Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Create Your Own Home Pharmacy ~ Art of the Apothecary Series


"…and the bitter herbs for medicine, gave the place a dusty-spicy smell." 
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

Once upon a time, not very long ago, places where herbal medicine was made {and often sold to the public} were called apothecaries. Many wealthy women would have such a room in their home specifically for the preparation of healing remedies. Here, the arts of transforming plants into something medicinal for the care of their family and neighbors in need was created. These medicine making places were also referred to as still rooms.


The Countess Juliana van Stolberg had an apothecary in her medieval castle. And you, dear reader, can have one too! We needn't a huge facility, modern housewives could manage something similar by adding some useful herbs, tonics, tinctures, salves, medicinal oils, teas, etc., to their pantry for the same purposes. In fact, think of your pantry as your own private home pharmacy! Wouldn't it be convenient to have an area set aside, full of natural remedies for all those little ailments that can plague our daily life. No need to run to the store for every little problem!?


"Almanzo could hardly choke down his food at mealtimes, and Mother look worried. She took him to the pantry and made him swallow a big spoonful of horrible black medicine she made of roots and herbs."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy


This is actually the sister series to our "Reinventing the Herbal" series. You can find all the information here if you are interested. The exciting part is that all the knowledge you collect about natural healing could be stored away in your very own personal notebook called an herbal (our free printable is shared here). This would also make a special keepsake to pass down to your daughter or grand-daughters.


I have so much I would like to do for my own household which I will share here as I am able. There is so much to learn and so many ideas to try! This new series will combine herbal medicine with history, creativity, crafting (make your own decorative apothecary jars), medicine making, kitchen-crafting, organizing (via printables) and some good old-fashioned wildcrafting! This is also something you can do with your children as a home education project!



"... and the fruit thereof shall be for meat and the leaf thereof for medicine..."
~Ezekiel 47:12b

We will also be doing special link-ups on individual herbs so that you can share your own herbal recipes with us per category. As this is a new homemaking hobby* for me, I would love to learn anything I can from you! I do hope you join us in our efforts to create a home apothecary! Please leave a comment if this is an area that interests you as well!
The following posts have been shared thus far in our series:

{Individual Herbs Covered Thus Far are Listed Below}





"And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy…" 
~  Exodus 30:35 


* Disclaimer #1: I am not a certified herbalist but a homemaker interested in the arts of natural healing. The information I have learned has been gleaned through study of some of the following favorite books; Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, Grow Your Own Drugs by James Wong, and The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs by Reader's Digest and websites of herbalists (such as the Bulk Herb Store Blog).


"And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil."

~ Exodus 30:25



Disclaimer #2: I am not a doctor. While I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use, remember that using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is approved by the FDA or intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. All things on this blog are my opinion or the opinion of others. Also, if you have a medical condition, are taking pharmaceutical drugs, or are pregnant, please consult your physician prior to taking herbs.

67 comments:

  1. Oh, I love your jars and the shelf! What a lovely way to organize your herbs. Mine are somewhat hither and yon, lol. I'm really looking forward to your apothecary series. This is one area of home-making that I really enjoy and have benefited from for several years. We have gotten relief from non life threatening ailments over and over using herbs, God's provision for those ailments. And I know that there are some good herbalists around that are not "certified", although the more knowledge we gain, the better we understand how herbs work, which to take internally, etc. I really want to become more knowledgeable on the subject so I'm very excited to see this. Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks for sharing in on the enthusiasm! And yes, herbs have certainly helped us out of many binds over here on this farm!! Glad to have you partake! :)

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  2. This looks really neat. I've been looking into herbal remedies lately as well, even planning a small herb garden for next year. Some of the medicines for colds etc end up making me feel worse or not fixing the problem. So herbs have been turning out to be a nice substitute.
    What's really neat is I've been finding that even regular cooking herbs (basil, parsley, dill, etc.) also have medicinal effects. Herb gardens can double for both medicinal and culinary purposes! God is amazing that He made even our foods to have health-giving properties.

    Looking into herbal stuff, it is a little overwhelming. Where to even start? Which herbs to grow? How to do you par down the wealth of knowledge out there to the beginner's basics?

    I'm really looking forward tot his series! Thanks for posting!

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    1. Wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing! And I must agree, it can be VERY overwhelming but we will try and work through it together :)

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  3. I sooo love your jars & herbal remedies. I have a friend who laughs at me for some of my 'treatments' but also admits she knows they work as she has tried some herself. Not that I know many, but where I can learn I do try. I will be anxiously awaiting each post:) and need to figure out a way to make it look as appealing as yours.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your interest! :) I think the key to order is to group all like-kind jars and containers together in groups... Mine are actually stored on my pantry shelves but for the sake of lighting, I moved them onto this shelf for a picture (to store them in direct sunlight wouldn't be prudent to preserving their shelf-life). Thanks for joining in!

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  4. I am just getting started in using herbals and such for medicine. I have some fire cider steeping in a cupboard as we speak, and elderberry tonic helped me through my last cold. I will be very interested to following along with your series. Thanks.

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    1. We are glad to have you! Thank for sharing your interest! I also would love for you to share your tonic recipe when we do our ELDERBERRY link up! Have a wonderful week!

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  5. My dear JES, I could just sit at your feet and learn all you have to share - you are increibly full of knowledge and insight! I love all of your posts, but this one is among my favorites. I do not say this lighlty, sweet friend...you are an inspiration to me!

    May the Lord richly bless you :) Hugs!

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    1. You are too sweet! I am glad this is interesting to you! I hope some of the information blesses your family :)

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  6. All I can say is what an accomplishment!

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    1. Hi Tracy, this herbal "hobby" has been very enjoyable and rewarding... And still so MUCH to learn. I am thankful for the women who share this art with us! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :)

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  7. I have been interested in herbal treatments since a young teenager in the 1970's and have used a variety of cures with my own family. I am especially fond of essential oils ( lavendar, teatree and eucalyptus to start with) and love rose elixir too. Recently I have been suffering with repeated chest infections and have started to take applecider vinegar in honey and hot water; it really seems to help. I am so pleased with it I have set up my first jars of cores and peelings, following your apple scrap vinegar recipe. So a huge thank you for that! I look forwards to following along with your new series of articles.

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    1. Hi Gill, Thank you for sharing! I love essential oils too! They have done great wonders in our home! I am glad you are enjoying making the apple scrap vinegar too! Just keep in mind that it will not be as strong as the pure cider vinegar since it doesn't have all actual juice of the apple. However, it is still a useful and beneficial batch of vinegar as it is fermented. Thank you for joining us in the new series and I will appreciate any input you have to share along the way since you have been at this for so long! :)

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  8. I am so excited for this series. Herbal medicine has become a passion of mine over the last couple years and I love learning all that I can. love your blog and gain so much from it. I especially love the pictures you use. They add such a special touch to your site that I have not seen anywhere else. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Hello Brenda! I am glad this is of interest to you! That makes me more excited to do this when I hear from like-minded women :) Thank you also for the encouraging words you shared!

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  9. Wooooohoooo! You have just lifted one of the loads from my shoulders! I have put into our homeschool schedule time for learning about and preparing herbal remedies, etc., but haven't found the time for studying and preparing myself to teach it. It looks like I can leave a lot of that to you and just enjoy the time of discovery with my girls. Thank you!

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    1. This would be perfect Kim! I know my daughter is really enjoying her herbal creations. She keeps on talking about making more oxymels since she loved the last batch! :) I hope this series is a help!

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  10. I was so excited when I saw this post! This is exactly what I need. I tend to want to do it all and RIGHT NOW! :-) I get overwhelmed and end up not doing much at all. I think following along will let me learn and do things in a manner that will be much more helpful. Thanks so much for this series!

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    1. Thanks Darlene! I totally understand! I was that way at first. I just kept on reading and mulling through until I got comfortable and with a game plan since I didn't know where to start also... I just had to break it down into parts to make it digestable. We will tackle this! :) I am glad you shared here today!

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  11. How exciting this is going to be!
    I love the natural way and have enjoyed learning more as I get older.
    I especially love and use essential oils. They have become our natural way of healing.
    I have been teaching myself reflexology and love to incorporate the oils.
    Your friend Gill mentioned chest infections, well, orange essential oil is wonderful for that. I place a drop on a hot face cloth and put it over my face and breath in gently. I do this daily and it helps keep the lungs clear.
    I just thought I would pass that along.
    This was a great post!
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
    Sweet blessings, Debbie

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    1. Hi Debbie, nice to hear from you! We also love essential oils over here! Thank you for sharing your remedy! I think eucalyptus would be good too! Glad to have you join us in this series and look forward to you sharing any other tips! :)

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  12. Absolutely thrilled at the thought of this series......I so enjoy your blog. You are truly an inspiration and can't wait to learn more regarding natural remedies. I have made several tinctures and concoctions that have worked wonders for our family. Thank you so much for all your hard work!!

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    1. Hi Sharina, thank you for taking the time to share... It is always nice to hear from those with similar interests as it is encouraging! Please feel free to add any pointers along the way in this series also! Looking forward to have you joining us! :)

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  13. My! I am so amazed Mam Jes on how you do things, I have quite a few herbal plants in my little urban garden, but i do not know how to preserve them like what you presented, i am looking forward to learning more from your series. You are so organized! i just love it ;-)

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    1. Hi Jang, slowly but surely is all I can say! You will be able to do this because it is not time consuming. It is a matter of letting the medicine make (which means letting it sit most of the time until ready)... Being you have an herb garden, you are one step ahead of the game!! Hope this series is a blessing to you! :)

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  14. I have just found your blog & am so interested in this post. I am enjoying reading some of your older posts & am so glad I came across you.
    We have a tv programme in England with James Wong & herbs, it was very good.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle, Thank you for introducing yourself! :) James Wong is very informative and we are enjoying his book over here... It is really fun to learn about herbs and I am glad to have you join us!!! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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  15. Good Afternoon, Jes!

    This is very exciting to see. I have been getting into the all natural medicines and have been researching a little on the DIY recipes. I love to try anything all natural before I have to have anything prescribed. I have been making my own Elderberry syrup and cough syrup for a while now and I love that everything is natural. And, they really do seem to help. I can't wait to see what else you post in follow up to this. Thanks so much! :-)

    Have a blessed day!
    Amy

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    1. Thank you for sharing Amy! Sounds like we are on the same page! ;) I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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  16. Hello Jes, I think this has really sparked my interest in once again to put back some herbs that would be very helpful in times of sickness, Or in a time of no access to other medicine's God did make so many provisions.Thanks for sharing! You are very wise in this area, what a gift the Lord has given you!
    Blessings, Roxy

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    1. Hi Roxy, Glad to have piqued your interest! This is actually a new homemaking hobby so I can't claim to be an expert but I am enjoying learning about God's healing pharmacy and hope to share all I can ;)

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  17. Hi Jes,

    What a wonderful idea for a series, informative, interesting, and fun! I look forward to it, as my knowledge of herbs and spices as natural, medicinal remedies is limited. Crete is very rich in herbs, used to make different blends of teas, aromatic essences, and healing elixirs, each one catering to specific ailments, or simply enjoyed for its therapeutic qualities.

    Happy October!

    Poppy

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    1. Thank you Poppy! Looks like you have a goldmine there! :)

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  18. Excited about this! I just finished snipping of what may be the last of my calendula blossoms. May be getting frost tomorrow night. Recently finished a batch of echinacea tincture.

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    1. Excellent! Please share recipes you have along the way as we cover Calendula, etc... Glad to have you on board! :)

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  19. Jes you have me very intrigued by this post! I also really enjoy your references to Laura Ingallls Wilder and the Scriptures you gave; I've not realized they spoke of these things! I love the jars, love the shelves, love the colours of the beautiful blossoms, leaves and herbs in them! Just gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you Elisha for taking the time to share here today! :) Enthusiasm is always appreciated!

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  20. I am so excited for this series. I just started gathering some of my herb's ( i'm in the very beginning stage of learning about and using herbs ). I just read in Genesis about eating and using herb's, so this was on my mind. I so enjoy your blog.

    Betty

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    1. Hi Betty, Thanks for sharing your new interest in herbs! I can't claim to be an old timer in this area myself as it is a new homemaking hobby but I am enjoying my journey thus far and couldn't wait to share! :) Thank you for joining us! :)

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  21. Jes, I LOVE this! I have my own herbal pantry, tincture and essential oil cabinet and more and I continue to add to it... and use it a LOT. Your beautiful jars and shelves... and herbs are so inspiring!. I needed this boost to get out there and finish harvesting my wonderful herbs. :) Thank you.

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    1. Perfect! Sometimes we just need a little inspirational reminder :)

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  22. I love herbals but am not very experienced yet. I would love to follow along in this!

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    1. This would be the perfect time! :) This will be a basic, easy to understand series!! Thanks for taking the time to share your interest Kaycee!

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  23. You have a very nice writing style. I enjoyed your article, especially as I too am learning about herbal medicine for the home. I look forward to reading your posts and learning from you.

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    1. Hi there! Thank you for introducing yourself! We are glad to have you here! :) And please feel free to add any additional information per subject that you have to share! We will also be doing herb-related link ups in the future where you can also share. Have a lovely week!

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  24. I would love to jar things like someday when I get my own home, I have always wanted to put stuff in jars that way.

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    1. One day dearie! It took us 12 years of strict saving to get our own place... Slowly but surely :)

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  25. I need to read and re read this one! My daughter in law will just love this information! I found you over at Chicken chick and am a brand new cohost over at Country Fair Blog Party which is once a month and this topic is PERFECT for my fellow cohosts! I'd be thrilled if you'd come share it with us! Jan @ Tip Garden
    http://www.thetipgarden.com/2014/10/country-fair-blog-hop.html

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    1. Thanks Jan for the invitation :)

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  26. I love this! I'm featuring your post on this week's HomeAcre Hop. I'll definitely be following this series.

    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

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    1. Hi Kathi! Thank you for much! Glad to hear of your interest also!! Have a lovely week :)

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  27. Another great post. Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I love those labels - so perfect!
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

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    1. Thank you Kristin! I appreciate it! :) We will be sharing the labels shortly for printing!

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  28. Interesting, and what a cute setup! Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre hop, be sure to come back to Pint Size Farm, or one of the other hosts, to share again this week.

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  29. Visiting today from the Graced Simplicity link up. I am very interested in learning more about herbal remedies and holistic health, lot's of reading I have been doing lately. Thanks for sharing your wisdom today. http://www.vintagehousewife.org/2014/10/falling-for-home/

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  30. Thank you for hoping over to the Country Fair Blog Party! I too love your labels and jars! Great job and I can't wait to read more.
    Laurie - Country Link

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  31. This looks amazing. You have so many outstanding ideas!! Thanks for sharing.
    God bless

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  32. I have always believed that God has provided us with all the medicine we need. It's just a matter of learning about them and putting them into practice. Teach me PLEASE!

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    1. Thank you for your enthusiasm! I am excited to share everything I have been learning :) Until then, have a lovely weekend!

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  33. I would love to learn more about building my own home apothecary. My homeschooled children and I have recently been learning about wild edibles and foraging. I want to learn how to take what we are foraging and finding out if there are medicinal uses for them. We are working on moving away from allopathic medicines to homeopathic ones.

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    1. That is wonderful information that you are teaching your children! I hope some of our medicinal recipes will benefit you! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  34. Ohh...this is right up my alley! And next on my list- off to check out the other info. Thank-you so much for keeping traditional ways alive :)!

    Erin (via the Homestead Barn Hop)
    www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to share our enthusiasm! Hope some of this may be helpful to you :)

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  35. thank you for this wonderful series. I have a few herbs that I grow each year for cooking and teas. I want to plan on expanding the herb garden to include home pharmacy ingredients. You have really inspired me. I also love the printed labels. Are you going to give a printable version that we can download?- "Susan from Michigan

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    1. Yes :) I am glad you are interested in them! We will be sharing them soon :)

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  36. I would love to do this! Thanks for sharing on Homemaker Linkup

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