Why I Still Formulate in a Pinterest World

When I first started my long journey into natural living...the internet was not what it was today. I heard about the dangers of aluminum in deodorant from either watching the news or reading it in the newspaper (its been a while now). Pinterest definitely didn't exist, and blogs were not in abundance as they were today.

All that is to say, that my first forays into herbal medicine making were pretty much limited to my coursework, what was available in the herbal medicine aisles at the natural health food store, what I could order online from a bulk herb store.

Then Pinterest came and the essential oil craze hit. Now, you can type in any sort of ailment with DIY ---- remedy and a TON of recipes will pop up. I mean, I pin my posts there too because it is such an amazing tool to use.

BUT I don't actually follow any of the recipes I see on Pinterest (or FB or blogs etc) because there is an art and science to formulating your own remedies that needs to be held onto.

With all these bloggers telling you exactly what to do....are you actually learning the why? Sure there is a brief explanation of what so and so said about this herb but do you really know why that herb/essential oil is included in that recipe?

That can also prove dangerous. I see people promoting essential oils blends (or preformulated blends from companies) without a mention about what is in them. How do you know its safe for you? How do you know its safe for your children? Thieves, or OnGuard, is widely popular but is actually not recommended for children under 6, pregnant women, or even those with epilepsy due to certain essential oils included in the formula....ah but that is another topic.

Learning and formulating your own remedy is the best way to really understand (and thus respect) herbs and essential oils. Did you know that St John's Wort actually works better for depression when paired with Lemon balm?

"But Jacki May...I don't have time (or don't want) to learn about all the herbs and essential oils, I (or my child) is sick right now"

It is still fine to use another persons recipe for a remedy....I am not saying that at all.

I do think it is imperative that you learn about the herbs and essential oils you ARE using. That is where you start.

Here is an example.

You see a recipe....like our Earache Oil we just posted.

Start with garlic and learn about how its used therapeutically. Find out when it shouldn't be used - like for those on blood thinning medications or up to 10 days before surgery.

Then move onto Calendula, then Mullein.

Once you start learning about the herbs themselves, the world is in your hands. You will find yourself with all sorts of ideas, trying all sorts of new flavors...and really finding what fits. You may find that the herbs work better when you have created your own formula because you are putting your time and energy into it.

If I had stuck with the first Elderberry syrup recipe I learned in school...I wouldn't have formulated "Mama's Magic Elderberry Syrup" and then formulated "Mama's EXTRA Magic Elderberry Syrup".

I wouldn't have created my Be Calm tincture blend which has worked beautifully to help calm a child in the evening (after a hectic day).

For those that don't want to learn about the herbs and how to formulate, I recommend that you at least be in contact with an herbalist. Even running a recipe by them will prove informative.

Patchouli Herbs & Apothecary exists out of a passion to want plant medicine in every home....and that included teaching people how to do it themselves. I have two classes coming up for those who are local and want to learn. Our Naturally Well for Cold and Flu Season class is on October 8th from 9-12 and I am offering the Beginner's Class of Essential Oils on October 22 from 9-11. The first will cover what herbs are effective in cold and flu season with a few ideas on how to take them. The latter covers 5 child safe essential oils, what they are used for, and several ways to use them. We would love to have you!