First, I want to apologize for the tardiness of this blog post. Life gets hectic here at the Ol' Farmhouse!
So, let's look at a few more methods of administering Herbal Medicine.
Herbal Honey- This method is not necessarily as effective as some. Especially for particular herbs. However, for other herbs it can be very effective and perhaps even a preferred method. One such example would be expectorant herbs and anti-tussive herbs. Such as our Cough and cold blend. These do very well as an herbal honey. So, to make the herbal honey, you would fill a jar approximately 1/4 with your herb and then cover with raw local honey. Top with a tight fitting lid. Turn the jar once or twice per day for four weeks. Strain. Enjoy!
Herbal Oils- These can be fun in the kitchen as well! :) But they certainly have their place as medicine. Again, not just all herbs do as well this way, however there are some purposes where certain herbs are best this way. Mullein flower oil is fabulous for earaches! I like to add some garlic to it as well for extra benefit. You would use the same method as for the herbal honey, except that you would use a cold pressed vegetable oil, such as olive or grapeseed instead of the honey.
Suppositories- Ok, so this isn't a favorite method. But there are times when it is appropriate. Vomiting, hemorrhoids, vaginal yeast infections.... I'll just stop there. ;) But I think you get the picture, there are just times when this is the best method of administration of herbs. These are not complicated to make. Simply shape a piece of aluminum foil into a small bullet shaped receptacle, pour in melted coconut oil mixed with the herb (in powdered form) and pour into the mold. Pop into the freezer or refrigerator until solid. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator until needed. (but not for more than a month or two).
Creams, lotions, ointments, salves, balms- This is a fabulous method for topical application of Herbal medicine! Any time you need localized treatment, this is a handy method. You can make your own fairly easily at home. There are a plethora of recipes and methods online. Here is a link to one such site where you can purchase a mini course to lead you through the entire process - Goldenseal, Frankincense and Myrrh healing balm. Or you can purchase them ready made from our site. We currently offer two salves, our Recipe #1 and Recipe #2 .
Poultice/compress- Though I am aware that these are two different things, because of their similarities, I have lumped them together. A poultice would be using a warm, moist paste of herbal material and applying it either directly to the body or indirectly by spreading on a cloth first. A compress would be made by soaking a cloth into a liquid herbal preparation and applying hot or cold directly to the body. These are especially great for sprains and such!
This brings me to my least favorite method of herbal medicine administration.
Capsules- I don't mind so much if they are made at home or if the herbs are of such a nature that this is the only method suitable. For example, Valerian root has a very unpleasant aroma (odor! ICK!! Wet dog...dirty socks...). In order for a person to tolerate this, (it would be almost impossible to take any other way) capsules are a nice, convenient, not-too-stinky way to receive the benefits. But when one is purchasing capsules, there are several important thoughts to keep in mind. First, are they a reputable company? As we have seen and heard in the recent past, not all brands are honest, upstanding and pure in their herbal capsules! Second, consider, if you can, how fresh is this herb? How was it handled in processing? Is there any other method that I could use to encourage better absorption, to ensure purity, etc? The body does not/ can not use herbs as easily in this method. All of these things are important considerations. If you still feel like the best method for you is a capsule, you can purchase empty capsules and capsule machines for filling your own, at a very reasonable price. Also, powdered herbs are easily obtained. That way, you'll know exactly what is in your capsule and therefore, exactly what is in your body!
After all, it's your body, your health and your right!!
Wishing you the best of health!
Sara and the Ol' Farmhouse family
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