Saturday, February 23, 2013
Herbal First Aid
I am in the middle of an eight week course on herbal first aid medicine and I want to share some of the information that I've learned. The course is taught by a man by the name of 7Song who runs the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in New York. He has practiced herbal medicine for over twenty years all over the US as well as abroad.
I have enjoyed working with plants in a survival situation for food and shelter but just recently started to delve into the wonderful properties that have to heal your body. A lot of the the plants that I am learning about can be found in your yard or just a short walk away. I've looked at plants such as plantain and yarrow as weeds but they are some of the most powerful and useful herbal medicine plants that can be found and they have been used for centuries. The powerful chemicals in these plants can be harnessed in olive oil infusions and made into healing salves or applied directly to wounds.
If you want to have this amazing plant on hand at all times, you can infuse the properties in an oil such as olive, almond or sunflower. You will want to dry the plant first as fresh plants have water in them which can cause your oil to grow mold. Put this infusion in the sun for 3-6 weeks and the chemicals will seep from the plant into the oil. Then strain the plant material with cheese cloth so all you have in the oil. Combine this infused oil with beeswax which is also antibacterial and will harden the mixture. The ratio is 1 cup of oil to one ounce of beeswax. Heat the beeswax and infused oil over medium heat until the beeswax melts. Take off the burner and add four drops of vitamin e to help preserve it. Put into a container and its ready to use any time! I have used it on cuts and scrapes and always have one in my first aid kit.