Homesteading with herbs and essential oils has become the new norm for many families and our homestead is no exception to this. We’re firm believers that if you are homesteading then your medicine cabinet should consist primarily of beneficial medicinal plants, herbs and contain a wide variety of essential oils.
Let’s face it, I’m a dabbler. I love to dabble, but the health of my family, livestock and pets are the most important thing to me and there just isn’t room for much dabbling. My husband and I have work hard in researching the most natural items available for us, and as our journey continues we confident that we have made the best choices for our family.
We’re fairly new to homesteading with almost 3 years under our belt, feel free to call us newbie! Our property was originally a single family home on 2 acres, which we’re currently transforming into a fully functioning, self sustaining homestead. Not only does this mean we grow our own food, raising our own meat and promote healthy gut flora through the consumption of fermented foods, it means our healthcare options are plant and EO based. I can honestly say, since incorporating all that ‘stuff’ into our everyday lives, we are the healthiest we’ve been in years! And that’s the good honest truth!
The Importance of Herbs
Alright, a well seasoned homesteader knows the ins and outs of plants, including medicinal plants. If there were a zombie apocalypse (just joking….kinda not) would you be able to treat injuries and illnesses? I mean sure you could raid pharmacies, but what do you do when they are wiped out?
Resort to Plan B…you use the plants and herbs in which you’ve proudly studied in its natural form. Am I an expert on herbs, flowers or plants that serve as healing or preventative care? Nope, not yet. Yes, I said yet; give me a bit more time.
With only 2 growing seasons under our belt, our herb garden is currently in its baby stage. We are hoping that within a few years it will be quite powerful, full of herbs and plants to stock our homesteading medicine cabinet. It’s also important that it should contain beneficial items to be used as preventative care and treatment for our livestock and pets.
Learning to forage for items such as plantain, yarrow and nettle will also provide beneficial ‘weeds’ for your building medicine cabinet.
Until that time comes, a close friend of mine (The Fewell Homestead, go check them out!) suggested that we use Starwest Botanicals to supplement any dried herbs, flowers and plants we may need. Starwest Botanicals has it all folks, organic items for an amazing holistic approach for your family, and we love them!
We know that by using medicinal plants as part your everyday regiment and diet will help to build a stronger immune system, fight illness and some believe that there are certain herbs and plants work to ward off cancer cells. Herbs will always be a part of our homesteading life, the powers in them are to great to ignore. Fine tuning our ability to use them effectively is a goal of ours, and one we will don’t take for granted.
If you plan on starting an herb garden try incorporating Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Chamomile, Echinacea, Calendula and Peppermint. They are excellent beginner herbs and plants that do so much to help your overall health, and they are ones that I have not yet been able to kill!
Why Essential Oils?
As commonly know as essential oils are, there are many homesteaders who are hesitant in using them, or could be that many just don’t know how to incorporate them into their daily routine.
You know, I get it. EOs are a product that you have to purchase in order to use them, and that means you are relying on ‘the man’ to be able to obtain them, unless you have the ability to manufacture them yourself. But sadly, we don’t have that skill…I don’t have that skill. I rely on a company that reminds me of a functioning homestead to provide us the EOs that we need. Yes friends, there is such a company! Do you want to know more? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d talk about here, but there is this government agency that has forbidden bloggers to discuss this on their website…hmmm, why yes it’s the FDA that has gagged us.
I could give you countless of testimony on why we chose to incorporate essential oils to our homestead, and if you’re already following our journey then you know of many of them. They have truly helped us through many situations, and have gotten us through many ‘issues’.
The potency level of essential oils is much higher than herbs, and if you chose to incorporate them as part of your healthcare regiment make sure to understand how to use them. A few oils can be applied neat (directly to the skin), some should be mixed with a carrier oil (we love fractioned coconut oil) before applying to your body and almost all can be used aromatically with a diffuser. However, I’m gonna tell you, the smell of Geranium oil (no mater how many amazing qualities it contains) makes me gag!
Essential oils have the ability to provide an almost instantly relief to many issues – bug bites, cooling sensation, slow down bleeding, calm you down, energize you, helping one to focus, finding balance, soothing aches and discomfort…
While medicinal plants and herbs can often take multiple doses before finding relief, and trust me when I say, there may be a time when you will need instant relief! But that doesn’t mean I’d go without the use of herbs and medicinal plants. Turmeric for example, used regularly (for us and our dogs) will always be used on our homestead. I don’t think we will ever stop making turmeric paste for the dogs and turmeric milk for us.
And quite honestly, I will never have the opportunity to grow a Boswellia tree (what Frankincense is extracted from) or a Malaeuca (tea tree) shrub. I’ll just leave it growing in it’s country of origin and reap the benefits of its oils instead.
I have seen first hand how the EOs have benefited our family – an 11 year old preteen with raging hormonal and horrible mood swings, a little girl with horrible pounding aches in her head causing her hours of discomfort, a carpenter of 25 years with a pretty worn down body, a blogger who (at times) needs help focusing while writing, when someone (not naming names) has gassy tummy explosions, tummy bug, when we need a pick me up, or a calm me down, even a get me through the day or I am going to scream moment. Yeah, everyday…we use EOs every day. AND my once doubting husband is now a believer in the benefits of using essential oils. Trust me, it didn’t take much to convince him!
*I am going to start this next segment with, ‘I am not a veterinarian, (though my vet does encourages the use of certain essential oils and the consumption of fermented foods to be the best natural probiotic for many livestock animals…yep, he’s pretty awesome!) everything I blog about or speak of is based on our own personal experience with essential oils. The FDA has not approved the use of many essential oils for humans, pets, or livestock. If you plan to use EOs, makes sure you do adequate research prior to using them.*
What EOs have done to help our livestock and dogs is truly pretty amazing – our goat recently had an issue with his brain, my dog is trying to manage being in heat, the fleas find my pups tasty, my chicken sounds like it has a cold, and the duck hen sitting on eggs deserves to be relaxed…
Each of those incidents, plus some, were addressed with EOs and we are excited to continue to incorporate them on our little homestead. Again, many essentials oils should never be used on animals, make sure to really look into to them before using them on your animals and yourself.
There you have it in a nutshell! The importance of incorporating natural items into your healthcare regiment is the key to a healthy holistic lifestyle. Learning to work with herbs, plants, flowers, trees and essentials oils will be the powder you need to live this life. But don’t be stubborn, go to the doctor if you need it!
If your ready to explore the world of essential oils with me and be a part of our oil lovin’ family, come join us! I am sure many of you have used or are currently using oils, but I’d invite you to chat with me about why I think the company I represent resembles a strong homesteading community, and you all know how important that is to me!
The exciting part? We get to work together as team and I get to guide you along on your essential oil adventure! Feel free to reach me here or email me at any time, I am always happy to chat with you all!