Friday, October 30, 2009
Winter Herbs, Oils & First-aid
With the first winter chill breezing into town it's time to start thinking about how to keep the sneezes and sniffles away. While there's talk of the value of vitamin C, echinacea and garlic as natural treatments, herbalist claim herbs can prevent colds and flu. There are three main herbs, as well garlic, which are widely used to ward off winter woes. They are Echinacea, andrographis and astrolagus.
Echinacea is effective for the early treatment of colds and flu because it's an immune stimulant but is best taken before a cold sets in, however, it can help shorten the duration of flu if you take it once you've become ill and can assist with treating respiratory infections.
Andrographis and Astrolagus work in much the same way. Andrographis is also used for coughs and sore throats. These herbs are highly effective alone or in conjunction.
The frequent use of Garlic, referred to as nature's antibiotic, puts you well on your way to preventing a winter cold.
And don’t forget your vitamin C. Citrus, grapes and strawberries are high in C, and it doesn’t hurt to add zinc from beans, nuts and whole grains.
You may wish to try this herbal remedy, shared by a friend who swears by it. She hasn’t had a cold/flu in years.
Total Tonic Formula
1 Handful of split Garlic cloves
1 Handful of chopped Onions
1 Handful of chopped Ginger
1 Handful of chopped Horseradish
1/2 handful of chopped Habanero Peppers.
Throw in a blender and chop, then cover with
an inch or two of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
Let tincture for a week or two (shake now and then)
and strain, then drink a little of the juice daily,
or twice daily. (It is very HOT)
A small amount in V8 Juice is good and Turmeric can be added for extra benefit.
Winter Herbal Medicine Chest
Several herbs are effective for treating not only the symptoms of too much winter, but also the causes of colds and flu… Impaired immunity to virus/bacteria, maintaining blood circulation and warmth, ensuring vitality of the lungs and reducing the build up of congestion in the body. In addition to the herbs already mentioned, some herbs to keep on hand in your “medicine chest” are:
Ginger, Elderflower, Yarrow, Sage, Rose Hips, Mullein, Thyme, Fenugreek & Marshmallow.
Other beneficial ingredients to your chest would be
Winter Essential Oils
Aromatherapy brings us the aromatic energy of living plants in the form of essential oils. These fragrances are a natural antidote to the emotionally debilitating effects of winter. Winter essential oils cleanse and freshen air in homes closed tight against the cold weather and can be beneficial in treating winter ailments. Some useful winter oils are:
Bergamot, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Orange, Rosemary & Tea Tree.
Try these Essential Oil remedies in a massage, a bath, infused in the air or in a “sniffy” bottle. In all of them combine the oils listed.
WINTER WARMTH BLEND
10 drops of cedar wood
25 drops of bergamot orange
15 drops of fir needle
30 drops of juniper berry
20 drops of sandalwood
SINUS CONGESTION BLEND
5 drops of Eucalyptus
3 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Tea-Tree
2 drops of Pine.
PICK ME UP BLEND
7 drops of Bergamot
5 drops of Grapefruit
3 drops of Rosemary
5 drops of Lemon
5 drops of Orange
3 drops of Geranium
2 drops of Peppermint