The only way to create your own invested knowledge of herbs really is the tried and tested way. About now, the first 10 days of August, the fanatical herbalist is entering the peak herbal season. Walking around, you begin to not only notice the meadows thriving in nature, but you see it in your own back yard. We are officially at the height of production. At the moment, I’m focused on “horsetail“. Curing it, drying it, using alcohol based tinctures and sun drenched oils. Subconsciously, I think I’m preparing for winter, while at the same time treating a number of symptoms among family members. Swollen tonsils and skin eruptions in particular are proving quite reversible with tincture and tea of horsetail.
Pay attention to the signs…
But right now, my focus has to shift to the bright yellow bush, Yarrow. This is a beautiful herb. Tall in stature, reaching about 4 ft. tall, and loud in color. Yarrow comes in a few variations in nature. Often, you see the white yarrow, or maybe sometimes the pink yarrow. My variety is a bright iridescent yellow, reeking of bitters and has a sticky stem and foliage. I’m guessing this herb is great in treating skin conditions, and perhaps due to it’s poignant smell, I’m betting it aids in digestion.
Let the herbs take you away.
This is when the “herbalist” brain begins to kick in. Look at every plant and herb’s characteristics. This is usually the sure sign of what it’s best at treating. Outward appearances and the location of where herbs grow are the best indicators we have. It’s what animals have deep inside their DNA to recognize when a plant is poisonous or healing. When an animal has ailments, and they all do in nature, they search for their cure on the ground or in trees. They can’t go to pharmacies in the wild-their pharmacy lives in their innate ability to identify healing plants. Yarrow, is bright in color, sticky to the touch and poignant in smell. Treating skin infections, bites, wounds, herpes and much more is outstanding in this herb. Additionally, yarrow was the front-line herb used in treating wounds on the battle grounds in war-time era’s. Using and preparing yarrow is quite simple. The most common use of yarrow is by tea. The other use is in tincture form or oil form. Both easily prepared and widely used.
Preparing your tools
Luckily, I happen to have last-year’s dried crop ready and available to use for the second option. To create a tincture just fill the dry flowers with stems to any level you desire in a sterile glass jar. Immerse in a 80 proof alcohol or olive oil, grapseed oil, or a hemp oil and let “schmelt” for 2 weeks.
Return back after 2 weeks and sieve out the plant material. Store in a clean sterile container. The use on this finished product is quite perfect for summer time skin ailments down to treating skin wounds abrasions, herpes, skin bites, maybe “maskne” which seems to really be a thing right now with all the mask wearing. (I shutter to think how many masks and PPP supplies have already been tossed in the ocean! Please people, I hope not!!!)
Let the peak herbal season inspire you. I hope you can see and feel the excitement in the insect world. It’s really a time in the garden to sit back and let the critters, insects and life I can’t even see (worms, etc)…thrive. So in this case, I’m stepping out and planning to just sit back and watch.