For as long as I can think I am madly in love with plants, herbs and using them in the kitchen as well as for my own wellness and health. I remember standing in my grandparents kitchen, cooking Thyme and Rosemary with grannie in a big pot and wrapping them in hot herbal packs. I was totally fascinated watching the color of the water change with ever root or flower she put in the pot. Long before I discovered energy work, collecting herbs and flowers in nature or in my parents herbal garden was like a trip to a magical wonderland to me.
As an adult, it took me a while to re-connect to this knowledge. Bit by bit I started using more plants in my life again. Doing foot baths, hot and cold wraps when I got sick, mixing my own tea potions. My stay in Peru with the Shamans in 2011 kickstarted the process of studying energy plant medicine again which was deepened in my studies at IIN and Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.
I started collecting teas, herbs, spices and flowers in old jars and bottles. Went to little stores and shoppes, farmers markets and talked to friends about getting herbs. Experimented with oils and tinctures. Bit by bit my own at-home Herbal Apothecary established. Every time I open one of these jars today, the earthy aroma brings my right back to my childhood memories.
I quickly learned that no two Herbal Apothecaries are the same. My first and best advice is: In order to really be keen on your own health benefits, you should know where to support your body and start looking inside rather than outside. Meaning: Get clear about you and your families needs.
Collecting the right herbs and getting to know their benefits is a process. When I started, I made a list of the needs I had and started to look for herbs that would match this need. Then I experimented with the dried and fresh herbs to see how effective it was for me. Using only the flower or the root, making a tea or an Elixir. I wrote down how each testing went for me. Labeled my jars with little stars to show how effective this plant was to me. Finally I came down with a hand full of herbs that worked really great for me: Cardamom, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Dandelion root, Fennel, Lavender, Nettle Leaf, Reishi, Peppermint, Rose petals, Seaweeds and Yarrow. This is my personal go-to herbal gang.
Please keep in mind that working with plants means you work with organisms that are alive. The effect is simple and also very complex. Be patient. Observe how your body reacts. Stay curious. Always check with a qualified healthcare practitioner if you’re unsure.
So, are you ready for the easy way to start your Herbal Apothecary? I recommend you to get some brown or blue glas jars to keep your dried herbs safe from light and moisture. Plus: Always label them and write down when you got the herbs, too.
Here’s a list of needs and the matching herbs to start your at-home collection with. Start with these and see where your needs lead you to:
- Anti-inflammatory >>> Birch Leafs, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Holy Basil, Nettle, Turmeric, Yarrow
- Bitters >>> Bitter Melon, Chamomile, Gentian, Dandelion leaf
- Colds & Coughs >>> Angelica roots, Ginger, Elderberry, Sage
- Immune Booster >>>>Echinacea root, Elderberries
- Liver Detoxification >>> Milk Thistle
- Lymphatic >>> Calendula
- Mood Booster >>> Guayusa leaves, Kava Kava root
- PMS & Menopause >>> Red Clover
- Relaxation >>> Lavender
- Stimulant >>>> Ginger, Turmeric, Rosemary, Maca
Wishing you much joy with starting your personal Herbal Apothecary. Let me know how it goes and share your thoughts!