Now, with the advent of the internet, the general population are learning the truth about this healing plant, as well as about many other traditional plant medicines. Where cannabis or hemp was vilified for its harmful ‘life-ruining’ effects, it’s now becoming common knowledge that we were duped, lied to by the propaganda machine, and many of us are sicker than ever before because of it. Let me explain…
Feral hemp grew wild like dandelions, red clover and mint, and it particularly liked cow pastures due to the readily available nutrients from their manure. The cows would eat the hemp like many of the other wild plants and grasses, and then by way of the chain of life, the chemicals produced by cannabis known as cannabinoids ended up in our diet. We’ve had cannabis in our diet for thousands of years, and it may very well be one of the major contributors to how we evolved to be as advanced as we are compared to all other life forms on this planet. So by taking the cannabinoids out of our system for so long, we’re devolving, thinking less, and sicker than ever.
As a result, we’re now controllable and easily profited off of, and so the world goes round. That’s why CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, is showing to be such a ‘miracle drug’ for people with cancer, epilepsy, anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, obesity, anorexia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and so much more. I don’t know about you, but that sounds almost unbelievable, but I’ve personally experienced the beneficial effects of cannabis, and have seen it working for so many others.
Anyone can learn how to make plant medicines at home. The more complicated part is making sure you’re using the correct herbs for the right purposes and the right way. After working at it everyday for a few years, I’ve gained a confidence that goes a long way to prescribing and making recipes. I will be sharing one of my own recipes below for you to try at home. I can not promise the effectiveness nor guarantee either as a cure for anything, as that would be a legality issue, so please note you will be doing so at your own risk. But with that said, they are gentle, easy recipes that are perfect for beginners.
In the country and in forests, and in some cases in your very own backyard, you can forage and find many medicinal plants, or they’re available or purchase all over the internet. In the confines of your own home, you can master the art of extractions, poultice making, tincture making, salve making, aromatherapy, and many other approaches to natural healing. You can treat colds and flu, pain and inflammation, acne and other skin conditions, as well as more serious complications like vertigo, digestion issues, organ toxicity, and the list goes on.
As an herbalist, I work with all of the above and more, and I do my own extractions in oil, as well as in alcohol, but my favorite process is when I work with the Source Turbo botanical extractor by ExtractCraft.
An extraction is basically drawing out the medicinal properties as well as the aromatic essence of a plant, which allows you the ability to easily work with these natural compounds in medicine. Think tea making, you simply pour boiling water over plant matter and viola, you’ve made an extraction. Water tends to turn rancid and to grow things, so to create extracted plants that last, you can do so in oil, in alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or it can be distilled, or you can employ a machine that simplifies the process which creates a better end product by far.
The Source Turbo works like this: You fill a 12oz jar with plant matter and cover it to the top with 190-proof alcohol/ethanol, and then you shake it before freezing the mixture for 24 hours. I teamed up with 420 Extractor, which is a family company from Colorado, who distill 190-proof natural grain alcohol, which is essentially old fashioned moonshine, but is also a requirement for these extractions.
Next, you strain the alcohol from the tincture and you’re left with a cloudy extract. You pour this mixture into the crucible of the machine and turn it on, and within 2-3 hours, most of the alcohol has distilled up and out of the tincture and has collected in the outer ring of the machine. And you’re left with a highly potent, typically amazing smelling oil or sap, depending how long you let it go, which can be used in medicinal products, natural body care recipes, and can even be used in your cooking.
First, I started with French super blue lavender buds, which I overcooked on the first go around. Oops! The second try turned out fantastic, smelling of an enhanced version of the flowers, which I turned into a facial moisturizer by adding beeswax and mango butter to a blend of moisturizing oils. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful smelling topicals I’ve ever smelled.
The medicinal benefits of this lavender extract is ranging, but include a calming sensation, easing skin conditions and inflammation, as well as reducing redness, acne scaring, fighting bacterial infections, and adding a glow to the skin. I’ve included a similar recipe for you to try below.
My next few projects included extracting German chamomile, rose pedals, and calendula flowers, each bringing out the most intoxicating of scents. If you’re familiar with chamomile as an essential oil, you know that there’s a major difference between the aroma of the oil versus the wonderful scent of the dried flower.
The ExtractCraft Source Turbo brought out the real aroma of the chamomile like no other extraction I’ve ever smelled, and it kept the full spectrum terpene profile, so it’s much more healing than any essential oil can be. You can even use this device to extract CBD or THC cannabinoids, creating medicinal tinctures, vaping extracts or topicals right in your very own home. How cool is that? The correct answer is it’s extremely cool!
The Source Turbo is the perfect at-home botanical extractor and ethanol recovery system, as it’s small sitting about the size of a coffee maker and is extremely easy to work. You can set up a new extraction within minutes, connect the device to the Source App, and click Start the Process, and you can go about your business for two hours. The machine has an automatic off at two hours of processing, and then you start it once more and watch it until the plant extract becomes the consistency you want, and then you’re done. It comes equipped with altitude-specific tuning, so you can make extracts just about anywhere in the world.
If you would like to learn more about ExtractCraft, click here.
As I mentioned above, I recently created a recipe for a lavender facial moisturizer that can be effective for use in anti-aging, reducing wrinkles, redness, dry skin, and easing acne scars. This topical recipe creates 5oz of salve, but a little will go a long way, and so if you decide to make the full batch, try making 5 1oz tins, so you can share!
Start with your Source Turbo, and extract organic lavender buds in 190-proof ethanol. Once complete, start heating a double boiler with more lavender soaking in an oil blend of avocado oil and argan oil. By doing this, you will be extracting more of the medicinal properties of the lavender into the oils that will help create your finished product. Heat on medium for 1.5-2 hours until the oil darkens and begins taking on the aromatic properties of the flowers. Let cool, then strain with cheesecloth. Then, in a clean pan, combine oil, butter, and wax and heat in double boiler until melted. Remove from heat, let cool one minute then stir in essential oils, then as the mixture cools further, stir in the lavender extract that you made in the Source Turbo. You will need to stir for awhile, letting the extract blend and the ethanol to air out of the salve. Next, pour heated liquid mixture into glass jars or metal tins with tight fitting lids. Leave untouched to cool and set, then once totally cool, apply to the face and rub until it soaks in. Always do an allergy test by placing a small amount of the salve on the inside of the arm, and if there’s no reaction after an hour or so, feel free to use a bit more liberally as you see fit. This topical will have great aromatherapy properties, so I suggest breathing in deeply as you apply it liberally to clean skin.
- 3oz - Infused oil of Lavender in Avocado oil and Argan oil. (You may use other carrier oils. You may also make this salve without the infused lavender, but it will not be as powerful. If you choose to forgo the herbs, increase essential oil drops and amount of extract.)
- 1oz - Beeswax
- 1oz - Mango Butter
- 20 drops - Rosehip Seed Oil
- Essential oils (drops): Lavender (10), Frankincense (10), Tea Tree (20).
- + Lavender extract. If you stir in the extract too early while the heated mixture is too hot, you will destroy the terpene profile and lose much of its medicinal value and aroma.
To see more of my medicinal products and natural body care, click here to visit Woodland Herbal Apothecary.