Garden Herbs and Medicine: Grow, Harvest, Use

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Ganado, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    The things I think about after growing food, shelter and safety is what would you do for medicine.

    This is a link for Culpepers herbal that is difficult to find and its in a searchable format. I do have the original scanned text in a searchable format but 32mbs is alot of file. The searchable part is somewhat problematic because this is written in Old English and so the spelling is sometimes different. For instance garlic can sometimes be spelled garlyc. This version is cleaned up for most of that but you can still miss stuff when you search.
    Alternative Medicine - Culpepers Herbal | Survival Forums

    This site has numerous references for herbal and plant identification as well as medicinal recipes
    Michael Moore - SW School of Botanical Medicine Home Page

    Im just going to post herbs as i have time. But here is a list of my top 5 favorites (ok 6) =)
    1) Basil
    2) Aloe Vera
    3) Mint
    4) Oregano
    5) milk thistle
    6) nettle
    7) Dock leaf (if you are growing nettle you might as well grow Dock leaf to take the sting out)
    Garden Herbs and Medicine: Grow, Harvest, Use | Page 3 | Survival Forums
    8) Purslane- Purslane | Survival Forums
    9) Moringa Tree - Moringa Trees ? | Survival Forums


    well drained soil, warm temp, fertilze once a month if indoors, prune from top frequently!

    Harvest from the top. The smaller leaves have the potency and the larger leaves at the bottom are the engine for this plant so leave the big leaves at the bottom.

    Good for cuts, scrapes and stings in a salve you can make tinctures but I think they are alot of work.

    Use Dried leaves (or green) and infuse in oil of your choice, I use alot of olive oil. Leave for 4-6 weeks for potency. You can use the heat-infused method by I don't get consistent results.

    • 1 cup oil (i cold infuse in olive oil 1st for 4-6 weeks, heat method simmer on low for 3 hours)
    • 1 oz dried leaves
    • 1/2 oz beeswax
    • 1/4 tsp Vitamin E
    • for smell good you can add essential oils or use a therapeutic EO

    • After infusion is completed strain oil to remove leaves
    • Use double boiler, combine infused oil and beeswax melt
    • To test of rthe correct consistency, place a pea-sized amount on wax paper and place in freezer for a few min, add more wax if not firm enough or more oil if too firm.
    • Remove from heat
    • Pour in tins or jars and let cool

    For more ideas on preparation and what infusion, tinctures, etc see the resource guide on Colds and Flu... it has a great description of the differences.
    Alternative Medicine - Herbal Guide for Cold and Flu | Survival Forums

    My biggest concern if we ever do run out of main stream medicine or SHTF is what to do about oil. I use coconut and olive oil but I don't process these myself. Same with the Vitamin E oil that I add to some things.
    The Herb Society of America

    So two questions:
    1) what are your favorite herbs that you grow, harvest, and use
    2) any brilliant suggestions on oils would be great. I hate to resort to rendered fat but its possible.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Do you strain with cheese cloth or just a regular mesh strainer?

    I have often wondered if SHTF what I could use if I didn't have coconut oil. Didn't the Native Americans use animal fat for a base?

    Excellent recipe can't wait to make some.
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  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I have a fine mesh strainer. I have use large with 1/2 coffee filter. It's slow but the only thing that works for ground herbs
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  4. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    Consider most succulents as a source of a base oil. Aloe vera works well. Jojoba oil is good, love it, but it's heavy. Sunflower seed oil is good as well.

    And if you cook, and have stored away cooking oil, specifically olive oil, it is a great base oil. Dual purpose and very healthy.

    Don't forget to store Vitamin E oil (great for the skin), Tea Tree oil (antibiotic, anti-fungal, and germicidal) as well as Lavender oil as it will keep ants out of your house as well as being excellent on burns less than 3rd degree.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2015
  5. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Awesome comments Mike... I've never thought of aloe as a base... Not sure how to process have you done that?

    Sunflower... Brilliant... Do you have a good way to convert to oil?

    My problem with all of these is the step beyond storage

    How to make from raw ingredients. I know how to render fat... And I'm experimenting with vodka... But oil eludes me.

    Storage for vitamin E is not very long as it loses its potency if dark cool storage after 150 days...

    Great suggestions... [emoji7]
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  6. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    Best extraction method without heat is blended in blender then squeezed in a press..
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  7. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Do you have a good source for a press... Everything I find is close to 4k in price
  8. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    I haven't looked, but figure one could be fabricated from a stainless steel tube and a very heavy weight that is either stainless or somehow can't become part of the process. Another thought would be a large (heavy machinery type) with the equivalent nut welded to a metal base with a small channel cut n it, then use a large wrench to turn it every few minutes til nothing else comes out.

    I kinda like the screw and bolt idea
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2015
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  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I was wondering if an old wine press would work
  10. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

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  11. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @ditchwitch... That is awesome and it's mechanical even better
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Making a press from a car jack is not hard at all. Either a screw jack or better, a bottle jack. And a friend with a welder, and a couple half inch plates and a piece of heavy angle, and you are in business.

    (Think small log splitter with flat plates instead of splitting wedge. Add a drip pan)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
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  13. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I need to just pony up the cash and get it. We've got hazelnut shrubs (supposed to be trees, look like shrubs to me) that should start producing this year and I'd love to have hazelnut oil.
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  14. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Nice! Did you plant them? How long to maturity? Do they make a Good hedge? I like plants to do double duty. =)
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  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

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  16. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Nice! Oil press problem solved :)
  17. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Got them from Arbor Day. We planted them years ago, around the outside of our fence. They'd be larger but the neighborhood kids rode their bikes over them and busted them all to crap. Got smart and put heavy duty wire cages around them but they had to come up almost from the ground.
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  18. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Last edited: May 9, 2015
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  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    MINT- over 30 varieties of mint.


    Mint, all mint is very hardy so its more important to contain it than to worry about it not doing well.

    Before flowering, cut stems one inced from ground. Can usually haarvest one plant 2-3 times a season. Or you can just pick the leaves as you need them. Min also grow well indoors over winter

    Generally mint relaxes the peripheal blood vessels and promotes sweating. Its usefulas a compress for inflamed joint and muscles and can be used to releave congestion in the place or in conjunction with eucalyptus
    Peppermint is generally stronger in smell and used for digestive issues

    Spearmint is mostly used in cooking (mint juleps)
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  20. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Oil of Oregano is like and antibiotic. I always have a reaction to the stuff so I don't use it. I am hoping to find something else to use when I need to kill an infection.
    Ganado likes this.
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