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Simple herbal remedies – July 2002

'Witchy Winter Wonders'

Here are some safe & simple herbal remedies to help you through the winter season!
It's that time of year again when nearly everyone seems to come down with a cold or the flu. Are you wanting to help yourself or family with some natural remedies, but not sure how to go about it?

Cold and Flu Remedies

5 cloves garlic
1 tsp fennel seeds
100ml apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey (preferably manuka)-(optional if you can handle the strong garlic taste or don't want the sugar)

-Simmer seeds in vinegar for 10 minutes with lid on.
-Strain and add honey.
-Add peeled and crushed garlic.
-Leave garlic in mix for 10 minutes (with lid on to withhold any steam), and then strain again.
-Bottle and label.
Take a teaspoon as necessary for sore throats, colds and/or flu. For a sore throat, gargling before swallowing may be helpful.

This has proven to be very effective, particularly for a sore throat at the beginning of a cold. If you can begin taking this early in its course, you may prevent it with this. Beware that the garlic can irritate the stomach.
The fennel serves the purpose as a carminative or to ease digestion.
It also makes a great salad dressing with a little oil!

¼ c. fresh thyme (or 1/8 c. dried)
¼ c. oatstraw*
1 tbsp. honey
200ml water

VARIETY: Use licorice root instead of thyme.
-Decoct (simmer with lid on) thyme and oatstraw for at least 10 minutes.
-Strain, squeezing as much liquid as possible out of the herb.
-Measure 100ml of the herbal fluid and add honey.
-Heat gently to dissolve honey.
-Bottle, label and store in fridge.

(CCNM 2001, 'Medicine Making, Herbs 1')
Take a teaspoon as necessary. This is beneficial for the respiratory system in general and will prove beneficial for all kinds of coughs as well.
Kids are even prone to like this one!
*Oatstraw as an infusion or tea is safe for gluten intolerant people if it is carefully strained ensuring only the liquid remains. The gluten protein stays within the grain and is not extracted by boiling process.
Thyme is beneficial to take for all sorts of coughs (dry or productive), anti-catarrhal (anti-mucous forming) for the upper respiratory tract and anti-microbial due to its volatile oil content.
Licorice is good for the respiratory system as an expectorant, is soothing to mucous membranes, antiinflammatory, and anti-spasmodic making it good as a cough remedy. It also supports the adrenal cortex helping the body cope with stress. Additionally, many people like the taste, which is a bonus!
Oatstraw is added for its nervine action or balancing effect of the nervous system, in addition to its nutritional properties. As a grain it is a good source of B vitamins (except B12), important components for energy metabolism.

Clove of crushed garlic
Pinch of cayenne
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp grated ginger
Dash of manuka honey

-Mix all ingredients together with warm water and take 3 times daily.
-Mix a fresh batch daily.
-Take as soon as the symptoms begin.

In acute cases frequent doses are the key with any of these remedies. (You might want to double the recipe!) When the recipe calls for honey, manuka honey is recommended due to its anti-microbial properties.

And this wouldn't be a Piko newsletter without a recommendation from our favourite Paul Pritchford (1993)! He suggests to hold, without chewing, half a clove of peeled garlic between the cheek and teeth for 20-30 minutes, every three hours during the day that symptoms first appear. Move it around occasionally to avoid burning the delicate tissues of the mouth. If the juice of this is too strong, use an uncut clove for a longer period of time.
Some people say that their mums used to put a clove of garlic between their toes when they were sick as a child. The feet are one of the greatest absorption areas. You can actually smell garlic on one's breath
within the day of doing this. It's worth a try!
Why so much garlic in these remedies? Garlic has long been known to have anti-microbial and immune stimulating actions due to the allicin content. In fact, the pyramid builders of Egypt used it as a ritual and to promote good health. Additionally, it was used as a remedy against the plague during the Middle Ages. Even the robbers of plague victims' bodies knew garlic's potential and used a preparation of it known as 'Four Thieves Vinegar' to protect them from the plague.
If you're worried about garlic breath after taking all these remedies, just chew on a sprig of parsley or rinse the mouth with lemon juice and water. The chlorophyll of the parsley helps remove garlic breath.
For fevers the use of diaphoretics (herbs to heat you) are recommended, unless the fever is dangerously high (i.e. 40 º C or higher)-seek a physician! The theory of diaphoretic use is that it helps the body eliminate toxins through the skin by sweating to help cleanse the body of infection.

A simple herbal tea to drink as often as possible is a mixture of any or all of the following herbs:
Yarrow (not available here, but probably in your garden!)

Use 1 tsp of mix in boiling water. Cover and allow to brew 5-10 minutes, strain and drink.

These herbs are also known to act as anti-catarrhals making them beneficial to prevent and move mucous production, and therefore relieve symptoms of stuffiness. Some believe Elderflower has anti-viral properties as well.

Fenugreek is another useful herb for this condition. Weleda also makes a 'Mucous Moving Tea' containing some of these herbs. Did you know that dairy foods promote mucous production? If you're really blocked up, try staying away from the dairy products.

Of course when you have a cold or flu, it is always important to get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of fluids. The reason why drinking fluids is so important (besides the fact that our body is mainly composed of water) is to help maintain a moist respiratory tract helping to repel viral infection.

Additionally, one should avoid sugar. Sugar can impair the immune system because glucose and vitamin C compete for transport sites into white blood cells. This can result in a reduction of white blood cell function if high sugar and low vitamin C levels exist in the body. Most know that vitamin C and zinc are important to fend infection since they are key nutrients to support the immune system. Additionally important are vitamins A, E and B's, carotenes, iron,
selenium and an adequate protein intake.

Take note this winter season for those eating primarily organic and particularly if you feed your kids organically, if your household doesn't seem to catch as many of the viral infections as others seem to do. Many people say they notice a difference (particularly with kids) that the family isn't coming home with as many "bugs" since going organic. It could be a booster to the immune system getting the extra vitamins and minerals that organic foods are proving to provide.
HOPE YOU'RE FEELING BETTER or better yet, don't require these remedies at all!!!

Canterbury College of Natural Medicine (CCNM) (2002) Herbal Therapeutics Module for Diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine Semester 1. Canterbury College of Natural Medicine, Christchurch.
Canterbury College of Natural Medicine (CCNM) (2001) Materia Medica Module for Diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine. Canterbury College of Natural Medicine, Christchurch.
Canterbury College of Natural Medicine (CCNM) (2001) " Medicine Making, Herbs 1." Canterbury College of Natural Medicine, Christchurch.
Murray & Pizzorno (1998) Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.
Little, Brown & Company, London.
Prtichford, P. (1993) Healing with Wholefoods Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley.
Weill, Dr. A. "Self Healing," May 2002.

Some extra notes:
Have you had the pleasure to meet our two newest cooperative members? Mariska and Jo have quickly caught on quickly and fit well into the Piko family, bringing much positive energy, new talents and spirit to the place! Mariska comes to us from Holland and Jo is a true Mainlander originally from Timaru. Mariska is working hard on a Piko web page due within the next month! We'll let you know when it's online.

Trans Tasman Therapeutic Goods Act (TTTGA)-Please take the time to write a submission regarding the proposed TTTGA. If it passes, it could affect many of YOUR choices of natural remedies and products available to you in New Zealand. The submissions close August 2. It's important to give opinions and/or recommendations so that the submission committee can build something from this. Submissions can be sent to: Team Leader, JTA Project team,  Medsafe, Ministry of Health, PO BOX 5013, Wellington. There's currently a petition to sign in the shop also. If you need more info, we've got some or check out Ask others to do the same, please!

PLEASE VOTE! We'd like to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote in the upcoming election. It seems as if the future of GE trials in New Zealand is dependent upon this one. We hope you consider keeping GE in the lab when you make your choice. Please encourage others and get your young family members registered! Forms are at the Post Office.

New Products at Piko:
Paula's Preserves Plum Jam-organically grown plums & certified organic sugar; 300grams-$5.15. It's divine, and as Sheryl said, "It's enough to quit the diet!"
Dairy Free/Vegan Carob Buttons-$30.05/kg Located in a bulk jar on the snack shelf.
A special dairy free & sugar free treat.
Wild Walnut Paste-$7.31/190gr jar
From the suppliers of our cracked walnuts-excellent source of linolenic acids (omega 3 essential fatty acids)
Weleda's Prunus Elixir-$11.47/100ml Good for those convalescing.
Organic Pear Ginger Juice-$5.56/1ltr. Made in NZ by Kaiora Organic.
Organic Coconut Milk-$3.17/400ml can Organic Herbs and Spices-now more are available in bulk & easier to find- under the stained glass window.
"The Bend in the River"-also known as "The Heritage Booklet" is complete and ready for purchasing.
Shelley, with help from Brigette and Ariel, spent much time to put together and write this piece of art. It shares the history of Piko Wholefoods Co-operative and about what the foundation of this place is. It is available to purchase for $18.85. This is solely the cost of production. It's a piece of history and only a limited supply exists. Many of you will recognise some of the old photos and the ways it used to be! Special thanks Shelley for all your hard work, time and heart!

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