The most simple definition of Apothecary is one who prepares and sells drugs or compounds. For me I like to think of it more so as a collection of medicinal wild plants that I can myself use to treat my own common ailments without resorting to man made synthetics all the time.
Let's take a look at how we can start a small home apothecary for oneself to enjoy.
When we start to learn about wild edibles and medicinal plants or herbalism. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from having the knowledge to be able to create our own herbal remedies. You can make it as large or as small as you want based upon the needs of yourself and your family. I will give you a few easy steps to find the right space, choose correct containers, get organized, and keep track of what herbals have on hand. This will go a long way to keep things in your home apothecary in order!
Storing your herbs is for the most part very crucial to you. Herbs like food do have a shelf life the better care we take to store properly the longer the efficacy to them.
First keep them out of direct sunlight (this causes them to break down and "age" more quickly).
Next the dried herbs for tea and infusions must be stored and kept completely dry. Moisture is the kiss of death to most herbs. Make sure they're good and dry if you're harvesting and drying your own.
Third store loose herbs in air tight (preferably glass) containers like mason jars or amber glass bottles. Air oxidizes herbs over time, again making them break down more quickly becoming less effective.
Lastly LABEL YOUR JARS. Label the herb (common and botanical name if you know it), date you collected or packaged it, and where it came from.
Again Label your jars.
Now all you need to do is add some utensils and cookware for your preparations. Keep a log of your inventory as well as your recipes for treating those ailments and you are well on your way to creating and maintaining your own apothecary! Good Luck! and remember never pick, use or consume any plant you have not 100% Completely identified. When in doubt throw it out. Check with reputable herbal suppliers if you purchase your herbs. I assume no responsibility for you or others that misidentify or incorrectly use any substance or plants. Information offered on Snow Walker Outdoors & Guide Service, L.L.C. is for educational purposes only. Snow Walker Outdoors & Guide Service, L.L.C. makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.
Indian Cucumber or
(Medeola virginiana) is a perennial that
is in the Lily Family (Liliaceae)
Some of the distinctive features are whorls of leaves & Yellow flowers hanging down it can reach a height or 6"-2 feet tall.
The flowers are Yellow, small, hanging down. Usually there are only a few per plant. The leaves are simple (smooth-edged), in one or more whorls. While the stem remains weak and thin. Indian Cucumber grows in open woods and forest. It doesn't like a lot of light, but neither does it like to grow in deep shady woods.
When the plant is young, or when it lacks the energy to reproduce, it produces only one whorl of leaves. At this point in time, it is easily mistaken for starflower, although the latter’s leaves vary in size from less than an inch to almost three inches, and the leaf veins are not parallel to each other (it is not a lily).
Many people are most interested in this plant’s edibility. Historically, the native peoples of eastern North America dug the rhizomes* for food as well as medicine. The small white rhizomes, which measure only one to three inches in length, are reputed to have a cool, crisp, cucumber taste, and are good eaten raw or lightly cooked with other vegetables.
*Remember NEVER pick or consume ANY plant you have not identified 100% Correctly! When in doubt throw it out.