Humans have needed plants to stay healthy throughout their history. You are what you eat, they say. And so it is June, and I let my guard down, after all it is almost summer, and I ALMOST came down with something – some flu type thing, again… So I went into defence mode and dug into my arsenal.
Whenever somebody in my circle is feeling like they are a little under the weather, or need to heal from a minor trauma, these are my recommendations.
EAT AN APPLE A DAY – Really, this works.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL
Make sure that the oil you purchase is:
- Food-grade and,
We use KaroocH brand Peppermint essential oil and place two drops into our toothbrush under the paste, and brush with it once a day (tongue and cheeks too) during the flu season. We’ve used other brands, but have found several of them unpalatable because, go figure, they weren’t food-grade, and were cut with another base oil, which we could certainly taste. Yuk. If it doesn’t taste right, don’t use it.
HAVE A BATH WITH JUNIPER AND ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OILS
Fill a shot-glass with milk and add:
3 drops of Juniper essential oil and 3 drops of Rosemary essential oil. Try not to add more than 6 drops total to the mix.
Run your bath, and pour the milk mixture under the tap into the bathwater, stir the bath.
I like crushing a few Juniper berries and a sprig of Rosemary, and throw them in there too.
GARLIC ONION SOUP FOR COLDS AND FLU
This is a great broth to have on hand in the freezer so you can heat it quickly and bring it into action you feel a cold or flu coming on. It is also very soothing to sip from a mug if the bug beats you, and you are relaxing on the sofa with a book.
Garlic and onion boost immunity, and the thyme, bay-leaf, and sage honey, along with the white wine, work together to bolster your body to deal with the virus.
2 TBSPS Ghee, butter, or veggie oil of choice
4 large onions, thinly sliced
2 whole heads of garlic, minced
4 cups veggie broth
1 tsp thyme dried or several sprigs fresh
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
½ cup of dry white wine
3 TBSP honey (sage honey is a wonderful addition to this soup)
Sage honey? Easy. Buy a jar of liquid honey. Stir in dried sage leaves. Label as ‘sage honey’.
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onions to the oil and stir occasionally until they start to brown. Add the garlic once the onions are a nice golden brown. Sautee the onions and garlic until they begin to caramelize, the longer they brown, the sweeter they get, BUT don’t burn the garlic.
Add the veggie broth, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, bay leaf and white wine.
Bring the broth to a boil and lower heat to minimum to simmer.
Simmer for several hours on very low heat.
You can strain the broth at this point, or leave the chunks in according to preference.
Add the honey before serving.
Salt to taste.
ELDERBERRY SYRUP FOR IMMUNITY BOOSTING (see Wild Recipes for Biodiversity)
Use Sambucus Canadensis only (Black Elderberry) not Red, Box, Narrow or Blue Elder.
2 cups of Black Elderberries fresh (Sambucus canadensis) or 1 cup dried
1 cup of rosehips
1/2 cup Echinacea purpurea root chunked
1/4 cup Chicory root chunked
1/4 cup chunked and bruised ginger root
1 Cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup of honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Add 5 cups of water (or unsweetened sumac-ade) to the fruit and roots (See the Wild Recipes blog post for sumac-ade directions)
Heat to a simmer and continue gently for 10 minutes, mashing the fruit, roots and spices, and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Pour the contents of the saucepan through a ‘jelly bag’ made of several layers of cheesecloth, twist up the mash once the liquid has strained into the container, and squeeze out the remaining juice. You can place a plate with a rock press on the bag and allow to strain further for an hour or two and add that to the batch before dividing into jars.
Add the honey to the warm liquid while it is still hot so it dissolves.
Add another cup of sumac-ade and pour into mason jars for storage in the refrigerator.
You can make a canning bath for this recipe by speeding the final mash squish step, but it is best fresh anyhow.
DANDELION CHICORY ‘COFFEE’
These two plants hold many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and D, and are a wonderful source of iron. They act as a diuretic, which help flush sickness through the liver, kidneys and our of the body.
Dandelion and Chicory roots can be harvested, dried, and slow roasted at 120oC (250oF) for 4 hours or until the roots snap drily and appear dark brown in the centre. Grind or fracture and store. Chunked roots hold their properties longer than shredded or ground.
OR you can purchase dried dandelion and chicory roots at your local health food store. Ask for the chunky style of root over the shredded, and roast them yourself as outlined above at home.
Take your roasted root mix and:
simmer 1 palm-full of roasted dandelion and chicory root fragments to every 1 cup of water for as long as you want. The longer the simmer, the stronger the flavour.
We can get a double batch of this tea if the roots are chunky, you can drink the liquid, add more clean water, and simmer again.
This is a great tea or coffee substitute, which is better for your liver and kidneys while you are fighting an illness, or healing.
You may add milk and/ or honey as you wish.
Dandelion and Chicory roots for this purpose can be gathered any time of the year; however, they will be most potent before any energy is put into greening up or flower production.
You can also purchase our Dandelion Chicory Roast from the botanigals boutique.
BOTANIGALS’ MAGIC BOTANICAL RINSE
After I had each of my girls, I received an after-care kit, which included a 225 millilitre ‘Rinsing Bottle’ for my battered Lady Bits n’ Pieces.
Eleven years later, I still use these bottles often, and recommend that everybody have one in their First Aid kit. I believe these are available at any pharmacy, and even your local Dollar Store.
We make a special rinse for our friends and family that is great for all of our minor healing needs from cat scratches, to blisters, to bug-bites, hives, hemorrhoid’s, nipple irritations from breastfeeding, and cleaning surgical wounds.
Take your 225 ml Rinsing Bottle and add:
1 TBSP Witch Hazel
1-2 drops of Lavender essential oil
1-2 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
1-2 drops of Bergamot essential oil
Fill the remainder of the bottle with warm water and shake.
The three oils listed above are: anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral, which covers all of the bases, and the Witch Hazel is an astringent.
Apply to any abrasion, minor burn, or irritation as often as you like. You don’t have to use it all at once. If we need cooling action, like on sore, blistered feet, we store the mix in the fridge. Give the area time to dry before you dress it. I’ve used this on all of my parts, and my girls use it, and my guys use it.
You can, of course soak a cloth with the solution and use it as a compress, or wipe as well.
This DOES NOT replace the good work done by antibacterial ointments. We try to use them as little as possible, but we don’t mess around with bacterial infections. This is a preventative and healing rinse.
This is also for external use only DO NOT put it into your eyes.
We pack turmeric powder into many deeper wounds we may receive, that aren’t quite big enough for stitches.
Our dogs got into a bit of a nippy fight last week, and our Puggle got the short end of the stick,.
After we irrigated the wound with our Magic Rinse (former recipe), we packed the wound on his muzzle with turmeric.
Please use your own judgement to determine the severity of each situation.
May the Forest be with you.