I can feel the chill in the air in the mornings – and I’m seeing colors changing on the trees – It’s Fall! I know that also means flu, colds, and various bugs flying around in the air as well. I’ve put together some recipes that can help you keep your Winter Wellness this season!
There are a great many herbal teas in grocery stores but remember, to get a therapeutic dose using tea bags, you will need to use at 3-4 per serving. For loose leaf teas, you will need 2 heaping tablespoons per serving. The recipes I’m including are geared for winter but sometimes can be used in spring or summer in iced form. The best place for quality herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs. I have used them for years and always loved them.
A word on Parts, keep your parts the same, for instance, 1 part equals 1 tablespoon or 1/4 cup. This way, your ratio will be correct for the recipes.
We’ll start with a good digestive tea – remember, good health starts in the gut! (From Healing Herbal Teas)
3 parts dandelion root
1 part fennel
1 part ginger
1 part peppermint
1 part spearmint
1/2 part chamomile – use in the evening to calm the nervous system
pinch of marshmallow root to soothe inflamed tissues in the throat, stomach, and intestines – especially useful for acid reflux.
Hot: Pour 1.5 cups of just-boiled water over 2 tablespoons tea. Steep – covered – for 15 minutes.
Cold: Combine 2 cups cold water and 1-2w tablespoons of tea in a jar with a lid. Shake well to saturate all the dry ingredients, place in the refrigerator or a cool place for at least two hours.
Kathy’s Vitamin C Tea:
I love this tea – my own creation! It’s wonderfully fruity and chock full of Vitamin C. Make a container full of the dried ingredients so that you can whip it together in an instant.
1 part rose hips
1 part Elderberry Flowers
1/2 part lemon peel
1/2 part orange peel
1 part hibiscus
1/2 part elderberries
Hot: Fill with 1.5 cups of just-boiled water and let steep – covered – for at least 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey. Enjoy several times per day.
Cold: Combine 2 cups of cold water into a jar with a lid and steep for at least 2 hours, then strain, sweeten if desired, and enjoy.
Dried Ginger Tea (Kathy’s Recipe)
Dried ginger is more warming than fresh ginger and ideal for helping you warm up after getting a chill, or sweating out a fever. But you can use whatever you have available.
About 2 teaspoons Dried, sifted, organic Ginger
10 ounces of water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
dash of honey (optional)
Squirt of lemon juice (optional)
Hot: Place the ginger in a small saucepan with the water and simmer for at least seven minutes. Remove from heat and add the other ingredients if desired.
Herbal Inspired Hot Toddy (Kathy’s Recipe)
I love a hot toddy when I’m sick – and this one is a change from the traditional in using herbal ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cranberry or cherry juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice fresh ginger (or dried if fresh is not available)
2 teaspoons dried hibiscus
1/2-1 ounce whisky or brandy
slice of orange or lemon (optional)
Simmer water, juice, cinnamon, clove, hibiscus, ginger for about 10 minutes, then strain into a cup. Add honey to taste, whisky or brandy, and a slice of orange or lemon if desired. Drink while warm – preferably in bed because this toddy puts you right to sleep!
Relaxation (AKA Achy Body) Tea
NOTE: This tea is not for pregnant women – no exceptions! Also not for people with blood clotting disorders, or who are on Coumadin, or have kidney or liver disease. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure you can take this tea
1 teaspoon dried yarrow
1 teaspoon dried feverfew
2 teaspoons dried lavender
Steep with just boiled water for at least 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey. Particularly good before bed.
Enjoy, and if you need any herbal advice going through winter – please let me know.
I have always felt the pain caused by weather changes. I knew I wasn’t the only one and this is an excellent article on some things you can do to alieve it.
Weather changes do not only affect our environment, but also our personal well-being as well. When weather change occurs, it affects the air that we breathe which, in turn, affects our overall health. It affects our entire system from our immune system to our musculoskeletal system. Hence, there are some people who experience pain whenever they experience changes in climate.
As a matter of fact, weather change and joint pain are relatively linked. Joint pains may be caused by weather changes through a clear connection that hasn’t been determined yet. Some people may often feel more joint pain when the weather is cold or humid. They may also feel the pain whenever it is raining. Other people experiencing pain brought about by other conditions like migraine and fibromyalgia may also experience weather-affected pain.
What Is Barometric Pressure?
Barometric pressure is the pressure in the earth’s atmosphere. While it is mainly environmental in nature, this pressure has a tremendous effect on our body as evidenced by the pain we have to deal with whenever this atmospheric pressure changes. The change can affect the expansion and contraction of our body’s bones, joints, and muscles. It also affects our sinuses as it fills up with air.
These effects can lead to the development of pain such as arthritis, headaches, and migraines, among many others. Unfortunately, we cannot control weather changes. But it doesn’t mean that we have to live up to the pain it causes. Thankfully, there are different ways that you can do to alleviate the pain brought about by the shifting weather.
How To Reduce Pain Triggered By Weather Changes?
These are the different things you can do at home to help reduce pain triggered by weather changes.
1. Increase Your Vitamins A, D, E, And K Intake
Vitamins are essential to keep your body healthy. These vitamins help boost your immune system and will also ease inflammation brought about by pain. Though a diet change will not abruptly reduce pain, you will benefit from it in the long run.
Hence, you should consume foods like fish and nuts. Vegetables such as celery, broccoli, and spinach are also highly recommended. When it comes to fruits, get yourself some avocado, watermelon, and nectarines. Moreover, use healthy oils for salad dressings such as coconut or olive oils.
2. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus is a potent remedy for pain due to its anti-inflammatory compounds. It contains cineole and limonene that can help relieve the pain you are feeling. Specifically, eucalyptus is a good way to help ease joint pains. Rubbing eucalyptus oil on the affected joint promotes pain reduction as well as relaxation to the entire body due to its aroma.
To make eucalyptus oil, I suggest the infusion method. Gather, wash, and dry ¼ cup eucalyptus leaves. Place the leaves inside a jar and add a thin layer of sea salt. Mash the eucalyptus leaves while inside the jar to squeeze out its oil.
Add 1 cup of carrier oil (olive, coconut, or almond oil) to the eucalyptus and salt mixture. Cover the jar with a lid and place it under direct sunlight for a minimum of 2 weeks. Shake the jar once or twice daily.
After 2 weeks, strain the leaves from the oil. Move the oil to another jar and label it accordingly. This oil is best stored in a refrigerator and can last for up to 6 months.
3. Ginger Tea
Studies show that ginger is beneficial for decreasing pain. It is an immune modulator, which reduces inflammation. It also aids in reducing the severity and length of migraine attacks. Moreover, having ginger in the form of tea is a pleasant way of keeping your body warm during rainy and cold days. Since ginger helps increase your body temperature, it will help promote proper blood circulation throughout your body.
To make a fresh ginger tea, thinly slice an inch of ginger into several smaller pieces. Place it in a saucepan with 1 cup of boiling water. Simmer to 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you want your tea to be. Strain the tea to remove traces of solid ginger. Before serving, you may add lemon or honey for added flavor.
Aside from helping ease weather-related pain, ginger tea will also help your digestion, reduce nausea, and soothe upset stomachs.
4. Aloe Vera
The use of aloe vera is very common among people who are suffering from pain. Aloe vera has healing properties that are not only good for joint pains but also heal skin abrasions and sunburns. Drinking the plant juice on a daily basis might also help lessen tension headaches as well as headaches caused by weather changes.
Making an aloe vera gel is easy. You only need 1 aloe leaf and a couple of kitchen tools. Cut off an outer leaf from the plant base. Wash the leaf and let it stand upright for 10-15 minutes to remove the resin that might cause skin irritation. Once the yellow-colored resin is completely drained, wash the leaf and peel the thick skin with a knife or peeler to expose the gel.
Scoop the aloe vera gel into a blender and blend gently until it becomes frothy and liquid. The gel is now ready to use for topical application on the affected painful area! To store, place the gel in an airtight container and store it in a refrigerator. This gel can last for about 1 week. You may also freeze aloe gel in a freezer, and it’ll last for up to 6 months.
5. Cayenne Peppers
Cayenne contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is an active compound that is helpful in relieving joint and nerve pain. It also helps clear out nasal and sinus passages. Hence, cayenne is a good home remedy to reduce pain triggered by weather changes.
You can simply add cayenne peppers to your diet if you can tolerate spicy foods. However, if you want to make a salve to rub on your joints, you can easily do it too.
To do this, melt 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of beeswax, and 1 cup of neutral oil (almond oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil) in a double boiler. Melt in slow and gentle heat. Once melted, transfer to a jar and wait for it to solidify. For a stronger salve, you can infuse cayenne with your base oil for 24-48 hours and proceed with the steps mentioned earlier. To use the salve, apply it directly to the painful area. Apply only the amount that you can tolerate or else it’ll be too hot on your skin and will cause a burning sensation.
Weather changes are unpredictable. Knowing how to treat pain brought about by weather change will help you deal with it better. You also need to remember to dress warmly during cold weather, especially now that winter season coming. Drinking enough water will also keep you well-hydrated, which is an important factor to avoid pain. These simple techniques – along with the right herbs – can ease your struggle and will allow you to resume some, if not most, of your daily activities despite the shift in weather.
I literally have Mullein growing like crazy on my Nature Walk side of the property. The mostly wild and uncultivated and rocky area between the barn and the neighbor’s property, full of raspberry tendrils, and tall grasses, and Garlic Mustard. I love that side of the property!
I’m very happy to see it though, it is a very useful herb for many conditions from removing heat in urinary conditions, an expectorant, sedative, to smoking mullein leaves for soothing inflamed lungs, reducing coughing and helping to reduce inflammation. It promotes productive coughing.
Mullein is a fuzzy leafed (Bi-annual) plant that every two years will sprout a giant stalk with golden/yellow flowers – which I haven’t seen yet but I’m waiting!
Dry mullein leaves flat. They can be crumbled for tea – I highly recommend placing this herb in the heat seal tea bags so that the little fuzzies don’t irritate the throat, or strain using a coffee filter. They can also be dried and smoked to ease respiratory conditions (I know it sounds counter-intuitive but it does work). Mullein can be tinctured just be sure to filter it carefully to remove the hairs.
Because it is nervine and can help soothe nerves, I’ve added it to my own blend of pain tea. So I’m very grateful to see nature’s pharmacopeia in my own yard!
Mullein & Honey Cough Medicine (From WolfCollege.com)
Ingredients for Mullein & Honey Cough Syrup:
- Mullein leaves and flowers **Note: because Mullein loves to live in disturbed areas, we have to be careful to check for pollution or other contaminants before harvesting
- Elderflowers from blue Elderberry, de-stemmed and rinsed
- Organic honey
First, make sure that the plant materials are clean and dry. The Elderflowers should be de-stemmed.
Next, we need to make a hot infusion. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and steep the Mullein flowers, Elderberry flowers, and the Mullein leaves for 10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can make a cold infusion: 1 oz of leaves and flowers in 1 quart of water for 4 hours.
When ready, strain the infusion through a strainer bag, and place the infusion back on the stove.
On a low simmer, stir in honey until dissolved. The affected person can also stand over the infusion and breathe in the steam for help with congestion and a croupy cough.
Let cool before consuming. Don’t forget to label with the name, date, and ingredients! Store in the fridge.
Dosage: take like a ‘regular’ cough syrup – 1 teaspoon every 3 or 4 hours