Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Teas to help ease colds and flu

I found this tea at a local health food store, but now I've also noticed it in the grocery store:

This is what's in it (click on the image to see it closer):

My husband came down with a nasty cold about a month and a half ago. He is not a tea drinker and tends to look upon my attempts at herbal remedies with disdain. I convinced him to try a cup of this tea one evening because he was so miserable with his cold. The next morning he said, "Oh, um, if you have any more of that tea, I'd like a cup." Which meant that it helped him feel better.

But I added a little something to it. I chopped up one little piece of elecampane root and added it to the brew. I had ordered the elecampane from Mountain Rose Herbs a few months ago:

When my daughter came down with the same cold, I gave her the same stuff and she happily drank it three times a day, which meant it worked for her too because it's not the tastiest tea (although the licorice root helps loads).

They had both complained of a sore throat first, before the cold hit. So when that "off" feeling hit me a few days later - you know the feeling, your insides feel like something's coming on - and my throat had an inkling of hurt, I wanted to take preventative measures.

I remembered a bush tea that I had bought on a trip to the Virgin Islands. It was supposed to ease a sore throat. I dug that out of the back of my cupboard:

I had some lemon balm which I'd harvested from a wild stand I found in the woodsy part of my back yard earlier in the year. I had dried it and put it away for later. Lemon balm is supposed to have mild antiviral properties. I have no doubts that my wild stand escaped from someone's garden round abouts.:

And I had my trusty elecampane - good for respiration, and it has antiviral properties too.

So I made my own brew with the bay rum, the lemon balm, and a small piece of dried elecampane root, chopped. I drank it three times a day for two days and came down with nary a sniffle.

Did I really fend off a nasty cold? Or did I just feel "off" for a day and nothing more. I don't know, but when I feel as though something is coming on again, I'll be drinking my tea.

The bay rum bush tea will have to be replenished. They do have a website, but their web-store doesn't seem to work. It does have contact information on the site so that you can call to order, or mail an order to them. Click here to go to their site. I would highly recommend bay rum bush tea. It's yummy smelling with a spicy, almost clovey scent and taste, and it does wonders on a sore throat.

And, as you can tell from the photo above, my lemon balm is running low. I did save a great many seeds, though, which I'm hoping to sew in the garden come springtime.


aromatic said...

Thanks for this posting... its really interesting and I shall now try to source some of these products if possible within the UK.
My OH is really poorly at the moment with a cold and I think some of this tea would have really helped. No doubt I will not manage to compile the ingredients for this cold but if I could have them waiting in the wings for possible future colds it would be really good. I am trying so hard to be the loving wife and look after him but at the same time I am trying very hard not to catch the awful thing! The last thing I need at the moment is to be ill just before Christmas.. I am already miles behind and I need to keep on top form so I can make some attempt at Christmas this year and to also be able to continue to look after my darling Mum who is somewhat poorly at the moment....

Oh yes, Basil would like to thank Strider for his lovely email. Unfortunately we could not get the pictures to load up.. but Basil used his imagination and thought they sounded delightful!
Basil will no doubt be getting in touch with Strider again!! In the meantime please send him loving woofs!!
Jane xxx

ICQB said...

Hi Jane!

I know exactly what you mean by trying to be the loving wife while dreading catching the awful cold.

Here's hoping you make it through without so much as a sneeze! It sounds like you are indeed very busy with both hands full - I'm sending you every good thought!

I'm so sorry that the pictures didn't load. I tried to be fancy and paste them directly into the email.

Strider is so happy to get all those woofs from Basil - it's rainy out and he's so bored! Basil's woofs cheered him up loads.

He sends a bunch of woofs back!

ICQB (Linda)