Saturday, October 15, 2005

Herbal medicine and why YOU should make it!

I encourage everyone to leave this blog right now and go to The Deliberate Agrarian's site and read his post on the Global Food will help you understand the importance of this post much more's ok...I'll wait :)

Much of what Herrick says about the Global Food Providers is also applicable to the supply of medicines. Medicine is produced by a handful of pharmaceutical companies. Do some reading to find out how this industry works and the awful truth about the "inert" ingredients in our vaccines, prescriptions and even over the counter medicines. I promise that it will turn your stomach! Did you know that some vaccines involve using the tissue of aborted babies? This has been done for over 30 years! Check out for the full story.

Aside from the moral and ethical issues of some conventional medicines, in the future medicine may become scarce just as food may become scarce. It is always dangerous to have control of anything in the hands of a few multi-national corporations. Money becomes the bottom line - and making more of it.

I think everyone should have some basic knowledge of making simple medicines at home. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers always had a medicinal garden for tea, poultices etc. In the days before there was a doctor's office on every corner, the woman of the house was the healer. God states in His word that He has provided all that we need. I believe that God provided the herbs to meet the medicinal needs that we would one day have. You will find many passages in the Scriptures where herbs were used as medicines and for cleansing. As you begin to study herbs and their properties, you will see the hand of God everywhere you look.

The sad thing about herbal medicine is that this is an area that the enemy has usurped! Just take a stroll into any "natural health store" or "herbal health store" and you will find the place filled with occult and new age practices and supplies. A friend said to me, "when you finish your training you will be the first Christian herbalist I have ever heard of" sad. And trying to study herbal medicine from a Christian perspective.....haven't found it offered anywhere in this country. have to "eat the meat and spit out the bones". Take the facts and learn from them and ignore all the new age/occult slop. It isn't hard to spot!

Just as everyone should know how to grow at least some of their own food, everyone should know how to make at least some of their own medicines. What happens when the day comes,
and I do believe it will if the Lord tarries, that you can't run down to Wally World and buy a bottle of aspirin? Did you know that there is a beautiful plant called Feverfew that can relieve a headache, especially a migraine.... as can the bark of the White Willow tree.

The first pharmacies were actually herbal shops! And a great deal of our medicine today is still derived from plants. The problem from the multi-nationals' point of view is that you can't patent a plant you haven't bred (at least not yet!) so therefore you can't patent herbal medicine. Since there is no money in it, there is no interest in research in that area. Thankfully we have many old texts from tens and even hundreds of years ago that can teach us about herbal medicines. Now, some of these herbal remedies have turned out to be folklore but some are nuggets of gold. The good news is that most of the folklore vs. gold has been researched by others....we can profit from the fruit of their labors!

Another advantage is that when making herbal medicine you are using all of the attributes of that plant. This is very important. For example, when it was discovered that white willow bark would soothe a headache, the pharmaceutical companies isolated which compound relieved the pain. Then they made a synthetic (chemical) copy of that compound and called it aspirin. We all know that aspirin can irritate the lining of the stomach...BUT....if you use the plant that God created there also happens to be another compound that will protect the lining of the irritation! At every turn, God's wisdom puts man's "wisdom" to shame!

We have found that people are hungry for this knowledge. I speak all over eastern Tennessee teaching about herbal medicine. I also teach classes here on the farm. I have an unusual mixture of people who ask me to teach, from garden clubs to Boy Scout Councils. When I speak at an open a farm expo...I get a mixed crowd ....lots of older people who have this knowledge or remember their Mama doing this and that....middle aged people who are fascinated but would rather buy it from me than take the trouble to make it.... and young people.....wise young people who are longing for the agrarian lifestyle and self sufficiency. They are raising babies and are wanting the best for them from food to medicine. But most of all....I get Christians.....people who want to know about the plants that God has given to us for our benefit but who don't want the new age/occult slant that you usually find with herbal medicine. Oh, I get the occasional new ager or occultist, but they get an earful of the Scriptures when they hear me talk....and perhaps God will use that to reach their hearts.

So take a walk with me through my herb garden....let me share about some plants and what types of medicines we make (and how simple it is!).....I hope to entice each of you to try at least one "homemade" medicine....

See you next post!


  1. This is a very exciting post and I am looking forward to reading more about your "homemade" medicines.

    You will not entice me to make at least one of them. I will make them all!

    Marlene and I have been doing some of this to some degree now for several years. I have made my own tinctures and we use them regularly. My favorite is propolis tincture, which I take a little of almost daily through the winter season. We are in the process of putting together an order of several herbs to Frontier now. I need more Echinacea root for tincture and am going to try making an elderberry tincture.

    Of course, we eat garlic which is good for so much!

    From my own garden I dry peppermint, thyme and gather elderberry blossoms that I dry also. We use these together in steam as an inhalent. So we are doing some things but we really know very little.

    I'm an eager and teachable pupil ;-)

  2. We don't yet know or do anything re medicines; ditto Mr. Kimball's first paragraph and last line.

    Mary Susan

  3. I eagerly await your next post!

    I have a sister & brother-in-law who work for Pfizer. Let me just say that it speaks volumes about the pharmaceutical companies when their own employees won't use their products! They are into herbs and natural remedies as well. You are so right about eating the meat and spitting out the bones though. It takes real discernment to weed the new-age quackery out of this subject. I'm sure you'll do a fine job of it, though.

    I already use salt water as a nasal spray for recurring sinus infections; it used to be I'd be on anitbiotics every 6 months or so without fail. No antibiotics for 3 years now. I also use garlic, echinacia, zinc and vitamin c for colds and scratchy throats, and I recover in about half the time it used to take. I'm sure these are common enough natural remedies to most. Good post!

  4. What an inspiration you are! I popped into to read your post after Zachary, 7, attempted a superman stunt down the basement stairs. His fascination with flying left him with good bruising to the face and leg. I applied one of my favorite multipurpose essential oils to eliminate the bruising. Oil of Oregano. I have always wanted to make our own medicine especially after a customer showed us how to gather and make our own Indian tea, Mullins tincture and white sage smudge pot( this is to drive out spiders and other unwanted insects). The indian tea was tastey. The children had so much fun.

    I will post on my research on oil of oregano and how it lead me to a new spiritual understanding.

    I, too, await more on this as I am really interested in taking our healing to a whole new level.

    The customer who showed us how to collect herbs said to do it on the full moon. I thought it was kind of hoaky until she explained that the gravitational pull coaxed the maximum healing qualities to rise in the plant leaves during the full moon. After her explanation, I grieved. I grieved the loss of such knowledge from our grandparents. Well...what do you expect? After all, old people are considered to be raisins good for shutting up in institutions.

    Now we have the county out spraying these very plants in ditches as noxious weeds. When I saw them spray not to long ago, it struck me as an excellent reminder of industrial societies perspective of the gifts God has given us. Irradicate those noxious weeds with chemical. Rip from the land what you can to feed our insatiable appetites for profit without offering a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Sterilize that fruitful womb with pill. Take only what we can feed our greed from the land and leave it barren and unfit for harvesting. Uh...Oh...sorry I forgot this was a comment box, not my blog entry. Blushing and slipping away to my blog to conjure up a post of my own.

  5. Hi!
    I am so excited to read your next post. I would love to find someone like you to teach me about herbs up here in MN (soap too!) You just have me so excited and envigorated. God is indeed providing me with what I have been praying for and I do thank Him (daily, by the minute) for all of these blogs that I can learn from.

    I have a question for you about beef tallow. Would you be able to email me? I couldn't find a contact link on your page - gwen AT shaneck DOT com

  6. We use herbs and natural remedies as much as possible. We are also planning to move onto 10 acres (sooner rather than later, I hope), and I am planning my square foot garden as we speak. I'm looking forward to more of this. And I'm wondering which herbs I should plant first! Breathless with anticipation!

  7. Tnfarmgirl,

    Oh, oh, oh, I know of a place that DOES teach herbal "medicine" from a Christian perspective!!! Well, it's actually a home study course by Shonda Parker. Here's the web address, ! I've not had the pleasuer of taking this course but I hope to in the future. Maybe it will be of some use to you and some of your readers!

  8. I'm so excited about this post and the one on soap. Both are things that I would love to start, but I simply don't know where to begin and where to get supplies. Can you help? I look forward to your upcoming entries!

  9. Herrick,
    Sounds like you have taken some great first steps...I hope I can add to your list in the coming weeks!

    Mary Susan,
    Get your pencil and paper ready!

    So interesting about your relatives! You are also doing a lot of great things....and the new age quackery usually just stands up and shouts! I hope you will find some things to add to your arsenal of healthy alternatives!

  10. Milkmaid,
    I can't wait to read your post about Oil of Oregano! And yes, I thought the "phases of the moon" stuff was a bit of quackery myself until I understood God's purposes in it all. It really does work!

    I will try to list some of the "firsts" you should start with in my posts...

    Thanks so much for the helps to reassure me that the time I give to this blog is being used by God for good :)

    THANKS for the great information!!!

    I will be sharing sources as I go along in my blog.

  11. Thank you for such great and motivating posts.They are very informative and I for one appreciate the time you spend sharing your knowledge. I would like to know more about how to sow a garden crop for winter to enhance the soil. Can you share more or recommend reading material on the subject?

  12. I have also been making and using herbal medicines for years. I don't know how anyone has children without a good working knowledge of herbs.

    I heartily second the Shonda Parker recommendation, she's got amazing stuff.

    It great that you are sharing your herbal wisdom online and in person. It's such a valuable experience for all of us to learn from.


  13. Faith,

    Almost any good gardening book will address this subject.
    There is a small publication (booklet) by Storey books called Cover Crop Gardening, Soil Enrichment with Green Manures.

    Johnny's seeds also has an even smaller pamphlet called Green manures, A Mini-Manual.

    This should get you started. Check any books by Rodale or Elliot Coleman.

  14. Gwen,
    Just wanted you to know that I tried to email you.


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