Herbalist Robin Rose Bennett

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Topical Herbal Medicine

By Robin Bennett
Posted in Blog, Recipes
On January 12, 2021

(Originally posted as a newsletter 1/12/21. If you are not signed up for my newsletters, signup here!

And a recipe!

Hello Friends!

Though I'm probably not the first herbalist that
comes to mind for topical first aid medicine,
I've actually had a good amount of successful experience with it.
In addition to applications for wounds and bruises,
topical herbal medicine offers another essential means of self-care.

It gives us the opportunity to give ourselves the gift of hands-on, loving touch.
If someone else is tending to us, perhaps placing a mullein leaf poultice over our lungs to help ease pain and break up congestion, it allows us to open to receive help and loving touch from another.

A good place to start taking your healing herbs
from the outside-in is with an herbal bath.

Baths are a great way to take your medicine. They are one of my favorite ways to use herbs for physical and spiritual healing. Skin is the largest organ of assimilation and elimination, so even though soaking in an herbal bath is external medicine, it affects you through-and-through and is a natural, pleasurable way to practice herbal self-care. Immersing yourself in herbal-infused water in your bathtub encourages you to relax and take time just for you.

1½ cups dried oat straw
¼ cup dried lavender flowers

Put oat straw into a half-gallon or more of cold water in a soup pot. Bring it to a boil, and then turn it down to keep it on the lowest possible flame for about 30 minutes. Turn it off and stir in the lavender. Cover the pot and wait another 30-60 minutes. Squeeze out the herbs and pour the strained tea into a full bath of hot water. Soak for 20 minutes or more. Light an unscented palm-oil (sustainably harvested, please) or beeswax candle if you want to create an even more relaxing experience for yourself.

This is my "go-to" bath recipe, the first one I think of when I want to help someone move through stress and anxiety. I use other bath recipes, too, but this remains one of my favorites for soothing. It brings immediate relief of physical and emotional distress and pain. The more often you do this for yourself, the more benefits you will retain. Sometimes when someone is rude or cranky with me I want to throw her or him into a bath like this! (That reaction shows me I haven't been taking enough oat/lavender baths myself!)

(excerpt from "The Gift of Healing Herbs")

Thursday, February 4 @ 6 - 8 PM EST
Part of the Bloom webinar series
Register HERE!

Learn to use common herbs from the outside in, as well as the inside out. We'll discuss a variety of first aid uses for injuries such as sprains, cuts, and impact bruises; herbs can help ease bleeding, swelling, and pain, and promote tissue healing. We'll explore fresh and dried poultices, oils and ointments, fomentations, washes and foot and body baths. We can also talk about using topical herbs for specific conditions, such as dissolving cysts and soothing skin rashes, and of beautiful ways to use topical herbs to support healing from emotional pain as well.

Bloom is a monthly subscription webinar series
with a fantastic array of classes and teachers!
Click here to find out more.

Love and Green Blessings,
Robin Rose

Robin Bennett

Robin Bennett

Robin Rose Bennett is a writer, teacher, green witch, herbalist, and a wisewoman… one who loves the earth and gives voice to the healing wild food and medicine plants which surround us. She has been a practicing herbalism for over 30 years, based in New Jersey & NYC. Robin focuses on the spiritual and ecological lessons of plants and treatment of illness.