February 2012
The Herb Farm

Do the Research First

Recently, someone asked me why I don’t suggest how to use the herbs I feature in The Herb Farm and I responded by explaining, if I did that and something went wrong, I would feel terrible for suggesting a remedy that didn’t work. Instead, I prefer you to get to know your own body and learn what works for you.


Although some folks claim echinacea is a “cure-all” for what ails you, consult a licensed nutritionist or herbalist before taking it.

We are all different and, by the same token, all herbs are made up of different chemical properties. Some of the herbs may react exactly the same with most people, while other herbs can react very differently from one person to the next. In some cases, rubbing a particular herb salve on my chest and back could be fine, but it just might have an adverse affect on someone else.

Here is an example told to me by my good friend, the late Jim Wilson of the Victory Garden. Jim was doing a demonstration on a garden tour and some mosquitoes started to nab him, so he took a handful of pennyroyal and started to rub it on his arms and face, letting the oils coat his skin. He said a young lady asked him what he was doing and he explained he was using the herb as an insect repellant. The young lady did the same to herself and within minutes, she had to be rushed to the hospital with a severe case of anaphylaxis.

Last month, a reader e-mailed me regarding a specific brand of echinacea in capsule form and its effectiveness in the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI). Also, I was asked for recommendations on other herbal remedies used for the same thing. I explained I do not comment or recommend specific brands. I did, however, look up the brand the reader asked about because it was one I readily recognized from their company’s branding and advertising campaigns. There was a statement on their website’s page for that herb and it said, "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." I checked other companies with similar products and they had similar statements on some of their web pages.

Herbs and other dietary supplements come in many shapes and sizes; but research these remedies and the brands producing them before taking them.


I will go out on a limb here and say inexactitudes like that for a branded product making a company tons of money at the expense of unsuspecting and trusting consumers really gets me going!

As for the question about which herbs would treat a UTI, I do not suggest herbs to treat anything I have not used for that particular purpose. Even then, I only write about the broad range of possibilities usually containing several possible remedies for a particular ailment, or several uses for a particular herb or spice.

The bottom line, folks, is you should use my suggestions as the beginning of your own research. If you have an ailment like dry, crackly, winter hands and you read where I made a cream from cocoa butter, shea butter and beeswax, etc. and used it on my skin, then make sure it is the right combination of components for your skin before you use it.

Many ailments can be prevented by simply adjusting our lifestyles. Let’s get better in tune with our bodies. If we are getting dry mouth during the day, it could be our body requesting more pure water. Think about what your body is saying to you and research, research, research before making any lifestyle changes or adding herbal supplements to your diet. It might also help to consult a licensed nutritionist for advice on this matter.

I appreciate all your e-mails and I will answer them all in time, so please bear with me.

Until then, drink plenty of pure water and breathe in and out!

Thanks for reading!

For more information, e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Be sure to find me on Facebook at: Herb Farmer-The Herb Farm.

As always, check with an expert, like your doctor, before using any herbal remedy.