Herbal Medicine Making Kit Download Link - Learning Herbs


Herbal Medicine Making Kit Download Link - Learning Herbs

Herbal Medicine

Making Kit

John M. Gallagher, L.Ac., CCH


Printing Recommended for this book

Printing this book is recommended. You may want to have these instructions with

you when working on the kit.

We advise first watching the DVD introduction, and then reading the introduction

in this book. With each section of the kit you do, read through this book, then watch

the DVD, and with the printed instructions in hand, do the lesson. There is no lesson in

this book for making the herbal infusion, therefore, just watch the DVD. The conclusion

for the kit is on the DVD.

In these books, clicking on any “hyperlink”, such as the web site surrounded by a box

below, will bring you directly to that page if you are connected to the internet.

Resource Page: http://www.LearningHerbs.com/ResourcePage

Also, clicking on the

Page as well. You must be on-line to use this feature.

icon on the top of each page will bring you to the Resource

TERMS OF USE: The Herbal Medicine Making Kit and all

information provided on or by LearningHerbs.com is for

educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute

for the advice provided by your physician or other medical


You should not use the information contained herein or the

products in the Herbal Medicine Making Kit for diagnosing or

treating a health problem, disease or injury, or prescribing

any medication.

If you have or suspect that you have a serious health

problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Always consult with a health care practitioner before using

any herbal remedy, especially if pregnant, nursing, or have

a medical condition. Always follow the manufacturer’s

directions when using herbal remedies or giving herbal

remedies to children.

Information and statements regarding dietary supplements

have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent

any disease.

LearningHerbs.com, it’s owners or employees, shall not be

liable for injury, damage, or loss allegedly arising from the

information contained in the Herbal Medicine Making Kit.

By purchasing the Herbal Medicine Making Kit, you have

accepted our terms of use. Anyone who does not accept

these terms, being the purchaser may have been unaware

of them at the point of sale, may return the Herbal Medicine

Making Kit at any time for a full refund (we will not refund

shipping costs).

The Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Written by John M. Gallagher

Edited by Kimberly Gallagher, Kat Koch

Production/Layout/Photos/Web Design by John M. Gallagher

© 2005, 2007 John M. Gallagher. All rights reserved.

First printing/electronic release: January, 2005

No part of this publication or the accompanying DVD may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or

transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the

prior written permission of the copyright owner. Making copies of any part of this book for any purpose other

than your own personal use is a violation of US copyright laws.

This book is part of the Herbal Medicine Making Kit, which is published by LearningHerbs.com. The

LearningHerbs.com, Herbal Medicine Making Kit and logos are registered trademarks. Information about the

The Herbal Medicine Making Kit and may be obtained at www.LearningHerbs.com.

What’s in your kit

Organic Echinacea


Salve Herbs

Comfrey*, Calendula,

Plantain*, and

St. Johnswort*

*Organic or wildcrafted

Organic Nettle leaf

Urtica Dioica

For use with the

Nourishing Herbal

Infusion section

of the DVD.

Echinacea purpurea

Date: / /

Decant: / /

Dried root in ____% alc.

9 oz. jar for

tincture making

Echinacea root for

tincture making

Herbs for salve


Nettle for use in

Roots and Branches




10 ml.

Beeswax for salve


Cheesecloth for

straining herbs

Lavender for salve


4 blue dropper

bottles for your

finsihed tinctures






Echinacea purpurea

root extract

Contains: Comfrey, Calendula, Plantain, and

St. Johnswort (in Olive oil);

essential oil of Lavender;

bees wax

1 fl. oz.

10 labels for your finished products!

4 salve tins and 2

2oz. salve jars.

Special Thanks & Acknowledgement to Kimberly, Jon Young, Sally King, EagleSong,

Karen Sherwood, my brother Jim for designing our logo, Sandie Grumman, the Wilderness

Awareness School staff and elders, Ingwe, Erin Groh, Eileen VanBronkhorst, nd the RavenCroft

Community. Extra special thanks goes out to Paula at the P&G Speakeasy Cafe in Duvall,

WA where I wrote most of these books. EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA special thanks to my

parents for their never ending love and support.

For Kimberly, Rowan, and Hailey...


Herbal Medicine Belongs to Everyone (Even you)

Perhaps you have taken Echinacea for an oncoming cold

and want to learn more. Maybe you heard that you can

make herbal remedies at home, but haven’t found the

right instruction or haven’t felt safe doing so. Or perhaps you

are part of the growing number of people who want to care for

themselves naturally but just do not know where to start.

“There are so many herbs to learn about, the body is so

complex, and I just do not have the time or energy to

learn about it all. I really want to treat my family naturally,

but where do I start? Who will teach me? What book can

I trust? What alternative method of healing is the right

one for me? I think my doctor is helping me, but it just

isn’t enough. Why isn’t there a pill to cure my energy loss

or migraines?”

Does any of this sound familiar? Yup, I have been there too.

I was actually working for a nature school for years before I

felt comfortable going beyond the Echinacea I took for a cold,

and even THAT was a stretch for me. I knew from experience

Herbal Medicine Making Kit

and all the media hype that it worked, but I had no idea

what all those other bottles of herbs in the store were for.

Once I ran into someone who actually made their own

Echinacea tincture and could not believe they trusted

their own medicine that they made in their house. How

did they know what plant to use? How much of it? What

if they poisoned themselves? With questions like these

rattling around in our heads, herbal medicine can seem

intimidating or even down right dangerous.

First I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to consider

the idea that western culture and western medicine

have severed our connection with nature and natural

remedies. It is this severed connection that leads to our

fears. However, I am not out to bash western medicine.

I use western medicine when I need it. Many lives are

saved every day by hospitals and allopathic doctors.

What I am talking about here is our every day healthcare.

Preventative medicine… such as exercise, good nutrition

and whatever else helps us reduce stress. A major part

of our everyday healthcare can come from the nourishment

and health giving gifts of the plants.

Consider that plants not only clothe us and shelter us, but

they are the root of our sustenance. Everything we eat

comes from plants and trees, including meat (remember

what the animals lower on the food chain eat). The quality

of our food can make a huge difference in our vitality

and quality of life. Herbs are plants, and herbal medicine

actually has a lot to do with what we are ingesting for

our everyday health.

We all know that spinach and broccoli are good for us.

They are filled with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants,

and more. We know how to prepare them to eat. Did you

know that there are other health giving plants besides

the fruits and green vegetables you are familiar with? I’m


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

talking about wild plants and herbs. We can eat

them and make teas that are incredibly nourishing

for our bodies. The “dreaded” stinging nettle

is one of the most nutritious and delicious greens

there are, and can easily be incorporated into your

favorite dish. Another example is oatstraw. It’s

nourishing for your nervous system, and a pint of

oatstraw infusion has as much calcium as a glass

of milk!

With this kit you are about to open up a whole new

world of health and nutrition. However, I realize

that it takes some time to learn about herbs and

to feel safe using them. I know that it can take

some time before you find the right way to keep

YOU healthy or to heal yourself. I can’t tell YOU how to

be healthy, but I can introduce you to herbal medicine,

which can be an important part of your everyday health

care. I can give you a great starting place.

Believe it or not, stinging nettle

is one of the most nutritious

herbs. You’ll get to try some in

the Roots and Branches home

study course.

I feel a starting place is important. That may sound painfully

obvious, but seriously, you’d be surprised how hard

it can be to find a place to start in learning about herbs.

There are so many books and web sites out there that it

is dizzying. In one respect, that is a good thing. Twenty

years ago there were only a few books out there. But

on the other hand, someone can get so overwhelmed

by all this information that they never get started. This

is part of the success of the Kamana Naturalist Training

Program that I helped design for Wilderness Awareness

School. It helps people weed through and utilize the

vast choices of field guides in a simple system that helps

them learn about nature.

Similarly, this herbal kit will help you learn to use the

vast number of herbal resources available today. I want

to support all the great books out there by helping peo-


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

ple learn how to use them. I want to support all the great

teachers out there by leading people to the right class

for them. When I first learned about herbs I just wanted

someone to teach me the basics. I had all the books,

but I still needed someone to show me. I went all over

the Northwest Herb Faire looking for a kit exactly like

this one, but could not find one. Luckily, I found a good

teacher. Once I learned the basics and learned to trust

myself, the possibilities were endless. I want to help you

learn to trust yourself and want to inspire you to learn

more. There are many ways to learn herbal medicine,

and in time you will find which is right for you.

I talked earlier about the nourishing herbs we can use

every day that can keep us healthy. There are also stronger

herbs that can help us in times of sickness. Whether

we have a cold or flu, an upset stomach, or are in a firstaid

situation, the plants that grow around us can come

to our aid. More serious conditions warrant experienced

mainstream or alternative practitioners (herbalists, naturopathic

doctors, homeopathic practitioners, acupuncturists,

therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors,

etc..), but everyday nourishment and relief from the

most common conditions lie in our own hands. For tens

of thousands of years human beings intimately knew the

medicine of the plants around them. The healer of the

tribe or village was called in on more serious conditions,

but people knew how to stay healthy and what to use if

they fell ill with a common ailment. We today can follow

that same model.

I am going to show you that incorporating herbal medicine

into your life is simple and inspiring. As a human

being, you are about to “re-learn” the medicine that

has been growing around you your whole life. The same

medicine that your ancestors used for millennia. Herbal

medicine is truly medicine that belongs to everyone.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Why I chose to teach with a kit…

I feel the best way to learn is hands-on. I also know

distance education works. I still direct the best naturalist

home study course available (Wilderness Awareness

School’s Kamana Naturalist Training Program). So, I had

this idea that I would combine distance learning with a

hands-on experience.

Besides the herbs I use daily to keep myself nourished,

two herbal products that I often use are my homemade

all purpose healing salve and my Echinacea tincture.

They are the foundation of my personal first aid kit as

well. I thought I would show you how to make two useful

products while teaching you how easy it is to make

herbal medicine.

I want this kit to be the foundation of your future herbal

learning endeavors. At any time, you can log on to

HerbMentor.com with your free trial membership (do not

misplace the yellow sheet that came in your kit).


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Whether you choose to be a part of our ongoing learning

community or not, you can read, listen to or watch all the

lessons you want while you are signed up.

You can also download the free Roots and Branches

Herbal Home Study Course on HerbMentor.com. The

“Roots” part of the course will expand your herbal

medicine making skills a little further past tinctures and

salves. You will learn how to learn about medicinal, edible

and poisonous plants, how to wildcraft ethically, how

to make herbal infusions and teas (infusions also covered

in this kit), the benefits of herbal vinegars, how herbs

can nourish us, how to cook a meal with wild herbs, and

a bit about herbal first aid.

Roots & Branches, formerly the

‘official follow-up course’ for the

Herbal Medicine Making Kit, is

still available on HerbMentor.


We recommend you explore

HerbMentor.com, and make sure

you are on our free newsletter

list to receive ongoing recipes,

remedies and information.

The “Branches” part were our free monthly newsletters

designed to keep you inspired and learning. Over

40 back issues are available on HerbMentor.com. The

HerbalBranches newsletter was simply renamed the

“HerbMentor Newsletter,” and we highly recommend you

get on our current mailing list on LearningHerbs.com. In

other words, we continue to publish ongoing lessons.

On HerbMentor.com, there are other options besides

Roots & Branches to continue your learning journey. You

can download a guide that instructs you on how to get

the most out of the site, such as studying the herb of the

month, using HerbMentor Radio, joining the community

forum or calling the monthly teleconference.

What motivates me is knowing that I am helping someone

break down the wall that separates them from herbal

medicine and/or making their own herbal medicine.

I am committed to you feeling that you can be a home

medicine maker. This kit gives you a starting place and

the information provided helps you discover where to go

next on your journey of taking your every day healthcare

into your own hands.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

You don’t need a degree or to take a bunch of classes

to call yourself a home medicine maker. You simply have

to embrace and utilize these health-giving gifts called

plants in a way that promotes life.

You might have aspirations of being a Community

Centered Herbalist, a naturopath, an ethno botanist,

an herbal shopkeeper, or more likely, of being someone

who brings natural health to your and your family’s life.

Whatever your journey is, your first step begins here…

Time to start the Herbal Medicine Making Kit!

Let’s talk about the herbs!

Let’s take a look at a useful oversimplification of herbal

categories (next page), so we begin to get a sense of the

array of herbs available for our tinctures and teas.

At the base, you have your nourishing herbs. Those are

the plants you are going to either eat or drink in larger

quantities. They are as safe as the organic veggies from

your local farmstand, and in many cases, more nutritious.

Some of these herbs include nettles, dandelion,

burdock, chickweed, and red clover.

On the next level you have your gentle medicinal herbs.

Here is where you will find your gentle remedies. A

couple you are already familiar with are peppermint or


Next we have your stronger medicinal herbs. These are

herbs you want to use far less often, usually when you

have an acute condition such as a cold, fever, or perhaps

an ankle sprain. These herbs can include echinacea,

goldenseal, and arnica.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit


Dangerous to

mess with

Stronger Medicinal


Gentle medicinal herbs

Nourishing herbs

John’s oversimpified herbal category chart.

Next up we have potentially poisonous herbs that are

used for medicinal purposes, but are ones you should

really stay away from unless a qualified and experienced

practitioner administers them. These might include foxglove

or bittersweet nightshade.

And finally, at the top of the pyramid, you have your poisonous

plants no one should ever ingest. These include

belladonna, false hellebore and poison hemlock. (Note

that some poisonous herbs can be taken internally as

homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic remedies contain


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

no biochemical traces of the plant. More on these remedies

in the Root and Branches course.)

An important thing to note is that this is a ROUGH

sketch as to how you will find these herbs in

nature. Meaning, there are a huge amount

of nourishing herbs and gentle mind herbs, a

smaller amount of stronger species, and a much

smaller amount of poisonous plants.

Let’s talk tinctures

Herbal tinctures are herbal chemical constituents

extracted into a liquid base, usually alcohol.

(Note: teas are also extractions of herbal

constituents, except a tea is extracting the plant

into water.) What’s nice about alcohol is that 1)

it is a preservative, and 2) it can extract stronger

constituents than water can extract. The

constituents are going to be more concentrated

in a tincture than in a tea. However, alcohol does

not extract the vitamins or minerals, as water will.

So tinctures are used as medicine while tea can be

used for your every day nourishment.

Tinctures are found in bottles like these at

most health food stores and herb shops.

This photo was taken at RavenCroft

Garden in Monroe, WA.

Personally, I make most of my tinctures out of those

gentle herbs such as chamomile and stronger herbs

for acute situations such as Echinacea. Alcohol does a

wonderful job extracting the constituents we need from

these herbs to help us in many acute situations. I never

touch the potentially poisonous herbs.

I really like tinctures when I have an acute situation

because they are effective and easy to transport. It’s

hard for me at work to make herbal decoctions (strong

teas that you simmer for a while). With a tincture, all I

have to do, is squirt a dropper full of Echinacea in my

water or juice and I am good to go. Then, when I get


Herbal Medicine Making Kit


home, I brew up a nourishing soup or herbal brew and

rest. I would love to be able to run home and rest at the

first sign of a cold, but you know as well as I do that

isn’t always possible in this day and age. Even while I

am nourishing myself and resting at home, I continue

to take my herbal tinctures. They are a great way to get

those stronger herbs in a concentrated form.

So, Why Echinacea?

Of all herbs, why did I choose Echinacea for this kit?

Honestly, my first reason was because you probably have

heard of it. Even my mom has used it. Secondly, it is an

herb I use myself and really like. Herbalist and author

Stephen Buhner once said in a class that there are 3

basic ways he uses Echinacea. 1) At FIRST sign of a cold

to boost your immune system. 2) For first aid situations.

Echinacea is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. 3)

Directly squirted on the back of his throat for strep or a

sore throat.

I recently heard on NPR that the University of Washington

did a study on Echinacea, and it found that it was ineffective

for children with colds. That’s true. You take it AT

THE FIRST SIGN of a cold. I found it sad because many

will interpret that report as “Echinacea does not work.”

That’s the thing about herbs. You can’t look at them in

the same way you look at western drugs. There is no

silver bullet in any medicine for every ailment. No two

people are the same and no two illnesses are the same.

Herbs work to support and nourish our health. In this

case, Echinacea can work to support your immune system

to help the cold virus not take hold.

When I first feel signs of a cold, I take Echinacea. I might

take a dropper an hour for the first couple days until it’s


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

gone. I will then continue the support whether the cold

takes hold or not for a few more days (just 3 droppers

a day). If it takes hold, I will take it a few times a day

for no more than TEN DAYS. But at the same time I

am also supporting my immune system by resting,

eating nourishing soups, ingesting garlic, and drinking

my favorite “Special-Tea” that I make when I have

a cold. This tea is covered in the ‘cold and flus’ tab on


So, what I want to get across is that tinctures are wonderful,

useful, and great… BUT they are not all that

herbal medicine is. In fact, the way I take herbs is

almost just like that pyramid I made. I take MOSTLY

nourishing herbs, then I take a little less than that in

gentle remedies, and far less frequently these stronger

remedies like Echinacea.

Then, why am I having you make Echinacea tincture

first? Why not start out with the herbal creations you

will make far more often than tinctures? Well, you’ve

heard of Echinacea, you’ve heard of tinctures, tinctures

are certainly useful, and well… it’s FUN TO MAKE THEM!

Yes, herbal teas are great, but making your first herbal

tincture will be far more rewarding and inspiring as your

gateway to herbal medicine making. Besides, the method

you use to make tinctures is similar to the methods

you use to make other herbal remedies.

Your finished Echinacea


Making the Tincture

In the classes I teach people often find it amazing when I

tell them that in the folk method, many herbal remedies

are made by stuffing a jar with plants and pouring a liquid

over them. Well, in a nutshell, that’s true. Of course,

there is a LITTLE more too it, but basically, that is what

you are doing.

In making our Echinacea tincture, you are going to pour


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

the packet of Echinacea root into the clear 9 oz. jar, and

fill the jar with vodka until it is full. You’ll then let it sit for

6 weeks, shaking it once a day. After six weeks, you’re

going to strain it out through the cheesecloth. Then

presto, you have your Echinacea tincture. WOW! I just

explained the whole process in a paragraph!

100 proof vodka is

recommended for your

tincture. A smaller flask

will be plenty for this


What do you do for people who don’t want to take alcohol,

such as children or recovering alcoholics? For my

son, I often put his tincture in juice. The amount is so

small that I really do not feel it is an issue for kids, but

you may feel different. If it is an issue for you or someone

you know, you can put the dropper of tincture in hot

tea or water. The heat will evaporate the alcohol leaving

the medicine in your tea or hot water.

I use 100 proof vodka most of the time. You can buy

it in a small, inexpensive flask for this project. You do not

need to purchase an entire big bottle unless you plan on

making more tinctures or having a party.

Before you begin, purchase a small bottle of 100 proof

vodka. If you are under 21, please do this part of the

kit with someone who is 21 or over, so that they can

purchase the vodka and do this project with you. Please

make sure they take with them any vodka that is left over

until you work on your next herbal tincture project.

Want to make more?

Take any jar and repeat the process you are about to do.

Fill half the jar if using dried herbs, or fill with chopped up

fresh herbs. This is a good rule of thumb to follow.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Now that you have your alcohol and kit materials

ready, here’s what to do:

1. Pour all of the enclosed dried Echinacea

root in the enclosed 9 oz. jar.

2. Fill the jar with vodka to the lip below

the screwband. Make sure the Echinacea

is covered. Put the lid on. Keep the jar

out of direct sun light. You’ll want

to keep your finished remedies out of

direct sunlight as well.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

3. Label the jar with the enclosed tincturebrewing

label. Fill it in with the alcohol

percentage and date. For example,

“Echinacea purpurea, dried and tinctured

in 50% alcohol on 6/3/2004”

In this example, Echinacea is part of

the botanical name, so I did not put

the common name. The date will help

you remember when to strain it. Some

advice…ALWAYS label your herbal creations.

All those brown liquids begin to

look alike as you grow your personal

herbal apothecary.

4. Shake the jar. Do this once a day for

6 weeks. If this is not possible, then

at least do it every day for the first 2

weeks. It’s helpful to keep the jar in

a place where you will remember to

shake it regularly, such as on the kitchen




You do not have to wait until the tincture is

completed to sign up for HerbMentor.com. You

can even begin the Roots & Branches course.

Though you’ll enjoy any part of HerbMentor

at this point, we do not recommend you do

any courses until you finish the salve.

MAKE SURE you check every day for

the first 2 weeks to see if the vodka

is covering the herbs. It is vitally

important that the herbs remain covered

at all times. This prevents oxidation.

If the herbs are above the vodka

line, add vodka until they are covered


Read through the rest of the tincture

instructions, but return to Step 5 in

six weeks to complete it. Continue

on and begin making your herbal


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

5. After 6 weeks, use the enclosed cheesecloth and

strain the tincture into a large bowl.

6. Use a small kitchen funnel to pour your

finished tincture into the enclosed dropper

bottles. If there is any left over, pour into

any old bottles you have in the house. Make

sure you clean out any old jars by submerging

them in boiling water for ten minutes.

7. Label your bottles with the enclosed labels.

8. You’re finished! Now have now made your

own Echinacea tincture!


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Wasn’t that easy! Now, imagine the possibilities. You can

make tinctures with so many herbs that can be used for

so many different ailments. The process isn’t all that different

from what you just experienced. Yes, I know there

is a lot to learn…all those plants, all those herbal skills,

all those ailments…BUT…

I want to say something important with regards to how

to learn herbal medicine. I want you to know that it is

possible for you to feel empowered as a home medicine

maker right from the beginning. Let’s face it, herbal

medicine and nature are huge subjects. In fact, they are

infinite. Talk to any experienced home medicine maker

or herbalist, they will tell you that the more they learn,

the more questions they have and the less they feel they

know. Get comfortable now with the fact that you will

never know it all. Nobody can.

So, how can you feel empowered now?

Well, the key is to just take it day-to-day, experience-to-experience.

Maybe it’s once a day, or

maybe it’s once a week or once a month, put aside

a little time to learn about plants or practice a new

herbal skill. With every little thing you learn it takes

you further down the path of herbalism. Today you know

more than you did yesterday. And tomorrow perhaps you

will know more than today.

If you keep learning, growing, picking, drinking, eating,

pickling, tincturing, or infusing herbs in your life, in

time you will look back and realize how much you have

learned. You might have this realization when you starting

telling others about herbs. It’s hard to keep in touch

with how much we are learning on a day-to-day basis,

but on reflection we often discover just how far we have



Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Once again, do not focus on the vastness of the subject

or how much you would like to know. Just stay focused

on the present. What will you do today? That’s enough.

Will you work in the garden? Make nettle soup? Use an

herbal salve for a bruise? If you make it a point to learn

or experience something today, you have succeeded in

making steps towards your dream. Those steps might

lead you towards being an herbal medicine maker, a consultant,

a gardener, an herbal business owner, a teacher,

or simply someone who uses herbs to improve their

everyday quality of life. You really have no idea where

your herbal education is leading you right now. However,

in the present moment, you have a tincture and a salve

to make.

When I first picked a guitar up and found myself playing

regularly, I guess I could have called myself a musician. I

always thought that you had to be really good or have an

album out to be called a musician. Then one day, someone

called me a musician, and it felt right. Yes, I was a

musician. It’s the same with being an herbalist. While

you are using this kit, technically you are an herbalist.

An herbalist is one who uses herbs. However, it might

take some time before you personally feel like you are an

herbalist. Perhaps one day someone will introduce you to

someone else as an herbalist, and you will think, “Yes, I

AM an herbalist.” It will just feel right. So, whether that

time is now, next month, or next year, it will be up to

you to recognize when calling yourself an herbalist feels

right to you.

The reason why I am even bringing this up now is

because I want to keep driving home the fact that using

herbs is not something reserved for naturopaths or other

people with letters after their names. Herbs are for all of

us. They always have been. And, becoming an experienced

herbal medcine maker can only happen

when you have a lot of experiences with herbs. And


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

you have a lot of experiences with herbs by starting with

one experience, and building on it. That one experience

you started with was the Echinacea tincture. An experience

to build on that will be the herbal salve. After the

salve, I will give you some more ideas. Project by project,

you build your knowledge.

How to Make an Herbal salve

I suppose the first question should be WHY make an

herbal salve? Well, herbs work incredibly well in first aid

situations. Cuts, bruises, bites, stings, scrapes, burns…I

have had personal success with the healing power of

herbs with all of these. Whereas knowing what exact

herbal remedy (salve, poultice, compress, etc.) to use in

a first aid situation will come in time with experience, an

important part of your herbal repertoire will be the salve.

I always carry an all purpose herbal healing salve in my

travel first aid kit, and use it often for many situations.

Rowan uses his salve on an

ouchie. I use this all purpose

salve you are about to make

for cuts, scrapes, itching,

minor burns, dry or chapped

skin or lips, sun burn and so

much more. I always make

sure the wounds are cleaned

out thoroughly first. Water

first, then Echinacea tincture

usually does the trick.

Remember how the Echinacea plant constituents were

being extracted by the alcohol when making your tincture?

Basically, the same thing is happening in salve

making. With a salve, the herbal chemical constituents

are extracted into olive oil. After the oil is completed and

strained, it is combined with melted beeswax. When the

combined substance hardens, presto, you have a salve.

Sound easy? Well, it is. So, let’s get to making it.

Before you begin, you will need a few things you

have in your kitchen. Get out your olive oil (you’ll

need 1 1/2 cups, available in all supermarkets), a

wooden spoon or something to stir with, a kitchen

strainer, a bowl, a smaller pouring device (such as

a measuring cup), and a saucepan (I like using glass

Corning pans, but any pan will work. I have a double

boiler insert that insures that I won’t accidentally burn


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

About the herbs in your salve...


Calendula officinalis

Calendula is an easy flower to grow in your garden and

is one of the premiere first aid herbs. You’ll find it in

most first aid lotion, salve or cream formulas. It acts

against inflammation, and is excellent for cleaning and

healing wounds. It soothes and quiets irritation. It

also increases peripheral circulation. It is a very safe

herb to use externally, as all these herbs are.


Symphytum officinalis

Comfrey is known as one of THE most healing herbs. It

is nourishing and a very powerful herb to use externally.

It is excellent for sprains, broken bones, and bruises. It

is also very regenerative, which is why it is excellent for

wound healing. Always make sure wounds are cleaned

out with an anti-septic such as Echinacea tincture before

applying remedies with comfrey, such as the salve you

are making. You do not want to trap infectious material

under the skin.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit


Plantago major

If you’re out and ever get an insect sting, find some of

this very common plant quickly, chew up a few leaves,

and apply it directly to the sting. It is one of the best

known “first-aid kits” of the wild. It has incredible

drawing qualities. It also helps to stop bleeding, helps

stop infection from spreading, and takes away pain as

well as itching. It is also well known for snakebites. Look

for this incredible gift from nature in a sidewalk crack

near you. Who knew Ortho’s most wanted could be so

healing? Makes ya wonder...

St. Johns Wort

Hypericum perforatum

You may know this as the famous antidepressant, but

few know of it’s powerful first aid properties. It can heal

damaged nerves, is great for sun burns, is anti-viral, and

is awesome for strained muscles. I use the oil as “sun

screen” in the summers. It didn’t do much for me in the

intense sun of Wyoming last summer, but in Washington

state, this amazing herb never fails to protect me from the

summer sun. The trick is to use it regularly on commonly

exposed parts of your body.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

anything on the bottom of the pan. You can often find

these at second hand stores. BUT, do not let a piece of

optional kitchen equipment stop you from starting.

Just get going. It only takes an hour and a half.)

PLEASE read these instructions at least once before

making the salve. Make sure you have all your

supplies nearby before starting. I also recommend

you have an extra small jar or two handy in case

there is extra salve.

1. Pour 12 fluid ounces (1 cup and a half) of olive

oil into the saucepan or double boiler. Put the

pan on low-medium heat on the stove. Olive

oil is used because it is more stable than most

vegetable oils and will not go rancid nearly

as fast. Do not heat the oil higher to make

this process go faster. Doing this will further

destabilize the oil and cause earlier rancidity.

If using a double boiler insert, boil the water

in the saucepan, turn to low-medium heat so

the water does not spill out, and then pour

your oil into the double boiler insert. If you

use a regular saucepan, be CAREFUL and

keep the heat LOW.

Saucepan with double boiler


2. Add the salve herbs into the oil (do this right

after you pour the oil in). Stir herbs into the

oil with stirrer. Stir every so often for one hour.

If you are using just a pan and not a double

boiler, you’ll need to make sure you stir your

herbs more often. You’ll also need to make

sure you have the heat on low if using just a

saucepan. With a double boiler, the heat can

be a little below medium.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

3. After one hour, turn off the heat. Put your

kitchen strainer over a bowl. Line the strainer

with some of the enclosed cheesecloth. If you

do not have a strainer, you can use just the

cheesecloth, but you’ll need to wait for the

oil to cool first. The point is, separate the

oil from the plant material, but KEEP the oil.

Once you have done this, compost the plant


4. YOU NEED TO HAVE exactly ONE CUP (8

oz.) of herbal oil. If you have more than

this, pour off the extra (you can use it as

an herbal oil for the same healing purposes

as the salve). If you have a little

less, make up the difference by pouring

in a little extra olive oil. It is REALLY

important to have exactly one cup of



Herbal Medicine Making Kit

5. Clean out your pan or double boiler with soap

and water, or just get another pan for the next


6. Once again, put your pan on a low-medium

heat. If you are using a double-boiler, do the

same as before to get it ready.

7. Empty beeswax packet into the pan at any


8. Allow the wax to melt all the way. Be careful if

you are only using a pan not to burn the wax.

It should gently melt. Stir as melting.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

9. When melted, pour in your herbal oil (EXACTLY

1 cup!). It will solidify a little. This is normal. It

will melt again. Just stir it in with your wooden


10. Eventually, it will all be melted together. At this

time, have all your enclosed salve jars and tins

open by the stove. It is a good idea to have an

extra jar ready in case you have extra salve.

11. After everything is melted together, pour the

melted salve into the pouring device with a

spout. I use a Pyrex measuring cup available

in most regular grocery stores. Any kind of

measuring cup is nice because they usually

have a spout.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

12. QUICKLY (and calmly) pour the salve into

your jars and tins. Have some left over?

Pour into your extra container.

13. Add 4 drops of lavender essential oil

(enclosed) to each tin and 8 drops into each

2 oz. salve jar.

*You could also add about a teaspoon of

the essential oil to the melted salve before

pouring into the tins and jars. This would

eliminate this step.

14. Let the jars and tins sit out until they have

hardened. When they have, put the lids

on them. Label the jars with the enclosed


You’re all finished!!!


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Other things you REALLY NEED to know about herbal oil

and salve making. (You can read this now or later, for it

is information used outside of salve making in the kit.)

The method I taught you for making an herbal salve is a

valid method, BUT it is not the method you will normally

want to use. I designed this method to work for you

quickly so you would have an great salve completed in

no time. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Your finished salve.

• Normally, you make your herbal oils separately.

You would have started with separate comfrey,

calendula, St. John’s Wort and plantain oils rather

than make the oil with all of these herbs together.

I combined the dried herbs in this kit to make it

easier for you to start with.

Cottonwood buds ‘cold’ infusing

in olive oil. Though this is a fresh

plant infusion, you only half fill

the jar when using cottonwood

buds. Note the paper towel in the

screw band lid. This allows water

vapor to evaporate and prevents

molding. After the oil is finished

in 6 weeks and it is decanted, a

regular lid is used.


Though we recommend using

the methods listed the right to

make more oils, if you want to

REPLICATE the kit experience,

the mixture used is one ounce of

herbs by weight. We simply mixed

the four herbs equally. The wax is

one ounce by weight.

Making the oils separately allows you to learn

about the qualities of each herb one oil at a time.

It also gives you the flexibility of making your salve

mixtures in different ratios. In addition, you might

want to use a single herbal oil remedy for a variety

of health giving purposes.

• You can use dried herbs as in this kit, but you can

also use fresh plants. In many cases, using fresh

plants will make more effective remedies. We’ll

talk about gathering fresh plants in the Roots and

Branches course.

• Although cooking your oils to infuse herbs works,

the best way is to infuse them is using the “cold

method.” Essentially, you make an oil like a tincture.

Chop up your fresh herbs finely and fill a jar

with a loose pack. I prefer fresh herbs with oils, but

if you use dried herbs, fill the jar half way. Then,

fill the jar with olive oil. Cover with a cloth or paper

towel and hold it in place with a rubber band. If


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

you are using standard mason jars, put the paper

towel or cloth on and hold it down by using the

screw band part of the lid (this will help prevent

molding). Stir your oil every day for the first few

weeks. After six weeks, decant the oil just like you

decanted the tincture. Store your oil in the same

jar if you like, but with a closed lid. Store out of

direct sunlight. You usually want to use oils within

a year. Every fresh or dried herb has its own personality,

but this is the basic formula.

Lavender was also part of

your salve, and its virtues

are discussed on video on


• The cold method of oil making is preferred because

the oil stays more stable when it is not heated. In

other words, heated oils have a greater chance of

going rancid sooner. This is not an issue in this kit

because you made such a small amount of salve.

But if you were making a larger volume of oil or

you knew your oils or salves would be sitting longer,

use the cold method. You can increase the

life of your salves and oils by adding vitamin E to

the oils. This is wise to do if you use the cooking

method in the future for larger amounts of oil.

• In this kit, I pre-measured the wax for you. The

ratio is ONE CUP (volume) of oil to ONE OUNCE

(weight) of bees wax. SO, that’s 1:1…easy! In

this kit, you made 1 cup of oil, so I enclosed one

ounce of wax. This is why the oil volume was so

important in step 4 of the salve making. If you

make three cups of herbal oil into salve in the

future, then simply use 3 ounces of beeswax.


So far, you completed the Herbal Medicine Making Kit.

Congratulations! Now, you have the choice of either

stopping here and moving on to your next project in life,

continuing on to HerbMentor.com.

My flowers are a well known

ear ache remedy and my

leaves are helpful to the lungs.

Who am I? Find out in Roots

and Branches...AND... there is

even a video on HerbMentor.


NOTE: The Nourishing

Herbal Infusion lesson,

which uses the nettles,

is located on the DVD

that came with your



Herbal Medicine Making Kit

When you first log on, it will show you a simple video on

how to use the site and where to find stuff, like the Roots

and Branches course or the HerbMentor Study Guide.

Do as little or as much as you want. I chose to go on and

design HerbMentor and write the Roots and Branches

course because teaching this stuff is my passion. I am

excited for you to learn. If I can keep your attention

enough to try a few of the coming projects, then there

is one more person in the world who wants to take their

everyday healthcare into their own hands and possibly

help people in their communities.

If you’re choosing to go on to HerbMentor.com, please

see the yellow sheet that came with your kit. The yellow

sheet has instructions on how to do that as well as the

code for a free trial membership.

Need herbs or supplies?

Click on the Herbs & Supplies

link on LearningHerbs.com.

By doing this first before you

place every order, our handcraft

family business gets a

small commission. It helps

us offer so much great free

information. Thanks!

Slow, ongoing learning is the way to learn about herbs

and bring them into your life, and we are proud to offer

you HerbMentor.com. The original kit only had Roots and

Branches, which was great, but it was not enough. So

many people wanted to learn more, but I did not have

the time because I was in acupuncture school.

Now that I have graduated and opened a practice, I have

more time to devote to LearningHerbs.com. I get to do

what I wanted to do from the beginning, which is provide

high quality, ongoing herbal learning experiences.

Even if you only join us for the trial period, we will be

honored to have you. Thank you so much for making

your own medicine. May the seeds planted blossom into

health for you and your family.

Pssst...there are 2 more pages.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit

About John Gallagher, L.Ac., CCH

Herbal medicine began

studying John Gallagher

when it covered him

with poison ivy for many of his

childhood summers in New Jersey.

Upon reaching adulthood, he began

working with Wilderness Awareness

School, where he learned the

virtues of the wild plants that grow

around us, including the amazing

dandelion (which he formerly

poisoned in landscape jobs) as

well as a preventative cure for poison ivy (finally). After

moving to a poison ivy-free bioregion, he began seriously

studying herbal medicine. He learned from some of the

most talented herbalists the Northwest has to offer

including Sally King and EagleSong of RavenCroft Garden,

Karen Sherwood of Earthwalk Northwest, Erin Groh, and

most of all, from the plants themselves.

Kimberlly, Hailey, John and

Rowan Gallagher

John is father to his son Rowan and daughter Hailey, and

husband to Kimberly.

John is a licensed five-element acupuncturist with a

clinic in Redmond, WA. John also runs LearningHerbs.

com with Kimberly and the kids. He continues to work for

Wilderness Awareness School as an instructor of herbal

studies for its Residential Program.

He is a Community Centered Herbalist, which is how all

this kit and web site began. John is dedicated to helping

people rediscover their place in nature. He and his family

live in the Snoqualmie Valley, at the foothills of the

Cascade Mountains.


Herbal Medicine Making Kit


A cooperative board game that teaches

edible and medicinal plants.

“Wildcraft! is great family fun. Gather up the kids, bring out the

board game, and learn about medicinal and edible plants in

the most fun way imaginable. This is wonderfully cooperative

game where everyone is a winner and everyone learns something

about plants!” —Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist, author

Wildcraft! has many of the things I look for in

a game... It’s educational, easy to use, beautiful

to look at, you learn a lot about herbs...and

you laugh a lot.

–Bobbe Branch, Montessori Teacher


For 1-4 players

Ages 4 to adult, Easy to play

No reading required for younger players

No prior knowledge of plants needed

Read all about Wildcraft! at


Wildcraft! is a unique and educational game

that my children and I have truly enjoyed playing.

My son is fascinated by the idea that plants

can alleviate a variety of troubles. I especially

appreciate the aspect of cooperation and teamwork

incorporated into the game. It warms my

heart to see my two children delight in “helping”

one another accomplish the goals of the

game. Thank you for producing a game that

offers such a positive experience for all players

over a wide age range.

–Anne Agostin, mother

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines