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Grow Yer Own! The Other Stuff's Garbage!  RSS feed

 
Doc Jones
Posts: 33
Location: Buhl, Idaho
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Probably preaching to the choir here but...

A recent study showed that many of the herbal supplement products on store shelves contain little or none of the herb on the label. We often hear alternative medicine folks railing against the corporate greed and shoddy ethics of "Big Pharma" (whatever that is) but our own house could use a bit of cleaning up as well.

All of my writing, lecturing and teaching is founded on the idea that we need to become what I call "HomeGrown" herbalists. In other words, we need to be producing or gathering our own medicines so we know what the heck we're dealing with. The quality of the stuff I grow or gather myself is vastly better than the bulk herbs I buy even from the most reputable companies. Their aromas and colors are so much more intense that it makes me wonder what the heck the companies are doing to their stuff.

Anyway, be good permies and grow yer own.

Doc
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 386
Location: Ohio, USA
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Doc, I've gotten into this recently and been reading a lot on the subject. There are some basic plants I've seen (also used as common herbs) for herbalism. However, I'm not exactly sure what to do about a lot of the rest. Do you have a good seed/root stock collection? Do you also have the uses for each plant? Or, do you have a source? I'm trying to focus my house-plants to be medicinal and my garden to be food. Thanks!
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Amit,

Look at Doc's signature for a list of sites where you can get resources, including an online school that he is putting on. We will have seeds and some plants available "soon." We have the place to post and sell them from, just need to get the stock ready and put up.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 386
Location: Ohio, USA
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You make it seem so obvious. Lol! Thanks
 
Doc Jones
Posts: 33
Location: Buhl, Idaho
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Amit Enventres wrote:Doc, I've gotten into this recently and been reading a lot on the subject. There are some basic plants I've seen (also used as common herbs) for herbalism. However, I'm not exactly sure what to do about a lot of the rest. Do you have a good seed/root stock collection? Do you also have the uses for each plant? Or, do you have a source? I'm trying to focus my house-plants to be medicinal and my garden to be food. Thanks!


Hi Amit,

You'll be pretty limited if your medicinal plants are only grown in the house. Most good medicinals are better suited to growing outdoors. I suggest that folks that are just starting out pick a few plants and really get to know them. Buy some from the local nursery or online and plant them in your yard or garden or even in a pot on your patio. Pick up some parsley or lemon balm and get it started. Learn everything you can about it. Make friends with it. Then pick a few more. Soon enough you'll realize that you've become an herbalist.

As to which herbs to get, that's pretty much dependent on your personal needs and interests. If your yard and gardens are like most, chances are you have a dozen medicinals growing on your place already. Getting into which plants do what is probably beyond the scope of a forum thread. My book has 20 or 30 great plants that anyone could find or grow that cover most of the bases. Snoop around your lawn and see if you have any Mallow (Malva neglecta) plantain or dandelions. If you don't, quit spraying and you'll have them soon enough. Google them and you can find pictures. Look them up on wikipedia.com. Start using them.

Doc
 
Shane McKee
Posts: 108
Location: Northern Ireland
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Doc, great call. Using home grown or volunteer herbs is the way forward, especially when one considers that most of the supplements and extracts in many "natural" shops are made by the same companies that sell the rest of the gick, even if they do contain genuine ingredients.
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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One bit of caution:

If you are SPRAYING then give your area time to HEAL before trying to utilize the plants. No sense ingesting glysophate or some other nasty while trying to help yourself heal.
 
Doc Jones
Posts: 33
Location: Buhl, Idaho
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Shane McKee wrote:Doc, great call. Using home grown or volunteer herbs is the way forward, especially when one considers that most of the supplements and extracts in many "natural" shops are made by the same companies that sell the rest of the gick, even if they do contain genuine ingredients.


I agree.

There are some good companies out there but you've really got to do your homework. Me? I much prefer garden work to homework.

One upside to this study is that next time someone says they tried herbs and didn't get any results we can say "Chances are there weren't any herbs in the product." and get another "permie" convert.

Doc
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 386
Location: Ohio, USA
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I do disagree with the comment regarding house plants. Sure, plants do better in a complete ecosystem and may produce higher quality chemicals. However, some very notable house plants have some great affects - and, unlike the seasonal ones out-door, can be harvested at any time at highly convenient locations. Thus, you don't have to rely on the dried version during the cold and flu winter months (or try hunting around the yard when your sick and should be in bed). Aloe Vera, maiden hair fern, Ginger, Willow, Lemon, Mint. Some need a sunny window and would like to be taken out-doors when the weather's right and some do not. The other thing about indoors is usually (for most healthy people) they only need a small amount of medicine (and yes, chemicals derived from plants are also medicine) so the slower growth rates should not be a problem. That leaves your out-door space, which for many people is limited, for the daily consumption items. Oh, and house plants have the added benefit for humidity regulation, oxygenating the air, and beauty.

Of course, this method would keep you from chamomile, but chamomile for my family is more of a weekly item and not just a swelling reducer & sleep aid.
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Doc Jones wrote:You'll be pretty limited if your medicinal plants are only grown in the house.
Doc

Amit, read his comment again. He did not say you would have NO options, just limited. You admit as much in your response.

Also, if one does as Doc suggests and Grow Yer Own even the dry stuff will be of SUPERIOR quality and very close to fresh. This would especially be true if you dry it slow and cool to preserve all of the medicinal goodness.
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1770
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Well, it depends on lifestyle too. My mom kept a tiny aloe alive on the windowsill in our arctic cabin all winter long -- no mean feat without electricity in a place that goes six weeks without a sunrise! But we heated with wood, cooked with wood and propane, and used four different kinds of Blazo and kerosine and propane lanterns for light. Small burns were a near-daily occurrence in a family of six, so the aloe's near-miraculous pain relief quality made it an important plant in our lives.
 
Doc Jones
Posts: 33
Location: Buhl, Idaho
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Steven Feil wrote:
Doc Jones wrote:You'll be pretty limited if your medicinal plants are only grown in the house.
Doc

Amit, read his comment again. He did not say you would have NO options, just limited. You admit as much in your response.

Also, if one does as Doc suggests and Grow Yer Own even the dry stuff will be of SUPERIOR quality and very close to fresh. This would especially be true if you dry it slow and cool to preserve all of the medicinal goodness.


Yup.

Amit there are some truly wonderful medicinals that will grow indoors...others that could do well in a greenhouse. My point was merely that to restrict oneself to those species would be to needlessly limit one's medicinal arsenal.

One could say that he only wanted to use medicinal plants with yellow flowers (and have a lot of great plants that could do lots of important things), but it doesn't make much sense to make arbitrary categories about what we'll use or learn about.

I applaud your indoor herbal gardening pursuits and encourage you to continue it enthusiastically. But don't cheat yourself from getting to know burdock just because it isn't appropriate for the windowsill.

Patrick
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 773
Location: Zone 6b
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Just visited this thread, and thank you so much Doc Jones, for the links in your signature. I routinely stretch my season for growing and grow indoors. Thank you again.
 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 188
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Has anyone heard how Doc Jones is doing? He went to the ER a couple of days ago. I checked out his website and forums and there's no mention of it.
 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 188
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Just got an update about Doc Jones. His appendix was ruptured and he was taken to the ER and then rushed into surgery. He said there were so many miracles that his doctors couldn't explain that it was a case of Divine Intervention.
 
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