username wrote:I have decided not to ingest Black Walnut Hull tincture before being informed very well about its effects and possible complications. So I will do my reading. However I'll go ahead with the swishing + spitting out.
Can I ask you, how you inform yourself about natural treatments (particularly herbal remedies)? Do you have a good book/books that you can reccomend? Do you turn to specific websites that you trust? Or do you just start reading online and ask questions on this forum? I'm just trying to find out what good ways there are to inform oneself.
I'm relieved to hear that you're going to do more research about black walnut hull. If you're going to make your own tincture from fresh hulls then you will have plenty of time to do your further research since the black walnuts won't be ready to harvest until after summer.
In answer to your question - I do a lot of reading in books and on internet, and I learn quite a bit through personal trial and error.
I'm not a herbalist and haven't had any formal training in herbalism and herbal remedies and frankly I don't use a lot of herbs as preventive or curative medicines and remedies. I think it's just as easy for people to go into overkill and over-use and abuse herbal remedies to harm themselves with as easily as it is to over-use and abuse pharmaceutical medical remedies so I tend to use any herbs and other plants with discretion and more as food supplements to my regular diet rather than as medicines. But I do realize how vitally important it is to do research about herbs and all other foods to learn what their active chemical components and nutritional properties are - what chemicals, minerals, vitamins and other essential nutrients (or toxins) are in them and how they effect the body when they're ingested. When I learn that any herb has particular chemical constituents in it that I'm not familiar with then I do research about those chemicals because I want to be extra careful about learning what may or may not be toxic. I'm a bit paranoid about poisoning myself.
There are probably lots of other good books available but these are ones that I purchased about 15 years ago and find them quite comprehensive and reliable so I'll recommend these books to you and you can look them up on internet to get descriptions and summaries about them:
THE COMPLETE MEDICINAL HERBAL - by Penelope Ody - Key Porter Books publishers.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBS AND THEIR USES - by Deni Brown
MAGIC AND MEDICINE OF PLANTS - by Readers Digest Association - this is not really a pro-herbalism book and doesn't tell how to prepare herbs as remedies but has good information and pictures for finding and identifying plants in North America, informs if they are toxic or medicinal so can be used in conjunction with books on herbalism, it also has good information about natural dyes and many other practical and utilitarian uses for plants.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOMEOPATHY - the principles and practice of treatment - by Dr. Andrew Lockie & Dr. Nicola Geddes - Readers Digest Association. I think that anyone who is going to get into making their own herbal remedies should also have some basic understanding of what homeopathy is all about.
BLOOMSBURY ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AROMATHERAPY - a very comprehensive book on the art and science of aromatherapy, including massage therapy of the body - by Chrissie Wildwood - Bloomsbury Publishing. Another important book because aromatherapy is powerful medicine derived from the essences of plants and may go hand in hand with herbalism.
As to websites - well I go to a LOT of websites including this Wise Woman forum because I like to check, double-check, triple-check and quadruple-check all the information I research in websites. I do like this website about plants, it's quite impressive for the quantity of plants it covers - Plants For A Future: http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx
- but I still look to other sites for further information as well. Wikipedia is informative and I use it a lot but it shouldn't be relied on to be 100% accurate in all things because the site gets edited by a lot of people. So again even with info I find from wikipedia I still double check with several other sources as well and will also look at sources recommended by wikipedia at the bottom of the page. I also use google as a search engine, just typing in key words for information I'm looking for and that takes me to many other internet sources with information. Some information is factual and some information is dubious so when I come across something that seems a bit dubious, or seems too good to be true, then that's where I especially get into double-checking and triple-checking information so that I can ascertain the facts.