Monday Health & Wellness: Herbs for Beginners - Modern Alternative Mama
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Monday Health & Wellness: Herbs for Beginners

admin October 28, 2013

Herbs beginners3 edit

I’ve posted a lot on herbs lately.  I remember when I first ran across herbal medicine, about three years ago, and I was in awe of people who created their own remedies and seemed to know what herbs did what, where to buy them, how to use them.  How did they know?!

But since then I’ve researched and studied and tried things and well…now I’m one of those who know.  It’s really not that hard!  It’s daunting at first, but hey, we all start somewhere.

Today I want to introduce you to some of the herbal basics.

Herbs for Beginners

If you don’t know where to begin, think about some of these safe herbs first:

  • Ginger (buy)
  • Elderberry (buy)
  • Catnip (buy)
  • Nettle (buy)
  • Oatstraw (buy)
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Mostly foods!  There are certainly contra-indications for all (ginger is a blood-thinner so people who don’t clot or are having surgery shouldn’t use it; oatstraw can cause issues for people who are gluten-intolerant, etc.) they are generally safe.  All of these are okay for pregnant and nursing women, as well as babies/young children under most circumstances.

Other commonly used (and generally safe) herbs include:

  • Mullein (buy)
  • Lemon balm (buy)
  • Turmeric (buy)
  • Red raspberry leaf (buy)
  • Spearmint (buy)
  • Peppermint (buy)

If I had to choose my top 3, the ones I use most often, I would choose ginger, mullein, and nettles.  Maybe choose just 1 – 2 that you would like to explore.

What To Do with Herbs

It really works to choose just 1 or 2 herbs and go with it.  Ginger, for example, can help stomach troubles, colds, sore throats, coughs, colic, general pain and inflammation, and more.  Herbs each have many, many uses so just 1 or 2 can help most of the common ailments!

But…how do you use them?

There are a whole bunch of ways, really.  Tea is the most common.  The general rule of thumb is 1 – 1.5 tsp. of an herb in 1 c. water.  Teas can be made much stronger if desired, but it’s usually not necessary (and yet I usually do it anyway…).

Here are some posts to help:

Here are some recipes to try:

I buy my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

How to Store Herbs

The best way is in glass jars.  I keep most of mine in their plastic bags in my pantry.  All my tinctures are prepared and stored in glass. Ideally it would be stored in darker glass (brown or blue), although I usually use my clear mason jars.

Anywhere that keeps them cool and dry is okay.

Fresh herbs should be stored with stems in water or wrapped in a wet cloth and used quickly, especially if you want to use them medicinally.  Ideally tinctures would be prepared within hours of harvest.

How do you use herbs?  What are your favorites?

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  1. Do you have a recipe for a apple cider drink? (healthy and delicious?)

    Reply

  2. […] Chamomile or lemon balm tea about an hour before bed is a good way to transition from awake time to sleepy time. […]

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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