Successes and Failures

plantain soothes at times

This past week I had an experience that caused a need for first response!  How poignant since this is what I have been thinking about a lot.  As an  herbalist, every situation of need is a learning experience.  But this time, I was challenged to examine my tool kit, my judgement, and my faith in a plant based modality.

The situation in question was a bee sting, poison ivy, and plenty of bug bites to go with it. Nothing life threatening, but of course these conditions may turn into cuts which are then open to things like infection (oh my!).  When I think about ‘first aid’, most of the time I think blood, wounds, breaks and sprains. But ‘first aid’ also refers to little scratches, bug bites, headaches, cramps, and bruises. Believe it or not in living an active and out of doors life style these issue come up more often than not.

Sometime I see plants as companions in the body’s natural function, such as Calendula or Comfrey as helping the body to produce more cells to grow skin or soft tissue. Other times I see natural remedies as supporting natural defense mechanisms.  At the first thought of infection due to a cold or even a small cut, or spider bite, I am reaching for garlic as quick as I can say infection!  This might be a fear mediated response, but I guess better safe than sorry.

Despite having an idea of what plants to help in respective situations, having them in a prepared form (such as powder, salve, tincture, etc.), on hand, and easily accessible are all part of the art form of this plant based lifestyle! It’s not easy to drive to the store as immediately as the need, not to mention the unknown quality and source of the products sold on the shelves.


It is an on going process for me to assemble a kit that I know is trusted, fresh, potent, and versatile. I’ll let you know when I come up with it. Of course, aside from the basics, each family will have a different sub-set of issues, ailments, and situations.  What are your successes (and maybe failures) with herbal first aid?


3 thoughts on “Successes and Failures

  1. I don’t know why I don’t receive updates for you blog even though I’m following. I will double check my settings to see.
    To answer your question, I have a couple of things that are go to’s for me. I adapted a yarrow salve from a Michael Moore recipe that has worked amazingly well for us. I have to make more soon. I don’t think that it needed tweaking but I felt like it at the time:)
    The other thing that I make is an elderberry elixir which goes with me everywhere. I steep it in 1/3rd brandy, 1/3rd honey. Its another sure fire thing.
    I also carry lavender essential oil and Rescue Remedy with me plus mimulus (a personal choice).


    1. Thanks for commenting, Lindamartha, you’re the only one so far who has shared, and I appreciate it! Flower essences are being talked about more and more, their power is so subtle and undeniably healing. And although I’ve heard a lot about Michael Moore’s work, I don’t have any of his books or recipes. We all put our own touch on whatever salve we’re making, honestly, I don’t think I ever make the same batch twice, no matter how good! Maybe you’d be willing to share the recipe for the Yarrow salve?


      1. Your welcome! I hope that others share! I will definitely share the recipe-I sort of winged it but I think that I can recreate it once I look at the original again. Hint-I put rose petals in everything! lol. You can access some of Moores work on his school website. If you go there, scroll down and you’ll see a nice collection of publications-some of them classics, but some are his own. Infact, here is a link to his own works but I encourgage you to explore the other offerings.
        I’ll be making that salve soon so I will definitely let you know when I do. I’m a bit behind on things right now:(

        Liked by 1 person

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