POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County CEOS held its annual “Taste of CEOS” and plant exchange this week with a special guest speaker explaining steps towards making a medicinal herb garden.
Maureen Burns is a certified health educator, herbalist, and master gardener. She is the owner of The Brickhouse Apothecary in Pomeroy, Ohio. The Herbal Sage Tea Company is located in The Brickhouse and offers classes, workshops, and lodging. These are offered by appointment only. Burns commented she sells her retail to other retail stores as well.
Burns explained a few questions individuals should ask themselves when planning their medicinal herb gardens such as current health issues needing addressed and chronic health issues needing addressed. Once the ailment is addressed, then Burns advised individuals to decide which herbs they feel would be beneficial and research those herbs.
She explained if an individual is suffering from stomach aches and pain, lemon balm would be a good herb choice. For arthritis pain, Burns said, turmeric is good for soothing inflammation. Also, she explained rosemary helps stimulate the brain, golden seal helps treat inflammation of the mucus membranes, stinging nettles help with anemia and is a natural antihistamine, and yarrow is a stringent helping with moist wounds.
Burns addressed the best times to harvest certain herbs by which portion of the plant is being used for healing purposes. She said if one is wanting to the use the root of the plant, such as with sassafras, they should harvest in the fall; however, if one is wanting to use the flower of the plant, such as with red clover, they should harvest in the spring.
Once the herbs are harvested, explained Burns, then those herbs can be used in tea, tinctures, extracts, potpourri, salves, and ointment. For teas, the herbs should either be dry or fresh, whereas tinctures and extracts should be concentrated said Burns.
When using herbs in tea for a medicinal purpose, explained Burns, it may take anywhere from two to six weeks to see the improvements.
“When using a tea, it is the easiest and lightest way to take in the herb,” said Burns.
She explained doing infusions is one way to best extract the most minerals and vitamins from the herbs. Burns explained she personally uses a french press for her infusions, she adds in her desired herbs into water and lets it sit overnight.
Burns had a variety of her teas with her at the event and a few teas to sample such as a green tea and mint blend, peppermint and spearmint blend, and a happy belly blend.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer at Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.