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Friday, January 6, 2017

Seasonal Healing: Winter Herbal Medicine Chest

 

Good Morning!

Seasonal Healing: Winter Herbal Medicine Chest

Several herbs are effective for treating not only the symptoms of too
much winter, but the causes of colds and flu Impaired immunity to
virus/bacteria, maintaining blood circulation and warmth, ensuring
vitality of the lungs and reducing the build up of congestion in the
body.

Ginger: Ginger is used for the prevention and treatment of various
forms of nausea. These include motion sickness, the nausea and
vomiting of pregnancy (morning sickness), and post-surgical nausea.
Note: If you are pregnant or undergoing surgery, do not self-treat
with ginger except under physician supervision. Weak evidence
suggests ginger might be helpful for osteoarthritis. Ginger has been
suggested as a treatment for numerous other conditions, including
atherosclerosis, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, high
cholesterol, burns, ulcers, depression, impotence, and liver
toxicity. Stops cough and stops vomiting. In traditional Chinese
medicine, hot ginger tea taken at the first sign of a cold is
believed to offer the possibility of averting the infection.


Elderflower : Elder flowers are highly effective in managing upper
respiratory congestion and infections. Picked from the elder tree in
mid to late summer, they seem to capture the dry warmth of this time
of year, perfect for drying up that runny or blocked nose. These tiny
pale white flowers have a delicate floral taste and contain
flavonoids and small amounts of mucilage and tannins, a perfect
combination for soothing healing and protecting mucous membranes. An
old tradition was to make fresh Elderflower wine in summer ready to
drink in winter Food as medicine?!?


Yarrow: Yarrow's principle action is on the circulation. As the cold
of winter slows down and redirects blood circulation, Yarrow dilates
blood vessels allowing increased blood flow, oxygen and warmth to
surface tissues (like the skin and mucous membranes). This enables
the immune cells to function at their peak, warding off infection and
keeping channels clear and open. The whole flowering tops are used in
a tea or other forms in mild fevers or minor congestion where
circulation is a concern.


Sage: Sage is a most powerful and effective herb for treating sore
throats. The different essential oils in sage exert an antiseptic
effect in the respiratory tract and helps to keep both the throat and
lungs free of infection. The additional effect of stimulating
digestion aids to minimise congestion in other parts of the body,
making fresh sage a valuable ingredient to winter recipes.


Rose hips : Rose hips form in Autumn following the rose flowers of
summer. They are the fruit around the rose seed, full of nutrients to
protect the seed during winter until the arrival of spring Let them
do the same for you. As a rich source of Vitamin C and flavonoids
Rosehips aid with nourishing you for defense against colds and flu.


Echinacea : First used by the Indigenous North Americans who
harvested the plants for extensive use in the treatment of infectious
wounds and burns or eruptive skin complaints. It enhances the
phagocytic activity of white blood cells- identifying and retiring
bacterial, viral and fungal infections, in addition to the clearance
of these from the lymphatic system. Higher doses are often used for
affecting acute immune responses.


Mullein : The leaves of Mullein are used as a soothing expectorant,
facilitating easier removal of lung congestion. This action is ideal
during or after colds where the persistence of dampness or mucus
impairs adequate lung function and clearance. Mullein soothes and
strengthens the mucosal membranes of the respiratory system where
these have been painful, irritated or sore from infection.


Astragalus : To be used after colds or infection to rebuild immunity,
Astragalus is a sweet tasting herb effective in restoring both
resilience to future respiratory infections, and efficiency of
metabolism to ensure optimal nutrition for immune reserves to fight
off those winter chills. This herb is the best for restoring energy
to the body very quickly.


Thyme: The pungent oils found in Thyme are an effective anti
microbial in the treatment of respiratory infections. When taking
Thyme, people often note tasting it on their breath as the oils
permeate through the respiratory system to reduce the proliferation
of viruses during infections. It also warms the digestion and reduces
metabolic congestion, aiding to clear the body of conditions for
infection.


Garlic : Garlic was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, chewed by
Greek Olympian athletes and thought to be essential for keeping
vampires at bay! But it is also good for zapping bacteria, keeping
your heart healthy, warding off coughs and colds. Garlic is an
antibiotic that can actually kill infecting bacteria and at the same
time protect the body from the poisons that are causing the
infection. It is known that the most sensitive bacterium to garlic is
the deadly Bacillus anthracis which produces the poison anthrax. Even
the forefather of antibiotic medicine Louis Pasteur acknowledged
garlic to be as effective as penicillin and late studies showed
similar activity to a more modern antibiotic, chloramphenicol. Even
the blood of garlic eaters can kill bacteria and it is also reported
that the vapour from freshly cut garlic can kill bacteria at a
distance of 20 cms!


Fenugreek: Soothes sore throat pain and coughs. From ancient times
through the late 19th century, fenugreek played a major role in
herbal healing. Then it fell by the wayside. Now things are once
again looking up for the herb whose taste is an odd combination of
bitter celery and maple syrup. Modern scientific research has found
that fenugreek can help reduce cholesterol levels, control diabetes
and minimise the symptoms of menopause. The ancient Greeks fed this
herb to horses and cattle. The Romans then started using it, too,
calling it "Greek hay." (In Latin, "Greek hay" is foenum-graecum, and
that evolved into "fenugreek.") As fenugreek spread around the
ancient Mediterranean, physicians learned that its seeds, like many
seeds, contain a gummy substance called mucilage. Mixed with water,
mucilage expands and becomes a gelatinous soother for irritated
tissues.


Marshmallow : Marshmallow stimulates the immune system and the
production of white blood cells. It also soothes inflammation, slows
production of mucus,

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