As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, I have recently been trimming & chopping herbs, mixing them with organic vodka, storing them in a dark cool location, shaking them daily, and after 4-5 weeks; straining my homemade tinctures made from fresh herbs that I have grown in my backyard, or foraged from the surrounding area where no pesticides/herbicides are used and storing them in amber colored 2oz. and 4oz. bottles with droppers. Now that I have begun my journey as an herbalist, I can’t help but constantly observe the wild flora that is naturally growing along the roadsides and in fields. As I drive from here to there, my eyes are now drawn to noticing what is in bloom and testing my knowledge of what I can identify and then researching to find out more about them and their medicinal properties. I also attempt to look up the ones I am curious about but still unsure of what they are.
Now that my medicine cabinet is starting to fill with fresh tinctures I would like to document some of my personal observations about how they have been useful to my family and me. The first tincture I will discuss is Lemon Balm:
This is a powerful and effective immunity boosting tincture. Since I make my tinctures with an alcohol base, they are a bit strong but mix well with water which nicely dilutes them and makes them easy to take in a glass of water. This is one I take daily and have started to give to my children as a way to help their bodies fight off colds and flues, naturally. It is also well known for combating the herpes virus, both internally and externally. This has been beneficial for me in several ways. I discussed in a previous post that I was able to avoid getting a horrible stomach bug that recently circulated through the house but, luckily, did not affect me at all. I do believe this is directly related to the fact that I was taking this tincture daily, weeks before anyone was infected. I also tend to get a cold sore right around my period every month, but did not end up getting one this past month.
The month before that I strained the tincture right when I was getting the cold sore, which for some reason always happens in my nose and is extremely uncomfortable! Once strained I topically applied it to the spot that was tender and it never developed into the full blown sore. This is the best results I have had with any topical application so far compared to Lysine, Tea Tree oil, or Camphor Phenique.
The other tincture I have been taking regularly for over a month is Skullcap. This is something I am making more for my husband’s sake, but I decided I should try it to see, firsthand, what its affects really are. Its main use, medicinally, is as a nervine and sedative. My husband has trouble sleeping and gets anxious a lot, sometimes gets muscle twitches that last for weeks, as well as, he had a grandfather and great-uncle who got Parkinson’s disease, so I wanted to grow this herb specifically for him. It is definitely useful for relaxing the body and mind when used at night before bedtime; from my personal experience. The nice thing is it does not have side effects the next day and is not an overly strong sedative but subtle in its affects.
The last two tinctures I will discuss today are Shepherd’s Purse and Yarrow. These are both tinctures I made specifically for myself due to problems I have had for many, many years with Menorrhagia. This is not something I discuss normally, but it literally has taken a toll on my health and well-being for years and is what I call, a handicap, on certain days of the month. I want to be open about it here because I know I am not the only woman who suffers from this condition and it is important to share the success I had with these tinctures in relation to this monthly, debilitating condition.
This hemorrhaging has kept me from pursuing opportunities during my adult life like traveling to Costa Rica in college because I could not risk having this happen while in the jungle without access to proper facilities, every hour on the hour, for two days straight. That is usually how long it lasts and the issues it causes are embarrassing, uncomfortable, and require attention immediately when occurring. Luckily after years of trying birth control, exercise, tea, and diet changes to combat this issue I have discovered something that finally made a noticeable difference: Shepherd’s Purse and Yarrow tinctures!
These are both known for helping with excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging. I have only experimented with them once so far by starting to take 2-3 mL twice daily at the first signs of PMS and then throughout my period. The results were: reduced PMS symptoms, less bleeding (not by a lot but definitely noticeable), less fatigue and system wear down which usually makes me more susceptible to getting sick (yes, this was during the time the household came down with the stomach bug and I still never got it!), and the best part is it went from usually lasting at least 8 days to only 6. This is the most significant result because my period tends to linger and has always been over a week long, but when it stopped, it stopped this time and was cut in length by at least 2 days. What beneficial results and a much appreciated relief!
Since Yarrow is also known for decreasing the duration of colds and flu, reducing cramping, as well as bleeding and hormonal issues, this could have also played an integral part in me not getting sick; along with the other affects it had on my body.
Shepherd’s Purse is an herb which is still debated as far as its usefulness and effects go. When researched it’s listed as being mainly used for hemorrhaging and heavy bleeding from various internal ailments including periods, fibroid tumors, blood in urine, and gastrointestinal issues. It is also suggested for external use when there is laceration or a cut to reduce bleeding, speed healing, and to limit discomfort from eczema and rashes. The combination of Yarrow and Shepherd’s Purse, just during about an 8-9 day usage, seemed to work well for my personal issues discussed above.
Since making tinctures I have been using them personally and have felt and noticed beneficial results with all of them. Now my children are taking some child safe ones, daily, and I have passed a few on to my best friend, mother, and a friend who is trying to use natural/alternative ways to treating a brain tumor he was recently diagnosed with (he opted against radiation and it is inoperable due to its location and size). Hopefully they too will benefit from the affects of these tinctures!!!
Thank you for reading and I hope this can be of use to someone who may find this valid for their own health and well-being!
“May the environment enrapture you and give you a fuller life through its beauty that is natural, boundless, and essential!”
The research I have compiled is not meant to be a medical treatment or cure. It is based on information I have gathered through research and should be read as a suggestion/basic information for educational purposes. If you have not used herbs and are unsure about possible side effects please contact a licensed medicinal herbalist or medical doctor. Most herbs are not recommended for children or women who are pregnant/breastfeeding.