Archive for Herbal drink


What Grandmother Knew About Colds & Flu

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We are experiencing one of the most serious widespread flu and cold seasons we have had in a long time. Colds have been holding on for weeks and the flu is totally debilitating. I have had that awful cold; family and friends are suffering with really profound flu symptoms. So I’ve been having many ask me what I do for each. Remembering what my Mother did puts me in touch with my Grandmother as well. Seems like these ways of handling colds and flu might be helpful to others, so here goes.

Colds and flu are different. So the very first thing is to take one of the homeopathic flu remedies since homeopathic remedies have been proven to lessen or stop flu when nothing else does. The remedy that is the most common is Oscillococinum (ah-sill-oh-co-sin-um). Don’t wait until you decide if it is the flu or a cold or it will be too late. Just take it! If it is a cold,  the effects will also be lessened by taking a homeopathic medicine.

Remember the old expression “Feed a cold; starve a fever”? This is not really the whole expression as I understand it. It was “If you feed a cold, you’ll have to starve a fever.”  So change your eating habits as soon as the first symptoms appear. For a cold, eat lightly of very healthy foods more often. Focus on broths with rice and a few veggies like winter squash and greens; pure juices with no added sugar (or worse yet artificial sweeteners); honey; herbal teas or green tea with ginseng and honey; and half your body weight in ounces of water to help flush out the germs. If there is a mucus build up, eliminate all dairy and wheat as these will increase the mucus secretions. [Yeah, I know it’s hard, just try it anyway. You can do anything for a week, right?]

The other supporters for your healing process are good for both colds and flu. I use zinc lozenges with vitamin C and/or echinacea and elderberry; fresh citrus fruits; traditional healing teas for the symptoms present; homeopathics that also address your symptoms; and a Neti pot with the special sea salt that doesn’t hurt your nose and sinuses. If you don’t use a Neti pot, use a saline spray; I particularly like the one with Xylitol. Rest, rest, rest even if you have to just let everything go, and use a hot or cold vaporizer next to your bed! Other good additions to this regime are garlic capsules 4x/day (600 mg per dose), high B 100 mg sustained release, and emergen-C.

For the flu, you have to be even more aware that you must take care of yourself!!! If the Oscillococinum didn’t nip it in the bud, get the homeopathic from Boiron (the blue tube) called influenzinum. It’s for the effects of flu or flu like symptoms, and it really works! Now is the time to fast. That means get containers of organic broths or have someone make good hardy broth (recipe in next blog), and don’t give your body anything it has to digest until you are good and truly hungry with stomach rumblings! Honey, herb teas, broths, barley water, and water!A liquid fast is a better way to put it. Consume as much as you want, as often as you want to. You won’t be hungry until your body is ready for actual food. Then have a really ripe banana, add rice and greens to the soup, have a boiled egg, eat live cultured products (yogurt, kefir, kombucha that say active, live culture on it) and stay away from processed foods, refined foods, and especially refined sugar! Want sweets? Have honey and pure maple syrup, pure fruit juices and coconut water. Refined sugar is known to suppress your immune system by up to 90% for 4 hours after you eat it. That lets the germs regain their foothold and can lead to a relapse.

Last, but not least, STAY HOME! No one else wants it, you will just prolong the agony, and it will be much more dangerous and costly for you to go out. Sleep all day except when you are drinking, peeing, or clearing out your head. Stay warm! And get someone to support you in this process. Yes, you do need help!

** One last thing – the differences between Western medicines and herbs, and homeopathic medicines is this (in terms of taking them): take the homeopathic medicine every 30 minutes until the symptoms diminish or are gone; then take them a couple of times a day or as soon as a symptom returns. With Western Medicines, follow what the prescription or pharmacist says. If this includes antibiotics, take lots of probiotics! **

Send me your other remedies and suggestions so we can post them here also. Thanks and be well!


Listening To My Guts

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There are a lot of different ‘bugs’ going around all the time, and with the spectre of flu raising it’s ugly head again this season I became concerned when I started to feel very uncomfortable intestinally last Wednesday. The food I was eating lost it’s taste; my stomach and intestines hurt; and I was uncomfortable bending over.

So I started to assess the situation with questions to my body, about my body. Does this feel like flu? No. There is no feverish feeling, no bone aches, and accept for the discomfort in my alimentary canal, no other complaints. Did I eat something spoiled? No. There is no rapid onset of pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or cramping – not to mention sweats, dizziness or general weakness. Hum-m-m, what does this feel like? My body has stopped digesting food and the food I ate has not gone anywhere!

How did I come to this conclusion? I am burping and it smells and tastes like what I ate more than three hours ago. Everything in my stomach should be gone in three hours, passed on to the small intestines. I am starting to bloat and it feels like the food in my stomach is fermenting instead of digesting. What to do?

Stop eating was the first step. Then I took some enzymes that cover all of the various foods I have in my system to help them digest fully. Next I took a mild antacid like Tums to calm and sweeten the stomach.  Drinking ginger and/or peppermint tummy tea always helps.

[One of the best stomach and intestinal teas is made with bay leaf, mint, and periwinkle leaves (vinca minor). Put equal amounts of bay leaf and periwinkle leaves in a cup or teapot (i.e.: 1 big bay leaf and 3 smaller periwinkle leaves); add as much mint (peppermint, spearmint) as you like; and steep for 6 to 10 minutes. This can be drunk hot or cold as often as you wish. This is fine for all types of tummy complaints since it contains bay leaf for gas and bloating, periwinkle for relaxing the intestinal cramping, and mint as a soother for the whole alimentary tract. Other good tummy soothers you can add are ginger, licorice, fennel and anise.]

This time home remedies were not enough and after a whole day of this regime I realized it was probably a closed Ileocecal valve, the valve that goes from the stomach to the intestines. Sometimes it can also be a mucus plug that stops the ‘action’; however I was not particularly full of mucus at the moment. So off to my favorite chiropractor and sure enough that was the problem. Luckily this is a quick fix with a practitioner that knows what s/he is doing!

Ah-h-h-h! Feeling good again! It’s so nice to be able to assess myself and have a good idea of what I can do safely to either confirm or rule out various possibilities! It helps with my Grandchildren as well. Just last week my youngest Grandchild was cranky, teething, and ‘off her feed’. I was able to explain to my daughter that chances are she had a ‘mucus plug’ that was stopping her digestion and she would feel much better after she threw up. Several hours later when she suddenly did throw up, settled down, took a nap, then ate with a hearty appetite, my daughter wasn’t scared or concerned. It went exactly how I described that it would for a mucus plug.

Use deductive reasoning first when faced with a health concern. Use your intuition and try low-level, non-invasive  and harmless alternatives before going to the emergency room. Ask a Grandmother! Use your own knowledge of your body before assuming the worst. And remember emotions, work, stress, poor eating habits and environmental toxins also play a large role in how we feel. Ask yourself helpful questions and use past experiences as good ways to assess something you are facing. One of my two doctor Uncles told me something very useful when I was a girl. He said to remember that Doctors could not keep up with every condition and disease as there was too much information! When you get sick, he went on, become the expert on what you have. Do the research yourself so that you get the care you need! Don’t depend on the Doctor to know everything! And that was back in the ’50’s!


Early Spring Tune-up

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Today I noticed under the old dead parsley leaves new sprouts emerging! What a blessing in the Spring to be able to have fresh young greens in our diet again. This reminded me of a simple and flavorful drink to tone up the digestive system especially in the Spring.  First thing in the morning squeeze the juice of a lemon into a mug, add a few sprigs of fresh parsley and a teaspoon of honey (local raw honey is best) then fill the mug with boiling water. Allow this to steep for a few minutes until a lovely green color is apparent, remove the parsley, squeezing out the juices into the mug, and enjoy. If you have some fresh mint a few leaves will add a wonderful flavor and if you don’t have lemon, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is a good substitute. After the Winter the digestive system is sluggish with heavy foods and being indoors so a Spring tonic always helps invigorate our bodies for a new season. Other tonics for Spring use the first leaves of the Dandelion and/or Sorrel (Oxalis, Sour Grass). I think it is the chlorophyll as much as anything! If no other source of fresh greens is readily available, start sprouts to eat and increase your exercise. I prefer these tonics to cod liver oil, another old favorite. What Spring tonic did your Grandmother use?