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Make Your Own Medicine

There are a bunch of herbs that can be found in your backyard. I know for many, these weeds can be an eyesore, but an experienced herbalist, or newcomer knowing what to look for, can save a few dollars or more at the herbal store. Chickweed acquired its name because chickens love to eat it. Medicinally, it can be used to soothe irritated skin, eczema, rashes, cuts and minor burns. Chickweed is an excellent source of vitamins A, D, B complex, C, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, and silica. Chickweed tastes good in salads.

Chickweed in hot oil infusion

How to make oil infusion 2 ounces of fresh herb chopped Place in double boiler with 2 cups of desired oil. Heat on low for 1 hr and stir occasionally. Strain through cheesecloth into Mason jar, Squeeze herbs thoroughly through cheesecloth, Allow to sit for a few days and refrigerate. 

Chickweed in Sun oil infusion

2 ounces of fresh herb Place in 12 ounce Mason jar Fill jar with desired oil until fresh herb is covered, Cover tightly and place in window for four days Strain with cheesecloth Harvesting Chickweed with my good friend Angela, an Acupuncturist working at Third Root Community Health Center in Kensington, Brooklyn. Third Root offers Yoga, Acupuncture, health workshops, a resource library on site and so much more on whole body health. 

Dandelion Root

The greens of the Dandelion are great in salads just make sure to wash them thoroughly. After separating the root from the greens it must be washed thoroughly many times over to ensure all dirt has been removed. Once cleaned thoroughly chop dandelion into small pieces. Place Dandelion on baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 150 degrees. Use 1tablespoon of Dandelion to 8 ounces of water. I drink it straight but you may add cinnamon and sugar. Dandelion is great for strengthening the gallbladder and liver, promotes healthy flow of bile and helps to clear gallstones and great for irritable bowels and stomach. It is a very safe and effective herb to use.

By Bernadette Ayers

Bernadette Ayers is homeschooling her two boys. Her blog can be found at