The above wonderful little herb garden is at my property in Spain. Water was limited there so I only grew some basics but really made the most of them. Some of the herbs and plants included, sage , rosemary, lavender, alfalfa, wild strawberry, mint, olive and calendula. I made my own smudge sticks from the sage and rosemary for cleansing energies, healing balm and moisturizer from the calendula and lavender, superfood supplement from the alfalfa, as well as immune boosting, virus killing olive leaf supplement and medicinal herbal teas from the other herbs. Nothing went to waste there!
My first winter back in the UK in 2018 went by without any colds or flu, my vitamin D levels were probably still topped up! But the second winter was a complete disaster, I was unprepared and from October through to February I had colds and flu and then post viral fatigue. This winter however I decided I wasn't going to be caught out again so did some research and prep of local medicines. Below are my favorites that have been keeping my body and immunity strong this winter.
Elfinflowers nature pharmacy
Favorites for Winter immunity & Spring cleansing.
Virus immunity with Turkey Tail Mushroom
It was during the first week of hearing about the 2020 world wide viral outbreak that I had a dream where someone told me I should take 2 tsp of turkey tail powder a day and I would be protected from the virus. I had heard of the name of turkey tail mushroom but I didn't know its properties, I had been on holiday at the time so when I came home and researched it I was gratified to read of its antiviral properties and I and my husband started taking it straight away. Other properties include its abilities to help kill cancer cells, and promoting general strength. Its brilliant to have through out the winter months to boost the immune system against colds and flu etc. We collect our own now from our local forest and make into tea and tinctures. If you can't find it locally its also available to buy in powder form.
Goodbye Colds & Flu with Elderberry
We have an abundance of elderberry in our area so during the year I stocked up and made tons of tinctures ready for the winter season. Full of vitamin C and other antioxidents, elderberry is known to ward off and fight colds and flu. I take it straight away when I feel I may be coming down with something and it completely knocks it on the head. Again if you don't have access to it locally then its easily bought in tincture form.
Cleavers & Dandelion leaves
When the seasons change from Winter to Spring our bodies can do with a bit of a clean up after eating the heavier warming foods of winter. Nature helps us by providing lots of bitter plants at this time of the year that help clean out any stagnancy in the liver.
Cleavers are those sticky plants that you find hanging onto your trousers during a forest walk these when made into a tea help clean out the lymph glands that may otherwise be sluggish if enough vigorous exercise hasnt been done during the winter months. A good addition to this infusion is dandelion leaf which is rich in vitamin A, C and D. It contains high amounts of zinc, iron and magnesium and potassium, cleanses the liver, is anti aging and can help prevent and treat (in combination with other herbs) UTI's , kidney problems, bladder problems and cysts on the reproductive organs.
All year round natures super supplements.
Blood strengthening Nettle Infusion
Nettle infusion, handful of dried nettles or 2 handfuls of fresh steaped in 1/2 litre of hot water for a few hours. This makes for a rich medicine tea cleansing for the kidneys and the blood whilst aslo being rich in many vitamins and minerals including iron. I try to drink this as often as possible and it feels so nourishing. Nettle beer is good too!
Liver Cleansing Benefits of Dandelion root coffee
How I love my dandelion root coffee! Its so grounding and supports the liver function, the eyes and kidneys and digestion. It tastes good especially with some cream in or homemade cashew/oat milk.
Cancer prevention with Kelp
Not just kelp as you must be careful not to take too much iodine (which it is very high in) but all seaweeds are worth adding to your diet, they are full of antioxidants and minerals that you may not get from other vegetables, they also fight off free radicals and can remove the effects of radiation and help prevent cancer. We collect ours locally but we also buy as a supplement too.
Sage, Rosemary, Oregano, Parsley and Thyme.
Common garden herbs like these are full minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. We like to just add as many as possible to our salads and other meals.
Menopausal benefits of Sage
A couple of cups of sage tea taken daily during all stages of menopause have been shown to help alleviate hot flushes/flashes by up to 64% in 8 weeks. I use for 2 weeks every month and I find it does help with alleviating PMT. Sage has also been shown to help improve memory and cognitive ability.
Blood circulation benefits of Rosemary
Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Rosemary is considered a cognitive stimulant and can help improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus.
Candida fighting benefits of oregano
Oregano is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of manganese. It is also a good source of iron, dietary fiber and calcium. Its an anti inflammatory and has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. As an oil used internally it has been shown beneficial against fungal issues such as candida.
Blood pressure benefits of Parsley
Parsley contains several important nutrients, such as vitamins A, K, and C. It’s also a good source of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Parsley contains carotenoid antioxidants and vitamin C — both of which have been shown to benefit heart health. It also has antibacterial properties supports bone health, boosts your immune system, enhances liver health and keeps your kidneys healthy by fighting inflammation and reducing high blood pressure and your risk of kidney stones.
Heart health benefits of Thyme
Very similar to the benefits of oregano but it also helps with heart health and lowers blood pressure.
If pregnant some of the above herbs will not be safe to use so should be thoroughly researched first.
Heart Rejuvenator Hawthorn Tea
A must if you have ever had heart attack, this tea drunk on a daily basis will rejuvenate your heart. Hawthorn berry has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase strength and growth of hair, is anti ageing and beneficial for people with heart failure, as it has been shown to improve heart function and decrease symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue.
These I don't yet make myself but perhaps I will at some point. I always have a set of flower remedies on hand at home as they are so helpful for clearing and raising awareness to the emotional issues that often underlie illness or just for when you feel out of sorts and need to shift your mood.
They are what is called vibrational medicine and work in a similar way to homeopathic medicine but on the level of the emotions rather than directly on the physical.
The most well known flower remedies are the 'Bach flower remedies' and can be bought in health food shops or sometimes pharmacies.
When I choose a remedy for myself or a client I do it intuitively by asking first what I or the client needs and then closing my eyes whilst my hand hovers over the various bottles until I feel I want to pick one up. Then the remedy is either taken directly on the tongue in a few drops or in a glass of water a few times a day for however long is needed.
Below is a chart where you can try this out yourself...
Find Your Remedy
The Bach Flower remedies
Close your eyes and with your finger on the chart circle it whilst asking your higher self to guide you to the remedy you need, then go to the chart below and look up the meaning.
Herbal aura cleanse
Its so important to keep our auric field clear and pure, then its less likely to attract unwanted 'energetic stuff' that's floating around in the ethers. One simple way to do this is to make a herbal concoction that you can rub on your hands and run externally through your aura each day.
You will need a large mouthed glass jar, some vodka and a smaller mouthed container to store it in.
Then go into your garden or nature space with some secateurs and in your mind or out loud say to the garden spirits that you would like to make a concoction using some flowers and herbs to keep your aura clear and ask that you be guided to the ones that would like to participate. Say Thank you or make a small offering of tobacco before you start.
Starting the preparation for the concoction in this way helps to get the process off 'on the right foot' making it a sacred and harmonious experience for all involved.
After making your collection of flowers and herbs enough to fill your jar, pour over the vodka,