Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's that time of year... for colds!

Yes, the cold bug has hit our house, so I thought I would share a few of our favorite herbal tea mixes, which have been getting a lot of play around here in the last few days. These would also make great gifts, presented with a tea strainer or holiday tea towel.  Of course, I'm no doctor, but these blends have helped soothe throats and chests and nerves around these parts. I don't have a good local source, so I purchase all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, and The Bulk Herb Store.

 Cold and Flu Tea
Mix 1 part elder flowers (good for colds, flu and fever) with one part marshmallow root (cough expectorant and the kids like the flavor). Steep for 3 - 5 minutes and sweeten with honey (also good for coughs). These are both soft herbs, so don't let them steep too long or they'll get a bitter taste.

Cough Tea (especially good for calming dry, barking and asthma coughs)
Mix two parts red clover to a scant one part licorice root. Peel and slice a small piece of fresh ginger, and add to tea cup or small pot. Add a teaspoon of the herbs and steep for 3 - 5 minutes (if making this for kids, check after 3 minutes. The ginger and licorice can become too strong if steeped for a long time). Strain into a new cup and add a teaspoon of honey.
Note: licorice should not be used continuously for a long period of time, and never for people with high blood pressure

Relaxation Tea (for those care givers!)
In a mason jar combine two parts peppermint, two parts chamomile, one parts lemon balm, ginkgo, St. John's wort, and licorice. Add dried orange peels (I save orange peels in a jar in the fridge and then dry them in my dehydrator to add to teas).  Steep for five minutes and sweeten to taste.

Wishing you and your family good health this season!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dr. Mom

Ah, summer - sprinklers, gardening, trips to the beach... and rashes and bug bites. This itch relieving tincture has been getting a lot of use around here lately, so I thought I'd share the super simple recipe with you.

Vodka (any cheap kind will do)

Fill a glass jar 3/4 full with equal portions of the herbs. Add vodka to cover herbs completely and cap jar. Let steep in a dark cupboard for a minimum of two weeks, but I like to go for four. Shake daily, if you remember. If not, it still works. Strain tincture into a clean glass bottle. This is a tincture (extraction through alcohol), so DON'T use on scraped or broken skin (ow!), but it's fabulous on heat rashes and bug bites.  I keep it in the fridge, because the cold also helps soothe itchy skin.

For broken or scraped skin, mash up dried (or fresh, if you have it) plantain with a little water, then put a glob of it on your cut. Cover with a damp cloth and leave on for about 10 minutes.

For my latest tincture, I also added mallow root to the mix. I buy most of my herbs through Mountain Rose Herbs or Starwest Botanicals, and both are fabulous companies.  You can also steep the herbs in olive oil to use in lotions or simply apply the oil. Oils should steep for at least six weeks.  Easy, frugal, good for the Earth, and it works!