Brentwood Darlington Apothecary

August CSH Pickup

This summer is zooming by and I have had so little time.  There’s been some bittersweet things: one of my best friends and my housemate moved back to Alaska. Also some awesome things: my sis came for a visit.  It was so great to get to spend time with her and my mom.  My day job consists of making sure things are moving along and that everyone is taking care of their particular steps. With so many people on vacation, it just makes it that much harder.  So work has been pretty stressful.

I’m also behind in my July class on the Cardiovascular system and so I am taking a break from classes until things calmed down.

But, on the what this post is really about: my August CSH pickup!  (To learn more about what a CSH is, check out my first post: From Garden to Medicine Cabinet.)

At the pick-up we walked into this wonderful herby smell: like basil, but with a sweet tone to it.  It was tulsi (AKA Holy Basil) that Grady had brewed into some tea and also had some drying in his dehydrator.  I helped myself to a cup of the delicious tea and headed out to the garden in the back where he had a table set out with stems of leaves and flowers covering it.  He said, we’re going to do a little magic tonight!

Which brings me to: The Herbs!

Mugwort

Mugwort is the common name to several plants, but the one we were using was Artemesia ludoviciana.  Grady explained that this was the plant that brought him into the world of herbal medicine after buying a bundle, which he placed next to his bed to have the most intense dreams.  And that’s what we were doing tonight.

The plants spread out across the table were mostly mugwort and a small amount of pearly everlasting for added interest.  We were bundling them together into bundles or wands, or whatever we really wanted to do.  They said we could burn them like sage, if we wanted, or just keep them next to our beds.  They are a dream stimulant.  I am not sure I will be keeping mine in my bedroom, because I already have crazy dreams, but maybe someday I might try it.  If I don’t have anything to important to do the next day.

I love the way this smells; similar to sage, but again, a little sweeter smelling.  However, the woman sitting next to me while we were bundling was not a fan of the smell, so to each their own.

I made two, one just with leaves, and one with flowers and some pearly everlasting added in to it.  Some people were adding in lavender, but I decided not to, because lavender is my go to for so many things, I thought it might be good to have something like this without it.

Mugwort bundles

Mugwort bundles drying

By the way, that is the only picture I got of my plants this time.  I thought about taking pictures now of all the bottles as the herbs are tincturing, but there’s not really anything special, so I didn’t bother.  I will do better next time.

Tulsi

AKA Holy Basil.  The lovely smell entered into and the lovely tea were both from the Tulsi.  We got so much of it.  It had smaller darker leaves than basil and little purple flowers.  I tinctured a quart, have a quart jar of ACV pack with herb, and then dried the remainder.  I have made tea with the dried her a couple times and it just tastes good and seems to elevate my mood.

Sue Ellen even gave us a medicinal pesto recipe, that if I had more time, I would have liked to try it.

It’s a good immune booster and a nervine that also helps sharpen memory.  All around just an awesome herb.  I am so glad we were introduced to it!

Boneset

This was such an interesting looking plant.  We checked it out growing in the garden as well and it had so many bees all over it, which was awesome! It has an interesting floral smell, that I can’t quite describe.

This one is good for the flu! And you definitely only want to use it then, because it’s one that floats very close to the line between medicine and toxin.  It should only be used acutely.  Grady said, this is one that you hope you never need, but if you do need it, you will be so thankful you have it!

I just tinctured all of it.  It didn’t quite fit in the quart jar, so I also have an 8oz jar tincturing as well.

Skullcap

I was excited to get this one, because this is another one that I have a tincture I made from dried herb purchased from Mountain Rose.  It’s one that I have been told that you should only tincture fresh, so I will be interested to see the difference between the fresh and dried tincture.

Grady told us that it’s a fantastic nervine that is great when your nervous system in “on the fritz”.  It’s a little bitter, so can be good fir digestion as well.  Grady said that it’s very different with tincture vs tea: tincture is more for nerve toning, while tea is more lights out.  I am interested to try to the tea, because I haven’t used it that way before.

I ended up tincturing all of it, since I can get dried herb easily from Mountain Rose, and in fact still have a little left from my earlier purchase.

Milky Oats

We were supposed to get this last month, but the oats weren’t ready so they subbed chamomile.  They told us that freezing wouldn’t compromise the quality of the oats.  I had so little time this past month that they went right in the freezer.  I will try to get to them soon!

We’ve got two parts we can use with this: the milky oat tops and the stems.  They told us the oat tops are a great nerve tonic that’s good for people recovering from substance abuse and can help rebuild the myelin sheaths between neurons. The stems, or straw, make a very nutritious tea.

They mentioned that there will be a milky substance in the tincture that contains some of the medicine. So I will make sure to shake it up really well each time I use it.

That’s it for the August pick up, but I have one more thing…

Update on St John’s Wort oil

I recently strained out the oil I made from the St John’s Wort from the July pick up. It came out this gorgeous red color!  I have sciatica and I was having some nerve pain down my leg. I rubbed a little bit of the oil on my leg and I felt like it really helped. My plan is to keep some as oil, but I am going to use some to make a salve with calendula and comfrey infused oils as well.  I am also going to use some to make a liniment.  Both of these are recipes I am trying from Rosemary Gladstar’s book.  (Which I highly recommend for anyone just getting an interest in herbal medicine.

St John's Wort Oil

I promise that is not a jar of blood!

Straining St John's Wort oil

Straining the oil. Just gorgeous!

That’s it for now!  I still love this program and I am excited to see what we’ll get in our final two months!

Cheers
Erin

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