Three simple medicines for winter health

Consider these quick, easy preparations to add to your pantry as the season gets colder. They are based on three general ideas in herbal therapeutics: tonify immunity using botanicals that interface with our innate immune systems via gut-associated lymphatic tissue; improve circulation and load the bloodstream with pungent, volatile, antiseptic substances that escape through the respiratory tract; and reduce inflammation while encouraging perspiration to relieve symptoms of congestion and fever.

Bliss balls:
1 1/2 cup nut butter or tahini
1 cup molasses
2-4 Tbs maple syrup
2 cups cacao
8 Tbs powdered herbs - Astragalus and Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum, G. tsugae), in equal parts.

Mix nut butter, molasses and syrup. Add cacao and mix. Slowly add herb powders and mix well - roll into 24  2" balls, dust in cacao, take two daily.

These are nourishing, rich in immune-active glucans and saponins, and have a high compliance rate.

Fire cider (a classic recipe, via Rosemary Gladstar):
2 onions
2 heads of garlic
1/4 cup grated Ginger
4Tbs turmeric
1/2 cup grated Horseradish (fresh)
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 qts. Apple cider vinegar
Mix all ingredients together. Shake occasionally, and allow to steep for at least two weeks; strain and bottle. Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon three (or more) times a day at the first signs of cold or flu.
Definitely fiery, you may want to use caution in more sensitive constitutions. A great remedy for the fiery type who gets stopped in mid-stride by the flu. Soothes the belly, provides warmth, encourages perspiration, and protects the lungs from infection.
Herbal decongestant tincture:
(all herbal ingredients are dry)
2 ounces Elderflower
2 ounces Catnip
2 ounces Goldenrod
1 quart (liter) of 100-proof spirits (vodka, e.g.)
Mix all ingredients and seal in a closed 1/2 gallon mason jar. Shake occasionally, and allow to steep for at least two weeks; strain and bottle. Take 1 teaspoon in a little water three times a day for congestion and/or fever.

The high bioflavonoid concentration (quercetin and related compounds, e.g.) in goldenrod reduce airway inflammation and swelling, while elderflower and catnip thin mucous secretions and gently encourage perspiration to help manage fever.


Unknown said...

I loved studying with you at Rosemary's and was so glad I could make your class for the CT Herb Association. These recipes are great and I will be making more on my own. It was great to see some new ideas for my fire cider. Thanks!!!!

Marie Frohlich said...

I am wondering why molassas and not honey for the bliss balls, iron content? Truly appreciate the high compliance comment though. :)