discuss. Swarming bees are common in the spring and early summer. If you should happen to run across a swarm there are a few things to remember. The first and most important is not to panic! The sight of thousands of bees hanging in a ball from a building or tree can look quite scary but I assure you there is no need to panic. Bees are normally very docile while swarming, their minds are concerned with finding a new home, keeping the queen safe and not much else. Still it is advisable to keep people and animals away from the area, especially young children. If you know a beekeeper you can call to come collect them, they will be very happy to respond quickly. If you are unaware of a beekeeper you can contact your local county extension service and they should know of several. If you live in a larger city, beekeepers may even be listed in the phone book. Please, above all else, do not attempt to destroy them with spray or any other method! Chances are you will not be successful and you may make them angry and aggressive, which is when they become dangerous.
Keep watch here, I will be posting information for a live class on “Health from the Hive” where we will be learning about all the health promoting gifts the bees provide for us. In the meantime, have a lovely spring and enjoy those little flying beauties this year!

RECORD KEEPING

We are working on setting up some good files for our health records over on the Legacies of Grace program.

Why is this important?  Well, good detailed records can save you so much time and confusion when dealing with illness or injuries.  We have so many things to remember these days and our brains can quickly get overwhelmed.  In addition to that, think about how important accurate information can be in deciding what needs to happen next or decoding why things are happening as they are.

If you should need to call upon outside practitioners for help, your records will be an absolute goldmine of help for them!

Have you ever wondered what time it was when you last took your herb tincture during the flu?  It gets hard to keep up with whether you are the sickie or the caregiver.  Naps, meals, losing meals due to vomiting or diarrhea can all effect when your next dose is due.  Fevers can be very telling of what is going on once you learn how to read them.  But how do you read them unless they are recorded?  Baths infused with certain herbs can be very effective treatments but it is necessary to stay in the water and the water to be of a certain temperature range in order for them to be effective, writing this information down can be so simple yet helpful.

Hopefully you are getting the idea of what I am trying to share.  No matter what level of caregiving you will work at, these records are worth the trouble to keep.  I hope you will take a close look at our work over at the Legacies page and consider joining us in our work there – if you are responsible for your own health or that of your family members, I think you will find it helpful.

Remember also, if you care to proceed in your health and wellbeing at a level that may require personal consultations, I have many options to assist you.  Here’s to your good health in the New Year!

 

 

Tea Time!

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One of most basic yet nourishing ways to use herbs is in the form of tea!  The easiest form to administer herbs is as old as the plants themselves, in part because we can make tea with little equipment, skill/knowledge or fuss.  But also because this form of herb usage fits perfectly with our use of Tonic herbs because it allows for the full expression of gentle, health building nourishment. It can also be used for many acute issues as well so we will see that it is very versatile!  I would encourage you to get some of your favorite herbs and gather up a tea kettle, strainer, big ole mug and maybe a pot of honey or fresh lemon to top it all off!

Of course, as with everything, the more we know the better our success.  With that in mind let’s go over some things you should know to practice this art like a skilled herbalist.  What I share here is not necessarily in any particular order so please read all the way to the end of this article to get the full picture.

There are two basic types of ‘teas’ we make.  All the herbs you can use as tea will either need to be made into an ‘infusion’ or a ‘decoction’.  Let me try to explain the difference; infusions are made as most of us are familiar with.  We bring our tea water just barely to the point of boiling and then remove it from heat.  Using any form of strainer we measure about 1 teaspoon herbs per 8 ounces or so of hot water.  Of course if you are using fresh herbs rather then dried then you may need to increase the amount from 1 teaspoon to about 1 tablespoon.  For infusions, we are using the flowering tops, leaves and otherwise more fragile parts of the plants.

There are advantages to both fresh or dried, fresh herbs that contain a lot of volatile oils in them won’t need the same amount as those that don’t because they will be quite strong.  Otherwise dried will be stronger because it is easier to pack the same amount of herb into a tea ball once it is dried.  The other benefit of dried is that it is easier to pull the medicine value from them because they are pretty fragile once dried and the water can penetrate better.  So keep these factors into account when choosing your herbs.  Personally I use all my herbs fresh while the growing season allows me to and harvest plenty of plant matter to dry to use after the plant is done for the season.  And of course this gets a little complicated because you will need to know what part of each plant you want for the effect you are after, i.e. flowering tops, leaves, roots, etc.  You also need to have an herb garden to supply what will surely be a growing desire to partake in your new passion of tea drinking!  So for the most part you will at least for starters be using dried herbs.

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So back to our process, I love to use a French  press for this step but you can use a simple tea ball or muslin tea bag or any strainer you prefer.  Pour your hot water over the herbs and place a lid over the water.  Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes to allow for the water to pull all the properties from the herbs.  After this, strain your herbs out, add any extras to your drink (honey fits nicely here) and drink up!  Don’t forget to compost your herbs into your garden soil to maximize their use or feed them to the chickens as I do.

There is a place for a cold infusion, depending on how you plan to use your ‘tea’ and which plants you are using.  Some plants lend well to this method such as Marshmallow which really should never be heated.  Others should not be allowed to sit for this long because they contain Tannins in high amounts.  You will know if you made this mistake because they become very bitter to taste.  A few examples I can think of are our mints, esp. Spearmint and Peppermint.To make a cold infusion you use the same ratios of plants to water and you follow the same process except that you will use good, pure water that has not been heated and you will allow the infusion to sit for at least 8 hours if not more.  You can place your infusion in a warm place during this time but no heat is required.  This is the basic concept of ‘sun tea’ and during the summer we use this method a lot.  There are some herbs that are more effective when used cool or unheated so this is a great method for those.  I once lived across the street from an elderly woman who immigrated here from communist Germany, if you ever entered her kitchen you would find no less then a half dozen of these wonderful infusions in the process of this ‘cold infusion’ method.  There are folks who are taking this art to a new level using the skills of fermentation too, there is really no end to the possibilities.

The other form of tea making is called a ‘decoction’.  It is done a little differently because for these drinks we are using herbs in the form of roots, barks, seeds and medicinal mushrooms as such parts of herbs  are much more solid and therefore require more to break down in our water.  To make a decoction, you can use the same measurements but you will need to make a larger amount each time.  What I mean is this; we will be simmering our mixture for a long time, at least one hour so it is easier to keep things from cooking dry if we make this in about 1 quart amounts.  Add the roots, bark, or whatever your herb choice is with your water in a sauce pan that has a tight lid.  Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then immediately reduce heat to a low/very low setting and continue to cook for the minimum amount of time. I have collected a few lead-free small size crock pots that work wonderfully for decoctions.  Once the water has been brought to a boil, I quickly pour everything into the crock pot and place on the low setting.  Using this method I can cook my decoctions for as long as I want without having to baby sit the stovetop.   Once you are done with the cooking time of your requirement, strain the plants out and use as you would any other herb tea.

So now that we have the process down, let’s talk about how, why we would use these mixtures.  Of course the first option is to sip them as you would any other tea or beverage but do so with the knowledge that this ‘tea’ has the special ability to heal or build health, or any number of effects depending on the herbs you used.  Infusions and decoctions are also used often as an addition to bath water, especially for young children, elderly or others that may not be able to ingest enough to be helpful.  Localized baths (sitz) are very useful to soak a particular area of the body such as the perineum of a new mother, foot baths, etc.  Our skin is able to absorb great amounts of nourishment and be a great way to help in certain situations.  We can also use the skin and the tea to make a compress and this is an excellent form to administer safe herbs to infants or injuries.  While we are mentioning infants, let’s just be clear, not many herbs are safe to give directly to them, the safest way to allow an infant to partake in herbs is for the mommy to ingest them and provide them to baby in the form of breast milk.  These wonderful teas can also be used as mouth washes, eye washes, wound washes, steam baths (inhalation) for respiratory issues and so on and on.  A skilled herbalist may choose to use an herbal tea even as an enema for a very ill person, this can prove to be life-saving in an emergency situation where no medical help is available but I don’t recommend it for routine care as it does pose some dangers.

In closing let me encourage you to pull out a few tonic, nourishing herbs and begin to enjoy the pleasure and health of this wonderful form of herbalism.  In most cases a proper dose of ‘herbal tea’ for healing or health building would  be 3 cups a day for an average size adult.  From this you can see that you will be entering a journey into slower, more concentrated form of living then most of us are used to.  I invite you to take that road as it leads to some really wonderful places, rarely has anyone been disappointed in the adventure of quality living you are about to sip your way into!

Solid Foundations

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There are just so many levels to herbalism that is often hard to figure out what to do, where to begin your journey.  We have been working on building a solid Biblical foundation on the “Legacies of Grace” program.  If you’d like to see what we are up to, just pull up that page and scroll down to the ‘foundation’ posting.

Today we are going to look at where and how to build a solid physical foundation.  I am reminded of the teaching of Jesus where He shares the importance of building on the Rock and not the sand.  This is our example, even in herbalism.

Sand is always shifting, blowing, sinking and less then dependable, even on a good day.  It is not my intention to criticize other modes of health care but most really are not health care at all, they are sick care and they are built on sand!  You see, if you neglect to build a solid foundation, you are destined to illness, disease, injuries and a life of less then vital well-being.  I must admit that there is a mode of herbalism, becoming ever so popular since the age of internet, that uses the same foundation.  Whenever I see postings on social media that run something along the lines of: “what can I do about this or that, I am thinking maybe I should do A, B and C” and then about a hundred people pipe in with “just use D, G and Z because my cousin did and it really helped” I just want to scream!  No amount of A,B and C or D, G and Z will help if we don’t have a foundation of health and wellness to build on!  In addition to this, well educated health care practitioners, even natural ones, are posting things all over the internet giving us the idea that health can be obtained in a sum total of 4 or 5 paragraphs of their greatest wisdom, all with practically no reform or effort on our part.

Whenever we live as we choose, let our flesh dictate our lifestyle, sure and certain doom is close behind.  This has become a deep and obvious part of the American culture for some time now, though there are some gentle breezes of renewal blowing.  I don’t want to lose sight of our subject today, but you just can’t eat at Mc Dees all week, slumber your life away on the couch and slather all kinds of pretty stuff on your skin, pour in the coffee and hit the road to another day of the same.  We need to build healthy bodies and herbs have so much to offer us here!

So, our foundation will not be how to use herbs to overcome illness and disease unless and until we understand the importance of building our Terrains (or basically healthy bodies).  In saying this I want to make sure you understand, I fully believe that illness, disease, injury and so on can and do happen to healthy people and often times no amount of a rock solid foundation can overt the setback.  I do not want anyone to feel guilt over past lifestyles or decisions either, today is the day of mercy and new beginnings. For that matter, each and every day of my life I make less then ideal decisions that effect my health.   What I want to stress in this post is how important and beneficial a rock solid foundation is and not wanting to leave you on your own to figure out how to obtain that foundation, we shall see just what can be done!

So, I am hoping you all have read the post on sleep and are beginning to see the great benefit good rest has to offer us in our effort to build and maintain our foundation (or wellness).  I have not forgotten that I promised you all some concrete information on good herbs for sleep, we are getting to that right now.  There are so many wonderful herbs that offer us help when we are having a hard time obtaining good sleep!  Many people could supply you a great list and they would all be great choices I am sure.  Indeed I have shared such a list right here on this website.  But today we are going to stray away from the typical nervine/relaxant/stress reducing/etc. type of herbs and look at herbs anew.

TONIC HERBS!

Yep, this is the right and only place to start in herbalism!  So let’s define just what tonic herbs are.  A quick definition would be: Herbs considered to  be those that are nourishing and nurturing to our bodies.  It’s just about that simple, we use this herbs daily as a food, beverage, bath additions, etc. we don’t even think of them as medicine! When I have taught a similar series of classes in person I titled them “Lifestyle Herbalism” that is because herbs can and should become a total lifestyle and it all begins with Tonics!   These herbs are those which are the safest, most gentle and usually benefit us from the high level of nutrition they contain.  They have the ability to build and strengthen the body and even be specific to particular body systems.  These herbs are generally used over long time periods where as many other herbs are not.  Sometimes we can see an almost immediate effect but most often we experience a gentle, slow return to a state of health where symptoms that were very pronounced are not noticed any longer, etc.  These herbs provide the body with the needed components to naturally move us to a state of homeostasis (which is a state of balance and perfect function within the body).  There are other classifications of herbs that take us up the steps in health and healing but like a strong ladder that is mostly useless if the bottom rungs are not in place, we will have a hard time going further up the road on this journey without tonic herbs being put into place.

Building on our foundation of rock rather then sand, can you see how this class of herbs plays such an important role?  Back to our study of sleep, now I will provide you with some “tonic” herbs for your consideration:  Top of my list for the nervous system would be Oats Avena sativa, also to consider are Mugwort  Artemisia vulgaris, Wood Betony Stachys officinalis, Vervain Verbena officinalis, Chamomile German Matricaria recutita (although caution should be taken to assure no allergic reaction is present as this plant comes from the Asteraceae family), Skullcap Scuterllaria lateriflora (although caution should be taken to assure it is not combined with sedative medications).

So here is a bit of information for your consideration!  In the days to follow I will be placing a page on this site, specifically as a Materia Medica.  This will provide detailed information on each of these plants as well as many others, as we meet them.

Thank you for your patience with me, this would be my first and foremost occupation if it were not for reality and bills!

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