Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mullein Root?

A few weeks ago I came across a really interesting article on various uses for mullein. If you live in a similar bioregion to mine (southern Indiana) this is a good time to gather some first year mullein. I'm seeing it sprouting up in lots of places. I've been gathering both leaves and roots of these sprightly plants, harvesting what I can before the snow comes.

You can read this fascinating account of mullein over at Jim McDonald's website, Herbcraft. I had never heard of people using mullein root, just its leaves and flowers. So I was game, and made a tincture of the root, those first-year roots of the young plants, before they send up their flower stalk. I think the roots get too woody after the flower stalk blossoms. Anyway, I haven't had any issues with my spine, nor has anyone I know, so I haven't been able to test whether this tincture is as excellent for backs and joints as McDonald says yet, but I will.

I also have a lot of the leaves currently drying for various cough preparations (teas or tinctures). I expect we'll have uses for it this winter if/when colds and flus become a problem around here. I've posted on mullein in earlier posts, if you're interested. Do check out McDonald's article though. Very interesting!

I'll leave it up to you to read McDonald on using the roots for spine problems, but if it is as efficacious as he says, then there's lots of times this tincture would be useful. I scarcely know anyone who doesn't occasionally hurt their backs, whether it is muscle spasms or slipped disks. Backs, knees and joints are usual problem areas in the human body, quite common for any older person to have aches and pains with these.

I'm still suffering with the whatever I have, the excess mucus problem, but now my body is readily expelling the stuff. Yesterday I had lots of energy, the day before none at all, and today I'm doing OK. Not all better yet, but OK. Enough to get some things done, which is nice. It is HARD to sit around being sick as a dog when there's a lot of work to do.

I don't know about where you are, but here it is a glorious Indian Summer kind of day. Crisp, cool, warm in the sun. I think I need a hike outside, do a little foraging.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Heinerman: Cinnamon, Cold and Flu Fighter

Here's a bit from Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices:

Cold and Flu Fighter

To make an effective French folk remedy for colds and flus, combine 2 cups of water, a small stick of cinnamon and a few cloves together is a saucepan and bring to a slow boil for about 3 minutes. Remove and add 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1-1/2 tbsp. dark honey or blackstrap molasses, and 2 tbsp. qood quality whiskey. Stir well, cover, and let steep for about 20 minutes or so. Strain. Drink 1/2 cup at a time every 3-4 hours. It's pleasant tasting and really breaks up the fever and congestion accompanying either the common cold or influenza.

I doubled the recipe to make about a quart. He's right, it's a nice-tasting brew, the touch of alcohol is just right. I've been fighting some kind of nasty bug for a while now. A few days ago I stopped all over-the-counter meds for allergies and sinus. I had been just suppressing the symptoms and it wasn't helping me either fight the bug or allowing my body to do whatever it needs to do to get rid of it altogether. So now I'm just doing some herbal extracts and suffering all the symptoms--loads of mucus, coughing, some vomiting, diarrhea, feeling achy and tired. Is it a flu? I dunno and don't much care. It's low-level stuff, nothing that'll kill me. Yet, anyway.

We'll see how the cinnamon brew works out! Sure tastes good. :)

Reduce Your Risk of Flu

Came across a nifty little article on some basic simple things you can do to help reduce your risk of getting swine or any other kind of flu. You can read it here. All the suggested items in the list strike me as very sensible, cheap, easy to do and very common-sensical advice. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recommended for Flu: Boneset

Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices has many recommendations on which herbs work well for colds and flu. One of these is boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum). I'll quote you his section on using boneset for treating the flu.

Knocks the Flu for a Loop

Silena Heron, N.D. of Sedona, Arizona promotesa great "recovery therapy" during cold and flu season. Her standard recommended treatment calls for boneset, equal parts of yarrow, elderflower and lemon balm or peppermint to be made into a warm tea.

Heron encourages her patients to drink a cup of her special brew, get into a hot bath and then drink a second cup of the "flu brew" while still in the tub. After drying off, the patient should go straight to bed and cover up first with a sheet, then with a heavy wool blanket, followed by plenty of quilts. This will promote heavy sweating for an hour. Then the individual returns to the tub and sponges the body off with apple cider vinegar.

Edward Sieracki of Detroit, Michigan, who followed Dr. Heron's detoxifying regimen, reported that "twenty minutes after drinking this boneset blend tea, I started to sweat profusely. I drank another cup of the tea and went to bed. By the next morning I was fully recovered." Make the tea according to previously given instructions.

To cure a sore throat accompanying a cold or flu, just mix pinches of salt and cayenne pepper with the juice of half a lemon or lime and gargle. It may briefly burn your throat, but the soreness will quickly leave.

End extract.

I haven't tried this therapy yet, but if I get the flu, I will. It can't hurt and it is always good to detox. Your body will appreciate it.

In other posts, I'll run Heinerman's flu/cold recommendations here as well.


More Important Articles on Flu Vaccination

These two articles contain a great deal of information on H1N1 flu, seasonal flu, and vaccinations in general. The first is from Dr. Mercola and you can find it here. It's very interesting. There's also an interview with Dr. Russel Blaylock. Check it out.

The second article is from Natural News, by Mike Adams. It contains some historical facts about vaccination, and what a mess they can cause.

So what can we do about the flu? I can tell you what we're doing daily, all immune-boosting stuff:

  • Vitamin C (1000 mg) daily
  • Vitamin D3 (5,000 mg) daily
  • A teaspoon of Elderberry tincture (we will up this to a tablespoon a few times a day if we start feeling ill with flu. For more on Elderberries and flu, you could read some entries in this blog from last fall. Just click here and especially here.)
  • Clove of garlic daily
  • A serving of kimchi or other fermented food. This will provide probiotics in the gut, which is a big part of your immune system.
  • Eating a minimum of white flour or sugar foods. Eating lots of good veggies, fruits and meat.
  • Echinacea/Goldenseal tincture with some cayenne tincture to boost it.
  • Washing hands a lot.
  • Getting out in the sunshine and brisk exercise.

Personally, I think it is important to remain cheerful and optimistic. Easy to do on a gorgeous sunny day like today, not quite so easy when my dear husband insists on reading horrible news aloud to me. Or on a rainy, cold day. Still, it is better to be cheerful. One thing I do is visit LOL Cats nearly daily. I Can Has Cheeseburger is a hoot!

Onwards, all


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Friend Charli down in Alabama sent me this via email. I thought you all might like to read it.
It's from an article that appeared here.

It's quick and easy to make your own natural, waterless hand sanitizer.

Gather Your Ingredients

1 cup aloe vera gel
1 tsp rubbing alcohol
2 tsp vegetable glycerin
8-10 drops tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil

Simply blend all of the ingredients together and store.

Decide Where You are Going to Store Your Sanitizer

Be creative! You can recycle old liquid soap or hand sanitizer dispensers. You can also purchase a beautiful glass jar with a pump top to store and display your sanitizer. Think out of the box. If you find some nice glass jars and then add your own label, you can give home made sanitizers as gifts to family and friends!

Choose Essential Oils Carefully

The original recipe calls for tea tree or lavender oil, but you can be creative and use other types of essential oils as well. I like to pull out a list of oils that have antibacterial AND antiviral properties and make a blend that suits the season. Look at the properties of citrus oils, especially. Use oils that suit your likes as far as scents are concerned but will still add the cleansing properties appropriate for a hand sanitizer.

Use Sparingly

Your home made hand sanitizer will not dissolve into your hands as quickly or effectively as the commercial hand sanitizers you buy in the store. It is better to err on the side of too little than to end up wiping excess sanitizer off of your hands later. Waste not - want not!