Herbal Healing

This blog is dedicated to herbal healing and other natural health remedies. In an attempt to deepen my own knowledge, I will share information on a variety of herbs, focusing largely on easy to find Western plants, as well as methods for preparing herbal medicines and natural beauty treatments. I am not a certified herbalist, licensed cosmetologist, or physician, so please use the information on this blog at your own risk! I've been an aspiring herbalist for several years, and I hope to finally get my certification sometime this year.

BUYING AND STORING HERBS
In these times, when wild lands are being developed at an alarming  pace and cultivation of medicinal herbs has not yet caught up with the  rate of their use, it is critical that each of us takes responsibility  for where our herbs are coming from and who is growing and harvesting  them.  You must insist on high-quality organically grown herbs!  Though  they may cost a bit more, they are far better for our medicines and,  ultimately, for our planet.
Buying High-Quality HerbsThe single most  important factor when purchasing herbs for making remedies is  recognizing and obtaining the best quality available.  Buy your herbs  from reputable companies, those that have a conscience and are concerned  about both the quality of the products they sell and the environment.   (My favorite company to buy bulk herbs from is www.mountainroseherbs.com)   Whenever possible, use your herbs fresh!  However, this is not always  feasible - but quality dried herbs will generally retain all of their  medicinal properties.  A good dried herb should look, smell and taste  almost exactly as it does when it’s fresh!
Growing Medicinal HerbsThe best way to ensure  that you’re getting quality herbs is to grow your own.  Many of the  plants that you use for medicine can be grown as part of your  flower/vegetable garden.  They might even be growing wild already in  your backyard or in the woods.  Incorporate them into your landscape and  use them as they grow and thrive.  A great book on the subject is Growing 101 Herbs that Heal by Tammi Hartung.  I rent a duplex that doesn’t really have a yard, so I  set up a container garden of herbs for medicine and cooking.   Fortunately, most herbs thrive in a small container on a sunny  windowsill.  :) 
Storing HerbsHerbs retain their properties best  if stored in air-tight glass jars, away from direct light, in a cool  storage area (a kitchen cabinet will do).  You can store them in all  kinds of containers, but I’ve found that durable glass bottles do best.   I try to re-use any kind of jar I have… I just make sure to wash it  out REALLY REALLY WELL.  You don’t want your herbs smelling like pickles  or marinara sauce.  I’ve mentioned labeling before and I’ll speak of  its importance again, so remember to label all of your jars with the  plant name and date.
(Photo credit: http://www.etoday.ru/2011/12/pharmacy-museum-new-orleans.php)

BUYING AND STORING HERBS

In these times, when wild lands are being developed at an alarming pace and cultivation of medicinal herbs has not yet caught up with the rate of their use, it is critical that each of us takes responsibility for where our herbs are coming from and who is growing and harvesting them.  You must insist on high-quality organically grown herbs!  Though they may cost a bit more, they are far better for our medicines and, ultimately, for our planet.

Buying High-Quality Herbs
The single most important factor when purchasing herbs for making remedies is recognizing and obtaining the best quality available.  Buy your herbs from reputable companies, those that have a conscience and are concerned about both the quality of the products they sell and the environment.  (My favorite company to buy bulk herbs from is www.mountainroseherbs.com)  Whenever possible, use your herbs fresh!  However, this is not always feasible - but quality dried herbs will generally retain all of their medicinal properties.  A good dried herb should look, smell and taste almost exactly as it does when it’s fresh!

Growing Medicinal Herbs
The best way to ensure that you’re getting quality herbs is to grow your own.  Many of the plants that you use for medicine can be grown as part of your flower/vegetable garden.  They might even be growing wild already in your backyard or in the woods.  Incorporate them into your landscape and use them as they grow and thrive.  A great book on the subject is Growing 101 Herbs that Heal by Tammi Hartung.  I rent a duplex that doesn’t really have a yard, so I set up a container garden of herbs for medicine and cooking.  Fortunately, most herbs thrive in a small container on a sunny windowsill.  :) 

Storing Herbs
Herbs retain their properties best if stored in air-tight glass jars, away from direct light, in a cool storage area (a kitchen cabinet will do).  You can store them in all kinds of containers, but I’ve found that durable glass bottles do best.  I try to re-use any kind of jar I have… I just make sure to wash it out REALLY REALLY WELL.  You don’t want your herbs smelling like pickles or marinara sauce.  I’ve mentioned labeling before and I’ll speak of its importance again, so remember to label all of your jars with the plant name and date.

(Photo credit: http://www.etoday.ru/2011/12/pharmacy-museum-new-orleans.php)

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