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I understand that this is a brainstorming thread. Everyone's comments are very helpful. I agree with a lot of what Michael, Kelly and Ann have mentioned.

Rather than "Natural Medicine" something like "Herbal Healing" might be better name.

I went back to the Wiki brainstorming post. I am concerned about "(1 hour)Make a thread about a different ailment you diagnosed, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment."

I am not sure "diagnosis" should be part of the badge.  A  Naturopathic physicians maybe allowed to give a diagnosis.  I don't know about the legalities of a certified herbalist or even other professionals.

Saying something like "treating a bruise" or "treating a cut"  might be better. Or even "splinting a broken bone until we can get to a health professional."

I feel these badges would be like learning basic first aid using herbs.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:I understand that this is a brainstorming thread. Everyone's comments are very helpful. I agree with a lot of what Michael, Kelly and Ann have mentioned.

Rather than "Natural Medicine" something like "Herbal Healing" might be better name.

I went back to the Wiki brainstorming post. I am concerned about "(1 hour)Make a thread about a different ailment you diagnosed, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment."

I am not sure "diagnosis" should be part of the badge.  A  Naturopathic physicians maybe allowed to give a diagnosis.  I don't know about the legalities of a certified herbalist or even other professionals.

Saying something like "treating a bruise" or "treating a cut"  might be better. Or even "splinting a broken bone until we can get to a health professional."

I feel these badges would be like learning basic first aid using herbs.



This expressed my opinion as well.
 
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This is why we're brainstorming and really putting a lot of thought into this badge--so we don't make mistakes with a really vital thing. I went to the wiki and edited out the big about diagnosis. Now it reads "(1 hour)Make a thread about an ailment, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment." We can make that to be  "a post" instead of "a thread," if that would make it less official.

I honestly don't know much about natural medicine. I don't feel qualified to create this badge, so mostly I am facilitating those that have far more knowledge than me, and trying to take their ideas and form them into a tool (the badge) that people can learn from and gain skills from. I honestly wouldn't want treatment/diagnosis from someone who has completed the Straw Badge as it is currently written. Basically, we've taught someone how to do basic herbal first aid, which IS a valuable thing. But, I think it would be good to add more about basic medical skills.

Perhaps, by the time someone is done with with the iron badge, they have the equivalent skills of a herbal medical assistant...not able to make diagnosis, but able to assist and has a strong knowledge base of anatomy and physiology.

My husband (a phlebotomist) suggested people learning basic herbal pharmacy skills (salves, tinctures, etc) and showing that they are first/aid CPR certified.

Do we want the higher badges to just be IDing plants and making preparations from them, or more advanced knowledge? If the more advanced (and often useful knowledge), how to we get people to prove that it was them that did it and they actually learned?
 
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I guess this is a question of philosophy, but is there a compelling reason to believe that every category has to have badges all the way up to iron level?  Spending 6 months to a year gaining herbal medicine skills sounds fascinating and worthy. But it also feels a long way from the heart of permaculture. A large part of constructing a compelling syllabus for anything is working out what NOT to include. Drifting away from the core material dilutes/weakens the whole system.

I personally see the first two levels as immediately practical and useful; encompassing skills and knowledge that supports the other activities of a permaculture practitioner. This fits the "stacking functions" approach nicely, where learning this small additional skillset lets you maximise other potential gains. But when you dive too deep into this it feels like it is taking focus away.
 
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I think keeping this simple and as fool proof as possible would be wise.

All of the suggested herbs need to have the genus and species added so that there is no confusion.

Simple salves, tinctures, decoctions and infusions are great to learn how to do but are not necessarily as simple as making bread and could be disastrous with a misidentified herb.

Many of the herbs listed are not always appropriate for everyone...they are 'medicinal' after all.

It takes a long long time to learn much of what is suggested as 'simple' here....and mistakes are easy, identifying plants for starters.

I've spent forty years in the woods and still am learning these things...I'm slow for sure, and cautious, and have a few trusted herbalists to learn from along with a few books.  I would not rely on just information off the web.

I guess my main thought here is it's such a mushy area.  Most of the BB's are straight forward and step by step processes that an error might gain you a bandaid or a burnt pizza...a misidentified herb could be much more dangerous.  

I think herb ID is the most important part of this badge bit....maybe infusions and decoctions once ID is confirmed.  Later on some tinctures and salves.

Possibly some books to suggest for reference? web sites that are better than most? seek out trusted local herbalists?


EDIT to add.... maybe just a plant ID survey of one's yard? Time spent photographing and identifying plants in your area that are useful? with references to confirm ID?



 
Liv Smith
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This is just another way:

When making bread, one is not expected to have grown their own wheat, thresh it, winnow and mill it, so, on a very basic level, salves, tinctures, and teas can be made with purchased herbs. No identification mistakes.

At a higher level, one can start learning how to identify, grow, forage and properly process the medicinal herbs.





 
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I know I am late to the game, but this is a part of who I feel I am.  So here are some if my recommendations.  
1. First step in herbalism is procuring the right portion of the right plant at the right season.  Plant identification is critical.  Apps, although they may give you a starting point are not sufficient.  A good identification book for your area is key.  Even planting your own is not foolproof.  I planted seaberry from a well loved and trusted source and got some kind of mallow.  I just assumed it was what it said it was until a more experienced Permaculture farmer pointed out the seed pattern.
2. Your times are awfully random.  :)  Depending on whether the herb is freshly gathered or bought cut in a convenient bag, even making teas and infusions can have wide variance.
3. Attending classes with an herbalist should really count for something in terms of time.  It is huge.
4. Diagnoses in herbalism is a whole different thing than Western medical diagnoses.  It involves looking at patterns and constitutions.  
5.  I recently procured my Holistic nurse certification.  One of the educational offerings that I took was absolutely excellent and based entirely on Michael Tiarra's book "The Way of Herbs".  (Highly recommended btw).  Anyways, it is outside of the scope of nursing to diagnose, but we can look for patterns and constitutions.  Mock case studies and proposed recommendations are such an excellent way to put your brain to work here.
6. In your emergency kit please add some tincture of benzoin to make butterfly bandaids stick, they are nearly worthless without.  And some kind of something to clean wounds such as an irrigation bottle.  Emergency kits should ideally carry something for the emotional side of a trauma like Motherwort tincture and lavender essential oil.
7. Recommended books: Richo Cech's Making Plant Medicine, Maria Noel Groves' Body Into Balance, the aforementioned Michael Tiarra book, Stephen Harrod Buhner's 3 books:Herbal Antibiotics, Herbal Antivirals and Healing Lyme and if you really want to go all out David Hoffman's Medical Herbalism.  Also all things Rosemary Gladstar and Matthew Wood and perhaps Susun Weed with a grain of salt.
8. And even though prompt diagnoses in emergency situations like ruptured appendix is necessary, I believe we have taken looking out after our health from our own hands and stuck in in the hands of doctors, who in many cases are trained to care for the sick and have no idea how to maintain health.  
 
Nicole Alderman
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Liv Smith wrote:This is just another way:

When making bread, one is not expected to have grown their own wheat, thresh it, winnow and mill it, so, on a very basic level, salves, tinctures, and teas can be made with purchased herbs. No identification mistakes.

At a higher level, one can start learning how to identify, grow, forage and properly process the medicinal herbs.



Maybe when making the herbal preparations, a person will EITHER: (1) Post three pictures of the plant they harvested for ID purposes; or (2) a link/description of where they purchased the herb.

I kind of like that, as it is currently, people don't have to spend money to have access to herbal information. So much herbal knowledge online is either (1) disorganized and scattered over many websites; or (2) behind a paywall. I like that ours isn't behind a paywall.

But, I think that also means that we're going to have to spend a lot more time making the badge bit pages really high quality. The badge bit will need to teach people what the herb is, th scientific name, how to ID it, when best to harvest it, how to prepare it,  when to use it and when NOT to uses it, and more information to make this person actually equipped to do a good job and understand what they are doing. It'll need to be high quality, rather than just "This is a badge bit for making a calendula salve. Here's a video of making a salve," ya know? If we don't have enough information to make the badge bit for something high quality and fool proof, we shouldn't be making it, right?


We could also stick--especially for the Sand Badge--to making salves/tinctures/etc that have very low side effects and are hard to mis-identify, like mint and dandelion and calendula. Those all have very low negative side-effects, right?

Remember, you're all able to edit the first post of this thread. If something needs more detail, or is too dangerous/complicated for Sand Level, you're free to fix it! You can also post specific things to change, too.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Michael Cox wrote:I guess this is a question of philosophy, but is there a compelling reason to believe that every category has to have badges all the way up to iron level?  Spending 6 months to a year gaining herbal medicine skills sounds fascinating and worthy. But it also feels a long way from the heart of permaculture. A large part of constructing a compelling syllabus for anything is working out what NOT to include. Drifting away from the core material dilutes/weakens the whole system.

I personally see the first two levels as immediately practical and useful; encompassing skills and knowledge that supports the other activities of a permaculture practitioner. This fits the "stacking functions" approach nicely, where learning this small additional skillset lets you maximise other potential gains. But when you dive too deep into this it feels like it is taking focus away.



Sometimes the PEP feels a bit more like HEP: Homesteading Experiences according to Paul. It gives you the skills to be more resilient and "self-sufficient." And, by self-suffienent, I mean suffienent within the context of a community. Someone who has an Iron Badge in Herbal Medicine would be a great asset to their community, just like a someone with an Iron Badge in woodworking. I don't think everyone needs a Iron Badge in woodworking, just like most won't need a iron badge in herbal medicine.

Let's see, to be PEP4 certified, one needs (https://permies.com/t/84112/PEP-weeks-PEP-months-PEP):

A formal PEP1 program would last 2 weeks (~80 hours).  Completing the PEP1 program requires 16 sand badges.

A formal PEP2 program would fill a summer (~510 hours).  Requires 1 wood badge + 7 straw badges + 14 sand badges.

A formal PEP3 program would take about nine months (~1550 hours).   Requires 7 wood badges + 15 straw badges.

A formal PEP4 program would take a little over two years (~4700 hours).  Requires 3 iron badges + 12 wood badges + 7 straw badges.



This makes sense to me, as the straw level at each of these levels should bring about competency, but not master level. I just completed the woodworking Sand Badge, and I can tell you, that completing that level does NOT make me competent. But, I'm pretty sure that by the end of Straw level, that I would be. I wouldn't be skilled enough from that experience to sell stuff I make, BUT, I'd be competent enough to get things done on my homestead.

I think having a Herbal Medicine Iron Badge would be great to have written. I know that I cannot write it, let alone the Badge Bits for it. But, I think it'd be amazing if we were able to set up a free way for people to gain an immense amount of knowledge and skills and keep them from stumbling in the dark...which is in general what novices do with herbal medicine. Someone googles "natural remedies for broken bone" and then sees comfery and then searches for a video on making a comfrey poltice---they stumble around in the dark. How can we teach people the basics of herbal medicine.

What ARE the basics of herbal medicine? I honestly don't know! I'm the novice who googles ailments I got diagnosed and tries to find natural remedies for.
 
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I am really looking forward to getting started on this badge. My mother has arthritis which she is getting treated for extensively but I would love to see if I could find some natural things that might give her a little relief.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm kind of at a loss for what to do. I'm reading a lot of well-thought out critiques and suggestions, and I've tried to encourporate them into the first post list as best as I can. But, I honestly don't have the information to take this to the the next step. I really, really, really want this badge to be a helpful--and not harmful--tool, but I don't know what infusions to list (I've never made one), and what salves, etc are low in side-effects so we don't have people playing with "fire" and getting burnt. The last thing I want is for people to make a tincture, think it's safe and good for a condition they think they have, and be harmed in the process.

I think we really, really need some experienced people to go through the sand list and either edit it to make it better, or form their own sand list if they don't feel comfortable editing it.
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I'm kind of at a loss for what to do. I'm reading a lot of well-thought out critiques and suggestions, and I've tried to encourporate them into the first post list as best as I can. But, I honestly don't have the information to take this to the the next step. I really, really, really want this badge to be a helpful--and not harmful--tool, but I don't know what infusions to list (I've never made one), and what salves, etc are low in side-effects so we don't have people playing with "fire" and getting burnt. The last thing I want is for people to make a tincture, think it's safe and good for a condition they think they have, and be harmed in the process.

I think we really, really need some experienced people to go through the sand list and either edit it to make it better, or form their own sand list if they don't feel comfortable editing it.



Hi, Nicole! I'm super new to the badge concept(other than being a scout mom/ leader), so I'm really unsure of the format, here, to help with that portion. The thing you're going to run into is that while Botany in a Day is a fabulous book, and the fastest means I know of, to learn anything about botany, it does require a purchase, and a time requirement, before even getting started. The easiest, fastest, safest way I can think of, to get a persons feet wet, would be to start with a 'universally' recognized 'weed' or three - or starting in the kitchen. A simple infused oil of plantain - it's EVERYWHERE, it's free to forage, and easy to recognize, and would be incredibly useful, too. Then, combined with a bit of beeswax, to make a salve, is great for the hands, after working in the garden.

Elderberries make for a great syrup, to increase immune strength, to protect AND recover from whatever funk is going around, and is so safe, I know of folks who make elderberry jelly & pancake syrup, and eat/ serve it to their families, daily.

An oregano tincture or glycerite isn't as tasty, but is excellent, as an antibiotic, once the funk has already taken hold, and works well in conjunction with the elderberry - though wouldn't taste good, together, lol.

The kitchen cupboard just might be the best place for anyone to start. Learning to make ginger tea from fresh, or ground ginger is great (especially with lemon and raw honey added) for stomach issues, warming someone up, relieving aches and pains in the muscles & joints.... Start simple.
 
Carla Burke
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P.s. These are a couple things I've taught friends and family, and it has honestly helped them gain a better understanding & comfort with healing themselves. When they call and ask, "Carla, (my little one) has a mysterious rash, all over her hands and wrists! What do I do?" My first advice is always, 'breathe', followed by issue specific questions. In this case, 'Now, send me a pic of the rash. How long has it been there, what was she doing, in the last 24hrs, before it popped up...' etc. Then, almost always, my next question is, 'what herbs, teas, and spices do you have in the kitchen, right now?' This is the easiest way to calm them, find effective assistance for them, and get them on the path to healing, while I continue to ask questions, and monitor the situation, which helps me decide whether it's something they can do, on their own, or if I should go to them, or if they need to get to the doctor or ER.

In the case of this little girl's rash, we never did figure out where it came from, but, the cold chamomile tea compress her mom learned to make got them started,  and she was already much improved, by the time I got there. The plantain, jewelweed, & calendula salve I supplied healed her up completely, in a couple days.
 
Vera Vil
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Here is my thought on how to make the natural medicine  badge very useful without potentially doing harm. I will first start off by saying that I have no knowledge on this subject so I am just speaking as someone who is very motivated to learn about it. Considering that about 210,000 people die each year from medical mistakes, learning how to make our own medicine from plants growing organically on our property seems like a worthy goal. It needs to be emphasized that we should consult with a doctor when in doubt and not take any recommendations made here as actual medical advice.

So, as part of the Sand badge, to be continued with each level, one should have to start a journal to be split in four? sections. The first section should have a page for each herb used including parts of plant to be used, what it can be used for, can it be used internally or externally, dosages, contraindications, etc. The next section can have formulas for tinctures, then a section for teas, another for salves and whatever else we will be making. So if for instance we have to make a calendula salve, we would have to add two pages to the journal. One for directions to make the salve, including review on how it worked, when and for whom. The other page would have all the information on calendula and what parts can be used, etc. So we would take pictures of making the salve and pictures of each page in the journal.

We could also be assigned all or part of a book or website to be read with a quiz.

Just my two cents. This is what I will be doing anyway, I just love getting credit for stuff!
 
Judith Browning
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So many good ideas!

Many of the other badges are visual processes with an obvious clear result.

I don't see how just a visual image of the process of making, say a tincture, could be ok'd  in the same way?

Even if every step is documented, the test of the finished tincture would be it's effectiveness, not how it looked bottled up...same with a salve or tea even?

I'm uncertain how any medicinal preparation could be judged by a photograph?
I think doing so could put those judging in an awkward position.
Even if instructions were followed step by step, there are variables that could effect it's reliable medicinal qualities, like whether the herb was fresh or dried and when and where it was harvested.  
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm thinking that that's why, at least with the Sand/Straw Level, that we keep the herbs to ones that have a very low chance of harming, even if at the wrong concentrations--at the worst, they'll do nothing. But knowledge will still have been gained through their construction.

I really like Vera's idea of a journal. By the end of the sand level, people will have their own journal in their hands with information that they've accrued, and the creation of it will help them to learn it, and act as a reference. It's kind of like when I made an emergency folder--it took a lot of time to think through what'd we do in case of a household fire, or a forest fire, or an earthquake, and where we should store what, and what all the necessary contact numbers were, etc. BUT, by the end of it, I not only had learned a lot by making it, but also had a great reference.


Hows this?

So, by the end of the Sand Level, someone has:
  • a herbal reference journal made,
  • made a salve, tincture, tea, and infusion (if anyone can say what herb to do for that).
  • And people learn about dandelion, calendula, chamomile and plantain? Those are all pretty available online/in stores and easy to grow/find, right, and all have low side effects, right?


  • And, Straw Level, someone has:
  • added more pages to their journal with slightly stronger herbs but that are all still edible and that they have hopefully learned to ID (echinacia, nettle, oregano, thyme, peppermint, self-heal, ginger, turmeric, aloe, etc and maybe comfrey and cottonwood.)
  • assembled a first aid kit
  • made a syrup, lozenge, bath soak, a few more types of tinctures? and more salves/infusions/teas/


  • It's hard with ANY type of learning to prove that someone has learned something. I'm not quite sure where to go with the Wood and Iron levels, but I'm thinking maybe Sand and Straw are looking pretty good? More input is very much welcome!
     
    Judith Browning
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    As far as I know, an infusion is similar to making a tea (pouring boiling or not quite boiling water over an herb)except that there is generally more herb used and it can be steeped for hours in order to extract the herbs' properties.  It is (usually) sipped in smaller does rather than a full cup of tea.  Any of the four herbs you've listed, dandelion, calendula, chamomile and plantain could be used in an infusion but it would alter the medicinal properties.  

    I don't see roots and bark on the list but if you were to add them a decoction would usually be used depending on which root or bark.  That would (usually) be slowly heated in water and boiled for a certain length of time.

    I do think the four herbs you've listed would be fine for beginners.  
    Would it be necessary to specify wild crafted or organically grown even if one was purchasing the herb?

    I wonder if it would be helpful to reference a few sources of good solid information?
    There are some threads here with links to reliable herbal preparation sites.

    This site is one that Stephen Buhner references frequently http://swsbm.com/HOMEPAGE/HomePage.html
    There is a lot of preparation information and lists of herbs there that are for free.  He also has classes.
    I totally respect Buhner's work so also go for his references.





     
    Nicole Alderman
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    How's this? There's less choice, but more information. I'm thinking for sand badge, we don't need to source organic/wildcrafted, though it's preferred, just as with the cooking badge it's not necessary at the Sand level to be organic/home-grown...and it might make it really hard for people to find the ingredients. I tried to add in the time for making the pages as about 15 minutes per badge bits, though I'm not quite sure how long it would take.

    Sand Badge:

    (5 Minutes) Journal: Get a binder or some other sort of journal thing that you can add pages to. Get 7 sheets of paper (preferably with tabs or someway to easily locate them). Label them: Herbs, Infusions, Teas, Salves, Syrups, Poultice, and Tinctures. These can be as pretty or boring as you like.
      - photo of your pages
      - photo of your journal

    (1 hour) Chamomile Infusion:
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID chamomile . Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a chamomile infusion.
      - Make a chamomile infusion, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (1.15 hour) - Calendula Salve
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID calendula. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a calendula salve.
      - Make a calendula salve, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (45 minutes) - Dandelion Tincture
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID dandelion. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a dandelion tincture.
      - Make a dandelion tincture, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (30 minutes) - Plantain Poultice
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID plantain. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a plantain poultice.
      - Make a plantain poultice, with a picture of it being made, and of it being applied.

    (15 minutes) Ginger Tea
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID ginger. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a ginger tea.
      - Make a ginger tea, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (45 minutes) Rosehip Syrup: Make 1 syrup &/or gummies
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID rosehips. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
      - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a rosehip syrup/gummies.
      - Make a rosehip syrup/gummies, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    how about something like this for a Straw Badge?

    Straw Badge

    Basic First Aid Stuff:
    (2 minutes) video of you doing 2 sets of CPR on a doll, showing both the adult and baby version.
    (2 minutes) picture of you doing Heimlich maneuver on a doll, both adult and infant versions
    (1 minute) video of you doing a complete washing of your hands
    (1 minute) picture of a tourniquet on an arm or leg
    anything else we can easily document?

    (30 minutes) assemble a first aid kit containing: (please add or remove things that should/shouldn't be here. I took a lot from this list:https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/make-your-own-natural-first-aid-kit)
      -gauze
      -bandages
      - wraps
      - natural lozenge
      - elderberry syrup
      - calendula salve
      - comfrey salve
      - echinacia tinture
      - ginger tea or gummies
      - Adhesive bandage strips: Various sizes, including butterfly closure bandages.
      - Alcohol: Small plastic bottle for removing poison oak/ivy oils from the skin.
      -Cosmetic clay: With drying and drawing properties, clay is useful for healing skin rashes and insect bites. Store in a small plastic container.
      -Elastic bandage: For sprains or strains.
      - Electrolyte replacement: Powdered drink packets such as Emergen-C.
      -Moleskin: Blister treatment.
      - Scissors: Small pair for cutting bandages, adhesive tape, moleskin.
      - Thermometer: Instant-read type.
      -Tweezers: For removing ticks and splinters.
      -Waterless hand sanitizer: Travel-size bottle.

    (1 hour) - Echinacia Tincture
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID echinacia. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a echinacia tincture.
     - Make a echinacia tincture, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (45 minutes) - Oregano Tincture
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID oregano. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a oregano tincture.
     - Make a oregano tincture, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (45 minutes) Elderberry Syrup: Make 1 syrup &/or gummies
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID elderberry. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a elderberry  syrup/gummies.
     - Make a elderberry syrup/gummies, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (1.15 hour) - Cottonwood Buds Salve
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to grow and ID cottonwood. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a cottonwood buds salve.
     - Make a cottonwood buds salve, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (1.15 hour) - Comfrey Salve
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID comfrey. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a comfrey salve.
     - Make a comfrey salve, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (30 minutes) - Comfery Poultice
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID comfrey (if you haven't already). Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a comfrey poultice.
     - Make a comfrey poultice, with a picture of it being made, and of it being applied. You can wash it off immediately afterwards if you don't need it.

    (45 minutes???) Make a honey cough-drop/lozenge (or maple syrup? for vegans?)
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and of honey. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a honey lozenge.
     - Make a honey lozenge, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (15 minutes) Nettle Tea
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID nettle. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a nettle tea.
     - Make a nettle tea, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (15 minutes) Peppermint Tea
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID and grow peppermint. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a peppermint tea.
     - Make a peppermint tea, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (15 minutes) aloe-- grow an aloe plant
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID aloe. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Picture of your aloe plant next to your journal

    (___minutes???) Make 1 therapeutic bath 'teas' & 1 soak for muscle, joint, illness, sedative, or stress relief. what herb should we feature here?
      - ???


    (45 minutes???) Witch hazel Decoction???don't know if this is the right way to extract witch hazel. Someone fix this!
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to grow and ID witch hazel. Add it to the herb section. Post picture of your ID page in the book
     - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and recipe for a witch hazel decoction.
     - Make a witch hazel decoction, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

    (1.5 hours) Skeeter List-- Plant 5 out of the following medicinal plants. If the plant does not already have a journal page about it, make one
       - comfrey
       - echinacia
       - chamomile
       - Calendula
       - Elderberry
       - ginger
       - turmeric
       - self-heal
       - peppermint
       - witch hazel
       - thyme
       - oregano
       - raspberry
       - nettle
       - yarrow
       - dandelion
       - ???

    (??? minutes?)Making 1 alcohol based tincture, what herb should we feature here?
       -???
       - ???

    (??? minutes?)1 glycerite tincture what herb should we feature here?
       - ???
       - ???

    (1 hour)Make a thread about a different ailment, it's treatment, and explain why you used that treatment.

    (10 minutes) give an update two or more weeks later on your ailment, and post what--if anything--you might have done differently



    that's only 10 hours, though. Do we feature more herbs, or do more preparations with the ones we know, or something else?
     
    Judith Browning
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    Tinctures take weeks to make, as do many oil infusions that one might use for a salve.  Could shorten the time for a salve I suppose but I don't think a tincture can be rushed.

    Are you thinking of something topical with the witch hazel?
    Herb2000 has this information https://elmaskincare.com/herbs/herbs_witch_hazel.htm suggests using leaves and bark as a tea, also good as tincture but it really depends on what the ultimate use is in the medicine chest.

    Echinacea root or upper plant parts? Roots should be three years old or so...some herbalist feel the upper parts are potent also, others do not.


    Lavender is a good one for one of the bath teas.


     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Judith Browning wrote:Tinctures take weeks to make, as do many oil infusions that one might use for a salve.  Could shorten the time for a salve I suppose but I don't think a tincture can be rushed.



    When Paul talks about time per badge bit, he's talking about the actual working time. So, for making tea, it would be gathering the herbs, cutting them up, and putting them in the water, but not waiting for the water to boil or the tea to seep. The estimated time per badge bit is mostly to make sure we have the right amount of experiences per badge. So, for sand badge, that's 5 working hours. For straw badge it's 35 more hours of actual work.The hours I'm listing aren't the hours the project would take to make, they're listed to make sure I'm estimating things right (they won't be listed on the official badge)...if that makes any sense.


    Are you thinking of something topical with the witch hazel?
    Herb2000 has this information https://elmaskincare.com/herbs/herbs_witch_hazel.htm suggests using leaves and bark as a tea, also good as tincture but it really depends on what the ultimate use is in the medicine chest.

    Echinacea root or upper plant parts? Roots should be three years old or so...some herbalist feel the upper parts are potent also, others do not.



    I don't know! Someone else listed witch hazel and echinacea. I'm not experienced enough to know which is best. I'd say, which ever application would be the most useful and commonly used--I'd love for an herbalist to chime in with specifics!


    Lavender is a good one for one of the bath teas.



    Oooooh! Good one!

    Thank you so much!!!
     
    Carla Burke
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:

    Judith Browning wrote:Tinctures take weeks to make, as do many oil infusions that one might use for a salve.  Could shorten the time for a salve I suppose but I don't think a tincture can be rushed.



    When Paul talks about time per badge bit, he's talking about the actual working time. So, for making tea, it would be gathering the herbs, cutting them up, and putting them in the water, but not waiting for the water to boil or the tea to seep. The estimated time per badge bit is mostly to make sure we have the right amount of experiences per badge. So, for sand badge, that's 5 working hours. For straw badge it's 35 more hours of actual work.The hours I'm listing aren't the hours the project would take to make, they're listed to make sure I'm estimating things right (they won't be listed on the official badge)...if that makes any sense.


    Are you thinking of something topical with the witch hazel?
    Herb2000 has this information https://elmaskincare.com/herbs/herbs_witch_hazel.htm suggests using leaves and bark as a tea, also good as tincture but it really depends on what the ultimate use is in the medicine chest.

    Echinacea root or upper plant parts? Roots should be three years old or so...some herbalist feel the upper parts are potent also, others do not.



    I don't know! Someone else listed witch hazel and echinacea. I'm not experienced enough to know which is best. I'd say, which ever application would be the most useful and commonly used--I'd love for an herbalist to chime in with specifics!


    Lavender is a good one for one of the bath teas.



    Oooooh! Good one!

    Thank you so much!!!



    Ok (herbalist, here), an oil infusion takes weeks to make, unless using heat. Unfortunately, it's much easier to ruin it, using heat. Witch hazel is much more versatile than Echinacea, which is only effective in very specific situations, and in direct application to the infected tissues. While I won't denigrate Echinacea, in most situations, it's just not all that effective. But, the two herbs aren't interchangeable. They have distinctly different uses and means of use.

    Another thing not mentioned yet, is linements. These can be done with witch hazel (or rubbing alcohol), and are for topical use, only. The bonus here, is that by being topical only, they are less likely to cause problems, unless over used - even then, it's just drying to the skin.

    Specific parts of plants used are plant- & use- dependent. Poultices are also a great beginner project, and can be wrapped & frozen, for future use, without losing the effectiveness of the fresh plant.
     
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    Do we need to specify that the aloe plant would be of the medicial kind like Aloe vera, Aloe perryi and Aloe ferox?

    The currant Aloes that I am growing are not medicinal.  I got them for Christmas, otherwise they would be medicial.

    Over the years, I have been given many plants that have been called Aloe.  I understand that the genus contains over 500 species of flowering succulent plants.  
     
    Judith Browning
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    Do we need to specify that the aloe plant would be of the medicial kind like Aloe vera, Aloe perryi and Aloe ferox?



    I think that's an important point and would be part of identifying the herb?

    I know that even calendula has many varieties and not all are medicinal.
     
    steward
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    This appears to have the potential to be quite controversial, and I'm happy to see that safety is high on everyone's mind.

    As Paul is wanting to just get the Sand Badge done for Natural Medicine right now, let's focus on that.

    I like the idea of identifying the medicinal plants that grow in our own yards and gardens, and creating a journal using research about the medicinal qualities, parts of plants used, and what they are used for. Maybe doing pressings of the plants, and putting them in the journal? (Of course, you could be doing a journal on your computer, so photos of the plant pressings could go in there.) So that could be one BB.

    Another could be proper drying and storing of plant parts for future use. This could be the beginnings of an herbal first aid kit.

    Another could be making a tea from herbs and plants that grow in your yard. And talking about the medicinal/health boosting qualities of your tea.

    Another could be making some simple salves or other topical applications. Poultices?

    What else should be in the Sand Badge?


     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Tracy Wandling wrote:

    I like the idea of identifying the medicinal plants that grow in our own yards and gardens, and creating a journal using research about the medicinal qualities, parts of plants used, and what they are used for. Maybe doing pressings of the plants, and putting them in the journal? (Of course, you could be doing a journal on your computer, so photos of the plant pressings could go in there.) So that could be one BB.



    I'm thinking maybe ID falls more in with the foraging badge, and maybe at the higher Sand Level badge? I've seen a lot of people worried about misidentifying medicinal plants, and than harming themselves--or others--with the plant. So maybe we teach specific, low-side effect plants and have people learn to ID them and their uses, and maybe at Straw or Wood level, people start IDing their own plants that we haven't already taught, and adding those to their journal?
     
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    Wow there is a lot here!

    Without responding to each contribution in turn, here are some of my thoughts:

    SM382: We want to steer clear of diagnosis-related stuff.

    SM383: First aid kit stuff belongs in the homesteading badge. Yes you could make a first aid kit with natural supplies. But the idea with a first aid kit for a place like Paul's is that anyone off the street can open it up and know what to do with it. (yes this is not always the case) If someone off the street opened up the kit and a bunch of bark, twigs, and leaves fell out... they might not know how to use it.

    SM384: We want to focus on harvesting, preserving, and preparing natural medicine. But I also don't want to go into in-depth discussion or instruction on the use of different things. So we can make a few big lists like in the first posts. One for infusions, one for salves, one for poultices, one for dried things ("tea"). The key is that we are focused on doing.

    SM385: Learning theory is good. Learning theory is not what PEP is about. PEP is about building experience by applying theory.

    SM386: If there is concern about a plant being mega poisonous and super easy to misidentify as something really helpful... maybe we can focus on other plants.

    SM387: This aspect is not really about applying first aid.

    Gonna leave it here for now. I'm sure I'll have more to add later.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:SM382: We want to steer clear of diagnosis-related stuff.



    I agree!

    SM383: First aid kit stuff belongs in the homesteading badge. Yes you could make a first aid kit with natural supplies. But the idea with a first aid kit for a place like Paul's is that anyone off the street can open it up and know what to do with it. (yes this is not always the case) If someone off the street opened up the kit and a bunch of bark, twigs, and leaves fell out... they might not know how to use it.



    Most of the first aid kit that I listed was normal first aid stuff, like bandaids, with some of the herbal preparations that people learned to make. Maybe we call it a herbal medicine cabinet, instead?

    SM384: We want to focus on harvesting, preserving, and preparing natural medicine. But I also don't want to go into in-depth discussion or instruction on the use of different things. So we can make a few big lists like in the first posts. One for infusions, one for salves, one for poultices, one for dried things ("tea"). The key is that we are focused on doing.



    If we focus on doing without having theory, we risk getting people in a lot of deep doo-doo.

    SM385: Learning theory is good. Learning theory is not what PEP is about. PEP is about building experience by applying theory.



    The time it takes to write down a list of how to grow/use/ID the plants is maybe 10/15 minutes, and helps the person mentally apply theory. It could be cut down to 1 minute if people just printed out a sheet. I fear people building medical experience by...experimenting blindly on themselves and family. I don't feel comfortable with that.

    SM386: If there is concern about a plant being mega poisonous and super easy to misidentify as something really helpful... maybe we can focus on other plants.



    I agree! That's why I focused on the plants I did, as those seemed to be the most easy to access, ID and had the lowest side effects.
     
    Shawn Klassen-Koop
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    I guess my aversion to giving details on these things falls into the category of "I do not wish to give medical advice." I guess my approach says "these are some things worth having" and then someone might say "what for?" And then go and look it up from an authority that they trust.

    Maybe Paul feels differently but that's where I'm at.
     
    Judith Browning
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    The point is to learn something (I hope) not just to go through the motions?

    So, something like this?

    Choose one of these herbs, research, harvest and dehydrate.  

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make an infused oil.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a salve

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a poultice.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a liniment.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a tea.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make an infusion.

    ...and so on?

    Then could add 'choose two' or 'choose three' of these herbs for particular blends?




     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Judith Browning wrote:The point is to learn something (I hope) not just to go through the motions?

    So, something like this?

    Choose one of these herbs, research, harvest and dehydrate.  

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make an infused oil.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a salve

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a poultice.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a liniment.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make a tea.

    Choose one of these herbs, research and make an infusion.

    ...and so on?

    Then could add 'choose two' or 'choose three' of these herbs for particular blends?



    I think this was my original concept for the sand badge...but then most everyone wanted people to have more specified knowledge so that someone really learns and understands an herb and its uses. And, that makes a lot of sense for me.  And, making a journal, to me, is an experience, and one gains a useful product out of it to reference.  They get an in-depth, detailed knowledge of an herb that they can build upon.

    I'm thinking if we do the list thing "choose one of these herbs and make an infusion" then whoever writes the badge bit should probably be able to tell the learner about each of those herbs and their uses and why one would use that infusion...and that makes a it a LOT of work for the Sand Badge Bit writers! It's one of the reasons why I'm leaning toward the Sand Badge having someone learn about a one specific, easy-to-locate/procure, low-side effect herb and then make a preparation with it. Then, for the Sand Badge we only have to write up about 5 or 6 herbs and 5 or 6 preparations, rather than 15-20 herbs in the context of 5 or 6 preparations.

    Maybe for the Straw Level, we do the "choose 1 of this list of plants and make a ________ out of it. " Since, potentially (?) the rudimentary Sand Badge will have prepared them to do that research and make that preparation?

    Thinking about herbal medicine, just making a whole bunch of tinctures and stuff would give me skills for making those...but it wouldn't help me understand the herbs. With the other badge bits, you learn by doing: You carve a spoon or a mallet, and you learn valuable, transferable things about wood working. You make a sign, and you get a lot of people talking about it and excited and things become more fun and so you build community and learn about it (I'm currently working with those on my road to make a Private Road sign, and it's been a really fun process that the neighbors really like!). When one cooks some food, one learns valuable skills about using an appliance and cutting food and how to cook it. But, the simple act of making a salve doesn't teach you that much about the herbal properties. One could pretty easily cook it up without understanding how an infusion impacts the herbal properties (which I hadn't known until Judith pointed it out!). That's why I'm thinking that making a Herbal Reference Binder along with the products is a good idea.
     
    Judith Browning
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    I think this was my original concept for the sand badge...but then most everyone wanted people to have more specified knowledge so that someone really learns and understands an herb and its uses. And, that makes a lot of sense for me.  And, making a journal, to me, is an experience, and one gains a useful product out of it to reference.  They get an in-depth, detailed knowledge of an herb that they can build upon.  



    It was...I should have gone back and reread!  (I had not looked at the updated version )

    I was hoping by listing 'research' as one of the steps that folks would actually do it.  
    I like the idea of a journal very much and  think that research and final choices (should!) be done only after reviewing at least three different sources.
    I like that the journal would give them a handy reference...it's hard to remember everything and each herb is different in so many ways.

    I think medicinal herbs are one of those areas where just a little knowledge is not necessarily a good thing and can get us in trouble.

    ...and I think taking the herbs lightly and risking possible misuse of them is not a good approach.

    I guess I don't understand why medicinal plant ID (in one's yard for instance) for this badge bit can't overlap with the 'foraging' badge?

    ...and the rush is just to get something up and fix it later?



     
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