Notes from Windward: #68
Monica's first compound
I am very drawn to herbal medicine, as well as using
plants that are already growing in the wild. The
ability to heal without going to a doctor and buying
medicines is very important to me. Herbal medicine is
a key aspect of sustainability. So many plants growing
rampant in the wild, requiring no energy or input from
us have uses-- edible, medicinal, for dyes-- so why
aren't we using them? To be able to harvest without
planting, caring for, watering is incredible. Let's
partake in nature's abundance!
Earlier this week, I had the fantastic opportunity to
go to the annual Village Building Convergence in
Portland, where I attended many free workshops,
including one on Herbal Medicine Making. We learned
the medicinal properties of many plants, as well as
how to make a tincture, oil, salve, infusion,
decoction, the list goes on.
I began the process of making an all purpose salve-
its easy! Here is the recipe:
This salve is good for cuts, scrapes, stings, dry or
chapped skin, burns, and rashes.
Yesterday, through an unfortunate turn of events, I
was able to use my newfound knowledge. Orly's foot
got twisted on a rock, and possibly sprained. It was
painful, and a bit swollen.
Gina told me that we had wild Arnica growing all over
the place. At my workshop I learned that Arnica is an
anti-inflammatory for sprains, sore muscles, joints,
and bruises. What luck! I went and gathered a
basketful of flower heads, mashed them up in our
mortar and pestle with a little oil, and applied the
mixture to Orly's foot. I covered it with a
papertowel and we wrapped it up in an ace bandage. I
gathered too many flowerheads, so I have set the rest
out to dry for later use. It felt so warm and whole
to be able to help a friend heal with something
growing right in our backyard.
- Fill jar with fresh Calendula flower, Lemon balm
leaves, Comfrey leaves, Lavender flowers, Plantain
Leaf, and Arnica flowers.
- Cover with Olive oil and cap.
- Place this jar in a sunny windowsill for one day.
- Move to warm, dark place for two weeks.
- Strain herbs out with cheesecloth or strainer
- Pour infused oil in a double boiler.
- Melt in pieces of beeswax, doing the spoon test
(dipping in a spoon, allowing to harden, and see if it
is the consistency you are looking for)
- You may add essential oils for extra scent if you
- Pour into containers
- Put lids on after an hour and don't forget to label
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68