In addition to our vegetable gardens and orchards, we also cultivate medicinal and culinary herbs for community use. We currently maintain two large herb gardens where we grow over fifty different kinds of medicinal and ornamental plants. We regularly harvest and dry cultivated and wild herbs for use in herbal teas and other medicinal preparations. We make our own natural medicines, including tinctures, glycerites, salves, hydrosols, medicinal wines, and more.
We are a diverse community. Some of us strongly believe in using the natural resources of our land to heal ourselves and others, while many of us rely primarily on modern western medicine. These differences are respected, and community supplies an ample stock of conventional over-the-counter medicines alongside homemade herbal remedies. Our herbal medicine stock currently includes over one hundred different types of dried herbs (some wild harvested at East Wind, some cultivated here, and some purchased), over sixty different types of herbal tinctures, a variety of salves and infused oils, alchemical elixirs, some hydrosols and essential oils, etc.
As we strive to live a more sustainable lifestyle, learning how to use the abundant resources available to us becomes imperative. Potent medicine is growing directly from the Earth all around us— extremely common “weeds” like dandelion can detox the liver, yarrow will stop bleeding, plantain heals cuts and stings, mullein relieves congestion, and passionflower can cure insomnia. In a country where big business interests and the profits of pharmaceutical companies have skewed the public’s perception of health and medicine, preserving and passing along ancient plant knowledge is vital. East Wind is a great place to learn more about herbalism and a wide variety of medicinal plants.
We understand that the plant world and the animal world exist in symbiotic balance essential to all life on this planet. The very air we breathe contains oxygen released by plants that is necessary to animal life, and the carbon dioxide released by animals is fundamental to plant life. Plants and animals have not simply evolved alongside each other: we have evolved together, inextricably connected, since the beginning of time. Practicing herbalism allows us to strengthen these primordial friendships with our rooted, photosynthesizing counterparts. As we interact more intimately with the plant world, we deepen our understanding of nature and the oneness of all things.
The lush and biodiverse ecosystems of the Ozarks are home to a wide variety of wild edible and medicinal herbs. Some wild herbs easily found here include chickweed, cleavers, dandelion, passionflower, chicory, chives, mullein, milk thistle, nettles, burdock, self-heal, plantain, yarrow, wild ginger, and wild carrot, among many others. Some medicinal herbs regularly cultivated in our gardens include peppermint, spearmint, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, black cohosh, valerian, lemon balm, lemon grass, hyssop, catnip, borage, lobelia, comfrey, hops, echinacea, spilantes, and stevia, among many others.