The woods laid out before me is the garden in which I find my herds and medicinal plants. Just wandering among the trees I can find a multitude of useful plants just waiting for a new purpose.
I pulled the lichen fibers apart that the children had collected for me, piling them into a strainer I turned on the tap water and waited for the cold well water to wash any dirt from the hairy mass. Washing and picking out the bark and stick fragments I continued to clean it as best as possible. I laid the lichen out on a towel to let it dry by the fire.
Waiting for the lichen to dry and crisp again, I placed the Mason jars and lids in a boiling pot of water to sterilize them. When the lichen was once more dry and rough, I stuffed as much into the Mason jars as I thought possible without over filling it with Vodka.
Lichen possess antimicrobial properties and nutrients only extracted from the use of an alcohol of 50 proof or more, as they are not water soluble. I poured the Vodka over the top of the lichen until it was full enough where the lichen was completely submerged.
I became interested in the usefulness of nature as a child running through the woods and fields searching for lemon weed and cucumber root to satisfy my hunger. Although beautiful, I wanted to soak up nature through every sense possible. It seemed only natural to me that we would take what we needed for survival out of respect and gratitude as to what nature had to offer. My fascinations with how just a simple dandelion weeds that are picked and destroyed from a flower garden is the same weeds that could sooth a stomach ache never seems to end.
It seems as though the people of society are lost in the convenience of modern medicine and can no longer fathom the notion. The idea that nature has more to offer then beauty is certainly a myth that most people would rather agree to.
I am by no means a skilled herbalist, I am currently only an aspiring one reading from a lot of books and using the recipes from skilled herbalist. Please consult a physician or licensed herbalist before trying a new herb, as one can never be sure how the body might react. Please do your own research if you want to make your own.