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Herbalists

Here we discuss the merits of Ayurveda, Humoral and Traditional Chinese medicine, the use of plants in all indigenous cultures and how we use them now.
For the gardener there is plenty of scope discussing the growing, uses, storing of the herbs.
Growing herbs for for teas storing, cultivation and preparation.
For the DIY we can exchange recipes on cosmetics, lotions creams and soap making.

Members: 2
Latest Activity: Nov 19

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Comment by Kurt Neuleuf on November 19, 2022 at 3:43

Comment by Kurt Neuleuf on November 13, 2022 at 4:30

How to Formulate a Lotion Recipe

You can formulate your own lotion recipe by using the percentages below.

Water - 70%
Liquid Oil - 15%                                                    
Butter - 5%
Emulsifying Wax - 5%                                                     
Stearic Acid - 3%                                                                                   
Fragrance or Essential Oil - 1%                                         
Preservative - 0.1 - 1.5%   (based on your preservative’s recommended usage rate)

Comment by Kurt Neuleuf on November 13, 2022 at 4:16

Middle European herbal medicine

  1. Medicines, most of which were herbal, were seen as correcting internal disharmonies

  2. In the absence of modern instrumentation, internal disharmonies were understood as subjective matters, firstly manifested as body fluids or even excretions (the humours, doshas, xue, jing and qi) and then often described in
    climatic or emotional metaphors or by metaphysical constructs) that might be widely understood among the general population.

  3. As most internal disharmonies involved disruptions of body fluids or humours most traditional medicine has been humoral medicine.

  4. By definition the humours suffused equally the body and the mind (and often the spirit), so that one internal disharmony could affect all levels of experience. There was no Cartesian body/mind split in traditional medicine.

  5. Herbal remedies were often classified by the internal disharmony they affected; thereafter many were used as allopathic remedies, in the strict sense of that term. Others were replenishing or tonic in effect, a role almost entirely
    lost in modern medicine, although as far as the Greeks were concerned supportive medicine was true ‘physic’.

    Health in biological systems emerges out of an essential drive to self- organisation. Moves to self-correction are therefore the principal responses to pathogenic forces and the main origin of disease symptoms.

    System failure in adapting to disturbances is more likely to lead to ill health than pathogens as such.

    While a system is capable of adaptive self-organisation, including competent resistance to disturbance, selection of inputs from its environment and elimination of metabolites, therapeutic interventions are unnecessary except to steady the recovery (such healthy adaptations
    include fevers, inflammations and increased eliminations like coughing, vomiting and diarrhoea).
    Therapeutic measures are justified mainly in supporting self-organisation if it is failing; the value of any medication can be judged in relation to its effect on these adaptive processes.

    All recovery is self-repair. The placebo effect and spontaneous remission are merely examples of a principle that underpins all therapeutic efficacy – medicines in themselves do not heal.

     

Comment by Kurt Neuleuf on November 13, 2022 at 4:15

HISTORY OF HERBALISM

Nineteenth-century North American herbal medicine

Samuel Thomson (1769-1843) was brought up as a shepherd boy in
New Hampshire and introduced to herbs by a ‘wise woman’, Mrs Benton, who was versed in Indian lore.
He very quickly became adept, being called upon by neighbours in competition with what may have been particularly poor service from the local doctor.
Thomson was horrified by the remedies used in ‘regular physic’, these being dominated by toxic minerals based on mercury, arsenic, antimony and sulphur.
He also saw that there was a fundamental difference in therapeutic approach.
He saw the objective of the doctors as being to stop the disease at all costs.
The main conditions of the day were febrile infections and the regular approach was to use mineral products and bloodletting to stifle the symptoms and bring the temperature down (this was before germ theory redefined the objective as eliminating pathogens).
Thomson had ministered to patients almost killed by the combination of calomel
(mercurous chloride), antimony, bloodletting and fever.
In native Indian tradition (as seen in the sweat lodge), Thomson treated fevers in the opposite way, by maintaining and supporting them.
He saw the fever as a sign of healthy resistance: it was possible for damage to follow if the fever got out of hand but the main risk was failure of the febrile defence.

Thomson highlighted common naturopathic and traditional principles in his principles of medicine (note, for example,similarities with the principles of Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment listed above ).
These included:

  1. Health follows from obeying natural laws
  2. Disease is an obstruction or diminution of vital energy
  3. Disease is caused by violation of natural laws such as:
    a. hereditary (violation by forefathers)
    b. lack or excess of exercise
    c. sudden temperature changes
    d. wrong diet and over-eating
    e. poisons and pollutants
    f. Injury
  4. Symptoms, such as fever, are due to the effect of the disease and are not the disease itself
  5. Disease has only one basic type of cure – to remove obstructions or restore vital energy using substances that act in harmony with natural laws and the vital energy
  6. In doing so one or more of the following effects should be accomplished:
    a. relaxation
    b. contraction
    c. stimulation
    d. soothing
    e. nourishing
    f. neutralisation

Comment by Kurt Neuleuf on November 13, 2022 at 4:03

Bergamot Mint

Botanical Name: Monarda citriodora

Lemon bergamot is a fast growing, annual herb reaching 60-90cm. When crushed the leaves have a fragrance reminiscent of lemons. Some people describe it as being like oregano, especially later in the season on older leaves. The plant forms a clump with several stems growing out from the centre. The green leaves are 3-8cm long, lanceolate to oval shaped, ending in points. Whorls of white, pink or purple flowers are arranged around the thin stems, creating a lovely flower show.

Lemon bergamot comes from the mint family and may be called Lemon Bee Balm, Lemon Mint or Purple Horsemint, particularly in the United States. The name of this species is derived from the Latin for ‘citrus smell’. It is a bee, butterfly and hummingbird attractant in its native habitat.

Lemon bergamot is native to much of the United States and Mexico. It is often found growing on roadside verges in California and other sunny states such as Florida. Nebraska and Texas are also locations where lemon bergamot finds an ideal environment. The clay soils of the ‘high grass prairies’ are ideal conditions for this American ‘wildflower’. In some of these areas, the plants grow widely creating the impression of a blanket of flowers when in summer bloom.

Growing Conditions

Lemon bergamot prefers a high percentage of clay in its soil, but it is important to choose an area which is not at risk of water logging. Lemon bergamot is drought tolerant and can tolerate a good deal of lime or alkaline soils. It grows naturally in the limestone barrens, slopes and savannahs.

Lemon bergamot does best in full sun and grows quickly during spring. This herb flowers in late spring to mid-summer and will happily drop its seeds in readiness for next year. If you are happy to have a regular supply of lemon bergamot in the garden, it will continue to self-seed each year. The seeds require temperatures of at least 20C for germination. The plant will die down each year when cold or frosty conditions develop. However, this usually annual herb may grow for longer periods in the warm and tropical regions. It can grow well in pots if the climate is too cold or space is limited.

Culinary Uses

Lemon bergamot can be used to impart a subtle lemon flavour to dishes, especially desserts like cheesecakes, biscuits, cakes and sauces. The flavour is also imparted in fish dishes, salads, dressings, teas, wines and liqueurs. The flowers are edible and may be used decoratively as garnishes. The leaves can be chopped and placed in ice cubes for later use.

Common bergamot is sometimes called Oswego Tea because it was used as a tea by the Oswego Native American tribe. This tea was introduced to the shakers after tea became scarce after The Boston Tea Party. There are also reports that lemon bergamot was treated in the same way, although this may simply be confusion.

Medicinal Uses

The essential oil in lemon bergamot is citronella and it is also rich in phenolic monoterpenes and thymol. This provides the plant with good anti-oxidant and antibacterial properties. It has been used medicinally for coughs, colds, fevers and respiratory ailments. Traditional uses also included treatment for intestinal parasites, and to repel fleas and mites. It is likely that lemon bergamot has similar uses to the common bergamot, Monarda didyma.

Lemon bergamot may be used as a facial steam and for aromatherapy. It may be combined with chamomile and lavender for a facial steam that is very useful for oily skin and acne.
Other Uses

Lemon bergamot may be rubbed directly on the skin for use as an insect repellent.

Comment by Kurt Neuleuf on November 10, 2022 at 16:53

Stephen, it is an interesting subject. herbalism covers a lot of area from dieting, healthy living, cosmetics, potions, fermenting, herbs:- growing, uses and storage their pro and contras, medical science, and investigating indigenous cultures practises, including traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda  Australian  aboriginal medicine plants and humoral medicine.

I hope to initiate many discussions and inform on subjects of  herbal. interest.

I will be looking forward to your views in the future

Comment by Stephen Brodie on November 10, 2022 at 14:56

Hey Kurt I'm honoured to be your first member.

It's an interesting subject of which I know next to nothing.

 

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