Hi there, I’m Kat. I am a homesteader, prepper, gardener, wife and mother and an avid herbal nut! I love anything to do with herbs, plants and essential oils. I marvel at this amazing world we have been given to live in, the plants put here for us to use so that we may live this life more fully and with “wholeness”.
I have been in the alternative healthcare field for over 15 years, and during this time have learned and experienced a wide varieties of healing from Massage Therapy, Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Herbs and more. Although I have “mastered” some fields such as Massage Therapy, I truly have a student’s heart to continually learn as much as I can, and that translates into my herbal education. My herbal background is based in a love of plants from my mother, who shared her knowledge freely with me beginning at a young age. I continued my learning from a variety of sources including courses at 3 different schools, a large collection of books from widely known authors such as Rosemary Gladstar, Susan Weed, Kathy Keville, Jeanne Rose and more. I am currently enrolled in Herbal Academy of New England’s program, because you can never learn too much!! If I had to classify myself I would say that I am a traditional herbalist with wise woman ways!
As homesteaders, preppers, women, men, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters and sons we just want to eat right, feel right and use more natural approaches to health and wellness. We have learned that “whole”, natural foods are best for us. If we nod our heads in agreement with that statement, then let me ask you this: why do we continue to use man-made chemical pills, syrups and drugs when we get sick?
The best course of action in my opinion would be the “whole” route - granted the road less traveled, but getting busier every day! Our bodies were created to break down, metabolize and use more effectively, whole foods, plants, spices and the like. So let’s look at several reasons why it would be good for us to “Go Herbal!”
I have been dealing with allergies this season quite badly, and I instinctively reached for a leading name brand allergy syrup to relieve my symptoms. But lucky for me, I have been on this “reading my labels kick”, so I did! All I can say is, “Wow!” Take a look:
“Diphenhydramine HCI, anhydrous citric acid, D&C red #33, FD&C red #40, flavors, glycerin, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, poloxamer 407, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sucrose.”
Some of the ingredients I actually know, like glycerin and purified water, but the ones I cannot pronounce I am quite sure I don’t want in my body!!
There are countless different herbs and as many different combinations of herbs that are used for our good health and healing. Thankfully, there are only a few basic but different types of preparations that are used in treating illnesses, ailments, afflictions and wounds.
These preparations take dried or fresh herbs and transform them into life giving medicine that can be taken internally in the form of teas, capsules and the like, or applied topically such as salves, oils, bath salts and compresses. Sometimes you will use both methods of preparation for a single herb with differing expected outcomes such as using St. John’s wort to make capsules and also a salve. The nature of your ailment will ultimately determine your preparation.
Welcome to Getting Started With Herbal Remedies. This series is for beginners. I am excited to be joining you on your Herbal Journey and look forward to learning new things with you too. In upcoming posts we will look at the ABC’s of working with and using herbs in our homes for beauty, cleaning, and for medicinal support. We will learn the variety of ways to prepare herbs and cover many DIY recipes together. PLUS, we’ll be creating our own Herbal Materia Medica too, with plenty of printable materials. Let’s take a peek at what’s ahead:
Our time together will include:
I highly suggest purchasing a 3-ring binder with a see through pocket in the front for the cover of your Herbal Materia Medica. This will become your Herbal Bible of sorts. You will be able to index all of your favorite recipes, information that you will want to keep at your fingertips and refer back to time and time again.
Here are your first couple of downloadable printables. One is the cover and also a blank Materica Medica.
Click here to download the cover.
Get your FREE Materia Medica Template by filling out this form:First Name *
You will also be subscribed to the weekly Self Reliant School Digest. You can unsubscribe at any time.
I also suggest looking into purchasing quality dried herbs (or harvest your own) for our studies. One of the most important aspects of learning about herbs is to use them, not just study about them. You may want to record your experiences with each herb in your Herbal Materia Medica; such as taste, feelings, any emotions, reactions and personal experience. For our learning purposes, purchase or harvest ½ to 1 ounce of each herb.
I have used the following two companies for my herbs and can highly recommend them both. Mountain Rose Herbs and Bulk Herb Store. These are also great companies to get your accessories that you will use in making some of the recipes; tins, containers, waxes, bottles etc. This year my herbs are doing marvelous, so I plan on harvesting most of my herbs from my garden – I will have a video tutorial on harvesting/drying/preserving. Remember to do your research when looking for a reliable herbal supply company, it’s important to get the highest quality of herbs you can afford. Once you start on the road of Herbal discovery you will want reliable access to a wide variety of herbs for your tinctures, salves and teas!
I leave you for today with a lovely excerpt from Healing Wise:
“I see the wise woman. From her shoulders, a mantle of power flows.
I see the wise woman at her loom. Every thread is different, each perfect and splendid, alive with sound and color.
I see the wise woman. She is old and black and walks with the aid of a beautifully carved stick. She speaks in song, in story, in dance. She lives in every herb.
I see the wise woman. And she sees me. She winks at me and spreads her arms.
"These are the ways of our grandmothers, the ancient ones. Every pain, every plant, every problem is cherished. Night is loved for darkness, day for light. Uniqueness is our treasure, not normalcy.
"These are the ways of our grandmothers, the ancient ones. Receive abundance with compassion, knowing you will be food for others. Know that dying is a portal just as birth is. Celebrate all comings and goings, they are the turnings of the spiral.
"These are the ways of our grandmothers, the ancient ones. The joy of life is the give- away. You are the center of your universe. You are the axis, life's matrix, the still point in the ever-moving. The designs of the universe radiate through you. You are god/dess, unique and whole."
I see the wise woman. And she sees me. She smiles from shrines in thousands of places. She is buried in the ground of every country. She flows in every river and pulses in the oceans. The wise woman's robe flows down your back, centering you in the ever-changing, ever-spiraling mystery.
Everywhere I look, the wise woman looks back. And she smiles.”
Next time we are together we will look at the history of herbs and herbalism. I hope you’re excited, because I am and I look forward to learning the ABC’s of beginning Herbalism with you, until next time, be well!
Howdy there, I'm Kat! I'm a southern gal who loves being a wife, mother, blogger, writer and a follower of Jesus Christ. I adore coffee, chocolate, sweet tea, essential oils, herbs, gardening, homemade bread, meows, guns, drag racing and TEXAS! Simply Living Simply was created 3 years ago, from my hearts desire to share Simple ideas pertaining to homesteading & preparedness, gardening & food, herbs to DIY and everything in-between, all with a Semi-Homemade twist. Two rules we live by around here: Keep it Simple & always Semi-homemade!
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