Diane is not keen on my laissez faire wild herb gardening techniques. ” I know where everything is and they grow best where they want to,” I said.
“I want a managed herbal garden,” she said. “Humph! Some gardener.” So now on my endless list of Honey Do’s for next spring will be an antique herbal garden for her, and if you do not say anything I can use it as a managed seed repository.
Actually I think a semi-formal herb garden adjoining the house is a grand idea, especially when you are into medicinal herbs like me. No doubt Christina, my daughter will want to put her hand in this enterprise too, and it will turn into a massive undertaking. Oh Well.
Although I rarely go to town, the last trip revealed many good souls with colds, drips and coughs. Recall that stress lowers the body’s natural immunity to the ever-present evil bacteria and virus that make you feel like crap. (There is no better word to describe it). My discussions with the walking dead revealed they had little idea that there was an immune system in the body; and it was just an annual date to suffer. Mentioning Echinacea, for example, people gave me a blank stare.
Your first step is to reduce your perceptions of stress, secondly pace your self. One of my mottos is: “I do the best I can at the time I am doing it with what I got to do it with.” In one sense it is a way of prioritizing tasks, one at a time and not becoming overwhelmed.
I will talk about children first. We raised 16 virus carriers and eventually developed a way to reduce them from staying at home and not being in school. There was a ritual when they came home from school. (1) Go run around and play, get physical exercise, bring in the wood. Feed the animals etc. Then (2) before supper, a hot bath, clean dry jimmies. (3) Nutritious meal with NO SUGAR, NO Soft Drink stimulus. Then, homework projects no longer than 1 hour and the older children (teens) helping younger children. (4) The adults check the artwork, writings and such, gave lots of praise, we read stories or sometimes had a TV tape. (No DVD’s in those days.) Then, off to bed. Older kids had time to finish up on homework; they slipped into warm jimmies, and off to bed after brushing teeth and voiding. This is a ritual, and they all came to expect the ritual. Bedtime was 8PM and 9PM respectfully. Children must have sleep to grow.
The adults just collapsed.
Beds for all are important. If you place the head of the bed against an outside cold wall, and they are cold, the heat from the head is drawn off and body chills sets in. This lowers resistance. All our beds had a heading on an inside wall. Sleeping bags were the rage and they slept warmer than with just covers. In any event, blankets or sleeping bags must be aired in the sunshine, or in rainy weather, in the clothes dryer.
The book I recommended last week: The Family Herbal has a great deal to do with natural health for children.
When we peruse the garden and herbal catalogs and read herbal “cures” for healthy issues we will note that there are often conflicting herbs recipes from different authors throughout the ages. Personally I find great satisfaction with the medieval herbalists writings and what they used that grew in their neighborhood. There was limited means of conveying information years back-yes there was no internet, just a printing press developed in 1500’s otherwise it was scribes in a monastery recording what they though was good, often illustrated with astrology symbols.
One has to be careful with herbs if you are beginning; some can kill you, and were in fact used for that purpose in other cultures in ancient times. This entails careful research and reference texts.
The most important reference text you can own is “PDR for Herbal Medicines”. Diane has the Second Edition. The Fourth Edition is available at: www.amazon.com . Do a search under books: PDR for Herbal Medicines Fourth Edition. The cost is $41.54 with free shipping.
Diane did get stressed from the hoop-a-la on the economic news of late and started with a drip in the back of the throat, which kept her up all night with a tickle. Eventually the tickle turned into a cough. Locally we call this the 100-day Cough. There are specifics for miserable coughs and as it worsens it gets into the bronchial regions of the upper chests and you get wheezing and more coughing. All the over the counter medications, although costly, do not work.
You see your MD, he may give you a anti-bacterial inoculation which is good to reduce secondary infections, but your cough is a virus and there is little the physician can do for a virus except say- go to bed-rest-drink liquids.
I said to Diane, “you had the same symptoms 25 years ago. Do you remember we cured it then?” To make a long story short, we bought her a bottle of Mullen tincture at Eats in Blacksburg. She was cured in three days. Well I won’t say cured-her symptoms disappeared. Viruses linger.
So back to Echinacea, for a short term “Boost” for the immune system followed by “Astragalus’s tincture” to maintain the boost for a period of a month.
Had she demonstrated a sore throat and nasal drips I would have suggested Sage for a gargle and Thyme tea for the drips. Be warned about Strep Throat, especially in children. This is a MD trip.
Mullen is a local magnificent plant, usually found in rocky outcroppings, but in an enriched full sun garden spot this bi-annual 6′ high soft fuzzy leaved plant is striking. At this time in the winter the leaves have drooped, browned and mostly the flower stalk at the top remains. The leaves are still good, better in fact, and a delightful tea is made and sipped. For those interested in making their own tincture, I refer you to Richo Cech’s “Making Plant Medicine”, www.horizonherbs.com .
Another excellent source of fair priced herbal tinctures and teas is www.iherb.com .
Recall that herbs strengthen the bodies natural defense-the immune system-against intruders. However you must take care of your body, as it is a unique Temple to God given you, the soul, to reside in.
To reiterate about the 100-day cough the herbal direction, if chosen, is: (1) reduce stress perceptions with Lemon Balm, or the more heavy duty Valerian tincture or tea, (2) Mullen tincture or tea, (3) Echinacea, tincture or tea, (4) Astragalus, tincture or tea after the major symptoms are terminated for at least a month; with Echinacea being stopped also.
These plants may be grown in your herb garden.
Next week we move on to colds, flu and a discussion on the “Bird Flu”.
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COPYRIGHT: 2008, Back2theLand, Mark Steel