One of the most rewarding things about the world of herbal medicines is the self empowerment one feels. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to address our own health and wellness issues using these wonderful plants. Having the plants close at hand is an amazing lifestyle. When I feel myself coming down with a cold, I walk out into my yard and grab a handful of yarrow flowers, a handful of elder leaves and some peppermint and brew up a big pot of tea. I then drink this throughout the day and, nine times out of ten, the illness never sticks. If I get a cold sore starting, I just dab on a little lemon balm tincture throughout the day. And then there are the occasions when you can find me puttering around the garden in my bathrobe at three in the morning looking for some parsley to eat as penance for the mountain of Mexican food I indulged in earlier that evening.
It’s wonderful to have that resource in my life. But sometimes I’m not home. In fact, at certain times of the year there are a lot of times I’m not home. I’m on the road putting on workshops and plant walks or I’m in some far-flung city lecturing about herbs at a conference. Often when I’m on the road, I’ll have some sort of need for my buddies the herbs. It turns out I’ve become quite accustomed to having the little rascals around and when I’m far from home and feel myself coming down with something, I really miss them.
So, several years ago I finally got smart and started carrying a little travel herb kit. It has all the little green friends I’m likely to need while I’m on the road. Most of the herbs in the kit are in the form of tinctures. Tinctures have a really long shelf life and are more resistant to the perils of the road than powdered herbs. They’re also very concentrated so they don’t take up much space. I mostly use one or two oz tincture bottles because I’m generally only away for a few days and an ounce or two will get me by until I get back home. The Mrs. and I recently took our first real vacation in 30 years. We got on a big boat with lots of other folks and puttered around the Caribbean for a week. For that trip I upgraded to 4 oz bottles because I was going to be gone longer. By the way, the vacation was fun. I’ve decided to take one every thirty years whether I need one or not. :0)
So what are you going to put in your herb kit? Certainly the contents of each kit will vary based on how many people are in your herd, how long you’ll be gone and what issues you’re likely to face. At HomeGrown Herbalist, we’ve put together several nice herb kits that cover all the bases. Right now I’ve deeply discounted them so everybody can get one.
So, put a comment in the comment section and lets talk about what’s in your emergency/travel herb kit and why. I’m sure many of you have some great ideas. :0)