Brentwood Darlington Apothecary

Herbal Update: Too Little Time

My plan was to write at least a couple times a week.  So much is happening, that I want to document as much as I can and this is a great place to do that.  But I’ve been alternately busy and lazy in the past couple weeks, and therefore I have failed at writing.  I am currently writing this post on my lunch break from my day job. Also, I don’t know if it’s allergies or I have another cold, but I had a bad headache all last week.  It could also just be my eating habits.  I need to get on improving those.  So many excuses.

So this post is going to be sort of a general update as to what I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks.  Some of it warrants more details, and I will try to write separate posts about those things, but here goes:

CSH: Second Month

If you haven’t read my first post on the CSH (community supported herbalism) I am participating in, you can do so here.  We had our second pick up this past week.  I still haven’t finished going through all the herbs and getting them ready.  I will write a more detailed account of the pick up and the herbs once I have finished. But I will say that I am working on horehound lozenges today!

Infused Oils

I have a few oils infusing in mason jars in paper bags on my windowsill.  This includes the comfrey that I got at from the first month’s CSH pick up and some poplar (cottonwood) buds that we got at this month’s CSH.

I also had two jars of calendula infusing; one in extra virgin olive oil and the other in apricot kernal oil.  I have a huge bag of dried calendula that I got from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Previously, I had infused some olive oil using the whole flowers, but this time I ground them up to see if that would help it get any stronger.  I still have some of the previously infused oilive oil, so I am looking forward to comparing them.  The apricot kernal oil is still infusing, but I started to strain the olive oil today.  Because the calendula was ground, I am trying something new: straining it through a Chemex coffee filter.  It’s straining slowly and I am worried I will lose a lot of oil in the filter, but we’ll see how it goes.

Filtering Calendula Infused EVOO

Chemex: not just for coffee

Tincture Shaking

I still have not strained the tinctures from from the first month CSH. Theoretically they should be done by now, but they don’t seem done to me.  Maybe I am just used to seeing the dark color of the percolation tinctures.  Regardless, I am going to continue shaking them daily until I feel like they are ready.  To remind you, that includes: mullein, thyme, Oregon Grape, comfrey, lemon balm and hawthorne flowers.  I have also started tincturing some of the herbs from this months CSH.  However, I blended the new ones instead of just fine chopping, so we’ll see how that changes things as well.

Gardening

My raised garden bed looks really good.  I have to knock on some wood, because I am still scared I will kill everything.  Also, I probably should be harvesting some of it; especially the calendula flowers, but I am afraid to do it.  So ridiculous.  I need to get over that fear.

Herbal Medicine Garden Bed

Pretty and good for you too!

Class: Integumentary System

I have started one of the patho-physiology modules through the Human Path’s Herbal Medics University.  This one is on the integumentary system (AKA skin).  It’s my first one of these modules, but I hope to get through all of the body systems.  However, skin seems like a perfect one for me to start with because I have really been into soaps, lotions, and salves recently.  Unfortunately, I am way behind.  I probably should be spending time working on the class instead of writing this post, but my plan is to get caught up this weekend.

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