November 8, 2013
My interest in medicinal herbs grew out of (or perhaps along with?) my interest in organic gardening and soapmaking. It all coalesced for me around the same time.
Like I've stated many times before, my herbal knowledge is limited mostly to herbs for skin care, in support of my soapmaking and the natural skin care products I craft. My personal study has ventured a little into internally administered herbal medicine and I practice, from time to time, my knowledge on my "test subjects" (aka: my children).
But honestly, I spend most of my health and wellbeing energies on plant-based, nutrient dense food preparation, which I absolutely believe is the best defense against getting sick in the first place. And this strategy seems to work for us.
The posts I've written on herbal skin care can all be found here.
I have a whole shelf of herbs in one of my kitchen cupboards I've had since we lived in Maine (I've moved that stash 4 times!). I think dried plants lose their potency after a couple years. The only herbs in that stash that I've consistently used are the ones for topical remedies. I think it's time for an "herb purge".
I started a couple tinctures early this year for summer skin care and first aid related issues but never did need to use them.
Maybe I'm just getting lazy in my parenting. Now that my kids are older I do a lot more "go gargle with salt water" when they complain of a sore throat than I do ministering to them with herbal concoctions. Mean mom. I know.
Another reason for using less homemade herbal remedies is that I prefer the potency and efficacy of therapeutic essential oils instead.
I am slowly building a stash of high grade essential oils that are replacing my previous use of herbal concoctions. Essential oils are so easy to use. You don't have to "cook" anything. As my stash of essential oils grows I reach for them more and more to take care of my family's health.
Essential oils are also more compact, literally they just take less space (which is important to me), and they seem, in my very in-expert opinion to be more effective.
Essential oils are nothing new to me. I've been using them in soap making for years. But in the past two years I've been learning more about using them internally, and also externally for health and wellbeing, not just as nice fragrances in my soap.
My sister-in-law especially has been educating our family about therapeutic essential oil use since her amazing success treating many health issues for her young children.
She was so impressed that she joined the doTERRA essential oil organization and is now one of Canada's top performing representatives for the company. My brother (her husband) does this work also now. Essential oils have transformed their family life, in more ways than one.
One of the areas I need to educate myself about and prepare for is trail first aid with essential oils and herbs.
In getting ready for our hike next year I want to prepare a kit of remedies. The trick is that this kit must be lightweight. I cannot afford the weight of extras or unnecessaries.
This is one of thru-hike preparation "to-do's", among many. I will be consulting my sis-in-law I'm sure. And I plan to order doTERRA oils, for obvious reasons (notwithstanding they produce excellent oils).
For inspiration and ideas in preparing our own lightweight backpacking essential oil and herbal remedies kit I will be thoroughly evaluating Stephanie's travel medicine kit at Keeper of the Home.
Stephanie knows her stuff, and is using this kit as her family travels around the world this year. (Incidentally, Stephanie is the founder of this bundle sale and she rocks.)
Interestingly, hikers generally report excellent health while thru-hiking, which seems counter-intuitive. All those miles every day. The theories I've read is that your body actually rises to the challenge and the fresh air and general mental wellbeing contributes significantly. I'm interested to see how it will be for our family.
Health coach, author and teacher, Lisa Bryne, who I talk about here a lot, also teaches how to use EO's for mental clarity, etc. and I appreciate her insight. She distills things down for simple, immediate, and effective action.
The natural health bookshelf has got you covered for herbal knowledge and essential oil use:
The online conference portion of Bundle sale, The Coffee Table Conversations, feature one discussion on essential oils and another on herbal remedies.
Also, if you tried to order early this week and noticed PayPal wasn't an option, that has been fixed, thank goodness.
You probably are familiar enough with bundles to know that the sites you purchase through (ie: my blog or someone else's) get a cut of that sale. Which means I would be super pleased if you are considering purchasing this bundle that you do so through the links on my blog.
Any link from my site counts, not just the buy button below.
Click here to get the low-down on the complete bundle.
Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.
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