WORMWOOD ~ WONDROUS WORMWOOD

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Most of the time I lived in California, I had a wormwood plant by the door of my home. When I moved across the country, I gave my well-loved door guardian to my oh-so-sweet, young neighbor. She loved plants, and I knew she would provide a good home for my beloved wormwood friend.

My herbal friend is dearly missed. And I sometimes wonder how she is doing now ❤

This amazing plants botanical name is Artemisia absinthium.

It was used by both the Greeks and the Romans to combat fever and fight intestinal worms. They also used it as a bitter tonic. It is one of the most bitter plants known to herbalists, for sure.

Still, there are so many herbs which can be used as bitters, that wormwood would not be at the top of my list for this purpose. Dandelion, yellow dock, and chamomile, among others, all make really amazing bitter tonics. And because wormwood has a bit of a sordid past, it is simpler and safer to just choose a suitable replacement herb instead.

This herb is a main component of absinthe. An alcohol product which has been banned in many countries. Absinthe was widely consumed by French bohemians in the 19th century. Those who drank it habitually suffered from intoxications known as absinthism. Symptoms included; tremors, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and convulsions. These side-effects are what led to its ban in France.

Wormwood is considered a hallucinogenic and psychoactive ally by many in the herbal world. It is said to have an affect on the brain which is similar to that of THC.

And while there are many reputable herbalists out there using this herb internally with great success, I am not among them at this time. I have kept my focus on it’s other talents. Until I have an opportunity to work with someone who is familiar with its ‘powers’, I will continue to employ this amazing herb externally and energetically. I find both of these applications useful for my purposes. And there is never any harm in sticking to the safest route. Particularly, when you lack the knowledge needed to travel the rockier road.

But before I share the ways I use wormwood with you, let me say one final thing about taking this little beauty internally. Wormwood is an abortifacient. Therefore, it should not be taken by pregnant women. And it contains thujone, which is toxic in high doses.

Now onto that with which I am more informed …

This plant makes an incredibly effective cream/balm/salve for pain and inflammation reduction. I like to have a bit around the house to use when the tension in my neck flares up. I have an old injury there and wormwood helps ‘work it out’ when it acts up.

It makes incredibly wonderful little sleep pillows. They are fun to sew and make really great gifts. This is perhaps one of the nicest ways to share the energetics that wormwood possesses with friends and family.

The energetic quality it is likely most reknown for is it’s ability to dispel negativity. Place it in a bowl and set it in a room following an argument and it will restore the positive vibe there in no time. Or infuse it into an oil and wear it on days when you expect to have to deal with any sort of unpleasantness.

One of my favorite ways to use wormwood in this regard is to infuse it in a bucket of water and use it to clean all the surfaces in my home. I have done this upon moving into the last few places I’ve lived and felt I had good results. And, besides, it smells lovely. So it’s really just a pleasure to work with it in this way.

Wormwood deters weeds and can be planted in your garden for this purpose. How marvelous! You do have to be careful not to plant it around your herbs though. It’s roots secrete a component that may inhibit their growth. Best to keep it with the veggies 😉

This herb repels fleas, moths, and caterpillars. And when infused in water can be used for aphid control.

Getting familiar with wormwood and its properties is definitely a worthwhile venture. So, if you are inclined to get to know it better, I say go for it!

Please do take a moment to pop into the comments and share any information you may have about this lovely herb. I would love to hear what you have to say.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

MAKE AN ELDERBERRY SYRUP TO SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

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Elderberries and I are great friends. My Grandma and I used to pick them at the edge of our property when I was a little girl. Those memories are a bit blurry for me, so I don’t recall what Grandma did with all those berries we picked. But I’m willing to bet she created something very similar to what I’m about to share with you today.

I am a big fan of immunity boosters. Our bodies are under a relentless and consistent attack from toxins that abound in our modern day environment. There are chemicals EVERYWHERE. I try to purge them from my system pretty regularly. I do this in many ways. The two primary ways I utilize are keeping my body and its surrounding environment as chemical-free as possible and taking herbs to enhance liver functioning. The liver cleanses our system of toxins. It’s a hard job, indeed. Poor thing 😦 She can use a little help every now and again!

Providing a little boost to our immune system also assists our bodies in dealing with the onslaught of toxins that come its way.

The elderberry syrup recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my all-time indispensable allies. I have been using it to boost my immune system and combat the cold & flu season for many years now. I prepare a batch of this deliciousness in the beginning of July each year. It brews for about 6 weeks; making it ready for consumption by mid to late August.

I dose myself with this tasty, health enhancing brew 3 times a day until the batch is gone.

And voila! My body is well equipped to repel the cold & flu bugs that try to attach themselves to it throughout the season.

I recently started making another batch of this wondrous brew in late winter. This batch is then ready for early to mid spring. It has proven to be quite an effective home remedy for allergies, as well. So, that’s perfect timing!

All of the ingredients, in this seemingly magical brew, contribute to its efficacy. Each of them carries potent immune boosting properties. Combined they are pretty unstoppable.

Elderberry and ginger are top of the line immune system boosters. And local honey assists the body in fighting off the viruses Mama Nature anticipates to hit the locality it is harvested in. In addition, it is one of the best stand alone herbal cures for allergies that I know. It’s a real superstar 😉

So grab a quart jar Apothecarists …

And let’s get started …

Pour about 1 cup of dried elderberries into your jar.

Add 1/2 cup of sliced ginger root.

Fill the remainder of the jar with plain brandy and shake.

Label the jar with the contents and the date. Either today’s date or the date six weeks from today. I usually write, ‘Brew until ??/??/????’ on my label.

Place the jar in a dark, cool spot. Shake it each day for 6 weeks.

After 6 weeks have passed, strain the mixture using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or organic muslin. You can place the cloth full of herbal material in a ricer, and press as much of the prized herbal nectar out of it as possible if you like.

Mix this herbal brew with local honey. One part brew to one part honey. This will make a nice syrup, with a pleasingly sweet and fruity flavor. Please try to obtain local honey. And be aware that sometimes a label reveals where a food product is packaged, as opposed to where it is produced. You want to be sure it is produced in your area.

If you are absolutely unable to get your hands on local honey, use store bought. After all, ya gotta do what ya gotta do 😉

Take one tablespoon of this fabulously effective brew, 3 times daily until the batch is gone.

If at any point you feel as though you are coming down with a cold or flu, take 1 tablespoon per hour for two or three days.

If you do get a cold or flu, this remedy will not clear it up. BUT, it will greatly reduce the symptoms and shorten the life of the illness.

If you have made an immunity syrup from elderberries before, please tell me a little about it in the comments. Or, if you make this one, let me know how it works out for you. I’d love to hear your input.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

LAVENDER ~ LOVELY LAVENDER

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Lavender was one of the first herbs I ever worked with. And, if I’m honest, I have to say we were not very good friends at the start.

I was manufacturing a personal care product line, and selling it both online and at open air markets. I felt as though I needed to carry a lavender line. It is a very popular scent and a well-known therapeutic oil. People love it!

Unfortunately, the oil brought on a mild headache every time I got near it. Ugh!

It was particularly bad when I made lavender soap. The steam that arose when I poured the oil in with the hot soap was quite powerful. It had a profound effect on me.

I remember thinking, “Who the hell uses this stuff to promote rest and relaxation? It’s just awful!” LOL.

But if you ask the average person what lavender oil can be used for, they would likely respond that it provides a calming effect. Aka = rest & relaxation!

Time has passed. My relationship with this botanical has evolved. And her seductive powers have won me over.

I am no longer sensitive to her aroma. I can not only use her for self-care, but I am fond of her. She is now affectionately known to me as Lovely Lady Lavender ❤ 😉 ❤

I am rather an avid fan of a bit of lavender balm rubbed on my wrist just before I lay down to sleep at night. She lulls me. It’s wonderful.

I cannot imagine my home without a bottle of lavender oil in it. I like to have a bag of dried lavender flower buds in the house as well. But the oil is essential (no pun intended). There are just so many ways to utilize this delightfully fragrant ‘nectar’.

Perhaps my favorite use for it is to soothe and heal burns. I make a simple lavender balm, using this plants essential oil, and keep a jar of it in my kitchen for this purpose. In my opinion, it is by far the best way to alleviate the pain and redness of burns. There are many home remedies out there which provide top notch remedial effects for burns, but none compare to lavender.

Simply rub some oil, either diluted in a carrier or brewed into a balm, on the affected area immediately after a burn occurs. This will reduce redness, blistering, scarring, and pain. She is that good 😉

This also works well for sunburns. I’ve used it MANY times.

As if these uses for lavender are not enough reason to keep her around, there are many, many more.

She is one of the best herbal remedies for muscle and joint pain. I remember sitting at an outdoor market one day and talking to the vendor next to me about what types of balm she could use for her arthritic hands. Unfortunately, I was out of the product I was making for this purpose at that time. I made a comment, in friendly jest, about her using my lavender balm instead. I said, “It may or may not take away your pain, but one thing for sure, your hands will smell just lovely today!”.

She chuckled and took some of the balm and rubbed it on her hands. About 20 minutes later she bought 4 jars! She said the pain had completely lifted. This was the moment I learned what a useful ally lavender is for muscle and joint pain. It works. Give it a try.

Taken as a tea, this herb is fabulous for digestive issues. This yummy beverage can also be served to friends and loved ones who are suffering from stress or grief. It will hit the spot and lift the emotional struggle a bit for sure.

Infuse her in your favorite cooking oil and use it to sauté veggies, chicken, or fish. This also makes a great replacement for other oils when baking. I avoid sweets almost completely, but a piece of lavender shortbread will weaken my willpower every time 😉

If you indulge in the sweet stuff from time to time, try infusing this tasty herb in sugar. It’s fabulous on grapefruit! Yep. Yep.

I prefer to infuse mine in pink Himalayan salt, and use it as a rub for chicken. I allow the chicken to ‘marinate’ in the salt overnight, grill it, and then roll it, ever-so-lightly, in a gourmet bbq sauce. YUMMY!

Lavender infused butter is the perfect companion for farm fresh, organic potatoes. This is a must-have. Really. For sure.

AND …

Finally …

She just smells good. Like really very good. Making her the perfect aromatic addition to handmade personal care products 😉

If you have a favorite use for lavender, or have been wanting to try her out remedially, cosmetically, or for culinary uses … tell me about it in the comments! I’m excited to hear your input 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

MAKE ROSE SCENTED OIL ENERGETICALLY DESIGNED TO HEAL THE HEART

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I am a woman who has seen more than her share of heartache. I don’t say that to gain condolences from you. I say it as a matter of fact. It is not something that I spend much time reflecting on. That would be counter-productive in so many ways. It just is. Fact.

I also have a marked history of heart disease in my family line. So my heart is one of the things I try to take good care of in my life. I’m not great at it. I wish I were. But I do try to be mindful of her when making decisions that affect her.

In addition to the more well known practices geared toward heart health, like; a healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining low stress levels, I firmly believe in implementing herb and crystal energetics into my routine.

I brought rose into my routine quite a few years ago, when I was gifted a rose essence from an acquaintance I met while living in northern CA. I faithfully took that essence every day. And I experienced a noticeable transformation from its use.

That little bottle has been gone for some time now. And while I have used the lovely rose as an herbal aid since then, I haven’t employed her in my life on a daily basis. But I am feeling as though spending some time with her would be good for me. And I intend to make myself a batch of rose essence this summer when this amazing plant is blessing us with her gorgeous blooms. But, until then I want to be able to access her properties whenever I feel the need for them.

So, I put together a few heart friendly herbal roll-ons to have on hand. And I thought that it would be nice to share the process of making these sweetly scented little herbal remedies with all of you ❤

The ingredients I used are as follows …

ROSE PETALS (DRIED): Medicinally the rose is used to fight depression and improve the overall function of the heart. Energetically it is used to heal heartache, promote feelings of connection, and soothe disappointment. The rose essence I spoke of earlier in this post was designed to assist one in taking steps toward reaching their deepest desires which, of course, reside in the heart.

HAWTHORN BERRIES (DRIED): Hawthorn comes from the rose plant family. It makes one of the most effective general heart tonics known to herbalism. It seems to read what the heart needs and then quite graciously provides it. This property is seen in the way it reacts to blood pressure. It will raise low blood pressure and lower high blood pressure. I have heard many an herbalist say, “Hawthorn just knows.” I concur.

AND it performs in the very same way on an energetic level. It deciphers what one needs to obtain healing in matters of the heart, and then it provides exactly that.

CLEAR QUARTZ CHIPS: Clear quartz is often used to amplify the properties of the herbs and crystals it is paired with. And while it has many other energetic properties, it is this one that makes it the perfect addition to this ‘brew’.

BULGARIAN ROSE ESSENTIAL OIL: This is the essential oil extracted from the petals of one of the rarest flowers in the world. It is only cultivated and harvested in the Rose Valley of Kazanlak. I am fortunate to have a bottle of it, as it is very pricey. And while it is worth every penny, I would likely not have purchased it at full price. But I came across one hell of a bargain and I simply couldn’t pass it up!

It possesses the same properties as the rose flower itself. Which I’ve described above for dried rose petals. And, almost more importantly, it adds the intoxicating scent of this healing plant to this herbal gem. So that each time you use it you are reminded of whence your ‘medicine’ has come ❤

ALMOND OIL: I really used this oil because it is what I had in the house that had the most transparency. I wanted to showcase the rose petals, hawthorn berries, and clear quartz chips. I think it accomplished that nicely. And I suppose it counts that almond oil is a heart healthy oil. Perhaps, it counts more than I realize 😉

After choosing the ingredients for my roll-ons, putting them together is sort of a no-brainer.

Simply place a few rose petals, clear quartz chips, and hawthorn berries in a roll-on applicator bottle. Add rose essential oil. I used 45 drops. Then top off with almond oil, snap the roll-on ball in place, and secure the lid. It’s that simple 😉

I had the great privilege of gifting one of these to a friend. And another to a new co-worker. An act that is also good for the heart 😉

And that left me with one bottle of heart healthy goodness for myself. It should get me through the early spring as I await the arrival of the first rose flower of the year without a problem! Mission rose scented oil accomplished!

Are you familiar with the healing properties of the rose? If so, fill me in on what you know about this wonderful plant in the comments. And if not, please share whatever thoughts you have about the information I’ve provided on this healing herb in this post. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

And … connect with me on facebook, pinterest, and instagram to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

ALLERGIES & HONEY

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Allergies hit me hard this past week! I was pretty much down-for-the-count!

At first, I didn’t quite catch on to what was happening to me. I thought I must be getting the flu. Back on the east coast allergy season hasn’t started yet. This is my first spring here on the west coast – so it really snuck up on me. I was taken completely by surprise 😉

Gosh, it’s only the first week of April!

Once I realized that my suffering was caused by seasonal allergies and not some sort of nasty cold or flu, I started rummaging through my cupboards in search of an herbal remedy.

After all, there is no better place to run when in any sort of distress than to the faithful, fabulous, magical plant kingdom. She is my ally – always eager to relieve my suffering 😉

The thing is – moving from coast to coast in a little car with two people is no easy feat. There just wasn’t enough room to bring along much more than clothes and a few books that I was unable to part with. Leaving my herbal goodies behind was a heart-breaker for me – but it had to be done!

Soooo …

I didn’t find anything on my search that would really help me out.

Luckily, I know that the simplest (and often most effective) way to treat seasonal allergies is with a few doses of local honey. It must be local – we will discuss why soon 😉

Unfortunately, I also know that the one brand of honey, I have been able to find here in my new home, that is labeled with a local address is no longer produced in this area. A little misleading? Yep! Still – true!

I began thinking I was going to have to either settle for something over-the-counter (haha – no way!) or find a fresh new herbal solution. The problem here = Many remedies may take weeks to brew and I was suffering now.

Then one of my co-workers (Thank You Carolyn!) clued me in to the fact that I could pick up honey at the town market which is produced about an hour from my home.

Hmmmm – an hour is still quite a distance. AND the diversity of the eco-systems around here is pretty wild. They change in the blink of an eye, and they do it pretty regularly! So, I felt a little skeptical.

BUT – she said it works for her and I was pretty darn desperate! I dropped the extra cash on a bottle of Loleta Farms Honey.

This stuff is incredibly tasty! If it didn’t help my allergies it would def make my beverages a whole lot better!

The good news …

IT WORKED WONDERS!

I took 2 tablespoons of this magically effective nectar at bedtime, and awoke the next morning feeling 75% better than I had for the past 6 days!

I downed a teaspoon full about every 4 hours throughout the next day and that did the trick. AMAZING!

I FEEL GREAT! I’m making some hot tea with it as I write this, and there is already fresh-squeezed lemonade in the fridge that contains a more than generous portion of this sweet sticky goodness!

Loleta Farms Honey just became a regular part of my diet! It’s just sensible!

Now, many of you are probably still sort of stuck on the question I mentioned earlier …

WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE LOCAL HONEY?

As you likely know, our little bee friends buzz around from flower to flower looking for nectar to make honey. While they are busy going about their work, sticky little pollen spores attach themselves to their little limbs. They then transfer these spores to the pistils of other plants and the handy little process of cross-pollination occurs.

The thing is – not all of the spores are transferred. Some of these little guys remain on the bee and get carried back to the hive.

They find their way into the honey these busy little workers make through the production process.

The end result of this, as far as we honey-eating humans are concerned, is that the consumption of this sweet insect made elixir (honey) vaccinates our body against the allergens that are present in the spores the bees have indirectly made a part of their ‘honey-brew’.

Obviously, these are the allergens we need to be protected from, as they are the allergens we will be exposed to.

Soooooo … Eat local honey 😉

And take a moment to share your thoughts on this post in the comments. It helps rank the website higher. Which supports my work. And it only takes a moment 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

POSTSCRIPT:

This post was written for a blog I ran while I was in California. I have republished it here in order to share these valuable tidbits of information with all of you. I hope you find it helpful. When I moved back across the country last year I didn’t have much trouble with allergies. Even though I was once again adjusting to a new environment, as I have never lived this far up the east coast before. Possibly, the flora and fauna are similar enough that my body doesn’t find it necessary to object. More likely, it is because I put my hands on local honey just about anywhere I go for an extended period of time now. And I did exactly that when my feet landed here ❤ 😉 ❤

ELDER ~ AN HERB QUEEN

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“When you settle a share of land, first plant an Elder tree, then make your home there.” ~ T. Elder Sachs

The beautiful Lady Elder is considered a Queen among herbs. She is believed to watch over her fellow plants and the spirits which reside on the property that sits under her charge.

As seen in the quote above, T. Elder Sachs recommends planting an Elder tree on your property before you begin to establish a home there – with that I wholeheartedly agree!

Of course, if you are already settled in to your property – it is not too late, it is never too late, to make a space from which Lady Elder can reign 😉

Her botanical name is Sambucus nigra, and each of her parts is to be used in its own way and understood separately.

Her flowers can be infused and used to treat fevers, severe bronchial and lung issues, chronic congestion, allergies, candidiasis, and ear infections.

Elder flower infusions are also very effective when working with eruptive skin conditions like measles.

They can be used to tone the mucous linings of the nose and throat; thereby, increasing their ability to resist infection.

Start taking a flower infusion a couple of months before hay fever season begins and you will see a decrease in the severity of your hay fever attacks.

The berries from this herbal wonder are used for food, to alleviate allergies, and combat colds and flu. They improve overall respiratory and sinus health. Their anti-inflammatory properties make them suitable as a pain reliever in most cases, and they can help with nausea.

As with all berries, this little lovelies support the normal production of white blood cells.

Because they contain bioflavonoids, alkaloids, vitamins, minerals, and anthocyanins they promote healthy immune system function.

The energetics of the bark are bitter and toxic.

While this part of the tree can be used medicinally, it is best to use a different herb to accomplish that which it does well.

If bark that is aged less than one year is used cyanide poisoning can result.

In days gone by, the bark was used as a diuretic, cathartic, emetic, and purgative.

The leaves of the elder tree can be used to make an ointment that will successfully treat sprains, bruises, and chillblains.

This ointment is a superior emollient as well.

Boil the leaves in linseed oil to create a great remedy for hemorrhoids.

An infusion made with them makes a good diuretic, and they are said to be even more purgative and nauseating than the bark.

The leaves, bark, and berries of the beautiful Lady Elder can all be used to produce dye.

The leaves make a gorgeous green. The bark produces black dye, and the berries create the loveliest purple color. If you prefer lilac, simply add a little salt to the water – and just like magic there it is!

PLEASE NOTE: Red elder is toxic – soooooo as always, proper identification is key!

I’d love it if you shared your thoughts on this post. Along with any input you may have about the amazing Lady Elder 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

MAKE YOUR OWN HERBAL CAPSULES

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I regularly make my own herbal capsules, and I thought you might be interested in the what, why, and how of it 😉

I have a sort of love affair with this task. It is a very edifying process for me. I find the repetitive nature of the work meditative, I like the feeling that making my own remedies gives me, and I feel healthier (more alive if you will) when I am taking good care of my body. When I make remedies for those I love, it feeds my inner-nurturer. It all feels good, indeed!

If those are not enough reasons to spark your interest in making herbal pills, here are a few more for you …

  • It makes herbs easier to access. A small bottle of capsules can be carried just about anywhere.
  • You are more likely to maintain consistency when taking capsules, as compared to other forms of herbal remedies.
  • Many herbs provide nutritional value in addition to the remedial properties we revere them for. Therefore, you can meet dietary needs with them as well (think spinach powder 😉)
  • Making your own herbal capsules saves you money. Quite a bit of money. Actually, like a bunch of money!! (Point made? LOL)
  • Many commercially available capsules contain fillers. Homemade capsules do not. This allows you to get more herb per dosage, which is most often a good thing. Not to mention that you are not putting useless (or even harmful) fillers in your body. YUCK!
  • For those who struggle with the taste of other herbal remedies, like tinctures, a capsule is a great alternative. Of course, there are times when a different form of herbal supplement is necessary. For example, I don’t know of an herb you can take in capsule form to remedy a cough. But there are MANY issues which can be addressed with capsules.
  • When you make your own herbal capsules, you can tailor them to YOUR specific needs.
  • When you make capsules yourself you can be certain that the herbs you use are fresh and organic. Who knows what they are putting in commercial brands of herbal capsules! I do know that, in the interest of profit, many of our food sources are highly contaminated and our medical system is corrupt. I can’t imagine that companies who are mass-producing herbal remedies are any different than those who provide these services to us. After all, they are all in bed together! And I would rather not support them anyway. Herbalism is a ‘for the people, by the people’ system, and keeping it that way greatly reduces the likelihood of its distortion.

I think those are some pretty good reasons to make herbal capsules at home. Don’t you?

If getting started on this task makes you feel a bit overwhelmed, fear not! You don’t have to have much (or really any) herbal knowledge to get the ball rolling. Simply start by making some single herb capsules that are known to work for the majority of the general population.

Here’s a few ideas for you …

  • Beet Root = general nutrition and lowering cholesterol
  • Hawthorn Berry = overall heart health and regulating blood pressure
  • Spirulina = general nutrition (as in ‘eat your greens’)
  • Milk Thistle = overall liver health
  • Chaga = energy and adaptogen
  • Turmeric = inflammation reduction

A bit less overwhelming? Of course it is!

The investment to start is pretty minimal as well …

All you need is a capsule making machine, some empty capsules, and the herbs of your choice (in powder form). You can pick all of these things up in one fell swoop, at Mountain Rose Herbs. I love them. Their business is built on good stewardship and integrity. AND they provide outstanding products and service.

Both the machines and the capsules come in two different sizes (0 & 00). I prefer the larger capsules (00). They just make sense to me (unless, of course, you have difficulty swallowing capsules). It is rare that a dose smaller than a 00 capsule is needed. As a matter of fact, most often I take several capsules a day.

If you choose to purchase your supplies from a source other than Mountain Rose Herbs just be sure they are reputable. The quality of herbal powder you use is very important. Your capsules will be much more effective if they are made with fresh, organic material. The quality of the capsules themselves is also very important. Temperature and moisture levels can cause them to swell or shrink. This will make it so they don’t fit properly into the capsule making machine, rendering them useless. Keep this in mind when storing them at home as well. I store mine in a canning jar with the moisture packs that Mountain Rose Herbs ships them with. This method has always worked well for me.

Your machine should come with step-by-step instructions. They are crazy simple to follow. Like even a monkey could do it. Keep in mind monkeys are pretty smart though, LOL!

Following is a pictorial for you that is also pretty simple to follow 😉

Your capsule making machine will have two sides. Your capsules will have two parts.
One part of the capsule will fit into one side of the machine.
The other part will fit into the other side of the machine. Fill both sides of the machine with the appropriately sized capsule pieces.
Place your capsule making machine on a plate or tray. Pour the herb or herb blend of your choice over the larger side of the machine.
Use the card supplied with the machine to scrape off the excess herb powder. Tap the machine on the surface of your plate/tray to compact the herb.
Use the tamper provided with the machine to tamp the herb down into the capsules. And then fill. And repeat until your capsules are full.
Scrape remaining herbal powder off the machine.
This will leave you with a nicely filled half capsule in the machine. Ready to compress together and form a finished piece.
Using both hands press down on the top of the machine, compressing the two halves together.
Separate the two halves of the machine. Your capsules will remain on the smaller side of the machine.
Turn that half of the machine face down toward your plate/tray and squeeze the levers on the bottom side of it to release your capsules. Pick up each capsule and gently squeeze them together to create a seal between the two halves.
Now place your capsules in a jar and label it. It is wise to put the date the capsules were made, the botanical name(s) of the herb, and the source of the herbal product on the jar. It is easier than you can imagine to find jars of herbal products long after they were made and have no clear recollection of how old they are or where they were sourced from. If you are wondering why I did not label my jar this way … it is because the capsules I have shown in this post are ones that I take daily. Faithfully. And they are not around very long at all.

Voila! You have successfully made herbal capsules!

I knew you could do it! It’s so easy. I told you even a monkey can do it. You had a monkey to help you didn’t you? LOL

You are now an Herbal Capsule Making Wizard. I don’t actually have any credentials which permit me to bestow this title upon you. BUT if you agree that I am able to do so, and I agree that I am able to do so … I am CERTAIN that makes it so. At least in our eyes. And I’m good with that. I assume you are as well, considering that there is no other place you can go to be declared on Herbal Capsule Making Wizard 😉

AND …

For those who feel like they want to try their hand at creating capsules containing a blend of herbs, as opposed to a single herb, following you will find a few herbal powder blends for common health issues.

They are taken directly from an article written by Ronald Goedeke. He is a leading expert in anti-aging and alternative medicine.

Each recipe makes 30 servings. Number of capsules per serving depends on capsule size. I would start with one serving three times daily. Adjusting my dosage from there in accordance with my reaction to the herbs.

NOTE: The Sleep and Calming Blend should not be taken throughout the day. Instead, take 1-3 capsules at bedtime. Start with one and work your way up from there, as they may cause you to have trouble ‘getting started’ in the morning. Also know that valerian acts as a stimulant in a small percentage of people. When taking it for the first time, be sure that you do not have an early start (or a busy schedule) the following day. There is the off chance that it will keep you from getting any rest at all!

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BLEND FOR PAIN AND SWELLING

Turmeric powder (Curcuma longa) – 22.5 g

Ginger powder (Zingiber officinale) – 9 g

Black Pepper – 1 g

Boswellia – 12 g

Devil’s Claw (root) – 6 g

SLEEP AND CALMING BLEND

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) – 12 g

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate) – 6 g

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – 18 g

Hops (Humulus lupulus) – flower – 9 g

IMMUNITY BLEND

Ashwagandha – 12 g

Mushroom (any of the following, or a combination): Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, Shitake – 6 g

Olive Leaf – 12 g

Astragalus – 27 g

Citrus Bioflavonoids (dried citrus rind) – 10 g

ANXIETY BLEND

Passionflower – 6 g

Rhodiola Rosea – 6 g

Lemon Balm – 12 g

Ashwagandha – 12 g

St. John’s Wort – 12 g

ENERGY BLEND

Ashwagandha – 12 g

Siberian Ginseng – 12 g

Panax Ginseng – 12 g

Green Tea – 12 g

Gotu Kola – 6 g

When making capsules don’t get too crazy about stockpiling them. Powdered herbs will lose their potency more rapidly than other forms of dried plant material, as in this form maximum surface area of the herb is exposed to air. I generally make enough for 2 or 3 months at a time.

You may find that after a few months these potent little allies have done their job so well you no longer need their assistance. Having too many capsules left over is wasteful and defeats the frugality of making your own capsules in the first place 😉

Don’t forget to let me know if this post was helpful to you or not in the comments! Or share any thoughts, concerns, or wisdom you may have concerning herbal capsules and producing them at home. I am excited to hear your input as always.

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for that decision.