Nostoc spp. Aka Witches butter, star slime, star jelly, trolls butter, witches jelly, mare's eggs, meadow ears, star rot.
The name Nostoc was originally coined by Paracelsus. In early times it was commonly thought that Nostoc was formed from shooting stars which had fallen to earth, giving rise to common names of star jelly, star rot and star slime, which I love. There's plenty of star slime here in central Texas to find if you're interested in checking it out first hand, I find it all over the place near my home in the fields.
Nostoc is a genus of cyanobacteria that forms colonies of moniliform cells in a gelatinous sheath.
Can be found in a range environments such as damp rock, at the bottom of springs and lakes as well as soil and calcareous outcrops. A greenish black gelatinous blob, Nostoc looks a lot like seaweed when it swells up after a good rain. Has large amounts of vegetable gum which contribute to its rubbery, jelly like texture. When it dries out it shrinks down significantly, turning black or brown and inconspicuous.
Nostoc is a nitrogen fixer and an early stage of soil rebuilding, is found worldwide and is able to withstand extreme weather and drought. It has compounds which absorb ultra violet light making it capable of withstanding extreme UV radiation.
Some species of Nostoc are cultivated and eaten as food for their vitamin C and protein content, and medicinal benefits, primarily in Asian, African and South American countries. It's important to note that cyanobacteria are sometimes known to produce beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid, in varying quantities. Typically the benefits are considered to outweigh the risks from clean sources of Nostoc and related BGA. Not enough data has been collected to determine the potentially negative effects of Nostoc in the diet.
Swift as the shooting star, that gilds the night
With rapid transient Blaze, she runs, she flies;
Sudden she stops nor longer can endure
The painful course, but drooping sinks away,
And like that falling Meteor, there she lyes
A jelly cold on earth.
William Somervile, 1740
"Seek a fallen star," said the hermit, "and thou shalt only light on some foul jelly, which, in shooting through the horizon, has assumed for a moment an appearance of splendour."
Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman
Species of Nostoc
The species below is of Nostoc commune. You can clearly see the difference between the wet and dry forms of Nostoc here, the wet being greenish brown and rubbery and the dry being somewhat brittle and black.
Herbal medicine is the art of using herbs to affect health. Herbalism has successfully been practiced as a common form of healing for millenia by all people, in fact it’s considered “the people’s medicine” for that reason. We've evolved alongside plants and have learned many incredible, varied and diverse ways of working with them over the course of our ancient history together. We respond and interact very naturally and favorably to plant medicine, especially in conjunction with a healthy, stress- free lifestyle and good nutrition.
Herbalists are people who understand how to practice the art of using herbs and the natural world including plants, trees, resins, roots, flowers, foods and fungi to positively affect health. This definition encompasses a large and varied group of folks who may work with herbs in very different ways.
When we seek an Herbal Practitioner, or Herbalist, we are seeking someone who has a thorough knowledge of plant medicine and its successful application within our health care. It’s important to understand what kind of experience or training your herbalist has, that you feel comfortable with them and that you're able to communicate well with each other.
There are all types of healers and all kinds of healing, it’s all about finding what’s right for you specifically. It's helpful to have a network of healthcare practitioners of various modalities in more extensive health issues, when possible.
Training comes in so many forms, from folk healing handed down by family and community, to apprenticeships, classes or personal experience. This creates all types of healers and healing, with varying qualifications and specialties.
If it is important for you to have someone who is deeply spiritual and works with ancient folk medicine, then going with someone who has that type of experience and training may be a good fit. If a more academic practitioner with a certain amount or type of training is important to you, then perhaps a medical herbalist of some type would be more helpful.
Some herbalists are teachers and some are not, some focus on physiology primarily and some work on more energetic and spiritual realms or all of the above. Some herbalists practice what is known as Western Herbalism, some are also practitioners of other healing modalities as well, such as Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, Traditional Chinese medicine, while other folks practice Traditional healing methods unique to their geographical bio-region or culture, such as Curanderismo. Others borrow from one of more other healing modalities and incorporate within their primary herbal philosophy and protocol.
My philosophy is primarily based on Western Herbalism, with influences from both Ayurveda and Folk healing and workings, along with use of Aromatherapy. I have attended classes and school on herbal studies, completed apprenticeships, as well as attended many courses in the field of environmental science and botany. My very best teacher, however, has been plants and the natural world herself, years watching and working, in direct contact and communion. It's a different, deeper learning than what is experienced in school or anywhere but the forest or field.
Herbalists may also have an area of expertise that they gravitate toward or are fully focused on, such as children's health, community health or more specifically has specialized in a certain condition, such as Lyme disease, trauma, autoimmune conditions and even cancers. These would be the folks you'd want to find to work with if you desired specialized consultation.
Additionally, not all herbalist work directly with plants or create plant remedies, while some do this type of work extensively or even exclusively. There's a time honored art to creating potent successful formulations as well as the art of procuring the freshest, best ingredients. As you can see, there's a rich variation within the field of Herbalism and Herbalists and there's much and many to benefit from.
Treating the whole person is a fundamental aspect of western herbalism. Helping people help themselves to maintain vibrant health through education, dietary modification, herbal tonics, meditation, exercise, as well as other healing modalities that may be needed on an individual basis is often a key component of Holistic Herbal therapy and different types of healers. The goal of any remedy is to create a formula that is specific to a person’s constitution, level of current health, and ability to integrate into their lives in a way that is workable for them. Herbal remedies can be as simple as adding certain herbs and spices to your food regularly, drinking herbal teas and decoctions, or they can become more complex in form, such as tinctures, glycerites, syrups and vinegars, salves, liniments, etc.. The manner of delivery depends on what the issue is, how to best address that issue and most importantly, if the person being treated can and will reliably apply the formula as instructed.
Paying attention to and understanding our bodies state of being is the most important element in maintaining good health and healing. Learning what’s going on with and what kinds of things we can do to help ourselves is a simple way to avoid illness or disease, and to help overcome it if it happens. Personal responsibility is an important part of any health and wellness program as well as support of the larger community that we're a part of.
Herbal remedies have a long intricately woven past with humanity, which has successfully served us for thousands of years and continues to this very day all around the world. Learning how to recognize and use these remedies when needed is a healthy and time honored way of preserving our good health.
May be reprinted with permission from author in it’s entirety.
Lauraceae, Laurel family
Aromatic, diaphoretic, stimulant and alterative.
I typically gather Sassafras on my grandmothers family farm, where she grew up in the far north east Texas town of Quitman. On that wild piece of land grows little thickets of this beautiful tree among the Sweetgum, Juniper, Oaks and Pine. The sandy soil there makes it an easy root to get to, which easily recovers from mindul and judicious harvesting. Best times to harvest Sassafras roots are in early Spring and in Fall. Leaves are harvested anytime they appear. Typically I harvest a small portion of root from several trees, taking only what I'll need for the year, giving thanks and an offering to the trees I harvest from. It's important not to harvest too much from one tree and to be mindful of clean cuts so as to avoid damaging the roots.
It's always a surprisingly delicious treat for my family and I, even just the smell of this root is heavenly! My grandmother talks about how common it was for folks to drink sassafras tea back in her youth, it was apparently pretty popular back in the day.
Sassafras is a medium, fast growing deciduous tree native to eastern North America. Grows as far south west as north east Texas. An aromatic tree with alternate leaves, three distinctive leaf shapes: entire, mitten shaped, and three lobed. Leaves are green during spring and summer, turning a distinctive reddish orange during fall.
Grows best in well drained, slightly acidic, sandy, loamy soils in open full sun or edge of woodlands. Is readily prolific, roots are lateral, often forming small thickets. Mature tree bark is dark greyish brown and is deeply furrowed. Young shoots are bright yellow green.
Sassafras has fragrant small greenish-yellow bloom clusters in spring and fruit are drupes of a dark blue. Roots and bark smell strongly of root beer- warm, spicy and sweet. Leaves have a light earthy, faintly spicy, citrusy fragrance.
Ecologically, Sassafras is commonly found with other tree species such as Elm (Ulmus spp.), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), Eastern red cedar or Juniper (Juniperus virginiana), Ash (Fraxinus spp.), Hickory (Carya spp.), Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), American beech (Fagus grandifolia),Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), Oaks (Quercus spp.), Eastern Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) and American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana). In the Appalachian Mountains, it is frequently associated with Red maple (Acer rubrum), Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), and Oaks (Quercus spp).
Sassafras has numerous uses and value to wildlife and humans. Historically all parts of Sassafras have been used by native Americans and have been documented as propagated and used extensively since mid 1500’s by colonists and visitors to eastern north america as well.
The roots make a delicious, aromatic tea known to be used for many purposes, such as heart conditions, as a blood purifier, digestive issues, gallbladder and bladder issues and as a spring tonic. Often used in the old days to flavor less tasty medicines for children.
First used as a ground spice by the Choctaw in the south, from this practice the leaves of Sassafras eventually also became a regular feature in Creole cuisine as a spice called File’, used in the famous dish File’ gumbo. The crushed, powdered leaves are pleasant tasting and often used in soups and stews where it imparts an earthy aromatic flavor and as an excellent thickener to due its mucilaginous properties.
Historically used in perfumery, cuisine and medicine, the wood has also been used in manufacturing canoes due to it’s flexible hardness. The distinctive fragrance of sassafras is pleasant and reminiscent of old time root beer. Both the leaves and root produces a beautiful red tea which quickly thickens upon standing. Most commercially prepared root beer products now must use artificial flavorings, be manufactured to remove the safrole content and use methyl salicylate obtained from Wintergreen or Black birch. Other common spices which contain small amounts of safrole include, nutmeg, black pepper, basil and cinnamon.
This root used to be the main ingredient in root beer and many other food and personal care items and medicines until 1960, when a constituent found within the root bark, safrole, was banned for use in commercially available products by the FDA. This decision was due to researchers forcing high concentrations of safrole into rats, which then sadly ended up with liver damage and various cancers.
It’s unlikely that under normal circumstances a human (or any other animal) would ingest such high concentrations of safrole from consuming sassafras. Although I don't use in commercially available blends due to these concerns, I personally enjoy Sassafras tea quite often.
The constituent Safrole is regulated by the DEA due to its potential use in the manufacture of MDA and MDMA and is also banned for use in soaps and perfume by the International Fragrance Association as well.
Isolated essential oils were analyzed with GC and GC/MS from the root bark extracted at room temperature with hexane and chloroform as solvents. Thirty compounds were identified, nine of which have not been previously reported from this species. The major compounds were safrole (85%), camphor (3.25%), and methyleugenol (1.10%). Ten sesquiterpenes were also identified. (1)
Spring is such a busy time- this kinda thing over and over! These are some of the plants we use to make Viriditas Botanicals super fresh, local herbal formulations.
Shown: Roses (Rosa spp), Heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Juniper (Juniperus ashei) and Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica).
The heirloom roses, yarrow and skullcap are all from our organic gardens, and the juniper and honeysuckle wildcrafted in the fields and woodlands beside us.
My work within natural perfumery developed out a love to experience as many facets of nature and alchemy as possible, a well as to bring that connection into form and share it with others. Formulating wellness and body products for my family and my clients with exclusively healthy ingredients really inspired my deeper involvement with natural perfumery as a part of my profession. I love creating - whether a sculpture, a luxurious garden space or a product and it being able to hit multiple levels of a person’s sense of space and sensuality. It’s good for you and smells or tastes fabulous and takes you somewhere else, or inspires a meaningful experience outside of our everyday awareness.
Of flora and fauna and fungi- there’s an endless unspoken dialog and resource of physical and spiritual replenishment from awareness and interaction that comes from the natural world. I’m happiest when immersed in that space and in helping bring others into that awareness as well.
I like to connect people with the the wild and the green, whether by co-designing organic landscapes, to bringing natural elements of the world together for a fragrance that extends beyond that immediate scent of physicality, but more than that, to the very soul of the recipient. Chemical replications of natural substances can never capture the depth of character and truth that the real substance can give. The inconsistencies among crops and the resulting fragrances of plants, are part of the charm of it, the challenge of alchemy and life itself. The results are perfectly consistent with what's needed in the world, the give and take of so many subtleties, of the chemistry in nature and in ourselves.
My compositions of fragrance are an art into which I consciously bring the physical and spiritual properties of each ingredient into a whole that is meant to affect the individual and move them, much like a song or a poem.
To infuse ourselves with the power and beauty that is of the natural world is to take on those characteristics and be a part of that world. I bring a little piece of the wild green realms into peoples lives in ways that are sensuous, enjoyable, deeply conscious and beautiful.
I have a serious sense of ecological and planetary awareness and social justice. For me changing the world, in part, means re-introducing ourselves to nature within a more conscious paradigm, to experiencing the sensuality of existence in so many ways, and the potential connection with each other that delves deeper than the superficial. I hope to bring people and plants together in every way I can, and for us all to be the better for having done so.
Tip of the day for the wild and adventurous among us: Get yourself outside in this gorgeous Texas spring, plant identification skills honed in and grab up some cleavers, henbit, dandelion greens + shepards purse and juice them. Add in some sweeter juice if needed such as organic apple, carrot or beet juice. Your skin will be ever so gorgeous, eyes all a-sparkly and your lymphatic system and liver will thank you for the internal spring cleaning. You'll be busy as a bee with that energetic boost:) Keep it up while these are out!
There are plenty of time honored and tasty herbs that are beneficial and safe for use in pregnancy and nursing, and have been used for hundreds of years if not longer by mothers the world over. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but the most traditionally and generally consumed herbal teas safe for use by almost anyone, along with their most basic properties. For more detailed and technical information on the specific actions and indications of each of these herbs, of which there is much to learn, I highly recommend researching each herb independently and educating yourself on the specifics of each of these herbs. This is a very simple and basic guide for the average person as well as information and tea blends I may give my expectant clients or any professional midwives that may need tea blends from me for their clients.
The first trimester is when we are most concerned over any herb/food/beverage/vitamin effects, as it’s the most formative time period for your babe and your body is still establishing being pregnant. Herbs used in pregnancy, such as those on this list are considered to be very gentle, highly nutritive, calming to the digestive system and nerves and are used best as delicious and nutritious teas.
While taking a prenatal multivitamin is important, eating a diet that is healthy and full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals is the absolute very best you can do for yourself and baby. Our bodies understand and assimilate foods, herbal teas and spices in their natural form better and easier than any other method. Herb teas high in vitamins and minerals are an excellent way to boost a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals needed to support the extra demands our bodies require during pregnancy, birth and lactation. Use these individually or as a blend of whichever herbs you like. If you make your own tea, use equal parts of each, and ¼ part of those marked as to be used moderately, or less depending on taste with mint.
Herbal allies that are safely used in pregnancy:
Alfalfa, Medicago sativa- Very high in vitamins and minerals
Nettle, Urtica dioica- Very high in vitamins and minerals, also great for allergies
Red Raspberry leaf, Rubus idaeus- Very high in vitamins and mineral- particularly high in iron, great in combo with nettle for anemia, is an excellent uterine tonic.
Rose hips, Rosa canina- High in vitamin C and tasty.
Oat tops/straw, Avena sativa- High in minerals, great for the nervous system.
Ginger, Zingiber officinale- Calming to the digestive system, relieves nausea and gas- is also very effective in the treatment and prevention of colds and flus.
Peppermint Mentha piperita,/ Spearmint, Mentha spicata- Relieves nausea/gas. Moderation.
Chamomile, Matricaria recutita- Calming, helps nausea and digestion. Moderation in pregnancy
Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis- Calming to the nerves and digestive system, relieves gas, antiviral.
Dandelion leaf, Taraxacum officinale- High in vitamins and minerals, helps digestive system. Helpful in conditions such as pre-eclampsia or edema.
One of my and my clients favorite formulas:
Healthy Mama Happy Baby Tea
1 part Nettle
1 part Oatstraw
1 part Alfalfa
1 part Red Raspberry leaf
1 part Rosehips
¼ part mint if desired
To make a quart of a tea blend use 2 Tblsp/per quart of nearly boiling water and let steep 5-10 minutes, serve hot or cold and drink as you like throughout your day up to the entire quart. This blend is great for anyone at anytime looking for an extra vitamin and mineral boost. Side benefit, these herbs are are fantastic for our skin!
Helpful herbal allies for nursing mothers:
* Note that it’s helpful to avoid excessively spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol or foods that cause gas while breastfeeding, as well as common food allergens such as peanuts, etc..
Alfalfa, Medicago sativa-Nutritive, very high in vitamins and minerals
Nettle, Urtica dioica- Nutritive, very high in vitamins and minerals
Anise, Pimpinella anisum- Increases quality and quantity of milk production, calms and supports digestive system/relieves gas
Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare- Increases quality and amount of milk production, also calming and supportive of the digestive system/relieves gas.
Chamomile, Matricaria recutita- Calming for the nerves and helps support digestion/relieves gas.
Dandelion leaf, Taraxacum officinale-Nutritive, high in vitamins and minerals.
Oat tops/straw, Avena sativa-Nutritive, calming.
Fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum- Increases quality and quantity of milk production, calming and supportive to digestive system/ relieves gas.
Dill, Anethum graveolens- Calming and supportive of the digestive system/relieves gas
Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis- Calming to the nerves and supports digestive system/relieves gas, antiviral
Catnip, Nepeta cataria- Calming to the nerves and supports digestive system/relieves gas
As you can see, most herbal formulas used during lactation are chosen for their highly nutritive and milk increasing properties (termed galactagogues), as well as being calming to the nerves and digestive system. Herbs are such an amazing resource in that they can simultaneously address several issues at once, perfectly. In this case they're quite tasty as well.
Additionally, remember that the food and drinks you consume will ultimately be passed on through the your breast milk in varying quantities to your baby. Often newborns and young babies have digestive issues such as colic/gas/tummy aches in general while they get used to using their own bodies for food assimilation in the outside world. Sometimes this can be mild or very severe, so keep these herbs in mind, as they are incredibly effective and time honored ways of helping our children and ourselves stay healthy and happy.
This information is for educational purposes only, and is not meant to be taken as medical advice, or to treat, cure or diagnose any disease or condition.
Feel free to repost this information with credit to author and links.
Herbal Q & A
I've gotten plenty of email and questions about all sorts health and beauty topics and issues, so I've decided to take questions and post answers for you all. As an herbalist, I have a unique perspective and love to educate people on how to help keep themselves healthy and beautiful with herbs and good nutrition and how to connect and reconnect with the natural world. My clients are always pleased with the results!
Hi Crystal, what do you know about plaque psoriasis and what are some things might that help?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition which is not contagious and often hereditary. Simply put, our skin renews and replaces skin cells every 28 days or so, but in the condition of psoriasis skin cells renew every 7-8 days and begin to build up the often itchy, crusty, red patches indicative of psoriasis. Sufferers of this condition tend to have flare ups periodically as a result of a range of irritating triggers, including stress, anxiety, fatigue, sunburn, poison ivy, a recent viral or bacterial infection and food sensitivities. Understanding and avoiding triggering factors is crucially important in treatment. There are several classifications of psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis is indicated when white blisters are surrounded by irritated and inflamed skin. Guttate psoriasis is when tiny red spots appear on the skin and inverse psoriasis is indicated when skin redness and irritation happen in warm damp places of the skin, such as armpits or the groin. Erythrodermic psoriasis is when redness is itchy and intense, covering large areas of skin. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis and is recognized by scaly thick, red patches of skin.
Supportive measures are to gently help remove skin tissue build up by cleansing and moisturizing with non-scented soaps & lotions or if indicated, medicated creams and sprays. Reduce triggers, systemic inflammation responses and detoxify gently and regularly. Nourish the body with essential fatty acids such as flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil or extra-virgin coconut oil if appropriate. Several herbs and supplements are helpful in psoriasis, (as well as many other skin issues) promoting good liver, kidney and digestive health. Some of the best herbs for this condition are turmeric, milk thistle seed, yellow dock, red clover, calendula, cleavers, dandelion root/leaf and burdock. A decoction of these herbs drunk daily or prepared as a tincture or pill and of course used in foods, will help alleviate symptoms. These herbs help detoxify, cleanse, fortify, and have great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sprays, creams or salves with extracts of some of the above herbs is appropriate and can be very helpful in addition to other supportive methods, such as herbal bath soaks and homeopathy. Drink plenty of water, address any food sensitivities, avoid processed foods, and supply an abundance of fresh whole foods only. Additionally, reduce or eliminate skin exposure to artificial fragrances, preservative and irritating chemicals such as in soaps, perfumes, creams, detergents and common household cleansers so as not to exacerbate the condition. Viriditas Botanicals Transcendental Body Creme and Soother Salve are helpful additions to have on hand for this and other problematic skin conditions that require very pure, non irritating nourishment and protection.
This is a quick and simplified synopsis of psoriasis- each person is quite unique. Other contributing conditions or diseases, prescription medicine usage, or specific sensitivities and issues with the individual is important in comprising a holistic treatment plan of action. Some herbs are contraindicated for certain individuals and care must be taken in deciding which to incorporate into an herbal formulation. I hope this helps!
Holistic herbal consults and personalized botanical skin formulations are available and highly recommended. For more information, please contact Crystal Davidson at email@example.com.
Submit questions for consideration to Crystal@viriditasaustin.com and yours might be the lucky one chosen to post on the Herbal Q & A with Crystal Davidson!
Legal Disclaimer: I'm not a medical doctor and this does not constitute medical health advise, diagnosis or treatment, rather a holistic perspective on common issues from a professional, experienced Herbalist and Aromatherapist.
Culinary and Medicinal Use of Herbal Vinegars
Herbal Vinegars are a great way to incorporate medicinal herbs and foods into your every day dietary regimen. Always use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as your base and let your imagination and creativity loose. Apple Cider Vinegar gently extracts the many beneficial properties of all sorts of culinary and medicinal herbs and renders them easily assimilated. Food is some of our best medicine, and in herbal vinegars we have a great opportunity to combine all sorts of ingredients, with the result being a delicious way to take your “medicine” as well as get a natural daily dose of vitamins and minerals, which so many herbs are chock full of.
*Yet another way to preserve and utilize your garden's bounty!*
Use as the vinegar portion in your salad dressing recipes, splash on veggies and all manner of dishes and you can even use as marinades- although cooking naturally diminishes some of the nutritive and medicinal properties- but don’t let that stop you, enjoy them any way you can, including simply taking a spoonful or 2 in a bit of water or juice.
Figuring out what tastes best to you is the key ingredient to making a spectacular Herbal Vinegar. Just a few ingredient ideas are listed below:
Organic orange or lemon zest
Medicinal mushrooms- Shitake, Reishi, Cordyceps, Ganoderma (with a bit more work first)
Dandelion greens/root- Any kind of green!
Add beets for an extra boost of iron and sweetness
How to make
A recipe for you to try:
The ever famous Fire Cider
Garlic 2 bulbs
Ginger 4” piece of ginger
Horseradish 4-6” root
Cayenne- to taste, I usually use 4 peppers or so depending on the heat, they do mellow over the course of the month
Organic Local Honey- to taste, I usually use about 1/8 cup. I truly love to include honey in my Fire Cider.
Vinegar is a natural preservative, however using a lot of very watery ingredients may reduce the acetic acid content of your herbal vinegar, in which case just be sure to use your creation sooner than later. Otherwise this stuff can last for a good year or two, possibly longer depending on storage conditions. Enjoy!
Another great way to gain therapeutic use from herbal vinegars is to use them externally. We make these the same way, just use them differently. Why would we use an herbal vinegar externally? ACV is great for skin and hair in the first place, so it’s a natural for use as a base in all sorts of applications, such as linaments, skin treatments-acne, bites, stings, scrapes, thorns, bruises, varicose veins, as well as hair treatments. In all cases you will need to understand what kind of therapeutic action you’re trying to achieve and utilize singularly or in combination with others herbs in your formulas.
A great herbal vinegar formula for acne is dried or fresh Burdock, Calendula and Echinacea in your ACV. The reason I use these particular herbs is that they are well known to help with acne as well as many other skin issues, such as eczema, psoriasis and rashes of all sorts- to put it simply.
To make a more astringent formula- to help draw out- you might decide to use plantain- that ever present little plant some folks call a “weed”. This is a great formula to spray on a bug bite or bee sting, or even perhaps if you have very oily skin. In addition to common medicinal plants we also sometimes add essential oils to our herbal vinegars in small quantities, when used externally. For instance we might use tea tree essential oil in a fungal formula or lavender essential oil in our sting/bite formula. These particular essential oils are safe and commonly used in many body preparations and are well known for their therapeutic uses.
Learning to treat ourselves with common everyday formulas that we can make ourselves easily is an immensely effective and empowering way to take the lead in our own healthcare and that of our families and communities. The more you practice the easier it all gets, and voila- you perfect your very own Culinary and Medicinal Herbal Vinegar recipe for all your friends to try!
Food as Medicine: Quick, simple health tip we use around here when starting to get sick that even a kid or picky adult will take: Chop up some garlic and ginger-some folks use onions too, add honey enough to cover. Kinda smash it up a little extra in the honey (known as macerating) and let sit for several hours or more, covered. The garlic and ginger extract into the honey and you have a super potent and rather yummy herbal remedy in no time at all- use promptly and take as needed. Helps with colds and the flu and can be amended any way you like. Very effective, cheap and easy peasy.