I remember playing outside when I was little. Rolling around in the grass, making necklaces and crowns out of chains of clover. I remember one kind of grass I used to love to pick, because it looked a little like wheat. I’d pretend to make food out of it. Or medicine. My friends and I would look for wild berries and mushrooms and pretend we were gathering provisions for our “tribes” back home.
I can only imagine if I’d had someone there to tell me that the plant I kept pretending was medicine actually was medicine—and so was the clover crown on my head for that matter—the trajectory of my life might have been a bit different.
I’ve become fascinated by folk medicine lately. The natural remedies and wisdom that used to be passed from generation to generation, but somehow vanished over the last century.
Because Campbell’s didn’t invent the idea of eating chicken noodle soup when you get a cold. That notion comes from the soups and broths your great-great-grandmothers labored over for their families. Soups made from real, clean, nutrient-rich ingredients from the earth that nurtured and healed the people who ate it.
That food was medicine. Food was always supposed to be our medicine.
So, partially because this stuff fascinates me, partially because our health care system terrifies me, and partially because I’m going to need a trade during the zombie apocalypse, I’ve been on a mission to unearth some of these long-forgotten recipes and remedies.
I’ll be writing here about my ongoing journey using herbs, essential oils, and traditional foods as a way to take ownership of my own health and wellness. I’ll post recipes, herbal and folk remedies, and DIY skin and beauty care made from natural ingredients. And I’m sure a little kitchen witchery will sneak in now and again.
So, think of me as a sort of folk medicine anthropologist. And if you have any weird and wonderful stories about things your grannies or great-grannies swore by in the name of health or beauty, I’d love to hear them.