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Even though winter is supposed to be on its way out, we’ve had a fair share of snow and cold weather. Along with the soggy, early spring season colds and allergies also make their way in. I’ve gotten through the winter with only one nasty flu incident and for the most part I’ve been cold free, save last week. While away from home, my normal care routine, early mornings and late nights, I got run down, creating a perfect environment for a virus. Despite my best intentions, I’m now working with a lovely sinus infection, cough, stuffy nose…..you know, the “works”!
I’m not one to run to the doctor and I do what I can to avoid antibiotics. Maybe this is why they work well for me when I do need them?! Five years ago I landed in the hospital, facing emergency surgery with a swollen tonsil that was blocking my air way. I declined the invitation to go under the knife, assuring the doctors that the antibiotics would work. I knew they would because I rarely use them so I have no immunities built against them.
I’m not a rebel by any means, I’ll go to the doctor if I need to. I don’t like to watch my children suffer but I trust their body’s abilities to heal and will also allow them ample time to work through a cold or flu. I monitor their eating, activity and temperature to make sure they are getting better.
That said I do rely heavily on a variety of healing herbs, decoctions, essential oils and supportive practices to help alleviate symptoms of flu, coughs, colds, etc. My favorite is a combination of blue violet and coltsfoot. Both herbs are lovely to sip after steeping in hot boiling water and straining. Several cups a day keep my throat and body hydrated, not to mention they deliver essential vitamins.
The down side is that this treatment is not usually instant. When I’m sick I want to get better as fast as possible, who doesn’t right?! Though feeling under the weather can give us a chance to appreciate good health, slow down and take care of ourselves. In our fast paced life, we may not always turn the computer off or quit “work” once we reach the sanctuary of our homes. I’m certainly more prone to drive through my to-do list when I feel well as opposed to backing off and slacking a bit when I don’t feel up to par.
Of coarse, I would love to jump out of bed without hacking up the slew of gunk that’s collected in my sinus cavity but the first thing I reach for is usually a tea pot instead of pill or tablet. Like many things in my life, I’m willing to take the long way around. It may take a few more days for me to recover, to fully kick the cold but I learn just as much in the time I’m down. I find ways to re-appreciate my body and how it can heal. I find that I am more grateful when my nose finally comes unplugged or my ears pop open and the pressure is released. Sometimes such discomfort reminds me of these parts of my system that I forget about and/or take for granted. I very much dislike a cold, but I do know that lessons about in every situation.
Herbs can be gathered locally in your backyard. For those like me, who don’t have time they can also be purchased through the internet. I buy in bulk and keep a steady supply on hand. My favorite “go to” herbs are nettle (after it’s brewed, strained and chilled, it’s the most delicious, refreshing green tea around!) blue violet, oatstraw, coltsfoot, peppermint and sage. Rosemary, basil and lavender are also favorites; in addition to teas, they are excellent cooking herbs and favorite bath additions.
The combination pictured above just tastes like home~very soft, soothing and comfortable. It reminds me of slipping into a well worn nightgown after a hot bath. The first sip and subsequent ones, relax me, especially when I can’t slip into something flannel!
If you haven’t explored the world of herb and herbal teas, I encourage you to do so! It’s great fun learning and experimenting. Nothing can relax and ground you after a busy like a steaming mug of chamomile tea (another favorite!) The web is packed full of ideas, resources and recipes but if you’d like my first hand account, further ideas and suggestions, feel free to email me and I’ll share further.