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Relearn Medicine Making

Written by Meghan Rhodes MCPP MAPA

If you've ever grown fruit or veg, you know growing the food is only one side of the coin. The other is preserving so you can benefit from the beautiful flavours and bountious nutrients across the seasons.

The same is true with herbs. Growing or foraging them is one thing, but in order to work with herbs across the seasons, we need to transform them from fresh plants into potent, shelf stable plant medicines.

Although there are nuances, as a whole, medicine making need not be overcomplicated, but what I often hear from people is they struggle to get started.

When you've got a bunch of recipes from all over the internet and a pile of books, it can all feel a bit overwhelming and still leave you with those burning questions - How do I know if this smells or looks right? When will this go off? Is it strong enough? How do I store it? How do I use it?

pressing a herbal tincture

In my experience, when you learn a core skill with someone who's done it many times before, you get all those questions answered. Crucially, that gives you a baseline to guage what you're making and then the confidence to expand and explore other methodologies and recipes.

Because my grandmother taught me how to cook a whole chicken, I have never felt daunted by a roast of any size or persuasion.

The same is true with herbal medicine. When you have a solid foundation, you set yourself free - not only free from the stalemate of getting started, but also free from reliance on others to make medicines for you. When you know how to make medicines well, you have confidence what you're using to support your family is going to be effective. When you understand the processes, you can discern if something you choose to buy instead of make (for whatever reason) is of high quality.

It puts you in a position of power. And who doesn't want that?


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