Why and How to Dry Your Own Herbs

Why you should dry your own herbs and tips for how to to it properly | ourheritageofhealth.com

If you’ve ever taken a tour through an old historic house, chances are that you’ve probably seen bundles of herbs hanging from ceiling beams in the kitchen. In earlier centuries, it was very common for houses to have some sort of kitchen garden, even if it was a small one, and these gardens almost always included herbs for culinary and medicinal uses.

While herbs and herbal preparations could have been purchased at an apothecary, many households of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century were far too frugal and economical to buy herbs that they could grow themselves, essentially for free, in their own backyards. By growing, harvesting, and drying their own herbs, they were able to save money and get the best quality herbs at the same time.

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Elderflower Water: A Homemade Hydrosol

 
 

How to make homemade hydrosol | ourheritageofhealth.com

I was snowed-in this past weekend with a blizzard, so I finally did something I’ve been wanting to try for a little while – making my own homemade hydrosol of elderflower water.

I had never even heard of elderflower water until I found a section on skin care in Decorum, a guide on etiquette and hygiene from 1879. In discussing different methods of washing the face, the book says:  

“Our somewhat remote maternal ancestors were very chary in the use of water lest it should injure the complexion. So they delicately wiped their faces with the corner of a towel wet in elder-flower water or rose-water.” (pg. 309-10)

I had heard of rose water before, but I had never seen any other mention of elderflower water before. I was curious to try it though.

I had always just assumed that I would need an actual still to make something distilled like rose water or elderflower water, and I was envisioning some sort of backwoods Prohibition-era contraption.

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5 Foods to Fight a Cold Without Medicine

Five foods fight a cold without medicine | ourheritageofhealth.com

It’s that time of year again, and you know the feeling. The itchy, runny, sniffly nose. The headache and the sore throat. The struggle to keep your eyes open even though you got a full night of sleep the night before. You go to bed feeling healthy, but then you wake up the next morning with the sinking realization that you are in a full-blown battle with the dreaded cold.

Since I’ve switched from a diet full of processed foods to one that focuses on real foods, I don’t get nearly as many colds as I used to, but whenever I do catch a cold, I don’t reach for the bottle of cold medicine any more.

Taking cold medicine used to be my only defense against a cold. I’ve always hated taking it, though. Besides the disgustingly fake cherry and orange flavors and the fact that it always makes me feel like I’m walking around in a daze, it never seems to do much good anyways.

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Dandelions Aren’t Weeds! The Healing Properties of Dandelions

Dandelions aren't weeds! The healing properties of dandelions | ourheritageofhealth.com

Why does everyone hate dandelions? I’ve always wondered that, ever since I was a little kid. I’ve always thought of them as flowers – cheery yellow ones or white puffy ones you can make a wish on as you blow their fluff away.

I’ve never thought of them as weeds, even though I’ve seen countless TV commercials for weed-killing sprays promising immaculate lawns – all with big, bright pictures of poor little dandelions on the bottle.

So many people view dandelions as a nuisance that ruins the appearance of their lawns when they could really be viewed as powerful medicinal herbs. I’ll admit, dandelions might not be quite as beautiful as some other flowers are, but it’s such a waste to kill them. They’re pretty in their own simple way, but, more than that, they’re valuable for their healing properties too. 

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Grow Your Own Herbal Medicine Cabinet

 Grow your own herbal medicine cabinet | ourheritageofhealth.com

The more I learn about natural health, traditional foods, and old-fashioned living, the more I realize that people in our modern society keep getting further and further away from the idea of home health care. By home health care I mean treating minor health complaints with natural, homemade remedies rather than relying on over-the-counter drugstore medicines.

(Before I continue, I need to clarify that I am not a doctor or a medical professionsl, and I don’t claim to be any kind of expert when it comes to medicine. I’m not advocating the idea of ignoring serious medical problems by any means. With many health issues, the wisest choice would be to seek medical help, and as always, make sure you do your research before making any decisions about your health.)

Traditional Home Remedies

What I’m talking about when I say home health care is the idea of using simple and natural homemade remedies to treat the little things, like a cold or a stomach ache. I’m talking about the importance of becoming more aware of our bodies and learning how to use the natural remedies in our own kitchens to help us to achieve the best health possible rather than immediately running out to the drugstore to buy something for every little complaint.

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