Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Concoctions - Cold and Flu Tea

This last week I have been hit with the worst case of the flu I have had in years. I can tell you it is pretty vile stuff. I wanted to share something that I have used though that has helped speed recovery this and several other illnesses my family has had.
Since my husband lost his job a year ago, insurance has been a luxury we couldn't afford. I realized without it how much I had taken it for granted and how often we had just "run" to the Doctor for colds and flu with the kids. I have had to rely on older remedies to keep my family "healthy" this past year so that we could save the $$ for when we REALLY needed to go to the Dr. I wanted to share some of the things I have picked up that really help.
I have had to come up with a set of "herbal remedies" that make up my families first aid kit. It is where we now turn for help first when we get hurt or feel ill.
I came up with this mixture over time actually and started putting the four ingredients together to help with different ailments. After much research from herbalist friends, on-line resources, and books from the library, this is the first thing that I put in my first aid kit.

Cold and Flu Tea 1
Cold and Flu Tea
Cold and Flu Tea 3
1 part Red Raspberry leaves
1 part Red Clover blossoms
1 part peppermint leaves
1 part rooibos tea

For a pot of tea (about 1 quart) I put in 2 teaspoons each. I usually add an extra teaspoon of peppermint for flavor.

Boil water. Pour over loose leaves in a teapot or jar and steep for 5-15 minutes. Strain. Serve hot or cold, with or without honey. Honey is also very soothing when you are sick and has it's own anti bacterial properties. (don't give honey to a child under 2 years of age, but you knew that already).

This is great for sore throats, caughs, aches, chills, and general feelings of being un-well. I even took this for stomach flu this week and it really helped settle my system and get me back to normal.

Now .... Why these four?? I will tell you.
Red Raspberry leaves are very high in minerals and have anti-viral properties. It is great for women to take because it really works hard for the reproductive system, keeping it healthy, clean, and working properly. I won't do without this herb on the shelf anymore. The anti-viral properties of this herb make it perfect for when you "think" you are getting sick; when you feel that scratchy feeling at the back of your throat but aren't quite sick yet. Tea made from this has prevented more cold for me than I can count. The only draw back is that red raspberry leaves to taste yummy. They aren't nasty by a long shot but kinda like boiled hay. So.... I add other herbs to make it tastier.
Red Clover is a blood purifier. This is great at anytime. (You do need to check with your health care provider though because it has blood thinning properties as well, that is not a problem for me or my family so we use it.) The blood purifying properties help you "clean up" the gunk you have in your system from being sick. This also helps remove toxins from your blood which helps your liver function better.
*** True story*****
When my oldest daughter "Miss Sunshine" was born she cried all the time. I thought she had colic for 8 months. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't but she sure seemed mad a lot. By the time she was 2 she would get so angry she would try to hurt me pretty violently.
Not so Sunny Miss Sunshine
(Seriously same child same day! some 10 years ago. BTW that face on the left was not a sad, tired, or scared face, it was MAD. It actually makes me really sad to see that angry face because there was nothing we could to to help her and it was so upsetting to see her so unhappy. Nothing soothed her. You had to ride out the storm. )
I wasn't so worried about me but she had a 3 year old brother and a baby sister at the time that I needed to protect. I took her to the Dr and he said that she was perfectly normal and just a spunky little girl and I should celebrate that fact. What!?! I was not satisfied with that so I went to a new herbalist in my area that changed my life forever. She did some testing on little " Miss Sunshine" and said that her little liver wasn't processing toxins as well as it should and that the build up in her system was making daily frustrations more than she could bare. She recommended the red clover for her in a tincture form every day. We did that. It wasn't an over night change but within 30 days I saw a different little girl. She was still the spunky little girl we love that could see the funny in everything and bring sunshine to our home BUT the angry bursts were gone. When her "life" would walk by and push her buttons, she could grunt and walk off without reacting. It was wonderful. I also found that when I took the red clover that I could "cope" with "life situations" better. ****
Red Clover also tastes like boiled hay, not yummy but not bitter so I add things to make it taste better.
Peppermint tastes yummy. That was one of the number one reasons for adding it. It also has medicinal properties. It helps sooth the digestive system, calm the body during stress, helps with breathing and many more. Knowing it is good for me is great but since I was little I just loved how it tastes. (being honest).
Rooibos -- What can't this stuff do?! I had a hard time finding anything about it at first and then I found a couple of links here and here that told me all kinds of wonderful information about it. I knew it was tasty but now it is a must have daily drink for me. The reason I add it to the cold and flu recipe is because it is natures sport's drink. It is high in natural minerals and salts and helps return balance to a stressed system. It also helps sooth the system which is great for helping you get to sleep when you don't feel well.

Where do I get these marvelous herbs?? I get some of them from my local health food store BUT mostly I get them from Monetary Bay Herb Company. I have liked the quality I get from them. I can get organic for a reasonable price. They packaging is marvelous too making for easy storage.
I hope this has been helpful for you. I will share some more concoctions and remedies this year and hope they can help bring some health benefits to you and yours.

Please remember that you should not use these remedies in place of seeing a real Health Care specialist in case of serious illness. I am not prescribing anything for you just sharing what I have learned.



Heather said...

Thank you for sharing about your tea. I'll have to give this a try. My husband and I have been battling colds on and off all winter.

kate the great said...

I'm definitely going to start trying this. Nate gets sick ALL THE TIME! Not super sick, just a little down. I hardly ever get sick, but I could use a little energy boost/vitamin boost/stress reliever every now and then. Who doesn't really? Thanks Aunty!!

ps--I got a snap press for Christmas and it is AWESOME! I'm putting snaps on everything. I should probably stop...

Ilena said...

Thanks for this great information. I'd love to take a more natural approach to wellness. It can sometimes seem overwhelming though on trying to figure out ways to start.

Natalia said...

I just love all your apron tutorials! So cute. I don't sew well, but I may have to pull out my sewing machine and give em a try! :)

yodasmith said...

What a cute blog! Yeah, natural remedies are the best!

Whenever I'm sick with a cold, I drink Wisdom of the Ancients Symfre herbal tea! That all I take for my cold, except maybe for a little vitamin C, and it always works!

Shawnee H said...

I sure hope you're feeling better. Miss you!!

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