Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold and Flu Recipes

Cold and Flu Recipes

Cold and Flu Tea

4 cups water
1 tablespoon echinacea root
1 tablespoon red root
1 tablespooin calendula flowers

Simmer the Echinacea and red root on the lowest heat for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and add the calendula. Let everything steep for another thirty minutes after the calendula has been added
Symptom Specifics: Useful when there is lymph congestion. If your throat lymph nodes get engorged and sore when you get a cold, this is a helpful tea

Cold Care Tea

4 cups water
1 tablespoon elder berries
1 tablespoon elder flower
1 tablespoon yarrow leaf and flower
1 tablespoon ginger root

Bring four cups of water to a boil in a pot and remove from the heat. Add the herbs to the pan or pour the water over the herbs into a tea pot. Steep the herbs for one hour. Warm the tea up again and enjoy.
Symptom Specifics: Sinus congestion and compacted mucus in the sinus area
Cinnamon Ginger Tea

2 cups water
1 tablespoon ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon bark

Simmer on low heat for thirty minutes
Symptom Specifics: Feeling chilled or catching a cold that is triggered by exposure to wind or cold weather

Soothing Throat Tea

2 parts echinacea root
1 part ginger root
1 part licorice root

Decoct on low heat for thirty minutes
Symptom Specifics: Good for when your throat is scratchy or sore

Easy Cough Tea

3 cups water
2 tablespoons slippery elm bark
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon licorice root

Decoct the ginger and licorice root for thirty minutes. Turn off the heat and let the tea cool down a little before adding the slippery elm bark. After adding the slippery elm let everything infuse for another half hour. Drink at room temperature
Symptom Specifics: Spasmodic, non-productive cough

Vitamin C Tea Blend

2 parts rose hips
1 part red raspberry leaf
1 part orange peel
1 part pine needles

Make an infusion and let steep for four hours. Warm the tea up and add a little honey before drinking.
Symptom Specifics: Drink a few cups a week as a prevention tea at the onset of winter

Cinnamon Ginger Honey

1 cup honey
2 tbls. dried powdered cinnamon
1 tbls. dried powdered ginger

Let herbs steep in honey for at least two weeks before eating. Leave the herbs in for the shelf life of the honey, about one year. Put on toast and warm cereal


Herbal Protocol for Treatment and Prevention of the Flu by Mary Blue

An herbalist perspective is one that the flu is a “ housecleaning”. Our bodies are flushing out the virus or bacteria and other toxins. Herbalists use herbs and food to encourage this cleansing, to prevent co-infections,increase white blood cell count, to relieve pain, promote restful sleep and help lesson the severity of the symptoms of the flu. Herbal Protocols can help no matter what strain of the flu it is.


Food: Eating a diet that is rich in organic veggies and low in processed,fried and sugary foods is a great way of staying healthy and getting over the flu fast if you do get it. A toxic body has a harder time fighting off viruses and bacteria because it is too busy processing toxins and cannot support the Immune System, the Circulatory System, and the elimination processes in their fight to rid the body of pathogens.

Great foods to prevent the flu

Local organic veggies, local GMO free Meat and eggs, Organic Grains,Organic Fruit and Veggies, Miso, and unpasteurized fermented foods.(Fermented foods are high in Vitamin C, are very cleansing, and have a beneficial effect on the digestive system.)
RAW GARLIC is one of the most important flu preventatives. You can eat it with a spoonful of honey (which has anti-bacterial properties.)Turmeric, Cayenne, Ginger, Sage, Thyme, and Oregano are all herbs that can help prevent the flu. It is great to incorporate these into cooking.

Things to avoid!

Sugar. It feeds Bacteria/ Viruses. (think about bread or beer, you add sugar to the bacteria and it grows. The same things happen in our body.)

Coffee. Coffee dehydrates the body and depletes it of vitamins and minerals, especially b vitamins that help support the immune system.

Alcohol. Alcohol clogs up our liver and can inhibit the immune system. It also turns into sugar in the body and can feed bacteria/viruses.

Processed Food. Food with preservatives, food coloring, fried foods, etc,keep our bodies at an overworked state. The liver and other organs become stressed and literally clogged up. Keeping your system clear and clean will help you stay healthy and recover quickly.

STRESS: The effects of stress on immune system functioning and overall level of wellness have been studied and well-documented. Chronic Stress can raise cortisol levels and weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to colds and the flu, as well as more serious health problems.

Herbs (Prevention)
Note: You do not have to take all of these herbs at once.Pick one or two from each category, and work with them.

Adaptogens: Astragulus Tea, Tincture or Capsules, Siberian Ginseng Tincture, Reishi Mushroom Tincture or Capsule, Holy Basil Tea. Adaptogens help our body deal with stress.

Anti-bacterial, Aromatic: Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Ginger.
These culinary herbs are not only good to cook with, they are great for tea! These are all great for a sore throat and breathing in the steam from a hot cup of tea will clear clogged sinuses.

Tonics: Nettles Tea, Alfalfa Tea, Comfrey Tea.
Tonics are high in vitamins and minerals and give our bodies a boost of nourishment.

Nervines: Oatstraw Tea, Lemon Balm Tea, Chamomile Tea.
Nervines help nourish our nervous system and can help deal with daily stress.

Detoxifying Herbs: Dandelion Tincture, Red Clover Tea, Chickweed Tea, Cleavers Tea.

Immune Herbs: Echinacea Tincture, Licorice Tincture or Tea, Astragulus Tea, Tincture or Capsule. (do not take Echinacea for more than 1 week at a time).


There is no cure-all herb or food for the flu. The herbs/foods listed below help our bodies deal with the pathogens in our system. They support our circulatory system, elimation system, the liver, kidneys and more! These herbs may help induce sweating and reduce fevers, or produce interferon, which in turn produces white blood cells, or help us sleep, which can be hard when you have the flu.

Food (Treatment)
It is best to stick to simple foods as to not clog up the system and make the body work too hard digesting complex meals. Soup: Miso in vegetable or chicken broth. Soup is good because the body doesn’t have to waste energy with the digestion process. It can just soak up vitamins and minerals from the broth.
Grains: Brown Rice, Quinoa
Veggies: spinach, kale, carrot, broccoli and RAW GARLIC!! Some acupuncturists think the swine flu is a hot condition, therefore they recommend staying away from hot, spicy foods. If it is not the swine flu, then cayenne pepper, ginger and other hot spicy herbs and veggies can be very beneficial. These foods can help induce sweating and mucous membrane cleansing.
RAW HONEY is a natural anti-biotic. Mix it with a clove of raw garlic.

Herbs (Treatment)
Note: You do not have to take all of these herbs at once. Pick one or two from each category to work with.

Immune Support: Astragulus Tincture, Tea or Capsule, Boneset Tincture or Tea ,

Andrographis Tincture, Licorice Tea or Tincture, Turmeric Capsules or Tincture.
Anti-viral/ Anti-bacterial herbs: Elderberry Berry/Flower Syrup or Tea, Sage Tea,
Oregano Tea, Thyme Tea.

Adaptogens: Astragulus Tea, Tincture or Capsule, Holy Basil Tea.

Tonics: Nettle Tea, Alfalfa Tea, Oastraw Tea.

Febrifuge: (induce sweating) Yarrow Tincture or Tea, Elder Flower Tea or Tincture
(febrifuge herbs are best taken in hot water)

Strong Nervines: (sleep) Skullcap Tincture or Tea, Valerian Tincture, Lavender Essential Oil, Chamomile Tea or Tincture

Anodyne: (pain reliever) White Willow Bark Tincture, Valerian Tincture, Meadowsweet Tincture

Demulcents: (sooth the mucous membranes, especially with a dry hacking cough) Marshmallow Root Tea, Slippery Elm Bark Tea(Demuclents can only be taken in tea form)

Expectorants: (only if the cough is actually producing mucous) Mullein Tea, Coltsfoot Tea

Cough Suppressants: Osha Root Tincture or chew on root, Wild Cherry Bark Syrup, Tea or Tincture, Holy Basil Tea.

Herbal Decongestant Steam

Take 2 quarts simmering water and add 5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil. You can substitute Eucalyptus Oil with White Pine needles or Sage/Thyme leaves. Turn off heat under pan and breathe in steam. You can hold a towel over your head to collect the steam. Keep eyes closed.

Herbal Anti-Bacterial Bath

Fill a bathtub with hot water, add 1/2 cup sea salt and 25 drops lavender essential oil, 25 drops tea tree essential oil. Make sure you do not have a high fever before getting into a very hot tub. If you do have a high fever take the bath in lukewarm water.(Remember fevers are our bodies way of heating up to kill pathogens. Very
high fevers are dangerous, but a low fever is actually good)


Colloidal Silver: 2 squirts three times daily (strong anti-biotic)
Vitamin C: 2000 mg daily
Vitamin D: get your sunlight!!
*Vitamin D has been proven to help with flu prevention.*
If you haven’t had much sun exposure, take a supplement when sick or when those around you are sick.

Anti-Viral/ Anti-biotic Hand Wash

20 drops grapefruit seed extract
30 drops tea tree essential oil extract
1/2 gallon water

Antiseptic Spray for Surfaces

1/4 cup Vodka
1/2 gallon Water
30 drops Tea Tree Oil
30 drops Lavender
Essential oil. Disinfect door knobs switches , handles, toys and other
surfaces that are commonly touched.

Air Sanitizer

Simmer water on low heat in a pot with 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil or
15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil or Lavender Essential Oil. Steam room
every 7-10 hours



*Stay home and avoid sharing items with household members (pens,papers,computers, remote control. sheets, towels, eating utensils, food.)
*Wear a surgical mask when around others.
*Clean sheets, bedding and clothes every day.
*Caregivers should wear disposable gloves and wearing a mask when giving care.


Mary Blue, Activist, Herbalist, and Community Organizer is currently the Practicing Herbalist, Education Coordinator and Director of The Peace Gardens Botanical Sanctuary at 7 Arrows . She lives in Providence RI , where she has been farming ¼ acre for 7 years and sells her herbal medicines and products at local farmers markets.Mary has taught numerous free garden/ nutrition / herbal workshops to children and high school students in Providence She currently teaches adult classes here at 7 Arrows and offers classes and workshops to groups and organizations all over New England.She is a founding member of the Annual Northeast Grassroots Community Herbal Convergence organizational committee and Bio-Justice, 2007, a counter conference to the annual Biotechnology Conference is Boston MA . She is the founder of The Cemetery Street Community Clinic, and co-founder of Providence Recycle-A- Bike.She is a member of NEHA (Northeast Herbal Association) and was a guest speaker at their 2007 annual retreat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer

Monday through Friday I'm inside a huge school filled with germy children who don't wash their hands enough and rely on alcohol & chemical based hand sanitizer as a cure-all. I do my best by eating nourishing foods (raw garlic!), using a neti pot, getting plenty of sleep, and making lots of preventative herbal decoctions and infusions. Sometimes though, I need another line of defense.
A couple days ago I threw together an essential oil hand sanitizer that doesn't contain all that weird stuff that commercial hand sanitizer contains and doesn't dry out my hands with alcohol. Because many viruses are airborne I also wanted something that I could dab under my nose to help keep the air I breath as virus-free as possible.

About the essential oils:
I chose Tea Tree because it's antibacterial, antibiotic, anti-infectious, fungicidal, antiseptic, antiviral, and MORE...a powerful essential oil! Lavender is a lovely smelling stimulant that is antimicrobial and antiseptic. Lemon Eucalyptus is antibiotic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, and bactericidal.

Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer

Store in a small spray bottle

1 tsp. aloe vera gel
3/4 cup witch hazel
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil

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