Merry Meet again my friends. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned. After the amazing weekend I had last week, I’m pretty much planning on reading, crocheting, puttering and just taking it easy. I had so much energy this past weekend and then as the week has gone on, I’ve felt a bit drained and tired. I bet many of you have felt that way as well. I’m planning on making some bread and my delicious veggie soup on Sun day. I also have some new herbs I need to get put into jars and labeled. Speaking of herbs, I spent a couple of days this week making some tinctures, oils and a healing salve. Thought I’d show you some pics and talk about it a bit here for you.
I have decided to bring out my “green” witch a bit more by really diving into learning more about herbs for medicinal purposes…not just for magickal purposes. My daughter Kate and I have dabbled in it in the past and we are both interested in doing more then dabbling. My friend Mossie and I (Hi Mossie!) also have decided to make potions and lotions together..though she is in Canada and I am here in Ohio..LOL! We have discussions and decide what we are going to make together. I have been purchasing books like crazy and weeding thru what I would realistically not only make, but use on a daily basis. I have some new favorite herbal books and I’ll talk about those in time….in my library and/or here in the blog text.
So this week I made three tinctures, two oils and a lavender/tea tree oil antiseptic salve. I gathered my supplies and got busy. Now tinctures are very simple as I’m sure many of you know. You can use just about any herb, I use dried, about 1-2 ozs depending on the weight of the herb. Place the herbs in a jar that has a twist lid (I love canning jars for this), and add 100 proof vodka to fill the jar. You can also use 80 proof and you can use Rum instead of vodka. Rum will actually help to “sweeten” herb tinctures that will have a bitter taste like stinging nettles. Shake the jar well to mix. Always label your tincture with the name of it and the date. Now just put it on a shelf for 6 weeks. The first week I shake it every day. After that I give it a shake every couple of days. After 6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the tincture. Bottle it and you are good to go.
I made three tinctures..Valerian which will aid sleep, Yarrow which has antiseptic properties and will bring down blood pressure, and stinging nettles for my seasonal allergies. In 6 weeks I’ll be able to start taking a dropperful every day.
I also made calendula oil and St. John’s oil….both which will be made into salves in a few weeks. The instructions are the same as for tinctures. You can use any kind of oil you like. Grapeseed, virgin olive, almond, sunflower, jojoba. For my purposes I used organic grapeseed but any of these oils will do. The other thing I did a bit differently was that I gently warmed the oil with the herb in it to give it a good start in releasing the good stuff from the herb.
This is the calendula…isn’t that pretty? and it smelled wonderful! When the oils are ready, I’ll show how to make the salves from that oil here on my blog. Here is my finished jars. So now I’ll just be shaking them and opening them to smell them etc. You may need to add more vodka or more oil if necessary. I’m pleased with my work! 🙂
Today my daughter Kate and I made our lavender/tea tree antiseptic salve. This salve is good for anything going on with your skin..from dry red skin to minor cuts and scratches. Good stuff..we use it alot and it smells great!
For this recipe I used about 1 1/2 cups of jojoba oil, 2-3 ozs of beeswax beads, 20 drops of tea tree oil, 50 drops of lavender oil, and a 1/2 tsp of vitamin E oil. Now you can use another oil like peppermint or wintergreen instead of lavender if you’d like, but the tea tree oil must stay. You can adjust also how much of each you put in the mix…make it smell the way YOU like it! Gently warm the oil and the beeswax until the beeswax melts.
Drop in the essential oils and vitamin E oil and stir well. Pour quickly into clean dry jars before it sets up again. This is my beautiful daughter Kate doing just that. (and yes, she is carrying my grandson Charlie Matthew who will be here in about 9 weeks!) Can’t wait! 🙂
It only took about 20 minutes for it to set up then. Be sure and label and date the jars. With the tea tree oil being an antiseptic, this salve lasts a long time. But it won’t because you will find lots of uses for it! It’s great on diaper rash too! 🙂 I keep the ingredients to make this in my home at all times.
If you haven’t worked with herbs before…these are some of the easiest ways to start. Be sure to learn what the herbs will DO for your body and be sure always that they don’t interfere with any prescription medicines you’re taking and that your doctor knows you’re taking them. I hope to use these remedies to REPLACE prescription meds eventually. There are so many great videos on youtube, online herbal classes etc to help you get started. Your local herb shop or health food store will also be a great place to find what you’re looking for and to get valuable information. And Books…there are so many books about just this thing. Here is some of my favorites…..
-The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey
-The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood
-Judes Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Todd
-The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green
-The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce Wardwell
-The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy
-Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
and anything by Susun Weed
I’ll be talking alot more about herbs and remedies as my dabbling turns into serious learning. I have even signed up for an online course..though basic..it’ll be a great place to start. To give me a good foundation to move on to possibly becoming a Master Herbalist. For now, I’m a green witch..still learning and enjoying the process! Anybody care to join me?
Anne Wilson Schaef
Blessings and Light, Autumn