I've tended to pretty much rely on the same herbs to help alleviate my symptoms, but this week I had to mix it up a bit. I recently introduced a new supplement to my daily regiment, and have been doing some exercises and stretches that, combined, have left me feeling a bit off. My routine has been off as well, and I haven't been very good about making my regular teas. I reached my breaking point today, though, and finally made a big pot. It never ceases to amaze me how immediate the relief can be! This blend has the lovely flavor of a mild black tea.
1/2 TSP CATNIP
1/2 TSP MEADOWSWEET
1/2 TSP ROSE HIPS
1/4 TSP GOLDENSEAL
1/4 TSP RASPBERRY LEAF
10 CUPS WATER
PUT DRIED HERBS IN A TEA BALL, AND PLACE IT IN A LARGE COVERED POT WITH THE WATER. BRING TO A RAPID BOIL, REDUCE THE HEAT, AND BOIL ON LOW FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES. TURN OFF HEAT AND ALLOW TO STEEP FOR 5-10 MINUTES, DEPENDING ON HOW STRONG YOU WANT IT, OR HOW DISTRACTED YOU ARE. POUR INTO A 1 GALLON MASON JAR*, AND THE EXCESS INTO MUGS TO ENJOY. PLACE JAR IN THE REFRIGERATOR TO CHILL. DRINK COLD OR REHEAT AS DESIRED.
*IF NOT USING A MASON JAR ACCEPTABLE FOR CANNING, ALLOW THE TEA TO COOL BEFORE POURING IT INTO A CONTAINER!
|MMM...MUG 'O' MEDICINE|
ABOUT THESE HERBS:
CATNIP (AKA catmint, catnep, catrup, catswort, field balm) is the herb that I get the most cocked eyebrows about. It is a godsend for both us and our feline friends, although it seems to have a bit of a different effect on the nerves of humans than cats. Herb books will tell you that it is helpful for upset stomachs, spasms, flatulency, acid and diarrhea. In my experience, it also helps to bring a feeling of peaceful euphoria, settling the nervous system, curbing migraines and anxiety attacks, and generally just making my body all kinds of happy. For those reasons it is my favorite in my basket of medicinal herbs.
MEADOWSWEET (AKA bridewort, dollof, meadsweet, meadow queen, meadow-wort, pride of the meadow, queen of the meadow) is most often prescribed for cold and flu symptoms, but also helps to relieve indigestion, diarrhea and gastritis. It also helps to relieve joint pain, is helpful for arthritis and rheumatism. Additionally, it contains sacylic acid, which is a natural pain reliever, also found in white willow bark (which aspirin was originally made from.) It's use was recently suggested to me by a naturopath, and I've found it to be a helpful and tasty addition to my teas.
ROSE HIPS are unfortunately not listed in my herb guides, but while looking for some basic guides online, I stumbled upon this article, which details some benefits that I wasn't even aware of! Apparently I've been doing my body more of a favor than I realized...I've been adding rose hips to help relieve joint pain, but according to this article, it also helps to relieve dizziness and digestive problems, soothes the nerves, and helps to support healthy intestinal flora. I think that I'll be including them in my blends more often!
GOLDENSEAL (AKA eye balm, eye root, ground raspberry, Indian plant, jaundice root, orangeroot, tumeric root, yellow puccoon, yellowroot) is also often prescribed for cold or allergy symptoms, as it relieves inflammation of the mucous membranes in the throat. It also aids in fighting intestinal bacteria growth, and soothes the digestive system in general, both of which are what prompted me to add it into the rotation. Read more here.
RASPBERRY LEAF helps prevent diarrhea and nausea, but is most popularly used to help relieve menstrual cramping and general PMS symptoms. Last month, I added this to my teas for the week prior to my period, and was amazed at how mild my symptoms were. I really didn't have any cramps, which for me is monumental.
Herbs can be purchased in bulk online; I get mine in bulk from my local co-op in Cambridge.
There are many useful books on herbalism out there. The one I reference the most is here. There are also many online guides; I recently turned on to these: