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The Herbal Apothecarium
Exploring herbs & their many uses
Recent Entries 
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 (02:00) - Herbal Antibiotics
Hi, I'm doing some scientific research on new herbs and natural products that could be used as antibiotics. Is there anything in particular that you would like to be tested for antibiotic properties?

I have completed my research.

I noticed there was a lot of spam on this post claiming that a certain person could cure HIV/AIDS and cancer. While everyone wishes this was true, please don't get trapped by scams. It was pretty obvious that the comments were false if you read them, so I wouldn't expect anyone to believe it. Whoever you are, please stop giving people who are desperate false hope in order to try to take their money. It is wrong and should weigh on your conscience.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 (14:25) - Licorice Root
*waves* Hello!

I'm in the process of making my first Tincture which I plan to use to flavor rice in my lunch. I don't like Rice much, but I've been playing around with recipes and making Rice Balls - a nice finger-food for a snack box. Everything I've read about Tinctures says that it is mostly used as a flavoring herb because of the sweet after-taste to it. It's my favorite herb, so far! Any way, I was wondering if you guys have used it for other reasons at all. Has it had a different affect on you?
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 (17:31) - Pine and allergies
but it's all gravy
I'm allergic to pine needles. On skin contact I break out in a rash. I am also athsmatic. Is it likely that essential oils or pine resin when burnt with trigger an athsmatic alergic reaction?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 (19:43) - herbals
my lovely dearfriend & sister, chanelle bergeron, just started a tumblr accounting for some informative stories involving herbal medicinals. she is a certified herbalist and insightful creature. if you're interested in herbs/plants/healing, you will likely appreciate her words. it's just begun. enjoy! http://chanellebergeron.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 (18:43) - kava kava equivalencies
I am trying to compare the strength of kava extract in phyto capsules* compared to alcohol based tinctures. The capsules give the milligrams of kavalactones in each dose, and also the amount of raw plant matter the dose is supposedly equivalent to.

The alcohol extracts state that they're made with 65% grain alcohol, in a 1:2 ratio. One brand specifies that it uses the fresh root, another brand doesn't specify whether it uses fresh or dried.

I don't have enough information to make these two things meet in the middle. Since I'm equally satisfied with the speed and efficacy of both forms, I want to make a price comparison, but in order to do that, I need to figure out how many milliliters (or drops, since a 65% alcohol solution seems to average very roughly 35 drops to the milliliter, and I'm okay with the error of margin in converting on that basis) of the tincture is equivalent to the content of a single capsule.

The easiest thing would be to count doses: a 30ml bottle of tincture offers '30 drops' as a dose, which means there are roughly 35 doses in a bottle. But the problem is that each brand has a different suggested dose. Even between two brands of the capsules, one suggests that 1-2 capsules, each containing 60 mg kavalactones, is a dose. Another suggests 1 capsule, containing 75 mg kavalactones is a dose. So there's no way of guessing which of those should be considered comparable to 30 drops of tincture without more data.

Does anyone have that data, or know where I should look to find it?

* capsules containing a concentrated, alcohol-free extract, not whole dried plant matter
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 (20:52) - Query about safe use of liquorice
Beech leaves
I'm starting to experiment with using a potassium chloride/sodium chloride mix to improve the blood pressure problems I get from having severe ME/CFIDS, as described here. I tried the salt mix in water with not much added, and it was vile even at lower doses. Then I tried the correct dose in this rather odd tea which I recently bought, and it's great; in fact, I now actually like the tea, I wasn't sure about it before. However, someone has pointed out to me that I shouldn't overdo the liquorice as it could deplete potassium. I doubt I'll be drinking that particular tea several times a day, but a lot of my herb/spice teas do have liquorice in them, and I think it's the component that really works with the salt. The liquorice is only one ingredient amongst many, of course, and probably isn't a bad herb for me to be using overall. Does anyone know at what dose it could start causing trouble?
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 (11:05) - Ulcerated leg
I know this community isn't really active any more, but people on here have been really helpful in the past, so I though it was worth a try posting!
An old friend of mine has just has treatment for skin cancer on her leg. The treatment appears to have been successful and after chemotherapy there are no cancer cells left, but she got an infection in the wound left after the cancerous growth went. The infection also appears to have been cured with antibiotics, but she now has an ulcer. We are in England, so all this has been done on the NHS.
Does anyone have any suggestions for treating this ulcer? She has pressure bandages and the dressings are being changed daily by a nurse. I have suggested she inquire about honey dressings with her nurse and start taking echinacea as a general tonic, but does anyone else have any ideas that might help her?
She is 70+, fairly active, and very worried about her leg!
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 (21:34) - What is your favorite herb?
If you had to pick one herb as your favorite, what would it be?
Sunday, September 5th, 2010 (01:52) - White flour
Didn't know where to post this so I put it here.

There's so much about white flour being bad for us but is it really? What is so bad about it?
I grew up eating nothing but Mom's fresh baked bread and buns all made with white flour and there were times I'd eat nothing but that bread with butter on it and I wouldn't even eat supper because I was full of white bread. If I wasn't eating white bread I was eating spaghetti. I also enjoyed sweet things made with white sugar, whether it was store bought candy or home made baking, I ate a lot of that stuff too. I did also enjoy vegetables and fruit but my diet wasn't healthy by today's standards yet I was never sick, rarely got a cold and I always felt pretty good. I've never been over weight, in fact I was under weight and wasn't at an ideal weight until I was in my 30's, I'm nearly 41 now. I've improved my diet but I still eat sweets and my white bread from time to time and will continue.

So just going by my own experience I don't see what is so terrible about eating white flour and white sugar. I'm wondering if it's not the additives that's causing the trouble and not the actual white flour? Just a thought.
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 (02:12) - oil pulling
Hello everyone.

Who has tried oil pulling? I've just started and it's too early to say if it's working but I have been sleeping better since starting. I was hoping this would cure my sensitive teeth but it's too early to tell.

I read that Sesame oil is the best so that is what I'm using. I also read that you swish it around your mouth for as long as 20 minutes or until it is no longer yellow but white. So far I've only been able to do it for 5 minutes because I start to gag and I'm not sure why that is.

What are your experiences?
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 (14:00) - Valerian
I just started taking a "mood-boosting" supplement with Valerian root in it. The dosage says it's 55mg and I've been taking it twice a day like the bottle says. I'm not sure if it's the placebo effect or not, but I definitely feel something. I'm definitely more relaxed and a bit sleepy. But what I want to know is if this is actually a significant dose. I've heard of people taking 250mg caplets, but that sounds like a lot.

So if you're taking Valerian for stress, sleeplessness, etc., what dosage are you going with?

I have already read about it in a few different sources, and they all say that all the studies to prove that it actually does something were flawed. So that was a dead end.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 (11:24) - What else is good for anxiety?
I like lavender a lot but I use it too much,
and I like chamomile but not on a regular basis.
I've gotten kava kava tea, and it's okay I guess.

I have an anxiety disorder, and I've had a very stressful past few days!

What else can I try, and how do you suggest taking it?

Thanks for your help! :-)
Friday, July 23rd, 2010 (23:16) - American Nightshade, or Pokeweed…
rackham bats
This is really less of a specific question, and more of a request for information and discussion.

I’m currently compiling some of the information I find most useful(including herbal uses and moon charts)into a little personal reference book. It’s really more about the making a then the having the finished product, so a lot of my wonder and excitement are coming from just researching what I want to include. Since it’s almost harvest time, and I no longer live in a place where anything ever grows(insert my pained and frustrated expression here) I was planning my next trip out to the wild green yonder of California and what herbs and plants I wanted to harvest while there. My list was brief; mostly sage, rosemary, and other such garden herbs- until I recalled the strange plant that grows in the shade on my parents “farm” which I’d only ever heard called “Nightshade”. I did a dabble of research and found, of course, it wasn’t nightshade at all but Pokeweed.

Now my whole childhood I’d grown up with this plant; we’d hack it up to make play swords, stain our lips to look like lipstick, it seems to embody all my childhood. And now, reading about the color and toxicity of it in cold bright pixels, it seems so far from my reality. I feel as though I’ve looked up at a close friend and realized I know nothing about them! (Truth be told, my first thought was that it felt as if a school friend had rung my doorbell on chance to give me a copy of The Watchtower and tell me about god; I can only say, “I never knew!” and he I’m sure says “I thought you did!”)

Anyway, that tangent aside. I feel as if I ought to get as much information about this plant as I can. I’ve read what I can of it’s toxicity, edibility, and uses; my question is if anyone has had any hands-on experience with it, as medicine, dye, food, etc. And as a disclaimer, I feel I ought to say now I have no intention of going and chowing down a whole plant! I just have insatiable curiosity and a near endless supply of this stuff.
Friday, June 25th, 2010 (19:50) - Galactagogues
My son is now 3 weeks old, and we have all sorts of trouble establishing breast feeding, due to the stress of this and his recent trip to hospital after loosing 18 of his body weight, my milk supply is dropping off and I can't keep up with him. I am currently expressing milk and bottle feeding him which isn't ideal, but it was that or have him fed via a tube down his nose. I'd still like to establish breast feeding when I've got him back up to birth weight and he is a bit stronger.
Does anyone have any suggestions for herbal Galactagogues? I have fenugreek, but I'm not quite sure what to do with it!
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 (15:18) - Clove oil and sleep
I recently bought some pure clove oil to try on my sensitive teeth. It was too strong and I had a burning sensation. After this I did more research and found that I'd have to cut it with some other oil. During my research I read that clove oil can cause cavities so quit using it until I can find out for sure if it's good for my teeth or not.

I found that clove oil is also good for helping fall asleep and stay asleep so I've been taking 2 or 3 droplets and I do sleep better. Before I'd keep waking up and it would take me hours to get to sleep.

I read the side effects and so far I haven't experienced any of them. Several side effects come on if you take too much and this stuff can kill you. The two or three droplets I take are safe amounts. I find there is no need to exceed 3 droplets.

I also read that it can be mixed with lotions or other oils to use on stiff joints. There were other used and of course it can be used in baking for the flavor.

What are your experiences with Clove oil?
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 (23:15) - Plant Identification?

I went to my closest marsh a few weeks ago to take pictures and I found this really highly textured plant (it reminded me of dragon skin) with a starlike leaf formation.Its the plant in the foreground of the photo. I believe its in the 'compound spike' family. Just don't know the name of it. Was drawn to it and would like to know if there are any medicinal purposes. :)
Friday, May 14th, 2010 (14:12) - Aloe Vera Juice?
Full Moon
I've only recently noticed that you can buy aloe vera juice so I looked up what exactly it's supposed to help with and it seems as though it's great for the digestive system. I have IBS so anything that acts as a detox or helps with digestion issues in general spikes my interest.

I'm just here to see if anyone else drinks aloe vera juice and what experiences others have had with it.

I looked back through the tags and the only aloe vera topics are about the plant itself and the gel it produces.
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 (22:14) - xylitol for sneezy sniffly nose troubles
Anyone tried xylitol solutions for sinus trouble? My allergy doc said he was having a pharmacist compound a xylitol nasal spray, but that shop is 45 minutes away and I don't even want to know the cost. I later found a commercial version, Xlear, but it's hella pricey, so I've made my own for under $2--and $1.50 of that was the bottle itself.

Since it was an allergy specialist who recommended it, I assume xylitol spray would work for relief of plain ol' allergies. (My diagnosis is vasomotor rhinitis, which is all the fun of allergies except there's no histamine.) The Xlear people also offer a neti pot product that could be worth a homebrew try.

simple how-toCollapse )

Use in moderation, obviously--about 2 sprays/nostril/day is what the doc said--but it's less likely to cause rebound effects than overuse of prescription/drugstore products. The only minor drawback I've experienced is the sweetness kinda stays in the back of the throat for a while, but that can be minimized if you spray correctly.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 (18:19) - oily skin D:
Data & Spot
I need help with oily skin. I only wash my face twice daily (once in the morning and during my shower at night), but I do plenty of blotting with tp throughout the day. It's not so horrible it interferes with my life, but it's about moderate and it's unpleasant.

My face isn't the only problem. The whole area that feels oily goes from my scalp to about mid-back, with the oiliness decreasing on the way down and fading out. I'd love some suggestions about a good overall treatment.

I've read about omega supplements, but it was sort of overwhelming; the success of it seems to depend on the correct ratio of the various omegas, as well as how much is right for the individual. Plus, I'm vegetarian, so juggling all that and then finding non-animal-based supplements would be a challenge. (And an omega regimen would not be budget-friendly.)

As long as it won't aggravate my migraines or affect my periods, I'm up for anything you can suggest.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 (01:43) - Earth Day - Free Shipping for 24 hours!
In addition to being approved by Green People for our use of all-natural ingredients, we do make an attempt to keep things as Earth-friendly as possible at Reef Botanicals.  For packing materials, we recycle the packing paper in which our supplies are shipped to us, and if we run out of that, we shred the supermarket bags from our own purchases.  At craft fairs, we sell our soaps and shampoos "naked," to avoid wasteful packaging where we can.

We also like, of course, to pack as much into one single box as possible, to lessen the transportation impact on the environment.  It's better for the environment if you stock up all at once than if you make single-item purchases on eat a time.  Therefore, in honor of Earth Day, all orders over $10 placed at Reef Botanicals on April 22, between midnight and midnight EST, will qualify for FREE SHIPPING!  

Sorry, U.S. orders only. 
Saturday, April 10th, 2010 (01:03) - heart health
black bird
My husband has significant problems with his heart.  He's had mulitiple heart attacks, a bypass, and more stents in one artery they might as well just call the thing robotic.  The cause of all of this is natually occouring colesterol and diabetes causing his small vessels to harden.  We've already adjusted our diets and tried to add the right kind of excersise, but he still takes nitro several times a week.  Recently we found an article that claimed there was an herbal mixture that could stop and reverse the effects of heart disease primarily by removing the colesterol out of the blood.  I can't find anything on it.  I'm aware of things being too good to be true, but at this point anything that will allow him to reduce his man made medicine intake will be a good thing.  The research I've done points to common ones like garlic, ginger, cayenne, ect.  But it looks like Hawthorn is the key to this.  I'm really just a beginner here.  I really don't know how to administer the hawthorn, what it could possibly interact with his current meds, how much, or even if the effect will be enough to make it worth the effort.  I'm looking for any information on hawthorn, or heart health.  All comments welcome.  Thank you for your time.
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 (22:14) - Herbs for toddler's cold?
red fairy
 Hi all,

I'm trying to work out the best idea for dealing with my toddler's streaming nose which is keeping her awake at night. During the day she's happy enough because it's dripping down and out like it ought to be... but at night it's going down the back of her throat and she's waking coughing and vomited twice... poor love. I've tried one of those simple bulb things to slurp the stuff out but she won't let me near her with it.

So! What I would normally do for me if I had the same issue is put my head over a steaming bowl with eucalyptus oil and lavender oil in it with a towel over me, breathe in deep and then blow it all out before sleep, plus gargle with echinacea & honey tea before sleep to soothe the sore throat. Also, hot toddy (can't go wrong with hot whiskey and honey). Obviously, none of these are going to work with a 14-month-old.

If I were to try to make my own version of Vicks Vaporub, does anyone know the quantities of essential oil to petroleum jelly I should be using? Is that an okay thing for a 14-month-old? What about liquorice for sore throats? I know it shouldn't be used in pregnancy, what about in infants?

Any other ideas for drying up the flow, at least while she's sleeping?
Saturday, March 27th, 2010 (18:51) - Most effective way to take St. John's Wort
I'm currently taking 900mg of St. John's Wort daily. I take it one 300mg capsule at a time, morning/afternoon/evening. Is this the most effective way to take it, or should I be taking it all 900mg at a time? Is there a time of day that is better than another, such as right before bed?
I've been taking it for a month or two now and I'm not really noticing as much of an effect as I would like, so I wondered if maybe it has something to do with the way I take them.

Also, does anybody have any experience with taking more than 900mg a day? I am managing my bipolar disorder with herbs and wondered if there are others out there who use St. John's Wort in a similar way and how much of it you take. Perhaps I'm just not taking enough altogether?

Thank you in advance!

x-posted a few places
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 (23:34) - Mugwort and Wormwood
I am having a slight plant confusion. The herbs mentioned may have little to no medicinal uses, as I use herbs in witchcraft workings mostly. I heard about some, but am not sure...

     As far as I understand, Wormwood is an umbrella term for several species, including Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris). A spell I read calls for Wormwood, and in the book a definite line is made between mugwort and wormwood. I have seen countles pictures but most are too broad, not making the distinction I need.
     If there are any witches, herbal workers, or anyone who uses mugwort, has seen it for sure in the field, or who cultivates it in their garden, if you could please help me to make the distinction between these two common plants, I would be extremely grateful. Thank you all very much.
Monday, March 22nd, 2010 (21:11) - Ginger.
Has anyone else found that a strong hot ginger tea has expectorant properties?
Friday, March 12th, 2010 (13:23) - recipes for surgery recovery?
Doctor Soufflés against the Daleks
 I have a friend who just had some pretty major surgery.  She lives halfway across the country so I can't offer to come walk the dog for her or anything, so I was thinking an herbal care package would be nice.  Does anyone have suggestions for herbal teas or aromatherapy that will help with a quick recovery?  Or maybe a recipe for an ointment to put on the scar where they made the incision?
Friday, March 5th, 2010 (20:03) - Teeth Grinding
Hey :)
anyone know what would be helpful for night time teeth grinding?? the dentist said i must do it cos of the wear on my teeth..i said no i dont! but you obviously don't know what you do in your sleep...and my boyfriend woke me up last night as i was doing it, which i was thankful for, but ah im just worried about my teeth..plus the doctor told me i have temperomandibular joint disorder. cos i went to the doctors with pain in my jaw and it has previously made noises when it opens (which i initially thought was silly and never saw anyone about it - "my jaw squeaks when i open it" and "my head/temple clicks when i walk" - i didnt think anyone would be able to help!)
i know teeth grinding is linked to stress and i have suffered/do suffer with anxiety and i am taking escitalopram/cipralex at the moment..
im trying some magnesium to relax the muscles; and ive heard valerian is good .. but any help is most appreciated! I dont want to get a £200 mouth guard from the dentist :(
x x
Thursday, February 11th, 2010 (08:17) - Add Me Veg - Active Community!
pink rose
Add Me Veg - an 'Add Me' community aimed at vegetarian and vegan friends on livejournal!



I love my omnivore friends, but sometimes its nice to have a few fellow veg*ns on one's friends' list, swap recipes, discuss dinner ideas, and share ideals about animal welfare and animal protection
Not to mention, not have to explain yourself about your dietary choices (unless you wish to). ;)

Promises to be a drama free, non-snarky, fun space!

Looking forward to seeing you over there!!
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 (23:35) - Shampoo-Naming Contest

This is our all-natural shampoo bar, made with cocoa butter, honey, chamomile, sea kelp, and tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils.  We love it, but we don't have a name for it!  So we're holding a contest to name it, and the winner gets a free bar.  The details are here.

Contest ends Sunday night, so check it out!

If you can't wait and really want to buy it, it's available on our site, as "Contest Shampoo."
Sunday, January 17th, 2010 (03:09) - Hi, I'm new and a soaper.
Hi, all,

Thought it'd be proper to introduce myself before I jump into conversation.  

My husband and I started making soap last year and then started our business, Reef Botanicals.  We make all-natural handmade soap, bar shampoo, and sugar scrubs so far.  We're also planning on salt scrubs, bath bombs, and other products in the future.  We don't use any synthetic colorants or fragrances in our body products, which unfortunately limits our options... which is why a group like this could be great, in that you all might know of natural sources for things we can't find locally or easily.

Hopefully, I'll be able to reciprocate and give you all info on what we find on our travels.

Nice to meet you!

(and yes, I go by "njfacepainter" here, because I'm also a body artist.  :D)
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