Prairie Magic Herbals

Prairie Magic Herbals

giving voice to the medicine plants

Eyes,Ears,Nose and Throat--MENF Oct 22,2016 Topeka,Kansas

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  All material is provided for general information purposes only . Any suggestions made and all herbs discussed/listed are not intended to diagnose, treat,cure or prevent any disease nor be considered medical advice or consultation. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the herbs/plants discussed. Any statements made about products, herbs, and/or remedies have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.).  .Joanne Bauman, Prairie Magic Herbals assumes no responsibility for the results of self-diagnosis and/or self-medication. If you are on other medications/ drugs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a diagnosed medical condition, please consult your health care professional before taking any herbs/botanicals,dietary, nutritional,or homeopathic products.

Please do not share  or reprint to redistribute my presentations without permission: contact

Herbs For Eyes,Ears,Nose & Throat
Joanne Bauman   

Every year with change in the weather, abundance of sugary goodies at Halloween and holidays to suppress the immune system, and likewise, low immunity from very low from moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency (from being inside all winter out of the sun), closed environs spreading viruses (school,work,airplanes) and more time indoors with drying heat a plethora of illnesses pop up, most common among these are ear, nose and throat problems. 

Kitchen helpers-- ginger, onion and garlic. These items coupled with health promoting  lifestyle and diet can prove as potent preventive measures against such problems. Avoid white flour,excess of salt and sugar, keep yourself hydrated by increasing the intake of fluids like water, fruit juices—avoid caffeine/alcohol dehydrating. Various kinds of herbal teas-- chamomile, peppermint, tulsi (holy basil) can be beneficial.  Gargling with warm water mixed with lemon juice, half teaspoon of salt is another simple home remedy. Inhaling steam helps in opening the clogged nasal tracks, which makes breathing easier.

Also, I am not a doctor so while we can discuss some herbal options , it is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure EENT conditions. If you are on other medications/ drugs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a diagnosed medical condition, please consult your health care professional
The Eyes and Nutrition:Let Food Be Your Medicine
A number of nutrients have been found to be essential to eye health. Carotenoids help prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Eat your orange/yellows—carrots, winter squash butternut…, sweet potato, pumpkin, cantaloupe,  apricots, yellow/orange peppers, leafy greens -- Collard greens, Kale ,spinach Tomato paste/sauce  Spinach (Spinacea oleracea)
Vitamin E  helps prevent oxidative damage to the small capillaries in the eyes and reduces smoking-related visual/optic degeneration and the formation of cataracts. Flavonoids and isoflavones are powerful antioxidants and antiinflammatory phytochemicals which support connective tissue, veins, capillaries, and arteries: consume Cranberries, Black cherries, Elderberry extract ,Mulberry,  Blueberry/Bilberry, Black Currant, Green tea , Dark chocolate, Turmeric rhizome.
Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils are most effective) have been found to reduce the incidence of age-related macular degeneration and help ease dry eyes.
Other nutrients zinc (pumpkin seeds, oysters), Vitamin C , selenium (Brazil nuts),
Smoking,strong sunlight, obesity and diabetes are all significant risk factors for degenerative eye disease.

Eye Strain
The rise in cell phones, iPads, computer screens has led to an increase in ocular and visual problems, including eye discomfort, blurring of distant objects, eye strain, and visual fatigue.
•    Take breaks
•    reduce glare
•    eat foods such as bilberries, blueberries, cranberries, black raspberries and red raspberries.
•     grape seed extract  has been recommended for eye disorders like eye strain, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
•    Turmeric-- 
•    Warm or cool compresses
•    Rose Water soothes eye strain and it is a natural relaxer. First, splash cold water on your eyes and dab the water with a towel. Now, take two cotton balls and immerse them in rose water. Then, place the wet balls on your closed eyes and do it twice a day. Strain and dry.
•    A common culinary herb, fennel may also help bring moisture to dry eyes. Apply a fennel compress to cool, refresh and restore moisture to dry, tired yes. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of dried fennel, allow the mixture to steep for at least 15 minutes, and then fully strain the herbs from the liquid. Make a compress by soaking a clean cotton cloth or cotton pads in the warm tea.  Apply to closed eyes and leave on for at least 10 minutes, or until your eyes are no longer dry. Can get fennel tea bags and use those.
•    Chicory (Cichorium intybus) and Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) flowers also make eye washes and soothe dry eyes.

Pink eye/Conjunctivitis
Acute conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a contagious viral or bacterial infection  with symptoms including irritation of the eye, mild pain, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and in bacterial cases, oozing discharge like glue to eyes. It is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops.

Breast milk— If you are or know a breastfeeding Mom , a drop or two of breastmilk expressed into a cup and then applied with a clean eyedropper to the infected eye has been used to relieve pinkeye. Reapplication may be necessary every hour for a few hours, until alleviated. At an herb conference, a woman asked if there were any breastfeeding women and a woman helped out; by that afternoon, her eye was much improved.

 Herbs to consider—chickweed, chamomile, calendula, eyebright (more allergy eyes)
  Chickweed (stellaria media) common healing yard weed in spring.  Moist, tastes like sprouts and will have tiny hairs along one side of stem only. To prepare a poultice, gather a large handful of fresh chickweed and rinse it under cold water. Shake dry.  Bruise it until juicy and apply a quarter or a third of the bundle over the infected eye and cover with a cotton cloth (or if preferred, chop the herb and wrap in a thin cheesecloth/tea bag. When the poultice feels warm, discard it and replace it with another third of the bundle, continuing the process for about 20 minutes.   It is critically important to use fresh chickweed for each application so bacteria are not reintroduced. Generally symptoms will at least start to go away after the first application, but use several more chickweed poultices, once or twice a day for several more days.

Susun Weed’s Chickweed Eye Lotion
4 oz/125ml distilled water
4 oz/125ml witch hazel
1 Tbs/15ml chickweed tincture
Combine all ingredients in a clean plastic dispenser-top bottle. Use pre-pared witch hazel from drugstore. Shake well.
To use: Wet a cloth or cotton ball with lotion and apply to closed eyes for 3 minutes. Discontinue if eyes are sensitive.

Chamomile (Matricaria )- Simply place cool, moist chamomile tea bags on each closed eye for about 10 minutes. Repeat this every couple hours. You can buy these tea bags at natural grocery markets or even some supermarkets. Make sure chamomile is the only ingredient. If you have bulk chamomile flowers, simply use a muslin tea bag. You can also just wash the eyes out with the tea, make a compress with a cloth, or even soak a cotton ball in the tea and wipe the eyes every so often
Chamomile also soothes tired and irritate eyes.

Calendula   this herb is soothing and reduces swelling and itching as well as inflammation. Antiseptic, it is helpful in infections like pink eye, irritation due to pollution and allergies.Use home grown or bulk herb to make a compress or use as an eyewash or eye drop, as you would chamomile.
Chamomile and Calendula are both Asteraceae (Aster-a-cee-a) family; if you are allergic to other asters, like daisy or ragweed, you may be sensitive.

 You can also use Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis).Herbalist David Winston likes if it is viral conjunctivitis . Infuse a teaspoon of the herb in a cup of hot water. Allow to cool, strain. Put the tea in an eye cup (available at pharmacies) and use it in the recommended way. You can wash the eye using 1 cup of boiled and cooled water. Add 5 drops of Eyebright tincture. Use a cotton ball. Never use straight tincture in an eye. Eyebright can also ease eye strain from overuse, bright lights and other stresses. It soothes and heals burning, itching eyes, relieves light sensitivity and the sticky eye gum or yellow discharges that sometimes occur in irritated eyes. Use this herb as eye drops or take alcohol extract (tincture) internally. 

Other options: Berberine containing herbs, including Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis),  Oregon Grape root (Mahonia spp.), among others have broad spectrum antibacterial activity.

Sometimes conjunctivitis is associated with upper respiratory infection—incorporate immune support like elderberry, garlic, Echinacea. Pick 1 plantain leaf bruise a bit, pour 1 C boiling water over. Steep. Drink 1 C day achy, swollen glands,maybe viral

Styes, a stye is a small bump caused by the infection of an eyelash follicle.. Do not use old eye makeup or stop using eye makeup altogether. Wash your hands regularly, especially if you wear contacts. Styes may be sign of depressed immune system.  Potato has astringent qualities that shrink body tissues and can give relief to skin irritations. To utilize a potato in this manner, grate it, wrap it in cheesecloth and apply it directly to the stye. Find a plantain leaf, chew it or bruise it to break the cell wall, poultice it—place it—on lid. Also, calendula, chamomile again can be used. So can a Demulcent (relieving inflammation or irritation). drawing poultice…slippery elm, marshmallow root put a little in 4 x 4 gauze, tea bag…dip in hot water apply…do 2 then as one cools, you’ll have next switch out
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye which causes impaired vision. Impaired circulation to the eye caused by  aging, obesity, taking steroids, exposure to UV radiation and other conditions are associated with cataracts. Herbs cannot achieve the dramatic benefits of surgery, but can help prevent formation of cataracts and slow their progression. Wearing sunglasses and quitting smoking can also help slow the progression of cataracts. 
Eat Veggies, dark leafy greens, purple beets, berries. Green tea.

Herbs and Supplements For Cataracts
Alpha-lipoic acid. The preferred form is R-lipoic acid, although the S-lipoic acid is active as well. In an animal study it delayed
onset of cataracts and inhibited their progression.
Blueberry/Bilberry fruit (Vaccinium spp.)
Regular consumption of the berries can enhance the integrity of the capillaries of the eyes, help prevent cataract formation and slow the progression. Herbalist David Winston suggests Solid extract: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon twice daily.

Deborah Frances ND, employs Homeopathic cineraria maritima  natural ophthalmic drops  Dusty Miller.
Ginkgo leaf (Ginkgo biloba)
Increases circulation to the eye
Resveratrol antioxidant phytochemicals are found in red wine, purple and red grapes and Japanese Knotweed root. In animal studies, Resveratrol was found to help prevent cataract formation.
Turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa)
 Winston suggests :Tea (Infusion): 1/2 tsp. dried, freshly powdered rhizome, 8 oz. hot water, steep covered for 45 minutes, take 4 oz. 4x/day. Tincture.
Glaucoma is a condition where the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye increases and causes damage to the ocular nerve. Congestion of micro-capillaries and lymph vessels plays a role in glaucoma . Using herbs that move blood and lymph may enhance the efficacy of treatments for glaucoma.: Cleavers herb (Galium aparine), Self Heal herb (Prunella vulgaris) Burdock root (Arctium lappa, A. minus), Calendula flower (Calendula officinalis
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa)
With the exception of states with medical marijuana laws, this drug is illegal even when prescribed for medical usage to reduce eye pressure. Clinician David Winston shares the synthetic derivatives  are not effective for treating Glaucoma or for pain relief. Likewise, he said, Coleus (Coleus forskohlii)Eye drops have shown benefits for treating glaucoma; grown in Nepal, Thailand and India. Unfortunately, Winston states, standardized Coleus eye drops are not available in the United States.

The ear, is not only responsible for hearing, it also plays a part in maintaining balance.  It is important to seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms last for a day or more:
•    Pain
•    Difficulty hearing
•    Discharge from the ear
•    Ringing or buzzing sound
•    Loss of balance
The ear mainly consists of the outer ear, ear canal, eardrum, middle and inner ear, and eustachian tube. The eardrum is the thin membrane that receives and transmits sound waves through the ear, and the eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the nasal cavity. This helps to equalize air pressure which is important to the health of the ear.
Auditory Problems
Loud music, leaf blowers, and industrial equipment can all lead to decreased hearing and deafness. Other factors that can contribute: family history, aging, diseases, trauma, some medications, and
environmental (lead, pesticides, solvents and mercury).

Otitis media (middle ear infection)
This is the most common ear problem that affects young children, though adults are not immune to it. This happens when the eustachian tube becomes inflamed from something such as a common cold, sinus infection, or allergies. This results in fluid building up in the middle ear. Viral or bacterial infection of this nature can cause the eardrum to become inflamed, which may result in a build up of pus or fluid behind the eardrum.
A feeling of blockage or pressure may be felt in the infected ear along with pain and fever. Hearing may also be muffled. Avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke, increasing Vitamin C and zinc intake, and eliminating diary from the diet are good starting points for alleviating.
Echinacea root (Echinacea angustifolia)
Is effective for acute ear infection with pain and a yellow or green mucus discharge. 
 Fresh tincture. Can combine with
Eyebright fresh herb (Euphrasia spp.)
Fresh tincture

Topicals: If you are certain there is no  perforated eardrum; eardrums are intact (tympanic membrane)
Garlic oil (Allium sativum), Mullein flower oil (Verbascum thapsus), St. John’s wort oil (Hypericum perforatum)—good to comfort nerve pain in ear.
Lavender infused oil or essential oil (Lavendula angustifolia) couple drops
Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.)
Is an old time remedy for acute Otitis media. The warm tobacco smoke is gently blown into the ear to relieve pain.

Commonly known as swimmer’s ear, an infection of the outer ear canal, happens when water gets trapped here. A fungus or bacteria may then grow in the ear canal. This kind of infection does not just infect swimmers. A person cleaning their ear improperly with a cotton swab can also get swimmer’s ear.
The affected ear may feel blocked and may be accompanied by pain, itching, and a foul-smelling discharge. In some cases, partial hearing loss is reported, but this is only temporary.
Similar garlic,mullein, calendula, thyme, etc…fungal or antibacterial ear drops

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person often hears noises in their ears—buzzing, ringing, humming, roaring… Michelangelo wrote in his memoirs that he was “plagued by the incessant chirping of crickets.”  Any number of ear problems could attribute to these noises, such as constantly being around loud noises, certain medications, trauma, alcoholism, or high blood pressure. Damaged nerve endings or the bones in the inner ear stiffening can be to blame. Many times, tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition, but is usually not serious. Ear wax build up can even be the cause. The primary offenders are aspartame (NutraSweet), aspirin, steroids, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, anti-seizure drugs, antibiotics (especially cephalosporins) and pain killers. If drug initiation corresponds with onset of tinnitus — bingo! Some tinnitus is due to circulatory problems, including low blood volume. Make sure you are not anemic, especially if also being tired, pale and having heavy menses. physician will perform a series of tests in this situation to find the source of the problem.

Susun Weed teaches Violet flower oil in ears eases tinnitus.

Matthew Wood’s fav remedy is Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) tea 2-3 cups day til the noise goes away ; especially when congestion is a cause. It is the only plant I know of that will, as a tea or tincture, target congestion in the Eustachian tubes and help it to drain. It has been used with great success in relieving tinnitus, especially due to injury, though it may take several months of use before improvement is seen (or heard…). Matthew Wood reports excellent results from using it to treat middle ear infections, or cases where a sore throat spreads upwards into the ears. Ground Ivy is a plentiful min family member growing in yards spring through May typically. 
•    1 teaspoon of dried flower/leaves, or 2 teaspoons fresh flower/leaves per cup. Cover with hot, almost boiling water and infuse for 15 minutes. Drink 1 cup, 3x a day. Add peppermint or honey to taste.
• Express fresh juice with press and take 1 teaspoon 3x a day.
• Tincture dosage: 1 – 3 ml 3 x a day, folk method

Fenugreek Seeds tea also may reduce symptoms associated with tinnitus.

Plantain may be drank as a tea three times a day for 6 weeks - or a plantain infusion can be carefully used to rinse out the ears.

Gingko Biloba  Of all herbs studied for tinnitus, gingko biloba is the most widely researched. Scientists believe extracts taken from gingko's leaves help circulation and enhance blood flow to the ears which can reduce the annoying buzzing and clicks associated with tinnitus.  The American Herb Association reports it can take around 3 months for gingko's effects on tinnitus to be apparent.

Not only is the nose the organ responsible for our sense of smell, it is also the main entry way for air to get into our lungs. Linked to the nasal cavity are the sinuses – air pockets in the face and skull which are also covered with mucous membranes that help warm, moisturize, and cleanse the incoming air. 
As our standards of living become more urban; and as our food becomes more sterile, processed, and modified, we suffer from seasonal allergies, food allergies, autoimmune diseases, and emotional instability.

Allergies Seasonal allergy symptoms differ for each person but generally include:
•    red, itchy eyes
•    sneezing
•    runny nose or clogged nose
•    sinus headaches
•    wheezing
•    watery eyes

Based on the time of year a person is having their problems, you can make a rough estimation of their allergies and symptoms.
•    allergic reaction to tree pollens generally bring discomfort in the spring.
•    allergic reaction to grass pollens generally have the most discomfort in the summer.
•    allergic reaction to weed pollens (ragweed most often) are miserable in the fall.

Food choices can also play a part in allergies. Many people find that an elimination diet helps them determine which foods are exacerbating the immune response. Gluten,soy and dairy are often culprits. Because seasonal allergies are a highly inflammatory condition, eating a diet high in antioxidants and healthy fats will help to reduce the systemic inflammation. Flavonoids and Vit C. are helpful here again too: Deborah Frances rosehip Jam…take deseeded Rosehips and put in a jar(seeds and inside rosehips fuzzy), cover with blueberry,elderberry,or grape juice. Grate  orange rind in or add some orange juice. Take spoonful or add to tea or toast.
 Regular intake (ideally with every meal, especially if your allergies are bad and chronic) of bitter greens, and bitter roots. They act as “prebiotics,” making for a strong digestive response, and a decreased sweet craving. Inulin, a plant starch, is a prebiotic that helps absorb and make use of nutrients, aids digestion and supports the immune system. Roots like Echinacea, burdock, elecampane and others when tinctured in alcohol may have white inulin at the bottom of the jar—don’t panic!
 Probiotics, which can come in many forms: soil, fermented foods (kvass, kraut), and beverages (kefir) as supplement
Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)contains steroid-like anti-inflammatory compounds that inhibit inflammation and histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, hives and bronchial constriction. Cordyceps fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) Maitake fungus (Grifola frondosa) also support immune system.
Onions have an anti-histamine response in the body! The high sulfur and quercetin have been found to alleviate allergic responses. . Quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, chemicals that cause allergic reaction.
Bee pollen and raw organic honey especially local to your area can aid allergic reactions.
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) One of the best nourishing tonics. It gives natural energy, strengthens the adrenals, steadies nerves, and is said to restore flexibility to blood vessels.  Loaded with calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, iron, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. It is reputed to have more chlorophyll than any other herb. Stinging nettles nourish and support the entire body, particularly the endocrine, immune, urinary, respiratory, and circulatory systems. Susun Weed advises that “Nettle is an ally which – combined with the Wise Woman ways – can help the gradual healing of a person with a condition such as hay fever, allergies etc… Try a cup/250 ml of nettle infusion, or a half cup/125 ml cooked fresh greens and pot liquor, or a teaspoonful of the juice every nice spring day for at least a month.”
Nettles are best used as a tonic herb for chronic allergy sufferers. Expect to use nettles regularly for one week to one month before realizing significant improvement and relief.

!!!!Precautions Note: Herbs To Watch If You Have Allergies  The Asteraceae  / Compositae  family. Chamomile, Echinacea ,Goldenrod, Dandelion root, Milk Thistle can  cause breathing problems and allergic reactions in susceptible, or sensitized, individuals, especially those with an existing ragweed allergy because of the shared plant family. People with an allergy to ragweed pollen may experience worsened allergy symptoms.

Goldenrod(Solidago canadensis) Contrary to PR and use in allergy ads on tv, No one is, no one can be, allergic to goldenrod pollen. Why? It has virtually none. What little pollen it makes is sticky, all the better to stick onto insects who pollinate the goldenrod. It has 7 times the antioxidants as green tea; it shines  for allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergies. It appears in many herbal seasonal allergy formulas and for many people, it completely eliminates the itchy-red-eyes, runny-nose and excessive sneezing symptoms. Herbalist Matt Wood recommends it in small drop doses. You can also take as a tea: 3 TBS in one quart of hot water, steeped 30 minutes, daily.

Elderflower is very effective to soothe the mucous membranes, lower fever, ease a runny nose and provide some minor benefit for coughs as well. It’s also an immune boost and antiviral. You can drink an elderflower infusion daily, starting in February or March and continuing throughout the hayfever season.Also,  Elderflower has been shown to reduce severity of hay fever, taking 10 to 20 drops of liquid tincture weeks before pollen appears. 

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – Yarrow tincture reduces congestion and secretions and eases post nasal drip.  

Lemon, garlic, horseradish honey.

Eyebright herb (Euphrasia spp.)
The fresh tincture of Eyebright is useful for helping to dry up excessive sinus secretions, stabilize mast
cells and inhibit histamine response. It is also of benefit for the red, itchy eyes caused by hayfever.

Osha root (Ligusticum porteri)
conditions with profuse nasal secretions, either clear or white in color, and post-nasal drip. Tincture ;Tea (Infusion)of powdered root.

Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica)
Is used to reduce excessive sinus secretions, especially if the mucus is clear or white. Tincture ; Tea

Kudzu root/ (Pueraria lobata)
Acts as an antihistamine, helping to reduce excessive sinus secretions due to allergic rhinitis or colds. Tea (Decoction) dried root; Tincture

Herb Steams

Aromatic Herbs in steam loosen mucus, ease stuffed up nose, cough, chest congestion to make breathing easier. Steaming also clears up the ears in the process of clearing the nose and sinus.

Allergy Relief Tea Blends-- cool, minty flavored infusion blend with its citrus undertone. Nettle leaf, chickweed, Peppermint/Spearmint, Eyebright, Calendula flowers, Red Clover tops/blossom, Lavender flowers, Fennel seed.
A drying antihistamine type tea for a chronic runny nose allergic condition. Blended with Yerba Mansa, Yerba Santa, Echinacea herb, Rooibos, Nettle, Eyebright, Cleavers, Oregon Grape root, Peppermint, Spearmint.
A relieving blend of herbs that dries up non-moving mucous in the head and sinuses. Reduces excessive production of mucous, helping with sinus infections, allergies, post cold mucous build-up and post nasal drip. Fenugreek seed, Thyme, Nettle, Elecampane root, Yerba Mansa, Yerba Santa, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Orange peel
An infection in the sinuses is referred to as sinusitis. Most of the time, sinusitis starts with a cold or allergies, which cause an increase in mucous production. Sometimes, these may also cause the mucous membranes to swell and cause the mucous to build up and get trapped in the sinuses. Many times this lets bacteria grow in the sinuses.
Pain  can be felt in the cheeks, forehead, or upper jaw. Fever and sore throat also often accompany a sinus infection. Chronic infections are often related to chronic allergies (mold, dust mites), fungal infections or chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Many herbs discussed above with alleries and...
Bromelain It is an antiinflammatory enzyme extracted from the Pineapple.
Echinacea root (Echinacea angustifolia)
Eyebright fresh herb (Euphrasia spp.)
Tickseed herb (Bidens spp.)
This little-known herb is useful for people with profuse nasal secretions that are clear, white, yellow or green. The sinuses are tender and inflamed.

Sinus Nasal and Eye washes: Herbalist Jim McDonald who has had his own sinus struggles shared nasal washes and eye washes. Nasal washes can be administered by neti pot or nasal spray bottles. Be aware, especially if using nasal spray bottles that this mixture isn't preserved, and will spoil just like tea will, so use it in a day. Whatever you do, don't spray rotting tea up your nose. And if a batch of tea goes bad in a nasal spray bottle, recycle it and get a new one:
On the whole, if a tissue is swollen, inflamed and leaking fluids, it's telling you it needs an astringent. goldenrod,  weeping willow tincture added to a saline solution for sinus swelling with intense inflammation and pain. For eyewashes, astringents address swelling, inflammation and mucus discharge purple loosestrife or eyebright. Whether for the eyes of nasal cavity, don't make or use very strongly astringent preparations, as you can overshoot the mark and dry the tissues out too much, This is especially true for eyewashes.

Aromatics disperse congestion, are often antimicrobials, and like astringents also act as topical anti-inflammatories. wild bee balm, monarda fistulosa as a very mild tea for sinus inflammation and congestion; chamomile eye wash is a spectacular soothing aromatic anti-inflammatory.
These herbs help to heal damage to tissues; plantain leaf (broad or narrow). .

Sore Throat/Strep/Tonsillitis
Sore throats are a common occurrence and many sore throats herald the beginning of a cold or influenza. Sore throats can be caused by allergies/post-nasal drip, dry air, bacterial (strep) or viral infection.
Tonsillitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection and involves inflammation of the tonsils,sore throat and, in some cases, a fever, cough, headache or body aches. Smoking and excessive alcohol use can irritate the sensitive throat tissues and cause chronic sore throats.

 Salt Water Gargling
One of the most recommended home remedies for treating throat disorders.   Gargling with salt water also soothes inflamed tonsils. Saline water is prepared by adding a teaspoon of salt to a warm cup of water.

Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is made with ginger and warm water. Ginger tea can be flavored with honey and lemon, both of which increase its  immune boosting properties.

Apple cider vinegar and raw honey

Garlic, lemon honey spoonful

Burdock seed for treat tonsillitis, painful sore throats and irritative coughs.  Tea (Decoction): 1 tsp. dried seed, 8 oz., decoct 10-15 minutes, steep 45 minutes, take 2-3
cups/day  or Burdock seed Tincture

Echinacea root (Echinacea angustifolia)

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra,)
This sweet root has a long history of use for store throat, dry coughs and laryngitis. It has been shown to have antibacterial activity has demulcent, cough suppressant

Slippery Elm and Marshmallow root

Sage herb (Salvia officinalis)
For painful sore throat with excessive mucus secretion, gargle with Sage. 1 tsp. dried herb, 8 oz. hot water, steep covered for 20 minutes, gargle frequently with tea

Spilanthes herb/flower (Spilanthes spp.)
Is beneficial for sore throats where it is painful to swallow and the tissue is red with a post-nasal drip.  Tincture

Thyme herb (Thymus vulgaris)
Can be used for viral or bacterial sore throats. It inhibits infection and helps to relieve pain. Tincture. Tea:

Horehound herb (Marrubium vulgare)
Has been used for millennia for laryngitis, coughs, tonsillitis and sore throat. It has antiviral and antiinflammatory
activity. Horehound cough drops. Tea

Myrrh gum resin (Commiphora molmol)
antibacterial and promotes healing of tonsillitis, gum disease and strep throat.

Lemon Balm

Is a powerful antiseptic (antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal) useful for strep throat, tonsillitis, uvulitis and
esophagitis. Avoid use in people with bee allergies.: Tincture

Usnea lichen (Usnea barbata)
 acute throat infections; use low dose tincture powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity.strep

Plant Pictures

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Herbal First Aid Notes from MENF 2016

Legal Disclaimer/ Limitations on Liability
  All material is provided for general information purposes only . Any suggestions made and all herbs discussed/listed are not intended to diagnose, treat,cure or prevent any disease nor be considered medical advice or consultation. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the herbs/plants discussed. Any statements made about products, herbs, and/or remedies have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.).  Joanne Bauman, Prairie Magic Herbals assumes no responsibility for the results of self-diagnosis and/or self-medication. If you are on other medications/ drugs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a diagnosed medical condition, please consult your health care professional before taking any herbs/botanicals,dietary, nutritional,or homeopathic products.
Please do not share  or reprint to redistribute my presentations without permission: contact

Herbal First Aid Presented at Mother Earth News Fair Topeka,KS Oct 23,2016
Joanne Bauman   

If you are intrigued by herbal first-aid but simply don’t know where to begin, start slowly by stocking your first aid kit with a dozen or so basic, versatile herbs and herbal products that can be used to treat minor conditions.  As your comfort level  and experience with herbal preparations increases, you may find yourself turning to herbs first in most situations. Eventually, you may find yourself preparing your own herbal kit and maybe even growing the plants you frequently use .
Choose items that best suit the needs of your family. Many of the things you will need can be purchased at natural food stores or you can support a herbalist or make your own.
My approach is to give you variety of options—more tools in tool chest. May have this but not that available.

Sanitizing Naturally
 You can make this and put in a spray bottle for use at home and away. Use it topically to disinfect surfaces, including skin.  You can take Four Thieves Vinegar by the teaspoonful, use it as a salad dressing, or even add a spoonful to your bath water.
Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe: Use equal parts (about 2 Tbsp) of each the following herbs or what you have available:
•    Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Peppermint,  Oregano, Basil, Monarda…
•    A handful of garlic cloves (optional)—cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg,
Blend ingredients in a glass jar and cover completely with apple cider vinegar. Cold infuse (let sit at room temperature in a cool place) for six weeks and then strain off herbs and garlic.

Insects: Bites, Stings :How to Deter and Ease

Native Americans used plants such as sweetgrass , rosemary, cedar, catnip,  and yarrow  to keep mosquitoes away. Eat a plantain leaf a day.
•    Plant insect repelling herbs in your yard--lavender, thyme, mint and citronella near  patio.
•    Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family  (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, basil, lemon balm,etc or citronella, lemongrass, etc.)to deter insects.
•     Yarrow (Achillea millifolium) 

•    If you use Essential oils (lavender, cedarwood , basil, eucalyptus..) suspended in a base of water and witch hazel or alcohol. (Caution: essential oil is specifically contraindicated for so many people - especially pregnant women. It is powerful and can effect people and pets in the vicinity of the user. Keep oil away from eyes and mouth—take care not to rub your eyes right after applying the repellent with your fingers. Keep all oils away from children (ingesting e.o.’s can be fatal). E.O not sustainable (takes large amount of plant to make 16 oz.
Essential oils are not earth friendly or sustainable.Use them sparingly ; never take internally or ingest them.  It takes  250 pounds of lavender . Three tons! of Melissa,  10,000 pounds of roses to make 16 oz of those essential oils. Use plant infused oils which use a lot less plant, typically a jar or hydrosols which may use 6 cups to make.

Ticks---  Do tick checks. Eat garlic/onions. pyrethrum (Pyrethrum is found in the Chrysanthemum plant, Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) . 
Rub food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) into your dog's coat after traveling through tall grasses or other tick habitat.  diatomaceous earth kills many insect pests. Note: avoid inhaling the dust as much as possible and do not do this if you or your dog has respiratory problems.
Essential oil of rose geranium Pelargonium capitatum x radens.

If  you do get a tick bite, Susun Weed suggests echinacea tincture for immune support. Or a dropperful of St. John’s  wort (Hypericum) tincture three times a day to help inactivate the Lyme's organism. (SJW can move meds out of the body faster;caution with birth control pills or meds). Herbalist Stephen Buhner is the “go-to” has written Lyme books.

What To Do When You Get Insect Bites

Mosquitoes, oak mites…Plantain  called “nature’s bandage,” plantain has the wonderful trait of being able to adhere to the skin without any artificial means. Identify it by the five parallel veins running the length of each leaf. (Most leaves have a central vein with smaller ones branching out from it.) You may find broad leafed, with wide leaves and a tall seed head, or narrow leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata), with long thin leaves and a small flower head. Either can be used.  Plantain stop the itch, sting and irritation of bites, reduces the swelling, promotes the skin healing, draws out foreign matter.
How to use plantain? Make a fresh leaf poultice. Pick a leaf, chew it well (or bruise it up) and put it on the bite. "Like magic" the irritation, heat, and swelling get fast relief! (Yes, you can dry plantain leaves and carry them in your first aid kit. Chew like you would fresh leaves.)

Plantain oil--for when you can't get fresh
Pick Plantago leaves when they are vibrant and green and no dew. Chop them coarsely and pack (full but not jammed) into a clean, very dry jar. Add olive oil, dislodge air bubbles with a knife or chopstick until the jar is filled to the very top. label and cap securely. Let sit out of direct sunlight (e.g., kitchen cupboard). Decant after six weeks, pouring off the oil and squeezing out what remains in the plant material. Compost the herb. Use this for insect bites, all itches, and minor cuts, scrapes.

Mud is the oldest and simplest poultice. Powdered white clay, which should be mixed with a little water can be applied directly to the sting as soon as possible. The clay pulls the poisonous material from the bite or sting to the skin’s surface and keeps it from spreading. Clay can be kept on hand at all times and is less likely to contain fungal spores than the real thing. Finely ground grains such as rice or oatmeal, or bland starchy substances like potato, or arrowroot powder also used as soothing poultices to ease itching and pain from insect bites.
You could also combine plantain or echinacea tincture with bentonite clay into a tacky paste poultice. Echinacea dramatically lessens any allergic response that might occur. Restrict activity for at least 20 minutes to prevent the venoms from circulating through the bloodstream. Lavender also stops itching and reduces swelling.

Bites and stings can cause allergic reactions. If you know that someone is allergic to a bite or sting from a particular insect, do not depend solely on herbal first-aid—immediate medical attention is required. Wheezing, swelling and hives are all indications of a serious, possibly fatal problem that requires immediate medical attention.
Gentian Bach essence is helpful for Anaphylactic shock (pale, cold, difficulty breathing and staying conscious) from stings, food allergies,etc..   Osha root tincture (Ligusticum porterii); . Because over-use and over-harvesting endanger this plant,  use osha in tiny amounts (3-5 drops) and only in emergencies. A half- ounce bottle of osha root tincture in a kit would do.

Drawing Out/Boils/Splinters
To draw out insect venom,draw boils to a head, draw out splinters,thorns or foxtails….add a half a cup plantain,  burdock or comfrey leaves or fresh chickweed or calendula flowers to 2 cups boiling water. Let this steep for about 10 minutes, or to luke warm tolerable temperature. Take a clean wash cloth or cheesecloth and dip the cloth into the plant water. Then apply as a compress to area--it is ok if some plant is applied with the compress.
If you can-if the area is a foot or finger, you can immerse the area into the soak for drawing.
Black Drawing salves with charcoal or White pine sap salves are also used.

Minor Cuts, Wounds, Scrapes,Abrasions 
Minor scrapes, cuts..The first order of business is always to staunch the bleeding and prevent shock in serious injury. Again, get to the emergency room with major wounds or open abrasions.  Clean and wash wound well (soap and water) making sure you debrid—get dirt, gravel,etc out; wash with dried or chopped Echinacea or Yarrow. Echinacea boosts the immune system and increases the supply of white blood cells to an infected area. Echinacea (and yarrow)are also antibiotic and antibacterial to gram positive bacteria such as strep or staph.

Those allergic to pollen of other members of the aster family, such as ragweed, may also be allergic to Echinacea. Echinacea used internally may not be appropriate if you have an impaired immune system response.

Yarrow (white)aka woundwort stops the bleeding quickly, brings the edges of the wound together, and promotes healing with the minimum scar tissue.. Yarrow also assists in dispersing pooled blood from under skin. Herbalist Matthew Wood (Book of Herbal Wisdom) shares amazing stories of yarrow’s ability to help in several accidents –one a chainsaw, a lawnmower, and a barb wire fence accident. 

 Plantain (Plantago major) can be used directly (apply bruised leaves) to halt bleeding of minor scrapes and cuts and allow outlet vent for pus.

Do not apply Comfrey, Calendula, Goldenseal on a open,deep wound, puncture wounds, or wound likely to infect--- the rapid skin growth that comfrey leaf  and calendula initiate can allow infection to get trapped and proliferate underneath.  Herbalists caution against sealing up inflammation, pus, and dirt, resulting in systemic infection rather than cure.

Tea Tree oil. (Melaleuca leucadendron) oil has strong antifungal, antibiotic properties. dilute two drops in 1 cup of water to use as an antiseptic wash for wounds. Apply one drop to a bite or sting.
Eastern Red cedar— (Thuja plicata) likewise is antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and is more bioregional to us than tea tree.
A small amount of bleeding cleans dirt and foreign particles from a wound. Some herbs can be applied directly as a poultice (yarrow, plantain…shepherd’s purse ) or 10 drops of yarrow or shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa) tincture/alcohol extract can be diluted in 1/4 cup water.
Place an herbal compress over the injury and apply pressure. Try to slow the flow of blood by raising the injured area higher than the heart. For deep cuts, or if bleeding does not stop within a minute or two, be sure to get medical help.
Once bleeding is arrested, the area needs to be cleaned and disinfected with an antiseptic.

Keep an Onion around---apply slices to a bruise/sprain to reduce swelling and discoloration. Loosely wrap a cloth around to keep in place. Leave on 15-20 minutes; repeat a couple times at least or as needed.

The best herbs for treating bruises are those that discourage swelling and promote quick healing, such as arnica, Saint-John’s-wort and witch hazel. May use fresh (infusion), or tinctures as compress or use oils or gels. 
Arnica. (Arnica montana). Best immediately after an injury and the longer one waits to give arnica, the less dramatically will it work. Arnica should not be used longer than 2 weeks.  Do Not use arnica on open / broken skin.  Arnica makes a great massage liniment for sore and cramped muscles. Arnica is available as a topical gel, oil,and combined with witch hazel, and internally, homeopathic arnica tablets .

Our bioregion equivalent to arnica is Saint Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) Should be made with fresh  aerial parts/ blossoms at peak (June 21st or so).    
Hypericum preparations include: alcohol extracts, infused oils, hypericum witch hazel. 

Minor Burns and Sunburn
Talking primarily about sunburn.  When intense heat is applied to the skin the living cells are destroyed.
•    First degree-- the outer layer of the skin is involved; red, rough, painful tissue.

Whenever you are in doubt about a burn’s severity, seek help from a professional health care practitioner. Burns from chemical and electric shocks require special treatment, and a superficial burn over a large area can be more serious than a deep, small burn, because extensive nerve damage and dehydration are possible. After a doctor has treated even serious burns, herbal preparations can incorporate into your follow-up care.

If a minor burn occurs, there are several steps you can take for immediate treatment of the burn. Run cool water, not ice water, over the areas where the skin is unbroken 10-15 minutes.  Soak the burned skin in this cool water. Do not apply water if the burn occurred in a cold environment. Instead, use a clean, cold and wet towel to reduce the pain. Use nonstick pads only or sterile bandage to protect a burn from friction and pressure.
Do not apply oils, butter or creams to a burn.
•    Aloe fresh cut and squeezed  or aloe gel is helpful.
•     Plantain leaf or fresh hypericum/st johns blossoms infused and cooled as a wash.
•    Lavender: For burns you can add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil to aloe gel or a wash.
•    Tea: For too much sun sunburn, always keep tea bags, especially black tea,Earl Grey,or chamomile around. Make a strong tea 4 bags. Family size bags work good for a tub. Never soak a burn in hot water.  Let tea cool, swish around.  To use, lay the cool, wet teabags on the burned skin for a period of ten to twenty minutes. You may also soak a cloth into the tea infused water and gently pat onto the sunburned skin.  Repeated every 45 minutes or so until bedtime.
•    Herb Vinegars:  (do not apply near eyes).  sunburn vinegar for topical spray 1 part vinegar to 1 part good water. For the sunburn vinegar, make a jar of any helpful herbs, cover with apple cider vinegar, let sit and steep in cupboard 6 weeks. Strain off herbs.  Options:  Calendula, chamomile, rose petals, plantain leaf, violet blossoms, lavender, and elder flowers.

Bee Balm/Sweet Leaf (Monarda fistulosa)
Matthew Wood says in Native American healing, burns should not be treated with cold but with heat. Cold only drives the heat further in, but heat allows the burn or fire to flow out in its similar so to speak, into the hot medicine. Matthew Wood explains that sweet leaf is a fiery hot remedy that will draw the heat back to the plant and out of the body. The flower tops need to be exposed to saliva to unlock the burn medicine in the plant so they are chewed and placed on the wound. Sweet leaf is especially effective for burns where there is a cold sweat. .

Rashes/Poison Ivy/Oak

If you are allergic to poison ivy, you're more likely to be allergic to poison oak and poison sumac, because all three plants contain the same rash-triggering plant oil called urushiol (pronounced yoo-ROO-shee-all). Immediately wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and cool water, or sponge with alcohol to remove the oily resin.

Baking soda wash helps as does bentonite clay which draws the irritating oils out.

Plantain and chickweed or Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) wash or compress. Fresh bruised and squeezed

Jewelweed ( Impatiens capensis) on poison ivy,etc.  You can also make a spray with witch hazel to preserve jewelweed. There are sprays at natural health stores, etc. Some people find jewelweed soap soothing but soap depends on how it is made and may not be beneficial.

Other remedies include Grindelia (Grindelia camporum), also known as gumweed, contains resins and tannins to ease the pain and itching of plant rashes. It’s available as a tincture and also as a spray specifically for treating poison oak/poison ivy rashes.

Calendula gel or sprays or blossom washes .

Homeopathic Rhus tox tablets or gel, sprays (Triflora gel from Boericke and tafel homeopathic gel). Oatmeal poultice can quiet itch and help heal.

Bruise 1 c. nasturtium flowers and leaves and tie them in a cloth or muslin bag. Place it in a bath or gently scrub yourself with it.

Bach Rescue remedy. This flower essence  was created by Dr Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – (Impatiens. Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, Clematis) Rescue Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness. At the very least keep some on hand at all times, as it is applicable to any situation where shock, panic, trauma or stress of any kind is involved.  Used for emotional trauma for all ages, flower essences work quickly. Rubbing the drops on the temples and wrists if unable to take anything orally will have an immediate calming influence. Rescue Remedy is also available as a spray, lozenges and gum.

Rose elixir  use like Rescue Remedy, for any trauma, panic, fear or stressful situation for child, adult or animal. It’s calming, pleasant and helps to move someone out of a paralyzing shock or stuck emotion.  calming without sedating.

 Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) invites you to crawl into her lap to quiet nervous irritability, tension, eases upset, all while soothing and strengthening the entire nervous system.  As tincture, 20 drops can alleviate frazzled nerves, emotional upset when you can't seem to get ahold of yourself.

Sickness/upset tummy
Ginger capsules/crystallized ginger. Great remedy for tummy upsets, including motion sickness, morning sickness and gas.

Chamomile tea calms “belly aches” gas and bloating. Mints such as Peppermint, Spearmint, Catnip..can ease upset stomachs—home you can keep fresh on hand or put tea bags in your kit.

Dandelion (all parts in an herb vinegar), dandelion tea, dandelion root tea, supports digestion, eases indigestion.

 Supplies For Your Medicine/First Aid Kit (Ideas Anyway)

 A First Aid Manual/or book similar to “Where There is No Doctor” by David Werner, Jane Maxwell. Or The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton
• Adhesive bandage strips: Various sizes, including butterfly closure bandages.
• Bandage materials: Sterile gauze pads, a roll of gauze, adhesive bandage tape. Nonstick pads, etc.
• Elastic bandage like Ace: For sprains or strains.
•Dr. Bronner’s or other biodegradable soap
• Alcohol (rubbing): Small plastic bottle for removing poison oak/ivy oils from the skin.
•    Hydrogen Peroxide to clean wounds
• Cosmetic clay (Bentonite/Kaolin): With drying and drawing properties, clay is useful for healing skin rashes and insect bites and drawing out. Store in a small plastic container.
•    Charcoal tablets (possible poisoning) also drawing
• Electrolyte replacement: Powdered drink packets such as Emergen-C.
• Moleskin: Blister treatment.
• Scissors: Small pair for cutting bandages, adhesive tape, moleskin.
•    Keep a couple needles in a jar/bottle. Safety pins are also good to have around.
• Matches
• Thermometer: Instant-read type.
• Tweezers: For removing ticks and splinters.
• Waterless hand sanitizer: Travel-size bottle.
•    Latex Gloves
Cotton—Balls and Pads
Moistened Towelettes or Wipes

Any of the above mentioned herbal items… needs specific for your family.

Midwest Women's Herbal Conference 5th Year

I'm excited to be presenting at the 5th Midwest Women's Herbal Conference June 3-5.  Hope to have you join us.


Herbs for Insomnia, Relaxation & Dreams

Creating an Apothecary Garden 

Plant Walk ‘n Roll

Don't Spray Weeds Heal!


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Legal Disclaimer: This information is shared with the understanding that you accept responsibility for your own health and well-being. This content is not intended to replace conventional western medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs discussed/listed are not intended to diagnose, treat,cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Material is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. If you are pregnant, nursing or taking pharmaceuticals do not take herbs without consultation.


Don't kill, spray, tear up, or destroy the weeds in your garden, yard, and fence rows. Many of them are actually highly-regarded, widely-used, and extremely-valuable medicinal herbs! Of course, you'll have to harvest your weeds, but you would do that anyhow: it's called weeding.  The following medicine p-lants/healing weeds are used in a variety of ways. Sometimes eaten as food, as in chickweed or dandelion greens, other times to get the action we need, we may make water based infusions, tinctures (alcohol extracts), infused oils to us topically, salves, vinegars,topical compresses of plant, etc..Different menstruum (solvents) pull different properties from healing plants. To learn which plants do what, how to gather, make preparations, etc consider taking my classes on various topics.

Herbal medicine is People's Medicine--Medicine of the people and still is primry medicine in 80% of the world's population. These are some common, tradtional uses:

Burdock Arctium lappa   Nourisher to liver and gut. works to ease skin problems. Used in Cancer. strengthens immune system. Binds & removes heavy metals. Stabilizes blood sugar.  Besides it's medicinal preparations, is a vitamin & mineral rich food plant that can be cooked and eaten. Known as Gobo in other cultures.

Chickweed Stellaria media    Strengthens all bodily systems. Nourishes those recovering from surgery, the elderly and anemic. Used for it's Drawing and healing for boils, pimples, wounds, insect bites and stings, skin issues. Weakens bacteria cell walls. Wash for eye problems. Aids in dissolving ovarian cysts/swollen glands. Helpful for respiratory problems,bronchitis, or congestion. Ally for bladder/urinary tract.  Joint oiler for stiffness and joint aches. One way we work with  chickweed is to eat it on salad, like sprouts! 

Cleavers (Galium aparine)   Also known as bedstraw or goosegrass. From their stickiness, there is some possibility that cleavers was the inspiration for Velcro. Used as a spring tonic for it's vitamin and mineral content. Diuretic and soothing, cleavers strengthens and tones the entire urinary system and is said to dissolve stones in the badder and kidney. Cleavers gets lymphatic tissues moving to relieve those with sore tender breasts, water retention, swollen glands, tonsillitis or prostate disorders.
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale   Supreme liver and gallbladder tonic. Hepatitis ally. Eases digestive troubles such as heart burn. Tones stomach, pancreas and urinary systems. It is a diuretic but does not deplete potassium! Another used as cancer ally. Helps move lymph and blossom oil nourishes healthy breast tissue.  Stabilize blood sugars.. Lowers cholesterol, decrease high blood pressure.  Hormonal balancer. Dandelion oil is a good topical  neck and back pain remedy. Releases held emotions. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, calcium, Vitamin C and iron. Eat weedies!          

Shepherd's Purse Capsella bursa   Shepherd's purse used tostop internal and external bleeding, such as cuts and nosebleeds. Women's tonic for heavy bleeding. Urinary and bladder toning antiseptic. Vinegar can ease the soreness and reduce vericose veins. Besides, the vinegar makes a nice mildly peppery salad dressing.

Plantain Plantago    "Nature's bandaid." Topical healing for skin issues, rashes, insect bites and stings, cuts, burns. Stops itch of mosquito bites! Urinary nourisher. Eases respiratory problems. Aids stomach ulcers and digestive disturbances.  Hemorrhoid relief.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)  Good ally for respiratory ailments, coughs, bronchial congestion, whooping cough. Antitumor properties. Cancer ally. Vitamin and mineral rich. 10 times more phytoestrogens than SOY; excellent for menopausal women. Fertility herb. Blood thinner. You can make herb water-based infusions with red clover.

Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)   Also called curly dock. Often used to increase blood-levels of iron and build healthy blood. Nourishes and strengthens liver. another often Cancer ally. Good for anemic women or post-menstrual to build blood.

St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)  Best used as a tincture. Pain reliever for muscle aches,  shingles, sciatica, backpain, neuralgia, and headaches including migraines. Eases muscle spasms. Antiviral.  Antibacterial.  Anti-inflammatory.  Topical healing for burns, wounds, sprains and bruises. Remedy for nerve injuries. Halts cold sores and can alleviate herpes symptoms. Prevents burn from radiation therapy. Used for mild depression and seasonal affective depression.

 Nettles (Urtica dioica) Gives natural energy, strengthens the adrenals, steadies nerves, and is said to restore flexibility to blood vessels.  A cup of dried nettle infusion contains approx 500 milligrams of calcium plus magnesium, potassium, silicon, iron, boron, and zinc.  vitamins A, D, E, and K. and chlorophyll. Studies show nettles are an effective antihistamine when taken for allergies and that they are also a natural anti-inflammatory for bodily aches and pains.  Nourishes pregnant women and nursing mothers.  In menopause, nettles nourishes heart health, strengthens bones, eases mood swings, and supports stressed adrenals coping with hormonal changes. Nettles helps chronic urinary tract infections.

Violet (Viola odorata)   Violet blossoms are rich in Vitamin C. Flower syrup eases sore throats, relieves cough and bronchitis and loosens phlegm. Violet helps calm and relax for good sleep. Violet oil aids ringing in the ears and pain. Violet remedies skin problems, boils, abscesses, and burns. Also useful for diaper rash, cradle cap, and insect bites. Violet has an affinity for healing cancers of the breast, skin, reproductive system and throat. Violet's dissolving ways aid lumps, growths, cysts. You can make violet leaf infusions.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)   A great respiratory herb for easing cough, congestion, asthma, bronchitis, and lung healing.  Mullein infusion is great in winter. Mullein tincture has been used as a pain reliever for swollen glands, sore joints, back aches, spasms from pain. Mullein facilitates 'proper alignment' , having a moistening and lubricating effect on spine and joints. Mullein flower oil works well for ear infections and pain.  Useful for Bell's Palsy and facial

PDF's on site

The PDF's for my Mother Earth presentations are now on my website under "Events".

I ask that you do not share  or reprint to redistribute my presentations wthout permission: contact

Thank you.


Notes For Presentations at Mother Earth Fair

Thank you all for attending my herbal presentations at the Fair. I enjoy sharing the knowledge of the healing plants with you all. I will post Create an Apothecary Garden and Pain Relief soon. Taking a day of rest post-Fair. I appreciate all of the compliments and comments and questions both during the talks, and also those of you who caught up with me at the Fair. For those of you who asked about books, I will be working on those soon with my publisher. Stay tuned. Hope to see you next Mother Earth Fair. 

Welcome to The Mother Earth Fair


I am excited to be presenting again at the 2015 Fair.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, Oct. 24 11:30-12:30 "Herb Vinegars,Oxymels and Elixirs."  at Mother Earth Living stage

Sunday, Oct 25th 10:00-11:00 am "Create An Apothecary Garden" at Mother Earth Living stage

                                4:00-5:00pm "Herbs For Pain Relief" at Mother Earth Living stage

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I am an herbalist, a wisewoman, sometimes called medicine woman, ... one who gives voice to the healing wild food and medicine plants and a teacher of  Wise Woman Healing Ways of Herbal Medicine.  I have been teaching classes for over 15 years, grow my own medicine plants and handcraft herbal remedies.I also offer herbal educational consultations.  It is my calling to help women (and men in touch with their green heart) remember people's medicine, grassroots community healthcare. I serve as Community Herbal Apothecary Project Coordinator of Herbalists Without Borders (HWB) and locally, I am Coordinator of Kansas Chapter of  HWB.

The Wise Woman Tradition, the world's oldest healing tradition, encourages me to use the common plants and healing garden weeds that grow locally.  I know my plant allies deeply and count on them in a variety of ways for a variety of circumstances. It is practical ways of empowering others to work with plants themselves, rather than be dependent on someone else for some special pill or elixir or exotic plant that grows in another country.  
My remedies may be soups, aromatic teas, plant infusions, tinctures, oils, salves, vinegars, honeys. The medicine plants give their healing and I am their voice and co-creative potion maker.  
The Wise Woman way guides us to nourish the whole person with herbs and foods, compassion, cooperation, and simple ceremony for healing and nurturing our rhythms and celebrating the cycles of life, death and rebirth (the seasons of earth and also the phases of our lives).  So the wise woman fixes a friend a cup of herbal tea, cooks up a comforting soup, massages with oils, applies a compress, blends a salve, lights herbal incense with wisdom and intent.  It is me tending the ways practiced and shared by countless wise women before me. 
I come from generations of healers: country doctors to grannies versed in Appalachian healing lore and an Oglala herb woman, from diggers of roots and plants to my pharmacist father, who first introduced me to medicinal plants.   My father was an "old school" pharmacist in the days when everything was compounded and hand mixed; you went to the pharmacy or apothecary for everything from cough syrup, a salve to draw a splinter out, a liniment for sprains, an elixer for this or that. He knew the plants from which medicines were derived. Over the years, I've learned from and interacted with many wonderful plant people, who have impacted how I practice herbalism, including Susun Weed,  Rosemary Gladstar, Stephen Buhner, David Winston, & Matthew Wood.. The diversity of their perspectives have deeply enriched my own relationship with this art/craft. The Green Nations--the food and medicine plants--are wonderful teachers; it is through the development of relationship and co-creative partnership with plants that my growing, loving, learning, trusting, and understanding plants capacities to heal physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually have most evolved. 
My classes cover a variety of topics from identification, medicinal uses,  ethics, folklore, preparation.  I teach each class to stand on its own, so someone can come at any time without prior experience.  Herbal medicine has always been medicine of the people; wise women taught woman to woman, village to village, powerful and empowering....and that is my view of teaching today--to teach you so that you can do this for yourself.  I'd love to have you at a class and so would the plants.
To learn more visit  

Green Blessings, Joanne

Herb Vinegars,Oxymels and Elixirs

Legal Disclaimer
  All material is provided for general information purposes only . Any suggestions made and all herbs discussed/listed are not intended to diagnose, treat,cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom nor be considered medical advice or consultation.. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the herbs/plants discussed. Any statements made about products, herbs, and/or remedies have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.).  .Joanne Bauman, Prairie Magic Herbals assumes no responsibility for the results of self-diagnosis and/or self-medication. If you are on other medications/ drugs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a diagnosed medical condition, please consult your health care professional before taking any herbs/botanicals,dietary, nutritional,or homeopathic products.


 Herb Vinegars, Oxymels & Elixirs

Joanne Bauman, Herbalist

Mother Earth News Fair Topeka, Oct. 24-25 2015



Apple mint, ornage mint,etc. leaves, stalks
Bee balm (Monarda  flowers, leaves, stalks
Burdock (Arctium lappa) roots
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) leaves, stalks
Chives and especially chive blossoms
Dandelion (Traxacum off.) flower buds, leaves, roots
Dill (Anethum graveolens) herb, seeds

 Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) herb, seeds
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) flowers
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) new growth leaves and roots
Rosemary, spearmint, Thyme, Oregano, Peppermint  etc.  leaves, stalks
Purslane (summer purslane) leaves--high in Omega6 fatty acids
Shepherd’s Purse (mildly peppery taste) aerial parts

Violet blossoms

White pine (Pinus strobus) needles (like balsamic vinegar)
Yarrow (Achilllea millifolium) flowers and leaves


Collard or Kale leaves
Chickweed (Stellaria media) whole herb
Dandelion leaves and root
Lambsquarter (Chenopodium album) leaves
Mallow (Malva neglecta) leaves
All mints, including sage, motherwort, lemon balm, lavender, peppermint, etc.
Mugwort (cronewort) (Artemisia vulgaris)
Nettle (Urtica dioica) leaves
Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) leaves
Plantain (Plantago majus) leaves
Raspberry (Rubus species) leaves
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) blossoms
Violet (Viola ordorata) leaves
Yellow dock (Rumex crispus and other species) roots


Rosemary Gladstar’s  Fire Cider (An Oxymel)

  • ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions
  • ¼ cup or more chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup or more grated ginger
  • Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered.  ‘ To Taste’ means should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it.  Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.
  • Optional ingredients you might add: Zest and juice from 1  lemon; Several sprigs of fresh  rosemary or 2 tbsp dried ; Turmeric, Echinacea, cinnamon, etc.
  1. Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches.  Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid. If lid is metal be sure and place wax paper between lid and contents.
  2. Place jar in a cool, dark place (cupboard) and let for three to four weeks.  Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.
  3. After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.
  4. Add honey ‘to taste’.  Warm the honey first so it mixes in well.  “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet.  Rebottle and enjoy!  Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry.   But it’s better to store in the refrigerator.

1-3 Tablespoons daily, or teaspoons through the day, if you feel a cold coming on. Take it more frequently if necessary to help your immune system do battle. Fire Cider can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice , or drizzled on a salad with good olive oil. 

Honeysuckle Elixir

  • 2 C Honeysuckle flowers and buds
  • 1/3 C raw honey
  • Approx.. 1 pint of Brandy (or rum or cognac or scotch or whatever you like)

Fill a pint jar with Honeysuckle flowers and buds, add about 1/3 C of raw honey. Stir & coat flowers. Now fill the jar with brandy, or vodka, etc .  herbalists prefer 60% alcohol with Honeysuckle Elixir.  Stir again, and then taste. If it’s not sweet enough tasting (it will initially taste mostly like alcohol so you have to guesstimate), add a bit more honey. Now cover tightly, shake well and then store in a cool, dark place (shaking occasionally to dissolve the honey properly) for 4-6 weeks.

Internally, elixir is calming,relaxing and eases heat from fevers and infections. Other elixir options: Lemon Balm, Lavender, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Ginger, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Rose, Fennel, Anise, Borage flowers, Beebalm, Sage and so on… most kitchen spices, make good additions in elixirs.

Wild Rose Elixir
1 pint jar
enough fresh wild rose petals to fill the jar (rosa rugosas or prairie roses…you can use 1/2 petal ½ rosehip; do not use any roses that have been sprayed chemically or powdered.
everclear or vodka/brandy to fill the jar 3/4 ( lower proof alcohol 50% solution), glycerine or raw honey to fill the jar 1/4 ( prefer glycerine for topical first aid purposes since it is less sticky, honey tastes better though).

Fill the jar with whole or roughly chopped Wild Rose petals (or 1//2 petal ½ rosehip). Add raw honey or glycerine, then fill with alcohol. Cover top with plastic or other non-reactive material before screwing on a regular canning lid. Shake well. Let sit for three to six weeks, shaking regularly. You can strain at the end of that time or you can just pour off the amount you want to use a little at a time.

Externally, useful for burns and wounds. Rose is blood moving, so it soothes, alleviates pain, reduces much of the heat radiating from the burn, and speeds healing.  It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial as well as astringent, helping to reduce redness, swelling and any possible infection. It’s extremely gentle and non-irritating, safe enough to use on baby skin or as a sitz bath.

A drop or two will calm itchy or stinging insect bites, and combines well with a  Plantain leaf poultice. It’s also great on rashes from heat, contact dermatitis, blisters or poison ivy.

You can use the elixir as a liniment, effective for relaxing sore muscles, nerve pain, combine rose elixir with dandelion blossom or other herb pain oils.

Internally, you can use small amounts of the elixir just as most would use Rescue Remedy, for any trauma, panic, fear or stressful situation for child, adult or animal. It’s calming, pleasant and helps to move someone out of shock or stuck emotion. It acts as a mild nervine, calming without sedating. Rose excels at opening the heart /grief.  It’s also anti-spasmodic and can be used externally or internally for mild to moderate cramps.

 Elderberry Calendula Cold and Flu Elixir Recipe

A must have herb for prevention or at onset of cold or flu, elderberry enhances immune system, it disarms the virus and helps it flush through body quicker, while strengthening the mucus membranes, supporting the body’s natural fever mechanism without overheating. Researchers have concluded that the flavanoids in elderberry inhibit H1N1 flu virus activities.

1 C fresh (or 2/3 C dried) calendula flowers
1 C fresh (or 2/3 C dried) elderberries
1/2 C fresh (or 1/3 C dried) elderflowers
1/2 C fresh (or 1/3 C dried) rose hips
2 tbsp fresh (or 1 tbsp dried) orange peel
1 tbsp fresh (or 1 tsp dried) ginger

Directions Fill a clean, sterilized quart jar with herbs. Add brandy, pouring until herbs are thoroughly covered  and jar is approximately 3/4 full. Add honey, leaving 1/2-1 inch of space at the top of the jar. Poke chopstick into jar to release any trapped air bubbles and ensure brandy and honey are coating herbs. Stir well. Put cap on and label jar. Let steep for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily. Strain elixir by pouring through a fine mesh filter or several layers of cheesecloth over a bowl or wide-mouth jar. Compost the plants. Keep elixir jar in a cool dry cupboard location

At the first symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, a suggested adult dose is 2-3 teaspoons of elixir every two to three hours. Listen to your body to tailor the dosage. Due to its immune-building, antimicrobial nature and high vitamin C content, this elixir can also be used as a preventative for colds and flus.

Cough Elixir  Blend with any of Echinacea,  marsh mallow root,coltsfoot, mullein, slippery elm.

Autumn Elixir Just For Fun

½ C apple peels, ¼ C cinnamon, ¼ C elderberries ¼ c rosehips, optional clove, cardamom to taste. At holidays, a pomegranate, cinnamon, and a pinch of cardamom elixir is good too

Chocolate Rose Love Elixir (Rosemary Gladstar)

Elixir: 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1 cup sugar 1 cup boiling water ½ cup rose petal extract (recipe below) 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2-3 drops almond extract or 1 teaspoon additional vanilla extract (optional) Rose Petal Extract: Dried rose petals Brandy


To make Rose Petal Extract: Fill a jar ¼ full with rose petals, and then ½ full with brandy. Let infuse 1-2 weeks in a cool, dark cabinet.

To make Elixir: In a bowl or quart jar, mix cocoa powder, sugar, and boiling water together and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Add rose, vanilla, and almond extracts and mix thoroughly. Pour elixir into a bottle, cap, and let sit for a few days or a week. Enjoy by the spoonful, on ice cream, or in hot cocoa.




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