Creating an Herbal Medicine Chest for the Home

Creating herbal medicine chest for the home, including information on the herbs used as healing tinctures and salves.

| September/October 1985

How to create an herbal medicine chest for the home including herbs used as healing tinctures and salves. 

Creator of All Good Things. . .
We thank you
for the beauty of the plant,
for the strength of its healing,
for the goodness of its color,
for the strength of its smell,
and the cleanness of its spirit.

from Song of the Seven Herbs, by Walking Night Bear 

Creating an Herbal Medicine Chest for the Home

Part II

In the last issue, I told you about seven of my favorite medicinal herbs: comfrey, echinacea, garlic, angelica, valerian, chamomile, and calendula. I described how to grow them, each one's medicinal functions, and an array of ways—such as in teas, poultices, and oils—to use them.

This time around, I'm going to share how to make my favorite forms of herbal remedies—tinctures and salves. While I still steep teas and make poultices when need be, more and more these days I'm using the medicines I'll describe in this article. I like herbal remedies that are already made up, because they're so easy to use when I'm sick. (There's nothing worse than having to fix up an elaborate preparation when you're hardly able to get out of bed!)

What's more, tinctures and salves last much longer than dried leaves, flowers, or roots stored in bottles. I can make up a batch of rosemary headache tincture or all-purpose healing salve that will last me three or four years. Actually, my homemade medicines would last that long, except for one thing: So many other people find them useful that I end up giving a lot of them away! Try out some of the following preparations yourself—you'll soon see what I mean.

5/30/2007 10:08:32 PM

Hi, Does anyone know of a place in New York City or its surrounding area that sells quality tintures and dried medicinal herbs? I am specificaly looking for valerin root tinture (or anything else to promote sleep).

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