From time immemorial, women have been using some form of perfume or cosmetics, and creams can have used medicinally too, so to add creams to my posts is obvious. So I hope this post is very helpful to those who want try to make their own.

The specific purpose of a ‘Cream’ is to nourish, protect, soothe and heal. They are an ’emulsion’ for a better word, much lighter than a poultice, and much thinner than a ointment or salve.

Creams could be considered a type of ointment, but they really deserve their own category. Because like so many areas of herbalism, there are similarities, but also enough differences that they need to be categorised differently.

An interesting way to help with categorising a cream, is to say that a cream is either water added to oil or oil added to water, depending on what is being made.

Now most people would say, “but you cant mix oil with water”, but if you use some form of an emulsifier, you can, and depending on how you mix it, the water becomes suspended in the oil.

But why the oil and water mix? If you think about it, a cream is so special, what two things do you have on your skin all at the same time?

Oil and Water!

So by definition and design, a cream is especially designed, ’emulsifying oil and water together” for the skin like no other product.

Now creams do use other additives, which are very important, because then you can get ‘special’ in your design of each type of cream and literally use a different cream for different parts of the body for different occasions.

Some of the more common ingredients are: beeswax, vegetable oils, herbs in the form of essential oils, tinctures, herbal oils, and powders, lanolin and of course water or a water based product such as an infusion/tea or decoction.

At times another product is added such as borax, which acts as a preservative, preventing moulds from forming or directly adding vitamins, like vitamin E, which is very common, because its benefits to the skin, or even minerals/metals such as zinc.

Reasons why to make your own Cream

One of the simplest reasons I can think of for making your own creams is the personal empowerment of making something yourself. So, not only would there be the pleasure of putting on the cream, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that you made it.

One added form of satisfaction that can be gained from making your own is that you can tailor make your cream to your preferences of aromas, textures, flavours, thicknesses, colours, to cater for your mental and emotional sense and even your personal beliefs.

Several examples of these could be:

  • You wanted to match a colour to suit your skin colour: to darken or lighten
  • A colour to suit your favourite sports team whilst protecting your skin
  • You wanted to flavour the cream in case someone gave you a kiss
  • Your partner has a specific preference to a perfume, say musk
  • You wanted to remind someone of that pine forest you went to
  • You are using an aroma as a form of therapy
  • Certain textures of some cream bother you
  • You want a thicker cream that would stay for longer or give better protection
  • Maybe you don’t want a fragrance at all
  • Or you have a belief system that you are abiding with, e.g. no alcohol

Another reason is that due to creams being so close to your own skin’s anatomical make-up, any chemicals found in a bought cream, could easily cross your skin barrier and enter in. This is very serious for some people and could make them very ill.

So, if there is an unwanted chemical in that bought cream, it is most likely going to pass into your body. Thankfully, there are very excellent organic products on the market, but they are often very expensive, and practically most people just cannot afford it.

I have heard that in the USA, some women’s liver have to process up to 2 kg / 4.4 lbs of chemicals absorbed through the skin each year.

How to do Creams

How to do creams is really a tricky one, not because they are hard to make, but because there are so many types, uses and possible combinations that they are too numerous to describe.

But, I will describe a few, because we all need something to get us going and to gain the confidence to attempt more interesting ones, and one of the purposes of doing these posts is to empower my readers to give it a go, let alone the health benefits.

So first, here are some suggestions to get you going, I have provided some instructions for two types and a video to help get you started. But to add to this, I have some suggestions in the “Variations of Creams” too.

Cream Base Recipe

This recipe below, if you remove the herbs, can become a ‘Base’ for a cream, and then you can add what ever fragrances or essential oils you wish.

An example of herbs could be Calendula, Arnica, Elderflower or Comfrey, but the best way is to research either one of my posts from my Herbal Compendium or Herbs for Help, or find a suitable herbal book recommending a herb for the condition.

  • Choose 15g / 1/2oz of your chosen herb
  • Steep this herb in 250ml / 1/2 pint of boiling hot water for 20 minutes
  • Finely strain or filter this tea/infusion into a container
  • Place 30g / 1oz of olive oil in a double boiler or place a saucepan in a pot of very hot but not boiling water
  • Then add 15g / 1/2oz of beeswax
  • Also add 15g / 1/2oz of lanolin
  • And begin melting them together
  • As they are melting, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of borax into the infused tea above
  • Once the beeswax and lanolin are fully melted in, reduce the heat and slowly stir in the tea
  • Continue stirring the mix and when ‘just warm’ add a few drops of essential oil
  • Once it begins to thicken, place this into small sterile pots, clean the rims and label
  • Keep these in the fridge, and once opened, they should last about 2 -3 weeks

The borax is only to function to prevent mould.

My video of how to make a basic cream at home, there is no verbal instruction

Healing Cream

Ingredients

  • Fresh flowers – handful
  • 150ml of your chosen oil (maybe Calendula or a herbal oil will be more affective)
  • 50ml of pure water
  • 50 grams of beeswax
  • 10 drops of Vitamin E (you can use Vitamin E gel capsules)
  • Optional: 30 drops of the essential oil of your choice

Method

  • Put the water in a saucepan and bring it into a boil
  • Turn it off and add the flowers
  • Allow to steep until the water is room temperature
  • Strain out the flowers and put them into the compost bin
  • Place the flowers into a cloth or bag and squeeze out the remaining juice
  • Put the ‘flower tea’ back into the saucepan with a lid
  • Take a double boiler and melt the beeswax
  • Add the oil to the melted beeswax and make sure it is completely combined
  • Add the Vitamin E and stir
  • Raise the temperature of the flower tea to the same as the oil/beeswax mix (70 C / 158 F)
  • Remove the oil/beeswax saucepan from the heat
  • Carefully and very slowly add the flower tea to the oil/beeswax mix, whilst stirring it constantly with a mixer (this can be done in a blender) approximately 1 tablespoon at a time
  • Once the mix has become white and stiff as a cream should be, start adding the essential oils, 2 drops at a time stirring them in
  • When finished, scoop the cream into small ‘sterile’ jars, clean the rim, place the lid down tight and label
  • Store in a cool dark place

The approximate shelf-life is 6 to 12 months

Variations of Creams

To 30g / 1 oz of cream base add one of the following:

  • 5 to 15 drops of an essential oil (see below for some suggestions)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of a Herbal oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of a strong decoction or tincture
  • 1 to 3 flat teaspoons of a powdered herb
  • 1/2 to 1 flat teaspoon of a powdered spice

Choice of Herbs for Creams

The point to made when choosing to add a herb to your cream, is what “Actions” does it do? The question you ask yourself is, what do I want this herb to do, do I want healing, pain relief, soothing or cooling, reduce inflammation, stimulate blood flow, or is there an infection? Once you know what you need, that is the ‘action’, then you can choose the right herb for your situation.

But for now, here are a few suggestions: Calendula, Arnica, Elderflower, Marshmallow, Borage, Cowslip, St John’s wort, Fig wort or Comfrey

Choice of Oils for Creams

Some suggested oils for creams could be:

Choice of Essential Oils for Creams

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but would be a place to start.

  • Dry or mature complexions: Rose, Jasmine, Frankincense or Neroli
  • Acne or Greasy skin: Geranium, Bergamot, Mint or Lemon
  • Rashes: Chamomile, True Lavender, Tea tree, or Peru balsam
  • Insect bites: Lemon balm, Bergamot, Clove bud, or Rosemary
  • Bruises: Arnica, Clove bud, Sweet marjoram or Niaouli
  • Boils and Abscesses: Eucalyptus blue, Lavender, Lemon, or Thyme
  • Cuts and Sores: Canadian balsam, Chamomile, Hyssop, or Calendula

Application of Creams

Frankly, all you need to do is gentle circular motions with two to three fingers to work in the benefits, dabbing doesn’t do much.

Safety

There really isn’t much to be concerned about with creams, but minor concerns could possibly be an allergic reaction to a herb, or an essential oil (usually because its too strong or with babies), or in some cases, homemade creams begin to ferment and can grow mould in them, even if stored in the fridge.



Please remember, this blog cannot and should not replace a health care professional, and is for informational and educational purposes only and is not for medical advice or treatment, and no cure is implied in anyway. If you have a known serious condition, or are pregnant, please consult your health care professional, before use.

Kind Regards,

Russell a.k.a Herbal Panda

Website: http://www.theherbarius.com.au

Name Logo

Email: theherbalist@theherbarius.com.au

Sales: sales@theherbarius.com.au

HHAI Logo

“Don’t put your ideas on Ice cream, someone will lick it off, and then you’ll have none”

Herbal Panda

Nurse preparing a compress

From the Herbalists’ understanding, a herbal compress or fomentation (which is another name for a compress) is where a person has taken a piece of cloth, flannel, cotton or similar material and infuses it with ‘herbal solution’, which can be either a tea infusion or decoction, diluted tincture, or an infused herbal oil, or a diluted essential/volatile oil, or just castor oil. Then, it is folded to the size of the area of concern, an externally applied to area of the body that requires some form of treatment.

Some people confuse a compress with a poultice or plaster, but they are different in many ways, but the principle difference is that you are not using any herbal paste or mixture. To give an example, the most basic compress is to dip a towel into cool water, wring it out and place it on your forehead to cool yourself down. A poultice is when you make a thick herbal mixture or paste, possibly adding flours or oils, wrap it in a cloth to protect the skin and place that on the affected area to draw and/or stimulate or soothe.

To add further understanding and depth to this subject, we need to understand that there are both Cold and Hot versions. A cold compress, which is actually called a ‘wrap’, is used on fevers, (remember those old movies of people putting cloths on someone’s forehead?) headaches, skin, muscle and joint inflammation and sore throats, and cold compresses can be left on for many hours or over night. Hot compresses, which are specifically called fomentations, can also be used on swelling/oedema, colds and flu, sore and tired eyes, and much more as we will see.


Compresses are not to be confused with compression bandages, sleeves or stockings, which certainly have there uses to help reduce the swelling of a specific area, keeping fluids from accumulating usually at an injured site. Sleeves are similar, but are considered more ‘long term’ and for blood circulation management, for example, Deep vein thrombosis.

Compression bandages are typically used on sprains such as, wrist and ankles, strain, oedema, varicose veins, bruises and contusions.


Reasons why to use a Compress

A compress has several functions, and they are: to soften tissue, alleviate inflammation, stimulate and to moderate or reduce pain. Compresses can draw, but for serious drawing use either a poultice or plaster.

This treatment can be used for many conditions, such as, angry rashes, acne, irritable and inflamed skin, sore muscles, spasms, sprains and strains affecting muscles, as well as ligaments, tendons, and joints. It can help to move stagnant fluids such as, those around old injured joints that should have healed.

Also assisting in the removal of congestion, phlegm, and mucus, and other respiratory issues such as, coughs, colds, flus, and sore throats, as well as easing asthma and bronchitis. For cramps and menstrual cramps and other pains in the abdomen, lower back pain and pains and even strong pains.

By stimulating the circulation it helps with the conditions mentioned above, plus helping with swelling/oedema. (You wouldn’t use a hot compress on an immediate swelling) And if you know what your doing it can help during labour.

How to do Compresses

There are frankly so many different ways to use and apply a compress due to the many and varied methods, equipment and additives that can be used. So I will suggest some simple solutions, and I hope that they will help you get started, and remember, there are really is no ‘fixed’ way of doing this.

Choice of Herbs for Compresses

There is quite a range of herbs that can be used in compresses, below I have listed some you may want to try. Where it starts to get confusing, is what to use where and when.

Herbal Tinctures, Infused oils, Infusions or Decoctions:

  • Camellia sinensis (black, green or white tea)
  • German Chamomile
  • Linseed
  • Fenugreek seed
  • Plantain
  • Ribwort
  • Chickweed
  • Arnica (don’t use arnica on open wounds)
  • Comfrey
  • Elderberry
  • Irish moss
  • Slippery elm
  • Marshmallow
  • Marigold
  • Mullein
  • Hound’s tongue (Do not ingest Hound’s tongue as it is poisonous)

Material

Any fabric or material that is absorbent:

  • Linen
  • Cotton
  • Cotton wool
  • Flannel
  • Wash cloth
  • Small towel

Compress oils:

  • V-6 oil (A blend of 7 food grade oils, it has no colour, odour or stains.)
  • Castor oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Linseed/flaxseed oil

Essential oils:

This can be such a huge range of possibilities depending on what you may want to achieve, especially if you want to add the special attributes of pure essentials oils. As you can influence many different systems, such as the digestive, emotional, hormonal, immune, musculo-skeletal, nervous and respiratory systems as well as the skin.

A short list of musculo-skeletal essential oils could be:

  • Basil
  • Celery seed
  • Citronella
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Balsam, Douglas and White firs
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender sage
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
Range and affects of essential oils are great

How to make a basic Compress

Hot Compresses – Basics

Equipment you will need

  • A bowl, basin or suitable container
  • A towel or similar
  • Kettle or saucepan, if you are making infusions, decoctions or applying a hot compress
  • Herb, tincture or essential oil
  • A suitable sized cloth, cotton, flannel and similar, if you were in the bush, could you use bark?
  • Plastic cling wrap or oil cloth
  • Optional: something to hold the compress into place (this is not always needed)

Method

  • Place the towel over the bowl
  • Place your cloth or flannel in the middle of the towel
  • Push the towel and cloth down to the bottom
  • Pour in the infusion, decoction or diluted tincture mix over the top
  • Make sure it is completely soaked, give it couple of minutes
  • Whilst waiting for it to soak, rub some olive oil over the area as this helps with penetration of the heat
  • Bring the ends of the towel together and twist the towel in opposite directions
  • Squeeze out all the liquid
  • Open up the towel and take the cloth out and shake loose the cloth
  • Fold up the cloth to a size to the area concerned
You can now go several different ways:
  • Place the compress onto the area and either you hold or get the person themselves to hold it in place
  • Cover the cloth with cotton wool or similar, then wrap the cloth and cotton to the body with cling wrap or an oily cloth to hold it into place, then place a hot water bottle on top to continue the heat
  • If the person is lying down, then you can just leave the compress on the area and put a towel over that, and then add a hot water bottle

Ginger Fomentation

This one can be used for many of the conditions mentioned above.

Equipment you will need

  • Ginger root, about 5cm / 2″ of grated ginger
  • Saucepan
  • Grater
  • A cloth two to four times bigger than the area or several pieces joined together
  • Hot water bottle or heating pad
  • 2 Towels

Method

  • Make a ginger tea decoction from grated ginger and one litre of water in the saucepan and turn off the heat
  • While still hot, place the cloth into the decoction and allow to soak for 5 minutes
  • Carefully remove the cloth and squeeze out the liquid
  • Fold down to the size of the area
  • Quickly place the cloth onto the area being treated, but make sure its not too hot
  • Cover with cling wrap
  • Place the first towel over the plastic
  • Place the water bottle or heating pad on the area
  • Then cover again with another towel

This can be left on for 20 to 30 minutes, once it becomes cool it isn’t of use any more. Depending on the level of pain, you can ‘up-the-ante’, by making a larger batch, keeping the decoction on a very low heat, and having about four to five separate cloths, rotating these at a faster rate say every 5 to 10 minutes, or whatever the person needs. But try not to burn them!

Castor oil Compress

This can be used for extreme pain in most cases. I have personally applied it during the passing of gall stones. But it can be used on many other conditions, because the affect is deep, such as, cysts, warts, growths, detoxifying, helping liver and bladder disorders, but these will need to be repeated treatments over time.

Equipment you will need

  • Enough folded cloth or even towelling to make several 6mm / 1/4″ cloth pads
  • 500ml to half a quart of castor oil
  • Steamer or double boiler or something to apply heat to several pads in rotation
  • Towel

Method

  • Soak the pads in the castor oil, they just need to be moist, not dripping wet
  • Begin heating up the pads
  • Once they are hot enough, start placing the pads on the area for treatment
  • Cover them with a towel
  • Rotate them as each one begins to cool down

With this process, you will need to make sure you don’t burn the person. If treating pain, keep going to until the pain settles down.

Please remember, severe pain anywhere, should be seen to by a health care professional or please visit the hospital for medical advice.

Cold Compress – Basics

Equipment you will need

  • Cloth at least 2 times the size of the area concerned
  • Balls of cotton wool or cotton gauze approximately the size of the area you want to treat
  • A bowl big enough to fit the Cotton wool/gauze in
  • Cold infusion, decoction or diluted tincture to soak the cotton in

Method

  • Put the cotton wool/gauze in between the cloth and fold the cloth around the cotton, making a thick pad
  • Fully soak the cloth and cotton wool in the cold infusion, decoction or diluted tincture
  • Squeeze enough of the liquid out to prevent mess
  • Place the cloth and cotton pad over the area
  • Either hold the it on yourself or wrap a clean cloth around it to keep it in place
  • Do not wrap plastic around it as this will increase the temperature, when you want to lower it, meaning, you want to keep it cool to cold

Variations of Compresses

There are many, many variations with compresses, ranging from a cloth and cold water to a whole range of herbs, herbal combinations, to carrier and essential oils and application materials. Which means you can design one to suit you and the condition.

If you are using essential oils, there is a system called, ‘layering’, this is where you are attempting to input the affects of several different oils, one after another, ‘creating layers’. There would be no reason why you couldn’t rub on a diluted version to 15 to 30% onto the skin, place on the cloth, and once it has cooled, rub on a different mixture. Usually you would use three different essential oils.

Another variation to the herbal compress is the Thai herbal compress ball, this one is applied with massage. If you YouTube it, be warned, you’ll want one, … massage that is.

Thai Massage ball

Safety

Thankfully, Compresses are generally quite safe to use even on babies and young children, and cold compresses are even safer. But there are a few things you should consider:

  • With hot compresses, it must not burn, so always double check the temperature, especially with newborns and infants.
  • Always check for possible allergic reactions, most herbs are safe, but always use caution, particularly if using a new herb or oil. Two examples of this could be an allergy to ragweed, of which chamomile is part of, and peanut oil.

Essential Oils

Never apply pure essential oils directly to a newborn or infant’s skin, it must be well diluted.

  • 1 to 3 drops of oil to 1 tablespoon for infants
  • 1 to 3 drops of oil to 1 teaspoon for children two to five years old
  • Even with adults, essential oils should be used carefully, some can be used liberally, but if unsure, test first.


Please remember, this blog cannot and should not replace a health care professional, and is for informational and educational purposes only and is not for medical advice or treatment, and no cure is implied in anyway. If you have a known serious condition, or are pregnant, please consult your health care professional, before use.

Kind Regards,

Russell a.k.a Herbal Panda

Website: http://www.theherbarius.com.au

Name Logo

Email: theherbalist@theherbarius.com.au

Sales: sales@theherbarius.com.au

HHAI Logo

“Don’t put your ideas on ice, but them under the heat of hard work and determination”

Herbal Panda

Little Miss Anise, yes the dainty lass and did you see her lacy parasol, just beautiful?

Little Miss Anise, “where are you going with that pretty unbrella, to a wedding?”, they asked. “No, I am not,” she said, and thanked them kindly, “a smart girl is always ready for any occassion” as she continued strolling along with out missing a step. This wisdom must have been shared with many of her family, the Apiaceae Family, why, you ask, because so many of her siblings seem to have the same idea, such as Miss Fennel, the counrty girl Miss Cow Parsley, the classy Miss Chervil, Miss Dill, and her brothers, Mr Carrot and Mr Celery.

Anise or as some say Aniseed – Pimpinella anisum, appears to have originated from West Asia and has been cultivated and used in the Egypt since ancient times (used in breads) and middle eastern regions, plus the Greece, Syria and Turkey and was introduced to Europe from the Romans, who used it in a type of cake after meals, because it helps with digestion, (I hope they declared it at the border) and the Americas received it from the early settlers, and since these times it has spread around the world. Spain, France and Russia are major producers of anise these days.

Speaking of Russia, Anise was one of the first herbs ever to be accepted by Russian herbalists. During the 19th century a Landlord began cultivating it in the province of Voronez and since then it is largely grown in the Caucasus and the Ukraine. It is one of the most popular ingregdients in over-the-counter remedies.

King Edward the First, had anise used to pay the custom tax ‘luxuries’ for the repairing of London bridge during the 14th century.


Miss Anise being ready for every social occassion is why she along with many of her siblings, end up at the social and entertainment table, with sweets and candy, drinks and beverages, buns and breads and excellent dishes and can be mixed with cumin and fennel.

This is due to her wonderful ‘liquorice-like’ flavour and aromaaassss.

Miss Anise is a great compliment to many a refreshing and healthy drink, for example: she can be mixed with coffee, chocolate and carob beverages, and makes great liquorice-flavoured tea combinations with such herbs as dandelion, and ginger. She is great in baked sweet pies containing mince fruit, plus various pastries, cakes, buns and breads – raised or flat such as, Pan Chuta – a Peruvian flat bread, muffins and biscuits/cookies, and due to its lollie-like flavour, can be used in after dinner dessert drinks. Plus soups, sauces, creams, and relishes.

Some other uses apart from medicinal, are potpourris, insecticides, antibacterial and fungicide, and aromatherapy. Some of these uses are in the essential oil form, and pure essential oils should not be ingested. An infused anise oil can be made from the seed too.

Anise can be confused with other members of her family and fennel is the main one due to being such alike, ‘look-a-like fraternal twins’, and so many others looking very similar.

Another herb and cooking favourite is “Star anise” this girl is a real foodie and looks nothing like Miss Anise, yet people will mix them up, due to having a similar flavour and their common names.

One character that you should never ever mix Star anise or Chinese star anise Illicium verum with is Japanese Star anise Illiicum anisatum or I. japonicum, as nice and kind as the Japanese people are, this plant is highly toxic and must be avoided.


How to use Anise

Herbal Teas

To make a simple Anise herbal tea, just throw in 1 teaspsoon of anise seed into a cup or mug. Pour in boiling hot water and cover for 5 to 10 minutes, after the steeping time, if needed you can add your favourite sweetner such as raw honey, stevia, erythritol, and enjoy. Yes it really is that simple.

My Anise Tea that I decided to make whilst writing this very Blog

If you want to Jazz it up a bit, you can mix anise seed with many other herbs to add more therapeutic affects or frankly just to add flavour, an example of this is dandelion root.

Here you would add 1 teaspoon of anise seed and 1 teaspoon of dandelion root, pour in the boiling hot water, cover and allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes, add your sweetener and enjoy. If you want extra ‘potency’, break or crush the seed a little with a mortar and pestle. And if you have issues such as seeds wanting to float in you cup of herbal tea then you can either strain out the seeds or use an infuser.

Culinary Uses

The leaves and soft stems of anise can be added to salads and mixed with vegetables when being cooked as they too are aromatic, or finely chopped and cooked into baked goods and pastries. Frankly the seeds and oils suitable for cooking can be used anywhere you want to add the anise/liquorice flavour.

Simple Anise Leaf Wafers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoons of crushed anise
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped anise leaves
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Boiling water

Process

  • Place the chopped leaves into 2 tablespoons of boiling hot water and cover
  • Allow to steep for 10 minutes and chill
  • Rub the butter into the cup of flour, until looking like breadcrumbs
  • Add the wet ingredients
  • Make into a dough
  • Roll into balls and flatten out on a greased baking tray
  • Bake in a hot oven that has been ‘preheated’ for 10 – 12 minutes
  • Or until the edges are slightly browning
  • Cool and enjoy

Soaps

Due to its aromatic freshness and anti-microbial actions, anise can be used in soaps, creams and ointments and lotions. For example a ointment can be rubbed on the chest to help relieve chest discomfort from a cough, or a syrup can be made to ease chest congestion as well.

For Potpourri

The leaf and stem may be of good use as well as cracked seed or powder, depending on what you waht to do, as they all are aromatic.

Anise for Bad Breath

Simply chew on a few seeds , before meeting your loved one, EASY! And cheaper than those sugar or chemical filled breath poisoners, oops, I mean fresheners.

Anise for Lactation

Traditionally anise has been used to improve breastfeeding for mothers, so it can often be found in nurse maid teas. With breastfeeding, it is best to have a selection of several different herbs working in a few different ways:

Oxytocics

These are herbs that help the mother directly to produce milk: some herbs are fenugreek, goat’s rue and blessed thistle.

Digestives

These support the mother’s digestive system, calming and assiting her body to digest and obtain nutrients and to help baby too, some of these are: Fennel, anise, caraway, hops, and milk thistle

Nutritives

These herbs help simply to obtain nutrients, and improving the mothers health and well being, that’s why it’s called ‘Nutrition’, along with reasonable vitamins and minerals helps her baby as well via the breast milk.

Nervines

These primarily are to calm and relax her, the more happy she is and content the more her natural hormone oxytocin goes up and this should improve her milk supply. ‘A frazzled mum don’t milk to well’. These herbs are lemon balm hops and oats, plus if you wish you can add some rose, lavender or chamomile.

Once the milk supply is confirmed by a qualified lactatition consultant then there really is no more need to continue the herbs and this may take a few weeks. If you wish to continue taking these herbs in a tea, I would advise just lowering the amount per day.

Please understand that there are many issues in regards to poor breastfeeding, so it is best not to self treat, and find a caring, supportive, qualified lactation consultant, who takes the time to explain things, answer your questions and care about you.

Anise Oils

Anise Essential oil can be applied in the use of aromatherapy, and can also be used topically to help assist against skin infections, because it has anti-microbial actions, and is toxic to insects, therefore it can help to remove scabies, fleas or lice (nits) in the hair by placing and combing a little evenly throughout the hair and can be used to inhibit growth of fungus. Don’t use pure essential oils on babies and infants only and use inconjunction with a carrrier oil, for example olive oil, to dilute the concentration.

Infused Anise oil (not an essential oil)

Ingredients

  • Anise seeds (dried and approximately a handful)
  • A carrier oil – Almond oil or coconut or olive oil or similar

Equipment

  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Loosely woven cloth or cheese cloth
  • Glass container
  • Sticky label and pen

Process

  • Break up and bruise the Anise seeds, but don’t powderised
  • Place into a glass jar or bottle
  • Pour in the carrier oil, enough to thourougly cover the seeds
  • Seal on the lid and placed in the sunlight
  • Leave in the sunlight for at least 4 weeks, or a minimum of 2 weeks
  • Shake up the bottle once a day
  • After 4 weeks strain into another glass container through the cloth
  • Place the lid back on, and label with contents and date

You can speed up this process by following the same process as mentioned how to make Lavender oil in the lavender post.


Gardening uses

Anise is supposed to make a great companion plant to coriander, as it is said that coriander helps to speed anise’s germination and growth, and they assist the seed formation of each other. Anise attracts predatory wasps and helps to repel aphids. But its not a good idea to grow it with basil, rue and carrots.

How to grow Anise

Anise is an annual that grows to approximately between 45cm to 90cm or 18″ to 3′ that becomes a natural source of phosphorus and aids digestion. It should be noted that anise can be slow to germinate, depending on conditions, but I believe that it should be only 2 weeks. Sow after the last frost, when in colder climates, and when placing it out in the garden, give it a warm and sunny position, out of the wind, with well drained soil around 6.0 pH, and the best seasons to plant in are spring and summer. When young, it does prefer regular watering especially if it’s getting a dry, once established it can handle some dryness.

Plant the seed 6mm to 12mm 1/4″ to 1/2″ into seedling containers or into garden seed drills and cover over gently and water in and keep the soil slightly moist. If planting into seed drills, plant about one every 2.5 cm or 1 “. Water regularly 2 times a week until they are about 18cm high, then reduce watering.

A simple ready to sow packet of Anise seeds in my hands

If planting from seedlings from the nursery, be gentle with them as they are soft and fragile.

Maintenance

Pests and diseases

Some possible pests are: larvae from the Lepidoptera species, that is, butterflies and moths, for example, the lime-speck pug and the wormwood pug


Collecting

During late summer and into autumn collect from your garden or from the wild if it grows near you, (always carefully identify all herbs from the wild), once the first ‘Umbels’ appear, this is the beautiful array of tiny flowers that spread out like an umbrella.

Technically, an Umbel is the ‘infloresence’ from which the flower stalks arise from one point.

Drying

You can dry the seeds by tying them up together in small bunches upside down inside paper bags in an open space with plenty of fresh air to stay dry, for example, a well ventilated room or covered area

Once the seed is dry, you can store them in a cool, dry and dark place and will keep sealed in a glass container for up to 3 years, but if you grind it to powder, it will shorten its potency life, but the flavour should still be there.


Herbalism

The information below is for informational and education purposes only. So please do not “self-treat”. When seeking any ‘therapeutic’ advice always see a Qualified Health Care Professional first.

PARTS USED:

Seeds, but can use leaves and soft stems in cooking etc

DOSAGE:

Daily minimum to maximum dosage: 3.5 – 7.0 grams

MAIN ACTIONS:

Expectorant, oestrogen modulating, galactagogue, spasmolytic, carminative, and antimicrobial

INDICATIONS:

Intestinal colic, flatulence, flatulent colic, infantile colic, dyspepsia, acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, tracheitis, gastrointestinal candidiasis, parasites, modify bowel flora, and hot flashes. Plus, Difficult lactation and pertussis, spasmodic cough, bronchial catarrh, scabies and pediculosis

CONSTITUENTS:

Essential oils, fixed oil, flavonoids, phenylpropenyl esters

SAFETY CONCERNS:

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder (GORD), do not consume in large doses, and do not use during pregnancy without professional advice.

ADULTERANTS:

Not very common



Please remember, this blog cannot and should not replace a health care professional, and is for informational and educational purposes only and is not for medical advice or treatment, and no cure is implied in anyway. If you have a known serious condition, or are pregnant, please consult your health care professional, before use.

Kind Regards,

Russell a.k.a Herbal Panda

Website: http://www.theherbarius.com.au

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-herbarius-logo-2.jpeg

Email: theherbalist@theherbarius.com.au

Sales: sales@theherbarius.com.au

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hhaimembertransparent.png