Thanks for reading the column and asking questions.
I have already answered Mary Jo’s comment in an abbreviated way, but this seemed a good enough subject to expand on further, so here it is!
So, one question was: Do I grow my own plants?
- The answer is: I grow a lot of my own herbs, but not all of them.
- I also collect a lot of different herbs growing on the farm.
- A lot of plants I use may also come from regions other than my own, or even from other Continents, like Africa, South America, or even icy Siberia!
- Herbs are everywhere!
Another question: can everybody grow some of their own herbs?
- Εverybody can really grow some of their own herbs!
- There is no bigger pleasure for an herbs user than growing our own little “pharmacy”!!
- Whether we live in a city apartment with a good southern window, or a suburb with a small yard, or out on a farm (where I live), we can all experiment with growing anything from a humble Dandelion to a more demanding Angelica tree!
- Μost of the time, I start with a small plant I bought at a Nursery. It is the easy way!
- But it is much more fun to start with seeds and watch it all happen!
And learning how to use herbs is a whole art and science in itself.
To answer your question in an abridged way (more in a future column), herbs can be used in many different ways:
- As teas and as tinctures for internal use
- As healing oils or salves for external use.
- And, in the last few years, as extracts, mostly Standardized extracts for internal use.
We can easily make our own teas, even our own tinctures and oils and salves in our kitchen for our personal use,
An extract, however, is done in labs, and sold as capsules or tablets.
I prefer my teas and my tinctures!
Herbal Teas are my first priority:
Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Dandelion leaves and roots (and many more, but those are my favorites.)
Culinary herbs are very important if one likes to cook:
Oregano, Dill, Parsley, Basil, Thyme,
Spices are great to grow, depending on where we live:
Friends in the South grow Ginger and Turmeric.
Here we can grow Hot Peppers in the summer and make Cayenne seasoning!
As to where we can buy tinctures, several Herbal suppliers make them and sell them, I prefer the tinctures made by Dr. David Winston (Herbalist-Alchemist.com).
But there are many more wonderful herbalists out there who make very good tinctures, like Traditional Medicinals, Jeans Greens, and more.
In a later column, we will discuss how to do different herbal preparations beyond teas, and we will talk about how to make our own tinctures then.