Effective Herbal Care for Colds and flu

It’s cold and flu season and medicinal plants are some of our most effective natural remedies. Try any of these easy to make recipes for relief.

Decongesting Steam

Home remedies for cough

We love steams. Here’s one to open sinuses when a cold or flu hits.

Heat water until steaming and pour into a large bowl. Add 1-2 drops eucalyptus essential oil. Put your face over the bowl and cover with a towel for 5-10 minutes. Your nasal passages will thank you!

Curry Onions

Herbal remedies for colds and flu

This one is packed with antimicrobials and happens to be super nummy with ingredients you’re likely to have on hand.

Sauté two thinly sliced onions until golden. Add two thinly sliced cloves of garlic and sauté for a moment more (hint: the more raw the garlic the better). Add a teaspoon curry powder or paste and mix well. Eat throughout the day.

Elderberry Syrup

Home remedies for colds and flu

Europeans love this recipe and for good reason. It’s a superb cold remedy and tastes great. Make this at the beginning of cold and flu season and store in the refrigerator up to 3 months. You can take by the teaspoon-full or add to tea 3 times a day.

Simmer ½ cup of dried elderberries in 3 cups of water until soft enough to smash (about 30-45 minutes). Add 1 cup of honey.

Lemon Ginger Tea

Herbal remedies for colds and flu

This tea is also delicious and healing.

Boil 1 Tablespoon sliced ginger in 3 cups water for 10 minutes in a covered pan. Strain and add lemon and honey to taste. If really congested add a pinch of cayenne. Drink throughout the day.

Echinacea Tincture

It’s always good to have echinacea tincture on hand. We can’t imagine getting through a cold without it. The key is to begin taking it at the first sign of symptoms. Our favorite brand is made by Herb Pharm. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle.

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Breathe Easy, 7 Ways to Unwind from the Holidays

Herbal remedies for stress

The holiday flurry is nearly over and this season seemed faster than ever. Do you feel stressed by it all and are your blemishes blossoming because of it? If your nervous system is a bit out of sorts, here are seven sure ways to help.

1)    Nutrition

Calcium is nourishing for the nervous system. Be sure to eat lots of dark leafy green vegetables, milk products, seaweeds, nuts and seeds. You can also take bio-chelated calcium suppliments. Many herbs are also high in calcium. If you can find good quality herbs try nettle, dandelion, oats, chickweek, horsetail and watercress. B Vitamins are also highly beneficial. Many of these are the same as high calcium foods. Also eat plenty of whole grains and brown rice.

2)    Baths

Bathing is deeply relaxing especially during times of stress. To get the most out of a bath, add just a few drops of essential oil under the running water or wrap some dried herb up in muslin cloth to let float in the tub. Favorite herbs are lavender, roses, chamomile, clary sage or ylang-ylang. Foot baths are also incredibly relaxing especially when there is a headache as these help to move the energy down. For these, make a tea of rosemary, sage or ginger and add it to water as hot as your feet can stand.

3)    Massage

Message is not just a luxury but incredibly relaxing and healing, offering invaluable benefits during times of stress. Message is one of those activities that is both relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time. This effect is not only physical, but emotional, physiological and spiritual as well. Try a Swedish message rather than a deep tissue message when relaxation is what you’re after.

4)    Proper Sleep and Rest

Proper amounts of sleep and rest are essential during times of stress. Sometimes by saying “no” to extra activities is actually saying “yes” to yourself. Take a bit of extra time to make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same times each day helps tremendously. It’s also amazing what five minutes can do for you if you occasionally break away to stare out the window (or better yet stick your head out the window) and just breathe.

5)    Get Outside

There is nothing more healing to a stressed out system the connecting with nature. Go outside, into the forest, by the lake or ocean or up to the mountains. Even a small city park is bound to have a few trees and a few birds flitting about. The energy that comes from nature is some of the most restorative there is. Hug a tree. It’s been said that they hug back…

6)    Exercise

The best tension release is to move your body and get the blood flowing. Simply walking is great, but do anything you enjoy doing. If it’s fun for you, it actually does not feel like a chore, rather something to look forward to. The benefits of exercise are countless so it’s good to put this as one of your priorities each and every day. If you’re pressed for time, exercise outdoors and you get a two for one benefit out of it.

7)    Try Yoga or Meditation

If either yoga or meditation is new to you, now may be the time to start. There are numerous great resources such as classes and books to help you understand the fundamentals. It really is simpler than you may think. The healing benefits of these disciplines are profound and bring a sense of peace to every part of our everyday lives. You may even perceive stress differently the next time around.

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