Herbal Medicine? Where do I begin?
If you are anything like I was, you were using herbal medicine long before you even knew it. Well, you were using the ingredients, probably not the dosage. What comes to mind when you think of your spice cabinet at home? Garlic...oh that's heart health, anti-viral, anti-biotic, and great for warding off vampires. Actually, that last benefit isn't entirely a lie. See, in woodsy areas, people ate diets thick in garlic because it kept the ticks from biting. So, it makes you wonder if that was the beginning of the "vampires don't like garlic" myth. It totally makes sense to me. What's next? Cinnamon...what doesn't it do? It is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-biotic. It's good for stimulating circulation, aiding in digestion, improving gut health and has been linked to lowering both blood sugars and blood pressure. Turmeric...this is a fun one. It takes a little bit of knowledge to use properly but is a fantastic aid in decreasing inflammation. The key to using it is combining it with fresh black pepper. The Piperine in the Black Pepper aids in the absorption of Curcumin, which is the anti-inflammatory constituent found in Turmeric. Rosemary...headaches. Thyme...congestion. Parsley....liver support. Sage....women's health. I mean, the list literally goes on and on with regards to what herbs you have laying around and what they are good for. The key to using these herbs medicinally is using them in medicinal doses. Once you do this, not only will your food be bold in flavor, but your body will recognize the benefits as well.
How do we know this? The history of herbalism reaches back to the beginning of recorded time. Tablets dating back over 5000 years described the use of plant-based medicine in ancient Mesopotamia. And as we've studied ancient cultures across the world, we've found they each have held their own form of traditional medicine. These traditions have been passed down through time and with modern science and the study of these plants, evidence proves these "old wive's tales" to be true. So no, Grandma wasn't crazy for growing a garden full of weeds that she plucked, dried, and tinctured. And Auntie wasn't just making it up when she smothered you in salves to cure that irritated skin. This brings me to another point, the herbal world is dominated by some amazing women, that also seemed to be written in history. In the "Hunter/Gatherer" era, while men were doing the exploring and hunting and taking over the world, women stayed in the villages and played the roles of educators, nurses, midwives, doctors, and caretakers. It was the women caring for the villages that ensured the knowledge of how to do so continued from generation to generation. The remedies we, as herbalists, use today, are rooted in tradition and such a deep understanding of Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and the human body. I am humbled to have such knowledgeable women share their healing practices with me. The magnitude of that does not lay on the surface. I feel it in my soul. I am a mosaic of these women and their traditions. In every herb I touch, tincture I process or cup of tea I make, I carry them with me and through me. Trust me when I say I make these products with healing energy and intention, I do so knowing the importance of the knowledge that has been passed on to me and the trust that has been placed in my hand. I hope today finds you blessed and healthy my friends. Stay Wild.