Herbal Remedies

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Active Member
Aug 6, 2013
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North Carolina
I have been doing a lot of research lately on kitchen and medicinal herbs, herb extracts, infusions and essential oils. The first thing I realized is that there is a huge amount of information available out there and I'd better focus on learning about one at a time. There are numerous uses and potential dangers in many herbs. I read the below article this morning and wanted to share it with everyone.



Active Member
Aug 6, 2013
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North Carolina
And I found this recipe for an Herbal Headache Remedy this evening. I'll be trying this one next - I've had an awful headache all day!

Headache Tincture Ingredients — Fresh Herbs

I include a recipe here for fresh herbs and dried herbs, following the lead of
herbalist Henriette Kress in Practical Herbs. She advises using a high-proof
alcohol with fresh herbs and a lower-proof alcohol with dried herbs. Basically,
you want to ensure a sufficient water quantity in your tincture so that the water
soluble components of the herbs make it into your tincture along with the
alcohol-soluble components. Dried herbs contain no water and you basically make up
for that issue by using a lower-proof alcohol that essentially brings a bit of
extra water to the tincture.

•High proof alcohol (150+ proof; 75% alcohol)
•3 ounces of fresh herb: One ounce each of feverfew, lemonbalm, and peppermint
•Quart-sized mason jar

Headache Tincture Ingredients — Dried Herbs

•Commercial vodka or bourbon (80 proof; 40% alcohol)
•1.5 ounces of fresh herb: One-half ounce each of feverfew, lemonbalm, and
peppermint leaves
•Quart-sized mason jar

Headache Tincture Steps
1.Measure your herbs. For fresh herbs, mince well to increase the surface area.
2.Place herbs in glass jar.
3.Pour alcohol over the herbs, completely covering the herbs and adding about 2
inches of alcohol above the level of the herbs.
4.Cover the jar with a lid, securing well, and give it a good shake.
5.Keep the jar in a dark, cool storage area that also allows you easy access.
6.Shake the jar daily for a few weeks.
7.Strain the herbs from the liquid — give the herbs a bit of a squeeze to get all
of your tincture out.
8.Strain the liquid through cheesecloth.
9.Bottle in a dark glass bottle and store in a cool, dark place. Your tincture
should stay useful for several years if you store it properly.

Suggestions for Usage

When you feel the onset of a headache, take 1/4 of a teaspoon. Take an additional
1/4 teaspoon every 20-30 minutes. There is no literature on how much to take but
if you don’t get relief from a teaspoon, then your type of headache may not
respond well to the constituents of these herbs and you may want to try a
different remedy. In the meantime, a teaspoon of herbal moonshine is not going to
make you drunk. When I say, “you,” I assume you are an adult since we are talking
about alcohol, even if it is a tiny bit of alcohol.

As for the safety of these herbs, James A. Duke in The Handbook of Medicinal Herbs
reports no known side effects of lemon balm. As for peppermint, Duke warns that it
is “Not to be used in patients with achlorhydria, biliary or gallbladder
obstruction, or gallstones. Concentrated oil may induce dermatosis, flushing and
headache, if rubbed on profusely or inhaled. Leaf contains much astringent tannin
that can damage the liver and intestine with prolonged use.” As for feverfew, Duke
reports: “Oral feverfew may cause mouth ulcers in ca. 10% of patients. Should not
be taken by pregnant women because the leaves have emmenagogue activity.” If you
have ragweed allergies, you may react to feverfew as well.

If you have these conditions, adapt your recipe accordingly. This tincture is not
considered high consumption of any of these herbs, but it is good to be mindful of
how they could be interacting with other conditions you may have. You certainly
don’t need new problems.

Some Research

Lemon balm and peppermint have long traditional use in treating migraines. There
is some research on the effectiveness of peppermint. Feverfew has been studied
fairly extensively in migraine prevention. Taking daily capsules of dried feverfew
leaves has been found to be effective in reducing migraine occurrence and


Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
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I have been avid herbalist for 20+years now, started with a diagnosis of gallbladder disease at the age of 25...controlled all symptoms, pain, etc. for 15+years with turmeric. I did finally have to have it removed...but surgery had advanced so far instead of a gaping hole in my side...I only have three small holes. So, on one hand I am a believer in doctors but on the other hand I do not trust them enough to let them make many decisions about my health. I will say I have been lucky enough to find a nurse practitioner who believes you are what you eat and not one single time has she offered me an antibiotic for anything other than a bacterial infection...sinuses...think it comes from living in Atlanta! And, my family has been seeing her for 20+years!

That was what led me into growing my own herbs...that and I like to cook! I started with mints...lemonbalm, I use a lot of! Peppermint, applemint and spearmint and adding! Everything started from seed...which is challenging on occasion! Annuals I so far have had great success with, perennials not so well! I have never over used herbs...except maybe cooking sometimes! But, I am careful about adding "new herbs" to my medicinal uses...so far I have had adverse reactions to St. John's Wort...I have not grown several of the herbs I use regularly, but they are on the list. Being female and getting older...black cohosh (in capsule from health food store) and red raspberry leaf tea has been added to the diet on a several times a week regime now! I am big tea drinker...hot and sun tea. Most of the time I use decaffeinated green tea as my "base" for sun tea...but am looking to phase that out. I only want what I grow in my tea!

Here is a link to one of the first herb books I ever bought...and it is still the "go to" book. That half.com web site is one of my favorite places for purchasing books...usually beats Amazon.

I thoroughly enjoy the herbs...all my doors are surrounded and you walk by and the smell is just heavenly! Early in the morning, a hot cup of tea and the different herbs on the front porch...and when the lightning bugs were around all my trees looked like Christmas trees in June and July...couldn't have started my days any better!

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