Guest Author - Phyllis Doyle Burns
Molly and Jistin Time, as you may recall, built a general store across the street from their house. In one corner of the store is Molly's Herbal Shoppe. Today Molly is really busy writing down home remedies to put in the book she someday hopes to publish. Some of Molly's remedies, which she has already put in her journal are here now for you to read about. These are very old remedies that Molly learned from her father, mother and grandmother.
Since Molly has seven children, most of them almost grown now, she has always kept chamomile on hand for an all-around treatment for colds, indigestion, nervous disorder, and menstrual cramping. Chamomile is safe to use for children and is very popular as a beverage tea and even medicinal tea. A tea can be made by putting one-quarter ounce of chamomile in a pint of boiled water then let it steep for ten minutes. Strain before drinking the tea. Drink half a cup as needed. Chamomile can also be used externally for swellings, sore muscles and painful joints and is also an excellent hair rinse. The cooled tea can be used for the hair rinse.
Chaparral is a natural antibiotic and can be used to guard against bacteria, viruses and parasites (internally or externally). For colds and flus, respiratory inflammations, intestinal tract, diarrhea and urinary tract infections, chaparral comes in mighty handy. It is one of the best herbs for these malady's. Usually, chaparral is taken as a tincture, in capsules or pills. It is often combined with goldenseal and echinacea, also antibiotic herbs.
Jistin works hard all day in his gardens, orchards, chopping wood, helping neighbors build sheds, etc. He often is quite stiff and sore when he gets home at night. After supper, Molly makes him take a hot bath then rubs him down with her homemade liniment. Molly keeps two or three bottles ready to go because it takes awhile to make this liniment. To one bottle of rubbing alcohol, poured into a large wide mouth jar, Molly adds equal parts (about one ounce each) of eucalyptus, bay and rosemary then one fourth part lobelia. This is to set in the rubbing alcohol for two weeks (if whole, dried herbs are used) and shaken gently once a day. After two weeks, strain the alcohol back into it's original bottle and use as an external liniment to the affected areas.
Since Molly and Jistin live near a swamp, which Jistin refuses to have cleared and filled in, the mosquitoes in the summertime are very pesky and bothersome. Molly combats this with her insect repellent, which she swears by. Oil of pennyroyal and citronella. This she orders through her supplier. The oil is applied to exposed areas and contact with mucous membranes is to be avoided.
Often one of the kids will come in with a new sunburn after being outside all day. Molly makes sure her aloe vera plants in her garden are always thriving. She will send one of the kids out to cut off a stalk then she squeezes out the gel from the leaf and applies to the sunburn for relief. Or, as is often the case, one of the kids will come home with a bad case of scratching from poison oak or ivy. Molly has on hand a tincture of equal parts witch hazel, mugwort, comfrey root, plantain and white oak bark. She applies this to the affected areas for relief.
One way Molly likes to get away, off by herself at times, is to visit her Magic Garden. This is a very special place for Molly and is strictly off limits to all but herself. To ensure that her garden is protected from unwanted visitors, human or others, Molly planted three red flowering plants in the garden. Sometimes it is geraniums, or nasturtiums or roses, but they must be red. Molly put a lot of time and care into her Magic Garden and made sure each plant was carefully planted during the right phases of the moon. She planted marigold and rue among the plants to help control pests.
When Molly feels fatigue setting in, she takes two capsules of equal parts ginseng and astragalus, an old remedy from her grandmother. With the shop to run, the house to keep clean, the kids and Jistin to be fed and kept clean, Molly does get tired once in awhile. To relax in the evening when the kids are tucked in for the night and Jistin is reading by the fireplace, Molly fixes herself a hot cup of chamomile tea and cuddles up in her comfy chair by Jistin.
There are four books that I rely on and have become invaluable for me when working with, growing and using herbs. The Sunset "Herbs - An Illustrated Guide" on growing and using herbs; The Way of Herbs, by Michael Tierra; Magical Herbalism, by Scott Cunningham; and The Cherokee Herbal, by J.T. Garrett. Anyone who wants to learn, grow and use herbs will find these books invaluable in your personal library.
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