What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the use of plants and other natural substances to treat a wide range of health conditions. Its practitioners are called herbalists. There is an extensive worldwide history of people using plants as medicine. Herbal medicines may be used by themselves or along with other treatments or therapies.*
Using herbal medicine is not mutually exclusive to using traditional medicine, the two coexist wonderfully and can support each other in supporting a persons health and well being.
Common Forms of Herbal Medicine
- Tincture-Plants extracted in alcohol
- Glycerite-Plants extracted in vegetable glycerin
- Tea-Plants extracted in water; hot water is either poured on the tea (infusion) or the tea is cooked in water (decoction)
- Powder-Plants reduced to a powder and taken internally
- Capsule-Powdered plants put into a capsule
- Compress-A strong tea with a cloth soaked in it and applied externally
- Infused Oil-Plants extracted in a fixed oil and applied externally
- Salve-Plant infused oil with bees wax added as an external preparation
- Oxymel- Plants infused in a vinegar and honey solution*
In this class we will focus on water based extractions; teas, infusions and decoctions. These three variations of water extractions vary in the length of time the herbs are infused and the methods by which they are heated. We will be sampling herbal teas, infusions and decoctions made with the herbs that we will discuss in the class. There will also be tinctures and glycerites available to try.
You will go home with:
An Herbal Materia Medica, which is a list of plants and their actions and attributes which are used in the composition of herbal remedies. For this class we will speak in depth on the following plants and how they can nourish and support both physical and emotional heart health:
- Oats- Avena sativa
- Reishi Mushroom- Ganoderma lucidum
- Hawthorn Berries-Crataegus monogyna
- Schisandra Berries-Schisandra Chinensis
- Rose- Rosa spp.
Everyone take home a copy of their own mini Materia Medica detailing the above plants and and how to use them. We will also discuss how to responsibly wild gather plants to make herbal medicine, which plants are best suited to growing at home and reliable and ethical sources to buy plants to make your own medicine.
In class we will each custom blend our own 8oz jar of Herbal tea. Using the plants discussed in class and an assortment of various herbal aromatics we will each mix a personalized blend of plants to create a tea that speaks to and nourishes our hearts. Depending on how strongly you brew your herbal tea, one 8oz jar will make between 15-20 cups of tea.
Class will be lead by Folk Herbalist Taylor Gendron
Taylor Gendron (she/her pronouns) is a folk herbalist practicing in South Eastern CT. She has a very small batch herbal medicine company, Esmé Botanicals which focuses on using plant medicine to enhance pleasure and works privately with clients to easily incorporate herbal medicine into their lives. Taylor teaches medicinal plant identification and use along with herbal medicine making in Madison and New London. She manages the Garden Center here at Madison Earth Care.
What is an Herbalist?
An herbalist is a health care practitioner who uses plants, herbal preparations, and other natural products as medicine. Herbalists are generally holistic in their approach to health care. This entails looking at many aspects of a person’s health with the goal of finding underlying causes and addressing them as well as treating symptoms. It is very important to note that Herbal medicine is not a licensed practice in the United States, and there is lot of variation in education and practice among herbalists. Without a legal definition, anyone may call themselves an herbalist. When choosing an herbalist, ask questions and consult with your physician to find one that suits your personal needs.*
Wednesday February 12th at 6 p.m at The Garden Center at Madison Earth Care
Class Fee $30
Please pre register with us as class size is limited. Call or Email to sign up.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
*Definitions and explanations adapted from the Herbalist 7Song at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. Their website holds a wealth of information on plants and herbal medicine.