Friday, January 9, 2015

Cold Sharing

     My son was home on leave from the Marine's for two weeks.  During that time holidays, his birthday and a flip of the calender occurred.  I took a vacation from my accounting job.  I took a step back from my lotions & potions.  A step that included taking inventory, prepping taxes and setting intentions and plans in motion for the new year.  I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen.  It is a joyous place for me and with my son home yearning for home cooked meals I was elated.   With his arrival came his friends to visit and raucous laughter.
     He also came home with a cold and sinus issues.  He generously passed his germs to the rest of the house.  Dis-ease quickly passed through.  It only stops briefly here.  I was prepared.  The elderberry syrup has been out on the counter for all to enjoy. I always cook with lots of herbs and throw astragalus and reishi in many recipes.  And when my son arrived home I pulled out the heavy hitting allies along with the netti pot.
     I started everyone on Guido's decongestant formula.  Guido Mase came to the Connecticut Herb Association last year and showed us how to make this simple tincture of goldenrod, elder flower and catnip.  I also pulled out the pokeweed tincture.  This is administered as a single drop once a day (It is that strong).  Susun Weed discussed this lovely plant as a way to boost the immune system and get the lymph flowing.   A couple days of this plus an herbal steam and my son was as good as new.  And the rest of us each "suffered" for a day or two.
     What about these herbs made me turn to them?
Pokeweed - Phytolacca decandra is a beautiful plant that grows wild on our property.  It's red stems and deep purple berries grow to towering heights each summer before dying back in the fall.  It contains triterpenoid saponins which are strongly anti-inflammatory and lignans which are antiviral.  It is used to treat respiratory tract infections, such as sore throats and tonsillitis as well as swollen glands and chronic infection.  It is a lymphatic "decongestant" stimulating the clearance of waste products.  It is also used to induce vomiting.  It is highly toxic in overdose. Use only under care of a practitioner and do not take if pregnant.

Goldenrod - Solidago canadenis is a gorgeous plant radiating sunshine as fall approaches.  It is often falsely blamed for allergy flare ups when in reality it is rag weed causing the problem.  With its sunny disposition it can handle the bad press.  It is used by many as an emotional healer for those with a lack of endurance and strength to persevere through difficulty.  It is taken for sore throats, chronic nasal decongestion, upper respiratory catarrh and may be combined with other herbs for influenza.  It is also used for hay fever and cat allergies where eyes are red and itchy, and there is congestion, sneezing and a runny nose.

Elder Flower - Sambucus nigra  The flowering tops are ideal for coughs, colds and flu.  An infusion is relaxing and produces a mild perspiration that helps to reduce fever.  They tone the mucous linings of the nose and throat, increasing resistance to infection.  They are used for chronic congestion, allergies, ear infections and candidiasis.  If taken  a month or more before the start of hay fever season it will reduce the severity of hay fever attacks.

Catnip - Nepeta cataria  yes, the same plant your cat loves.  It settling to the stomach, sedative and fever reducing.  It is pleasant tasting and has a gentle action making the tea suitable for children in treating colds, flu and fever especially when it is mixed with elder flower and honey.


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