My medicine making career began at 13 when Dad secured for me a position in a local pharmacy. Within weeks, I was measuring & mixing & working with the pharmacist creating custom-compounded prescription formulas. I doubt this practice was legal, but it was fulfilling working on special creations for clients we knew personally.
Today, my creations are of a different kind. We are not allowed to call herbal formulations, “medicine,” even though we all know that medicine is not the property of any one particular establishment. From the National Institutes of Health:
Henry Alan Skinner in The Origins of Medical Terms…states that it is from the Latin: Medicina, the art of healing, or the means of healing, from medicinus, relating to healing,from medeor or medicor, to heal or cure…At first medicus was a general term applied to anyone associated with the healing art and the care or treatment of patients.
Regardless of the definition of the term, we know that healing occurs through a variety of methods. It is in this light that I consider myself a medicine-maker* in the oldest sense of the term – that of a healer working with body, mind & soul through the natural medicines of the earth & human connection.
Much of my creations take the form of teas, tinctures, baths, salves & yummy foods. Today, however I’m working with a less traditional, more conventional preparation. When consistency is called for with herbs that are less than yummy, we can use encapsulation. Herbal capsules are relatively easy to create, but require a little practice & finesse.
You can see it is still a messy proposition for me!
While capsules aren’t my favorite method of administration, I have to admit their usefulness.
By creating our own, or having a reputable herbalist create them we not only save $$, but assure quality & purity of the ingredients.
This batch of 60 Japanese Knotweed capsules cost me less than $3 to create. While a retail source would have cost more than $16. Japanese Knotweed is taken as a part of Stephen Buhner’s Lyme Disease Protocol. In this case I’m managing, the resulting expense for Knotweed alone would be $40/month. If this invasive plant grew as far South as Florida, it would cost even less to create.
Herbs are the People’s medicine. Almost anyone can create their own capsules, teas, tinctures, salves, baths with just a little training. One of the best things about being an herbalist is empowering my clients to create their own herbal preparations. Together, we plan their protocols. We brainstorm to determine the best preparations for the suggested formulas & then, hopefully the client will take charge of their own healing with follow-up as needed.
If you are interested in making your own herbal preparations, I have a Herbal Medicine Making class on August 24th. Class cancelled.
Wild & Bright Blessings!
Kim Ellis, RN, HN-BC
*Let it be VERY clear that I am a Board Certified Holistic Registered Nurse & Herbalist. I am NOT a physician and am NOT practicing Medicine as defined by any State or the Federal Government. I do not diagnose or prescribe. I do, however, assess, educate & offer suggestions in regards to diet, lifestyle & natural supplements within the scope of my nursing practice. Clients & readers of this site are encouraged to maintain a relationship with a licensed healthcare provider of their choice.