"Farmacy" Movement Grows
LOCUST, N.C. - Got a broken bone? An insect bite? A nose bleed? Brooke Atkinson has a plant for that. And they're all growing in her backyard "farmacy." "Farmacy with an 'F' is basically eating for health and well being and for healing, if you have a specific ailment," she says.
She has plants for fevers, plants for arthritis and plants that are just plain good for ya. Atkinson admits, "The rest of my family thinks I'm a little on the crazy side." Her kids get homemade honey onion cough syrup. "It works great for (their) coughs," she says.
A planted "farmacy" takes some planning and time and not all of Atkinson's plants are found naturally in the Carolinas. But you might be surprised at what's already growing in your backyard. "Plantain" looks like a weed but it's ready to eat right out of the ground. "Plantains are high in vitamin B1, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium," explains Atkinson.
Those plantains came in handy this past spring. Atkinson and her kids didn't buy a single head of lettuce. She says, "We actually ate yard salads!"
Even pesky dandelions are useful. Atkinson says they keep your digestive track healthy. She also makes tinctures out of her plants or dries them to use in mixtures like garlic oil for ear infections. Atkinson says education is key and has this tip: "I would say invest in a good book. You have to be able to tell for sure which is what because there are toxic plants of course."
Atkinson says the "farmacy" movement is growing as more people learn about the impact processed food has on health. She does believe in modern medicine. But she says she thinks it's overused. For more information, Atkinson recommends www.ncherbassociation.org. You can also email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.