Healthy herbs for the new year

A tea using common herbs like eyebright, elder flower and rosehips can be made to help with the discomfort of sinus infections or allergies.

by Kathleen Gould — 

A new year is just around the corner and that means a new opportunity to get healthy. This year why not try something a little different? People are once again using whole herbs for health, and more importantly, as a prevention food to stay well.

By learning about just a handful of herbs, you can care for yourself and your family easily and inexpensively. Let’s look at a few of the basic ones to help get you started. Allergies and sinus infections are a common problem throughout the country, so let’s begin there.

A tea using common herbs like eyebright, elder flower and rosehips can be made to help with the discomfort of sinus infections or allergies. Mix one ounce of each of these herbs together. Put four teaspoons of your herbal blend into a four-quart container and fill with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes, then strain. Drink one cup four times per day to help dry up (without drying out) the sinuses.

When cold and flu seasons hit, herbs like echinacea, boneset and red root come to the rescue. Mix equal parts of these herbs together and fill a mason jar about half full with the herbal blend. Now fill the jar completely with 100 percent vodka, cover tightly and shake daily for about two weeks, then strain and bottle in dark glass jars. Traditional adult dosage for flu or cold is about one teaspoon, three or four times per day for a week or so. This is an excellent formula, but be sure to make it up ahead of time so it is ready when you need it. Now add vitamin C to your protocol, and you have a winning combination.

Protect your lungs and respiratory system this winter by drinking delicious teas using herbs like red clover blossom, mullein, peppermint, coltsfoot, cinnamon and a pinch of Stevia to sweeten. Again, mix equal parts of these herbs together and store them in a covered glass jar. To make the tea, put four teaspoons of the herb blend and four cups water in a non-aluminum pot, cover tightly and bring to simmer. Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes or longer. Drink three to four cups throughout the day.

It seems that there is an herb for every illness, and an herb for every system of our body to help us maintain health.

If you are new to herbal healing, you can check with the American Herbalist Guild (www.americanherbalistsguild.com) for a qualified herbalist in your area who teaches workshops on how to use herbs simply and safely. Many of these herbalists have a variety of great quality herbal blends to help get you started.

It’s a new year — and a new opportunity to get healthy.

 

Kathleen Gould is a registered herbalist and a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. Proprietor of SW Herb Co. in Gilbert, Ariz., she conducts private consultations and herbal healing classes and an herbal certification course. www.swherbco.com, kathyswherbco@yahoo.com or 480-694-9931.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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