Herbalism is the practice of employing plant remedies in our everyday lives. Plants or herbs have a wide variety of medicinal effects, and so modern herbalism is all about tapping into the ancient wisdom of plants, mixed with the new science that is driving this new momentum, to find what will work best for you. It’s somewhat common knowledge that lavender is great for sedation, insomnia, soothing nerves and anxiety, among a myriad of other benefits. The same is true for hundreds of plants, trees, roots, and even fungi. It is also becoming more well known that cannabis is useful for a huge range of ailments and is possibly one of the most therapeutic plants in the world. Although that fact is only now gaining traction around the world, thanks massively to the advent of the internet and its ability to be a resource for knowledge, we are still seeing a slow change in legality and availability of cannabis.
The latest movement is that of CBD. Surely you’ve heard about CBD prior to this article, or maybe have only seen a bottle on a shelf, and perhaps didn’t know what it was. Let me break down CBD for you… CBD is the non-psychotropic (which does not get you ‘high’) cannabinoid (or compound/chemical) found only in hemp, or Cannabis Sativa, that has proven to be effective for a wide range of ailments. There are in fact many different types of cannabinoids found in hemp, but there are only a few that we have been able to test and use as a medicine; like that of THC, the psychoactive compound found in the female flowers, and CBG, another healing and non-psychoactive compound.
CBD is essentially an oil or concentrate that can be extracted from the cannabis plant through various means, and when ingested or used topically it can be processed by your body, and from there it’s effects can range depending on the person and their ailment. The FDA has yet to create recommended dosage or daily intake suggestion, so dosage amounts have sort of been all over the place. Some CBD companies tell you to take a dropper full a day, but that’s not very helpful when you need to identify the exact milligram amount for yourself. I’ve used CBD for a few years since living in Colorado and have gained invaluable knowledge on its effects and how to spot the best companies. My goto is Dutch Natural Healing, who is a dedicated and honest plant nursery and CBD extract company based in the Netherlands, who focus on pure CBD with a non-nonsense mentality. The difference with Dutch Natural Healing versus most other CBD companies is that their products are unrefined, green and gritty, and authentic, and of course, super pure. The other difference is that on their labels, they break down how many mg of CBD is in every drop, which makes it much easier to adhere to a certain regimen.
For me, personally, I use Dutch Natural Healing’s CBD to assist me in several aspects of my life, like that of soothing my anxiety and easing stress, and allowing me to overcome my insomnia. I also employ CBD via a topical salve, which helps to relax my tense and painful muscles and joints. While I definitely feel the sedating effects from CBD when ingested internally, I prefer working with medicinal salves, because they can be used directly as a spot treatment. For topical CBD, my favorite company is Woodland Herbal Apothecary, because they marry organic herbs and potent essential oils with the cannabis and therefore create some of the most powerful topical ointments on the market. But I also like to make my own medicinals.
Icy Hot Rub
Melt beeswax into an oil base such as Olive oil, Hempseed oil or Coconut oil, before adding in CBD, menthol crystals and/or camphor crystals, along with some essential oils like Peppermint, Wintergreen, Camphor, Black Pepper and Ginger. These essential oils and crystals will combine to create a natural icy hot sensation, while the CBD works to ease inflammation and soothe pain. I prefer working with Dutch Natural Healing’s isolate crystals as they melt right in without issue every time.
Icy Hot recipe:
-Melt in double boiler.
3oz - Carrier oil
1oz - Beeswax
-Once melted, take off heat and stir in the following:
100mg - CBD oil or isolate crystals
1 tsp - Menthol crystals
1 tsp - Camphor crystals
Essential oils - Peppermint (10 drops), Wintergreen (5 drops), Camphor (5-10 drops, or if you used the crystals, then skip this one), Black Pepper (10 drops), Ginger (5-10 drops).
-Once all ingredients are melted together, stir then carefully pour hot mixture into a mason jar or similar container. Store in cool, dry and dark place. Topical should last a year with proper storage.
Instructions: Apply salve on sore muscles and joints and rub in until topical soaks in. This salve will be rather potent, so a little goes a long way. Keep out of eyes!
A tincture is an ingestible oil or alcohol extraction that is typically very potent and requires only a few drops to be effective. If you have a high concentrate CBD oil, you can add some to a dropper bottle and then fill it the rest of the way up with Olive oil, Grapeseed oil and/or Hempseed oil. By doing your own, you can manage how much CBD is in each drop.
A calming tincture is an extraction that includes herbs that help fight depression and soothe nerves, so if you suffer from stress, anxiety, or tension, this recipe could be effective for you. This will be a potent tincture, so a few drops should do the trick, but to test dosage, start small and log how you feel each day with each dosage.
Calming Tincture recipe:
-Fill a sterilized canning jar with a mix of herbs, then fill to top with vodka.
Important herbs for anxiety/stress relief - Lavender, Chamomile, Valerian Toot, St. John’s Wort, Skullcap.
Other herbs that can be used - Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Cinnamon, Licorice Root, Rose, Lemongrass, Green Tea.
-Close jar tight then shake vigorously. Leave in cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks. Be sure to shake every day for the first week, then once a week will do after that. When ready, strain extraction liquid through a cheesecloth.
-Fill 1oz-2oz dropper bottles with 1/3 of extracted liquid before combining with pure CBD oil. I’d suggest including 125mg per 1oz, but that’s up to you. Fill the rest of the tincture bottle with vodka, olive oil, grapeseed oil or food-safe vegetable glycerin.
-Shake well before each use.
If you would like to learn more about Dutch Natural Healing’s CBD, click here.
*This article is for entertainment use, and should not replace the diagnoses of any disease or the subscribing of any medication. Always consult with your doctor or a medical professional for any and all health-related advice.
(Main photo by jurassicblueberries via Flickr)