June 23, 2016
I used to really be "into" herbs and herbal knowledge. I'd say approximately ten years ago, in my late 20's and early 30's at the same time I started blogging, is when this interest took root in my life.
On the recommendation of a close friend (she swore by elderberry) I started using a few store-bought herbal remedies. But in my opinion, they were pricey and when I learned I could make my own, well, that's what I wanted to do. I started growing herbs, making tinctures, poultices, and salves. I was very excited by all of it. This is also the phase of my life in which I became a soapmaker.
It was the edge of my growth curve and like anything at the edge of my growth curve, I was motivated to write about it also.
When we downsized and left Maine, moving back to Canada and deep-diving into the adventure phase of our family life, I moved my stash of dried herbs, tinctures, and infusions. But slowly, through a combination of moving every nine months, hearty and healthy constitutions, and evolving interests and shifts in personal growth and development, my study and practice of herbalism fell by the wayside.
Then, a few years ago when I started to learn about essential oils I figured these could replace the role of herbs in helping me to treat the minor illnesses and everyday aches our family experienced.
A small kit of essential oils were my go-to remedies on the Appalachian Trail to treat upset tummies, rashes, sun exposure, bug bites, etc. (We used Permethrin on our clothing and tents and Picaridin on our skin to repel insects. When it came to ticks, we weren't messing around.)
I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing, whether to dilute or not, how much to apply, etc. but what I did worked relatively well. Lavender, lemon, peppermint, melaleuca, oregano, frankincense, and Deep Blue®, from the DoTERRA Family Physician Kit were my go-to oils on the AT.
But even so, it wasn't enough to prevent each and every one of us from experiencing mild to severe gastroenteritis; acquired from the unsanitary conditions on the trail. We should have used more hand sanitizer. We should have used more On Guard. We should have... we should have... all easy to say when you're looking back. We survived and finished the trail, with the exception of myself due to a foot injury.
Fast forward to this past winter when our family came down with the worst flu virus we've ever experienced.
The cupboards were mostly empty of the herbal remedies I had used in the past and I had actually forgotten the best strategies for using herbs. I was so out of practice. And by the time I had wrapped by brain around the fact that rest and fluids was not going to cut it this time around, it was too late for any essential oil or herb to be effective at treating our illness.
I went into the winter unprepared. The knowledge I had acquired in the past was relegated to a long-term memory folder I wasn't able to access and was insufficient for what I was dealing with. Wait and see meant wait and be ill.
And if I'm completely honest, I was kind of hoping we were done with all that. That once the baby reached 13 we'd be through the worst of the kid illnesses and that somehow just having the bottles of essential oil in the house would keep illness at bay.
This is almost comical in retrospect and I can't say it was a conscious thing, but I do think subconsciously I may have thought we were done with all that. Like you can be "done" with illness. Ha!
When we emerged from the fog that was two months of flu and and then secondary infections (that required antibiotics, the first time in about fifteen years) I resolved to re-learn what I had lost, re-stock what I need in the cupboards, and to have a plan for next winter.
I never want to go through that again. Pain does that. It hurts and you try to figure out how to avoid that suffering in the future, because it sucks.
My goal, by next winter, roughly November, is to have developed our family's essential oil and herbal remedies path for treating cold and flu. What I want to create is a classic if-then-else flowchart for cold and flu. (At the first sign of... do this.... then this.... else this...) I don't want to mess around, I don't want vague notions in my head about horseradish, onions, oregano oil and zinc.
I don't want to start searching the web, dusting the cobwebs off my knowledge, when we start feeling off. It didn't work last time. I want to have a plan of action, going into winter.
To that end I was going to take online courses. And I was planning to buy some herbal remedies my friend recommended. But the money situation has changed and it will be tight well into winter, so I was waiting and worrying, resigning myself to the fact that I'd have to do the work myself of finding the resources, searching the links and finding other solutions to the expensive herbal products I hoped to buy. (I recognize essential oils are also relatively expensive, but I have a lot of the basics already.)
And then... the Herbs & Essential Oil Super Bundle came along.
This is exactly how it happened. I don't keep in the Bundle loop, as I don't need a lot of homemaking help these days, and I find most bundles are full of a bunch of stuff I don't need. But I got an email a couple weeks ago that this would be for offered for sale. Was I interested in helping promote it?
Yes! Never mind promoting it, I need it for myself.
The information is all here. I don't have to go searching the web, or clicking through my growing list of essential oil bookmarks. These books have everything I need.
In truth, I probably have everything I need in the two hardcopy books I own (yes, just two), one on essential oils, one on herbs, but there is so much information in those books and I really want to focus on cold and flu right now.
Do you need this bundle to learn about essential oils and herbs? Do I need this bundle to learn what I need to get me ready for next winter?
But I believe it will simplify the process or at least get me solidly pointed in a good direction. And at a price I can afford.
I still have to do the work of reading through the material (not all of it, just the ebooks most relevant to me), making notes and drafting my flow chart (I'm serious about the flow chart). But it seems doable.
Before I committed to buying and writing about this bundle I wanted to make sure it provided a few things:
I'm not one of those people who's going to tell you this bundle has everything you need, because it doesn't. You don't just need the knowledge, you don't just need the resources at your "fingertips". I had resources at my fingertips and it wasn't enough.
yarrow, growing like "weeds" in my backyard
I need to use the knowledge, find the supplies, buy the supplies (the bonus offer of the bundle helps with this), make the stuff. That part isn't done for me, or you.
I'm at the stage of life where I wish that part was done for me (because I have other interests I want to spend time on) but I can't afford what that costs. So... I'm back to rolling up my sleeves, using the brain God gave me, and the resources easily accessible (my weedy yard is full of yarrow!) to get where I need to go. Because I do not want to re-live another sick season like this past winter.
I'm going to publish a bit more about this bundle in the coming days, sharing what I'll be using specifically for my cold and flu prep work, and what I think about the bonus offer. (It rocks! I've already ordered my oils and saved more than the cost of the bundle. That's significant.)
In the meantime, you can check it for yourself of course.
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