Make Your Own Medicine

10 Nov

I had the pleasure of taking a workshop on making your own herbal medicines at Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm in Oak Ridge a few weeks ago.  I’d heard about it months ago but hadn’t made it down there until the workshop.  They have workshops varying from aromatic gifts to herb and chocolate pairings.

When we pulled up to farm and took in the bright red barn, the rows of herbs the bright and airy gift shop and demonstration area I couldn’t help but be jealous of whoever it was that got to live and work there.

We learned how to make several cough syrups, salves and liniments for ailments from sore muscles to acne to coughs to strings to bruises.  We each took home one cough syrup or tonic, one salve and one liniment.  Here are the ones I made (the recipes are in proportions rather than exact amounts, but I suggest some proportions in parenthesis):

Good Health Tonic (for overall immunity and good health)
2 parts nettle (1 t)
2 parts red clover (1 t)
1 part lemon peel (1/2 t)

add ingredients to 1 cup of hot water and let steep for at least ten minutes.  add sugar or honey to taste.

Mild Salve (for chapped lips, acne and other superficial skin ailments)
equal parts chamomile, sage and calendula (1 t)
1/2 c oil (olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil and grapeseed oil will work)
1 oz beeswax

Infuse oil with chamomile, sage and calendula by mixing all ingredients and letting them sit in a jar for 2-6 weeks or by heating oil over a low flame, adding the herbs and letting it infuse for 1-3 hours.  Strain oil with a fine seive or cheesecloth, add beeswax and allow it to melt into the oil completely.  Pour warm mixture into a container until it sets.


Mild Salve (for chapped lips, acne and other superficial skin ailments)
equal parts chamomile, sage and calendula (1 t)
1/2 c oil (olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil and grapeseed oil will work)
1 oz beeswax

Infuse oil with chamomile, sage and calendula by mixing all ingredients and letting them sit in a jar for 2-6 weeks or by heating oil over a low flame, adding the herbs and letting it infuse for 1-3 hours.  Strain oil with a fine seive or cheesecloth, add beeswax and allow it to melt into the oil completely.  Pour warm mixture into a container until it sets.

Energizing Liniment (to improve circulation and pep up sore muscles
2 parts peppermint (1 t)
1 part spearmint (1/2 t)
1 part eucalyptus (1/2 t)

Infuse oil with peppermint, spearmint and eucalyptus by mixing all ingredients and letting them sit in a jar for 2-6 weeks or by heating oil over a low flame, adding the herbs and letting it infuse for 1-3 hours.  Allow to cool before pouring into jar or bottle.

Everything, from the herbal tea we were served when we first walked in, to the fabulous instructor, to the adorable gift shop, to the plethora of herbs I took home with me, was fantastic!  Do yourself a favor at visit the herb farm for a workshop or just drop by and pick up some herbs.

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