Homemade Herbals

Handmade Herbal Medicinals


a cuppa tea

There are some things in life I just love..
One of these things, as i sit here and muse and write, is having a cuppa tea (in this case hot sweet black yorkshire tea with a few cloves thrown in) and biscuits. (read; cookies, if you’re american!)
I love dunking them in (in this case, gluten free ginger biscuits) and tasting the crumbly moist sweet warmth in my mouth no matter how much sugar is there!
I muse on..
Since I arrived in America 7 years ago, I have gone from a booze loving, smoking, toking, wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine drinking, thinking myself healthy, relatively happy consumer to being plagued by all manner of health complaints and radically changing notions of health and what’s good for you.
These days, I have migraines and severe stomach aches from eating wheat. Caffeine and chocolate seem to be triggers. I have tried cutting out tomatoes, corn, soy, chocolate, sugar, and grains to the point of suspicion of a plate of food. My baby spews up and gets cramps if I eat cow dairy.
I no longer drink caffeine, alcohol, smoke or toke or have fun with natures substances.
Some may say it is detoxing, some may say it is grains.
The point is.. everyone has a different opinion and ultimately, things change and completely seem to ignore the very real relation of food to mood and vise versa.
Has cutting out these foods made me happier and healthier? Yes, to some degree, no, in other ways. I am more conscious perhaps as well as more picky. I make many more meals at home, but find it harder to eat out at friends or at restaurants, which can amount to an awkward social food factor or the inevitable migraine if I lapse.
I have no doubt that my changing body ~ new environment, two babies and entirely new set of cells later, have in part made my reaction to certain delicacies so strong. I have read and heard about Paleo, Gluten and Grain Free, Lactose intolerance and Gut Dysbiosis and worried about whether my diet and my children’s is a leading cause of their/my dysfunctions.. All in all, I swing between clarity and confusion and I’m sure many of you can relate.
No doubt about it, this nation is health obsessed, for better or for worse. And it better be, with the amount of money people need to ‘fork’ out if they find themselves in need of care. Health care can literally cost ‘an arm and a leg’ and it is fabulous that more and more of us have access to ways of self healing, through diet, exercise, acupuncture, naturopathy, herbs and homeopathy and the myriad health modalities out there.
We are fortunate to be blessed with the quality and quantity of food and all its related allergens (!)
And yet, I look at people, my past self included, who do not have access to this knowledge and choice and see a more relaxed enjoyment of what’s on their plate. Less constant weighing up of contents and consequences.
A little voice pipes up at the back of my mind.. It belongs to a ninety year old lady called Beatty who had Tourettes syndrome in the Nursing home i used to work in, she once bit my head but thats another story… She always said about food, “If you like it, dear, then its good for you.”
I hear screaming at the unscientific basis of this old lady’s comment.. but, as it goes, when it all boils down to it there is something to be said for Beatty’s point of view.. at least in terms of enjoyment.. if you are what you eat, then make it a treat!

an 'erbal ramble

Plants are inseparable from our lives, whether as food, medicine, shelter, or toilet paper... from tea and coffee, to wheat, wine and coca.. medicines used or abused, it all comes from plants.. as one of you said, much of our pharmaceutical basis is from plants, although not the whole plant but an extract of a chemical constituent, or part that works entirely differently when separated from the whole plant.
Thank God for medicine, in all forms... whether allopathic or naturopathic. If it is there and you need it, you will not be arguing ideals.. However, it seems to me that we can and need to learn a lot from both sides working together and one of the main problems of allopathic western medicine is that it fails to alter the main ingredient of lifestyle and diet and thinking... we are what we eat.. and even though it may serve us in the short term to take a pill that cuts the headache, lessens the pain, ultimately we do not deal with the root of the problem and why this is occuring in the first place.. and it probably will recur as long as we ignore and cover up the problem with a band aid and transfer our own capacity for healing in to the hands of doctors and pharmaceutical companies that honestly do not wish to see you take matters into your own hands and know how to heal yourself.
This is what Chinese medicine effectively does.. it addresses the body's imbalances and knows how to rebalance them so that the whole body is strengthened and nourished. As well as herbal medicine... yes it is potent.. a touch too much aconite and your heart stops beating.. and the dose is low... but a very effective pain killer when the dose is right... and it is all about dosage!
that goes for all foods and medicines..
It seems that what a ban on herbal medicine would truly prevent is the ability for us to learn, experiment and share knowledge with others, for ourselves, and take healing as an everyday birth and body right in to our own hands.. we do not need to be parented by the government and pharmaceutical industry on that, rather by educators, teachers, herbalists, medicine women and those who know, embody and can share their craft.