Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to help treat common ailments, herbs have medicinal components that balance each other without the side effects that modern medicine has.
These key medicinal herbs can be grown at home in your garden with just a little maintainance to keep up, and they are also highly versatile and effective...Chamomile, Echinacea, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marigold (Calendula), Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, St. John's Wort, and Viola.
At this time of year especially with such changes in weather, we all need to prepare ourselves for the cold & flu - I would much rather tackle this using natural remedies as they are much more effective at combating a wide range of symptoms...
Making herbal teas and tinctures are relatively easy if you know how.
Taking boneset tea every two hours when you first get the flu will help relieve the aches and pains of the flu, it also helps with fever and clears up congestion too.
To make the boneset tea, infuse 1 ounce of leaves and flowers for about 10 minutes in 1 pint of boiling water, then strain into your cup. You can sweeten your tea with honey too.
Another healer to use at the onset of flu is echinacea tincture, taken 1/2 teaspoon every 2 hours. Tinctures need to be made in advance, however they do have a shelf life of 12 months if stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight (see the method used below).
The ratios for the echinacea tincture is 1 part herb to 5 parts liquid, of which alcohol is 45%. To make up 100ml of tincture, you will need 20g of echinacea leaves/flowers, 45ml vodka and 55ml water.
To make the tincture, use the method below (it also works with other herbs too, though check with a herbalist for the proper ratios needed as each herb has its own):
1. Pack a steralised sealable jar (mason/kilner jar) with finely chopped herbs, preferably fresh.
2. Immerse the herb totally in (100% alcohol) vodka and water, ratio is determined by the herb used.
3. Seal the jar and store for 2 weeks away from direct sunlight, shaking the jar occasionally.
4. Strain the mixture through muslin (cheesecloth) and then filter through an unbleached coffee filter.
5. Pour into a dark glass bottle. Label clearly with the name and date.
Note that if you are using this tincture for children you can replace the vodka with cider vinegar or glycerol (a sugar solution) instead.
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