Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Late Fall Medicine Making

Frosty mornings, sunny afternoons, crystal clear evenings with the seven sisters circling into view – it’s late Fall and the plants are retreating underground. Now is the time to harvest roots which have been packing in energy to survive the coming winter: Mallow under ruffled leaves at untrimmed edges of the garden; Burdock under wilting hearts on the edges of fields. It’s also time to make remedies that will help take you and your family through the long winter: Sage’s bluish leaves hanging down into the first hard frosts for sore throats and coughs; Wintergreen’s striped lances poking up from the leaf-littered forest floor for joint pain and stiffness.

Let's begin our venture into making herbal remedies at home with a little something from the garden.

 SAGE GARGLE (Salvia officinalis)–an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory tea for sore throats, colds, and coughs:
sage leaves, fresh or dried - 1 handful
sea salt - 1 teaspoon
distilled water - 1 cup
vodka 100 proof (50% alcohol) - 1 cup

1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over a handful of sage leaves and steep for 10 minutes;
2. Add 1 cup of vodka (substitute sage tincture for an extra wallup, use sage tincture in glycerin or cider vinegar if no alcohol is preferred). This will result in a solution with 25% alcohol which will prevent bacterial growth in both the throat and the bottle;
3. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt until dissolved;
4. Pour into a bottle with a lid and label with the plant name, date, and ingredients. It's also good to write down your formula in an herbal journal for future reference;
5. Gargle for 30-60 seconds with a mouthful every 2-4 hours as needed for immediate relief of sore throat or cough.

Doctor's Note: For children under 18 with a sore throat it is important to get a throat culture because untreated Streptococcal infection can cause rheumatic fever or kidney problems.

1 comment:

  1. Earlier this fall I had a cold that just wouldn't quit and settled in my chest as bronchitis. Other herbs and steam not withstanding, the congestion finally started to resolve when I added this sage gargle four times a day.