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Old 01-08-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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Herbs to the rescue

When you down with the minor inescapable ailments of colds, cough, sore throat, flu, stomach problems, etc do you ever resort to traditional herbal medications or do you for the conventional prescriptions? In the event that you go for at least some herbal medications, what herbs do you keep in hand for when the need arises?

In my case, I almost always go for herbal remedies first and for this reason, have reasonable fresh supplies (from the last season, that is) of the following:

1. Camomile for stress relief and inducing sleep
2. Elderflower for coughs, cold and flu
3. Tilia for stomach problems
4. Olive leaves for lowering cholesterol
5. Stinging Nettle for gout
6. Cherry stems as a diuretic
7. Sage to lower blood sugar level

How about you?

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Old 01-08-2007, 11:12 AM   #2
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I have chamomile for sleep aids (not that we need it!), peppermint for tummy troubles and respiratory issues. Echinacea is my herb of choice for viruses that come along. I don't take it regularly though. I think thats it...NOPE, ginger for tummy upset and ginseng for waking me up. LOL. And my best friend, caffiene!
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:26 AM   #3
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Yes, Alix, ginger tea is very good for tummy upset and bean-induced flatulence. When I was growing up, my mum would prepare the occasional hot ginseng tea for me to drink in the morning before going to school. She believed that it helps lethargy and tiredness especially during the exam period.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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It does. Ginseng is wonderful for a little energy boost. It doesn't give you the jitters that caffeine does either.

Edit: Meant to add that ginger is really good for tummy issues, but I have to say that I prefer peppermint when my tummy is icky simply for the taste. I have recently been enjoying a tea that has both ginger and peppermint in it so I get the bonus of both. Not drinking them for any reason except the flavour though.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:40 PM   #5
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My mom made a tea from ginger (ground, dried, McCormicks), honey, hot water and milk. It really worked for coughs and colds and sinus problems. But I must say that everyone should be aware that herbal remedies should be taken, well, metaphorically, with a grain of salt. Too much of something herbal, or "natural" can still be bad for you. Anyone who has ever grown hot peppers can tell you that it is difficult to control the strength of herbs & spices for culinary purposes. Just think of it when you're doing it for medicinal purposes. Boufa's ideas all look safe to me (I would do or have done them all), but don't start treating your heart condition with foxglove, if you know what I mean.

That said, when my husband first started having severe arthritis and gout problems, I started making him very warm, aromatic baths with a lot of herbs from the garden (rosemary and sage being his favorites). In the long run, though, long-term Rx meds did the trick.
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:48 PM   #6
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Claire, another way to use ginger for coughs, colds and sore throat etc is to prepare a hot brew consisting of ginger and garlic cloves (peeled and bruised) then add lemon juice and sweeten with honey. It works wonders. I do agree that herbs should not be substituted for prescription medicine for serious illnesses.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:47 PM   #7
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When I have a cold or sore throat I like to sip on the following:

Loose Green tea that is seeped in some water that has first been brought to a boil. To that add some freshly grated ginger (like others have mentioned) a stick of cinnamon, a few pods of cardamom crushed, honey and lots of lime.

Another remedy that we use for upset stomach is to take some fenugreek seeds (called Methi) and just swallow them (they are like little seeds) with some water.

Finally a weird remedy which seems to work to stop hiccups and which I was skeptical about but seems to work everytime is to take 7 sips of water without taking a breath in between. It seems to stop the stubbornest of hiccups.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:55 PM   #8
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I have an entire library of herbals - old & new - & used to do herbal landscaping back in NY.

Most frequently I use catnip tea for colds, mint teas for upset stomach, & chamomile for sleep. Garlic - although not really an "herb", is good for everything - lol!!
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
Finally a weird remedy which seems to work to stop hiccups and which I was skeptical about but seems to work everytime is to take 7 sips of water without taking a breath in between. It seems to stop the stubbornest of hiccups.
Yakuta, drinking some water to stop hiccups is not weird at all. On the contrary, this is what I would recommend too but not taking 7 sips at a stretch.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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Boufa the weird part are the 7 sips. I had never heard that before but it works for me.
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:05 PM   #11
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Yakuta, perhaps I should try your method the next time I have hiccups.
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Old 01-12-2007, 07:10 PM   #12
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On two separate occasions in his life, my husband had constant hiccups for 5-6 days. Both times, he was under a lot of stress, so I'm sure that was the cause, but the poor guy was pitiful!
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boufa06
4. Olive leaves for lowering cholesterol

Do you know where i could find olive leaves and how would i would prep them?

My doctor wanted me to go on lipitor but i am not a fan of prescription drugs .
Thanx
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:53 AM   #14
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I have used herbal remedies off and on for several years.. with limited success...However I have discovered one herb that serves me really, really well..with many many medicinal qualities...That is fresh mint.

I normally use it by putting a couple of fresh sprigs(just the leaves) in a tall glass..adding maybe a teaspoon or two of "simple syrup"..then using a blunt instrument mash and bruise the mint thoroughly!! Add 1 jigger of good quality bourbon whiskey....fill the glass with crushed ice...add another jigger of bourbon letting it trickle down through the ice...using a straw make a hole in the ice and place sprig of mint in the hole..(If desired the fresh mint sprig may be dipped in powdered sugar while damp) Sip slowly. Yield: 1 serving.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:18 AM   #15
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Gee - while I know that using olive oil & eating olives is known to help in lowering bad cholesterol & increasing the good, I wasn't aware that the leaves were even edible!
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #16
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My Vietnamese nail girl swears by ginger for just about everything. Especially stomach issues.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Gee - while I know that using olive oil & eating olives is known to help in lowering bad cholesterol & increasing the good, I wasn't aware that the leaves were even edible!
Really, you should see how goats attack them with gusto to the chagrin of olive growers while shepherds pretend they don't see them.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petey
Do you know where i could find olive leaves and how would i would prep them?

My doctor wanted me to go on lipitor but i am not a fan of prescription drugs .
Thanx
Petey, it seems that you would not have much luck in finding olive trees in or around NJ. If you want I can send you some from our groves.

To prepare them, I steep the leaves in very hot water for about 5 minutes, strain and drink the brew just like tea. I usually drink it in the morning.

A rather different preparation involves grinding one cup of olive leaves and one cup of water in a blender until you get a very fine paste or suspension. Then you take 1-2 shot glasses of this once in the morning and once before going to bed.

I have never tried the second method. I do imagine that the taste of the concoction would be bitter. The one I prefer tastes a lot milder and pleasant.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:32 PM   #19
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When you have a cold, make an infusion from:
ginger - a good hefty lump
cinnamon
a grating of nutmeg
a dozen cloves
a cup of honey
a little brown sugar if needed

Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes. turn off and add the juice of two or three lemons.
Drink whilst still hot.

I don't know whether it is medically sounde, but it certainly tastes very good and aliviates coughs and that congested feeling so common with colds.

Add a tot of rum and you have a wonderful Toddy for a cold winter evening!!
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
When you have a cold, make an infusion from:
ginger - a good hefty lump
cinnamon
a grating of nutmeg
a dozen cloves
a cup of honey
a little brown sugar if needed

Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes. turn off and add the juice of two or three lemons.
Drink whilst still hot.

I don't know whether it is medically sounde, but it certainly tastes very good and aliviates coughs and that congested feeling so common with colds.

Add a tot of rum and you have a wonderful Toddy for a cold winter evening!!

A cup of honey seems like alot to drink in one sitting. Are you sure that you arent supposed to cut that or mix it with water? The idea sounds good but i'm a little weary about doing a cup of honey.
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