At our UU, there's no official Jr High group and they don't like to be with the younger ones, so I've been this quasi-teacher/babysitter all summer. Week before last I took one of my favorite local herb books all about "hidden herbs in suburbia" (hand bound made with photocopier and typewriter years ago by a woman in the PNW here) and went on an herb walk.
Last week I talked to them about some of the herbal remedies you can find in the spice cabinet at home.
Next week I was thinking about going into the kitchen and making some tintcures, and talking about Infusion vs Decoction, maybe some olive oil and beeswax salves or some oils.
So... what I'm looking for is ideas for what I can use... wrong time of year to make cottonwood buds, what else could I put in salve? I really don't have much experience with anything else. I suppose I could do St Johnswort oil, maybe with some peppermint and rosemary, and the following week use some of the oil into salve. Or maybe some marigolds? Tintcure I really want to do because I have plenty of bottles, so supplies would be cheap and unlike some other settings, parents are nearby so I can deliver alcohol-based tintcures into hands of parents. But would like to use wildcrafted plants... maybe Oregon Grape? Oh, or I could do oil of garlic, and use the bottles for that too.
Ideally, I'd like to use things they could replicate from plants growing locally, and from the kitchen. Suggestions welcome, thanks!!
I love the idea of making an Oregon Grape root tincture...something they could use for a sore throat or an infected cut.
Something very multi-purpose and easy for an oil/salve would be to use chamomile blossoms. Smells good, and is great for any skin irritation (including chapped lips!)
I love rosemary oil, but I just want to make that to have for my salads! :)
Ginger root for decoction, and peppermint for a tea. (Then in my home kitchen, those would end up being poured together and enjoyed :) ) Mullein is one of my personal favorites for decocting or tea, especially for winter lung issues, but I haven't ever used it fresh. I always dry it first. And I don't know if it's as weedy where you are compared to where I'm from.
I wish I knew more about what's in season locally for you right now...haven't ever been to the Pacific NW. I'm an Appalachian girl :) Sounds like a really fun project!!
You could make some Herbal Vinegars - they are super easy.
Here's an easy recipe for Herbal Lip Balm that I love.
One of my favorite herbal creations to make is Crock Pot Ginger Oil
You can use the crock pot method of infusing oils for other herbs as well and put them into your salve. Like comfrey or plantain - or calendula as pp suggested.
There are tons of good herbal recipes here:
Sounds like a fun project - good luck!