Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting Through Cold and Flu Season the Homeopathic Style

This winter, as I've shared before in the post, "And After a Long Hiatus", has been brutal, but since last Saturday evening, I've had a cold/flu bug that has a strangle-hold on my body and now, unfortunately, my sinuses. I have friends recommend remedies, but one friend in particular, Maryann Young Davis, was able to really give me some recipes for herbal teas--some of which I've adapted to my own needs and tastes, and one of my own. I've just posted the best ones!
My dear friend, Maryann Young Davis

The first one she gave me was from this website Fiveremedies: Natural Home Remedies. Here's the recipe she sent:

2 teaspoons sage
juice of one lemon (or one teaspoon lemon balm herb)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

To prepare the tea, pour one cup boiling water over sage and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out herbs, add remaining ingredients, and drink hot.

Here's my adaptation:

I used all fresh herbs (as does she), and added large-leaf basil and Thai basil, and mint. I did not put this into a mug (not yet, at least), but rather steeped it in my French press for a half an hour. Very soothing.

Another recipe she adapted is Turmeric tea.

Turmeric tea stains anything it comes into contact with, so be extra careful!

1/3 cup/80 ml good, raw honey (I used Agave syrup)

2 1/2 t of dried turmeric
lots of freshly ground pepper
(she uses water, but I use almond milk)
(I added a tsp of coconut oil which seemed to bind the turmeric and help keep it from separating--it also is a yummy addition.)

Work the turmeric into the honey until it forms a paste. You can keep this on hand, in a jar, for whenever you'd like a cup.

For each cup of tea, place a heaping teaspoon of the turmeric paste in the bottom of a mug. Pour hot (but not boiling water) into the mug, and stir well to dissolve the turmeric paste. Add a big squeeze of juice from a lemon and a good amount of black pepper (do not skimp on!) Enjoy! Stir now and then as you drink it, so all the good stuff doesn't settle to the bottom, or top off with more hot water (almond milk) as needed. ENJOY!

My tea recipe:

In my french press I add:

1/4 cup of each (cleaned and chopped) 

fresh large leaf basil
Thai basil
peppermint (or any kind of mint--fresh or dried is fine)
1/2 lemon squeezed and then place lemon (rind and all) in the French press
honey (to taste)

Make sure to warm your French press first using hot water (from the tap is fine)

Empty water

Place all ingredients in the order they are listed into the French press

Stir to coat the leaves and lemon with honey. I find it helps the taste.
Then add just-boiling water to the French press and steep for 1/2 an hour. Plunge the ingredients with the top of the French press. (If you do not have one of these, you can do this in a 3-cup container and strain the leaves and lemon prior to drinking.)
Enjoy. This is yummy.

And of course my neti pot recipe, though I do not use a neti pot, but rather I use a cup and snuff the warm liquid until it enters my mouth, and I spit it out. My husband and children are GROSSED out when I do this, but it feels better to me than a neti pot does. It takes getting used to. 

Thank you, Maryann! Your presence here in IL is truly missed, but I'm so glad we continue to keep in contact. More now than when you lived in IL. Go figure!

Love to all. Namaste.

Monday, February 3, 2014

And After a Long Hiatus...

Other than the winter of '79, I do not remember such a brutal winter. Sure we in the Midwest experience cold snaps often during the winter months, but hey, we're used to it, right? Midwesterners are hearty people who thrive during adverse conditions. Well, let me tell you: this Midwestern girl has had enough. I haven't been so sedentary for this many months on end. I've gained weight, been down in the dumps since I can't go outside (too flippin' cold), and most importantly, I'm out of shape! So much so, I've kicked myself in the pants to get moving again.

I woke up on Sunday feeling oddly rejuvenated. I started to question why, but then my good sense kicked in and I went with it. I got my kids breakfast, got my hubby coffee, got dressed (sans makeup), and headed out the door to my yoga class. The warmth of the poolside was so familiar, it's like I hadn't been away for so many months. The instructor, Liz, seemed pleasantly surprised that I returned. I was certainly glad to be back. Thank God for my weekday asana practice (albeit 15 minutes) or I would have really struggled. I spent maybe a bit more time in Child's pose than I liked, but surprised myself by flying in the crow pose. The five minutes of savasana  was not nearly long enough, but I did get a chance to seal in my practice.

Once I got home, I noticed I was extremely irritable and, to be quite honest, angry. Why? I had a terrific workout? Jeff tried to engage me in conversation (his way to check my internal barometer, I guess), but I just could not seem to get rid of the irritation in my voice, so I just gave one-word answers. Mature, I know. I went and took an Epsom salt bath, and finished my savasana. And it hit me right between my eyes. I was angry at myself! I had gotten so out of shape that I was berating myself. Honestly, I was really surprised I felt this way. Quickly, I turned my thoughts over to gratitude; giving thanks that I actually had the energy and willingness to start up my practice again. The mind can be a dangerous place to navigate, let me tell you. Thank goodness I was able to take that first step getting back to the gym. Now if the weather would cooperate, I could get out to my garden. I hope this finds you all toasty warm and safe. Namaste.