Friday, 8 October 2010

Cold busting ~

My Man had sneezing fits all day Sunday. He has allergies, so sneezing is fairly normal, but when they went on for so long, we decided he must have a cold. We had noticed many people coughing and spluttering in town last week, so he most likely picked up the vicious little virus then.

I have loved herbal medicine since I was a young teenager, so home remedies have always been my first choice. One of my favourite things to do is make my own infusions, decoctions, tinctures, creams, syrups and lotions, with our kitchen often being transformed into a working apothecary.

Sunday evening, and again today, I made my cold busting concoction. I have evolved it over the years to include:

:: A decoction made with fresh root ginger, cinnamon sticks and dried liquorice root.
:: Tinctures of Echinacea purpurea, elderberries, (this is one I make myself), and myrrh (we only need a few drops of this one - it's POWERFUL!), with mullein leaf if there is a cough present.
:: Freshly squeezed lemon juice, cider vinegar, honey and a small pinch of cayenne.

We find it potent, warming, comforting and it works so well. My Man's sneezing had gone by Monday evening and his sore throat had cleared by Tuesday evening.

It satisfies something old and deep in me to be able to help my family and our sweet little dog using our herb and essential oil friends. We control MM's high blood pressure with a lovely herbal tea mix that I make up, as well as acupressure and the yogic alternate nostril breathing.....oh! and I give him craniosacral treatments too! 

Four of my favourite books to refer to are:


  1. Don't you think 'apothecary' is the most wonderful word? (We have a great old apothecary's shop in nearby Haworth...)

    Glad to hear your man is on the mend. If ever I get a cold, Helen, I'm sending for you and your potions and lotions. Having you around would be such a comfort! :)

  2. Oh yes! 'Apothecary'. The sound of it. The images it conjures up. The smell of the old shops...ahhh! We don't have any apothecaries in any of our local towns here?! If our economy was healthier, I would consider opening one...what a dream that would be :~)

    And there's me wishing I was closer to you to have piano lessons :~)

  3. Several years ago I had a terrible cold and a cough I couldn't shift for months. My ex nextdoor neighbour had taken up herbalism and made me a hot drink with ginger, garlic, honey, lemon, cinnamon and a couple of other things - can't remember what. The hot drink packed such an almighty punch,I was left unable to talk for a minute or two. I think it scared the cough off - I was much better within a week. I'll know where to come if I need something then ;) apparently there is a really vicious cold doing the rounds down here! If you need elderberries, please feel free to come and raid my hedgerows!

  4. sweet whisperings ... i like that. i've always wanted to learn how to make my own herbal remedies so i'll have to look into these books when i have time. thank you for including them here. i can understand how being able to *create* your own medicine is very rewarding and powerful.

    much love.

  5. Hi Mel....any time sweetie :~) Have the elderberries gone over yet? I would love to come and harvest them if I may...there are none in this area that I have managed to find. My own tree competes with a hedge full of hungry Ash giants, so, very sparse on the berries :~( I'll phone you. Loads o' love x x x

    Thank you Juliana. Yes, empowering is right. Many years ago I went to a herbal evening class run by a medical herbalist, for 12 weeks to kick start my making my own lotions and potions, and I've never stopped since! I really recommend it. I found it gave me the confidence I needed :~)
    Much love. x x x