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First aid kit is a great idea. I think it has to have cayenne tincture as it might be life saving during stroke, heart attack, and any external or internal bleeding. I saw it stopping stronger bleeding from the wound within few seconds. It does sting for a bit, but it increases circulation, and that is great. I do not even like spicy things, but cayenne tincture is always in my bag. And I always have some capsules stuffed in case of infection or in case I start feeling colder legs or hands than I think I should (compared to my son. LOL). I avoid commercial made capsules because of the fillers.
 
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Cris Fellows wrote:As to the concerns:  I am a pediatric emergency room nurse and an herbalist.  1.) Far more people show up at the ER wasting resources for things that could easily be treated at home than you know.  2.) People are who they are, some will always be opposed to Western medicine, and that is their choice.  3.) Knowledge is good, keep it coming, pepper it with cautions. 4.) Emergency care should at least begin at home.  5.) Children are quite resilient, but if they look really ill (bad color, completely listless, respiratory distress, change in mental status, intractable vomiting etc) then please take them to the hospital or at least your primary physician.




You are a braver soul than me! I would leave nursing if pediatrics or emergency were my only choices, kids really scare me as patients. Had a bad experience last summer with one of my own after a routine surgery, with the surgeons telling me he was fine, and him being progressively more not fine. Ended in ER getting blood and back to surgery. The ER nurses and everybody else at the children's hospital near me are solid gold though, absolutely what should be the standard across the board. My son takes a yearly trip there; resp distress, broken fingers, broken arm, ripped open his scrotum (ever had a kid walk in and show you his testicle? aged my husband 10 years immediately) , tried to bleed out after surgery, and concussion in order.

I agree that more knowledge and education are 100% needed and to be encouraged. Like they taught us in school though, sometimes knowing what you dont know can be as important as what you do know.
 
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Stephanie Meyer wrote:

My son takes a yearly trip there; resp distress, broken fingers, broken arm, ripped open his scrotum (ever had a kid walk in and show you his testicle? aged my husband 10 years immediately)





Haha, actually, yes.  I suture for a living mostly.  So A lot of faces and heads...but yes to the occasional testicle.
 
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Joy Oasis wrote:First aid kit is a great idea. I think it has to have cayenne tincture as it might be life saving during stroke, heart attack, and any external or internal bleeding. I saw it stopping stronger bleeding from the wound within few seconds. It does sting for a bit, but it increases circulation, and that is great. I do not even like spicy things, but cayenne tincture is always in my bag. And I always have some capsules stuffed in case of infection or in case I start feeling colder legs or hands than I think I should (compared to my son. LOL). I avoid commercial made capsules because of the fillers.



Great idea! Would this be a glycerite or alcohol or water-based tincture? I'm not certain which tinctures should be which?


So far, for Sand Level we have a dandelion tincture (water-based?)

For straw level, we have listed

  - Echinacia Tincture
  - Oregano Tincture
  - Cayenne Tincture

What part of the plant would each of these be made from? Which would they be glycerite or alcohol or water-based?

Thanks so much!
 
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Brett M. Scott wrote:HERBAL FIRST AID KIT, wound powders, flower essence infusions (water), bug sprays, compresses, BATHS! (herbal baths have roots in every culture world wide and are very . powerful.) So many ideas. Something worth considering here is that plants have 10s of thousands of constituents and oils, alcohols, waters all bring out different flavors or primary/secondary actions and overall different proportions. So familiarizing with different forms and mediums is important.



Oooooh! I'd love to know more! What plant(s) would you use for:

  - wound powders
  - flower essence infusion
  - bug spray
  - compresses
  - herbal baths


Plantain, cayenne, calendula or chamomile, wild comfrey, goldenseal?, dandelion, rose hips, burdock?, milk thistle!, nettles, witch hazel, pine, basil, thyme, mints, oregano are all very powerful.



Looking at what we've got so far, we've done

dandelion root tincture(sand level),  
rosehips syrup (sand level),
ginger root  tea (sand level),
calendula flower Salve (sand level)
chamomile flower Infusion (sand level)
Plaintain leaffPoultice (sand level)

And at Straw Level:

Echinacia Tincture
Oregano Tincture
Cayenne Tincture
Elderberry Syrup
Cottonwood Buds Salve
Comfrey Salve
Comfery Poultice
Honey cough-drop/lozenge (or maple syrup? for vegans?)
Nettle Tea
Peppermint Tea
aloe-- grow an aloe plant
Witch hazel Decoction???

Right now, I think our idea is to have people learn about an herb and make a preparation with it. Once they've got a good foundation, then they can--maybe?--select select plants that are nearby them to add to their journal and choose a preparation for it?

But, first, I'd love to have the wound powder, compresses, bug spray, flower essence infusions and herbal baths each feature a different plant so people document that they've learned not only about that plant, but also about a preparation, at the same time. What would be good plant(s) for these preparations? More than one plant per preparation is okay!

 
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Nicole, I added some thoughts in red to the wiki post.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you Judith! That's super helpful!!!

Hmmm, I was thinking, should we do--for the Straw Badge--some sort of hair rinse, where people choose 3 of the following herbs (like dandelion, sage, chamomile, dandelion, etc) and steep in apple cider vinegar. (I make something like that for my psoriasis.)
 
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My first thought about the journal stuff ....

When we first started talking about PEP four years ago, a lot of people were emphatic that it should include proof that people read certain books or that they received certain formal training.  That there should be standardized tests on each topic.   For a while I bought into that, and then changed my mind.   While I agree that testing and getting verification that something has passed through one's brain is important, I think that is a function for something other than PEP.

So when I started reading about the journal stuff here, my knee-jerk reaction was "no."

However ...  

If you don't keep a journal, then you are dependent on the notes from other books and videos and classes and stuff.   And efficacy will change DRAMATICALLY depending on location grown, variety, irrigation habits, fertilization, etc.  It is a bit like the landrace stuff in that regard.  

Efficacy is critical.  And no book or course is going to tell you the efficacy of the stuff on your land.  It's like studying the weather in florida and then using that information in montana: what is this white stuff that keeps falling from the sky?  Why do my orange trees keep dying?

So dosage on one property could be quite different from dosage on a property a hundred miles away.   You MUST learn the efficacy for your property.

Next comes the question of whether a digital journal is allowed.   I like what Carla said:  "Herbology is a discipline and like a habit requires repetition. Write it down, write it down, write it down." --- so, paper.   If you go digital, it is far too tempting to copy and paste.  At the same time, digital has a lot of other perks.  

As I wrote here, PEP is for learning, but not for learning.  It is framework in which to record what you have learned, thus helping you to learn.   It is not the lessons.  So PEP is not about how you got it done, PEP is about recording that you got it done.  

Therefore, I think that while "write it down, write it down, write it down" works ten times better on paper for learning this stuff, that's not my problem.   I need to show Otis that you have a journal and have recorded efficacy.  That can be pictures of the paper or it can be a link to a google doc.  

Last note:  I can already hear the people that love the other badges insisting that they should have a journal too.   I'm open to hearing the argument for it, but it is unlikely I will approve it.  



Grand summary:  journal is required.  Digital is okay.



 
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Just because a journal isn't a PEP requirement, doesn't mean that the people who like to journal aren't perfectly welcome to do so! I have a dyslexic kid who scored in the first percentile for penmanship on standardized testing. You would *not* want to have to read his handwriting. But he speaks chicken better than almost anyone I know. I tend to agree that natural medicine has a greater need for certain types of documentation than some of the other badges might, but a well done electronic document may be a much better tool than a poorly done hand written one.

Grand summary: I back Paul on this one.   ;-)
 
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paul wheaton wrote:My first thought about the journal stuff ...
If you don't keep a journal, then you are dependent on the notes from other books and videos and classes and stuff.   And efficacy will change DRAMATICALLY depending on location grown, variety, irrigation habits, fertilization, etc.  It is a bit like the landrace stuff in that regard.  

Efficacy is critical.  And no book or course is going to tell you the efficacy of the stuff on your land.  It's like studying the weather in florida and then using that information in montana: what is this white stuff that keeps falling from the sky?  Why do my orange trees keep dying?
So dosage on one property could be quite different from dosage on a property a hundred miles away.   You MUST learn the efficacy for your property.

Grand summary:  journal is required.  Digital is okay.



Efficacy is critical.

So dosage on one property could be quite different from dosage on a property a hundred miles away.   You MUST learn the efficacy for your property.


I LOVE IT and totally agree, mr. paul. Efficacy is so tricky. Maybe just a few words on this for the sand badge first, then step up at a higher level, like stone badge? Personally, I've found certain power spots where, say the sassafrass is 10x more flavorful than anything else i've found in the whole region. To this point, I'd like to insert echinacea root extract... there are a few varieties of it and it seems that they all have an effect but the powerful stuff in the stores is really pinned down to a few areas. Most of the echinacea is a mild potency thats hard to concentrate to a nice 'normal ish' dose especially if youre a beginner and not sure.

Herbalism and first aid and things of health sometimes emergency are much more critical than say, fermenting cabbage, because, well... a mistake could be very high stakes problematic. Or pretty neutral and therefore not helping with the whatever ailment. Therefore I also support a journal or something with a different stress than journaling about other stuff. I've been making medicines for years and i no longer naively plan for my remembrance of the medicine/jar/color/smell/etc. I have lost so many dried herbs and medicines because when you don't know what it is anymore, its hard to place it reliably. So when you make a brandy cayenne infusion for a stroke first aid... if you mess up your recipe or its not strong enough... that could be a brain killing slip up. Literally.  WRITE IT DOWN SOME HOW! (Don't overly rely on electricity via internet for note!!!) A binder sounds really wise imo so gj so far.




Nicole Alderman wrote:

Oooooh! I'd love to know more! What plant(s) would you use for:

  - wound powders
  - flower essence infusion
  - bug spray
  - compresses
  - herbal baths

But, first, I'd love to have the wound powder, compresses, bug spray, flower essence infusions and herbal baths each feature a different plant so people document that they've learned not only about that plant, but also about a preparation, at the same time. What would be good plant(s) for these preparations? More than one plant per preparation is okay!




HERB POWDERS make soooo much sense to me. You bleed, then then it mixes with the blood and forms a cleansing scab that promotes healing and stops some of the nerve ending damage and signaling. Its much better than a slimy salve or even wet plant compress imo. I've used a combination of plantain leaf powder, cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder and clove powder. This recipe is harder to mess up. its more preferential than strict. I think turm and cayenne are the larger proportions. Clove is more for pain but cayenne is probably plenty for most pain. Plantain is maybe the best skin herb of all time! (opinion)

As far as your question what herbs to use for that.. stuff... It depends so wildly on the person. There is much variance possible.

For baths I like to think of it in terms of what the person is needing... relax and mellow or rest and charge up? Detoxing and drawing or nourishing and rejuvenating?
So... mint, lavender and catnip and raspberry leaf for a relaxing/remineralizing
Maybe a little epsom salt, dandelion leaf, witch hazel, and ginger for a detox/recharge moment
Its tricky because mint can be very charging and enlivening for some while very cooling and chilling/relaxing for others. Right?
I am leery to ramble on about possible herbs used as there are thousands of combos. The internet probably knows better which recipes are most efficacious.

Flower essences, to me is working on a more energetic level with the herbs and this is working more with your state of mind and emotions. Bach flower essences is the poster child.. but lots of physical effects come too.
Flower essences have a small shelf life and really just consists of a sun tea of sorts (at its most basic form).. this is a little different compared to hydrosols which is a steam distillations water based product.

compress idea: easy one: shredded raw ginger root and green tea with an oz of boiling water. while still warm tape it or wrap it up on your skin topically and let it sit until cool to the touch (give or take 30 mins) Super good, healing, pain relieving, enlivening, tonifying. I think an important detail is putting it on hot and letting it cool on you.

One of my teachers was always driving one main point home
--- of the thousands of plants out there.. you only need to know 7 or 8 super duper well to service almost every need outside of the doctor or hospital (and extreme first aid). I think that this holds so much water but it also varies from region to region. Every forest has certain plants that occupy certain niches. So maybe the straw and wood badge can focus more on a solid bunch of herbs and really working with them and understanding them deeply. I could ramble a list of hers off here but I think they've all been listed here enough.


I dunno... theres always so much more that can be said.

I Love the elderberry, and witch hazel decoction, rose hips are great for nerve and back pain and the vit. c is killer! I love the list of what we've got so far!
I'd also recommend glycerite and alchol combinations! The glycerine is a bit sweet, and helps with the splibberitiof of the alcohol bite. the glycerine brings out different constituents than the alkaloids and i think its a nicer more well rounded product. The glycerine is hygroscopic (which means sucks up water) so mixing it with mostly alcohol is what helps the shelf life.
Oils go rancid too so helping others understand this may be nice.

I love what joy said about the cayenne and think thats super solid!
And with what Joy was talking about cayenne extracts, I love it!  - greatmedicine for so many things! Nerve pain killer, bloodletter, very cleansing, high in vit. c and helps heal! Blood builder. I referred to this a second ago, but I want to dive deeper. An herbal teacher of mine ALWAYS kept a good brandy with the right amount of cayenne pepper powder in a jar in the fridge at all times. Why? If stroke, the cayenne + brandy is a complimentary thing that reportedly keeps blood to your brain and helps dramatically preserve your faculties while you rush to the hospital. It gives you a few more minutes before catastrophe if you can spot the stroke. (I don't have dosing or anything hard here but I'd certainly recommend it for the pantheon here)

I'm also super glad i've never seen or fixed a ripped scrotum....so thank all you wonderful people for helping the others out! Someone's gotta do it!

Cheers to plants!

 
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Having begun my own herbal path about 20 years ago, with lapses and pauses as other things intruded, I can see how having a laid out pathway might help keep things more consistant.  My orginial foray was to make a menopause tincture because the one I was originally using was discontinued. Being frugal (or cheap as the case may be) I turned to dried herbs from a coop and tinctured them in alcohol at home. It worked great.  Mostly, I purchased tinctures and then I realized I could not only tincture the dried herbs, I could actually grow the herbs and dry and tincture them myself.  Then I began to really know the herbs, because they were growing right where I passed them everyday in the spring, summer and fall. I could grab a bit and chew on them and get to know their taste and strength, Everntually, I foraged as well and that brought even more fresh herbs to my table.  I was always looking to replace any medicine we might take (headache medication, joint medication, etc) with an herb.  Meadowsweet for mild headaches and upset tummies and feverfew for migraines; solomon seal for joints to replace glucosomine sulfate.  These herbs now grow where I live. I have learned, though, that not all pains/illnesses are the same in each person.  Recently I found out that while elderberry is good for most viral infections because it is immune stimulating, it can actually make a flu that has settled in the lungs worse by causing a cytokine storm (look that one up;^)) Then st.john's wort is more appropriate.

"Efficacy is critical.  And no book or course is going to tell you the efficacy of the stuff on your land."  Ain't that the truth.:^)

So, if I were going to tell someone starting out the best way to learn natural medicine, I would say........."Get to know each plant first! Whether all you have is dried or if you are blessed with fresh herb, then make a cup of very strong tea, no sweetener, and taste it as you sip. Go slow. Feel what is happening to your body.  Download a monograph of the herb from the internet (i.e. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=plantain+monograph&ia=web ) and see what is said about the herb by herbalists, etc.  Start simple and don't believe everything you read. Journal, journal, journal. Your body can tell you so much".  

Of course, it would be a good idea to start with a safe, non-allergenic herb like plantain, nettle, dandelion, sage, thyme, or oregano. Herbs that the leaves are used.  Herbs that may be in the kitchen cabinet.  Teas were the original way that herbs were taken, as well as eating them in food or by themselves, and it is a great way to really know the herb and it's strength.  When I harvest the herb, how I dry it, what kind of solvent (alcohol, glycerine, vinegar,honey) I use, how long I let it sit, all determine the strength of the final herbal concoction.

While chamomile is recommended to start with, I have found that some people (including me) are allergic to it, so I named some common plants that most people are not allergic to and that grow in most of the U.S..  I really recommend finding what grows in the area where the person lives.  Authors I recommend are Matthew Wood and Thomas Easley.  Monographs of most plants can be found on the web and they are a good starting place. Local lore is a source of information as well.  
 
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Nicole,

In Chinese Medicine there is a whole category for herbs that stop bleeding and herbs that move blood (improve circulation, dissolve clots and bruises faster, etc.). There are two notable herbs that can balance moving blood and stopping excess bleeding. Sounds a bit odd but the combination is good in cases where there has been bleeding, subsequent clotting, and obstruction of healing. Getting the congealed blood out without causing more bleeding is a tricky thing, same with stopping bleeding without making a huge clot.

The first one in cat-tail pollen, which is available in a LOT of places in the U.S. growing wild. The entry from Bensky and Gamble TCM materia medica states under Functions and Clinical Uses:
-Stops bleeding: used to stop external bleeding as a result of traumatic injuries and various forms of internal bleeding such as uterine bleeding, vomiting blood, nosebleed, coughing up blood, blood in the urine, blood in the stool or subcutaneous bleeding. It has an astringent nature and is quite effective for stopping bleeding.
-Promotes the circulation of blood and dispels Congealed Blood: used for chest pain, postpartum abdominal pain, and menstrual pain from Congealed Blood.

The second one is Panax pseudoginseng. This is NOT the ginseng most people are familiar with, so you'd need to buy this from a place that specializes in chinese herbs. You can buy a small bottle of the powdered pseudoginseng that is typically for topical use and it's great at stopping bleeding. It can also be used internally and is very safe. The entry from the materia medica states:
-Stops bleeding and transforms congealed blood: used for internal and external bleeding including vomiting blood, nosebleed, and blood in the urine or stool. Because this herb can stop bleeding without causing congealed blood, it is very widely used.
-Reduces swelling and alleviates pain: this is the herb of choice for traumatic injuries and is used for swelling and pain due to falls, fractures, contusions, and sprains. Effective in promoting the circulation of blood, it is used for chest and abdominal pain, as well as joint pain.

Neither herb should be used internally during pregnancy. I keep a small bottle of pseudoginseng powder in my first aid supply. I have also used it on my dogs when they get a cut. Both powders can be placed on the cut directly and they work fast.
 
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Gonna try to nail down the sand badge for this tomorrow.   Any last ideas?
 
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We're thinking about making the sand badge a bit more felxible to go along with what people have available, while still keeping it away from dangerous herbs. Hows somethign like this look?

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. (5 Minutes)
  - photo of your pages
  - photo of your journal

Infusion: (1 hour) Pick One:
Chamomile Flower
  - 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.
Lavender flower
  - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID Lavender . 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 Lavender infusion.
  - Make a Lavender infusion, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
Another flower?

Salve (1.15 hour)  Pick One:
Calendula Flower
  - 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.
Cottonwood Buds
- 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.

Comfrey leaf 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.


Tincture (45 minutes) Pick One:
Dandelion Root
  - 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.
Echinacia Flower (?) Tincture (45 minutes)
- 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.
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.
Cayenne Tincture -
- Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID cayenne. 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 cayenne tincture.
- Make a cayenne tincture, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.

Poultice (30 minutes)
Plantain Leaf
  - 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.
Comfery leaves (?)
- 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.


Tea (15 minutes)
Ginger Root
  - 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.
Nettle Leaf
  - 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.
Peppermint leaf
  - 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.


Syrup: Make 1 syrup &/or gummies (45 minutes)
Rosehip
  - 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.
Elderberry:
  - 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.




------------

The requirements stay the same, but if someone is allergic to something (like chamomile) or can't find something, they can do another infusion instead.

It'd be great to have 3 or 4 things under each category. Can anyone think of some more safe, low-side effect herbs and what they would fit best under?

Does this seem like a good idea to you for the Sand Badge?
 
Robin Katz
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Nicole,

I like the approach of having several to choose from under each category. I noticed that you have an infusion category and a tea category, which look the same to me. An infusion is 3-5 minutes steeping in hot water, usually for leafy herbs and flowers with volatiles. A decoction is boiled longer (20 min or so) usually used for roots and stems to extract non-volatile components.

An example is dandelion root. It needs more than just a few minutes to pull out the goodies. And peppermint will be ruined if you cooked it for 20 minutes, so an infusion would be better. Below are my suggestions.

Infusion: (30 minutes) Pick One:
Chamomile Flower
 - 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.
Lavender flower
 - Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID Lavender . 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 Lavender infusion.
 - Make a Lavender infusion, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
Another flower?
Peppermint leaf
 - 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 infusion
.
 - Make a peppermint tea infusion, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.


Tea (15 minutes)
Decoction (45 minutes)
Dandelion Root
 - 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 decoction.
 - Make a dandelion decoction, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
Ginger Root
 - 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 decoction.
 - Make a ginger decoction, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
Nettle Leaf
 - 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 decoction.
 - Make a nettle decoction, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
 
Judith Browning
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Herbal infusions are also a great way to consume herbs. ... An herbal tea is most often used with single herbs or a mixture of herbs for the purpose of simply enjoying a cup of tea or during times of illness. An herbal infusion is very much like a tea, only it is steeped longer and uses a larger amount of herb.



Herbal Infusion:
My favorite way to make an infusion is to add about a cup of dried herbs to a quart jar.  Pour boiling water over the herbs to the top of the jar.  Cover tightly with a lid.  Let the herbs steep 4-10 hours and then strain.  A great way to do this is to make the infusion before you go to bed, and in the morning you have a healthy drink to start your day! You can drink 1-4 cups of infusion a day.  Keep any leftover infusion refrigerated, and discard after 36 hours. Some of the best herbs for an herbal infusion are:

   Nettle
   Oat Straw
   Alfalfa


https://www.bulkherbstore.com/blog/tea-vs-infusion-whats-the-difference/

Infusions: http://livetheoldway.com/teas-infusions-decoctions/

An infusion’s purpose is to extract more nutrients, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll from your dried herb than a tea does. It’s considered more medicinal because of this and in addition to producing a more concentrated elixir, it’s often used for preparations that contain hard, woody stems or bark since they need more than just a little warm water to extract their medicinal properties. To make an infusion, add one cup of dried herb to a quart jar of boiling water, cap it and let it sit at least 4 hours. You then strain it, making sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  The remaining plant matter can then be put in your compost.  Once your infusion is finished and plenty cool, keep it in the refrigerator. It generally doesn’t keep well out of the fridge and even when refrigerated, should be kept no longer than about 3 days.

As far as the time to let it steep goes, I use Susun Weed’s recommended infusion times.  You can see how the more fragile parts of the plant need a lot less steeping time than the woody parts.

Roots/Barks – 8 hours minimum

Leaves – 4 hours minimum

Flowers – 2 hours minimum

Seeds/Berries – 30 minutes minimum




An herbal tea and herbal infusion are essentially the same thing—the two distinct differences being (1) the amount of herb used and (2) the steep time. Simply put: herbal teas use less plant matter and are steeped for a shorter period of time than infusions, while herbal infusions use a larger amount of herbs and are steeped for a longer period of time. Because of their longer steep time, herbal infusions may contain a higher nutrient content than herbal teas (Gladstar, 2008). https://theherbalacademy.com/herbal-tea-or-herbal-infusion/



Lot's of  information online from different (and probably better than these) sources, this is just what I found in a quick search.  

The journal for this badge will be so valuable


 
Judith Browning
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As close as they may seem in practice, infusions and teas many times have different purposes.

My husband and I make variations on passion flower vine, nettle, meadowsweet, motherwort and scullcap INFUSIONS, using two to three of these dried herbs together and a tablespoon or more EACH to a pint of not quite boiling filtered water.  We leave them a minimum of fifteen minutes and many times several hours.  Certain combinations have a nice relaxing and pain relief effect that is not necessarily there in a three to five minute tea.

I love tulsi (holy basil) steeped for at least an hour....where as a green or black tea will be too bitter beyond it's three or four minutes.

I think chamomile might become bitter steeped longer but am not sure.  Nettle will only get more nutritious.

I realize that the distinction is a little hazy but I think it's important to understand both procedures and when each is appropriate.

Cold infusions are also used for some things...hibiscus flowers are an example and Paul's cold brew coffee concentrate.

 
paul wheaton
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I just spent a bunch of time trying to summarize bits and bobs from here.   And then I asked for jocelyn's help for a few minutes to add a few things.   Here is what I have now.  


---

create a natural medicine journal

vinegar infusion - create one
   fire cider
   elderberry
   garlic
   lavender blossom plus hibiscus blossom

oil infusion - create one
   mullein blossom and garlic
   calendula blossom
   balm of gilead (Cottonwood Buds)
   arnica blossom

salve - create one
   calendula blossom
   balm of gilead (Cottonwood Buds)
   Comfrey leaf
   peppermint leaf

tincture - create one
   dandelion root
   echinacea blossom, leaf or root
   oregano leaf
   cayenne fruit
   oregon grape stem or root bark

poultice (fresh or freeze) - create one
   plantain leaf
   comfery leaf
   ginger root

dry for a tea, infusion or decoction - create one
   ginger root
   peppermint leaf
   mullein leaf
   chamomile blossom
   lavender blossom
   alfalfa leaf or blossom
   oat straw
   lemon balm
   raspberry leaf
   strawberry leaf
   oregon grape stem or root bark
   rose hips, buds, blossom petals
   elderberries

syrup or gummies - create one
   rosehip
   elderberry
   echinacea blossom, leaf or root

create one infusion (hot or cold) from fresh or dried materials
   chamomile blossom
   lavender blossom
   peppermint leaf

create one decoction from fresh or dried materials
   dandelion root
   ginger root
   stinging nettle leaf
   thyme

---

Details on each would be with the BB.  

There were a few ideas that jocelyn wanted to add, but I said "that's in the foraging badge" or "lemon is a store bought thing here, and is more of a food than a medicine."   And she had a lost of suggestions that struck me more like "straw badge or higher".  

I am trying to take a massive field and simplify it into a few hours of basic experiences.  

Any other suggestions?

 
Judith Browning
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The only suggestion I have is for Echinacea. Some think the root is more potent and some prefer leaves and flowers.
Could it be listed as 'echinacea, root or aerial parts' ?

I like the list.
 
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Judith Browning wrote:The only suggestion I have is for Echinacea. Some think the root is more potent and some prefer leaves and flowers.
Could it be listed as 'echinacea, root or aerial parts' ?



I had one with "echinacea blossom, leaf or root" and one was just "echinacea".  Now they are both "echinacea blossom, leaf or root".

 
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paul wheaton wrote:

---

Details on each would be with the BB.  




So, one BB page for each plant and each preparation?

Like “ in this bb you will create balm of gilead salve”.


Or one BB page per preparation?

Like “ in this BB you will create a salve from one of these plants”, and include all plants in one BB?

Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question.
 
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Brett M. Scott wrote:HERB POWDERS make soooo much sense to me. You bleed, then then it mixes with the blood and forms a cleansing scab that promotes healing and stops some of the nerve ending damage and signaling. Its much better than a slimy salve or even wet plant compress imo. I've used a combination of plantain leaf powder, cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder and clove powder. This recipe is harder to mess up. its more preferential than strict. I think turm and cayenne are the larger proportions. Clove is more for pain but cayenne is probably plenty for most pain. Plantain is maybe the best skin herb of all time! (opinion).


Brett M. Scott wrote:One of my teachers was always driving one main point home --- of the thousands of plants out there.. you only need to know 7 or 8 super duper well to service almost every need outside of the doctor or hospital (and extreme first aid). I think that this holds so much water but it also varies from region to region. Every forest has certain plants that occupy certain niches.


I was first introduced to herb powders / wound powders at a permaculture convergence in Southern Califorinia years ago. The herbalist talked about making and using the powders on livestock and pets....and also people. It just sounded perfect in so many ways.

So it sounds like Brett would mix up:
  • plantain leaf powder
  • cayenne pepper powder
  • tumeric powder
  • clove powder

  • Though for us, here, I think the things we have growing in abundance would mean possibly making a mix of:
  • yarrow leaf and blossom powder
  • arrowleaf balsomroot leaf powder
  • plantain leaf powder
  • cayenne pepper powder
  • clove powder

  • We aren't growing clove, of course, and aren't even growing hot peppers, let alone cayenne, though I do like the properties both of those bring to the powder. For livestock or pets, those two might help prevent the animal from licking the wound, too!

    Willow bark might help with aspirin-like pain relief (and bitterness, I bet!), so maybe that could be a clove substitute for pain relief.

    Also, as a side note, while comfrey is incredibly healing, for some wounds, it might encourage the skin to heal TOO quickly on top, before the deeper part of the wound heals up, so it's not recommended. I think the herbalist I heard talking about wound powders years ago specifically advised against using comfrey in the mix, and I also read about it here on permies.



     
    paul wheaton
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    Liv Smith wrote:So, one BB page for each plant and each preparation?

    Like “ in this bb you will create balm of gilead salve”.



    Yes.  This way, the BB thread can fill up with pics and tips for that specific plant and prep.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Brett M. Scott wrote:
    For baths I like to think of it in terms of what the person is needing... relax and mellow or rest and charge up? Detoxing and drawing or nourishing and rejuvenating?
    So... mint, lavender and catnip and raspberry leaf for a relaxing/remineralizing
    Maybe a little epsom salt, dandelion leaf, witch hazel, and ginger for a detox/recharge moment
    Its tricky because mint can be very charging and enlivening for some while very cooling and chilling/relaxing for others. Right?
    I am leery to ramble on about possible herbs used as there are thousands of combos. The internet probably knows better which recipes are most efficacious.


    Brett, I loved your entire post and responses to Nicole's most excellent questions and posts (many excellent posts!), and I'm only teasing out a couple elements - such as the wound powders above, and the herbal baths now. Each could have its own thread to be sure!

    One of my favorite all-time healing baths for a cold or flu is a thyme bath. Not to be trifled with, because I think it has a POWERFUL effect, though I think it can speed healing in a big way.
     
    Robin Katz
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    Paul,

    I would change only one small item under oil infusions. I would not suggest anyone make a garlic oil infusion due to the risk of botulism. If they know what they're doing by adding acid, refrigerating, and using within a week that's fine, but it is a real risk if left at room temperature for any length of time.

    This is a good list, covers a lot of territory yet leaves the user to make the appropriate choice for his/her situation. I think anyone could learn a bunch by completing this.
     
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    Robin Katz wrote:
    I would change only one small item under oil infusions. I would not suggest anyone make a garlic oil infusion due to the risk of botulism. If they know what they're doing by adding acid, refrigerating, and using within a week that's fine, but it is a real risk if left at room temperature for any length of time.


    Oh, GOOD point! I forgot about that and had Paul add it to the list. You are so right though, that the botulism is a concern.
     
    paul wheaton
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    The recipes I've heard of suggest putting it in a sunny window for a week.  

    Further research suggests getting all of it up to 250 F for 3 minutes will do the trick - and there are lots of ways to do that.

    If there was no way to undo the botulism, then i would take it out.  But the botulism can be mitigated in the BB.
     
    paul wheaton
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    The official natural medicine badge is here:

    https://permies.com/wiki/108662/PEP-Badge-Natural-Medicine

    All further discussion and brainstorming is to happen in that thread, so I am locking this thread.
     
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