Thursday, June 30, 2011

medicine-making

A fresh batch of yarrow tincture was made yesterday. Blossoms of yarrow, Achillea millefolium, filled a jar topped off with vodka. The only difficult part of making yarrow tincture is waiting for the plants to bloom. I use yarrow to slow down heavy menstrual bleeding and to relieve symptoms of cold and flu. Echinacea is good for staving off a virus but once it's set in, I'm learning to remember yarrow tincture or infusion.


A new St. John's Wort oil was begun, too. I say "begun" because in my garden, it takes a few days to collect enough flowers for a jarful.  So I start out small and move into a larger jar if I'm lucky. The aim is to fill a jar, any size, with the flowers and fill again with organic olive oil. This was yesterday's beginning.


St. John's wort, Hypericum perforatum, oil is a topical healing treatment for burns, scrapes, and other skin problems. It's sometimes called St. Joan's wort because Joan knows a little more about healing burns than John. If you look closely at the leaves, they are perforated like skin pores, thus the name and its use as a skin herb.

This morning's collection to be added to the jar and topped with a little more oil.


The oil will soon turn a lovely red. It does a little something to skin, too. I wonder what these bright stars might do to, say, a piece of silk?


9 comments:

Marie said...

What beautiful flowers...
Ha! I love St.Joan's wort.
Women have not been given much credit over hundred's of years have they?
I always learn so much from you :)
<3

p.s. love the knitted camera case.

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

Is there a good tincture for arthritis?

;-) Debi

woman with wings said...

Thank you, Marie!

St. Joan's wort is one of my favorites, too. Funny how you can call a single plant two different names and it feels fine. Guess it depends who you're talking to, if they'll understand, you know! xo

woman with wings said...

Hi Debi -- oh I wish I could tell you something but I really can't. Arthritis is a challenge that requires more personalized attention than anything I could say here. Herbs can definitely help though, I can say that!

liniecat said...

I once googled WD40 there are afew folk who swear that it has helped their arthritus! yes, spraying it on the joints....
There was no mention of alcohol drunk in quantity at the same time, but I reckon it maybe was! lol
Still you have to wonder........

woman with wings said...

Lyn, now that's an interesting folk remedy I hadn't heard of before!

helen said...

How I love this post...had me dancing in my seat :~)

I have not been successful with growing yarrow. I am going to try it in a pot of sandy soil, like I have with the lavender and see if that works. Like you, I use it (with elderflower and boneset) when flu has taken hold, and our son gets a high fever.

and...oh oh oh....St Joan's wort...I've never heard it called that......I like it. I have a small plant here...and I thought last week that there would not be enough flowers to make an oil infusion....why didn't it occur to me to do what you have done here??!! Thank you for the light~bulb moment that I wish had come from my own brain!

I have witnessed its healing power on damaged nerve endings. My husband had trapped his finger badly in the door, and I grabbed the tincture and just thrust a teaspoon into his mouth. I was impressed when the relief was immediate. So was my husband.

I hope you are ok with this long comment. I so love to discuss herbs and I love your blog (have I said that somewhere already?).

woman with wings said...

Helen! I loved hearing from you and thank you for your kind words. Wonderful to read your herbal success story with St. Joan's wort. Don't you love it when that happens, not that he hurt himself, but you know. Now you are equipped to confidently use it for nerve ending injuries on other people, the family's always the testing ground! But these small successes seem to validate why we travel this path -- it does for me. *)

indigogirl said...

Lovely blog, not just the post. I love how you call yourself. You are lucky to have St. John's Wort growing in your garden.I have to drive far to find it:)Thank you for reminding me how great it is to be a woman:)