This week a friend and I went to visit Tom Tracey of Swan Valley Herbs, in Bigfork, Montana. Tom is a master herbalist with a lot of experience. His store is a thing of beauty! He and his crew harvest much of their stock locally. I love it! I cleaned up my basement yesterday and found a copy of his Herb Reference Guide from 1989.
We went to talk with Tom to get his ideas for keeping our immune systems up and running in best form. Tom's approach is pretty common sense. Cleanse the body using heat (saunas, baths) and take an appropriate herb, homeopathic remedy or other healing/balancing substance. Add to that, what you eat, water you drink, rest and exercise. Makes sense.
Winter seems to have come early here in Montana . . . along with quite a few other places in the U.S. Change of weather always affects our immune systems. There are homeopathic remedies for symptoms created by seasonal weather changes. It's a test, and an opportunity. How will our system respond? It's a good time to keenly observe, and take steps to take care. We can re-train our bodies to adapt to change. As a homeopath, and working with myself and my family, I have seen success in remedy administration over time, bringing the recipient to the point of being less susceptible, or entirely immune, to conditions that previously had caused a dis-ease condition.
I came away from Tom's shop with some ready-made tincture, and some herbs to make my own. It's fun to make your own tinctures—and quite simple to do. Tom recommends using Everclear (grain alcohol). Use glycerine or apple cider vinegar for non-alcohol preparations. Do an internet search for more details . . . or talk to your herbalist or buy a book.
The tincture Tom calls "Lomatium Compound" contains Lomatium Root, Osha Root, Cedar Leaf, Yarrow and Usnea. I also purchased some dried elderberries (locally wildcrafted) and a couple bags of the Lomatium Compound dry. I've started my tinctures which should be ready to strain and bottle by the next full moon.
Tom doesn't have a website but if you would like to contact his shop, call 406.837.5747.
I urge everyone to look up their own local herbalist, hopefully, one who takes the time and effort to wildcraft their own herbs. Knowing and trusting your health care provider is as important as anything else. Who's your farmer, who's your banker, and where's your money applies at all levels.