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(a small) Intro to Herbalism

October 9, 2016

We live in a world that is so full of natural medicine, yet we (almost always) resort to prescription medication. WHY? Herbalism is the use and study of plants and herbs to be used for their medicinal purposes. This practice has taken the social form of witches and midwives healing people with their strange abilities. herbal

But this isn’t what modern day herbalism is! Herbalism is recognized as an alternate form of modern medicine, all information being found through the scientific method. Essentially, every continent or area of the world has developed a different type of herbalism practice. “Western herbalism, like the much older system of traditional Chinese herbalism, relies on the synergistic and curative properties of the plant to treat symptoms and disease and maintain health.”

In our small, one hour introduction to herbalism, we focused on Yarrow. Yarrow is an herb that can be used in multiple forms, and will still heal incredibly.

  • Dried powders can be sprinkled on a cut to prevent an infection.
  • You can take a fresh amount, chew it up- creating a spit poultice- and put it directly on the wound.
  • Make an infusion- tea, essentially. Boil the water, then put the herb in, letting it steep, and putting the wound directly in for as long as needed.

Yarrow is a unique herb that is good for use with the chills and a sweating fever. Along with peppermint, ginger and echinacea, yarrow can be made into a tea (mixed with a potent herb like lemonbalm) for relief of fevers and discomfort.

 

It’s not just yarrow that can be made into a spit poultice. Another common treatment for insect bites and itchy skin is a poultice made from broad leaf plantains. To make the poultice, just take leaves and chew them until you have a mush to put on the area that needs treatment. Between the properties of the plant and the properties of saliva (healing and great), putting this on a bite is the fast track to healing.

Poultices aren’t good for all things that need healing, though. Poultices are effective if used for surface problems (cuts and burns), joint and bone pain, and inflamed glands. For making changes to the body (internally), teas and infusions are more effective.

 

Bringing the practice of herbalism into your life (even if on a small scale- Hyssop is great for respiratory support) is well worth the little bit of research. We don’t need to be herbalists in order to find a few that can support and change our bodies in excellent ways. Some good sources are below- check them out if interested!

http://branwensmusings.blogspot.com/

http://learningherbs.com/

http://www.herbalhomestudy.com/index.php

 

Here are some photos of our lesson in class. These are all basic herbs that can be made into infusions. Can you name any?

 

(hint: there’s chamomile, yarrow, mint, and calendula to choose from!)

 

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