Gathering plants and medicine making

Posted by Virginia Ahearn on Nov 19th, 2010

My work with herbal medicine has so far been focused on clinical use and creating formulas for individual clients. I have started doing a bit more medicine making this year, which has been great fun! I won’t ever sell products commercially, just for me and friends and for the experience, and for getting my hands into the earth.
Earlier this year, while in Southern New Mexico, I harvested some nettles and valerian with a local herbalist as my wild crafting guide. We were high up in the appropriately named town of Cloudcroft. Valerian has small delicate roots, each plant I dug up, I had to do with care. I brought it home with me on the plane, wrapped in damp paper towels and ice packs, I cleaned it and got it marinating in grain alcohol. About 6 weeks later I strained it, and had two nice small bottles of tincture.
Last week I bought organic dandelion root at the farmers market, and during a class I taught the next day we chopped it up and again, got it marinating. We will strain it in the next class, it will have a month to sit and for the alcohol to draw out the medicinal properties. We will see how it compares to other commercially made dandelion tinctures.