Alternative Health: The Healing Power of Herbs
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Prevent influenza with Water Willow
Though the entire plant is used in herbal medicine, it's the leaf that is recommended for the treatment of health issues including stomach ache, facial paralysis, relief from asthma and heaviness in the chest. It provides relief from fever and acts as ...
Thyme is a “natural antibiotic” much like cinnamon or garlic. With the flu season approaching fast, as well as the threat of swine flu, keeping a decent stock of dried thyme as well as the following recipes handy is well advised.
If fresh thyme is available, use it first. If no fresh thyme is available, use the CUT dried herb: 2bsp of the dried herb equals 1 handful of fresh thyme.
Any of the following solutions can be used to bath wounds and burns or as an eye wash for red, irritated eyes. Make sure the solution is moderately cool before applying it to the eyes.
- Tea for gargling (sore throat), mouth wash (tooth decay, cold sores) and drinking (common cold, influenza, fever, allergies) :
Boil 1 3/4 pints of water, remove from heat, add a dozen sprigs of fresh thyme, cover, let steep for half an hour. Strain and drink 3-4 cups daily.
- For external purposes such as hot compresses on the chest to help break up lung congestion (in cases of asthma, bronchitis, cold or flu) or massage lotions for aching muscles and joints:
Boil 2 pints of water,remove from heat, add 1.5 handfuls of fresh thyme, cover and let steep for 40 minutes. Strain and use.
- For foot- and hand baths (to increase blood circulation, get rid of nail fungus or athlete’s foot, reduce fever) and a douche (against yeast infection):
Boil 1 1/4 pints of water, remove from heat, add1 handful of fresh thyme, let steep for 25 minutes. Strain and use somewhat hot for hand and foot baths, but let cool to lukewarm for a douche.
basil, pumpkin / squash
- Basil tea is a multi-purpose healing tea. To reduce fever, inhale the steam from hot basil tea by placing your head over a bowl filled with the hot tea, and cover your head with a heavy towel while doing so. To make the tea, use fresh basil leaves and unground seed: Bring 2 pints of water to a boil, add 15 basil seeds. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer slowly for 45 minutes. Remove from head and add 1-1/2 handfuls of fresh or half-dried basil, steep for another 25 minutes.
- Tea made of pumpkin or squash leaves or equal parts for both reduce fever, too: Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, snip in a couple of double handfuls of pumpkin and/ or squash leaves with a pair of shears or scissors. Cover, remove from heat, let steep for 35 minutes, then drink a cup of the tea every couple of hours. The same tea also helps to fight diarrhea.
catnip, ginger, marjoram, mustard, oregano
Warm or slightly coolish tea from marjoram and organo, a tsp each added to a pint of water that just stopped boiling, and let stew for half an hour and strained, helps with fever and relieves cramps too.
Grandma’s Old Time Mustard Plaster still helps for a variety of disorders, just like it used to do, fever among them. Mash leaves and stems of fresh mustard plant into a pulp. Coat the surface of the skin with petroleum jelly (Crisco lard or Vaseline) before applying the pulp to prevent serious blisters or raising welts on the skin. Bind into place with gauze and adhesive tape and keep on for several hours or overnight for best results.
Ginger tea breaks high fever: Grate enough ginger to equal about 2 level tbsps, the add them to 2 cups of boiling water and cover. Let steep for 30 minutes, drink 1 cup while still warm every 2.5 hrs.
Catnip tea reduces fever and the misery that comes with hayfever and nausea: Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil, add a tsp of freshly cut or dried catnip after removing the water from the heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Drink lukewarm, and you can add honey to taste.
anise, ginger, walnut
- Anise tea serves many purposes: It relieves coughs and strengthens the memory, it eliminates oily skin problems, stimulates milk flow in nursing mothers and helps with heartburn and indigestion. This Multi-Purpose Healing Tea can be brewed from about 7 tsp of anise seed, added to a quart of boiling water. Then let the tea simmer down to 1.5 pints. Strain. If used to relieve hacking coughs and to strengthen the memory, add 4 tsp of honey and glycerin (to preserve syrup tea, can be obtained in drugstores) while still warm, and take 2 tsp every few hours against the cough, and 2 tbsps three times a day to strengthen the memory. If used to get rid of oily skin, enhance milk flow in nursing mothers or relieve stomach problems, drink 2 cups of the strained tea once or twice daily.
- Ginger tea rids sinuses, throat and lungs of mucus buildup and breaks high fever to boot: Grate enough ginger to equal about 2 level tbsps, the add them to 2 cups of boiling water and cover. Let steep for 30 minutes, drink 1 cup while still warm every 2.5 hrs.
- To get rid of persistent coughing in the throat and excessive accumulation of phlegm in the lungs, add 3 finely ground walnuts and 3 slices of fresh finely grated ginger to any kind of warm liquid or hot broth and swallow slowly before retiring. By the next morning all symptoms of coughing and phlegm will have disappeared for good.
mustard, chives, ginger, thyme
- Grandma’s Old Time Mustard Plaster still helps for a variety of disorders, just like it used to do: asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, fever and chills, sciatica, neuralgia, gout, bumps, bruises, sprains, tendinitis, common cold and flu, eruptive sores and boils. Mash leaves and stems of fresh mustard plant into a pulp. Coat the surface of the skin with petroleum jelly (Crisco lard or Vaseline) before applying the pulp to prevent serious blisters or raising welts on the skin. Bind into place with gauze and adhesive tape and keep on for several hours or overnight for best results.
- Chives and ginger tea relieves headaches due to sinus congestion caused by colds and flu. In 1 cup of boiling water put 1-1/2 tbsps of finely chopped chives and 1/2 tsp finely shredded ginger root. Cover with a flat plate and steep for half an hour. Strain, then drink lukewarm. Headaches usually go away within 20 minutes or less. Repeat as often as needed.
- For hot compresses to put on the chest to help break up lung congestion, or as a massage lotion for aching muscles and joints, put 1 1/2 handfuls of fresh thyme in 2 pints of boiling water. Cover and move away from the heat. Let steep for 40 minutes. Strain and use.