Valerian Root Uses and Benefits

Valerian Root Uses and Benefits

Valerian root is in the Caprifoliaeae (Honeysuckle) family. There are many species of valerian, most medicinal, commonly used as an herbal sleep aid. Roots is the most commonly used but the leaves may also be used for medicine, though they are less potent than the roots. 

Identification

Valerian grows from 1 to 5 feet tall depending on the location and the soil conditions. It was straight round stem that is topped by an umbrella-like flower-head. Its opposite dark green leaves have an pinnate blade with 6 to 11 pairs of terminal leaflets. These leaflets have prickly margins and are hairy underneath. Valerian flowers are in branched batches and each flower is about ⅕ in long. They are tiny white to pink blossoms. The flower has three stamens and a distinctive scent. 

Valerian Root

 

Medicinal Uses

Insomnia: Many people, including myself, report that they get to sleep faster and can sleep longer without warning when consuming valerian root. They also report that they awaken refreshed without residual drowsiness. It can become habit forming so only use it when needed. 

Anxiety and Panic Attacks: Valerian root has a calming effect that is beneficial to people with panic and anxiety disorders. Known as a nerve tonic, calming and soothing to the nervous system.

Epilepsy:  Has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the body. For regular usage use dosage 100 mg to 1 gram of dried or powdered root. Start with low dosage, depending on the persons size and the severity of the disease and increase it gradually until you find a level that works. Consult with your herbalist or medical consultant to be sure it works with any other medications you could be taking.

Menstraul Cramps:  Because of valerian root’s analgesic properties and it s ability to relax the smooth muscles this herb makes a good treatment for pain and cramping during menstruation.

Quitting Smoking: Valerian root is calming and helps lessen the effects of nicotine withdrawal. It especially helps with the irritability people often experience when quitting. Use in tincture form for this. 

Harvesting

Cut the flowering tops off as they appear. This enables a better development of the root. In the first year, many of the young plants do not flower but produce a luxuriant crop of levas. Harvest enter root system; planting some back for utter harvests. Slice roots into small sections and dry for future use. 

Dried Valerian roots in wooden spoon

WARNING

Valerian exerts a quieting and soothing influence upon the brain and nervous system. However, in large repeated doses it can cause headaches, heaviness and stupor. It can become addictive, only use when needed. 





Valerian root is one of multiple herbs used in our Insomnia Tincture and Insomnia Tea. Releasing a sweet potent flavor to the blend. ORDER HERE

Comfrey Medicinal Uses and Benefits

Comfrey Medicinal Uses and Benefits

Looking for medicinal herbs to aid in wound and pain care? Comfrey can easily be grown in your home garden. This herb grows like a weed in many areas. It is known as a knit bone, boneset and slippery root. Comfrey is a great first aid herb to have on hand. 

Comfrey

Identification

Comfrey is a perennial herb with long lance-like leaves, each 12 to 18 inches long. They hairy leaves grow from a central crown on the ends of short stem. The pant reaching 2 to 5 feet in height and spreads to over 3 feet in diameter. It can be propagated from cuttings but it not invasive once planted. The flowers begin as a blue to purple bell, fading to pink. The leaves can be used to make a medicinal tea or gargle. 

Medicinal Use

This herb is a valuable remedy that accelerates healing of the skin and wounds. A compress of the roots and leaves a can be applied directly to the skin or make into a salve. It inhibits growth of bacteria, helping to prevent infections and minimizes scarring. It is mucilage our and contains the compound allantoin, which boosts cell growth and repair. Comfrey tea is best used to alleviate stomach pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, bloody urine breathing problems, cancer, and chest pain. It can also be gargled to treat gum disease or sore throat. 

Sprains, Bruises and Breaks

Comfrey salve or comfrey compresses are one of the best remedies for sprains, strains, bruised muscles and joints, and fractured ones. The herb speeds up the healing while increasing the saver or a poultice made from crushed comfrey root, up to 4 times a day. 

Minor Skin Injuries, Burns, Rashes and Wounds

One of the best uses for comfrey is in healing minor injuries to the skin. Rashes, eczema, burns, and skin wounds heal quickly when herb is applied. Leaves and root can be used for this application. Apply Comfrey salve 3 times a day or used bruised leaves or crushed root to make a poultice for the damaged skin. You can use comfrey tea or comfrey root decoration as a wash for the area, especially for rashes, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. DO NOT use for deep wounds or punter wounds as it heals the too quickly, blocking in infection. 

Our store front has a Healing Salve for you, using comfrey as one of the ingredients!

Harvesting

Leaves are best harvested in the spring or early summer, before the plant blooms. They can be harvested in serval cuttings and dried for later use. The roots can e dug at any time as needed. Leave behind part of the roots to encourage continued growth and an additional crop the next year. 

Warnings

Harmful toxins in comfrey are believed to cause liver damage, lung damage, or cancer when used in highly concentrated doses. For this reason, many healers do not recommend internal use of comfrey. However, small doses have been used safely in herbal medicines for hundreds of years with no reported ill effects. Use internally with caution or under care. 

It is recommended that bone fractures and bone breaks are properly set before using it. Do not use id you have liver disease or any liver problems. Not recommend for pregnancy or breastfeeding women. 

Genesis 3:18 

Every moving thing that live there shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 

Glycerin vs Alcohol Herbal Tinctures Why We Use Both

Glycerin vs Alcohol Herbal Tinctures Why We Use Both

Glycerin vs Alcohol
Herbal tinctures are a liquid extract from one to serval herbs. Following the extractive process, the tincture is then separated from the spent herb and is filtered, creating your herbal remedy. There are a few ways of creating this using different bases liquids. Some being vinegar, glycerin, vodka or brandy. We are here to today to talk a bit about why Ancient Medicine Cabinet makes their ‘liquid gold’.

We use vegetable glycerin derived from palm fruit….yes fruit…why they called it vegetable glycerin? No one knows…. Glycerin is very sweet so kids tend to enjoy it. Some even call it ‘gummy bear juice’. This makes it easier for to take and enjoy. It also safe if a child happens to get the bottle and drink an entire bottle, yes I’m talking from experience. Palm fruit glycerin actually aids in replenishing your mucus membranes in your gut. This tincture is also easily digested as it gets absorbed in the small intestine, not making it to the large intestine for the fermentation process. Tinctures made with glycerin has up to a 2 year shelf life when stored in a cool dark area. These are a great option for families with many young children or those who cannot handle the taste of alcohol base tinctures.

Alcohol-based tinctures are safe for use by children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women, since the amount of alcohol ingested per dose is the equivalent of eating a very ripe banana. You actually get more alcohol from mouth wash than you would consuming a alcohol-based tincture. Crazy, right? Alcohol has been used as a base in herbal tinctures for centuries, and remain popular today for it fast acting properties, potency and ability to preserve a 10 year shelf life! Given that only a very small amount of alcohol is consumed when we use a herbal tincture, it s a very safe and effective way of deliver our favorite herbal remedies.  They are extremely fast acting because alcohol can enter our bloodstream quickly. Our tongue and cheeks contain capillaries which quickly absorb the alcohol. This means that when we place some drops under the tongue were not actually digesting the extract, rather, its entering our bloodstream almost immediately to deliver the tinctures potent properties. This allow only a very small dose is required to reap the benefits.

This should give you a base understanding of why we choose to use both glycerin and alcohol based tinctures. Please leave any question in the comments below and we will do our best to answer you promptly!

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Herbs To Support Digestive System

Herbs To Support Digestive System

German Chamomile 

Anti inflammatory, anti histamine, antisepamodic, anti ulcer, bitter, carminative, digestive anxiolytics nerving, sedative, vulnerary, diaporetic anti-microbial 

Used in this system as: A soothing, cooling, anti-spasmodic healing herb with an affinity for conditiona of the digestive system that are trigged or worsened by stress. It has been used for digestive upsets, infections of the digestive system, IBS, wind and colic, indigestion and heartburn, nausea and vomiting and for ulcerations. Also helps headaches, calming nervous system, helps respiratory infectionss. 

Dose: Two teaspoons of the dried herb per cup of boiled water for an infusion, to be taken up to 3 times a day. 1-4 ml of a 1:5 tincture up to three times a day. 

Meadowsweet

Analgesic, antacid, antiemetic, anti inflammatory, anti ulcer, astringent, carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, anti rheumatic, urinary antiseptic, diuretic and calming. 

Used in this system as: a balancing antacid which I’ll normalcies acid picturing in the stomach. It calms and soothes the digestive tract, easing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A gentle remedy for children’s digestive issues. It has been shown to promote the healing of ulcers and other damage to the digestive mucus. Addressing joint conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism where it can ease pain and swelling and promotes the healing of connective tissue. It can be used in minor urinalysis tract infections to soothe, heal, disinfect and flush out the bladder. It’s an appreciable pain killer for many courses of pain including musculoskeletal pain, uterine pain and headache. Some consider it calming to the nervous system and therefor can be used in the same way as German Chamomile. 

Dose: one to two tsp of the dried herb per cup of boiling water for an infusion, taken up to three times a day. 2-4 ml of the 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 

DO NOT USE IN THOSE WITH A SENSITIVITY TO ASPRIN. MAY INERACT WITH ANTICOAGULANTS

Dandelion Root 

Gentle laxative, digestive, cholagogue, hepatic, bitter tonic, depurative, antirheumatic anti inflammatory 

Used in this system as: 

A gentle laxative for short term and especially chronic constipation, which works by stimulation the production and flow of bile. it is a bitter and therefor primes the digestive system, promoting the release of digestive secretions and aiding a weak digestive process. It may help nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and when caused by poor fat digestion or overindulgence. It helps the liver, therefore supports elimination and detoxification.  Helping the body deal with hormones following pregnancy. Used as a bitter tonic on skin condition including acne and boils. To help conditions such as rheumatism by supporting the eliintory organs of the body and by reducing inflammation. 

Dose: 2-3 tsp of dried root per cup, boiled to make a decoration and taken up to 3 times a day. Up to 5ml of a 1:5 tincture taken up to three times a day. 

DO NOT USE IN CASES OF OBSTRUCTED GALLBLADDER OR BILE DUCTS. 

Yellow or Curly Dock

Laxative, diuretic, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, hepatic, alternative, depurative, tonic

Used in this system as: a stimulation laxative for short term and chronic constipation, with a more balanced action than other potent anthraquinone laxative herbs. Such is its balanced action it can even be used to manage diarrhea. It’s bitters can stimulate sluggish digestion and its hepatic actions mean herbatlists use it to support the liver when it is struggling or diseased. Conditions where the body benefits from an increased removal of toxins via the eliminators organs- hence tits use in headache, skin conditions and arthritis and rheumatism. Herbalists may use it in cases of anemia, not just for its iron content but because its bitterness promotes goof digestion and absorption, thus helping the body obtain and use dietary iron. 

Dose: 1-2 tsp of the dried root per cup of water to be boiled for a decoration which may be taken up to 3 times a day. 1-2 ml of the 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 

FRESH ROOT MAY CAUSE VOMITING. THE PLANT CAUSES DERATITIS IN SOME. DO NOT EXCEED RECOMMEND DOSE AS THIS CAN UPSET THE DIGESTIVE SYSEM. 

Agrimony: 

Astringent, digestive, cholagogue, hepatic, carminative, antispasmodic, diaporetic, emmenagogue, vulnerary and calming

Used in this system as: an aromatic bitter remedy that soothes the gut and relives pain, wind and spasms, whilst also promoting optimal digestion through its bitterness. A tonic for the digestive system, helping it to recover from inflammation or infection. A superb remedy for childhood diarrhea and stomach bugs, whilst in adulthood it can be very useful for IBS and nervous indigestion and stress-related digestive issues. Sapaoci coughs in the respiratory system and spasmodic pain and cramping in the genitourinary system. 

Dose: 1-2 tsp of the dried herb per cup of boiled water to make an infusion which up to 3 times a day. 1-4 ml of the 1:5 ml tincture up to 3 times a day. 

MAY INTERACT WITH BLOOD THINNER, DIABETIC MEDICATION AND MEDICATION USED TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

Peppermint: 

Antiemetic,antispasmodic, digestive, carminatie, anti imflammatory, diaphoretic, decongestant, antimicrobial, circulatory stimulant, analgesic, nerving. 

Used in this system as: a superb agent for easing spasm in conditions like IBS and other spasmodic continents of the gut. it eases pain and bloating in conditions like indigestion, heartburn, colic, flatulence and constipation. It helps ease nausea and vomiting from various sources. It helps protect, soothe and encourage the repair of the digestive system thanks to its tannins and the anti-inflammatory actions. It’s nerving actions make it applicable for digestive issues with a link to tension, stress or anxiety. Also used for colds, flu and multitude of other viral infections where it help to manage fevers, ease pain and alleviate congestion, nausea and vomiting. The diluted essential oil of the plant is also used by herbalists and makes a useful application for headaches, musculoskeletal and uterine issues were there is tension, spasm and pain. it penetrating aromatic nature helps to focus the mind and clear “brain fog” when people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, thus improves focus.

Dose: 1 tsp of the dried herb per cup of boiled water to make an infusion, whic cab be taken up 3 times a day. 1-2 ml of the 1:5 tincture up to 3 times a day. 

CONTRAINDICATED FOR BABIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN (ESSENTIAL OIL AND HERB). CONSULT WITH DOCTOR BEFORE USING IN PREGNANCY. 

Dill:

Carminative, digestive, galactagogue, antispasmodic

Used in this system as: a very useful aromatic carminative to ease wind, pain, spam and colic in infants, children and adults alike. Often the first herb a herbalist will turn to in such cases as its so effective. The digestive benefits can be passed on to a breastfeeding infant through a mothers milk – so she can drink an infusion to treat her baby. 

Also used for encouraging the flow of milk in breastfeeding mothers. It can soothe and moisten a rly, spasmodic cough. Some herbalists find that it has a similar effect on the nervous system to German chamomile, helping to calm and soothe fretful infants and children and encouraging sleep. 

Dose:  1-2 tsp of the dried seed, crushed, per cup of boiled water to make an infusion, taken up to 3 times a day. 2-4 ml of 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 

SOME PEOPLE HAVE PHOTOPIC REACTION AFTER HANDLING THE FRESH PLANT 

Ginger: 

Anti emetic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diaphoretic, circulatory stimulant, anti inflammatory, analgesic, expectorant, immune system tonic, antimicrobial, emmenagogue

Used in this system as: a warming, aromatic digestive which calms the system, easing pain, nausea, vomiting, groping, wind and bloating. It can, therefore, be used in cases of diarrhea, IBS, during and after upset stomach and stomach bugs. It promotes appetite and encourages normal digestion. It is one of our best known herbal anti emetics, showing itself beneficial in nausea and vomiting use to motion sickness, morning sickness and post operative nausea and vomiting too. Also used for stimulating the circulatory system, helping those with poor circulation and issues such as chilblains and Raynaud’s. It’s a wonderful warming aromatic for using during coughs and colds, helping the body to bring up music, while easing spasm (this is why we use it in our Cough and Congestion Tincture). Very good for managing a fever when you cant move past the “chilled phase (why we use it in our Fever, Cold and Flu Tincture). It’s impressive antimicrobial nature makes it applicable across a variety of infection. Its an effective anti-inflammatory and can be used for inflammation across the body, including in the joints. It can help promote men’s traction when this is delayed or scanty and its warming, analgesic nature makes it useful both internally and externally for period pains. 

Dose: 1-2 tsp of fresh ginger, or one of dried per cup of boiled water to make and infusion , taken up to 3 times a day. 1-3 ml of a 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 

CONTRAINDICATIONS ALONGSIDE ANTICOAGULANTS. AVOID WHEN THERE IS ULCERATION IN THE DIGESTIVE TRACT AND IF GALLSTONES ARE PRESENT. SOME FIND GINGER VERY STIMULATIONS AND MAY REQUIRE LOWER DOSAGE

Oak 

Astringent, amtseptic, anti-inflammatory 

Used in this system as: a powerful astringent for diarrhea, used with a very light touch and for serve cases of diarrhea only. Here it can be very effective. Also used for soothing inflammation in cases of tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis and mouth or gum infections. 

Dose: 1 tsp of the dried bark boiled in one cup of water and this can be gargles, or, for diarrhea, this can be drunk a few mouthfuls at a time, taking no more than three capfuls worth a day. 1 ml of the 1:5 tincture up to three times a day 

A VERY POWERFUL ASTRINGENT WHICH SHOULD THEREFORE NOT BE TAKEN SHORTLY BEFORE PRESCRIBED MEDICATION. TOO HGIH A DOSE MAY LEAVE PEOPLE FEELING NAUSEOUS AND PROLONGED USE WILL CONSTIPATE 

Milk Thistle 

Hepatoprtective, hepatic, anti-imflammatory, cholagogue, bitter tonic, digestive, astringent, demulcent, galactogogue, diuretic, diaphoretic 

Used in this system as: an extraordinary agent for protection the liver from disease, the damaging effects of alcohol and drugs, toxins and poisoning, working by making liver cells more resilient. It than stimulates the repair of hepatocytes. It’s also used in gallbladder issues. Traditionally it has been used as a liver tonic, helping to support the digestive system as a whole. It’s an excellent herb to use when someone has difficulties digesting fats. Also used for encouraging milk production and flow in breastfeeding mothers. Thanks to the livers rol in detoxification, this herb is employed for skin conditions where a “toxic” element was traditionally implicated eg ance, boils and psoriasis. It’s a good anti-inflammatory and can be used for inflammation across the body. Its used by some herbalists to mange candida because they consider it a beneficial agent for the gut flora. 

Dose: this is one of the herbs where its wise to use a standardized extract to ensure good therapeutic dose of the liver-active active sensitive to. A dose of 600 mg per day of an extract standardized to 80 per cent silymarin can be used therapeutically to address the sort of issued mentioned above. For long term, liver protections action, a dose of 175 mg is suggested. If you wish to use the dried seed instead you’re required around 15 grams of the seed per day to achieve the therapeutic dose of silymarin  

Battling a Food Allergy

We recently found out our youngest son (1 year old) is highly allergic to casein (a protein in milk). It started with the poops. This poor little man would have constant acidic diarrhea 6-8 times a time. My first thought was “oh, he must be teething, babies get loose stools that cause diaper rash due to this”. So a month passed and he did pop through a few molders. Following came the running nose and cough, again, I thought “must be a cold or the extra mucus produced when teething”. Waiting another month, loose stools are still continuing. Than came the hives, on his cheeks and occasionally the belly. Having a background of reacting to foods I knew this was a sign that his immune system wasn’t handling something well. At this point it had been two months of pooping 6-8 times a day, a month of a cough we cannot break, no fever and now hives. I knew something needs to change. This poor guy must just be miserable all the time. He isn’t much of a whiny kid. He plays with his sibling and during occasion gets cracky when tired or hungry. Kid LOVES to eat. But he as just irritable when the hives hit, wasn’t sleeping through the night anymore. So we decided it was time to cut out the most common food issues in my family dairy and gluten. This did help but we weren’t doing it fully. We really just cut back but didn’t fully rid of it, so his hives would flare up and he would get a solid poop maybe once every other day. Now he is starting to get eczema on the back of his neck. Which is telling me his body isn’t getting better still, its only getting worse. We cant half way do it. His rash started spreading and the hives were continuing so we brought him in to get tested. Turns out his eczema ended up getting a bacterial infection (very common with eczema and small kids). So this kids immures system is already strugggling and now they want him on antibiotics. I couldn’t do it. After talking with my husband we decided to do it naturally, if it doesn’t clear up with serious cut outs and herbal remedies we will do the antibiotics. Keep in mind we don’t have the food allergy results back yet so we are still guessing if its dairy, gluten maybe egg. With cutting those three out (occasional mess ups because our cast iron still had some cross contamination), putting him on our garlic tincture orally and topically 2-3 times a day and using our eczema cream on his rash as healing within 36-48 hours! 5 days later the rash is healed! PRAISE GOD, one thing dealt with. Through this he would still get hives occasionally and poops were better but not yet normal. With how bad his body is reacting I don’t except it to go away immediately, it takes time to heal.

Upon getting his results we found he is highly allergic to casein (protein in all milk). GREAT!!! Now we know where to keep going with this. We have a target to stay away from and heal his body up. Because of this and his immune system reacting so terribly from it we decided to stay away from gluten still because its possible to cause extra inflammation in his body which we just don’t want. Now begins the research, its not just diary, its casein. We live in a complex food world. So they are able to take bits of milk and use it in all sorts of foods. So now we need to figure out what can and cant he eat. Until we get a better understanding we are sticking to the basics, meat veggies and fruit. Now this isn’t just for him, this is for everyone in the house. It’s easiest to do it together than it is to separate one and make a special meal just for one when there are 4 others that need to eat. If we go out and there’s an option for everyone to get something they want , yes, the others can get some sour cream or cheese on their Chipotle bowl. But with him he cannot got casein, if his body is progressively getting worse we cant risk it getting to the point of his throat closing. He is only 14 months old, he cant communicate that his throat is itchy or its hard to breathe. Any hives or cough we are giving a small dosage of Benadryl to be on the safe side.

The plan so far: this is type of allergy is still new to me. It’s a certain protein in milk that is used in many other foods. it differs from whey and lactose yet still a protein that is in animal milk. You give me corn, great I dealt with that for three years. I know all the safe foods and know the weird names they use on the ingredient list. So first is to figure out those weird names of casein and figure out what we have in the house that contains that making sure our son doesn’t eat it anymore.

Now comes the extra fun part (serious, this is very interesting to me). Coming up with a plan to heal his gut. Now we don’t have a huge amount to be able to do a ton of premade probiotics and supplements. It’s time to get crafty and find how what we can do. Probiotics are essential for good gut floral: fermented foods. You can get simple veggies and ferment them, eating these regularly will give you a good amount of probiotics in your diet. Next what I would like to add with collagens: bone broth and grass fed gelatin. Easy, use broth instead of water while cooking rice or soups. Now comes the tricky part. We want to add iron, vitamin C & D than just an over all multivitamin. Just go to the store and pick these things up… Well it’s expensive with three kids. But great news HERBS HAVE ALL THESE VITAMINS!!! Nettle and Alfalfa are great multivitamin herb. Nettle is also very high in iron. Iron we will also be getting from our ground beef because we had the butcher ground all the organ meat into the beef. But we will also be purchasing grass fed liver and adding it to soups. Vitamin C you can get from berries (elder, mulberry and Goji berries) or red bell peppers. Acerola powder is from red bell pepper and you can get a bulk amount for a good price. Now the vitamin D, Cod liver oil. Now this one I will buy. I do not want to make my own cod liver oil….. we typically spend around $30 a month on this guy. I am sure there is a herb or other food that is high in vit D, I personally just haven’t gotten that far yet.

There is many many many things I am learning through this process and will be sure to share what we find as we continue down this road! Just wanted to share and document what I am learning as of now. If you have any tips, comments or questions PLEASE comment below !! But this sums up my story of our new adventure with baby #3 Joesph. God is faithful and has a plan and purpose through it all, will we will continue to rest in Him and seek out what He has for our family!

Through ALL things who Christ who gives me strength!

Mariah McDowell