Jade Alicandro Mace, Community Herbalist
Milk & Honey Herbs
Shutesbury, MA

                            Using Local Herbs for Optimal Health

What is “Local?”
For the purposes of this workshop we will define as “local” any plant that grows in the wild
here in Massachusetts, be it native or non-native. And also, any plant that can be easily
cultivated here and is also generally readily available. For example garlic, the culinary herbs,
hot peppers, horseradish, echinacea, and so on....

Essential Local Herbs to use in the Home Apothecary...all these herbs are common in the
wild here in the Northeast and Pioneer Valley, fairly easy to wildcraft and are currently not at
risk of over-harvest.

  • Yarrow Lf + Fl (Achillea millefolium)
  • Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma tsugae, G. lucidum)
  • Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)
  • Plantain Lf (Plantago lanceolata, P. major)
  • Raspberry Lf (Rubus ideaus)
  • Blue Vervain Lf + Fl (Verbena hastata)
  • Elder Fl + Berry (Sambucus nigra)
  • Goldenrod Lf + Fl (Solidego spp)
  • Nettle Lf + Rt + Sd (Urtica dioica)
  • Red Clover Blossom (Trifolium pratense)
  • Skullcap Lf + Fl (Scutellaria lateriflora)
  • Bee Balm Lf + Fl (Monarda didyma, M. fistulosa)
  • Chickweed Herb(Stellaria media)
  • Dandelion Lf + Rt + Fl (Taraxacum officinalis)
  • Burdock Rt (Arcticum lappa)
  • Yellow Dock Rt (Rumex crispus)
  • St Johnswort Lf +Fl (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Mountain Mint Lf + Fl (Pycantheum spp)
  • Motherwort Lf + Fl (Leonarus cardiaca)
  • Mullein Lf + Fl (Verbascum thapsus)
  • Elecampane Rt (Inula helenium)
  • Barberry Rt (Berberis vulgaris)

AND Essential Herbs that are easily cultivated here in the Northeast...
Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Basil & Holy Basil/Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum),
Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Spearmint, Echinacea, Cayenne, Astragalus, Calendula, Chamomile, Catnip

                    What are the best ways to achieve and maintain optimal health?
1. Use herbs as preventative medicine to maintain good health
-Nourishing Infusions (Nettles, Burdock, Red Clover, Raspberry, Dandelion Lf,
Chickweed, Plantain)
-Treat colds and flus at first sign of symptoms
2. Incorporate herbs into your daily routine
3. Cook with the culinary herbs and use them liberally
4. Use adaptogens daily (except in acute illnesses, likes colds & flus)
-Reishi, Chaga, Holy Basil/Tulsi, Astragalus
5. Address the “big three”- Diet (use food as medicine), Lifestyle (exercise, community,
etc) and Herbs
-Top 4 Food Allergens: Corn, Soy, Gluten, Dairy.
-Read Food Labels
6. Use digestive bitters!
-Blue Vervain, Dandelion Rt, Barberry, Bee Balm, Culinary Herbs, Yarrow,
Peppermint, Spearmint, Mountain Mint, Tulsi
7. Get enough rest. At least 8 hours/night is ideal, 6 is not enough for most people.
-Skullcap, Valerian, Blue Vervain
8. Try to identify sources of stress and find constructive ways to deal with the stress
and anxiety that can accompany day to day life.
-Lemon Balm, Motherwort, Blue Vervain, Skullcap, St Johnswort, Holy Basil,
9. Use the 6 Steps of Healing (Susun Weed)
10. Hydrate


Nourishing Infusion Recipe
1 oz herb or 1 large handful
1 quart (4 cups) H2O
Directions: Place the herb in a quart-sized mason jar or other heat-bearing vessel (pan, teapot, etc).
Then cover with 4 cups boiling water. Cover and let steep overnight or 4 hours minimum. Strain
and for best results drink 3 cups a day. Keeps 1-2 days in the fridge. The so-called nourishing herbs,
are a loose, unofficial category of mineral and vitamin-rich herbs, which give-up their properties
easily in water. Herbs commonly placed in the category include Nettle Lf (Urtica dioica), Raspberry Lf
(Rubus idaeus), Violet Lf (Violoa sp), Chickweed Herb(Stellaria media), Oatstraw and Milky Oat Tops
(Avena sativa), Alfalfa Lf(Medicago sativa), Burdock Rt (Arcticum lappa), Plantain Lf (Plantago
lanceolata and P. major), and Red Clover Blossoms (Trifolium pratense).
Why make a nourishing infusion? This preparation maximizes the extraction of minerals and
vitamins from a given plant. Its like taking a liquid, herbal multivitamin that is easily assimilated into
the body. Often when one starts drinking a daily nourishing infusion, they will find that many
nagging health problems begin to dissipate. This then reveals deeper, more root-cause symptoms,
which makes it easier to diagnose and get to the bottom of chronic imbalances.

Chaga Chai
Fresh Ginger, 1 ounce grated (1-2 tbsp) or 1-2 tbsp dried
7 Black Peppercorns
5 Clove Buds
15 Cardamom Pods
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tbsp ground chaga mushroom
Directions: Simmer in 1 pint of water (2 cups) for 10 minutes, loosely covered. Then add ½ cup of
milk and heat gently for another 10 minutes if the milk is raw, simmer if not. Strain and add a
sprinkle of nutmeg powder, a few drops of vanilla extract if desired, sweeten with honey, and enjoy!
Uses: An excellent warming and stimulating tea that also aids digestion and fights colds and flus!
Additionally, chaga mushroom is high in antioxidants, boosts the immune system, detoxifies the
liver,and helps heal cancers. It is also used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, tumors, and even
HIV. It is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal!

First Sign of Flu Tea
Equal Parts:
Peppermint or Chocolate Mint
Elder Flower
Directions: Make a simple infusion (classic tea) of the mixture of above herbs. Use about 2 tsp herbs:
1 cup water, pour boiling water over the herbs, cover and let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Strain and
Uses: Antiviral, diaphoretic, antibacterial, digestive aid. Excellent remedy to take at absolute first sign
of a cold or flu. At first sign of sickness and especially if you are running a low-grade fever and have
a headache, aches and pains, a cold sweat and chills, make the tea and run a hot bath. Make the bath
as hot as you can tolerate, get in and bring in a cup of very, very hot tea and drink it in the bath as
hot as you an stand. Soon you will start to sweat. Once you have been in and sweating for about 10
minutes and the bath begins to cool, get out. Staying warm, dress in the warmest clothes you can, get
under lots of covers, go to sleep and sweat that cold out! In the morning you should feel much, much
better. Also excellent to take if the cold or flu has already taken hold and will shorten the duration of
the sickness.

Reishi Tonic Tea
1 oz Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma tsugae, Ganoderma lucidum)
½ oz Licorice
2 Quarts Water (8 cups)
Directions: Combine the water and herbs and simmer several hours until the water is reduced by
about 1/3rd (So reduce to about 5 1/4 cups liquid). Drink 3 cups/day for 3 weeks, then take a week
or two off. Make a lot at a time! Can be frozen (ice-cube trays work great) or refrigerated for 2-3
Uses: Adaptogen, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, longevity tonic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial,
immune tonic, liver tonic, cardiovascular tonic, nervine, anti-inflammatory. Treats and prevents
cancers and tumors, stimulating the immune system from a deep, bone marrow level, increasing
production of T cells. Helpful for disorders such as Chronic Fatigue, extreme food sensitivities (esp
when used with Astragalus), all cancers, HIV and AIDS. Useful in chemotherapy to protect the liver
and help buffer the negative side-affects of the treatment. Revitalizing, increasing inner stamina and
strength. Also nourishes the spirit, treating anxiety, insomnia nervousness, arrhythmia and

Tulsi Tincture/ Basic Tincture Recipe
Tulsi/Holy Basil
100 proof vodka (50% alcohol) or 80 proof brandy (40% alcohol)
For a fresh tincture the ratio by volume is 1 part herb: 2 parts menstruum (the liquid part of the
tincture) OR just completely cover the fresh herb in your alcohol of choice
For a tincture made with dried plant material the ratio by volume is 1 part herb :5 parts
menstruum OR fill the jar one-fifth of the way with the dried herb and then fill to the top with your
alcohol of choice
Directions: Stick your plant material in a jar, filling the jar loosely (not packing it in), and cover the
herb with the appropriate amount of alcohol. If the herb is fresh chop it up a completely as you can,
most dried herbs already come in a “cut and sifted” form. Label the contents well, with common
name plus latin name of the plant, percentage alcohol, source of the plant material, date and moon
phase if you'd like. It is best to make tincture during the new moon or waning phase of the moon and
strain when the moon is full or waxing. Let the plant material extract 4 weeks minimum and as long
as a year or even a decade if you like! Then strain out, store in an amber glass jar or in any glass jar
just out of direct sunlight, since this can degrade the medicinal properties. Enjoy for practically ever,
since tinctures, being mostly alcohol, have a virtually limitless shelf-life, making them an extremely
practical way to preserve medicine.
****You can use these same proportions to make a vinegar, just substitute the vodka or brandy for
apple cider vinegar.
Uses: Tulsi is an adaptogen, making it an excellent over-all health tonic which is great for long-term
use. It has a nice warming energy and is particularly effective at boosting the immune system during
the winter months. A natural anti-biotic, Tulsi helps to ward off colds and flus and is great to take at
first sign of a cold or flu, or during sickness to help fight the pathogen and lessen the duration of
illness. Tulsi is also a nervine, and is excellent for treating chronic stress, anxiety, nervousness and
even insomnia. Due to its warming energetics and affinity for the respiratory system, Tulsi is also a
go-to herb for a cold, wet cough. It can be used as a steam, tea, infused into a honey, tinctured, used
topically and made into a syrup. Safe for kids and they usually like the taste! Take 1 tsp of the tincture
3x/day as a tonic and can increase up to 6x/day when fighting off an infection, cold or flu.
Why make an alcohol tincture? Since a tincture is an alcohol and water extract, it effectively extracts nearly all chemical constituents within plant, making it an extremely versatile form of medicine. It also has a virtually limitless shelf-life, making it an ideal choice. Lastly, it concentrates medicine into
a relatively small volume of liquid, making it convenient to take.

The Home Apothecary should at least include....

  • Anti-Bacterial herbs- Tulsi, Garlic, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Barberry, Elecampane, Reishi, Chaga, Yarrow, Bee Balm
  • A Healing Salve- Can use Plantain, Burdock, Chickweed, Elder Flower, Yarrow
  • A Sleep Aid- Skullcap, Blue Vervain, Valerian
  • A Musculo-Skeletal Relaxant- Skullcap, Blue Vervain, St Johnswort (especially topically as an infused oil)
  • Deep Immune-building herbs- Chaga, Reishi, Burdock, Tulsi, Astragalus, Elderberry
  • Superficial Immune-stimulating herbs- Echinacea, Culinary Herbs, Yarrow, Ginger, Peppermint, Spearmint, Elder Flower
  • A Cough Syrup- Ginger, Tulsi, Sage, Thyme, Mullein, Elecampane, Red Clover
  • Anti-Allergy herbs- Elder Flower, Goldenrod
  • Nervines- Tulsi, Motherwort, St Johnswort, Reishi, Lemon Balm, Skullcap, Blue Vervain
  • Digestive Aids- Blue Vervain, Dandelion Rt, Skullcap, the Culinary Herbs, Mountain Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Bee Balm
  • Mullein Flower-Garlic Ear Oil (for earaches and ear infections)
  • Anti-Virals- Lemon Balm, St Johnswort, Garlic, Tulsi, Reishi, Elderberry and Flower

Glossary of Terms
Adaptogen- Harmonizes the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system
Anti-Microbial- Inhibits growth of microorganisms (anything you can't see with the naked eye),
including bacteria, viruses and some fungi
Anti-Depressant- Helps alleviate depression
Anti-Fungal- Inhibits the growth or multiplication of fungi
Anti-Catarral- Decongestant; Helps remove excess mucous in the body
Anti-Septic- Destroys and prevents the development of microbes
Anti-Spasmodic- Calms muscle spasms in the body
Anti-Inflammatory- Soothes and reduces inflammation in the body and its tissues
Astringent- Tones and strengthens tissue
Carminative- Digestive aid, helps expel gas
Diuretic- Helps the body eliminate excess water
Diaphoretic- Induces perspiration; useful for fever management
Expectorant- Cough and respiratory aid; helps expel excess mucous from the lungs
Galactagogue- Increases milk flow in nursing mothers
Hypotensive-Lowers abnormally elevated blood pressure levels
Nervine- Nervous system tonic
Rubifacient - Increases circulation to localized areas when applied topically
Stimulant- Quickens the physiological functions of the body
Tonic- Substance that is nurturing and enlivening; safe for long-term use
Vermifuge- Expels intestinal worms
Vulnerary - Wound-healing