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Herbal Remedies at Home – The Basics

Herbal Remedies at Home

Many of us hippy’s just love the idea of being able to make our own  hippy herbal home remedies. There is something very satisfying about being able to say, “I made that and it made me feel better”. Although they like the idea, many don’t usually bother as they think that it is going to be really hard work or really expensive. The fact is that making your own is neither.

Reading labels on some of the herbal remedies that you find in health shops, you can be completely forgiven for thinking you need to scour the globe for these rare and obscure plants on the ingredients however, many of them are just common back garden plants that you can either grow yourself, already have in your garden, can forage for (providing you know what you are looking for) or, can buy in supermarkets or online. If you have a kitchen and the basic kitchen tools then you are off to a good start. All you need are the plant based materials and away you go.

Tools of the trade

Many of the staples that you will need you will probably find in your larder or store cupboards. The bases that you will find in most recipes are things like honey, olive oil & cornflour. You will find there are a few ingredients that you will on occasion you may not already have, particularly if you wish to make any balms or creams.

Wax – balms, lotions and creams are essentially mainly made up of oils and water however, as we all know, oil and water do not play well together. An additional ingredient is required in order to bind the water and oils together. Wax is that ingredient. Beeswax is an excellent wax to use. The colour of the wax does not matter however it does need to be pure beeswax. You can buy it online in varying forms or, if you have and then you can use them.  Just remember to check that they are pure beeswax otherwise it won’t work and you may be putting chemicals into your remedies.

Oils – the base for most recipes is usually oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil.  The oil and its properties  will be specified for each remedy. If you are using oils from your cupboards them make sure that they are still in date and good enough to use in your cooking. If you are unsure then it should be replaced.

Essential Oils – used for adding scrummy fragrances and often medicinal properties such as antibacterial etc.

Gelatin – used as a thickening and setting agent for when making gels.

Useful Kit

  • Pestle and Mortar – or alternatively you can use a coffee or spice grinder if you have one
  • Pan and glass bowl – to make bain-marie
  • Teapot with a lid – to make infusions
  • Weighing scalesEssential-Oils
  • Measuring jugs
  • Saucepans
  • Whisk
  • A fine sieve and cheesecloth or muslin – great for straining herbs. One thing everyone should have for making hippy home remedies
  • Glass jars – depending on what you are planning on making there are many jars that you can use. All shapes and all sizes for different things. I would suggest finding a recipe that you like and going from there
  • Funnels – great for getting liquids into bottles
  • Sticky labels – use to record information such as name, date made and dosage.
  • Notebook – record your experiences and findings. This is super useful as your knowledge progresses as you can document your very own recipes

The Big Debate – Dried or Fresh?

Now there is a huge debate on what is best to use, dried or fresh herbs. If you can, fresh is always better as sometimes some of the flavour and potency is lost when drying herbs however, most dried herbs are just as effective.  Just remember that when using dried herbs, use half of the amount that you would fresh for example, 50g fresh herbs will be 25g dried herbs.

So, there you have it, the very basics that you need to get you started on your adventure of making your own hippy remedies at home.

Have fun and enjoy! There will be some recipes for our favourite remedies to follow.

If you enjoyed reading this you may enjoy reading about the different types of herbal remedies that you can make. Just click here