Whilst much of our well-being is handed over to companies, physicians and celebrities, healing always requires a sense of responsibility – we need to be an active participant in our recovery. The very act of gathering herbs or roots to make your own medicinal tea is a gift TIME grants you. You can literally take a piece of that power back every time you walk out your back door, or into your kitchen’s larder.
Herbs have been used by humans for thousands of years and from all corners of the Earth, so it’s not just silly-hippie-business to forage for your medicine – it’s primal and it makes sense.
I’m not talking about gliding across the yard collecting florals and herbs in a long white maxi-dress. Let’s be real – your nose will be dripping, your head pounding, your throat swollen and sore… it won’t look pretty, but oh! to be in the late winter sun, foraging for the plants who’s wish it is to heal. Here begins the healing process…. even if you lack a garden or backyard, simple potted herbs happily suffice.
The life cycle of a head cold may last for up to 2 weeks and once this pesky bacteria or virus takes hold your get of jail free card becomes almost redundant. But you can greatly improve the symptoms of the virus by using herbs such as the flowering stems of lavender, thyme, ginger root, manuka honey as a tea.
Lavender is a soothing scent we often associate with relieving tension and anxiety but it also contains antiseptic and anti-microbial properties when applied topically and taken internally. Many gardens contain varieties of Lavendula angustofolia, it’s very hardy so even the most inexperienced gardener can grow it. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an expectorant which helps to loosen phlegm on the chest, an anti-emetic that can reduce symptoms of nausea and a powerful anti-inflammatory. It’s often added to herbal preparations in the treatment of cold and flu and luckily, most of us have Ginger at our finger tips at home. It can be used freshly sliced and added to Tea. Thyme is a common garden herb and used for it’s culinary flavour, popular with chicken and gamey meat dishes. Thymus vulgaris is also a useful expectorant and particularly beneficial for asthma, cough and lung conditions, it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. Manuka honey comes from the bee’s who collect pollen from the highly medicinal Manuka trees. The honey contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, and has an earthy sweet flavour, and is one of my favourite soothing remedies for sore throats.
Here’s a Medicinal Herbal Tea recipe for you to try:
1/3 tsp of dried lavender petals or 2 flowering stems of lavender
1/2 tsp of dried Thyme or 2 medium sprigs of fresh Thyme from the garden
1-2 slices of fresh ginger or 1/3 tsp of dried ginger (to taste)
1/2-1 tsp of Manuka Honey
Combine all ingredients in your favourite mug or cup and steep in boiled water for up to 10 minutes. Allow the cup to cool before drinking and drink 1-2 cups per day.
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Melanie Lock Naturopath, BHSc
As published by nurtureparentingmagazine.com.au.