We have all heard about the Salem witch trials. Women were accused of practicing witchcraft when they were only using herbal medicine. Most herbal remedies required that herbs be infused in some type of liquid or oil. This might have been viewed as stirring up a pot of brew or cooking up a spell. These wise women were not witches or part of an evil cult. They were skilled women using recipes passed from generation to generation. They knew the value of medicinal herbs and were available to help when the closest doctor might be a week (or months) away.
Wise women around the world know the value of a caring touch when caring for a sick loved one. Many, becoming herbalists out of necessity, also know the value of medicinal roots, seeds, resins, barks, and leaves.
Most of these dedicated professionals admit that there is a place for herbs in our daily lives. In today's society, many people are returning to the ways of our elders. It's not just old hippies and third world countries that use herbs.
Herbs are proven effective for relieving stress and improving various ailments. Many are beneficial for skin and are valued in modern beauty products. As the Bible states in Proverbs 27:9, "Ointment and Perfume Rejoice the Heart."
Lotions, ointments, tinctures, and teas are four ways to incorporate herbs into our daily lives. There are many more methods including oils, salves, creams, washes, infusions, syrups, inhalants, compresses, baths, capsules, tonics, astringents, lozenges, suppositories, liniments, powders, poultices, and plasters.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with herbal extracts, supplements and cure-alls. Most of these products come with high price tags and exaggerated claims. If an herbal extract comes last in the list of ingredients, there is not enough of the original herb to do much good. Look for products where the herbal extracts and tinctures come first or second in the list!
Herbal remedies are easily made with ordinary kitchen equipment. It is inexpensive and fun to make herbal lotions, ointments, tinctures, and teas. Don't worry about being called a witch -- the days of witches being burned at the stake are over. Herbs are for everyone!
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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