Thursday, October 16, 2014

Medicine Making Supplies ~ Home Pharmacy Series

"a time to heal...
... and a time to build up..."
~Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 3:3

Are you ready to start making your own herbal medicine? Is that pioneering spirit in you prepared to stock up your pantry with natural remedies? It helps to have all your supplies in order so that you will actually make them. This is a "time to build up" your inventory! Below is a basic list to assure you can make all of the simple recipes we are sharing. Many items will be found in your kitchen but we will include them all just the same.


Basic Supply List:
  • 80-100 proof vodka (For tinctures, elixirs, liniments, etc., visit this post if you are concerned about using alcohol-based medicine and what the alternatives are.)
  • apple cider vinegar (For tincture making and/or oxymels, etc., raw is preferred.)
  • beeswax  (For medicinal salves and balms, pastilles are easier to measure out but you can also use shredded beeswax from a bar.)
  • cheese grater ~ (This will be necessary if you are going to shred your beeswax instead of buying the pastilles. I would recommend purchasing one at a second-hand store strictly for beeswax if you go that route because it doesn't come off the grater very well.)
  • cheesecloth, muslin and/or thin cotton fabric for straining herbs
  • essential oils ~ (Though I constantly use essential oils as medicine, this series is focusing more on the herbs themselves but some recipes may include an occasional oil which also may act as a preservative.)
  • food-grade glycerin (For tincture making, etc., sweet tasting for children though not as strong medicinally as the vodka or vinegar based medicines but still effective.)
  • glass spray bottles (Plastic leeches but can be used if necessary.)
  • herbs (shared below)
  • jars ~ 4 oz., pint jars, quart sized jars (variety of sizes for a variety of projects)
  • measuring cups
  • olive oil, almond oil, and/or coconut oil (or any other of your favorite body oils)
  • raw honey (local is best if you suffer from allergies)
  • stainless steel pots and pans (aluminum leeches, don't use)


Optional Supply List (Useful Though Not Absolutely Necessary)
  • chap-stick containers ~ (you may want an on-the-go balm or healing stick as they are convenient to carry)
  • corks (for storing syrups and such which can make most glass bottles into medicinal containers, more information below)
  • glass amber dropper bottles (For storing and administering tinctures, though dark bottles are preferred, you can use mason jars and simply keep products in a dark area such as your pantry.)

Bonus Tips and Thrifty Thinking
  • Save and recycle all your amber vitamin glass bottles, etc., for storing herbs (ask your family and friends to save them for you as well).
  • Save and recycle all your glass extract or cough medicine bottles (also ask your family to save them for you). The smaller extract bottles are nice to tuck into a get-well basket for someone who is under the weather and could use an herbal lift!
  • Save tiny glass condiment jars (such as pimento jars) and/or baby food jars (have friends save for you or just purchase some baby food on sale, the apricots are delicious and this is often cheaper than purchasing a salve or balm jar).
  • If you are going to make a medicinal oil, save your original bottle to store your infused oil back into. Do not wash it since the oil will be the same (and it is very challenging to wash out an oil-filled bottle anyways since oil and water doesn't mix!).
  • Once sanitized, many glass bottles (such as seltzer waters, taco sauce bottles, etc) can be re-used for storing syrups, tinctures, liniments and elixirs providing you have a cork to fit on top. I purchase the variety-sized pack of corks and am able to fit one onto all my collected bottles which also gives them an apothecary look. Corks are also good to use in case your product ferments. They will allow the air to escape so the bottle doesn't explode. Certain syrup recipes may require the use of a cork.
  • If deciding on which vegetable oils to use in our projects, keep in mind that olive oil and coconut oil have the best shelf life and are highly medicinal (though you may use other oils of your choice such as almond oil and jojoba oil, etc.).
  • I try and use quality essential oils in our medicine making. The easiest way to collect a good set at a "somewhat decent" price would be to purchase kits. I was able to stock an instant medicine cabinet filled with therapeutic grade oils, with an excellent variety through this type of promotion. We chose the doTERRA Family Physician Kit for our essential oil apothecary.


First 9 Herbs We Will Cover

Many of these may be found in your back yard (we only needed to purchase two).
With these simple supplies, you can create a home pharmacy in your pantry! You may also be interested in our *free* printable apothecary herb labels or How to Make a Tincture {Plus Printable Instructions and Labels}. I hope you enjoy this series and contribute your recipes, etc., to the single herb link-ups we will be hosting in the near future.

{Once again, please keep in mind that I am not an herbalist. My methods are simple ~ though learned from reputable books and herbalists ~ but you won't find any fancy scientific talk, just homemaking talk like sharing a recipe from my kitchen ~ perhaps in the same way grandmother would pass information down. This is also meant to be a fun and creative series for the keeper at home.}

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sHomestead Barn HopAmaze Me MondayMonday's MusingsMarriage MondayTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersMake Bake CreateWise Woman Link UpWow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayThe ScoopCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysGrowing in Grace ThursdaysHome Acre HopFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopSimple Meals FridayFoodie FridaysCultivate NourishingSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. 


This post has received the:

Wildcrafting Wednesday The People’s Choice Awards

Thank you for your votes!


35 comments:

  1. Wow...so inspiring! I would like to start up a home medicine cabinet with healthful and natural balms.

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    1. Wonderful! I hope you join us! This series will be a lot of fun and productive :)

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  2. I never thought of saving baby food or pepper sauce jars for storing naturally made medicines! I am hoping to be able to follow along with your series, so that I can develop my own natural pharmacy. I am very new to all of this and it makes me so excited to learn about all the herbs, tinctures and deconcoctions! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Vicki, I like to do lots of projects but am pretty thrifty so this is my version of apothecary jars. I can't say that it is the norm... :) I am glad this interests you! It is very exciting to me too :)

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  3. What do you do to sanitize glass bottles like the taco ones? (Especially for those of us with no dish washed? :) ) Would you suggest anything?

    Thanks! This is a great starting kit. I'm glad you've covered tool basics along with the herb basics.

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    1. Hi Christina, a nice hot water bath with soap is all! If you want to get some of the yuck smell out, add in some vinegar :)

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  4. Jes, are you planning on doing a post about finding the herbs in your backyard? I wouldn't know where to look!

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    1. Yes, I was the same way! The more I learned about the herbs, the more I started "seeing" them in my back yard. I finally opened my eyes to my surroundings :) I will see what I can do to help you identify them. Thanks for your interest ;)

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  5. Oh Jes, this is so inspiring! My mom in law and I decided we needed to get on the ball and make some of our own natural medicines. I just love that you are posting what you have been doing. It gives us a place to start. Nice! I am sooo excited!! Yay!

    I do make my own elderberry syrup and cough syrup, I'm thankful I got those ones down. Now, time for some new ones to try.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Blessings,
    Amy

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    1. Perfect! You are already part way there! I am excited to share what we have been learning. Glad that you are interested too! :)

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  6. Jes, your big, beautiful photos of all the necessary supplies and ingredients are very inspiring to newbies like myself. Thanks for all the wonderful prep and pics and looking forward to the next installment in the series.

    Poppy

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    1. Thanks Poppy! It is a lot of fun to tinker in the kitchen with these herbs, especially knowing the usefulness of it all! :)

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  7. What fun, JES. I can't wait for this series to start. I'm so glad you gave us a list as I'm lacking a few things on it. And I hope to put to use some of my hoard of pimiento jars and taco sauce bottles for making medicine, so that's good news. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Your hoard of pimiento jars will be a blessing to you :) Did you ever think that day would come where you could justify saving them ;0

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  8. Hi JES, I am hoping to try my hand at one or two simple medicines this year. Thank you for taking the time to post this series. : )

    Lesley

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    1. Excellent! And simple is the only kind I have time for so that will be perfect :) Thanks for your interest :)

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  9. Hi Jes, I find all of what you're doing fascinating! I would love to be able to do this in my own home ... someday! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, there is a season for everything! I completely understand that :)

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  10. You have a lot of useful information on this post, Recycling jars is so important and extremely useful. Thanks for providing all the information on the herbs. You have given me some good ideas that I can use in my home. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesdays. Pinned & twitted.

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    1. So glad this was helpful! Thank you for taking the time to share! I really appreciate it :)

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  11. This is great info! I am pinning for later. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Great list! Very clear and thorough. Nice photos, too. I look forward to future posts. I made some comfrey salve recently and put it in various containers -- as it turns out, the lip balm ones are the most convenient to use! I'm glad I didn't just save them for lip balm :-)

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    1. Very true :) Thanks for sharing and following along on our series!

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  13. Jes you are such an inspiration to me! You are teaching me so much about making my own medicine. Thank you!

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    1. Ah, thank you ;) This is still a new hobby to me compared to others but I am enjoying it very much. Glad I can share what I am learning and doing! :)

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  14. Great post. Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you'll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

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  15. Great post, thank you for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you again tomorrow!
    - Nancy The Home Acre Hop

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  16. Hi JES,
    Wonderful information! Would you please tell me how you remove labels when reusing jars? I have not found a way to remove the labels completely. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Sue! I just soak the jars overnight in a warm water and vinegar solution and they usually slip off the next day. Hope this helps!

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  17. Congrats on being nominated for the Wildcrafting Wednesdays 2015 People’s Choice Awards! Thank you for sharing your wonderful post with us and many happy wishes to you in the new year.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

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    1. Thank you for the nomination!! :)

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  18. Congratulation on being chosen as a nominee and I wish you the best of luck. I love your ideas on making your own medicine. I think your ideas are wonderful and have being using herbs and essential oils with great success. Looking forward to all your new ideas.

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    1. Thanks for sharing in on the enthusiasm Marla, I couldn't agree more about the benefits of herbs and essential oils. They have been a blessing to our family too!

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