Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creosote Harvesting and Oil Making; A Medicinal Plant and How We Use It!

Last Sunday,we headed out into the mountain by our house with dogs and baby in tow.  Our goal was to collect some Creosote, also known as Chaparral, leaves in order to create an oil extract to use medicinally.  
Our dogs and the plant{s}. 
Once the plant is identified {not hard here, once you know what it looks like} we remove new growth branches from various bushes and give thanks {usually this means a little extra water for the giving plant}. 
Even the Cupcake is interested in the process... 
Here you can see one of the pieces Hubs gathered. 
The plant is one of the most bountiful by our home, and wouldn't you know it treats almost EVERYTHING I'd been complaining about over the past year.  It's actually an active ingredient in one of the medications I was taking for yeast.  It's a mild sun screen when infused in oil like I'm doing {about spf 8}.  And it is great for helping clear up skin, reduce scarring and overall general skin care when used in the oil mixture I'm making.  There are liver risks with this plant and should be a low ratio when ingested internally as tea.  I'm interested in taking it orally in tincture form {plant mixed with 100 proof alcohol and used as dropper into juice}, once we gather another round and purchase some vodka.  Until then I'll be using it topically.

Here's what I do with the plant when I bring it home:
Most plants' leaves should be dried, but because of the anti-fungal and antiseptic properties of this plant I didn't dry before making the oil, if you're more comfortable with dried leaves wait a few days and then use dried leaves in the mixture.
Fill the jar about 2/3 full with leaves. branches are fine, but it's the leaves I'm using as the medicine. 
Once filled and compressed to desired amount, add organic olive oil. 
Fill until covering leaves with about an inch or two of oil on top.
The oil on top keep the leaves from contacting the air. THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT PREVENTS MOLD FROM GROWING ON THE LEAVES. Again, this plant prevents mold, but don't take chances with your medicine!
Cover with lid, place in room temperature but dark space for 6 weeks.  Then, strain through cheese cloth and collect oil.  

Use the oil {rub onto skin} as needed for skin regeneration {prevent or heal scarring}, to treat yeast infections {I'd check with naturopath, N.D., before treating an infant's thrush though!}, as mild sun screen, to treat ring worm, and since oil pulling is great for treating tooth aches temporarily {for instance a pregnant mom who can't have fillings done, or someone in between dentists}, I think this would be an even better oil to use.

I know you can also use the raw leaves if you have a tooth ache, chew the plant and spit it out as temporary treatment.

To make a tea with this plant, dry the leaves, then using a tea infuser use 1/8 leaves to 1 part water ratio {1 part leaves 8 parts water}.  The tea is safest at about 10% creosote, strong enough to cure, but weak enough for your body to process the toxins of the plant. Drink, but don't necessarily repeat frequently.  If you experience nausea, that's your body telling you to stop.  Also, pregnant women should not drink the tea as it is listed as an abortifacient.

I'll be making a tincture eventually and I'll share that too.  but if you're in the desert and looking for natural treatments, I suggest starting with this one, as long as your liver and kidneys are fine, it's so abundant and treats almost everything!

More information about the Creosote (or Chaparral) plant is available here. and more medicinal uses here.

**Remember I'm a blogger not a doctor, this is how I am treating my family and myself naturally.  If you have questions check with your N.D. or N.M.D., an M.D. will have no idea what you're talking about!

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