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David Williams is known as the Indiana Jones of alternative medicine!
He travels the world looking for natural cures. You can find alot of very
helpful and interesting information plus his excellent newsletter at his
website. His drop down menu of medical conditions will quickly lead you
to his cure. You will also find his article about discovering 4 key ingredients
in Australia that help combat arthritis and joint discomfort. Click on
are another great addition for your homes medicine cabinet. Check back
soon for information on homeopathics. In the mean time you can go to Homeopathic
Educational Services at homeopathic.com
Family Homesteading Advocate
Simple living for the Urban and
Herbal Health and Healing
here for page 1
here for page 3
Wort- Learn how to harvest this very useful herb.
Wort in the News- Interesting facts about the latest controversy!
poison oak has found you then you need to find this plant!
Yourself Against Sickness - Herbal remedies are safer and work
in harmony with our body.
To Raise Your Kids Drug-Free - Free from Prescription Drugs, that
Herb Books-So many herb books to choose from! Here are a few of
our family favorites to help you decide.
Family Home Medicine Cabinet-Take a peek inside our medicine cabinet.
and Health Related
See what others use for healing.
by Kelly Frohnauer
An herb that our family
uses frequently is St. John's Wort. This herb grows quite prevalent here
in the Pacific Northwest. It can be found growing along roadsides, in meadows
and abandoned lots. June - July is the time to harvest its bright, yellow
flowers. This plant is very easy to identify as the leaves have lots of
tiny little pores that can be easily seen when held up to the sun (see
photo below). Also, the flowers, when crushed or rubbed between your fingers,
will release a deep, red juice.
The top flowering part of
St. Johns Wort plant
The children love this part. We
try to make herb picking a family affair!
SJW is best used fresh so before
harvesting besure to have your tincture
and oil ingredients ready (see next
section). Grab a paper grocery bag and
your scissors and head for the nearest
patch of SJW, preferably not right
next to the road in order to avoid
toxic lead from car exhausts that
accumulate in the soil and also
herbicides that the county roadside crews
spray yearly. Cut off about
the top 3-4 inches of the plant. During flowering,
a plants medicinal qualities are
highly concentrated in the flowers and tops
so that is the part you want to
be harvesting. Gather enough to fill your jars crammed full. Do not wash
the plants, the water can ruin your oils, just shake
off any bugs that you see.
~Preparing the Herbal
The juice of the SJW flowers is
red and your oils and tinctures a beautiful shade of red. Put as much herb
as you can pack into a clean canning jar. For tinctures, cover the herb
completely with 100 proof vodka. For oils, cover the herb completely with
Olive Oil. Cover tightly. Both the tincture and the oil take about 2 weeks
to steep. Put both in a warm location and daily shake the jar. When done,
strain through a sterile gauze pad, squeezing out as much as you can. Store
in a dark cool place. (Please note: Before storing away your freshly made
SJW oil, leave the lid off for about 24-48 hours to allow all the moisture
from the plants to evaporate as the water could ruin your oil).
Close up of flower
Close up of leaves. Notice
the tiny spores seen easily when held up to the sun.
We keep a 4 oz. bottle of SJW tincture
in our bathroom medicine cabinet so that it is easy
access to everyone. Our major
use for the
tincture is to clean cuts, wounds
abrasions of any kind. St. John's
Wort has been known to prevent Tetanus so when the children come in with
a cut or puncture wound of any
kind we automatically reach for
the St. John's
Wort tincture. Now that our
children are older
they initiate using the tincture
themselves. They have grown to realize the benefits of using it and have
seen how quickly it helps to heal.
The oil makes a great massage oil
for rubbing into sore and fatigued muscles. Also, itchy
or stretched skin (like that of a pregnant belly) is instantly
soothed from the application of SJW oil.
Other uses include...
Insect Bites - Crush
the leaves and flowers(get the juices flowing) and apply directly
to the sting for quick relief.
Crushed fingers or toes
- Homeopathic St. John's Wort, a.k.a. Hypericum, is great for crushing
blows to areas of the body that contain alot of nerve endings, such
as the fingers and toes. The tincture can be used in a bowl of warm
water that you can soak your foot or hand in.
(c)2002 - Kelly is a WAHM of 5
children. She has been involved in Midwifery for the past 15 years
and has attended many homebirths. Using natural remedies and herbs
has been a way of life for her and her family for over 22 years now.
John's Wort In The News
Frohnauer, editor of this website
Wort has been getting alot of great, positive publicity in the past
years and has gained a reputation as a viable alternative to prescription
antidepressant drugs. It's easily available, can be bought over-the-counter
and does not have the dangerous side effects that it's prescription
the sales of St. John's Wort exploding it's not surprising that
some prescription drug manufacturers and the American Medical Association
article in the Wall Street Journal addressed the issue of a newly
study which may tarnish the credibility of SJW. Pfizer, a major
prescription antidepressant drug manufacturer, has recently funded
and concluded that SJW's claim as an antidepressant is a
a closer look at Pfizer's study
has revealed some significant flaws. To quote Richard Friedman,
director of the psychopharmacology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical
College in New York, "The study has major problems. If you want
draw the conclusion that they
did - that SJW is ineffective and shouldn't be
used in depression - that's premature
and scientifically suspect."
Friedman's statement and the
fact that the study's authors, who are regarded
as some of the country's most
respected depression researchers, also agree
that more research is essential,
proves that the study is far from conclusive
and contains obscure data.
One would tend to wonder why
Pfizer reacted so hastily to proclaim the
unreliable conclusions of their
study? We should also wonder why a drug
maker would sponsor a study on
an herb? And why didn't they include their
own product in the study?
Even with SJW's proven positive
results from 24 previous randomized trials
done on more than 1,700 patients,
advocates of SJW have only claimed that
it works best for mild to moderate
depression. But the Pfizer backed study
was done on patients who were
With the unfair and truly unnecessary
rising costs of prescription drugs,
natural herbal remedies are being
given more consideration by the public.
You can see, by the obvious retaliation
from the drug company above, that
herbs truly are a viable, medicinal
alternative and pose a threat to the drug industries profits. I'm
sure we can expect more rediculous attempts in the
future. We can only pray that
the truth will prevail.
(c)2002 - Kelly is a WAHM of
5 children. She has been involved in Midwifery for the past 15 years
and has attended many homebirths. Using natural remedies and herbs
has been a way of life for her and her family for over 22 years
Kelly Frohnauer, editor of this website
fails! Spring time comes and I get a poison oak rash, even if I
in it! The oils are so potent in the Spring that I must get it from
or cat. The nice Spring weather also invites the children outside
to play. We don't have alot of poison oak on our property but what
little we do have is located right where the best places to build
a fort or tree house are! Our
know what poison oak looks like so it is rare that they get it,
the winter and early spring it is missing its leaves, thus camouflaging
we get our share of poison oak rashes. When we do, we get out the
and head for the Indian Soap Root patch!
Wherever Poison Oak grows chances
are you will find Soap Root growing. You can harvest
Soap Root anytime of the year and it looks the same year round, except
for having tall flowering stalks in the spring. The part to use is the
bulbous root, so you will need to dig it up. Usually one bulb is
all you will need. Peel off the brown, furry outer covering until
the white layer underneath is exposed. While using, keep it in a plastic
bag to keep from drying out.
Top view of Indian Soap
Uses & Preparation
DISCLAIMER The herbal information
you find here is not intended to prescribe or diagnose in any way and is
not to be used against medical advice. It should not be used as a substitute
for professional help. The intent here is to offer our personal use and
opinion of herbs and their benefits. Those who are sick should research
the alternatives and consult their chosen health professional.
as a treatment for Poison Oak is the only condition we use it for, but
according to tales we have heard and confirmation in herb books, the Aztec
Indians used it to intoxicate fish! They would put the "soap" in pools
of water and wait for the fish to float to the top. An easy catch! They
also used it as a soap to wash their clothes. I can see how that would
work as you can get a nice lather from crushing the layers. Peel off a
layer and crush with a little water until you have worked up a lather.
Then gently smear the soapy lather over the poison oak irritation and let
it air dry. Repeat process several times a day and the rash should dry
up quickly. There is a little stinging when first applied, but like with
all herbs being used for the first time, if you feel it is an adverse reaction
then discontinue use! Different people are allergic to different things.
Our whole family has used this with success along with several other families
that we have recommended this to.
(c)2002 - Kelly is a WAHM of 5 children.
She has been involved in Midwifery for the past 15 years and has attended
many homebirths. Using natural remedies and herbs has been a way of life
for her and her family for over 22 years now.