This month an insight into different ways Herbalists prescribe dosages of herbs.
Official dosages of herbs are given in the British Herbal Pharmacopeia, which very precisely outlines the type of preparation, concentration and dosage in millilitres. It’s a reference text for many herbalists.
Another school of Herb dosing exists which is called simpling. It has deep roots in folk herbalism going back may centuries. This means that prescriptions are often a single herb and the dose is given in drops. XYZ number of drops so many times per day.
Cultivate your own green fingers – Endangered Herbs Part 2
Grow your own endangered herbs by your very own hand. Start with seed sowing.
Even if you start with simple ones it is empowering and a fundamental reconnection with our green friends.
First a story about seed sowing with Echinacea…
I had ordered about six different species of Echinacea from Strictly Medicinal Seeds in Oregon USA to see what I could grow. The seed was stratified in the fridge for about 3 months (Stratify means expose the seed to cold temperatures) to break the seed dormancy.
Sowed the seed as instructed in a seed tray with commercial seed mix. Then the morning came when the magic happened…
All the seed had started germinating, the amazing vitality of the young plants as they thrust their leaves up into the light – it was like a mass eruption of echinaceaness. It is still such a vivid memory. The previous post has a photograph showing the germination.
Action 1 – Support groups that protect herbs and the environment.
Why are some herbs endangered and what herbs are endangered?
The raw unpleasant truth is that there are a lot of herbs being harvested from wild populations and made into medicine that are scarce in their habitat.
This is not sustainable or ethical.
It also not much talked about.
Just because it’s a herb does not mean that everything is green, eco conscious and sustainable.
Quite frankly your cup of coffee could be more sustainable than some herbs in commerce.
Why they are endangered is due to over collection from the wild as well as habitat destruction. Add to that the lack of scale in cultivation of the herbs themselves as sustainable farm crops.
What herbs are endangered is a bit clearer. The best work done currently is in North America where the United Plant Savers (UPS) group works specifically with native herbs of North America under threat. However, in many other countries the situation is not clear.
Why should we care? – An important range of our herbal Materia Medica comes from North America. Plants like Golden Seal, Black Cohosh, Slippery Elm and Echinacea are herbs that have become very well-known and widely used. They have also been over harvested in the wild.
Who is doing the best work that I know of in this area now?
‘When I moved in It had one fig tree, rampant couch grass and a trampoline – that was it!’ Lisette said when she moved to her house in suburban Canberra.
Mostly I am talking to you about medicinal herbs but every once in a while, a garden I see or read about takes my fancy and reinvigorates my love of gardening and plants so I share it with you.
The transformation into sensorial paradise of this suburban garden didn’t cost thousands of dollars or arrived prepacked from the local nursery or was created by ‘professional landscapers. It’s one Woman and her family with their persistent efforts.
‘I just started with one small area then moved onto another area … ‘Lisette modestly says on how she achieved this.
A variety of evolving techniques over time has been used to change this landscape so profoundly. Here are some of them with my comments.
We live in a current era of uncertainty and deep concerns in many areas. Be it drought, Bushfire, Flood, Coronavirus, Economic uncertainty or Government actions there is a lot going on.
Looking for knowledge that is tried true and trusted is important if you want to learn more about Herbal Medicine. It doesn’t matter whether you are starting as a complete newbie or are a qualified professional; having trusted sources of information and advice is vital.
We all go looking on Google to surf the internet and see what comes up. Mostly its rubbish as searches are ranked on factors other than quality or truthfulness of information. You really need to remember that, just because someone says it on the internet- it ain’t necessarily so as George & Ira Gershwin sang.
A recent addition to the library is the Culpeper Complete Herbal. Wordsworth Reference Library published 1995
There seems to be more versions of Culpeper herbals than hairs on my arm. I initially when offered the book said that I had it. On looking closer there is the all the parts normally cut out of general editions.
It Includes the catalogue of simples and the family dispensary with notes on the degree of heat and cold each remedy exhibits. Plus his original epistle at the start and a forward to his wife Alice, Plus Galen’s key to the physic and a curious section called Culpepers last legacies. Fully half of the book is in these parts.
A quote about my favourite herb Solomon’s Seal
Of Solomon’s Seal. Stamped and boiled in wine it speedily helps (being drank) all broken bones, and is of incredible virtue that way; as also being stamped and applied to the place, it soon heals all wounds, and quickly takes away all the black and blue marks of blows, being bruised and applied to the place, and for these, I am persuaded there is not a better medicine under the sun.