I have had much time to blog the last several days, I’m working on stocking our Etsy store (Parkrose Market) with salves and balms and knitted things. Trying to juggle all of my obligations at the moment is proving challenging, and I’m dropping a few balls here and there. But, I’m still making progress and being anything less than busy doesn’t come naturally to me.
I grow all of the herbs here (with the exception of myrrh), dry them in our solar dehydrator, and then infuse them into organic unrefined coconut oil and organic olive oil. We use only local beeswax from natural beekeepers (learn more about natural beekeeping here). Right now, I’m making four kinds:
Soothe Salve has calendula and plantain, which have been used for ages as first-aid for skin conditions, rashes, bug bites.
Besides being great for medicinal purposes, calendula is a long-blooming, repeat-blooming bee-loving plant. Even now, in late October, it is a steady source of food for our honeybees. It also self-sows readily.
We’re a roller derby family, and in the derby world, arnica is the favorite herb for the endless succession of bruises that come with the sport. Vervain (also called Juno’s Tears) is purported to help with inflammation. Together, the two herbs make for good care for bumps and bruises.
(Note, if you decide to grow Arnica montana in your garden – it is toxic and absolutely should not be ingested. And while it is a great bee-plant with lovely yellow flowers, it has a habit of spreading, so don’t put it in unless you can keep it controlled.)
Comfrey’s other name is Knit-Bone. It is an age-old treatment for broken bones, sprains, etc – typically used as a poultice, but also in salves. There is some dispute as to whether drinking quantities of comfrey tea can cause liver problems, so I only use it topically. I do use comfrey salve twice a day, every day, since I broke my ankle last summer.
Comfrey is one of the best herbaceous perennial plants for the permaculture garden, orchard, or farm. I’ve written a lot about it, and we stock sterile Russian Bocking comfrey plants for sale here. Shoot us an email if you’re interested in growing comfrey in your garden.
At the request of several folks, I’m also making a general all-purpose balm as we head into winter, specifically geared for supporting and protecting skin. As a farmer who doesn’t wear gloves as much as she should, this has been a big help to my dry hands.
I’ll be back later in the week with more, and will let y’all know when our Parkrose Market Etsy store is ready to open up.