Earth Cadet Magical Mission #2 Junior Eco-Pharmacist !
Welcome back to the Earth Cadets Magical Mission #2! I hope your child had fun, or is excited to begin their spring eco-cleaning mission.
All in the name of home education of course!
This new mission has been released earlier than expected.
I was aiming for a new mission fortnightly but I’ve finally submitted my final paper for this term. So here I am typing this up!
I don’t let the grass grow under my feet!
Also I was rather excited about this mission as I’m a kind of herb-nerd if that’s a thing!
Maybe I was a hedge-witch in a past life.
As the idea of bunches of herbs hanging up in the kitchen to dry and a huge stone fireplace with a cauldron filled to the brim with bubbling veggie stew is rather appealing.
With the fire sizzling and sparking. And my back bent over crooked concocting herbal potions and slaves.
Sounds bliss. Or a scene from a scary disney film!
*Magical Mission Award Certificate for this mission is now available here*:https://earthcadetseducation.com/educational-resources/
Earth Cadet Mission Details
Your child’s mission is to begin their training as an Eco-Pharmacist!
The result will be the amazing confidence and life skills to be able to treat their family and friends minor ailments.
Headache? Tummy pains? Toothache? Rashes? Itchy insect bite or plant sting? Coughs? Cold and flu? Muscle pain?
Don’t worry your child will soon have it covered!
If your child’s interested in learning about first aid then check out these free first aid online courses : https://www.firstaidforfree.com/
My son enjoyed completing all of them. You even receive downloadable certificates for each course.
If your kids already know first aid then this mission will be a brilliant compliment.
Obviously these herbal remedies are not a substitute for medical advice.
Herbal medicines have been around for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians recorded over 850 different herbal medicines!
Most of those herbs are still going strong today.
Hippocrates the well-known father of medicine states it succinctly: ”Let your foods be your medicines and your medicines your food”.
Weeds are just herbs in disguise that have the magical ability to provoke serene gardeners into crazed frenzied acts of garden sabotage!
Dandelions, plantain and dock are all very common weeds but are so much more than that. They are the understated jewels of the natural words medicine chest.
Which is why I’ve included a Factfile at the end of this post featuring these three jewels of the wasteland.
Everyone should embrace these marvels growing in their garden or discover a wild patch to harvest.
Just ensure you don’t harvest herbs growing directly at the roadside as exhaust fumes are not pleasant. Also don’t pick any herbs where pesticides might have been sprayed.
You might already have some common weed-herbs growing in your garden.
If you don’t have a garden try and harvest some seeds from common weeds in a local green area.
Plant up a little weed-herb patch even if its on a balcony, pot on your doorstep or window box.
You’ll get some strange looks from your your friends and family when they see a dandelion or two and a dock plant flourishing in your window box!
But when your child offers their eco- first aid knowledge they’ll be won over!
The wonders of weeds are that they are tenacious, so they will grow absolutely anywhere.
Even in your carpet given just a spray of water! Though I don’t advice that!
You can also purchase a wide range of dried herbs from health shops and supermarkets. And if your really lucky a local green grocer or garden centre should stock fresh herbs.
VERY important rules for learning with herbs:
- Many of the herbal recipes below are for topical use. Meaning they won’t be ingested.
- Before consuming any herbal tea that I haven’t mentioned in this post and you’ve picked the herb wild then please check its safe to do so.
- Some herbs can interact with prescribed medications. Also check before taking any herbs if your pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s best to check with an authority before consuming if you fall into these categories.
- Consult an identification guide before using a herb. And then double check.
- Have fun learning amazing life skills!
TO BEGIN CREATE A HERBAL FIRST AID KIT BOX!
Decorate a shoe-box or similar. Maybe with some sketches/photos of your favourite herbs/ plants and nature scenes.
Keep all your homemade salves, tinctures, dried herbs, syrups and potions in your box.
Along with other first aid items, such as bandages, mini scissors/tweezers, medical tape, plasters, thermometer,gauze etc.
A needle and thread is a good idea for stitching up your herbal cloth pouches…not yourself!
Add an eco-pharmacist journal to add all your herbal recipes and note down who, when, where and what in regard to administering your herbal medicines. It’s handy to keep a record. You could even get fancy and create some old style paper. Write out your recipes on paper and follow these instructions: https://bit.ly/2Mh6ED After your papers dried use twine to roll up and store in your first aid box.
The dreaded colds and flus!
To counteract a fever which can cause chills and body aches, enjoy a warming herbal spice bath.
These spices are just the same as you’d buy in the supermarket:
- 1-2 tsp turmeric
- 1-2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Swirl the spices in a hot bath and relax soaking yourself for 30 minutes.
- Get out and wrap up in warm clothes.
- This bath should result in extra sweating but that’s good as it will bring the fever to a head and ensure you heal quicker.
- Another remedy is to have a warm cup of grapefruit peel tea. (See below). This also helps with fevers.
Alternatively just have the hot bath with 1 tbsp of turmeric.
An electuary is a healing mixture with honey as a base. You can get creative and create your own recipe.
For sore throats, chills, coughs and mucus:
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 8 tbsp honey/agave syrup
Mix all together and keep in a little tub. When needed eat 1/2 tsp.
For coughs and sore throat:
- Sprinkle a pinch of black pepper in a tbsp of honey and eat.
HEALING TINCTURES/MAGICAL POTION:
A tincture is like diluting juice.
It’s the concentrated juice of herbs mixed with a base usually alcohol but apple cider vinegar is a great alternative.
Tinctures help get the active parts out of the plant that promote healing.
Have fun creating your own tincture recipe as your herbal knowledge grows!
For coughs,colds, chest and sinus problems:
- 1 tsp of fine chopped onion
- 1 clove of garlic fine chopped and mashed
- a 1/2 inch bit of fresh root ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- A few chamomile flowers
- Using a recycled 500ml glass jar or bottle
- Tip all into bottle
- Using apple cider vinegar, fill up the bottle/jar to about 3/4 full.
- Leave to work its magic for 1 week. Each day give it a swish.
- Using a muslin cloth/clean tea towel or clean cotton cloth strain the tincture into a bowl. Squeeze the cloth to get all the goodness out.
- Clean out the bottle or jar and if needed use a little funnel to pour tincture back in.
- Add 4 tbsp of honey or agave syrup and give it a swish to mix. Don’t forget to label.
Take a teaspoon whenever you need to. Can take several teaspoons a day. This tincture will last for years kept in a cool, dark place! It gets better as it ages.
MIRACLE ELDERBERRY SYRUP/POTION:
A potion is a herbal mix that provides healing benefits. A syrup potion has the addition of honey or agave syrup if your vegan.
For centuries the healing powers of elderberries have been known. The Cherokee Indians made elderberry tea to treat boils and achy joints.
In Europe it has a history of treating colds, flu, fever and bronchitis.
- 1/2 cup dried elderberries (to dry elderberries place on a tray and leave on a sunny windowsill to dry out for a few days)
- 2 cups of freshly boiled water
- 1/2 cup of honey/agave syrup
- Soak the berries in the water for 1 day.
- Bring to the boil and gently simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Place berries and honey in a food processor and blend.
- Use a clean recycled jar or bottle and pour in.
- Store in the fridge or a cool dark place. Will keep for 1-2 months, to extend its life freeze cubes of the syrup in ice cube trays.
- Then you’ll have neat little doses which will defrost quick when needed.
- Take a tsp whenever you need it several times a day.
A liniment is a healing liquid that is rubbed on to skin to ease pain. Usually concocted with oil but apple cider vinegar is a good alternative.
Ginger and Cinnamon Liniment for joint/muscle/arthritis pains:
- 50 g of dried ginger
- 50 g of cinnamon
- 400 ml Apple cider vinegar or olive oil
- Recycled clean jar.
- Place the herbs in the jar.
- Slowly pour in the liquid.
- Place the lid on tight.
- Leave for 2 weeks and shake frequently.
- Strain over a clean cloth to catch the herbs. Squeeze all the liquid into a bowl.
- Wash the jar and dry.
- Pour back into the original jar.
- This liniment will keep for years.
- Rub some onto sore muscles, bruises, sprains, and overused muscles.
An infusion is adding boiling water to herbs/ flowers/roots/bark. The infusion releases the healing active components within the plants.
You can make your own herbal tea bags. Purchase sustainable empty tea bags, the ones that biodegrade quickly.
Dry out safe healing flowers, berries, herbs on a tray on a sunny windowsill for a few days.
Add your choice of herbs to each bag.
Mint, lemon balm, nettles and dandelions are ideal for homemade tea bags.
Store in cool, dry place.
CITRUS FRUIT PEEL TEA/INFUSION
For Digestive problems, such as tummy ache, bloating, flatulence, nausea:
- Never throw away citrus fruit peel. It’s a valuable medicine!
- Ensure you wash thoroughly in warm water and scrub to remove any wax that may be there.
- Next dry out your peel on a sunny window ledge for a few days.
- Store in an airtight dry container. Such as a recycled glass jar.
- Make citrus peel tea by gently boiling a slice or two in water. Depending on how many cups you’d like adjust the peel and water. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Chill any leftover fruit peel tea and enjoy later.
- Drink pineapple peel tea, as it helps ease pain and will relax your body.
- To prepare wash peel thoroughly, Chop up and boil for 20 minutes. Strain and drink. Add honey/agave syrup if desired.
- Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed marjoram tea/infusion, just add a small handful of leaves to a cup and add boiling water. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy!
- Make turmeric rice. Cook rice as normal but add tsp-tbsp of turmeric in the water before boiling.
- Turmeric helps ease joint pain and rice is just yum especially basmati!
For nausea or vomiting, tummy pain, seasickness, colic and cramps:
- Peppermint tea/infusion. Infuse 2-3 tbsp of fresh peppermint or other type of mint in a cup of boiling water or teapot. For about 10 minutes.
- Add honey/agave syrup if liked.
- Ginger tea/infusion:
- Boil a 1 inch chunk of ginger root in water for 20 minutes. Strain and use honey/agave syrup if liked and enjoy.
- Brew up some marjoram tea, lemon balm or chamomile flower tea. Add 2-3 tbsp of fresh herbs to your cup or teapot and pour in boiling water. Leave to steep for about 5 -10 minutes. Strain, sweeten and enjoy!
For splitting headaches:
- Have a cup of chamomile tea
- Brew up some fever few tea. Use 2-3 tbsp of leaves and steep in boiling water in a cup or teapot. Strain and sweeten if desired.
- Have a cup of fresh ginger tea. Boil an inch piece of ginger root for 20 minutes. Strain and sweeten.
- Have a relaxing bath with chamomile flowers floating in. It’ll be like your bathing in tea!
- Chamomile tea is ideal for young children to sip when they have sore gums due to teething.
- Have a cup of marjoram tea
- A cup of chamomile tea works wonders for kids having a temper tantrum!
- Place 2 tsp of chamomile flowers in a teapot or tea cup and pour boiling water over.
- Steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove the flowers.
- Add honey or agave syrup or other sweetener. It brings out the yummy flavour.
- Chamomile tea is good for restless sleepers.
- Dig up a plantain ‘weed’ and remove a piece of its root. Re-plant the plantain it’ll probably reshoot the bit you took and be fine.
- Wash it thoroughly.
- Gently chew the root beside your sore tooth/gum.
- Don’t worry there’s nothing poisonous about plantain.
- Another remedy is to drip some clove oil (health shop/chemist) drops onto a clean piece of cotton and dab onto your sore tooth.
- Alternatively place a whole clove on the sore tooth and chew gently, leave for a while to ease pain.
A decoction is a mix of healing hot liquid with the addition of a herb. Have fun concocting your own decoctions!
Use any household spices including cinnamon sticks to stir.
Cinnamon milk decoction for upset digestion and diarrhea:
- cup of milk either dairy or plant-based
- tsp honey
- tsp cinnamon or ginger
Bring the milk to the boil. Take off heat and mix in honey and cinnamon.
MAGICAL HERBAL POUCH/DREAM/WISHING PILLOW:
Guaranteed to calm moods and aid restful sleep!
- 8 inch square or similar piece of fabric preferably cotton/could be recycled from old clean clothes.
- Needle and thread
- A handful of your chosen aromatic fresh or dried herb. Don’t use dried herbs from the little jars.
- Good choices are chamomile flowers, lavender, fennel fronds, thyme sprigs, eucalyptus leaves, jasmine, peppermint,rose, geraniums, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves, vanilla bean.
- Sew up three sides of the pouch. Turn it inside out to hide the stitching.
- Place your herbs in.
- Sew up the open end.
- When your worried, stressed or experiencing insomnia, squeeze your pouch (lavender would be ideal) for the aromas to escape and have a good whiff!
Plantain poultice for irritated, red sore skin, sunburn, nappy rash, hives, spots, blisters, poison-ivy reactions, rashes and eczema.
The common ‘ weed’ Plantain is perfect for skin conditions as its gentle but highly effective.
Its safe for babies applied topically especially to ease nappy rash. It can either be applied as a poultice or a wash:
- Harvest some plantain leaves and wash thoroughly.
- Maserate the leaves by scrunching to bruise.
- Apply to the skin as a poultice. Just lay them over the red skin and secure with a bandage or cotton cloth. Or nappy.
- Can leave overnight.
- Alternatively soak bruised leaves in hot water for 30 minutes and then use as a wash to clean the sore skin area.
- 15 g of beeswax or soy wax
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 85 g chopped plantain leaves or if using dried herbs use 32g
- Place leaves in a saucepan with the oil. Bring to a simmer and then turn of the heat, put a lid on, and leave of the cooker for 2 hours for the oils to infuse into the oil.
- If you used fresh whole leaves then carefully remove.
- Using another small pan melt the beeswax or soy wax and add it to the oil.
- Place in a fridge for a few minutes to harden up if necessary.
- If it becomes too hard then add tiny bit more oil and mix.
- If its too soft then melt a little more wax and mix in.
- You want a spreading consistency.
- Tip into a small jar or tin and keep covered till required.
This salve can be made with many other herbs:
- Marigolds Calendula: excellent for healing wounds, soothing eczema, easing nappy rash (I used this all the time when my kids were young, I practically covered them in the stuff for any cuts, scrapes, rashes, blisters. This salve is excellent for pets also. Rub it into their cuts, scrapes and sore areas.
- Chickweed Stellaria media: brillant for burns, ache, nettle rash,psoriasis,gout, boils, abscesses,lesions.
- Dock Rumex spp : excellent for blisters, sores, burns,
- Dandelion Taraxcum Officinale: good for sore, painful muscles, arthritis, flaky, rough skin
- Elder Sambucus : Do not ingest this salve or use it as a lip balm, as elder leaves are poisonous when ingested but fine on skin. Good for old injuries, old burns, ulcers, wounds and aches/pains.
- Peppermint Mentha piperita : Good for all skin complaints!
Don’t forget to say the mandatory Latin words when applying your salves…that’s where the magic is!
What you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- dried or fresh herbs
- cheesecloth or cotton cloth
Using a pestle and mortar or food processor blend, mash and squish the herbs. Mix with enough oil to blend it together. Place the herb mash onto the cotton and wrap up to create a parcel. Place on the sore area.
Herbs to use can include any of the herbs mentioned in this post and any other safe herbs. Garlic can also be used for chesty coughs. Mush up 4 garlic cloves and create a compress as above, and place on the chest. Garlic is amazingly quick to work.
THE TOP 3 LIVING HERBS FACT FILES THAT ALL PROMISING JUNIOR ECO-PHARMACIST’S SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR HERBAL FIRST AID KIT:
DANDELION FACT FILE
- Dandelion flowers are full to the brim with polyphenol an antioxidant that gives our bodies a major immune system boost. You can eat them! The leaves are also highly nutritious.
- Dandelions may help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Dandelions are full of potassium a mineral that can help keep your blood pressure stable.
- Dandelions are antiviral and antibacterial. So drink some tea when you feel ill with the latest circulating bug!
- There’s some evidence that dandelions can help prevent some cancers especially liver and colon.
- Dandelions can help protect your skin from the sun, so help reduce wrinkles and aging.
- The dandelion goes to bed at night by closing its petals and awakens with the sun by springing open! Magic!
- Before the 1800s Dandelions were a coveted flower and gardeners loved it!
- Dandelion means ‘lion’s tooth’ and derives from the French word ‘dent-de-lion’.
- Amazingly dandelion seeds can travel 5 miles to find their new home.
- When you blow dandelion seeds don’t forget to make a wish!
DOCK FACT FILE:
- Dock leaves can help detoxify your body.
- Dock leafs are high in the minerals copper and iron. Eat the young leaves in salads.
- Dock leafs are high in Vitamin B6 so can help heart ailments.
- During the great depression dock leaves were a popular food. You can eat young leaves in a salad, stir fry or lightly saute in a little oil.
- If you get stung by nettles, nature always has a cure nearby, there’s guareeted to be a dock leaf close by nettles. Just crush the leaf and rub over the stings.
- Dock use to be called Butter dock as the leaves were used to wrap around butter to keep it fresh.
- The copper butterflies caterpillars especially love dock leaves for dinner
- You’ll likely find dock plants in every wasteland around.
PLANTAIN FACT FILE:
Plantago Major If you have this in your garden then count yourself lucky! If not then harvest some of the long thin seed heads found in any green area and plant your own crop.
- Plantain was known as the fairy bandage as it had the remarkable properties to stick to your skin like a bandage. Next time you get a splinter wrap a crushed plantain leaf around and it’ll draw it out.
- Young plantain leaves can be eaten raw in a salad.
- Older leaves need to be cooked just like you would cabbage.
- Leaves are antibacterial and antimicrobial. If you have an insect bite or sting and your outside, find a plantain leaf. Scrunch the leaf up in your hand to bruise and help it release its juices and press it over the sting to ease pain and itchiness.
- Plantain leaves have a chemical called Allantoin and this helps wounds heal faster.
- Plantain is a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Seeds can also be used in baking. Use a pestle and mortar or coffee/nut grinder to grind the seeds up to a fine powder. Add a small amount to replace some flour in your homemades pancakes/scones/bread etc. Seeds are high in protein and vitamins.
- Long time ago kids amused themselves by having plantain stock fights. Each child had a stock and would ping it off the other kids stalk until one broke!
- For bladder and kidney infections make some plantain tea. Steap a handful of leaves into a saucepan or teapot with boiling water. Take off the heat. Leave for 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
- For images of plantain: https://bit.ly/2wwyAZa
Well done for getting this far! Your truly on your way to becoming a fully fledged Earth Cadet Eco-Pharmacist! Dive into the herbal literature and keep learning, there’s so much to discover and it’ll enrich your life and your loved one’s lives forever! Not to mention saving the planet also!
Next installment of Earth Cadets Magical Missions will be: Train as an Eco-Beautician! Have an amazing time prepare facemasks, hair rinses, toothpaste, mouthwash, lip balms, cleansing washes, flower water washes, healing foot baths, and nature’s secret to white teeth!
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