Over the past weekend, I took a trip with my mom and sister in law to Iowa. Why Iowa? (yeah, wtf is in Iowa) well, my moms favorite author was in town for a convention aptly named "Thru The Stones" for the Outlander series, ie: Scottish smut book. (They're amazing btw....and the idea was based off of early Doctor Who episodes...and we met the author and Graham McTavish...the beard....) All in all, (aside from no schmexy boyfriend) it was an amazing weekend, and my moms best birthday to date.
Being as I work in the convention and housing field, it was a bit weird going to a convention. They offered classes geared towards the time period where the books take place (which is 18th century Scotland). I wound up taking the 18th century medical class, Scottish dance, BEEEEEES, and Edible Landscape (geared towards Iowa.....that really helps me here on the east coast....)
Kind of interesting and probably important information to know, the medicine class was geared towards what plants have what purposes and the bee class was all about beekeeping (and for some reason how to make pie crust....) But anyways, there was quite a bit of useful information that I figured i would share since mostly all you have to do is plant some shit or build a bee box and BAM partial self sufficiency. Edible Landscape was kind of a bust aside from "plant some trees!" so i left early...that and my sister in law was making faces and dancing through the door window...
So for starters: FUN PLANTS! plants that have other properties that will be very useful if you are unable to get modern medicines.
So first off, there are the ways that these can be used: Tincture, Compress, Poultice, and Ointments/Salves.
Tincture: Macerate in alcohol/water for 7-14 days and then strain and compress. It can be used topically or internally (in moderation).
Compress: Use clean linen (cheese cloth or muslin) soak in the Tincture.
Poultice: Crushed/Ground herbs adding water, whiskey, or fat to moisten if the herbs are dried. Apply to skin, make sure it is hot/warm temperature. Used for burns/open wounds. you layer cloth/herbs to prevent sticking, and often covered with wool flannel to preserve heat.
Ointment/Salves: Base of lard/butter/suet/lanolin/goose or duck grease. Addition of powdered herbs or strong tee, add bees wax to add firmness (yeah...bees ;) I plan on making my own ointment later once i collect all the ingredients, and I'll do a post on that at a later date)
Speedweed: (no. not quick pot delivery) Can be made into a tea. Good for cough, ulcers (internal, external), gout, skin diseases (eczema/psoriasis), good diaphoretic, alterative, expectorant, also effective for conditions of the chest and kidneys.
Comfrey: Use the root, or main leaf rib: (SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER) can be used after smashage, and placed on effected area, or used with a poultice in a paste form.
Use externally for bruises, sprains, dislocations, wounds, burns, ulcers, and skin disorders.
Internal uses include ulcers, stomach/intestine irritation, urinary tract, helps promote callus formation in fractures, reduces inflammation in tendon sheath, arthritis, hematoma, and swollen glands.
Yarrow: Use flowers and leaves: can be made into a Tincture (10-30 drops 1-4x/day) Use as tea (1 tsp/cup of water 1-4x/day), Poultice, or used topically.
It is an anti-inflammatory and astringent, strengthens the urinary tract system, veins, mucus membranes, anti-fungal, styptic, diaphoretic, and anodyne. Used as a tea (which is safer than the tincture): Taken hot, it induces sweating, taken cold it can be a diuretic. It can help with the first stage of colds/fevers, bleeding, hemorrhoids, and Shark week problems.
Calendula: Use flowers prior to opening. Use as a tea (2-3 heaping Tbsp per cup of water) Use as tincture (1:5 ratio of plant to 20% Alchohol base...dont use too much) Use as a cytophylactic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, lymphagogue, antiviral/bacterial, choleretic, and demulcent. (I knew what these meant in the class, feel free to do your own research BIG wordsss :) Can be used on wounds, burns, bruises, boils, and rashes. Caution for preggers ladies thoug, has abortifacient effects. So a no go for the baby trains.
Plantain: (om nom nom) Use the leaves. Tincture: (1:1 ratio 15-40 drops 1-4x/day) Poultice fresh leaves. Use as an antiseptic, anti-bacterial, astringent, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory. Can be used to draw out splinters, help with UTI and respiratory infection. It is also good to add to cough syrup and is anti-inflammatory to mucus membranes.
Garlic: (Om nom nom) Use the cloves. Can be used as an anti-microbial/bacterial/fungal/parasitic. Mild anti-coagulant, diuretic, naturetic, anti-spasmodic, hypoglycemic, anti-thrombotic, it protects the liver, inhibits tumor growth, supports immune function, decreases plaque buildup in the arteries, good for infectious diseases, clears up dysentery (if only i had had this while playing the Oregon trail) reduces peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, and liver disease. Garlic is pretty much the shiz.
I have more, but my hand is starting to cramp (bad flashbacks of college writing) so to that I say To Be Continued...
(The woman that did this class's name is Pamela Taylor ND and she has a book so yeah. consider it)
For the bees, there was a lot of instruction on bee keeping, ordering bees, how to drain the honey from the comb, and how to clean the wax to use for candles, ointments etc. (it takes 7lbs of honey to make 1lb of wax....lots of hard work) It also takes 90lbs of honey to get a box of bees through the winter, they also included a list of annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, and shrubs that attract honeybees. speaking of honey, did I mention i sell honey? I know I have, and Oh Em Gee, look. Buckwheat honey! It's sooooo dark and rich and full of vitamins and antioxidants! DELICIOUS and in fun tactical packs! (glamour shot glamour shot)
Ok I'm done :) I will do a more in depth instruction on bees for my next post because it really is pretty interesting. I know i took too many notes. I'll post the honey/cooking recipes too. BTW did you know that honey on buttered biscuits is DELICIOUS? I found that out. I don't even like honey but this was like crack (not that i know what crack is like, but i've heard it has quite addictive qualities) I've been dreaming about it all week (biscuits, not crack).