The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs

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From the Publisher

Organic hand creamOrganic hand cream

Farmer’s Hand Cream

This hand cream is fabulous for any farmer, and it’s my all-time favorite. When you’ve been in the garden all day, your hands need extra special attention when the evening comes. Lather up before bed for a soothing scent the entire night, or use this hand cream as needed throughout the day. It is a little greasy, but helps keep all of that moisture in so it renews and revives those skin cells. The calendula and chamomile in this recipe help soothe and regenerate the skin, the essential oils help with inflammation and skin health, as well as skin regeneration, and the butters and beeswax help seal all of that goodness in while doing a mighty fine job at moisturizing as well. Swap out essential oils and infused oils with any other oil options to make hand creams of your own for any type of need.

Directions/Method:

1. In a double boiler, melt down cocoa butter, shea butter, infused oils, and beeswax.

2. Remove from heat and add essential oils.

3. Allow to rest in the mason jar at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) until almost completely hardened. Once it’s almost hardened, whip with a whisk or immersion blender.

4. Scoop into a glass jar or into individual tins. Allow to cool completely.

5. Cap tightly, label, and store for up to one year.

Ingredients: 1 oz cocoa butter 1.5 oz shea butter 1 oz calendula-infused oil 1 oz chamomile-infused oil .75 oz beeswax 10 drops peppermint essential oil 8 drops helichrysum essential oil 5 drops lavender essential oil

The Ultimate Potting Mix

Use this mix to place in your pots when starting seeds indoors.

– 6 parts compost.

– 3 parts soil (any soil from your property, or bagged soil).

– 1 part sand.

– 1 part manure (rabbit or store bought).

– 1 part peat moss.

Mix together in a large trash can or container outdoors. Use as needed. When you’re ready to transplant your new seedlings into bigger pots, add some bone meal to the individual pots.

Rustic Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Yes, I’m fully aware of how much butter is in this recipe. No, I don’t care. Yes, you should use farm fresh, homemade raw butter if at all possible. Otherwise, purchase grass-fed butter. Yes, this recipe is amazing and to be indulged in occasionally, not every single night. Get it? Got it? Good.

Directions/Method:

1. In a large pot, place roughly chopped potatoes (leave skins on for a more rustic feel) and cover with water. You’ll only need just enough water to cover them. Toss in five smashed garlic cloves as well. These will infuse the water and the potatoes. Boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Drain potatoes and garlic. Mash potatoes and garlic together in a large bowl. If you don’t want too much of a garlicky taste, only smash in two of the garlic cloves.

3. Add butter and cream cheese, cover with hot potato mash, and allow to melt for 3–5 minutes. Then mash your mixture together again. At this point, you can also use a hand blender for creamier texture.

4. Add milk until desired consistency.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add 1 tablespoon chives; mix well. Garnish the top with remaining chives. Serve it up and watch it disappear.

Ingredients: 5 lbs golden potatoes, rough chopped 5 cloves garlic 8 tbsp butter 1–2 cups milk salt and pepper, to taste 2 tbsp chives, fresh 4.5 oz cream cheese, softened

My Herbal Medicine Cabinet and Pantry

We can talk about how to use herbs, where to use them, and what to make with them all day long but, when it comes right down to it, most people just want a handy reference of what to keep in the pantry and medicine cabinet.

I get it. I want to know the basics too. Just tell me how to do it already!

Sometimes, it’s easier to mimic the methods of another person when we first start out. As we grow, we adapt the methods and make them our own. It’s easy to get caught up in the thousands of herbs that are out there, when in reality, we may only need twenty of them in our homes.

Beside herbs, what products does a homesteading herbalist need? These are things like eyedropper bottles, funnels, a kitchen scale, or extra muslin or cheesecloth for straining that we don’t often think about keeping on hand.

I’ll try to make all of this simple and painless for you. Let’s go through all of the herbal things I like to have available for my family (hint: I don’t keep everything in this book on hand at all times). I’ll also go over the products you’ll find in my home. Then, we’ll go through my livestock herbal medicine cabinet, favorite gardening tools, and more!

What’S In My Herbal Medicine Cabinet?

Here are the top things that I keep at all times (or most often) in my herbal medicine cabinet for my family.

Essential oils:

Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Myrrh, Oregano, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Vetiver, and various oil blends for respiratory ailments, hormonal balancing, and immune boosting.

Herbs (dried):

Arnica, Astragalus, Black Walnut Hull, Calendula, Cayenne, Chamomile, Curry, Echinacea, Elderberry, Garlic, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Mullein, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Turmeric, Yarrow, Marshmallow, and various other herbs mentioned in this book, depending on the season.

Syrups and tinctures:

– Elderberry and Astragalus Syrup.

– Elderberry, Astragalus, and Wild Cherry Bark Syrup.

– Fire Cider.

– Burdock Tincture.

– Echinacea and Astragalus Tincture.

– Milk Thistle Tincture.

Teas:

– Sleep-Encouraging Tea.

– Cough-Relief Tea.

Salves and lotions:

– Burn and Wound Healing Salve.

– Soothing Salve.

– Respiratory Salve.

Antibacterial Ointment.

– Farmer’s Hand Cream.

Capsules:

– Milk Thistle seed, powdered.

– Probiotics.

– Activated charcoal.

– Turmeric.

– Vitamins.

– Generic pain medicine (that’s right, just in case).

– Empty capsules.

Supplies:

– Glass spray bottles (1-oz and 16-oz).

– Glass eyedropper bottles (1-oz).

– Various glass roll-on bottles for oil blends.

– Vodka (80 proof).

– Glycerin.

– Witch Hazel.

– Raw (local or homegrown) honey.

– General first aid supplies.

– Essential oil diffuser.

– Half-gallon mason jars and screw-top lids.

– Pint mason jars and screw-top lids.

– Unbleached muslin for poultices and compresses.

– Thermometer.

– Pipettes.